Monthly Archives: June 2012


“. . . Charles described an incident that had occurred in the bar when Hemingway and Fitzgerald were having a nightcap [at the Paris Ritz]. A beautiful young woman came in on the arm of an elderly gentlemen, and Scott sent a groom to fetch a box of orchids, which he then sent to the lady with his compliments. The young lady promptly sent the orchids back to Fitzgerald, who, in his moment of rejection, took one out and slowly ate it, petal by petal. Later that night, Fitzgerald returned to the bar, this time with the young beauty in tow. The bar regulars were very impressed and thereafter referrred to the maneuvers as ‘the orchid ploy’.”

–A. E. Hotchner. “A Legend as Big as the Ritz.” Vanity Fair July 2012:  132-146. Quote on page 141.


“[Benny, Jackson’s cat,] would walk into the living room, look around, and look at himself–literally take stock, his paws, his tail–and his bewilderment was palpable. It was as if Benny, bus driver and eternal bachelor, had hit his well-worn La-Z-Boy, tired from his ten-hour shift, eaten a Swanson’s Hungry-Man and fallen asleep, fork in hand, only to wake up curled in a donut bed next to a dying fern, his nose in his own ass. He walks out to the living room, trying to shake off a bad dream he’s already left behind, and freezes in realization: ” . . . a cat? I’m a freaking cat?”  The talk flicks of its own accord and he jumps.  He tries, unsuccessfully, to navigate a world with four legs, paws, and claws.  He takes a step, examines his new body.  He looks around the room from a vantage point he’s never experienced before.  He wants to get to a mirror pronto to see what the hell is going on, but the only one is above the bathroom sink.  With his left rear leg still obviously causing a problem, there was no way he was going to jump from the floor to the sink just so he could witness the horror.  He dragged the leg behind him and would often whip back in midstride and gnaw at it like it was an unwelcome visitor, grooming it obsessively like if he could just give it a bath it wouldn’t be so annoying.”

–Jackson Galaxy and Joel Derfner. Cat Daddy. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher / Penguin, 2012.  Quote of pages 78-89.


“Walter Tschinkel may not have solved the mystery of the fairy circles, but he can tell you that they’re alive. Tens of thousands of the formations — bare patches of soil, 2 to 12 meters in diameter — freckle grasslands from southern Angola to northern South Africa, their perimeters often marked by a tall fringe of grass. Locals say they’re the footprints of the gods. Scientists have thrown their hands up in the air. But now Tschinkel, a biologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee, has discovered something no one else has.”

–Rachel Nuwer.  “Mysterious Fairy Circles Are ‘Alive’.”  Wired News ScienceNow  June 28, 2012. Web.



“Rosemary is usually propagated by cutting. Seeds can be difficult to germinate and often don’t grow true to their parent. It’s much faster to start with a cutting and you will be sure of what type of plant you will get.”

–Marie Iannotti. “Rosemary: You Can Grow the Herb Rosemary.” Guide, Gardening. New York Times Company. Web.


“The Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! warm as a lizard! fragrant as a bat!”

–Snippet in Fallen London online game.  Web.


“Growing up, Oakes (Slanted and Enchanted) felt many a dark night of the soul, though at the time she didn’t know to call it such, and rather than turn to God, she turned into an angry, punk-rock, alterna-chick who preferred swearing and ranting over prayer. Yet now, on the cusp of midlife and all its crises, Oakes, a lecturer who teaches writing at UC Berkeley, is still swearing up a storm and taking the Lord’s name in vain, but she’s turned to God and can’t seem to look away. What’s more, she has discovered she is Catholic through and through, despite the Vatican’s politics (which she despises). This memoir tells the story of this unlikely convert—as she sees herself—in all its gory detail. Oakes doesn’t mince words or clean up her language, and doubt, frustration, and anger are frequent companions on her journey. Oakes not only treats readers to gorgeous prose, but manages to provide an overview and history of the best of the Catholic faith, without losing momentum. Fans of Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God will be happy to meet this Catholic girl who can turn a phrase, too.”

–“Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church by Kaya Oakes” (Review).  Publisher’s Weekly June 18, 2012. Web.


“It was one of those perfect autumn days so common in stories and so rare in the real world.  The weather was warm and dry, ideal for ripening a field of wheat or corn.  On both sides of the road the trees were changing color.  Tall poplars had gone a buttery yellow while the shrubby sumac encroaching on the road was tinged a violent red.  Only the old oaks seemed reluctant to give up the summer, and their leaves remained an even mingling of gold and green.

Everything said, you couldn’t hope for a nicer day to have a half dozen ex-soldiers with hunting bows relieve you of everything you owned.”

–Patrick Rothfuss.  The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One.  New York: Daw, 2007. Kindle edition.  Location 532.


“Art Deco Eleventh Doctor”

–Bill Mudron.  “Art Deco Eleventh Doctor.”  Print.  For sale at


“A lifetime of love with the love of your life.  It doesn’t get any better than that.”

–Hallmark greeting card.


“A prestigious group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation.

‘It really will be a new world, biologically, at that point,’ warns Anthony Barnosky, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of a review paper appearing in the June 7 issue of the journal Nature. ‘The data suggests that there will be a reduction in biodiversity and severe impacts on much of what we depend on to sustain our quality of life, including, for example, fisheries, agriculture, forest products and clean water. This could happen within just a few generations.'”

–“Scientists Uncover Evidence of Impending Tipping Point for Earth.” UC Berkeley News Center.  June 6, 2012. Web.