Magazine Acquired Recently: Baseball Cards, April 1990

My favorite hobby as a boy was collecting baseball cards, and in my infinite nerdiness–present even then–my first-ever magazine subscription was in 1990 to the now-defunct Baseball Cards magazine. I have been unable to ascertain when Baseball Cards stopped publication, though a safe guess is that the major mid-1990s sports card market crash caused itsContinue reading “Magazine Acquired Recently: Baseball Cards, April 1990”

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The Uni Watch Fifteenth Anniversary Party

Last Tuesday I went down to New York City for Uni Watch’s fifteenth anniversary party. I’ve written here before about how I love Uni Watch because of its attention to the tiny details of material culture, thus it was exciting to meet its creator, Paul Lukas, and some fellow fans. I have always wanted toContinue reading “The Uni Watch Fifteenth Anniversary Party”

Thinking About The Mezzanine and Participating in Capitalism

I was re-reading Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine this afternoon because I am teaching it in my American Literature After 1945 class tomorrow, and I was struck by a passage that I hadn’t thought about much before (which is the beautiful thing about the novel: basically every paragraph is thought-provoking if it hits one in theContinue reading “Thinking About The Mezzanine and Participating in Capitalism”

Two Portrayals of Soccer Fandom

I am currently reading John King’s 1996 novel The Football Factory about soccer fan culture and its causes in 1980s/early-1990s England. I also just read Sarah Lyall’s recent New York Times article about attending English soccer matches, which I found via one of my favorite soccer websites, When Saturday Comes. The contrast between the twoContinue reading “Two Portrayals of Soccer Fandom”

Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Mennonite/Mostly Canadian Edition

I’ve been thinking and writing about Mennonite literature a lot lately, and this latest round of book-buying includes some of the earliest novels published in the field. It also includes one of the more recent works of Mennonite fiction and a book by someone with a Mennonite-sounding name (Kroetsch), though to my knowledge he hasContinue reading “Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Mennonite/Mostly Canadian Edition”

Random Friday Thoughts

I taught my final class of the school year on Wednesday, and for the past two days have just been relaxing and letting my mind wander. It hasn’t hit me on a visceral level yet that I don’t have to teach another class until late August, but my brain is already going on all sortsContinue reading “Random Friday Thoughts”

Thoughts on Shopping and Lost History

This afternoon I was reading Elizabeth McNeill’s Nine and a Half Weeks, and of course I found the depiction of her relationship fascinating, but something else that struck me was her description of the various shops she and her lover visit on the weekends. The book takes place in the mid-1970s, and they go toContinue reading “Thoughts on Shopping and Lost History”

My Grandfather’s Diary

My maternal grandfather died peacefully two weeks ago, and going through his things the family discovered that he had kept a diary for much of his life. It is surprising that he lived to be 96 and no one knew that he engaged in this practice. He wasn’t being secretive about it; he was justContinue reading “My Grandfather’s Diary”

Paul Lukas’s Fascination With Interesting Things

I’ve written here before about Paul Lukas’s Uni Watch site, which is a daily stop in my internet wanderings. One of the reasons I love Uni Watch is that Lukas’s material aesthetic is very close to mine: he’s obsessed with fine craftsmanship, enjoys older objects, and has an eye for fine detail (and, like me,Continue reading “Paul Lukas’s Fascination With Interesting Things”