Oh, what you missed

Of course I kept writing after I left the Chronicle, because working is the new retiring. There was some great stuff in there, but of course I can’t reprint it all here. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Please, Please , Please: In which I provide at least 28 reasons why Donald Trump should run as a third party candidate. Number six: No need to socialize with boring small town party hacks. Numbers 20-24: No people to interrupt you. Ever. Trump heaven!
  • Oh my God, France! France!! Home of son-in-law. Lovely seat of civilization. I like civilization. Damn.
  • Birds, birds, birds, part 2: Ask me about the eared grebe. Ask me about the Great Horned Owl. Ask me about sky-filling sunsets and sun-covering flights of snow geese. Thanks, Michael Ellis.
  • Comma-tose Condition: Why are there so many commas in the last three headlines? I ask prominent grammar trenders what it might mean. Am I on the leading edge? (No.) Is punctuation making a comeback? (no{!,
  • Hey, I paid full freight for that Michael Ellis trip. I also bought the book mentioned below with my own money. Although, please feel free to offer blandishments; I understand there is big money to be made in covert blog advertising. Eat at Oliveto (owned by friends of mine). Also Hayes Street Grill (also owned by friends of mine). No conflict of interest in cyberspace!
  •  The Voluptuous Workings of Science:  So now there’s a particle that may be the opposite of the God particle, if the word “opposite” has any meaning here. This other particle (call it the Devil particle) may be a graviton and explain gravity. So the Manichean universe is plausible. Take that, subtle lovers of nuance.
  • Will Purr For Food: Pancho, already a little hefty,  has become more and more demanding about kibble. He’ll start complaining four hours before the scheduled food delivery time. He whines; he gets underfoot; he stares accusingly. And then I solved the problem! Actually, I didn’t. He’s sitting there right now like Poe’s Raven. Go away!
  • The Spy Who Stayed in the Warm: My plans to foment revolt against a cruel theocratic government were halted when Iran refused to issue me a visa. Really, that happened. Our plan had been to eat food and chat in Tehran, wander the old city of Shiraz, stare in awe at the magnificent remains of Persepolis. Plus, that little thrilling chance of being thrown in a hellhole jail. Woulda made a great blog entry.
  •  Yes, I can say “Fuck”: I’m not in the newspaper anymore! I don’t have to find sixteen different ways of saying “bullshit.” I do not have to pay attention to the charitable activities of digital billionaires. Downside: No copy ediutor.
  • Flood, Fire and Dominion: I go crazy for “Thunder and Lightning,”a marvelous combination of science, art and reportage, lovely in both process and product. It’s a new book by Lauren Redniss, and, in its own quiet way, it’s profound and moving.
  • Easy, Big Guy; We Still Love You: Leveraging my position as a prominent blogger, I get a sit-down face-to-face with Barack Obama. Why in God’s name (I asked him) are you still messing around in the Middle East when long experience shows us that we only make things worse, whatever our intentions. Let them all fight it out. You think ISIS is going to crush to armies of Turkey, Iran or, heaven forfend, Israel? (There would be an alliance). Let’s use the money to rebuild infrastructure (jobs!) or find housing for the homeless (happiness!). But no, you just listen to those same dopey generals who got us into this. We. Aren’t. Helping. Let the Russians get the grief; we’ll create as better country. Huh? Whaddya think? I didn’t like the expression on his face, so I moved his photo into the utility room.

But there’s more on the way! Watch this space for entries of various lengths and periodicity.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Me in the Ideatron
Photography by Tracy Johnston
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90 thoughts on “Oh, what you missed

  1. Would you consider grazing the new neighborhoods of Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco too pedestrian? Go eat something and chew it over.

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  2. Wonderful to hear from you; Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy and healthy New Year. The Chron just isn’t the same without you!

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  3. SO glad to have more Jon Carroll to read. A bit frustrating, though, because I wanted to click on each paragraph and have a full-sized article to read! Oh, greedy ME! I guess I’ll just have to learn Portion Control. oh, and btw, I really liked all those clever substitutes for Fuck and Bullshit. You might think about keeping that restriction….it showcases your genious. HUGS!

