Archive for July 17th, 2010

July 17th, 2010

Bring it to the yard

Silk & Rayon Stevie
Believe me, when I stop singing I’m gonna have a garage sale like you’re not gonna believe. We’re talking chiffon, chiffon, and more chiffon. -Stevie Nicks, 1983
July 17th, 2010

puffedsleeves: Appliquéd blanket by Tracey Emin. I don’t…


Appliquéd blanket by Tracey Emin.

I don’t know anything about the genesis of this piece but I have already written an entire spy novel based on it.

July 17th, 2010

Sady Doyle: Daily Complaint

Sady Doyle: Daily Complaint:

And this is why my book is not done.

  1. Inevitably, the way I tell myself to get over the fucking writers’ block and the pressure of having the larger audience and the fear that I’m somehow being asked to be Representative of All Women and/or Feminists Everywhere (On The Internet) is to just calm down, realize that one blog post…
July 17th, 2010

"I don’t understand LiveJournal at all. It’s such a nesty labyrinth of layers and layers,…"

“I don’t understand LiveJournal at all. It’s such a nesty labyrinth of layers and layers, I can’t keep track of who said what and I end up with 1,000 windows open.”
July 17th, 2010

A Q&A with the Creator of “I Write Like”: “The Algorithm is Not a Rocket Science”

A Q&A with the Creator of "I Write Like": "The Algorithm is Not a Rocket Science":

(via alexbalk)

People have legitimately criticized this thing for not having writers other than white writers, and only three women on the list. But this is what really freaked me out—someone on feministe explained why these things get created:

The entire purpose of this widget is to create a googlebomb that boosts a company’s Google ranking. Notice the “Mac journal software” link in the results? That points to a company’s website for software you can write journals with a Mac. By posting this on their blogs (which thankfully you didn’t), bloggers unwittingly make this software’s google rank increase, in the same way back in the Bush years people used the word “failure” to link to the White House, making the #1 result when you searched for failure. Boosting a google ranking is the entire point of this.

Then someone else posted:

A friend of mine on dreamwidth signal boosed this to her DW account:

Jim McDonald did some digging into that “I Write Like” meme, and what he found isn’t pretty.

“I looked at the rest of the text on the results page:

Great job! Do you want to get your book published?

“I have personally read through thousands of book proposals in my career as a publisher and agent. I know what these professionals are looking for—and what they are not looking for.”
— Michael Hyatt, Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

That little bit includes two links, both to the same page: [http colon double slash]michaelhyatt[dot]com/products/ebook-writing-a-winning-book-proposal

Yep, it’s SEO. And they’re using social engineering to get those links wide-spread and high in the Google stats. Helpful little cut-n-paste code to put in your blog!

But wait! There’s more!

Go over to that advertised page, and you’ll find a pair of $19.97 e-books by the above-said and afore-mentioned Michael Hyatt. These books promise to tell you such insider secrets as how to avoid the three items you should NEVER include in a fiction book proposal. Wow, I can’t wait to find out.

So, who’s Michael Hyatt, and what is Thomas Nelson?

Basically, a former legitimate Christian publisher, now a vanity press.

This “I Write Like” site isn’t remotely legitimate. No, they aren’t trying; or, anyway, they aren’t trying to analyze writing samples: They’re trying to lure newbie authors to the rocks and shoals of vanity publication.

I will also note that there’s a “sign up for our awesome newsletter!” box on the side, which says that by doing so you can download FREE a “classic” book on writing by Charles Raymond Barrett — a book which is, it *doesn’t* tell you, also available at Project Gutenberg because it’s from 1898.

I *strongly* recommend removing any links and code from “I Write Like” that may be in your posts.”

I say we not give these scumbags any more linkage than they already have and remove the extant links from our sites immediately.

And I actually did just get a spam email about self publishing! FREAKY.

July 17th, 2010

theanimalblog: (via pathologies) Want.


