What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Footnotes Keep Delivering

48. Certain European countries, for example, spend more each year on alcoholic beverages than on new housing.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sounds Tranelike

From R. Panikkar, original version, mid-1950s. Take away the "if" at the beginning, and you essentially have the liner notes to A Love Supreme (1964). And when you listen to the final movement of A Love Supreme, it is the words below he is playing through his sax. You can read along and listen.

If there is a God, there is nothing above, outside, or even below him. Nothing independent of God. Nothing exists without being an existence, a consequence, an effect of God. Nothing is disconnected from Him. All that is, exists in God, from God, and for God. All beings not only proceed from God and go toward God but also are in God.

+++

A Love Supreme

I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee O Lord.
It all has to do with it.
Thank you God.
Peace.
There is none other.
God is. It is so beautiful.
Thank you God. God is all.
Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses.
Thank you God.
In You all things are possible.
We know. God made us so.
Keep your eye on God.
God is. He always was. He always will be.
No matter what...it is God.
He is gracious and merciful.
It is most important that I know Thee.
Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, thoughts,
fears and emotions – time – all related ...
all made from one ... all made in one.
Blessed be His name.
Thought waves – heat waves 
 all vibrations – 
all paths lead to God. Thank you God.

His way ... it is so lovely ... it is gracious.
It is merciful – thank you God.
One thought can produce millions of vibrations
and they all go back to God ... everything does.
Thank you God.
Have no fear ... believe ... thank you God.
The universe has many wonders. God is all. His way ... it is so wonderful.
Thoughts – deeds – vibrations, etc.
They all go back to God and He cleanses all.
He is gracious and merciful...thank you God.
Glory to God ... God is so alive.
God is.
God loves.
May I be acceptable in Thy sight.
We are all one in His grace.
The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement of Thee O Lord.
Thank you God.
God will wash away all our tears ...
He always has ...
He always will.
Seek Him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday.
Let us sing all songs to God
To whom all praise is due ... praise God.
No road is an easy one, but they all
go back to God.
With all we share God.
It is all with God.
It is all with Thee.
Obey the Lord.
Blessed is He.
We are from one thing ... the will of God ... thank you God.
I have seen God – I have seen ungodly –
none can be greater – none can compare to God.
Thank you God.
He will remake us ... He always has and He always will.
It is true – blessed be His name – thank you God.
God breathes through us so completely ...
so gently we hardly feel it ... yet,
it is our everything.
Thank you God.
ELATION-ELEGANCE-EXALTATION
All from God.
Thank you God. Amen.

JOHN COLTRANE - December 1964 

Today in Scholarship: Footnote of the Day

Well, today for me:

Cf. Barnabas 10.8, which asserts that the weasel conceives through the mouth; see Wright, Letter, 309–310, for additional references to weasel conception in Greco-Roman literature.

I'm Just Happy to See That the US Isn't the World's Only Nation with Public Idiots

Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong, perhaps best known for claiming on national TV that China’s smog was its best defense against a US laser attack . . .

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

A Weird Interlude in a Discussion of Solar Energy

The ecological example provided in the above teaching from the Midrash is that of food. “Mustard seeds need to be sweetened . . . wheat needs to be milled.” The rabbinic authors of the Midrash invoke this to explain why God did not create man already circumcised; the commandment of circumcision signifies the empowerment of humankind to take raw matter and improve it.

And more, sort of, on the solar energy riff, "the Rebbe" being Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh and last Lubavitcher rebbe and, from the hagiographies I've been reading, a rather amazing individual:


What is the characteristic—the Rebbe asked—that determines more than any other that people consider the sun to be a blessing? Obviously it is its ability to radiate, “to shine upon the earth” (Genesis, 1:15). What would happen if the sun was just as hot, and had the same amount of energy, but did not radiate? Indeed, there are stars of that sort, which are known as “black holes,” whose gravitational pull is so intense that not a single ray of light can escape. Who then would be interested in the sun? What purpose would it have? The same applies to a Jew. One’s main purpose is  to shine, to radiate, to do good for the other . . . otherwise one turns into a black hole, while one was actually created with the mission to be a sun.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019

Priceless

Harking back to the Steal This Book posting of a few days ago. The book includes a section on Chicago with very specific addresses and place descriptions that I figured would interest my older son, now about a five-year Chicago resident (is that possible?).

