Culling vs. Surrender

There are really only two responses if you want to feel like you’re well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender.

Culling is the choosing you do for yourself. It’s the sorting of what’s worth your time and what’s not worth your time. It’s saying, “I deem Keeping Up With The Kardashians a poor use of my time, and therefore, I choose not to watch it.” It’s saying, “I read the last Jonathan Franzen book and fell asleep six times, so I’m not going to read this one.”

Surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time for everything that would be worth the time you invested in it if you had the time, and that this fact doesn’t have to threaten your sense that you are well-read. Surrender is the moment when you say, “I bet every single one of those 1,000 books I’m supposed to read before I die is very, very good, but I cannot read them all, and they will have to go on the list of things I didn’t get to.”

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee : The Salt : NPR

I got married and I had a family and my entire day was not free for social interaction. And eating is annoying and difficult to arrange, [and it’s] hard to choose places. And meeting someone for coffee suddenly seemed like a wonderful, compact, accessible and portable social interaction. You don’t even really need a place. But you feel like you’re doing something. That is what coffee is. And that is one of the geniuses of the new coffee culture.

Shortly before reading this, I invited a friend to meet for coffee and not talking:

ELAINE: Come on, let’s go do something. I don’t want to just sit around here.

JERRY: Okay.

ELAINE: Want to go get something to eat?

JERRY: Where do you want to go?

ELAINE: I don’t care, I’m not hungry.

JERRY: We could go to one of those cappuccino places. They let you just sit there.

ELAINE: What are we gonna do there? Talk?

JERRY: We can talk.

ELAINE: I’ll go if I don’t have to talk.

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee : The Salt : NPR

billa: Philip Roth on the beauty of naps SIMON: Is there something you’re…


Philip Roth on the beauty of naps

SIMON: Is there something you’re taking more time for now that…

ROTH: Yeah, naps. Let me tell you about the nap. It’s absolutely fantastic. When I was a kid, my father was always trying to tell me how to be a man. And he said – I was maybe nine – he said, Philip, whenever you take a nap, take your clothes off and put a blanket over you and you’re going to sleep better. Well, as with everything, he was right. And so I now do that and I come back from the swimming pool I go to and I have my lunch and I read the paper and I take this glorious thing called a nap. And then the best part of it is that when you wake up, for the first 15 seconds you have no idea where you are. You’re just alive. That’s all you know and it’s bliss. It’s absolute bliss. So, I suggest – you’re still working but your time will come.

SIMON: That sounds like great advice.

ROTH: And take your clothes off.

billa: Philip Roth on the beauty of naps SIMON: Is there something you’re…

How Code-Switching Explains The World : Code Switch : NPR

You rush your mom or whomever off the phone in some less formal syntax (“Yo, I’mma holler at you later,”), hang up and get back to work. Then you look up and you see your co-workers looking at you and wondering who the hell you’d morphed into for the last few minutes. That right there? That’s what it means to code-switch.

My dad and my sister are experts at (subconsciously) stepping up the Southern accent ever so slightly when the situation calls for it. I’m pretty sure I do it, too, but it’s quite possible everyone sees right through me.

How Code-Switching Explains The World : Code Switch : NPR

You can never be both a writer and a politician – at least not a good writer. A writer must always tell the truth as he sees it, and a politician must never give the game away. Now, these are two opposing forces.

NPR Fresh Air remembers Gore Vidal with excerpts from two Terry Gross interviews (via explore-blog)

Baseball Umpires Aren’t Perfect, OK? – NPR

Corresponding to the umpire-as-instrument idea is External Realism. According to External Realism, there are umpiring-independent facts of the game — balls are really fair or foul, runners are either safe or out — and the questions we face are merely epistemological, how best to determine the facts, how to find out.

Corresponding to the umpire-as-player idea is Internal Anti-Realism. According to Internal Anti-Realism, umpires don’t call them as they see them; umpires, through their calls, make it the case that a pitch is a strike or a ball, a runner safe or out. There are no umpire-independent facts in baseball.

Baseball Umpires Aren’t Perfect, OK? – NPR

What you want to do is build the people up. You start ‘em off and you give them this first half, and their feet, and next thing they got their heads goin’, and the next thing they got their mouths open and they’re yellin’ and they’re screamin’. It’s a great feeling when you can have your audience get involved with you […] where everyone can jump in and have a real good time. “What’d I Say” is my last song onstage. When I do “What’d I Say,” you don’t have to worry about it — that’s the end of me. There ain’t no encore, no nothin’. I’m finished!

Classical Fans Tell Stories Of ‘First Loves’ : Deceptive Cadence : NPR

I was homeless, and working holding a sandwich board on the side of the road. It was so dull! I saved up for weeks and got a Sony Discman for $50.00. Now I had something to listen to while I worked. The Discman was so expensive that all I could afford was an Excelsior Gold recording of the fourth and sixth symphonies that was lying in a discount bin for a dollar-fifty. When I was playing it for the first time, in my board, pacing up and down the block — because if you stopped moving at anytime, the police would ticket you for loitering — I suddenly burst into tears. I felt like Beethoven was there with me, saying, “I know this sucks. But look— here is the whole world, outside, birds, the sky, the sun, and here you are! You are in it! Buck up!”

Classical Fans Tell Stories Of ‘First Loves’ : Deceptive Cadence : NPR