<<To March 2012 zine

To May 2012 zine>>

Beyond the Fringefan #421 Financial advisor to client:
   "With these crazy markets, you have to diversify to protect your money.
    Put some under your mattress, some in your sock drawer, maybe some in
    a hole in the yard..."

BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN has been earning his money lately by dealing with the words of financial analysts. He's finding them slightly more comprehensible than those of fashion marketers. When not cringing at jargon, he's maintaining his holdings at the N.Y. Cadre (phone(718) NY-CADRE); e-mailnycadre@alum.rpi.edu; Webhttp://www.nycadre.org). This is not an offer to buy or sell any securities, which can be made only by prospectus; rather, this is Beyond the Fringefan #421, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 10, #4 (e-APA-NYU #96) and other stock characters, published April 2012 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of Thigamajig Inc. logo. Cartoon above from Reality Check by Dave Whamond, 6 October 2011. All uncredited material copyright ©2012 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.

BUT I SAY YOU'RE WRONG: WE'RE JUST AT THE DAWN OF CORRECTION: I've now been proofreading for a month at AllianceBernstein L.P.—still a freelancer, of course, replacing another who left in early February. There are two permanent proofreaders there, and a few other freelancers who've been there for a long time. There's also an ongoing relationship with an editorial-services company called Integreon, which has locations nationwide; for reasons that have yet to become fully clear to me, AllianceBernstein has the fulltime use of four proofreaders at Integreon's offices in Fargo, North Dakota. Two of them and their boss were in town the other week for some training, and I got to meet them.

     The work is more difficult than at most advertising agencies I've been at over the past decade, and even in some ways than at Net-A-Porter during my hitch there last summer. The analysts at AB (one ironbound rule in the stylebook is that the company is always AllianceBernstein, never ever ever AB; but this is my zine and I'll follow my own stylebook!) write up a variety of monthly, quarterly, and irregularly issued pieces addressed to individual and institutional investors, and while much of the style is consistent throughout all the writing, there are some formatting details that change according to the type of piece and the intended audience. We therefore have a 117-page house stylebook (with The Economist: Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style as secondary and tertiary references), three or four supplements of a few pages each that concern a particular type of document, a couple of checklists, a 50-page list of company names worldwide (so that spelling, spacing, capitalization, and suchlike are consistent through all AB publications), and a Word doc listing all the updates that have been made to any of the above in the past quarter. All of these resources are maintained by my boss, a marvelously upbeat lady named Charmae, and made available online in shared libraries, to minimize the slaughter of trees.

one guy to another at a bar:
   "You have no idea what it's like to be a 'just between you and me'
    person in a 'just between you and I' world."
(William Haefeli in THE NEW YORKER, 30 August 2010)      After four weeks, I can confidently say that I have a really good idea just how many details of style it is possible to lose track of while concentrating on spelling, syntax, and meaning—and vice versa. I think I'm getting better at it; going over each document a second and a third time is always helpful. It also appears that many of the more crucial documents get read by two different proofreaders, and the two sets of corrections merged, on the rationale that four eyes are better than two.

     Charmae anticipated the lengthy learning curve when she went looking to replace the proofreader who left in February. She tells me that the first month of each quarter is when the workload is heaviest, as the analysts write up their reports and presentations covering what happened in the quarter just ended. So March was relatively quiet, allowing time for Charmae to give me and the three visiting Fargoans some lessons and a bunch of practice exercises, but April will be the test that shows me whether I can really hack it there. By the same token, things should slow down in May and June—so much so that Charmae or her superiors may choose to cut my hours way back until July. If that happens, I'll need to get back to the agencies and see what one-day and part-time gigs I can find to make up the time and money.

     The place is on Sixth Avenue in the 50s, a bit further than the downtown ad agencies where I've spent most of the past six years, but tolerable. A nice thing I discovered while poking around AB's intranet the second week I was there is that the organization has set up an enclosed space in the parking garage next door (beneath the Ziegfeld Theater) for bicycles. Of course, I filled out the forms immediately to reserve a slot for myself. So far, I've biked to work thrice and hope to do more as the weather turns more consistently springlike. It's a longer trip than I've had to do in the past—14 miles one way, versus 11 to SoHo or Long Island City—but I think my legs will be able to handle it as I get back in shape after a rather idle winter.

