Are you there, James? It’s me, a Knicks fan.

He playeth a stringed instrument while the Mecca burns...

He playeth a stringed instrument while the Mecca burns…

Over the weekend, Deadspin revealed an email exchange between Irving Bierman and James Dolan. Bierman has been a Knick fan for over 60 years. Dolan has owned the Knicks the past 15 years, which not coincidentally are the worst 15 years in Knick history. Bierman’s email to Dolan was frustrated, but civil. Dolan’s response was aloof, uppity, tone-deaf, and actually surprisingly rude, ending with him telling Bierman to stop following the Knicks and instead root for the Nets.

Today, P&T published a letter I’ve written to James Dolan, a letter crafted in the same style as the one he wrote to Bierman. If you’re a fan of the Knicks or the NBA, you should check it out. Hell, if you’re a fan of civility, check it out.

Top 10 search terms that lead to my blog

My blog’s been read in 90 different countries a total of 5,693 times.

When I googled “5693,” this came up:



Makes a man think.

Simplicity. So essential, yet so elusive. Why? How can something so simple prove so difficult to grasp?

Today’s Google image (they really should pay me for all the free publicity) is this:



That’s Laura Ingalls and her sister Mary from Little House on the Prairie. Little House appeals as a slice of a simpler time, at least simpler in certain ways. People back then didn’t have to deal with car insurance. Or global warming. Or the falling ruble. On the other hand, if you were catching junebugs down by the creek and happened to skin your knee…yeah. Death.


Truth be told: this is my favorite sister.

Truth be told: this is my favorite sister.

Truth be told: this is my favorite sister.

Truth be told: this is my favorite sister.

The show always makes me think of my sisters, of the three of us being young and having simpler senses of everything. I still remember how mind-blowing it was when the cable remote had like 30 channels. Now my TV guide goes up to channel 1997. And I don’t watch at least 1990 of those channels.

The last couple of weeks have been one of those stretches in life where I haven’t cared about anything. To be more truthful, I haven’t cared about myself. Not a whit. It’s weird, whenever this disassociation hits. It’s always going to be there, I know. It’s a lifelong energy. The feeling doesn’t change, but its color does, in relation to larger life contexts. Such as age. I’m 36. Not caring about myself at 36 feels different than it did when I was younger. It feels like a wrong turn, one I can’t afford to be making at this stage of my journey.

So I’m trying to focus on simplicity. In that spirit, this blog is simply a list of my 10 favorite search terms that have led various intrepid internet interlocutors to Blues of Nine. These are all real.  Continue reading

What do fractals, grammar, and Jack Kerouac have in common?





Maybe more than you think.

MaryAnn Duffy has written a wondrously eye-opening piece about the parallels between fractal geometry in nature and the structure and evolution of grammar and language. Long story short: the same patterns and principles that explain why a coastline or a cauliflower or a conifer take the form they do also explains why your kids won’t get the same crap from teachers you did for ending a sentence with a preposition.

It’s fascinating to consider. In nature, fractals reveal an underlying relationship between the part (a tree) and the whole (a forest). If grammar follows this same function…what might the whole it relates to be?