I found, of course, a free digitized version online and sent him the link with instructions where to find the Chicago information. In scrolling through, I found this gem. If I have to explain it to you, don't worry about it. Or look up the trial of the Chicago 8 (or 7).

I wonder if I picked up on this when I was 12 years old. I probably didn't read any of the Chicago information. New Yawkers just don't do Chicago. But they should.

Chicago has a number of good law schools and you can often get some assistance or referral by calling them and speaking to the editor of the law school paper. You can go to the bathroom for free in the Julius J. Hoffman Room at Northwestern University Law School.

A Good Time Likely Had by All

Gentleman seems to be calling for a barbecue at his funeral in 1677; I don't think it's an animal sacrifice. Gentleman, by the way, is a free black man in Virginia, in the 1600s (obviously):

I King Tony Negro give unto my grandchild Sarah Driggus the first cow calfe either of my Cowes shall bring . . . my steere & one hog bee spent by my Executrix and loving wife at my Funeral when I depart this life. All the rest of my estate whatsoever unto my loving wife Sarah. 6 February 1677. witnesses: Peter x George, Daniel x Webb.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Book Title of the Day

Squire, S. (2008). I Don’t: A Contrarian History of Marriage. Bloomsbury Press.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Perks and Quirks

A blessing of my job is what a wonderful education I am paid to receive, at least what I remember of it. A curse of my job is the depression that ensues when book after book after book just tells you that everything you've ever known is wrong. I mean, even if you never really gave a crap anyway, it gnaws at some level.

The topic is evolutionary biology, not usually one that works me up. What's wrong is the assumptions that folks make about what human nature is.

I showed my wife the title and subtitle and said, "Sounds interesting, right? About 25 percent of it will be." Yeah, maybe about that. Twenty-five percent of it is notes and bibliography that have to be rewritten by yours truly. Imagine my glee.

As an editing colleague once said, bemoaning having spent the last 16 work hours rewriting and researching the holes in a bibliography, "It's amazing to think that people are paid the same as we are to edit young adult fiction."

I'm not sure what my tolerance level would be on that stuff. I'd be happy to do a few books a month, but I don't think it could be my only source of income, even if easy and breezy. Hell, I wasn't wild about young adult fiction as a young adult. Might have been better with a paycheck.

I'm still waiting for some lesbian science fiction. . . .

Friday, February 15, 2019

Lattice Posting

Valentine's Day has come and gone. Tere was going to knit me something in the last few days, which is like a dual shot of things I don't need -- whatever she was going to knit, and deadline-induced panic and frustration. I cover enough of the latter territory on my own.

I asked, as plainly as I've stated it for years in some form to each of the members of my family, "Would you just get me something I've been asking for for years? The shipping will cost more than the goods, and together they won't crack ten dollars. I think no one's paid attention to my request because it's seemed too inconsequential. I'd rather get something that obviously means something to me than someone buying me something that doesn't."

This holy grail? A copy of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book. I cut my teeth on it when I was about 11, and I wanted it not only for reminiscence but also because it's a wonderful snapshot of New York City before all the bad neighborhoods downtown went yuppie and beyond. Lo and behold, yesterday I received a copy for Valentine's Day. Not one of the original versions with the black cover, but still the typesetting was the original plates. I'm looking forward to reading back through it.

