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   Janitor:  "Here we go.  Another Christmas."
Schoolkid: "Or, as we call it now, another peak retail season.
           "And you know what?  I'm fine with that.
           "Look at history: oppression, Inquisition, crusades and wars
            galore.  Religion can be pretty divisive.
           "But commerce unites!
           "Trade routes connect empires.  Economics spurs conciliation.
            Everybody loves stuff! 
           "People of all races and creeds spend December in peace and
            harmony, side by side in the halls of consumption!"
Janitor:   "Where I believe your mom took eight stitches in a scuffle at
            the Laser Contendo display."
Schoolkid: "That's what I mean.  She didn't press charges.."
     Beyond the Fringefan

[#417] BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN, being the soul of nonviolence (not to mention cowardice), is once again abstaining from hostilities in the War on Christmas by staying as far away as possible from shopping malls, department stores, post offices, and any other place that plays "The Little Drummer Boy" or "Jingle Bell Rock" on its loudspeakers. When not commuting up to Hell's Kitchen these days, he's attempting to live in harmony with the plumbing and heating system at the N.Y. Cadre (phone(718) NY-CADRE); e-mailnycadre@alum.rpi.edu; Webhttp://www.nycadre.org); send him some comments there to give him a warm feeling. (He was going to make a "flushed with success" pun here, but feared it would get him in hot water with much of his readership.) This is Beyond the Fringefan #417, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 9, #12 (e-APA-NYU #92) and other e-consumers, published December 2011 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of Thigamajig Inc. logo. Cartoon above from Frazz by Jef Mallett, 23 December 2007. All uncredited material copyright ©2011 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.

YOU CAN RADIATE EVERYTHING YOU ARE: Jacko the plumber made it here (after a bout with the flu) and replaced a bunch of radiator valves (though he disagreed with the heating company guy's appraisal of some of them; Jacko said they were not leaky and didn't need replacement. I had him replace them anyhow, figuring ten or twenty bucks more was worth it to be sure). We'll see if the boiler's water consumption for the next month or two decreases from last month. Now I'm trying to get hold of someone from the heating company to discuss replacing the thermostat, which has been in the house since shortly after we moved in, and has been mostly inaccessible for about ten years, ever since we moved an entertainment center from my parents' apartment into the living room...

BUT I'M A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANOTHER GUY: After I left Net-A-Porter, I got a day's work at a midtown agency I'd been at a few times in the summer, and then a week at an all-digital agency called Huge, located in DUMBO; that makes two assignments in the outer boroughs in one season! (Before this summer I don't think I've worked outside Manhattan since 1972, barring a couple of weeks at Metrotech in September 2011.) I liked Huge's atmosphere as well as its location, and I hope I'll get to work there again. (And if the name sounds vaguely familiar, that might just be because Ethan was working there for a few months before he went off to Africa last year.) Then I found myself once again the beneficiary of Movie Mike, who's been proofreading at one agency for over a decade; he had reason to take some time off, and talked me up to his bosses as a suitable fill-in. I went in for an interview, and presently was informed that I'd been selected for the post. I started just prior to Thanksgiving and will be doing full-time shifts until Xmas, when the office closes for a week. (Mike gets back a couple of days into the New Year.)

     The place is a big advertising agency, part of one of the worldwide giants, big enough to occupy a whole block-long building and provide such amenities as a reasonably priced company cafeteria. It's comfortable, and I wouldn't mind working there for longer. (With luck, I'll be able to sub for Mike more as time goes by.) The only glitch is the location: the agency decided a few years ago to move to a slightly remote outpost on 11th Avenue and 46th Street, a good fifteen or twenty minutes' walk from any subway station. This makes the commute nearly as long as to Long Island City. Fortunately, my hours are set to start at 10:30 am, so I'm sleeping much better than in September and October. Oh, and I can eat at my desk!

SAD AND BEAUTIFUL WORLD: I must note with sorrow this month the passing of Dorothea (Dea) Phillips and of Rene Szafir Mandel. Dea was a lovely lady whom I first got to know as Fred Phillips's wife, but learned to appreciate as a seasoned traveler, eminently readable travelogue author (one of her trip reports ran in e-APA-NYU last year), pleasant conversationalist, good cook, and (of course) longtime bibliophile. (At her memorial I learned that she was a masterful administrator as well, both at home and at work.) Like Dea, Rene was someone I knew primarily through her husband; in Rene's case it was now-Philadelphia-based filker Mark Mandel. I regret having only barely met her in person. May both Fred and Mark be comforted.

