Tuesday, January 23, 2007


A woman embezzled 6.9 million dollars from a construction company. This is what she bought with the money:

"Among the items prosecutors say Platt bought were a four-bedroom colonial-style house on five acres of land in Foster, R.I.; eight show horses; a fleet of motor vehicles including a 1964 antique Ford Thunderbird; Hollywood-grade cinematic props to decorate her home for Halloween; a life-size ceramic statue of Al Capone (seated, smoking a cigar), and six talking trees.

Platt bought the talking trees, which were Hollywood-grade cinematic props, for $3,000 each to decorate her home for Halloween, the U.S. attorney's office said. She also splurged on a 20-foot-tall smoke-emitting dragon called "The Slayer," which sported hydraulically powered wings and a "booming dragon roar," authorities said."

I had to laugh. I think this shopping list is a somewhat accurate picture of what most of my friends would do with seven million dollars.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

How to Portray Yourself

I read something brilliant today. It is a guide to getting published in poetry. I am not interested in getting published in poetry or even writing it. I stumbled on the page while looking for webpages about scansion. However, the page is hilarious, and it is applicable to more than just poetry. I think if one follows the advice that page gives when dealing with anything remotely related to academia, one would be much better off. The page shows, indirectly, just how hollow academia’s concern about the less well off is.

If you want to deal with Academia, this is how you have to portray yourself.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Experience at the Bar the Other Night

"Dr. Hornstetter, the lady doctor who drops in on me almost every day...keeps insisting that I suffered from isolation in my childhood, that I didn't play enough with other children.
Well as far as other children are concerned, she may be right. It is true that i was so busy with Gretchen Scheffler's lessons, so torn between Goethe and Rasputin, that even with the best of intentions I could have found not time for ring-around-a-rosy or post office. But whenever, as scholars sometimes do, I turned my back on books, declaring them to be the graveyards of the language, and sought contact with the simple folk, I encountered the little cannibals who lived in our building, and after brief association with them, felt very glad to get back to my reading in one piece."

Gunter Grass "The Tin Drum" p. 96