One of the things I remember reading as a yute was about making sandals from old tires, and I did happen to open to that page today while walking back to my office. I then sat down in front of the current manuscript, not 20 seconds later, and read,

"[Name] had a pair of sandals made here—the peasant kind that’s common to this area (wait till you see them—they’re so ugly, they’re neat!). Anyway, his feet are so big that the shoemaker was just amazed. The night we went to get them fitted to his foot, half the village came to look. The shoes are made with tire treads for the soles."

That's One Approach to the Crime Problem

Anyway, Skyros is known as the most mysterious island (by the Greeks). The people here have been the most isolated and so live very much by the old traditions. Until 1925, any policeman who came here was immediately murdered. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Sage Words from a Pianist I've Been Listening to Recently

Mal Waldron moved from Munich to Brussels in the 1990s, stating that, in Belgium, "Nobody stands on the corner waiting for the lights to change. In Germany they watch the lights instead of the cars. The lights never killed anybody." (Wikipedia)

The Never-Ending Episode

Nothing wrong with the book, but you can piece together the like quotes and understand that this project has been on my mind way too long -- an index scheduled before the partial indexing ban was instituted, although I'll likely take indexes from this publisher as long as they offer them because there's just something to be said about being nice in this world:

Francis Harper and Arthur Leeds’s archival research in Philadelphia coupled with that conducted in London by Francis Pennell and Professor Ernest Earnest of Temple University during the course of Pennell’s literary and biographical research had identified Bartramian manuscripts and copies that had received little previous study.

Let it also be known that the headmaster of my rightfully much-maligned high school had the name of William Magavern Williams. And he graduated Williams College.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

This Footnote from Science History

The Delaware Museum of Natural History was founded by John DuPont based on his personal shell collection, for which Abbott had provided guidance. DuPont served as president (chief executive officer) of the museum and chair of the board. In 1996, John DuPont shot and killed wrestler David Schultz, an Olympic gold medalist who was living and training at DuPont’s sprawling estate, Foxcatcher Farm. DuPont was found guilty but mentally ill in the shooting death, and he died in prison in 2010.


Friday, February 8, 2019

David Eisenhower? Stephen King? Some Other White Dude Who Came into the Cracker Barrel Last Week?

The consensus is apparently in. I'm now a lookalike for "Doc" from Back to the Future. There's no doubt that if I grow my hair out, it is Santa Claus white and, without any product application, sticks out perpendicularly from my temples. And I suppose what passes for my calm these days is something approaching Christopher Lloyd's crazed.

I still don't think I'll ever recover from the Bristol Krispy Kreme ladies all agreeing that I looked like Stephen King. And that was about 15 years ago. In retrospect, I'm pretty impressed that the staff could call up the image of an author, even one whose face should dissolve camera lenses.

Found this amusing piece on the S. Kings, though. I'm personally tired of being mistaken for every nameless hack who looks like me, and there are a ton of us out there, if a lifetime of my hearing it everywhere I go is any indication.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Best Rest for Editorial Eyes

Also happens to be the best website ever.

You're welcome.

To Be a Christian in Much of the United States

Means that you must take this statement as scientific proof that the Noahic flood occurred right on time about 6,000 years ago. If that ain't your thinking, better get you to Amazon and find you a set of fireproof britches:

The great Apalachian Mountains, which run from York [Hudson] River back of these Colonies to the Bay of Mexico, show in many Places near the highest Parts of them, Strata Sea Shells, in some Places the marks of them are in the solid Rocks. ’Tis certainly the Wreck of a World we live on! We have Specimens of those Sea shell Rocks broken off near the Tops of those Mountains, brought and deposited in our Library [the Library Company of Philadelphia] as Curiosities. If you have not seen the like, I'll send you a Piece.
—Benj. Franklin

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Some Things Never Change

Florida has always been over valued; it therefore becomes our duty to lay aside the expectations of an El Dorado or a fountain of immortality, and by a diligent scrutiny, by practical experiments…strive to discover the best uses to which our newly acquired territory can be applied.