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  4. Nice to see your words in print again. Also, very nice photo by Tracy.
    Was it Wasserman who wrote column on acid? Come on, it’s safe now, he’s long dead.
    Also, FUCK.
    Thanks.

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  5. Many CPM’s (Chuckles Per Minute), but had an actual LOL at the photo of you in the “Ideatron”. That slayed me…or, fitting the season…That sleighed me! You are a hoot. Looking forward to more!
    Yer ol’ pal, Sal.

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  6. Is this the new genre: thought bites? Me likey your style, you talk pretty always. Nope, links don’t work and copy editores are nyce, but they don’t have those at the Chron either, eh? (ouch!) Shit damn, LOVE this first edition.
    Happy hols,
    Carol

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  7. Homework assignment: using ideas and techniques from quantum mechanics and string theory, explain how it is that this is the first issue and I evidently have already missed at least 11 previous articles. Show your work.

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  8. Poor Barack, 86’ed from the CarollBlog. The shame of it must be crushing. Tell Tracy she got a good shot. You look both handsome and interesting. Ideal branding stuff!

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  9. What a sweet little Christmas present you are giving us. I was an unexpected Carroll fan in the first place so how can I not be delighted?
    THANKS for being there [here]
    Keep the faith!
    JR
    PS: Wife loves you to.. and so does our cat.

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  10. If you want constructive criticism, and I know this is merely an introduction/segué into whatever this blog will be – I’d say this didn’t work that well for me. Too disjointed – any one of these points would have been fine to run with and explore, but not as short bullet points. That said, even in this less than satisfactory bullet point hodgepodge, your spark still shines, and I look forward to as many of these posts as you’re willing to crank out for as long as you still want to crank them. Thanks, Jon.

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  11. OMG, you’ve left broadcast and gone cable, or Netflix or whatever. $#@*&^%!! It’s not like the good old days at the SFC, but that’s their loss and our gain. Yours too. Enjoy retirement. The best part of the early days is doing what you damn well want to do, and not having to answer to anyone but yourself. And Tracy. And Pancho. And your adoring fan boys and girls. Congrats! on the relaunch.

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  12. Okay, I did wish those bites had been a little bigger, but I’m happy as all get out to have a little bit of Carroll to read again. It’s been miserable, reading the Chron without you! I’ll try to be patient, waiting for bigger morsels.

    Kudos to Tracy on the great new portrait of you! I’m pretty sure ALL of us are relieved that the Chronicle mugshot didn’t follow you here. Happy writing. Now that you don’t have to worry about being accused of favoritism or nepotism, I hope you will post more news of Tracy’s photography too – exhibits, books, etc. Sending hugs to both of you.

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  13. My german friends would say “you have the thread of the argument” or “you have the string of the argument.” They might also say “you smell (the) blood”. Maybe, they might combine both phrases, but my german is very poor. Generally, the message is that you are on the right track. Additionally, I would add that you still have your narrative voice- one of your super strong points.
    Now to just concentrate and refine.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  14. I await the great unfolding. I will read.

    Did you know the uncensored Bloom County has returned…on Facebook? And yes, I am the proud owner of a new Zenguin Opus hoodie…

    Jon! Merch!

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  15. Hey, hi. A few people seem to think I really wrote all those columns. No, just the grafs. The grafs and the column, that is, the blog are the same thing? And I think those links works now. Whew. And thanks for the reactions, positive and negative — I see you, Saunders.

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    1. Keep up the commentary on a variety of subjects. Keep the humor lens. Use swear words sparingly. A little goes a long way, like horse radish. There’s some programming trick that limits the number of words that show when we press the button to bookmark a page; time to learn it. Probably better to have all comments in chrono order, rather than letting various people go off on tangents like this under a specific comment.

      Also add the printer friendly button (sub trick; I can save it in pdf without printing it; apparently there is a a button for saving to pdf directly).

