Archive for January, 2007

Sr.’s movie club

My dad and I saw Hard Times when I was seven years old. It’s a Walter Hill film starring Charles Bronson as a Depression-era streetfighter and James Coburn as his manager. There’s a great quote in the film by the Strother Martin character, Poe. Poe is introduced as a fight doctor who has “two years […]

The Partridge Family were neither partridges nor a family

As yesterday’s post made clear, this site would be utter crap without several dozen people who write posts and/or comments, and we’d be a few crazy people alone in a room without others reading and leaving traces on the server logs. As I believe I’ve said before, I never would have thought when this started […]

Year in review: The best of TGW 2006

With close to 300 posts to choose from, our readers and contributors have cast their votes. In some categories the winners were clear; in some, multiple-way ties were the order of the day, and we’ve no choice but to list more than three. If you’re new to The Great Whatsit, use the links below as a […]

American dream

January 2nd started off quite nicely when an email from my immigration lawyer announced that my I-140 immigration petition has been approved. This means that the second stage of my green card application is complete, and I have just the third and final stage to go! It could take another year or two, but the […]

Now I’m a seasick sailor

It’s 3 AM, 3:18 to be exact, and I know because I’ve been watching the digital numbers change, a 15 becoming a 16 becoming a 17, every digital number able to be made out of the seven straight lines that form a digital number 8. I think I’m actually going to vomit – is that […]

2006 Whatsies: The official ballot

Looking back on TGW’s first year of its reincarnation as a group blog, we’re excited to announce nomination categories for the first annual Whatsie Awards. Readers, contributors, lurkers, even occasional passers-by this week are politely requested to submit their favorites (limit two per category) to by 8 pm Eastern time, Sunday, January 14. Just […]

Second verse, same as the first

A fun game to play with literate friends is making up words for things that need to be named. Once on a long car trip some friends and I came up with one that we’ve held on to: “mistalgia” — the longing for a past you never had. I was born in 1974 and have […]

Sounds: BW’s top 13 of 2006

These are the new releases that drew me back again and again last year. Well-worn albums all.  13. Takagi Masakatsu, Journal for People (Carpark) And not just because I needed a token Japanese title. Or a token sound and video artist repackaging a CD/DVD of earlier material. This is among the most relaxing yet challenging Sunday morning music […]

And on the first day …

 While others cleaned or shopped or partied over New Year’s weekend, I drifted around my house and picked up books, DVDs, newspapers and then set them down again. Nothing stuck. I felt unfocused, fragmented. It has been an exhausting autumn; I needed an elixir stronger than any cocktail or resolution could offer.  So I started […]

Ode to Joy

I am the lucky and proud owner of a great historic tome, The Joy of Cooking. But wait, don’t run to your cupboards just yet — this is an old edition, last printed in 1975. The frontispiece still lists all the prior editions, dating back to 1931 — pre-freeway, pre-Cold War, pre global warming. To call […]