—John le Conte, 1822

"I Read the News Today, Oh Boy"

I shouldn't have bothered. I am better off not knowing, not discussing, not responding, not venturing, not caring.

If you were in medical school and the army in 1984, with even a hint in your already twice-darkened soul of political aspirations, the closest you should have been to anyone in blackface or Klan pajamas is a photo in a library book that you weren't looking at. Jesus.

Democrat or Republican, one should typically fear doctors-turned-politicians. One ego-crazed profession in a lifetime wasn't enough juice?

Friday, February 1, 2019

Catch, Document, and Consume

Further along, he saw and again reported (this time in more detail) the Florida limpkin, “a very curious bird…called…the crying bird. I cannot determine what genus of European birds to join it with.” Earlier on his voyage, he had named and eaten the “type” specimen of limpkin. Bartram’s drawing of “The Crying Bird,” published by W. P. Barton in 1818, serves as the type.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Confirmation, Justification, and a Few Others

For the first time since November 7, I looked at the Google news aggregator. The world hasn't changed in the slightest. I haven't missed a thing.

Under local stories, I did find a "Mystery Diner" review of a supposedly authentic Korean restaurant in Elizabethton, Tennessee, which is a very nice half-hour drive from here. We think nothing of going to, or toward, Elizabethton for what is routinely considered Tennessee's best barbecue in a small, very out-of-the-way joint, and think of that ranking when it competes against every famous Memphis barbecue place. "Mystery Diner," who I think is any contributor, baffled me when I first saw a straight-up, irony-free review of a local, recently opened Steak and Shake, where the writer first defined the burgers and fries as if they'd been dropped in from another planet . . . and didn't bother with trying the shakes.

Elizabethton is also home of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, TN, which is where Tere and I will go (not even annually) when we want to go to church. Certainly the most open and affirming and welcoming of all Presbyterian congregations I've ever seen anywhere—in East Tennessee. Their former pastor had a syndicated PRI radio show in which he delved into all kinds of theological issues, such as I might come across.

How welcoming was this church? Under the prior pastor, this nice Jewish boy from New York City almost did the aisle walk to take Communion. I was this close, but didn't pull that lever. My feet were moving, almost.

How did the pastor do it? Aside from the general vibe of the church, as he was inviting people to the table, he said, "If you think Jesus would have wanted you to take communion, feel free to come up."

Good pastor. Lots of show. Very consciously a performer, and I usually don't tolerate too much of that. But I've loved some pastors in my day, and none of them presented the offer to receive the lord's supper quite like that, professionally or personally. I don't think PCUSA would mind, but I don't know.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

And Speaking of My Online Gig, from Which I Am on Hiatus

Thankfully, this ain't me, but there are some interesting parallels:

We get forty little thumbnails, that way we don’t have to watch the video we can instantly see “oh, well there’s some genitals” or “there’s a man’s head but he’s not connected to it” . . . something like that. And we can instantly apply policy. It’s extremely streamlined.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Substance Matters

Another episode in the-blog-as-scholarly-dick-joke:

Herodotus reported a similar story. Astrabacus, a dead but reanimated hero, had sexual intercourse with a maiden. He even fathered a son called Demaratus. His paramour described Astrabacus as being a phasma or “apparition” in the form of her dead husband, Ariston. Despite being an apparition, Astrabacus was apparently not ethereal. In order for him to have sired a child, at least one part of him must have been substantial.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Right on Time

Tere came home today, finally. And within the hour, both cats were at the door.

Now, Elvis . . . he would have stayed away for three days, come home immediately after we opened a can of tuna, and proceeded to lecture us for 10 minutes on the indignities he faced while we were gone.

End in Sight, It Must Be Right

Two weeks in, and my wife appears to be headed home later today (Monday). Fingers are crossed. I'm spending the night here, writing an index in a dark hospital room in the middle of the night. It's about 10 degrees outside. Tere is resting quite comfortably, and I've managed to find 9 hours of music-type sounds that mimic our backyard, once you filter out the barking dogs, whom I hope to spring on Tuesday from a week of boarding, which followed a week of bizarre nonroutines for them. Poor puppies. But Tere's got something to listen to overnight instead of the occasional person hollin' oudda they head.

