Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
(Bonus! You can listen to me, editor Sean Manning, and contributor Sigrid Nuñez discuss the book on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show.)
1. For Bookforum, I look at the 16th (and 14th) edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
2. For the Poetry Foundation, I meditate on Garrett Caples's pamphlet, "Quintessence of the Minor: Symbolist Poetry in English," and John Ashbery and James Schuyler's novel, A Nest of Ninnies.
The event takes place at Three of Cups, 83 First Ave. at 5th St.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I work the second shift in an office where cubicles are shared. The fellow who uses my cubicle in the first shift has a luxuriant beard. Every night, I come to work and find beard hairs all over the desk and keyboard. I find this incredibly disgusting. Is there a polite way of asking him to clean up after himself?
How about weaving those molted whiskers into a wreath that you can hang from your shared cubicle wall — with a bit of verse attached:
“Your beard is handsome
and deserves an award.
But on your face,
Not in my keyboard.
Don’t forget to tidy!”
And if you’re short on time, feel free to skip the wreath.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 30
12:30 – 1:45 pm
An afternoon with Underwater New York
Music for Underwater Things by Michael Hearst;
Readings of original underwater-y stories by
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
Ed Park, Personal Days: A Novel
Nelly Reifler, See Through: Stories
Said Sayrafiezadeh, When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir
Deb Olin Unferth, Vacation;
And an underwater letter-writing activity from
Ben Greenman, What He’s Poised to Do: Stories
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
A short plug here for Ed Park’s novel, Personal Days. The book is replete with inventive wordplay (unwanted backrub given by a character named Jack = jackrub; character called Graham with whiny British accent is renamed Grime). Plus, there’s a nice un-Eating Sideways moment. It’s when the narrator suggests that there should be a French expression, along the lines of l’esprit d’escalier, for the sensation of being initially amused but later unnerved by something that’s said to you. —PRI's The World (podcast on language)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Speech recognizers make educated guesses at what is being said. They play the odds. For example, the phrase “serve as the inspiration,” is ten times more likely than “serve as the installation,” which sounds similar. Such statistical models become more precise given more data. Helpfully, the digital word supply leapt from essentially zero to about a million words in the 1980s when a body of literary text called the Brown Corpus became available. Millions turned to billions as the Internet grew in the 1990s. Inevitably, Google published a trillion-word corpus in 2006. Speech recognition accuracy, borne aloft by exponential trends in text and transistors, rose skyward. But it couldn’t reach human heights. —Robert Fortner, "Rest in Peas: The Unrecognized Death of Speech Recognition"
(Via Jenny D)
Monday, April 26, 2010
“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.) Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.
“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.” —NYT
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Burning a cork's end until it's blackened and moist will produce a convenient and disposable char applicator. Just smear two fat streaks under the eyes—preferably en dashes, not hyphens. Perfectly rounded edges be damned, eye black isn't supposed to be neat, and it isn't supposed to be pretty. Your pores plugged with red wine-scented carcinogens, you'll look like the lunatic taking the intra-squad scrimmage way too seriously. But you'll also look like the guy least likely to abide a high and tight fastball (albeit delivered underhand most likely).No doubt by the seventh inning stretch, sweat will have made a mess of your mug—probably something resembling a bridesmaid with a bad case of beer tears. Now, that's intimidation.
—Martin Mulkeen, GQ
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
"Joblessness may be hovering around 10 percent, with some 29 million Americans out of work or searching for full-time employment, but there’s one group of people whose persistent alienation from regular employment has emerged as a particularly serious problem. I refer, of course, to novelists."
The New York Times Book Review's Jennifer Schuessler writes about Personal Days and other books about work.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
The first film in history was an 1895 short by the Lumière brothers with the self-explanatory title Workers Leaving the Factory. In the years since, as if in deference to their function as a leisure activity, movies have been largely blind to the daily rituals of work and the meaning it has in our lives (unless the characters are, say, detectives or assassins). Documentaries are the exception, as are sporadic outliers like Mike Judge. There is a kind of bracing novelty when a big movie with a glamorous star so much as glances in the direction of the real working world, where people toil, lose jobs, and struggle for survival (and have done so since long before 2009).
—Dennis Lim on Up in the Air, Slate
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Time Out on this Saturday's (2/20) event in Brooklyn:
The multidisciplinary benefit party Impossible Geometries, for the online journal Triple Canopy and the art-film space Light Industries, kicks off with readings by Ed Park and Lynne Tillman, follows with films and music, and promises to be the literary bash of the week.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Then on Wednesday, February 24, I'll be appearing at Housing Works with Hari Kunzru and Mary Gaitskill for a Bookforum event:
Why not come to both?™
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Cutting cubicles is part of this ongoing effort. The company has divided its workforce into three categories. A “resident” works at one location most of the time. A “mobile” works in a variety of locations: home, the airport, at company locations, or with customers. An “off-site” worker is at a fixed non-company site such as home or at the office of a business partner.... —Susan E. Reed, GlobalPost
Photo: Taipei (Nicky Loh/Reuters)
Monday, January 11, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
2008: Personal Days by Ed Park. The debut novel from the editor of The Believer captured the precise moment in U.S. office culture before everybody got fired. Cleverer than Office Space, shorter than Then We Came To The End, this excellent little book sits gloating atop the ash-heap of corporate history.
I once had a laptop at my old job. It was heavy. Only the 1 key worked. I sat at a meeting with only that key working and managed to get to Blogger and read through the blogs of the day to keep myself entertained. Moral of the story: you don't need a working keyboard to use a laptop. —Livin' the Dream