Sunday, November 8, 2009


Random and obsessive. Two words I get. I come from a family where members have attempted to read every book in the library alphabetically, buy shampoo based on a complex numerical system and I myself have my own obsessive project of trying every fair trade coffee brand and roast in the grocery story alternating continents of origin. (Africa, South America, Central America and repeat). Don't' ask why. It just is.

It's no surprise then that A.J. Jacobs book, The Know-It-All, One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, has me gleefully engaged. Jacobs chronicles his ambitious attempt to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A-Z, all 33,000 pages. His book has a randomness that reads like a blog, a smart, hilarious blog, one that you wish existed and could read everyday. Truthfully, it would be better as a blog than a book. But with popular blogs getting book deals like this one , it's superbly entertaining.

In the spirit of my new favourite book and giving myself permission to be as bloody random as I want for NaBloPoMo, I'm asking for a single word from you readers as a launching point for a post. Consider it like an Illustration Friday but with words not pictures, actually I'll photograph something relevant. Does this sound desperate? Maybe. I can't help it. I just hosted a birthday party for almost a dozen 8 and 9 year old girls. My brain is fried. Also my kids have found the Christmas Cd's and have been subjecting me all weekend to a tinsel coated Burl Ives and Bing Crosby torture. Help me! give me a word, humour me.

I won't leave without something art related. Here's a piece that took a certain amount of obsessive precision, the invisible car. For artists, art collector Anthony Petullo writes about his obsession of collecting self taught and outsider art.


dinahmow said...

Words I can do. I have words. A lot of words.Here's an adjective (since you didn't specify the kind you want):
tapsalteerie. Just toss it out there and hope some reader knows what it means.

or you could use all these daft word verification doo-dads. Today's is: axenesed what you should do to those christmas cds?

Caroline said...

Word veri is sugggesting:


I'm suggesting:


(actually I got it from


Caroline said...

And word veri's next suggestion is


perhaps its drunk all the Christmas sherry and started to play an instrument.

self taught artist said...

love the link to the collector's perspective!
my word which i randomly stumbled on while searching for how to spell another....

Donn met twee n's said...

I'd be thrilled if I could get a book deal and do a hilarious "Stuff White People Like" thingamabob.

During my purist phase I believed, in my heart of hearts, that blogging was a 21st Century interactive experience that should replace books.
Now I'd take the cash and run...and it makes me feel dirty.

Ellen said...

Dinah! that's not even English, but you're on, uploading the Tapsalteerie post now.
Caroline- I think I want to draw pictures with those Word veri words, your word too Paula.

Donn- NOW is the time for irreverent, quirky humour books, do it! The Zombie Survival guide was MY idea 10 yrs ago.Damn. Don't miss the same boat I did.
Thanks - Dirty will work for a Friday post I think.