Inhuman Swill : Page 80
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.
            

Gothamist today has a fascinating interview with wunderkind photographer Bill Wadman about his ongoing 365 Portraits project. Our own [info]steelbrassnwood gets a shout-out:

What's been the most interesting shoot so far? There are so many that it’s hard to single out one most interesting shoot, but there are a few that stick out in my memory. For example, back in February I shot a woman named Margot Stevenson on her 95th birthday, or the time I introduced myself to and shot Ken Ficara in Prospect Park, or this past Monday when I shot director Michael Kang in Washington Square Park. Each day is a different little story and I think that adds to the project. I've also become friends with a number of my subjects, which is a nice ancillary benefit.  [full interview]
(It's kind of funny that Bill says he introduced himself to Ken and shot him. Like a scene from a Brooklyn gangster movie!)

Besides Ken, friends of mine who've showed up on the site include Jordana Drell Rosen, Christopher Rivera, Nuno Santos, and the inexplicably controversial Nicki Bosch. (Oh, yeah, and there was mine, too, which I was very pleased with.) Laura signed up long ago, and while Bill and I both keep trying to twist her arm, she hasn't picked a date. Yet.

By the way, I think last night's portrait is one of the most stunning so far, simply in terms of color, composition, and the serendipitous appearance of birds.

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Rotary four

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[info]
Laura sent me the link to this YouTube video of a full four-minute round-trip on the conveyor belt at a rotary sushi bar. For some reason, watching it just made me feel happy, same as it did her. Oh, and hungry too.



That combined with a lunch out later today with my birthdaying workmate makes for a great morning at the office.

Oh, and ianmcdonald's latest, Brasyl, just arrived here at the office from Barnes & Noble via courier. (Same-day delivery in Manhattan rocks the free world.) I pre-ordered this months ago, and I had completely forgotten to expect it.

Oh, and Ella and I went to the park this morning for the first time in weeks. She had been limping a little, so we rested her until the limp went away. That makes four, four vonderful reasons to be happy today.

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Waxing the camel

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Last night was the end of an era. It was by only the most fortuitous of chances that we were there for it.

Laura and I had taken [info]curmudgeon to the incomparable Kabab Cafe before, to be entertained, charmed, and provoked by our friend Ali El Sayed's patter and transported by his food. With Laura and me moving soon, doing it again while Curmudgeon was in town was critical.

Turns out it was more critical than we knew. Ali told us, "I'm glad you are here tonight. Tomorrow I will be closed. I leave for 25 days in Egypt." He went on to explain that on his return, he will begin renovating Kabab Cafe—again. He will change the menu, begin serving breakfast in addition to lunch and dinner, and train chefs to take over for him. He will then take his menu over to his brother Moustafa's excellent nearby restaurant Mombar, where he will sometimes cook and sometimes help oversee operations of both restaurants. He will use his trip to Egypt to work out plans for the new venture.

The changes are exciting, since Ali finally won't be tied to his tiny kitchen. But it was also a poignant evening—the last night of the Kabab Cafe we've known all these years. There were only two other diners there when we arrived, but even with the pick of tables in the place, Ali suggested we sit in the niche near the door so he could talk to us over the counter of his kitchen. We drank too much Argentine Malbec while we enjoyed mixed appetizers of hummus, babaganouj, falafel, fried Swiss chard, apples, pears, and more; a more than appetizer portion of pumpkin dumplings in a spicy sauce; goat chops; beef short ribs; and an amazing dish of sand shark tail. I broke out a bottle of Balvenie Portwood 21yo I'd brought for us—Ali included—to enjoy along with dessert, which was a plate of selected Mediterranean pastries from the bakery down the street, together with yogurt and various fruits. I had thick coffee too.

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Two by Four: Four Letter Words Double Down
Once again, I will have to miss this this evening's CD Mix of the Month Club meeting, owing to previous commitments. But I'll try to find someone who can bring my mixes, the third and fourth entries in my "Four Letter Words" series: Two by Four: Four Letter Words Double Down and The Only ____ in ____: Four Letter Words of Puzzlement.

Yes, Gentle Readers, I am not posting a track listing for that second mix. Why not? It's a puzzle! The track listing consists of two chains, the first 11 tracks long, the second 8. The title of each track consists of two four-letter words, the first of which is the second word of the previous track title. (For instance, "Aces High" by Iron Maiden might be followed by Men at Work's "High Wire," or by Juno's "High Noon.") In addition, each chain itself has a title that can be derived from the track titles.

The two puzzles follow. I'll mail a copy of the mix to the first person who can email me with the titles of the two chains. I'll mail copies of all four "Four Letter Words" mixes to the first person who can email me with the complete track listing for both chains. Send entries to puzzle at shunn dot net. (Answers posted here in the comments section will be deleted.)

Click front cover for Puzzle #1

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All this and a Pulitzer too

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Laura just sent me the link to The Morning's News's championship Tournament of Books literary smackdown for 2006, pitting The Road by Cormac McCarthy against Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan. Panelist comments like these were just the sort of thing I needed to read today:

If I were the sort to have dinner parties, I’d save [Shteyngart] a chair.... McCarthy would beat him to death with one.

[I]t's unfair, brutal and wrong, but The Road runs over Snack Daddy's khui with a shopping cart. Oprah agrees.

I’ll go for The Road, at least in part because it includes some excellent recipes.

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Easing on down The Road

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Paul Witcover of [info]theinferior4 somehow scoops everyone on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer win for The Road.

A bigger Pulitzer stunner, though, is that Ray Bradbury gets a special citation for "his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy." As Paul says, it's almost like reading a Pulitzer report from a parallel universe.

Elsewhere online, Wikipedia had this to say about the 2007 Pulitzers:

The Pulitzer Prizes for 2007 were announced on an otherwise unremarkable day in April. Winners included some people at the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other rags nationwide. Notably, the New York Times won only a single prize, leading to a sense of despair in the newsroom, accompanied by resentment at Columbia's board of trustees. Times staffers could only take comfort in the fact that the Washington Post got stiffed entirely.
Check it out fast, because this gem surely won't last there for long. (I took a screen shot.)
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2,400-mile cab ride

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This Yahoo! News story warmed my heart:

NYC couple hail cab for 2,400-mile ride

But they'll probably hit every pothole between here and Sedona.

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Tickin' in my head

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South Park
I guess it was time for an updated South Park self-portrait. It's just one of those days at the office.

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Boinged!

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How nice to wake up in the morning and discovered that one has been Boinged! And that the bandwidth usage for my site has pegged in the red.

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Aurally inclined

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The complete text of "Inclination" is now available in three downloadable audio files, read by the author, at:

http://www.shunn.net/inclination/

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
cheaper than your
local Mormon
missionaries.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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