Everyday Semiotics

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Couldn't resist

NYT larks about funny place-names.

"If you’re smirking at this sign, you’re mispronouncing the town’s name. It’s PENNIS-tun."

The article avoids the coarser options out there, such as Twatt, Shetland, and Shitterton, Dorset, both in the U.K.

In Massachusetts, they might have visited Belchertown and Felchville (part of Natick).

And not until Sept. 3, 2009, did I learn of Fucking, Austria.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Be seeing you

Sad news today that Patrick McGoohan died. Read the AP obit here and a great story in Wired here. See my past writings on "The Prisoner" here and here.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Belated Xmas

for a baby to come tippin' those Toledos at 7 pounds 8 ounces thinkin' he's gonna redeem it, why, he oughta have his head examined....

My Christmas present to myself was small, and it arrived today, 18 days late. Exciting nonetheless. Little dabs of Pynchonalia, captured in nickle-sized buttons. Two early photographs of the reclusive author, two book covers, and, of course, the Trystero.

The brown paper package was postmarked 23/12/2008, Correo Argentino. The mailer -- could it have been Squalidozzi, repatriated? -- had written out my address by hand, and apparently paid as much to post it overseas as I had to purchase the trinkets it contained, $8US. What a WASTE, yuk yuk!


Friday, January 02, 2009

Year in review

Here's how I did on my resolutions for 2008.

Part I -- General
- go to New Hampshire more often
- break diet less frequently than in 2006 and 2007
- maybe get a new laptop, one with an "n" key and working CD reader/writer and that doesn't sound like a 747 getting ready to take off (now a proud Mac owner)
- start Gravity's Rainbow reading group after Ulysses group wraps up
- new glasses
- read more than last year
(6 of 25)

Part II -- Books to read that are already on my self
- Goethe, Faust, parts One and Two
- LeGuin, The Disposessed (again)
- Hirsch, Cultural Literacy
+ Stoker, Dracula
+ Boudreau, Packing Inferno
+ Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (again)
+ Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
(3 of 25, with 4 new acquisitions)

Part III -- books not on my shelf
- Dick, The Man in the High Castle
- LeGuinn, The Lathe of Heaven
- Lem, Solaris
- Essential X-Men vols. 4-6
- Russ, The Female Man
- Zemyatin, We
- Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Boccaccio, The Decameron
- Pullman, The Golden Compass
- Sacher-Massoch, Venus in Furs
+ Gilgamesh (on tape)
+ Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (on tape)
+ Pullman, The Subtle Knife
+ Pullman, The Amber Spyglass
+ Beowolf (on tape)
+ Lovecraft, "Call of Cthulu"
+ Lem, The Futurological Congress
+ McCarthy, No Country for Old Men (on tape)
+ More, Utopia
+ Lem, The Star Diaries
+ Pynchon, Slow Learner
+ Goethe, The Sorrows of Werther
+ Lem, Memiors of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
(9.5 of 25, with 13 additions)

Part IV -- movies
- Solaris (Tarkovsky)
- Casino Royale
- Borat
- The Goonies
- Sixteen Candles
- The Lost Boys
- Harold & Maude
- No Country for Old Men
- Galaxy Quest
- Wall-E
- The Dark Knight
(11 of 25)

Part V -- music
- Springfield Symphony Orchestra (Nov. 8; Bolero and Rachmoninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini")
- Who Killed Amanda Palmer
- Liars
- Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends
- The Streets, Everything is Borrowed
(5 of 11)