Friday, March 31, 2006

dress me up in white and blue and call me the pillsbury dullboy

My talk at Rutgers was boring. I hate being boring, esp. the kind of boring where I feel like I am inflicting neurologic pain on people who were polite enough to invite me to speak and presumably did so in the belief that I would not so injuriously dull. Somehow I convince myself that if only my graphs are aesthetically pleasant enough it will take the edge off boring. Unsurprising to anyone but my pre-talk-frenetic-graph-making-delusional-self, this is not the case.

My sister is visiting this weekend. She'll be here any minute. So I'll be doing various tourist-y things, amidst having to catch up on various things from my time spent traveling.

flays of glory

Tennis headline from via the NYT:

I have never before seen the word 'flays' used as a synonym for 'defeats'. I associate 'flays' with taking the skin off someone/something (esp. while it is still alive). This, in turn, I do not associate with tennis.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

dispatch from new brunswick

For the first six months that I had a blog, it was in virtually complete obscurity. Now, when I go somewhere to give a talk, at least some of the people there will know I have a blog. I wish this change in circumstance were matched by my blog being way better now than it was back then, but, if anything, I suspect the reverse is true. (Although I never posted that much about sociology, and when I have it has mostly been surly.)

I spent some time walking around Princeton during daylight today. It reminded me a little bit of what I imagine Hogsmeade from the Harry Potter books to be like. I had European hot chocolate with handmade marshmallows at this place called The Bent Spoon. New Brunswick seems nice, as well, but more real and less theme-park-utopitown.

My talk is farther from being done than I wish to admit here. However, this was a day of several very interesting conversations, so I don't regret not having worked on my talk--or at least do not regret it yet. Check back in a few hours.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

(princeton) doodle

(produced by the friend I am staying with last night)

As well as the tablet pc goes over whenever I show it to people, I'm surprised that tablets haven't done better on the market than they have.

dispatch from princeton

I'm writing this from the Acela train, where I am on my way to New Jersey (to Princeton to see a friend today [Tuesday], then over to Rutgers where I will be giving a talk on Thursday). I absolutely love traveling by train. But, anyway, I departed from South Station in Boston, which was also having some kind of job fair. I walked around and made a list of the exhibitors:
Securitas Security Services
Blockbuster Video (handing out pens and popcorn)
Ameriprise Financial (no one there, no indication of what they do)
Transportation Security Screeners
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Labor Ready (slogan: "dependable temporary labor")
Massachusetts National Guard
Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership
Anyway, and not to get sappy, but walking around and thinking about these various jobs had the salutary effect of reminding me how ridiculously fortunate I am. It's amazing how one can have such a cushy set of gigs and still find ways of focusing one's cognitive-emotional energy on the points of complaint.

Later: I'm uploading this post from the guest bedroom of a friend. I had Thomas Sweet swiss chocolate malt ice cream with Reese's Pieces blend-in. Life, in short, is good, even if a bug (not mine) did cost me like 10-15 hours of work on analyses for this not-especially-close-to-finished talk.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

that was then, this is now. except that 'that' was actually now as well.

There are all sorts of things I want to do, just not right now. The problem is that it is always right now, and so I never do them.

I guess that's one problem. The other is that, in general, I'd rather spend less time online than I do. However, what I'd really rather do is spend less time online in general but be checking my e-mail or blogging or whatever right now. And since it's always right now, I end up online constantly.

All this has led to my recent paroxysm of reading about hyperbolic discounting. Hyperbolic discounting is all about having a weird funhouse-shaped mirror relationship between "now" and "later", when it's easy to go to the blackboard and demonstrate that what you really should have is a nice linear relationship instead. Indeed, as far as I can tell, a lot of what ends up being success in the world has to do with the extent to which you are either dispositionally a linear-discounter* or manage to arrange your environment so you produce linear-discounting behavior despite yourself. Moreover, as far as I can tell, lots of the cognitive predations of the age are based on exploiting the naturally nonlinear way of feeling about time. I am obsessed with this.

* To any persnickety behavioral-economics-inclined readers, yes, I know the proper term is "exponential" and not "linear," but the idea of things being messed up because the natural relationship of mind and time is "non-linear" is more evocative to me than lamenting about it being "non-exponential."

