today at brunch

He pushed his plate forward and offered cheese fries to any takers.   I called him a “ketchup-spreader,” and the backyard brunch table reacted negatively.  All I did was characterize the way in which he indiscriminately sprays ketchup on his fries, but you’d think I had just called him a filthy muggle blood.   Got to be nicer.

Things I Learned 2015-06


Got a few proof of life pings on this blog.  A full calendar year since the last post would suggest I shut this shit down. On the other hand, an old friend, upon a recent visit here, commented that I seemed more angry and bitter.  No!, I countered, Life is sunny and my new writings will establish this.  Just you see.


My friend rko was in town past week. He is a piece of work. Within 30 minutes of meeting a friend of a friend, he actually asked her: “how much did you charge for second base [when you were a teenager?]” Those words actually came out of his mouth. She was polite enough to laugh nervously and then flee.


The new summer intern here was telling me about a street cart on 53rd and 6th ave. I wanted to throw him out the window. I refuse to do the age math on this situation but suffice to say its fucking grim GRIM.

The entire episode has me reviewing the employee handbook’s section on permissible forms of intern hazing. It’s very vague, but ambiguity is the playground of my profession. Can’t wait til my assigned mentee starts in the midsummer session.

Reunion notes

Best job of classmates:
1st place: Director of veterinarian public health for City of New York
Runner up: Historian

Best meet cute with spouse:
1st place: “We met at Circle.”
Runner up: “My visa was up.”

Best career change:
1st place: left law firm job, created health care startup.
Runner up: left law firm job, became statistician. (DO YOU SEE A THEME)

Most fascinating person I met but never knew during college:
1st place: a guy named Miguel, who
is living in Panama, where he works for the Panama Canal.

Best quote:
1st place: “I think [your friend] hooked up with every one of my friends except for me. I’m almost insulted.”
Runner up: “You look… older.”


Revisiting your old late night food places, after your college reunion banquet and drunk, is the most visceral way to learn that nostalgia is a fool’s game. Whether we knew contemporaneously that koronets pizza was sour flatbread and our fond memories made it sweeter in the intervening years, or we are re-judging old plates with more worldly palettes, or maybe the place just went to crap since we left. That is to say, nice moments in time are almost never reproducible.

Reminds me of fireflies at dusk. You know: Blink. BLINK. At once: seemingly ubiquitous, beautiful, regular, oh, common. BLINK. Then a last round of lights fades and you wished the fireflies had just warned you that this was the last round so you savored it but all you can do now is memorize a fading light.

I wonder how much of changing the world is merely waiting for other people to die.


The marginal increase in longevity, self confidence, and female attention that results from having six-pack abs does not, by my estimation, come close to offsetting the loss in joy from forbearance of those morsels otherwise forbidden. To reduce food– that daily blessing, that foundation of community, that distillation of a culture’s history, geography, and values– to the rank of mere VICTUALS, is to resign this life to chores.


Apparently I am allergic to this multi vitamin supplement I started taking. That’s all you need to know about the state of my physical health: that my body is actively repulsing nutrients.

Idea: tribal stream watching

With more television being binge-consumed, we lose a sense of community watching. Idea: Netflix lets you form a viewer group with your friends, and no one can watch the next episode until everyone in the group has caught up.

Things I Learned – July 2013

  • In 2005, a new dungeon opened in World of Warcraft, which featured a boss villain that cast a contagious Corrupted Blood spell on players.  The spell inadvertently spread to other cities and areas of the game (via magical hunter pets that caught the disease), before being shut down by a patch fix.  The incident has since been used by epidemiologists to model how hum an populations react to epidemics (some panicked, others started spreading the disease intentionally).  [via]  [more] [wikipedia]
  • Lye attacks, holy fuck.
  • A DivaCup is a re-usable cup worn to catch menstrual flow.  [via]
  • horological – adj. – of or related to time-keeping devices [via]

Side piece

Seeking: mistress to send all the awesome links I send to girlfriend that she doesn’t bother to read.

Title of this blog in alternate universes

Selfish Crab Boating Enthusiast
Selfish Crab Detective Agency
Selfish Crab: Expat in Hong Kong
Selfish Crab Programming Pearls
Selfish Crab Dog Fotoblog
Selfish Crab: Fixing Up My First House
Selfish Crab And Family
Selfish Crab Happiness is Forever!!!

Battlestar Galactica

There was a point in time, somewhere halfway through the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica, where I thought of death. Of how relentlessly it comes. Of how helpless it must feel, those last dirty minutes, probably connected to some machine, and surrounded by the infirm, them coughing, always coughing.

That a television show, let alone a tv show with flying spaceships, makes me feel this way is nothing short of incredible. I suppose the show’s science fiction bent makes for an alienness that forces the mind to consider the themes anew, rather than gloss over it like a story you’ve heard before. Mysticism, faith, the cycle of violence, morality of warfare, justice, terrorism, human mortality, it’s all there, interleaved with scenes of twitchy action BANG BANG KABOOM to slake your baser appetites. And it’s topped off with one of the strongest group of characters that happen to be female on any television show.

Recommended, and available on Netflix instant streaming.

Yeezus is some Clockwork Orange type music. Holy hell. I mean, he samples “Strange Fruit”, a Billie Holiday hymn about lynching.

Dan Aykroyd on SNL


In last night’s Saturday Night Live, Dan Aykroyd appeared in one of the episode’s many cameos.  Notice behind him on the shelf, are bottles of his own Crystal Head Vodka.  I’m assuming that product placement was a part of the price for agreeing to appear.

Aykroyd has a keen interest in the paranormal, as evidenced by this serious, joke-free commercial for his Crystal Head Vodka:

YouTube Preview Image


It’s rather misleading that anyone featured in a pornographic film is instantly referred to as a “porn star.” I mean, isn’t there a hierarchy of fame, like in the non-fucking show business?  There’s got to be C-level porn actors and actresses, and then you have your Daniel-Day-Lewis-level genuine porn stars out there.  Consider that next time you uncover your high school teacher’s past.   Ask yourself, are they really a porn star?  Or did they just make 700 bucks, that one time, on a Thursday afternoon, betwixt sound life decisions?

Things I Learned 2013-02

  • Under Icelandic law, a baby may only be given a name from an official list of 3,000+ approved baby names (which fit icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules).  [src]
  • epiphenomenonn. a secondary phenomenon accompanying another and caused by it; specifically : a secondary mental phenomenon that is caused by and accompanies a physical phenomenon but has no causal influence itself.  [via]
  • More than one swan is referred to collective as “a lamentation of swans” [src]
  • “Venery” has two very different meanings  (definition #1 –  n. the art, act, or practice of hunting;  definition #2 – n.  the pursuit of or indulgence in sexual pleasure) or exactly the same meanings, I guess. [via]
  • The most common hypothesis for the cause of motion sickness is that it functions as a defense mechanism against neurotoxins.  Motion felt but not seen is being interpreted as a hallucination (e.g., caused by some toxic berries), therefore let’s vomit. [src]
  • Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution thereby abolishing slavery in… 1995.  [via]