Fringe Reception: Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 9, #11 (e-APA-NYU #91)

ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
"A word of advice to obtain and maintain good mental health: Forget." Often very good advice. (I forget what the exceptions are.) Even if one's
Ratbert to Dogbert: "My brain is empty.  It feels great!
         "Stress is just another word for knowledge.
         "Wait a minute.  How do I know that?
         "GAAA!!!  Something got past the filters!
         "Must... do... mantra...
         "Lindsay Lohan... Britney Spears... Paris Hilton... ommmm."
Dogbert: "Are you all good now?"
Ratbert: "Have we met?"
(DILBERT by Scott Adams, 28 October 2007)
supply of what you term "string" is not finite, the more one has in one's memory's hoard, the harder it is to index it all so that one can locate the right piece at the right time. On a different but related note, it's often postulated that the human faculty for logic is dependent on grouping and generalization-that is, forgetting the small differences between members of a class of objects so as to be able to investigate what they have in common. (Jorge Luis Borges, in "Funes the Memorious," imagines someone whose memory is so perfect and detailed that he has trouble perceiving that a dog viewed head-on at one moment is the same creature as the same dog viewed from the side a minute later.) /*/ (¢Blackman) "'The trade-off for NYC winters is supposed to be NOT having hurricanes like Florida (or earthquakes like S. California).' The contract has been broken, so there will be no more 'NYC winters.'" Right, that's why we got snow in October this year.

JAMISON, TAKE e-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
I met Leinster's daughters at Philcon, and have just borrowed their biography of him from the library (the BPL doesn't have it yet, but the NYPL does). Hope it's as interesting as his stories. /*/ As many have remarked, being able to recognize a picture of Carl Sagan and not one of Snooki does not make you an inherently better, or smarter, person—and the comparison is biased anyway since the former has been dead for a decade and a half while the latter has been near-inescapable over the past couple of years unless one has lived in a cave with no cable reception. (For the record, I recognized both, though I never watched Jersey Shore and haven't seen Cosmos since its original run.) /*/ "btw, when I saw Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral, I was told that King John was illiterate [Magna Carta is unsigned; he put his royal seal on it], but [in the novel The Faithful Dead] he can read." His illiteracy is disputed; though the accuracy of information on the 'Net is certainly arguable, one widely quoted account states that he "did sign the draft of the Charter that was hammered out in the tent on Charter Island at Runnymede," but when the official copies were made, he "signed" them by applying the royal seal because that was how legal documents were made official in that era. /*/ "Marcel Marceau has a [dubbed] speaking role [in Barbarella], btw." I thought that didn't happen until Mel Brooks' Silent Movie. /*/ (¢Cinii) "After a friend confusedly read 'coworker' as 'cow-orker', I switched to 'co-worker.'" There are those who deliberately spell it "cow-orker" as a subtle disparagement of a colleague, implying that when orking cows becomes illegal, that person will be in deep trouble. (Scott Adams wrote about this in his e-mail newsletter years ago, though I don't think the term has ever been used in Dilbert.) /*/ (¢Nelson) "I never could convince myself to enjoy MR. BEAN, despite being a fan of BLACK ADDER." Me neither. The aspects of Mr. Atkinson's comedic talents that I appreciate seem to require that he be allowed to speak. /*/ In your ¢Nelson, you speak disparagingly of NIRAs ("normal, intelligent, reasonable adults") such as your landlord, but in your ¢yourself you complain, in re Drowned Rats, "(what do bookbuyers caught in a downpour have to do with tiger hunts in the Raj?)" I think that's a NIRA-ish question if there ever was one. /*/ (¢me) "Try stowing/sealing your shoes in a desk drawer and wearing slippers." Ooh, good idea. I'll try that if the issue ever comes up again. I didn't think my feet stink all that much two hours after a shower, but I suppose it's one more thing to which I might be oblivious. Standup comic at mike in comedy club:
   "Funny thing happened to me yesterday!  Re: Re: Re: Fwd: fwd: fwd: ..."
Caption: "The audience began to wonder if Bob's material was original..."
(SPEED BUMP by Dave Coverly, 17 April 2006)

May your computer yet be restored to proper health. (Oh, I forgot, I should have made the same comment to Mr. Blackman too.) /*/ (¢self) Your zine was listed in the ToC as "Zine for current collation" because that was the subject line of the e-mail that contained your zine. The Mailman software builds the ToC from the subject lines, so it's best to put your actual zine title there.
Well, that was an...interesting year. (I was going to call it a watershed year, but that hits a little too close to home.) I hope all the deities in charge of such things will smile down on us and provide a more comfortable and less apocalyptic year in 2012. But I'm not making any bets. A merry light-oriented solstice-affiliated winter festival to all; see you in January.

>Portions of the preceding produce no predictions of prosperity,
      preferring to practice prevarication when pressed for a prognosis,
          since such promises are pretty preposterous. Perspicacious
              personages perceiving the prevalence of pretentious prattle
                  in this publication may presume concerning its provenance
                      that it was probably perpetrated by a paranoid pervert.<

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