Monday, March 27, 2006

the revolution may not be televised, but it will be peer-reviewed

Okay, so say you are in sociology and your reaction to my proposal about code archiving is something like (a) you think it is a good idea but that (b) the rest of sociology will never go for it. Hey, consider this: you are part of sociology. As such, you can help contribute to positive disciplinary change.

Here's how: If you review a paper for a major sociology journal that you think deserves to be published (or to be published after adequate revision), you could copy and paste this at the end of the COMMENTS FOR AUTHOR section of your review:
I think the results of this paper are sufficiently interesting and provocative that I can imagine the possibility of others wanting to verify the results or to build off these results in future work. For this reason, I strongly encourage the author to deposit code and other information relevant for reproducing the results in an permanent online archive at the time of publication, and perhaps even indicating that this has been done in a footnote to the paper (e.g., "Code used in the analyses presented in this paper is available in the ICPSR Publications Related archive"). Such archiving at the time of publication is becoming standard in economics, and I see no reason why this work is less important or less worthy of serious anticipatory attention to replication than what economists do.
Okay, you might think the last sentence is a little much. But, that aside, there is presumably nothing insincere in your saying at least the rest of this. In other words, presumably in thinking that the article should be published in a major sociology journal you do think the article is worthwhile enough that someone could care about whether its results can be verified or care otherwise about the decisions the analyst made. If you don't think this about the paper, why do you think it deserves prime sociology journal space?*

And in the COMMENTS FOR EDITOR section, copy and paste this:
See paragraph at the end about code and/or data sharing. I urge you to underscore this point in your letter.
As Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, persistent reviewers can change the prevailing methodological practices of a discipline. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

* I mean, if your opinion about the worthwhileness of sociological research is so low that you would recommend publication in a major journal of findings that you can't imagine anyone actually caring much about, why are you in sociology? Unless you are old and stuck and can't do anything else, but, if you are that alienated/disillusioned/disenchanted, why are you still reviewing papers? Seriously, life is too short, do something else with yours.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

the ruthless math of time

Startling news from the NYT :
"Thousands of schools across the nation are responding to the reading and math testing requirements laid out in No Child Left Behind, President Bush's signature education law, by reducing class time spent on other subjects and, for some low proficiency students, eliminating it."
If you spend more time on something, you spend less time on something else. I know JFW readers do not need to be told this, but apparently NYT readers do.

my crazy idea revealed!

As mentioned, I am doing a presentation at the sociology methodology meetings next month, and my intention is to make an argument so radical (for sociology) that I fear I could be judged insane.

The argument is that if quantitative sociologists have enough confidence in their results to publish them in one of the discipline's journals, they should have enough confidence to deposit the code that produces these results in an independent public online archive (like this one) at the time of the article's publication.*

Yes! I am really this crazy!

Everyone agrees that good data analytic practice implies having a set of code that takes one all the way from a pristine data set to the numbers that are presented into a paper. This code serves as an implicit technical appendix to any published quantitative article. So long as this code already is presumed to exist, why not make it publicly available? Not just "upon request," but available up front. Not just "available on your webpage," but available in a place where it will still be even if you quit sociology.

And not just as a matter of good individual practice, but as a matter of collective practice. This is something we should insist that researchers do if they want their work to appear in the discipline's major journals. This should be part of the price of admission for publishing.

I look around quantitative sociology and think, what is the simplest thing that could be normativized or institutionalized that would increase the quality and credibility of quantitative work done in the discipline, and I think this is it. Besides which, I think it is absurd for sociologists to stand around and lament how everyone gives economics so much more credibility than sociology when the flagship journal of economics holds its researchers to this standard and sociology just has some vague and completely toothless statement that researchers should "permit" others to verify their results.

The title of my presentation is "Reproducibility Standards for Quantitative Social Science: Why Not Sociology?" Let me know if you have any reactions to this blogprecis.

* If they have custodial rights over the data, they should be depositing that, too, but I don't want the complications and politics that surround data-sharing to be used as grounds to dodge making the code available. The confidentiality and exclusivity arguments that are employed against broader data-sharing evaporate when you focus the standard on the code. (This is, indeed, the only part of my argument that is remotely original.) I do think that people who have custodial rights over data should be expected to say something about the availability of that data. In other words, if a researcher's stance is that "For confidentiality reasons, no extract of these data can be given to outside researchers, even for the purposes of verifying results," I think this is something that the reviewers and audience for the article have a right to know up front.

