Make forward progress — this is my 2006 resolution. Of course, even lying in bed all day constitutes some form of forward progress, but my goal is to do a little something every day on a number of fronts, and hope they add up to something at the end of the day, week, month and year.

MFP, for short.

Today — I remind you, a staggering three days into the new year — I logged MFP points on exercise, work, social and miscellaneous fronts. In late afternoon, it feels like a pretty good day.

One of those chores was writing a recommendation letter for one of my writing group members, who’s going for an MFA in creative writing. Among her choices is none other than my beloved U of M, and I’m here to tell you, these folks have online application down to a science. I was given a log-in and password, and the whole thing took about five minutes, including saving my recommendation letter as a PDF. It reminded me of how that big ol’ learning factory chugs along on the digital highway. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where checking your e-mail hourly is not an illness, but a requirement. To wit:

“Class is cancelled?”

“Didn’t you get the e-mail?”


“Why? I sent it 20 minutes ago.”

On the other hand, the place always seemed one virus away from disaster.

Today’s forward progress did not keep me from finding you the linkalicious roundup I always strive for. First, I was thrilled to find so many other typeface nerds out there, and Nerd Nonpareil John even had…the rest of the Helvetica-in-“Good Night, and Good Luck” story:

I was very happy to be included in a short article in today’s New York Times about designers who notice anachronistic font choices in films, but I was a bit taken aback when I received an email first thing this morning from the art director of Good Night, And Good Luck. She pointed out that Helvetica was not used in the film, contrary to what was claimed in the article. She said, rather, that the sign shown in the example frame was set in Akzidenz Grotesk, a face which predated (and in fact was the basis for) Helvetica, and that this choice was based on extensive research of CBS’s graphic design during the period depicted in the film.

Whew. I am so relieved.

See it now.

Our e-mail buddy Hank did the WashPost’s in-and-out list. It’s a fine effort; many chuckles (Out: Badunkadunks, In: Humps). I had to think for a bit to get Out: Fitzmas, In: Abramoffukkah. But I think he missed one, which only a New Year’s weekend couch potato like me would include:

Out: TV poker shows, In: TV One’s Bid Whist Party Throwdown.

I’m telling you, bid whist shows are the coming thing. Out: Attitude-laden, sunglasses-wearing paunchy white boys throwing shade around the room, In: Fun-having black folks bringing big platters of food and talking trash as they actually have a good time, playing cards. You mark my words.

And thanks to the Poor Man, yet again, for one of those where-does-he-FIND-these links, things you should know about Chuck Norris. Sample:

Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn’t stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

Finally, I think I mentioned before that this is the first time I’ve lived in a metro area big enough to support a B-team conservative talk station. The B-team consists of people like William Bennett, Laura Ingraham and other sparkling stars of the right-wing speakers’ tour. All are pretty mediocre — all talk radio is pretty mediocre, no matter the spot on the political spectrum — but none is more fascinating than Dennis Prager, at least to me. You’ve never heard more arrogance, smugness and self-righteousness in one voice. No, not even in Rush Limbaugh. El Rushbo is a drug-addicted screwup and knows it, and his self-loathing underlies everything about him. But Prager? He knows, deep in his orthodox-Jewish, evangelical-butt-kissing, holier-than-thou soul, that he really is better than all the rest of us.

Well, no, maybe not. He’s getting a divorce. His second. I guess he’s right: Gay marriage does weaken the traditional kind.

Who knew? We do, now.

Posted at 9:20 pm in Uncategorized |

6 responses to “Onward.”

  1. Bartleby said on January 3, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    I followed that Chuck Norris link from the Poor Man. Just about pissed my pants. Too funny, much too funny.

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  2. Connie said on January 4, 2006 at 9:27 am

    Still seems bizarre to me to hear an Ohio girl refer to UM so positively. My HS senior applied to 4 colleges, mailed her apps in mid October. She was promptly accepted by 3, 2 have even offered her generous merit scholarships. UM meanwhile sends her these bizarre messages about their holistic application process and how long it takes. And UM is the only school to which she has applied that we think may be harder for our 3.75 GPA athlete to get accepted at. Though if her swim team tryout at Butler goes well and she is invited to join the team it will be Butler for sure.

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  3. brian stouder said on January 4, 2006 at 10:33 am

    “Though if her swim team tryout at Butler goes well and she is invited to join the team it will be Butler for sure.”

    If she goes to Butler, an interesting little book to read is Affectionately Yours, by Barbara Butler Davis – a great great grand daughter of Ovid Butler, who founded the institution. The book is a compilation of correspondance between Scot Butler, who went off to the Civil War, and his mom, dad, and his short-lived sisters (Demia lived to see the end of the war, and then caught a fever and died at 26)

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  4. Carter said on January 4, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    I didn’t follow the link to the Washington Post’s IN/OUT list, but this entry from the Chicago Tribune’s Alewife Awards on Sunday last deserves appreciation.


    In August hip-hopper P. Diddy shortened his name to Diddy, explaining, “I felt like the ‘P’ was getting between me and my fans.”

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  5. Hoosier said on January 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Hmmmm….Rush Limbaugh as drug-addicted. Intense pain, takes oxycotin (side effect is loss of hearing, just to keep on going.
    The real truth…It’s a good life in this country as long as you don’t weaken. If Rush was honest, he would admit this.

    Also, I have this belief…once someone has changed, it is a sin to remind them of how they once were. It’s from Judaism I believe.

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  6. Hoosier said on January 7, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    Sorry, found this on a website. btw…Prager’s Reformed


    Frequent listener George Burns said that if he ever filmed a sequel to “Oh God,” Prager would get the title role.

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