Olympics Liveblogging, Part I

8:28 PM: Demus just smoked the rest for breakfast! “You put in the work early, you can relax late.” -NBC analyst. She moves on to the next heat.

8:27 PM: And they’re off

8:25 PM: Now we’re watching Lashinda Demus about to compete in the 400M hurdles. The same race we just watched?! Umm, who’s in charge here? Okay, my friend just explained there are multiple heats for each race before the main race. BANG

8:24 PM: Wow, BIG Olympic flame this year! One of the biggest I’ve ever seen. Respect to whatever city is hosting this year’s Olys.

8:22 PM: Now we’re having a contest to see who can do the best Roy Williams impression. (UNC basketball coach.)

8:19 PM: BANG BANG!!! Again: BANG! The race begins … 10 hurdles must be jumped over … somebody FALLS on the first hurdle! A Kenyan FALLS also! Winner is Henova, from the nation of CZE, followed by Brown of USA.

8:18 PM: This is event is the 400M hurdles — NOT a dash as previously reported — it’s hurdles. “God never put a hurdle in my path I couldn’t jump over” –bumpersticker I just invented. BANG and they’re off…

8:17 PM: How do you feel about track and field? It’s one of the hottest sports, and we’re definitely about to see some of it, courtesy of the Olys. Here’s T’erea Brown, about to compete in her first Olys. She’s running a dash!

8:15 PM: Now we’re watching a commercial about baseball games.

8:09 PM: Enough about this guy with the special legs. I wanna see some live sports! This might be the only night I can see the Olys. Bring on the live feed from London!

8:07 PM: Can’t believe I’m actually watching the Olys! I’ve been hearing about them for more than a week and now I’m finally getting to see them for myself. This woman interviewer has got mad crazy teeth; she seems cool.

8:06 PM: My dad is looking up the correct spelling of Verrazano (?) Bridge in his Encyclopedia Britannica. Now we’re watching a report about Oscar Pastorious (?). He’s drinking a weird green milkshake with plants in it.

8:05 PM: We’re all talking about stuff while commercials play on TV. “Olympics memories are made of this.”

8:02 PM: Wu Minxia wins a gold medal! In high-dive jumping! (I’m watching the Olys at my parents’ house; they have a high-def TV!)

8:01 PM: Ladies and gentlemen: It’s the Olymics! And only mnftiu.cc has all your liveblog needs! We’re watching ladies’ diving, which only happens once every 4 years!

Olympics Live-Blogging!!!

“A tradition unlike any other …” The MASTER of liveblogging (me) will be liveblogging the Olympics tonight starting at 8:00 PM EST!

Olympics Spirit — catch it if you can!!!


If you’re a writer, your self-worth is determined by how people you’ve never met respond to your work. This is good because it makes your ego a model of stability!

Anyway, enough of my high-falutin’ psychobabble. Here are two reviews of HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS:


By the time Rees is actually supplying meticulous instructions for the use of various sharpening devices, the reader will feel psyched, not only from reading such vividly conveyed preparations but also via Rees’s intoxicating use of terminology, e.g., “planer orifice,” terms that function as entry points into another world.


David Rees credits a 1940 shipfitters’ manual as inspiration for “How to Sharpen Pencils,” his stupefyingly exhaustive guide to the art, science and artisanal pleasures of manually shaping a thin graphite column encased in a 6.75-inch-long wooden tube to a satisfactorily sharp point for writing, drawing, doodling or inserting up a nostril. Shipfitters must have a high boredom threshold.

Around The World In 80 Plates Of Grey

Guess what? Here’s another recap of everyone’s* favorite show!

Curtis Stone announces that Nookie and John have won $10,000. They shout and smile, and I cannot help but feel happy for them. Curtis Stone is the perfect host, generous with his wealth. His eyes twinkle handsomely, and I feel an electric charge zapping beneath my skin. Wow. He really is a fine specimen of a man, and before I know it I’m licking the TV screen, enjoying my very own Curtis-Stone flavored popsicle, as my inner goddess does cartwheels through an abandoned bubblegum factory.

(*maybe not)

Around The World In 800,000 Plates Recap

Here’s another recap of the crazy cooking show everyone is not really talking about!

Dos Cielas is run by twins named Sergio and Javier Torres. They are close personal friends with José Andrés, a chef so famous and talented my chef friend said, “Whoa” with an intonation suggesting “Why is that guy appearing on this dumb show?”

Review Of How To Sharpen Pencils

Here’s a nice review of HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS that was published on the New Yorker’s blog:

The tension between the desire for perfection and the need to live in a world in which perfection is impossible is a covert theme in the book, and Rees’s frequent allusions to the analogous relationship between an imperfect pencil tip and an imperfect life seem both goofily ironic and utterly sincere.

Many thanks to reviewer Mark O’Connell for his thoughtful response to my work!

End Of Tour Pencil-Pointing Party

Greetings from North Carolina! My pencil-sharpening tour is just about done. Thanks to everyone who came to the events in Durham and Asheville — they were really fun!

This Friday I’m doing a final event for the HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS tour. Joining me will be John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton.

You can buy tickets for the event here.

I’m tired! I’m gonna take another nap!

Around The World In 80 Plates

Hello, blog readers from the internet! I’ve been so busy on my pencil tour that I forgot to let you know that I’m recapping a new reality food show on Bravo called “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLATES.”

The first recap is here:

Over at the Drapers Arms, Red Team announces they have temporarily changed the name of the pub to British Love, American Pride (!?!). The British patrons, to their credit, are openly furious.

I guess that’s it for today’s installment of my blog.