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.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Haven't Been Here in a While

In the words of Warren Zevon in his own version of "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me," "I don't wanna talk about it." I will say that things are a whole lot different now than they were just prior to my 59th birthday, the dateline of the prior post. Yow.

The hands-down best part of the changes is that I recently became a first-time grandfather, so wonderful things do happen. Our son and daughter-in-law have decided that once our granddaughter has a recognizable face, she will also have no social media presence. They won't be posting pictures for public viewing, and I'm sure it'll be a long time before their child does. And my kids are not Luddites by any means, DIL included. Nor do they particularly put themselves out there, at least via the only medium that I very, very occasionally access: the much-dreaded Rat's Nest; both sons have abandoned it, and our daughter-in-law might post twice or thrice a year. I think they do Instagram stuff, but I don't really know (or know what that is) nor do I care. All three can stare into their phones for hours with the best of them, although the new parents now have a better way to spend their time.

And no photo of my most brilliant and beautiful granddaughter will appear here, because it wouldn't last long anyway. Scroll down a little and you'll see that Blogger has scrubbed the picture of the mascot and me, for godsake. I'm not sure which of us triggered the facial recognition bots. Google years ago wiped out from this blog the photo of the czarina and me with John Cale . . . and also wiped out, at least on my side, the same photo as an attachment to an email to an author in Israel, for whom I was writing an index. Thankfully the author did receive the email and the photo deletion didn't until occur until sometime down the line. But it still makes you go hmmm, as some long-forgotten sort-of comic would say.

Just got through the leanest month in the modern history of LandonDemand. September's already looking better, which isn't saying much, unless folks bail on me. It's happened before. Or something is moved to next season. Or a well-known university press gets a job back three weeks early—a true sign of my lack of stuff to do—but the Holy Grail known as the Purchase Order Number has not yet been assigned. And I start what becomes a string of worldwide emails to get one. I mean, talk about no good deed goes unpunished.

On the other hand, with this same press, I once filed an invoice on Thursday morning and was paid late that afternoon, direct depozick [sic]. So I can't really complain.

I just realized that the insomnia I've been battling for much of this year could have been spent right here. Anyone out there reading this is very, very lucky that I've not happened upon that notion before now. I've been unleashing the word horde (thanks, Wm. S. Burroughs) upon any poor soul who'll stand still long enough. (See paragraph 1.)

And no more comments. Sorry. The spammers are getting past the meager defense that Blogger provides. I'm always available via landondemand@gmail.com, often too much so. Write me, especially if I don't know you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Must-See TV

When it is time to clean out the soot from the tall kitchen chimney, she climbs to the top and drops a couple of chickens down the flue. Their frenzied flapping does a good job. 

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.