Our outdoor cats (in my mind, they're outdoor) seem to have flown the coop. While I feed them, I'm sure they know that Tere is their main advocate, and they probably sense she's not there. And once the dogs were boarded, the cats didn't have much entertainment or other warm bodies to rub up against. But I kept putting food out, and they'd show up occasionally. Not so much the last few days.

World's Handsomest Mutt Zooey doesn't pay much attention to the felines, but the hound and the gray cat, Suzzy, are buddies. Suzzy and Maggie, our little tortoise-shell beast, are both hunters and pretty clever, and I have no concern that they could survive outdoors. Maybe someone else has taken them in and is letting them pee on their valued rugs.

Once Tere and the dogs are repatriated to the Commonwealth, with my luck the cats'll show back up.

I remember when we left Florida 19 years ago, we had a crazy indoor/outdoor cat that we hoped wouldn't show back up when moving day came. She'd disappear for a week or two at a time, so long absences weren't uncommon, but by the time I finally pulled up stakes, four weeks had passed since I last saw her. Probably nabbed by a hawk or decided to seek higher ground on the mainland. I remember leaving the house for the last time, thinking, Georgia, please don't show up. Because if she did, I'd have been compelled to take her with me. I am not going to knowingly leave a pet behind, even a cat that could survive perfectly well on the North Florida coast surrounded by seafood, barring outdoor dangers. In 33 years, we've only ever lost one cat to a car, and it was a great cat. Poor Hobbes. And poor Otis, another great animal and Elvis's mentor, probably succumbed to the circle of life near the marsh, or he started walking back to Atlanta, when we moved to Fernandina.

We had Elvis for 19 years, and after him, I'm pretty ambivalent about cats. If one's around, that's fine, but it better be doing its business out of doors. Every. Goddamn. Time.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Riding His Wife's Rather Disgusting Coattails

My news boycott continues, but I was compelled to visit the tubez to check on the first name of the junior US senator from that other state that sits about a mile from here and that continues to house my dear wife in intensive care.

Marsha Blackburn.

Read through some of her Wikipedia page. God, what a brainless hack. But there is this:

Her husband is the founder of the International Bow Tie Society (IBTS). 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Nice Indexing Juxtaposition

Just the way it turned out. I had nothing to do with it.

trolls, 154–55, 160, 161–62, 168, 177
Trump, Donald, 145, 147n9, 149n13, 167
truth
    communication in service of, 160

    regime of, 39

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Today's Index Entry Winner: Everybody in the Pool

But the day is still very young:


Dipolog-Iligan-Ozamis-Pagadian-Ipil-Marawi Committee on Mining Issues, 112 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

We All Look Alike, Too

A light moment amid a bit of a crisis. My dear wife is in the ICU with double pneumonia and sepsis. A young woman comes in today to take her breakfast and lunch orders for the next day. She looks at the three of us and says, "Where are you from?"

Our very good friend sitting with us is from Greenville, TN. Certainly in summer 1954, when he was born, it was pretty much country, and our friend can tell you tales for hours about it and makes a living at doing exactly that. My wife, three months older, is from Montgomery, AL, and Atlanta, GA. You don't get more southern than these two. The Virginia/Tennessee state line is the farthest north my wife has ever lived.

But hospital girl heard my voice, and that was all it took.

"Well, I've lived in the South for more than 40 years, but I grew up in New York and that'll never go away."

Her response: "I met people from Maryland once. They were mean."

Yeah, Maryland. Boy, what Yankees they are—that slave state during the War of Northern Aggression. That far-off land that happens to share a border with Virginia. For all I know, though, except for the part of Bristol over the state line (the hospital is in Tennessee, god help us), the young woman may never have ventured any deeper into the Commonwealth.

