More Catching Up

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Yesterday I went to Margot's Pizza, a pop-up bar pizza venture. It opens only on occasional Saturdays, on a ticketed basis, and tickets tend to sell out in under a minute.

This was my second time there. The first time, I went myself, and while I did put away an entire "Margot-Rita" myself, it was a bit too much of a good thing. (I also felt that while I am usually a pizza minimalist, this was one case where it might have benefited from more toppings.) This time around, I brought a friend, and we had the "Love Supreme," with peppers and onions and—in our case—vegan sausage, and it was good.

If you're in the Brooklyn area and want to check it out for yourself, go to the website and get on the mailing list.

(Someday I need to go back there during the week and try Emily's pizza.)

In other news, my sister and I each had the ability to claim two tickets to any They Might Be Giants show, for reasons. We decided to take along one of our brothers and his fianceĆ©. Despite a raft of misgivings, she convinced me to go with their New Year's Eve show, which—for reasons I cannot now account for—we had thought was at 8 PM. I figured, okay, I wasn't thrilled about having to take the train back from Brooklyn on NYE, but at least I'd be home before midnight.

Turns out it actually starts at 11 PM. Which... no, sorry, wild horses couldn't drag me there. (I like TMBG and all, but I've already served my endure-arduous-conditions-to-see-them-in-concert time, having been at the performance filmed for Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns. [I was young and foolish then; I feel old and foolish now.])

The other three are still on board, and she's trying to get another brother to take my place. Whee.

And finally, an unsolicited commercial endorsement. Do you live in the Northeastern U.S., and are you looking for a last-minute gift for somebody who likes tea? Adagio Teas of New Jersey has your back. (If you're elsewhere in the U.S., and you spring for second-day delivery, that should work too.) Excellent loose-leaf tea and tea accessories.

These days, my default cuppa is Jessica Pratt's blend inspired by Princess Anna; it's a black tea with chocolate and caramel. (Exactly how the "fandom blends" skate by the trademark police, I do not know, but it's not my problem.) And the ingenuiTEA teapot is most useful.

(My only complaint about the company is that they try to get you to spread the news about them on social media, offering incentives for spreading the word. I have not taken them up on such offers, and I am getting nothing at all for mentioning them here.)

Music Advent catch-up time!

Day 17: "The Queen and the Soldier," by Suzanne Vega:

Day 18: "Rhythm of Life," by Sammy Davis Jr.:

Day 19: "Sci-Fi Wasabi," by Cibo Matto:

Day 20: "Turning Japanese," by Kirsten Dunst:

Assorted Books

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The offices at which I work two days a week (at a publisher that shall remain unnamed, but by the sign of the Enormous Crimson Canine shall ye know them) are going to be moving to other temporary quarters in the near future so that the building may be remodeled. One side effect of this is that cubicles and cabinets and storage areas are being purged of books that are no longer needed.

The upshot is that I'm going to be visiting family tomorrow, and I'll be taking about 25 pounds of books with me for distribution to assorted nieces and nephews. Hooray for fringe benefits of working in publishing!

In other publishing news, the 2016 edition of my almanac is out! As usual, I wrote the Offbeat News page. I also compiled the data on the 100 largest U.S. cities and the various executive branch agencies, and my metaphorical fingerprints can be found all over the rest of the book. It's great for bathroom reading, browsing through for serendipitous discoveries, or giving to people who don't know how to evaluate the reliability of sources on the Internet. Or just looking things up yourself! Everything in the book goes through multiple layers of fact-checking, and it's a good compact collection of information on all sorts of subjects.

(I don't get any royalties, but it's a good book and I'm proud of it.)

Continuing to catch up on Music Advent...

Day 14: Two takes on Nyan Cat:

"Nyan Cat the Movie," by Blake Robinson:

Nyan Cat vs. Rebecca Black, by Lara:

Day 15: "Ode to Krispy Kreme," by Chapter 6

Day 16: "Party & Bullshit (in the USA)," by Hathbanger [Notorious B.I.G. vs. Miley Cyrus]:

Past and Presents

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Earlier today, I came across this song I wrote almost 15 years ago and subsequently forgot about. I just might polish it a bit and record the thing.

I also was reminded of this glorious thread on Making Light from a decade ago, which turned into a poetry parody jam session on the theme of Nigerian 419 spam. I've got two contributions in there myself. (One of them is a triolet, of course.)

Otherwise, my siblings did a videoconference earlier tonight which worked out fairly well. (And I got to open my presents from our it's-not-a-Secret-Santa-exchange-because-we're-Jewish-but-let's-be-real-Chanukah-presents-aren't-actually-a-thing-so-who-are-we-fooling exchange [not its real name], which turned out to be a copy of Randall Munroe's Thing Explainer, and also Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary. The latter is 20 years old, but it's still fun, and maybe even useful. I am most pleased.)

Music Advent, Day 12: "Lithium," covered by the Polyphonic Spree.

Music Advent, Day 13: "Mysterious Woman," by Christine Lavin.

(This would be Lavin's pastiche of Suzanne Vega.)

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