The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

My Photo
Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Soccer Burgers

It may be a little late, but I thought the concept of the game was hilarious:

I can't believe that there are people out there who still defend Ronaldo, most of whom don't know a whit about soccer anyway. The last World Cup should have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he is perhaps the world's most overrated player, with the possible exception of Beckham. (Incidentally, England's new Coach, Steve McLaren, has proven himself very wise indeed by not only revoking Beckham's captaincy, but scrapping him altogether. Bravo!)

For you Zidane fans, there are flash games out there wherein you must headbutt as many opponents in the chest as possible. I still don't care what anyone says: Zidane should've known better, and he deserves everything that comes to him, including infamy. I don't want to hear anymore peruile, baby excuses!

And by the way, the French (as well as other teams) have mastered the art of diving and theatrics as well, so don't just pin it on the Italians. The french penalty in the final was the worst one called ever (except perhaps Torres' against Ukraine), and Henry faked a few injuries himself. Don't even get me started on the Portuguese: they have some excellent players, but man do they dive!!

For those of you who still think France should've won (I've got nothing against France, btw), consider this: they couldn't do anything but score 2 penalties in the semi-final and final, and they got pretty good at headbutting people in the chest. Does this mean they deserved to win? Their win against Portugal game was terribly boring. They have some excellent players, don't get me wrong, and I hate penalties as much as the next guy, but let's give credit where it's due.

Sad, funny, yet true

I just got back from a "training session" at U Ottawa which dealt with being a TA, and the philosophical foundations thereof (or something like that). Wasn't bad at all, and I'm going back at 3 o'clock (one of the many advantages of living 5 minutes away). Funny thing is I don't know what kind of assistantship I'm going to get: I could be a library gopher.

On a somewhat related note, I thought this comic was delightful because it is humorous yet rings true, especially for me (or someone at my stage of the game).

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Update from Ottawa

In this edition:

-the latest from Ottawa
-in praise of Edith Hamilton
-Paris Hilton

After a fairly predictable journey which involved some heavy lifting (3 suitcases bursting at the seams, a laptop and a heavy carry-on), I arrived at my new home in the Sandy Hill area of Ottawa. I'm minutes away from campus and, to boot, there's an excellent used book store about 2 minutes away called Benjamin Books. In fact, I bought a volume there today, The Poetical Works of Gray and Collins, a 1961 Oxford hardcover in excellent condition for 8.50 CDN. The shop has some rare and obscure items at very reasonable prices (I imagine rent is lower than downtown Toronto, though).
I've bought some basic supplies, including some basic hermit food. My neighbour and her boyfriend are nice, and he just recently helped me to hook up to the outside world through the net, so I offered him a glass of Beaujolais, a wine that sounds better than it is.

I was reading an old anthology of Greek plays last night, and in it I read Edith Hamilton's pithy and simple commentary to Prometheus Bound, a play I'm not crazy about. Her commentary is only three pages long, but it's the best criticism I've read in some time, to say nothing of its concision.
In other academic news, I will pop by the department early tomorrow (5 minutes before they open should do the trick) to register, etc, and hopefully meet the other big time prof in my area I did not get a chance to meet.

My room came with a free TV, an old analog left by the previous tenant. Of course I refuse to pay for cable, so I receive CTV and CBC (Radio Canada, en francais). I also pick up Global but it’s too fuzzy.
Anyway, on CTV, I heard that Paris Hilton’s “album” has a successful single, but the CD itself is doing terribly, selling only 75,000 copies. The number would look impressive if it were my CD, but those are dreadful numbers for a well known celebrity who is well known for, in Wilde’s words, the art of doing absolutely nothing. If you ask me, 75,000 copies is impressive for someone who is not a musician.

Oh yes, the landlord came by today so I gave him my first payment. It's the first time I've used a cheque. Sniff. :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Final Countdown

Well, here we are on a cool August 26. Everyone I know is busy with something. As for me, I leave for the nation's capital in less than 48 hours (I will leave at 10 or 11 am on Monday morning, expecting to arrive in Ottawa around 2-3 pm). Packing my books is proving cumbersome as I have had to choose carefully since Greyhound buses has a weight limit on luggage. I almost forgot to pack my clothes and other essentials, so I must go now and do that.
In case anyone is wondering, I'm really looking forward to my move. I've lived in Toronto too long and I need the change (Ottawa is really nice, by the way).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dennis Miller Ratio

A few days ago I was awakened by the cacophonous alarm clock, and in my haste to cease its sound, I tripped over one of my many books. Of all possible books, I nearly injured myself tripping over Tristram Shandy, perhaps the most digressive, non-sensical and funny worksin the language. I don't think there could be a more fitting book to trip over.

(The Dennis Miller Ratio is when one person in a million deems a joke funny; this is one of them).