Back when mi esposa and I were dating, we were visiting my homeplace: the Mississippi of the Northeast. My father was a car dealer, and one time we needed to board a flight to return to Atlanta but my father was pressed for time to get us to the airport. Since I grew up on Staten Island, we'd fly out of Newark, NJ. My father corraled one of the young porters or mechanics to give us a ride--about 15 minutes. The young man averred that it was his first time off Staten Island. At the time, and still, I find that hard to believe, but after living in this part of the world for the last 19 years, it's far more plausible than it used to be.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Today's Peek into Gaming, and a Family Update

Along with hunting, opera, beekeeping, marathon running, and a thousand other diversions, gaming has absolutely no place in my life. Thus I am amused in the course of my online editorial gig to come across statements such as:

Unlocks Dead Ops Arcade and Presidential Zombie Mode (where you can play as Nixon, Kennedy, Castro, or McNamara)

On another note, the czarina is presently hospitalized and in the hands of the diagnostic geniuses at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Let's all hope for the best.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Coming Up on 200 Years, and Folks Still Talk This Way Here

And write it, which is, well, horrifying.

Young woman's journal in Grayson County, VA, 1843, east of here:


One Sunday morning, Betsy stayed home from church meeting. “Jan 29 1843. This day James went to meeting. I could have went if I had wished it—"

I hear this every day, sweetheart. Hon, you have a blessed day, y'hear?

I wonder what the Staten Island equivalent of a "Hi, hon" restaurant is. "Hey, da fuck you want? You gotta problem?"

One of the iconic venues of my yute.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

One Method of Writing a Descriptive Book Title

“The Southern Harmony, and musical companion : containing a choice collection of tunes, hymns, psalms, odes, and anthems : selected from the most eminent authors in the United States : together with nearly one hundred new tunes, which have never before been published ; suited to most of the metres contained in Watts’s hymns and psalms, Mercer’s cluster, Dossey’s choice, Dover selection, Methodist hymn book, and Baptist harmony ; and well adapted to Christian churches of every denomination, singing schools, and private societies : also, an easy introduction to the grounds of music, the rudiments of music, and plain rules for beginners by William Walker.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Long-Held Beliefs Disspelled Here!

Well, second- or thirdhand . . .

"Musicologist Eileen Southern has disproved the view that spirituals were born in the fields of southern plantations. Instead, she argues, they originated in the worship of independent black congregations in the Philadelphia area. The crucial source is an early hymnbook compiled by Richard Allen, a former slave who became the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Printed in 1801 in Philadelphia, Allen’s A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns, Selected from Various Authors took its title from a phrase in Psalm 150, 'hymns and spiritual songs,' perhaps following on the standard collection by that name by the eighteenth-century English hymnist Isaac Watts. It was the first collection of sacred song that was highly regarded by black Christians and the first to include the 'wandering choruses'—short refrains attached randomly to standard hymn stanzas—that were characteristic of black song. Critically, Southern has traced texts in the landmark collection Slave Songs of the United States (1867) back to Allen’s hymnbook."

American Education and Publishing: Some Things Never Change

“It is lamentable that many of our children,” he wrote, “leave school knowing but a little more about the grammar of their language than a horse does about handling a musket.”

And later from the same volume:

"One editor warned would-be poets that there was 'postage to pay, paper to waste, and patience to weary' with the piles of submissions he received" (emphasis added).

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

And We Go on to the Next Round Robin


Hope 2019 has been OK so far. 8,752 hours to go, one at a time.

The following image is cribbed from the FB page of a local author whose short reminiscences of her horrific but probably not unusual childhood I am now rewriting. I am putting this work in place of three other jobs I'd rather not be doing just at this moment. 

In all honesty, I'm just killing time until I return to some self-prescribed catch-up sleep. The new year starts . . . maƱana.

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