by Mark Rose
Your Words for the Day: Here's a line from Peter Reading's review of James Harpur's Oracle Bones: "In this third collection, Oracle Bones, James Harpur takes the stuff of superstition -- a Celtic monk, a Delphic priest, an Assyrian extispicist, a superannuated auspex -- and gives it a persuasively timeless, often disturbing, significance." ... Say it with me: extispicist.
One of the readers on our list had an article published on the Parenthood.com site: http://www.parenthood.com/articles/phw2548.htm. I am jealous-ee-yay. [For some reason, while the article is still there, the headline definitely makes no sense at all]
The most beautiful car ever made is a 1956 Buick Special, preferably a station wagon. Discuss.
After 8 years of 22 issues a year, I’ve canceled my subscription to the London Review of Books. Their apologia for the Islamic extremists who destroyed the World Trade Center just made me physically ill when reading their pages. I, and I presume a lot of other people, still have numerous unresolved anger issues when thinking about the WTC and so I struck back in the only way that is left: you don’t get my money. Monetary boycotts rarely work but they are the last principled refuge of those who go unheard.
WorkLife: Most of you know that I work at InfoSpace, and we had to sing "God Bless America" to start our annual meeting; slightly creepy. More creepy is the poster in every lunch room for United Way of King County that says "Change a life," and features InfoSpace CEO Naveen Jain’s son! What message am I supposed to take from this? [Of course, I no longer work at InfoSpace, but instead scramble for a hand-to-mouth existence writing newsletters and cultural commentary. Sigh.]
Sports: The CART racing season has ended and Roger Penske (who helped to start CART) is leaving for the IRL. I fear for the state of open-wheeled racing in this country.
For the first time in my life, a sports franchise is being retracted and not just moved. It is likely that the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos will not play professional baseball next year, so one can fear for the state of baseball in this country as well. [And this shows just how prescient I am, since both teams continued to play and now the Expos look to be heading towards DC. Call me Cassandra.]
And if you really want to fear sports in general, check out: http://www.badjocks.com/index.htm.
BookNotes: Strange book of the day is "Legendary Artistry with Madonnas." This title is devoted to flower arranging where each setpiece features a Madonna figurine, complete with a page of notes discussing the symbolism of the flowers. Why did I not buy this? ... 'Cause I bought this instead: Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture by Douglas Harper which is “…a superb study of the transformation of dairy farming in the northeastern United States from the 1940s to the present.” My family members were all northeastern dairy farmers from the 1940s to the late 1990s. We had Holsteins, the big, beautiful black and white animals that are warm, smell of hay and ensilage, and look at you with those luscious brown eyes as they slowly chew their nightly feed in a warm barn while outside a tangy autumn wind sparks the trees. Of course, that’s all gone now, and not just in my family. Book report to come.
Food: Does anyone have a recipe for Zahra, a fried or grilled cauliflower dish served with garlic sauce that is offered at Seattle's Mediterranean Kitchen and Omar al Khayyam? It's the only way to eat cauliflower.