BTW, the ICPSR-PRA archive instructions are a little misleading in that they make it sound like it's only for depositing data, but you can deposit code there without data. The Murray Archive at Harvard also accepts code, and presumably there are others.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

mama, he's crazy

I am slated to give a presentation at the sociology methodology miniconference at UConn next month, in which I will be articulating an argument so radical that I worry that the audience will judge me to be insane. I would sketch it here, but your esteem is important to me, and I am not emotionally ready to risk just yet having you decide that I am barking mad.

The exchange discussed on in this blog post by an economist is relevant to it, however, and also has some good examples of fun academic pissiness.


Music is like dreams is that bloggers typically enjoy writing about it more than anybody who reads blogs likes reading about it.*

Even so: you know how many people think "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" would be even better if it wasn't for the cowbell? I've had this curious retro-fetish the past couple weeks for listening to "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite (1991). Download it now from LimeWire or whatever and listen to it (on iTunes you can only buy the video, and I'd rather you break the law than pay $2 for a song when you should have the right to buy it for 99 cents). Anyway, "Rush" has my attention right now not because it's a great song, but because it is an otherwise great song that has this weird non-sequitur 45 seconds in the middle that I find so irritating that I just have to pull the slider to fast forward through it. Otherwise, though, it's great. It's like they new the song needed a little something extra, and there wasn't a cowbell around.

Not to get all counterfactual here on a Saturday morning, but: to my knowledge, "Rush" was BAD's biggest hit, and I suppose that the capricious logic of hit music means that it's more likely it wouldn't have been a hit without the weird middle than that it would have been an even bigger hit without it.

(BTW, speaking of music and Rush, I hate the band Rush, with a disgust I normally reserve for war criminals and SPSS. Except I like "Tom Sawyer." That's even harder to understand than the extent to which I simultaneously hate peeps and love marshmallows.)

* No offense intended to any bloggers who write a lot about music, especially since this post is, as you may have noticed, about music. Update: Original sentiment qualified in comments.

Friday, March 24, 2006

the sociological imagination

Sociology is often criticized for the extent to which its work fails to yield reliable and verifiable predictions. I just received my February 2006 issue of the American Sociological Review, the discipline's flagship journal. I saw that there was an article "Black and White Control of Numbers Gambling: A Cultural Assets-Social Capital View." So (1) race, (2) criminal behavior, and (3) culture right there in the title. I also saw that the article was published with a simultaneous comment from someone else and reply by the article's authors, which is a signal of "controversy." And so, without looking at anything else, I flipped ahead to the last page of the comment because I knew what would be there, and, lo, it was:
The crucial point here is that what begins as a structural disadvantage can easily be interpreted through a cultural lens and defined as a cultural shortcoming on the part of African Americans. And herein lies the most significant weakness of [the authors'] analysis and, perhaps even more importantly, the most dangerous facet of their interpretation (or rather than misinterpretation) of African Americans' failure to ethnically succeed Italians in the numbers gambling enterprise. Rather than attributing African Americans' inability to succeed Italians to culture per se, [the authors'] argument would be far more convincing if they gave more credence to ethnic differences in economic capital, structural opportunities, and constraints.
Yes, the argument that the authors in the original article are being not just incorrect but morally/politically "dangerous" in their argument. Indeed, the "dangerous"ness of their claims is apparently "even more important" than its logical/evidentiary "weakness." Understand that I haven't looked at any part of the rest of the articles and have no especial familiarity with the literature on the topic. I have no position on the findings of the original article (or the comment) since I haven't read it and, given the lack of substantive interest, presumably won't. Even so, I knew the comment was going to emphasize that was really being chalked up to culture was instead about "economic capital, structural opportunities, and constraints" (not that I would have predicted those exact words, necessarily, although probably something close and certainly using the word 'constraints'), and that it would close by also taking pains to emphasize the moral/political badness of dissenting from this view. This is how predictable sociology is. No offense to anyone, but certain parts of it do get a little dull and tedious sometimes.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

the s.o.a.p. opera continues!

(Yes! The official Snakes on a Plane logo!)

