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It's a mere tremor on the Richter scale of Things that Matter to Other People, & I don't deserve it, but, at the time of this writing, erikkennedy.com has the privilege of being #13 in traffic sent to Slice, the pizza blog that is for me a beau ideal of writing on that triangular subject. (Yes, I see that it's a BlogShares rating, & BlogShares computes future, not current, 'value.' I don't know what on earth that means. Or that. I don't use BlogShares. I just found this on Google.) (On the deserving score: it's all statistical, so actually I do 'deserve' it.) (Just click the links, friends.) Yes, yes, unremarkable, you say. I'm best mates with the legless fellow who edits that husbandry blog, you say. But I'm in the company of some prodigious mouths & urban organs, I tell you. I send more traffic to Slice than The Food Section!? Just less than NewYorkish!? (Granted, NewYorkish was so Spring 2004. Granted, NewYorkish is dead.)
(Oh, I see now. The ranks & dollar figures represent the trading value of said blog, & in this case esp. my 'outgoing link value,' which is decent. The straight talk: 'BlogShares is a fantasy stock market where weblogs are the companies. Players invest fictional dollars on shares in blogs. Blogs are valued by their incoming links and add value to other blogs by linking to them. Prices can go up or down based on trading and the underlying value of the blog.') (Translation: You will never have intercourse.) (I can hear my career in business slowly strangling.)
Now I have to go get some rubbish at Biagio's. It has been an honor.
On a Conservative plan to make history education compulsory up to age 16 (as well it should be):
The plans received a mixed reaction from teaching unions and academics last night. David Starkey, the historian and broadcaster, welcomed the idea of making history compulsory up to 16. 'History is at least as important as science and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN ENGLISH LITERATURE,' he said. 'You cannot actually be human without collective memory... In this respect, the Tories are at least half right.'
* * *
History being the only way to 'create' collective memory, of course. Cunt.
A New York City Health Department study on New Yorkers' drinking habits shows that rich, white people (my favorite) are proficient swillers (my favorite). In particular, established, rich, white people (not as great): residents of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, the Upper East & West Sides, & Gramercy Park topped the list of 'excessive' drinkers (men: 2/day, 60/month). About one-third of 'adults' in these neighborhoods 'tie one on' (on two drinks!) regularly. Which means that a lot of up-&-comers have a lot of work yet to do. Warehouse dwellers, for instance. Inwood. Neighborhoods where the bars are so 'hip' that their owners say they're over. Anyone who lives by an IKEA. Black people (11% drunk). New Jersey? And, no, don't be proud. The ghastly study continues: '49 percent of New York adults said they choose not to drink AT ALL. AT ALL!' [emphasis certainly not added]. Additionally, another city report shows that 92% of marriage licenses are granted to virgins, and only 15% of high school seniors can identify what is meant by 'oral' sex. A majority of city-dwellers reported being offended by the 'F' word & vigorous handshakes.
Plus: Smirnoff tops blind taste-test.
On the theory that everyone worthwhile deserves to top the Google rankings once in his life (or better, permanently), I'd like to say: Thomas Fiorilla, goodbye. (Not him.) It's all I can do.
And happy birthday, blog.
Dinna fash yersel! it's another Burns Night tonight & I won't be keeping it in the usual fashion (which I've never). I'll be at a wake, & I assume most wakes are about a week after Burns Night. Congratulations to Kimi Raikkonen for keeping the day a week early. Your move, DC.
Extra credit: does anyone remember this fellow?
Dear reader/s, it's been a week-&-a-half, I know, & all I have to say for myself is that other people are leading more interesting weeks than I am: Tom (hospital), Gary & Lauren (engaged), Zhao Ziyang (dead). What I've been doing: my watch stopped today. My solar-powered watch. But it appears to be 7.48, Jan. 20. It is just shy of this blog's one year anniversary, & I would be delighted to tell you that it will not live through another, that erikkennedy.com, the blog, has been on a long skid into ignominy, that I no longer have the passion for weaving half-a-dozen links interesting only to me into a quilt of tackiness, & that I'm quitting, &, just as TMFTML quit & came back, perhaps I, too, might return another sunnier day. And I would leave a link to Curbed & a picture to remember me fondly (fondling) by, & you would all be happy. I thought about it.
Like smoking, it's more convenient to 'cut down' than to 'quit.' So I'll be staying here. I apologize for the inconvenience.
I appear to have finished my first paper for my fall classes. On Harriet Smith's wayward, overambitious loving in Emma as a classic distraction for a novel bookended by unequal matches but subtly obsessed by the insidious workings of class. Or on whether or not it's better to make one's own choices in Austen. I'm not fooling anyone, am I?
Almost 90 miles away, in a fairyland called Myerstown, PA, there is a special place called Hardee's. At 'Hardees,' the folks are gay as lords, & they eat like them, too: viz. the Monster Thickburger (actual name; not made up because it's ridiculous). As you'll learn, this burger contains a near day's worth 1,400 calories (millions are being airdropped into the Andaman Islands) and a fortnight's ration of fat. Fourteen hundred! Fourteen! This picture, if it shows what I think it does, may put this leviathan into perspective. (The billboard photo I'd seen has evaporated from the internet.) I'll be damned if that thing isn't occupying a third of a tray. Needless to say, this is a touch heartier than Corner Bistro, & I would forfeit my self-respect for a few days in order to try one. (Prediction: vomit in the parking lot.)
In other news, at the time of this writing, erikkennedy.com is Google's number one result for 'banging & screwing.'