(via pathologies)


July 17th, 2010


photo of bread

I got some bread at the farmer’s market yesterday. I couldn’t decide between regular sourdough and “peasant sourdough” so I got the peasant, thinking it would be cheaper. It was awful. What the hell makes food “peasant” or “non-peasant” anyway? Is there royal bread? Am I totally turning into Andy Rooney?

Colleen found his Twitter and it is magnificent, although he hasn’t updated it since October 2009. I made a whole pie chart analysis of his posts but I can’t get it to copy over. Some highlights include:

They’re amazing, walls. They hold up the roof, but they’re also handy for hanging pictures. I like that. Tue Aug 4 00:43:12 2009 via web

I really like Thanksgiving, mostly for the pies. I enjoy pumpkin pie as much as I hate mincemeat pie. All of the fruit pies are good too. Sun Jul 26 14:55:46 2009

There are too many brands of popcorn. Orville Redenbacher, Jolly Time, Jiffy Pop, Pop Weaver, Pop Secret, and Newman’s Own are just a few. Thu Oct 22 18:42:55 2009

Why do ice cream manufacturers insist on such fancy flavors? Strawberry? Pistachio? What’s wrong with chocolate and vanilla? 9:34 PM May 5th, 2009

That last one is so pure it is like an Andy Rooney diamond. I can watch the entire segment in my head—Andy, at his desk with hundreds of open pints of ice cream on it. He launches with the chocolate and vanilla line. Then he lists a few crazy flavors, and moves on to add-ins, lifting up a few cartons for emphasis. Ben and Jerry’s is an obvious target. “This flavor is called ‘Everything But The,'” he’ll say. “A Collision of Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with HEATH® Bar Chunks, White Chocolatey Chunks, Peanut Butter Cups & Chocolatey-Covered Almonds. I wouldn’t want to eat that. It’s too complicated.” He’ll probably touch on the ice creams of his youth, maybe the invention of the ice cream sandwich. Then in the final seconds, he’ll eat some.

andy rooney eating ice cream

It’s no secret that Shut Up, Foodies is basically a tribute to Andy Rooney. We definitely love him and also find him hilarious, as we do most people we love. But this video, where he breaks down giving a eulogy for his friend Walter Cronkite, is so sad, it kills me. It was almost exactly a year ago–I hope Andy isn’t too sad right now, remembering it.

July 17th, 2010

Sleeper Celebrities and Secret Selves

paris hilton in a purple jumpsuit

I have this fantasy that Paris Hilton has a secret intellectual life. Like when she goes home she journals and is like, “Day 804: My anthropological study is going as planned. Everybody has bought into the persona. Step 10….

Rashida Jones, in the August/September 2010 Bust

Of course, I buy into this 100%. Everyone should be a double agent. I am rarely the star of my own Walter Mitty escapist fantasies (except when I have one of my recurring dreams that I am best friends with Madonna), but I enjoy having them for other people. Two years ago a group of us were at a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania and I became convinced that the proprietors were mob informants in the Witness Protection Program. They were clearly not Pennsylvania farmers, despite the livestock milling around. I can say no more without endangering them.

When I spent the summer in Asbury, Jessica and I developed an entire mythology around the out of time Howard Johnson’s on the beach. It was totally decrepit and rarely open. When we finally got a chance to go in, there were thick layers of dust and various bits of broken furniture. We sat at the bar, which had several cans of clams and various liqeurs on offer. It felt a lot like those Star Trek episodes when they go back in time—Spock has to wear a hat to hide his ears and everyone is very careful not to indicate the future exists, for fear the space-time continuum will shatter. I didn’t think it was a great idea to order anything, because then we might never be able to leave. Jessica, operating under the theory that the guy serving us had broken in and therefore was not a part of the spell, got a cheese sandwich.

We chatted with the guy who told us at length about his love for the New York Giants. “I have season tickets,” he boasted. “And I am allowed to go in the locker room.” He didn’t quite seem the type who would roll like that. “I think his wife stages the whole thing,” said Jessica, later. “She makes the crowd noises and waves around the shower curtain.” I want it to be true, if only to think that such devotion exists.

Hell, I want it to be true about Paris, too. In my head it is, from now on. We are probably all double agents in some way or another, right?