A reader from Iowa City, IA just e-mailed me the following:
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fan-based underground support for Snakes on a Plane has become so great that the filmmakers are now doing a reshoot to include more action sequences... as well as calling Samuel L. Jackson back in so he can actually say in the movie "snakes on a motherfucking plane."

This could very well end up the greatest movie ever made by anyone, ever.
Here is a news story about it. I am so excited. I am thinking about blocking two days off my schedule so I can see it repeatedly (and, hopefully, attend discussion groups) the weekend it opens.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

i bet you don't miss teaching on that fancy fellowship of yours

Actually, I do miss teaching. Lots, even, sometimes. At least teaching as it was during those halcyon semesters when I was neither prepping a new class nor made afraid for my physical safety by any of my students. Plus, teaching is good for me because it provides structure.

I have said that if I ever manage to teach again, I would hope to finally get to do a seminar, but instead what I would really like to teach would be a leminar, taught with a yellow syllabus and entire citrus-y theme. Students would not just learn but be protected from scurvy at the same time.

whatever the appeal of partying with snoop dogg, i'll be curious whether he feels the same way in three years

The brother of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Tyrone Carter had his sentence for driving with a revoked license increased from six months to five years because he failed to report to jail on time.

Tank Carter was scheduled to report to a Broward County prison on Jan. 6, but decided against it when his brother told him the Steelers had a good chance of going to the Super Bowl...

'Even knowing what I know now, I would do it again,' Carter said. 'It was the greatest game in my life.'

Carter watched the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks from the 50-yard line in Detroit and partied with rapper Snoop Dogg after the game.

The brothers have been close since growing up in a rough section of Pompano Beach.

'I would have done the same thing,' Tyrone Carter said of his brother's decision. Winning the Super Bowl meant 'we finally made it together.'

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday, March 20, 2006

my uncling days started before kindergarten

Last week I turned 35. Today, my oldest niece turns 30, and another niece will also turn 30 this year. Having nieces only 5 years younger than you is the sort of thing that happens when your mother is relatively old when you are born. How old? My mother gave birth to me when she was 35.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Awhile back, I had a paper that I needed to work on and I procrastinated by reading a couple of self-helpish books on procrastination. This weekend, I have had a paper that I have needed to be working on and I've procrastinated by reading George Ainslie's Breakdown of Will, which is an academic book that provides a utility theory way of thinking about a variety of self-defeating behaviors, including procrastination.

Regardless, I'm otherwise having fun here in Madison. I had coffee the other day with someone who said I had "the best job in the world" because I was a tenured college professor at a school located in Madison. Which does make one wonder why I would have chosen to do a two-year leave that takes me somewhere else. Then again, it is Harvard, and my first time living outside the Midwest.

Friday, March 17, 2006

every time i think about it, it makes me giggle. seriously, still, like three days later, every single time.

I'm trying to take care of a number of different things for work here in Madison, and yet all I can think about are various ideas for soapssff: yes! Snakes on a Plane short short fan fiction. Anyway, Tonya has got her own S.O.A.P. fever going on now, and she provides a quote from Samuel L. Jackson in Premiere magazine:
When I picked up the script and I saw the title, I didn't ever read it and I said, "I want to do it." You know, before the I opened the first page, Snakes on a Plane. If this is what I think it is, I want to be in this. I want to be on a plane full of poisonous snakes. And I want to see other people on a plane full of poisonous snakes.
I know the standard blogger thing is to offer some little witty or insightful commentary after quoting something after a magazine, but, really, what more is there to say. In fact, all I really just want to do is repeat the quote again. Seriously, there is nothing I would rather do than just retype:
When I picked up the script and I saw the title, I didn't ever read it and I said, "I want to do it." You know, before the I opened the first page, Snakes on a Plane. If this is what I think it is, I want to be in this. I want to be on a plane full of poisonous snakes. And I want to see other people on a plane full of poisonous snakes.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

(madison) dead and disconnected

I am back in Madison for a few days. I brought my cel phone, and my cel phone charger, but not this little piece that my cel phone charger needs to actually plug into my cel phone. The phone is already completely dead. Because there are only like ten people in the world who have my cel phone (Audiovox VX6600), it's not like I can just go out and buy a replacement charger. Meanwhile, various people (including, perhaps, you) have wondered why I haven't returned your birthday greeting or other phone call. So, well, that's why. This is going to be awful for various visits with people I'm trying to coordinate while I'm here, especially one of the places I'm staying is the vacant apartment of a friend (long story) who has been trying to find a sublessor for a few months and has discontinued their phone service there.