      THere is link, which lets people e-mail a column for free to other folks. (I am not sure where the link ends and the link link to your column begins):
      http://www.emailthis.clickability.com/et/emailThis?clickMap=createBB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fjoncarrollprose.wordpress.com%2F2015%2F12%2F19%2Foh-what-you-missed%2F&title=Oh%2C%20what%20you%20missed%20|%20Jon%20Carroll%20Prose&random=0.08146674695466616

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  16. I’m so happy to see/read you again, though like several others, it seems, I’m hoping and looking forward to longer pieces. And yes, it’s difficult, and rather sad, to read the Datebook each day and find no Jon Carroll. But now you’re back, and hooray for that — even though, yes, you could use a copy editor (I’m one, so I notice such things). But we’ll get by, and welcome back! (And no, sadly in my opinion, the comma, and punctuation in general, are not staging a comeback.)

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  17. Great to hear your voice again Jon! I especially loved the conversation with the Prez about the Middle East. You had me going for a minute there! Keep writing and we’ll keep chuckling!

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  18. Happy to have you back. We might want longer, but you may be doing shorter bits because it’s what you always wanted to do. I too, was not sure if you had really had a conversation with Mr O and wish that punctuation and grammar were coming back…

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  19. Instead of beginning a day with Jon’s prose, now I get to end the day with it. This is so good, so fair. I will never give up the comma, much less the semi-colon; and heaven help us if in a decade it is nothing but half of an emoji wink.

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  20. Wonderful wonderful! As an old fan of Borges, who now and then wrote reviews of novels rather than writing the actual novels, I appreciate the summaries of columns you didn’t write. But I do hope that was now, and then will be then, when you write longer pieces too…you did say “varying lengths” were coming. Thanks.

    Yes, links work now.

    But…what means “create as better country”? Oh, just typo maybe, “as” for “a”?

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  21. Thank you for doing the blog I miss you irreverent humor,reading your column was a big part of my retired day.Caille Millner is so much more serious,the social column sounds like so much social climbing & name dropping. Good time for you to retire,the SF Chronicle has gone down to fear peddling,you were the only reason I continued my subscription !

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  22. Christmas just came early for me! I agree with comments above – I’d love to see full length essays. But, I figured you did the little snippets to give us an inkling of what’s to come and, if that’s the plan, I say bring it on! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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  23. The picture is nice — better than the Chron’s. Looking forward to more. Please consider adding the possibility of an RSS subscription so links to new postings show up automatically in people’s email (or wherever) so they see them right away.

    Happy holidays to you and your family!
    Mike

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  24. I too miss you in the Chron but it’s great seeing the sage of Oakland writing again. The pic is great too! I’ll stay with you in your new, liberated format. Thanks Jon. I wish you and your family the best!

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  25. Yay, he’s back! Just added you to my Feedly feed thingy, and am looking forward to The Continuing Adventures Of. I’d offer you my impeccable editing skills, except for the fact that I’ve never met a blogger who used an editor. It’s kind of antithetical to the concept. So: Carrion!

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  26. Fuck yeah! And may I say “Yay, a cat graf!” Was wondering about how you’d manage without us lonely lowly copy editors, but there’s always evil autocorrect what didn’t want to let me write “graf.” (Capitalize it? Oh, you must be thinking of Steffi)

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  27. Wonderful to have you back! Your column used to be my reward for getting through the depressing news sections of the Chron. I may have to print your blog posts out and tape them to the Datebook.

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  28. Welcome back, Jon! Confession: I even relished today’s update on Pancho, despite skipping a few of your “cat columns” in my day. (sorry)

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  29. Even a little of you is so full of catchy awesomeness. Love every bite. Keep it coming; long or short. Your writing cannot be matched or copied IMO…you wonderful, unique man. Quite the dashing picture too! Thank you for brightening my day!

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  30. (In “About Me”) November 20, 1015!
    Wow, you’re even older than I thought!
    Like you said, who needs a copy editor?

    Also — A year without a Christmas Quiz? Aaaarrrrgggggghhhhh!

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  31. Yay! Great Christmas gift…loved the blog…have been trying to be an active member of your holiday charity organization…miss you in the Chron, Lea has been having to hold up the back page all by herself…

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