See 4 and 5 for links to alderman and cyclical insect.
The alderman's in the glasses.
Some of these articles will soon disappear into the payhole, so link while ye may. It's a long buffet, but you won't like every dish.
1) First, there's the NJ stripper who was found with a human hand in a jar and 6 skulls at home. The basics are here, but the scene is really fleshed out in the NYT article where Ira Weiner, a lawyer for the strip club where she worked says: “She’s kind of an artistic person, with her own sense of aesthetics,” he said. “But she’s harmless. You know, what she collected was not a manifestation of her being vicious, it’s just simply what she thought was cool or had some artistic merits.”
2) Speaking of saturation of skull imagery: the NYT also sports this article on the new smiley-face, represented by the Garfield window-clinging ubiquity of skulls as product. As a person who's loved them dearly and will persist, I'll be happy when it's over, not because I'm any cooler than anyone else, but because the dilution of the image into something printed on kids' sparkle toothpaste flattens some of the more satisfying, intrinsic meaning. Hello, wine in the box.
3) Via Publisher's Lunch: Out of context, can you tell the difference between self-published and traditionally published fiction? Apparently editors and agents can. Well, 60-ish percent of the time. See how you'd do against the pros guarding the gates of prose at POD-dy Mouth. What's fascinating to me is that reading the out-of-context snippets, I wouldn't want to read any of it through. I am not cut out for the job or for bestsellers, plainly.
4) What a happy serendipity! I wrote about the narcissistic aldermaniacs just yesterday, and today I read in the WSJ (subscription only) that: Fat-lovers all over Chicago are quivering like jelly, from their 24-inch necks to their long-lost-from-view ankles. Why? Alderman Edward M. Burke has proposed an ordinance banning restaurant chains from cooking with oils containing trans fats. Windy City high-on-the-hoggers have already been hit with an aldermanic ordinance banning foie gras in restaurants. Now this.
Sure, because otherwise deep-fried goodies are well-known as health food. One of the images above is the picture I got of Ed Burke from the Sun-Times, denizen of the City Council for three decades. Of course, the pic is linked from a feature on the top-paid local corruptees in the awarding of commercial licenses to drivers unqualified by anything but having bribe money, one of whose incompetence resulted in the death of an entire family in their minivan. But okay, pushing that aside, can't you hear the recent conversation between flush-faced, late-50's Burke and his doctor?
- Ed, you've got to cut back on the fatty foods. Your cholesterol's going through the roof, and I don't mean the good kind. I know this scandal's been hard on you, but the nacho puffs aren't helping.
- Wait a minute, Doc. Let me see if I'm understanding you. Are you seriously telling me that high LDL cholesterol from a high-fat diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to heart disease among other indicators of overall poor health?
- Why wasn't I informed?! These death merchants who seek my destruction must be stopped!
- You could start talking walks after dinner. Do more than just look at vegetables.
- It's not enough. This is a city emergency! I WANT AN ORDINANCE!
5) I know how irate he must feel. I just found out another name for the Junebug as we call it, though their hordes arrive in May. (In the UK, they're more sensibly nicknamed Maybugs.) Anyhow, these annoying insect thwackers against screen doors and crunchers beneath flip-flops have another totally official name that I just learned: Cockchafers.
It's late July, way too late to apply my newfound knowledge this summer. The insects have gone to ground already. There'll be no catching a load of those cockchafers for me. I'd pass an ordinance about it if I could. I feel so ripped off.