     About the only complaint I have is that the company has software on its computer network that blocks access to a variety of Web sites it considers social networking. I don't care about LiveJournal, Facebook, and the like—I log on to those only once or twice a month anyhow—but I'm prevented from accessing my e-mail on Yahoo and Google. So if you try to contact me at those addresses, don't expect a response before the evening.

     In other news, since I quit physical therapy for tendinitis, the intermittent dull ache just below my elbows hasn't gotten worse, though, to be fair, it hasn't gone away either. I think I prefer paying nothing and being free to work at a job that pays me, while my elbows ache a little, to spending an hour and a half at a medical facility three times a week and paying a $30 copay each time, while my elbows ache a little. (Enteric-coated aspirin helps a bit and doesn't upset my stomach.)

     Andre made it over to the Cadre and replaced the mysterious air valve in the corner of the basement. After two weeks, the boiler's water usage now seems to be within the proper limits, though I'll want to keep monitoring it over the long term.

Fringe Reception: Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 10, #3 (e-APA-NYU #95)

I've downloaded your book, or the first section of it, from Wormhole Press and added it to my reading queue. Don't know in what decade I'll get to it, but I'm doing my $1.99's worth to support living authors. (It'd be even nicer if you actually got a penny or two out of it, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.) /*/ May your hamstring heal quickly, may you get your meds adjusted to your preference, and may you finish training your doctor to deal with you as a unique individual. /*/ People name their cars so as to use "psychic energy to affect physical objects in the real world"? Geez, I thought they did it because they get tired of referring to "the car." /*/ "Do they still have International Geophysical Years any more? They used to align with peak solar flare activity." Um, there was only one International Geophysical Year, in 1957–58 (and it was 18 months long, so I guess it was actually an International Geophysical Guadam), though there were International Polar Years in 1882–83, 1932–33, and 2007–2008.

JAMISON, TAKE e-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
Hoboken scheduled (and then canceled) a St. Patrick's Day parade for 3 March? What time zone is that town in? /*/ "THE 2ND 'R' IS SILENT"—er, there's only one "r" in Mormon. The problem with "circumcising dead Mormons" is that circumcision alone doesn't convert one to any religion. (According to strict Mormon doctrine, baptism-by-proxy doesn't either; the dead person, wherever in the afterlife heesh is, can choose to accept or reject the sacrament. I think more of the living need to laugh out loud whenever the topic is mentioned.) /*/ (¢Nelson) "Are we still in the Nintendo Age? It didn't end with Atari?" Atari came before Nintendo. The Nintendo Age may have ended with the PlayStation. (Google's April Fool's hoax this year was a set of pages advertising its new 8-bit retrofit of Google Maps for Nintendo.) /*/ (¢me) "Do you blame suburban-NY NJ teams for clinging instead to the cachet of NY?" I don't blame them for wanting cachet, any more than I blame con men for wanting money. /*/ "Btw, it's 'tendonitis.'" Not according to Merriam-Webster and American Heritage, which list "tendinitis" as the primary entry and "tendonitis" as a variant.

one guy to another at a bar:
   "I was reincarnated as a Christian...Now I don't know what to believe..."
(SPEED BUMP by Dave Coverly, 11 May 2005) ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
(¢me) "Is scary when doctors are no longer mad older than you but are now the same age as you." I think it would be scarier if they were mad older than me. /*/ "You are stable person!" When it concerns my residence, I find I hear "sty" much more often than "stable." /*/ "This book [Pagan Christianity] looks at nine elements of today's Christianity ... and finds huge discrepancies between them and the NT." I thought it was fairly well known that the early church assimilated a lot of pagan traditions in order to help assimilate a lot of pagans. /*/ Hope you enjoyed the start of roller derby season on 17 March. Did the local teams wear green?
2-April-2012: Okay, now I know I'm getting old. A woman, who I think must have been in her twenties, offered me her seat on the Manhattan-bound B train this morning.

I'm running late as usual, so my wishes for a good Seder to those who attend them and a happy Easter to those who celebrate it must be expressed retroactively. (The annual Passover indigestion, though, lasts eight days and so is still ongoing.) Enjoy the warmth, and keep a bar of soap handy in case you get caught in an April shower. Onward to May!

>Portions of the preceding will take any funds they can get, mutual or not.<

<<To March 2012 zine

To May 2012 zine>>