BTW, my birthday ended up being fun, and I'm all excited to be thirty-five now. Woo-hoo! Only when I got out of the burdensome "18-34 demographic" did my life truly begin!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


At least now I can be President. That's the only positive thing I have to say about it so far.

Update, four minutes later: "thirty-five" seems even older when you type it than when you say it. Ugh.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

snakes on a plane!

(IMDB reference here)

I have not been this excited for a movie since Shopgirl (which, now that I think about it, I still haven't gotten around to actually seeing). In case you don't quite appreciate the premise: Snakes. On a plane. With Samuel L. Jackson. And, seriously, reports are that you are going to be able to watch it for no more than the price of any other movie ticket.

Note: This Wikipedia entry shows just how far behind the S.O.A.P. curve I am. Frankly, though, I make up for it with enthusiasm.

Monday, March 13, 2006

in fact, improperly coaching witnesses is a bit more than just a 'goof'

Current headline on


For something related to a presentation I may be giving next month, I started looking at the code of ethics for the professional associations for different social science disciplines. I can't find one for economics. Does economics really have no code of ethics? They must, right?

(ssf) dead baby

So, basically this spring my blog has been strangled by short short fiction. I realize this. Even though I have no sitemeter, I believe I have driven most of my readers away the past two months. And, yet, one last assignment remains. This one involved the instructor handing out a diagram of a fish that I need to find and scan. But, anyway, the gist of the assignment was to write a story that had an "outside" story and an "inside" story, where the "outside" story was what the story initially gave all appearances of being about and the "inside" story was a more psychological story that the story would turn out to be "really" about. Or something like that.

While she was explaining it, she talked with seeming admiration of a creative writing teacher she'd had who would tell students who didn't have enough of an "inside story" in their fiction that they should "stick in a dead baby." I spent much of the rest of the class in a vague snit about the idea of "stick in a dead baby" as a creative panacea for twentysomethings. (Don't get me wrong, I adore my ssf instructor, but: stick in a dead baby?!) So my story idea basically developed from that. The result is titled "Dead Baby" and is available as pdf here. As always, non-inconsolable-despair-inducing suggestions and comments are welcome, especially anything before class at 8pm EST Tuesday.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

i hate peeps. but i like marshmallows. hard to explain, that.

can i be in your band? i can't sing or play any instruments, but i could carry your amps and provide civil liberties insights

Seen taped to pole during my walk to the CVS for Coke Zero this morning:

Speaking of the urge to "educate," here was an excerpt from a NYT Magazine story this morning about Mark Warner, the Virginia governor who is trying to save me from having to suffer through endless hand-wringing and/or "outraged" analyses of why Hillary Clinton and the Democrats lost in November 2008:
Warner may have glimpsed a piece of his future when he attended a dinner of wealthy Democrats last summer... Warner made some introductory comments about "the Virginia story," but the first several questions were not about taxes or schools or health care, but about gay marriage (which he's against), the death penalty (which he's for) and abortion (he's in favor of parental notification but vetoed a bill banning all late-term abortions). Warner thought his liberal guests would be interested in his policies to improve Virginia schools and raise the standard of living in rural areas; instead, it seemed to him, they thought that they understood poverty and race in an intellectual way that he, as a red-state governor, could not. Like a lot of politicians, Warner can be snappish when he feels he isn't being heard, and the dialogue quickly grew testy.

At the end of the evening, according to people who were there, as some of the guests walked Warner to his car, one woman vowed to educate him on abortion rights. That was all he could take. "This is why America hates Democrats," a frustrated Warner blurted out before driving away.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

bobos in paradise, greater boston edition

My officemate lives in a suburb that seems to be popular among those Harvard faculty who live in suburbs (Newton). The closest grocery store to his house is a Whole Foods. The second closest grocery store to his house is also a Whole Foods.

Friday, March 10, 2006

for all you who continue to doubt

This is my favorite proof of the Pythagorean theorem. Note that if you follow the link you can play with the little slider thing under the left box.

