In the stacks.

Alan had a day off today and Kate didn’t, so it was almost like having a babysitter, except it was daytime and we weren’t going to a movie, and it only cost our tax dollars, not $20 at the end of the evening.

But it was still all romantic ‘n’ stuff — we went to King Books, which I can say may be the best used bookstore I’ve ever been in, and yes, I’m including you, Strand Books. You know you’ve been married a while when you can walk into a place like that, split up immediately and not reunite until an hour or so later, and still be deliriously happy.

Alan got a book on marlinspike seamanship. I got two Elmore Leonards and a John D. MacDonald. The pickin’s on William Wells were thin, but I noticed abundant copies of local journalists’ column collections. When I was writing a column, people would occasionally ask if I’d considered releasing a collection. Never. The people I knew who did so complained bitterly of the extra work, the sales grind and, of course, the boxes and boxes of extra copies in their garage. I own several column anthologies, and with few exceptions, they don’t age well. Like newspapers, in fact. A columnist I knew once said, very perceptively, that he’d rather his work be clipped and hung on refrigerators than anthologized to bore freshman in years after his death. That did not stop him from releasing his own anthologies, but at least he kept the right attitude about it all.


Local boy John DeLorean is dead. Low Culture makes an obvious, but amusing, visual joke.

Fort Wayne has the rep for being America’s stupidest city, but I’d like to nominate its sister city New Haven for the crown, based on this evidence: When Vickey Siles got a check from the Globe Life and Accident Co. last fall, she decided she�d spend it on bills, medicine and some other debts. The check, though, was for only $1. So, according to court documents, here�s what happened: the 35-year-old New Haven resident decided to put it in her typewriter and change a thing or two. When she was done typing over the document�s original face amount, Siles no longer had a check for $1. She had a check for $4 million. And she did what anyone with a $4 million check might do: She went out to cash it.

But Siles apparently never heard what famed gangster Willie Sutton once said about banks being the places where they keep the money. She didn�t take the check to a bank. She took it to the American Cash Express on Coliseum Boulevard East and told a clerk she wanted to redeem it.

Hey! Beato is Wonkette today! I like his take on the Playgirl editor. But not as much as his his first take on her.

Finally, if you must read one thing Schiavo-related today, make it the faboo Dahlia Lithwick:

And what is the overwhelming constitutional value that supersedes each of these centuries-old legal notions? Evidently, Congress has a secret, super-textual constitutional role as the nation’s caped crusaders�its members authorized to leap into phone booths around the world and fly back to Washington in a single bound whenever the “culture of life” is in peril.


UPDATE: And also this, by William Saletan: The point isn’t that Schiavo’s parents are bad or that she’s expressing anything about them. I’m no more qualified to draw such conclusions than you are. The point is that once people like you, me, and Tom DeLay start second-guessing the judges, doctors, and families who know a case firsthand, it never ends. The “culture of life” becomes a regime of ham-fisted political reinvestigation that does for ethics what medieval barbers did for health.

OK, and also Richard Cohen: Sen. Bill Frist watched a videotape last week of Terri Schiavo made by her parents in 2001. He did this in his capacity as Senate majority leader and as a renowned physician. In both roles he performed miserably. As a senator, he showed himself to be an unscrupulous opportunist. As a physician, he was guilty of practicing medicine without a brain.

After viewing the tape, Frist felt confident in questioning the several courts and many doctors who — apparently handicapped by firsthand examinations — had erroneously concluded that Schiavo was in a “persistent vegetative state.”

Posted at 9:41 pm in Uncategorized |

11 responses to “In the stacks.”

  1. alex said on March 21, 2005 at 10:23 pm

    There’s one exception to every rule. I can still read Mike Royko anthologies and bust a gut. Like most columnists, he was terribly uneven from day to day, no doubt especially owing to his notorious hooching and cooching, but when all his best stuff is in one little volume it’s almost impossible to put down.

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  2. Connie said on March 22, 2005 at 6:46 am

    And if you must read a second item about Schiavo, check out yesterday’s ABC News poll, reported all over the web last night: 2/3 of Americans say leave it to the husband. More than 2/3 of Americans say Congress should stay out of it. And it notes that people are discussing this everywhere, with their friends, their neighbors, their co-workers. And here in Nancy’s comments.

    This morning’s CNN instant poll is leaning heavily toward the leave it to the husband opinion.

    And yes to Royko. I laughed out loud over the column about renewing his driver’s license.

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  3. Connie said on March 22, 2005 at 7:32 am

    Bad Librarian. Rough numbers and no citation. Here is a link to the poll to which I referred:

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  4. Nance said on March 22, 2005 at 8:42 am

    Good librarian! Only here’s the thing in handy, clickable form:

    ABC poll.

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  5. mauren said on March 22, 2005 at 9:21 am

    I know I’m off thread here, but thanks for the table picture. May I resume my “Save the Daily Photo” drive?

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  6. Maureen said on March 22, 2005 at 9:22 am

    Would it change your answer if I told you today was my birthday?

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  7. mary said on March 22, 2005 at 10:38 am

    Happy Birthday, Maureen.

    Dahlia Lithwick is always faboo. She makes coverage of the Supreme Court fascinating, and that’s no small job.

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  8. Danny said on March 22, 2005 at 11:06 am

    I’m not sure if anyone caught my comment yesterday, but I thought it was funny that Delorean was repsonsible for both the GTO and the Vega.

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  9. mary said on March 22, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    I’m having a senior moment and blanking on this guy’s name, but isn’t there someone out there in the motor city who was responsible for both the Mustang and the K car?

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  10. mary said on March 22, 2005 at 2:26 pm

    Lee Iacocca.

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  11. joodyb said on March 23, 2005 at 10:44 am

    “notorious hooching and cooching.”

    that’s brilliant, alex. astonishingly, i had never broken that phrase down. may i borrow in future?

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