Friday, December 30, 2005


The latest edition of coreweekly, the "faux alt" put out by the company that publishes Madison's daily papers, uses an entertainment listing to take a bold editorial stance against Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous:
Sunday January 01
LifeRing Secular Recovery Group
Wil-Mar Center
9 P.M.
The most important rule of New Year's resolutions is to start them right away -- every day that goes by reduces the chance you will take the first step. No resolution is more pressing than aiding your health and well-being. If you have decided to end a drug dependency, this is a fine venue, a meeting that convenes right away. Unlike Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, LifeRing doesn't affiliate itself with Christianity, focusing on actual salvation instead of a spiritual one. But, regardless of whose help you seek, realize that there is no reason to go it alone.
For the record, AA and NA do not affiliate themselves with Christianity, though they have been known, under certain circumstances, to help people not puke themselves or commit vehicular homicide. But what is responsible journalism for, if not to make false claims that could scare desperate people away from helpful organizations? Now that's "alt"!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Hey Back With Interest readers: If you're a Madison blogger, or if there are Madison blogs you're keen on (or even not so keen on), tell me what they are. Someone has to keep track of these things.
What the

Hey, when did the Madison edition of The Onion stop running classified ads? Curious.
Sweet stuff

They're one of the unlikelier staples of the Yuletide season: Harry and David, the Medford, Ore.-based purveyors of mail-order fruit. We received boxes of Harry and David pears from two different sources this Christmas, and these are some discomfitingly wonderful pears. I just had one so juicy that I ate it over the kitchen sink.

But I confess that until lately, I found the concept odd. Mail-order fruit?

This year was different, though, because I was inundated as never before by holiday snacks, most of them unhealthy. Between work and home, this holidays I ate cookies, brownies, fudge, walnut clusters, fancy boxed candy and chocolate-covered pretzels, among other things, and that's not even counting what I ate at the parties.

And so it was amid this deluge of chocolate that the Harry and David gift boxes made all kinds of sense: sweet Jesus, fresh fruit! I think those pears are the only produce I ate between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Search for meaning

According to Back With Interest's statistics page on, someone found their way here by searching for the phrase "I farted in synagogue."

Bless you!
Mistaken identity

Based purely on the URL, at first I thought this Web site was about something else. Doesn't it seem like it should be? Something local?
I may or may not be ready for some football

I bid farewell to "Monday Night Football," which this week concluded its run on broadcast network television. Never a huge sports fan, I was briefly preoccupied with professional football in the mid-1990s, and I particularly liked "Monday Night Football," with its slick production and celebrity cameos. I admired the smooth delivery of play-by-play man Al Michaels, but more than that I enjoyed the theme song by Hank Williams, Jr., an inelegant rewrite of his 1984 hit "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight." Week after week Williams sang the tune, always with a special lyric that summed up the night's match without saying very much ("The 'Boys and the Bears are lookin' mighty tough!").

As the years passed, the segments grew more and more bizarre -- I recall one season's particularly ill-advised theme that saw Williams paired with tap dancers a la Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. Wha?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Spiritual food

In what comes as sad news to fans of divinely inspired pastry, the Nun Bun has been stolen from Bongo Java, the Nashville, Tenn. coffee shop where the cinnamon roll in question first surfaced ten years ago. The Nun Bun of Nashville, my hometown, is so called because it strongly resembles Mother Teresa.

If you encounter any nun buns at your local pawnshop, call the cops.