I know, I know, I used to be just like you. I didn't believe it before, but now I do. I have some apologizing to do to a certain hypotenuse out there for all my years of skepticism.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

is this a true-false quiz? 'cause if it is, i'm going with (1) true and (2) false.

(From an ad soliciting donations for the University of Wisconsin libraries.)

cultural repatriation

As I continue my unenthusiastic approach into the valley of the middle aged, I am considering re-introducing television into my life. Yes, me, with TV. Maybe cable, TiVo, the whole works. It's either that or hair plugs, I figure.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(ssf) real

The assignment for my most recent short short fiction class took the instructor like ten minutes to explain. I do like having assignments. I like assignments about either the form (i.e., a story that's a list) or the content (i.e., a story that's a prohibition). But assigning both form and content starts to get a bit overconstraining. The "form" part of this assignment was that it was supposed to done mainly as "narrative exposition," although it could be first person narrative. The "content" part was that the story was supposed to begin with two people approaching a store and then they are supposed to go inside the store for some purpose that is either achieved or not. Anyway, my story is called "Real" and is available as pdf here. Let me know if you have any comments or non-cruel suggestions.

I think the class is suffering short short fiction fatigue. Only four (of seven) showed up, and only two of us had stories, although another student promised to e-mail us hers. The assignment for next week is the last, and it took the instructor a full half-hour to explain, although in the end seemed both interesting and simple enough. Which does not necessarily mean I'll have time to do it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

mammas, don't let your babies grow up to bet on gay cowboys

Oof! I was going to cash in my Tradesports Oscars-futures-market winnings by being early on the Brokeback Mountain bandwagon, but I decided I might as well ride that horse all the way into the sunset so I would make even more money. Crash.

One thing to make me feel less bad about it: the LEGO Brokeback Mountain.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

i mean, for a long time, a chi-chis was arguably the fanciest restaurant i had ever been to

When I was in NYC, I had dinner at what was described to me as one of the hot restaurants in the city (Babbo). The food was, um, good, although my problem with fancy restaurants is that I feel like much of sophisticated cuisine is lost on my provincial palate, akin to a visually impaired person with a gorgeous spouse. Especially if someone like Nina isn't there to explain stuff to me.

The server used some funky serrated knife to shave off the cheese onto my pasta. I couldn't follow the physics of it, but I could tell it was classy. In any case, I am especially attuned to this as a status marker because it was only like five years ago that, in a Macaroni Grill, my mother had her first restaurant meal where a server put pepper and cheese on her food for her.

A couple years ago, I went with nine members of my family to dinner at my parents' regular Sunday night restaurant, the Tom Thumb Diner in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The total cost for the ten of us was less than what my meal cost at Babbo (and I didn't have a second course or dessert).

Saturday, March 04, 2006

(new york) example consequence of my being such a chronically lame friend

A friend of mine (let's call her Penny) called a couple weeks ago, and I haven't called her back. I've felt guilty about this, but I managed this guilt by resolving that I would call her--in addition to a few dozen other things I've let slide lately--soon after I got back from New York. So last night in New York I was hanging out with a mutual friend of ours who had moved to the city a couple years ago. When I asked him how his social life was, one of the things he mentioned is that he sees Penny regularly now. "Didn't you know? She's living in New York now." No, I didn't. Yes, I would have known this had I called her. No, it wasn't something where I could call her right then and see her.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

(new york) the obvious joke would be about 'the city that never sleeps'

I'm in New York City for a conference. I have been sufficiently caught up in other things the last few days that the fact that the conference was in NYC was a matter of only incidental contemplation. Then, I step out of Penn Station and realize: I'm in New York! I can't believe I didn't bring my camera.

I'm staying in a room that is on the ground floor of the corner of 121st and Broadway. The front desk had earplugs. They helped somewhat, although I still probably got only like three hours of sleep, tops.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

i love when people tell me 'good luck' for things for which what i really need is another week and a more focused work ethic

six weeks without jfw? why? for god.

Yes, at least one reader is giving up blogs for Lent, with no JFW exception--despite the various passages in the New Testament in which the faithful are exhorted not just to read this blog but also to put a tack in my map. I bet I'll be raking in fewer tithes between now and Easter as well. On the plus side, one pleasing aspect to the Lenten season is the increase in the number of fish options in restaurants.