Surely, memos are sometimes necessary. And there is always something to alert people about: doors needing replacing, fireplaces forbidden to be used, 'beloved' archways hit by cars, the Dean's cat, people exposing themselves, leaves, etc. But this notice, I think, is my favorite:
'Dear GC Residents,
As many of you are aware of, there are many squirrels living around and in the GC. These squirrels can be a problem and a potential risk for students. In order to keep squirrels out of the building, please make sure that you keep all windows closed, do not leave entryway doors open, and do not keep food outside your room. Squirrels can easily enter through open windows and doors; they search for food, destroy property, and, in general, annoy residents. The campus squirrels are bold and used to living among people. Students should exercise care so that they do not have any squirrels and other unwanted visitors in their living quarters, risking the possibility of being bitten. Trash containers must be kept in suites or rooms until ready for disposal. Full containers may be placed in the hallway for disposal but otherwise should not be kept in the hallway. If you find a squirrel in or around your room, please call facilities customer service at 8-8000.
Thank you for your cooperation,
Yet, my inbox is even gladder when it hears about an 'Employment Opportunity' like this:
'Currently our learning is recruiting the English teacher assistance for our spring break section class. We need 1-2 teacher aid for our 9 to 11 grade students. Mainly is to help students to go over the Grammer,writing skill,vocabulary and help them prepare the SAT Verbal stuff. We are wondering that your graduate studnet may have time and interesting to apply this position. This will be the contact information as follow: English teacher aid: working hour for 3 weeks, 30 hours tuition pay: 15-22 per hour. Contact : lily from Quakerbridge learning center. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 609-933-8806'
Those kids are going to kick the hell out of the Verbal stuff.
I'd have posted about this even without scalping the link (& idea?) from someone else. It appears that 2004 was not a bad year for Scottish names (esp. last names as first names) with Logan (16), Cameron (30), & Garrett (89) all in the top 100 newborn boys' names. (Since I'll not be having a girl, the list of names for the fairer sex is irrelevant. The most popular ones sound like English tarts, viz., Sydney . Or something else entirely, for instance, Kennedy . And if I do have an English tart, I'll just be adding -ina to my boy's name of choice, thanks.) You can hardly expect that these are favorite names of mine, though, nor are generic used-to-be-Gaelic-before-they-were-evangelical names like Connor (10) or Brian (76), or not-thought-of-as-Scottish-anymore-if-they-ever-were names like Kyle (53), or Keith, Douglas, or Clyde (all below 100). Which leaves the choosy snob with a mess of good options both reasonable (Malcolm, Ross, Duncan, Archie) & less reasonable (Mungo, Alpin, Hamish, Finlay). My clear favorite, though: Kenneth. Wouldn't you remember a fellow named Ken Kennedy?
Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, my grandfather's birthplace, recorded the highest real estate growth figures in the entire U.K. in 2004. The price of the average home increased from £60,988 to £103,928. Or from (as of today) a very cheap $116,138 to a more respectable (worrying) $197,902. A 70% increase. The sky's the limit when the Kennedys are gone.
It may have been 'unprecedented temerity' (given what I think I know, & what others know they think), but Philadelphia & friends again made an unimpeachable showing on New Year's Eve & Day. Being in Philadelphia, a city I don't know very well (like all cities), always provokes me to think about the phenomenon/a that is/are a city. What do I know? I don't know, but I'm apparently wrong. Fran Lebowitz on New York City's Golden Age [fourth item]: 'Today the city is preoccupied with food. In the 70's, we were preoccupied with sex. It was a moment of total hedonism with no consequences, no AIDS. And there was birth control and little thought of getting married. Now, a 25-year-old knows 70 kinds of sushi, but at what expense? A youth spent on restaurants is a youth misspent. [Fuck you, Erik Kennedy. You are pretentious and unfun.]'
Now, a highly exclusive list of categorized personal highlights from the past year, 2004, in fact, the time of my greatest ever urbanity:
Best weather: early snow in Cambridge
Best self-definition: 'swine'
Best bar companion: edging 1664, Newcastle Brown Ale
Best of the rest, cities: Paris
Best semi-regular engagement: pub quiz, Dbar
Best guffaw: Ian accidentally swigging a bottle of piss, if I'm remembering the year correctly
Best chortle: Amy dropping her phone in the toilet
Best actual query leading to my site: erikkennedy.com + penis
Best misunderstanding: being thrown out of the bar for triggering a lightswitch
Best dining (dinner): edging Tabla, Mesa Grill
Best dining (lunch): edging Union Pacific, Pizza City
Best dining (general): home
Best acquired expression: oojah-cum-spiff
Best party drug: wasabi peas
Best code string: 'Bestooks like he mig1=rniz1erre sro.n" Yessery yea"wesrBe1erre boffs:.'
Best book of poems read: Matthea Harvey, Sad Little Breathing Machine
Best online read: edging ITV-F1, Curbed
Best song my tongue stuck out to: Paranoids, 'Zombie on a Leash'
Best gift received: edging everything else, money
Best waste of time: wanking
Best place to be be struck by a line for a poem: (tie) shower, toilet
Best meme: '[Blank], an American Tradition'
Best sign read: 'Greg Samsa Landscaping'
Best epiphany: grad school is ridiculous, or as I said in April, a 'horrible fuckup'
Best (most totalized) jag: Election Day
Best (most tenacious) jag: Princeton Reunions
Best pilgrimage: edging Poets' Corner, Monaco
Best blog entry: Colonize Antarctica
Best fleeting joy: hair