Wednesday, October 7

Stationery: Mr. Lunch

Wow, someone's actually reading this blog: guess I'd better resume writing in it.

Here's another sample of favored stationery (hope I didn't already cover this one). It's another fold-and-mail variety, very handy when you want to shoot off a note to someone--long note or short entirely depends on your handscript and the pen you're using. With a 0.25 Slicci I could generate a two-page letter in this arrangement. I'm sure I've come close.

I'm completely unfamiliar with the Mr. Lunch brand. I have no idea whether it's an ongoing thing: T-shirts, novelty socks, lunch boxes (how cool would that be), stickers, throws, bobbleheads, iPhone skins, &c. (A cursory scan reveals there is indeed a "highly professional" address book and blank journal on It's something I wouldn't mind seeing everywhere, and yet I hope this isn't the case. I like that it's obscure and special like this, that the people who are most likely to see it are people who like to exchange letters with friends. It's like a bonus: not only do you enjoy the neo-Luddite riches of literacy, but here's a swank little icon for your amusement.

The artwork is familiar. Doesn't it resemble the art in They Might Be Giants' "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" video? Again, cursory research reveals that J. Otto Seibold is the talent behind Mr. Lunch, the TMBG video, as well as Olive, the Other Reindeer. (Scholastic profile.) I like his style, I really do. I like the abstract tangent, I like the childish simplicity and earnestness of his expression. There's an iconic rendition not far from Keith Haring's oeuvre (yes, I drank the '80s Flavor Aid).

Suffice it to say: this is a very satisfactory product. I used it too quickly and only have one piece left, which I was saving for a collection but now that I've scanned it in and preserved it perfectly for all time (barring system failure), there's no reason for me to keep it around and I will send it out to someone special who hasn't received it before.

In Other News: I'm reading Dr. Richard Restack's Think Smart as part of my reasonable campaign for self-improvement and my paranoid campaign for staving off Alzheimer's. One of the exercises the author cites for keeping one's mind limber and broad is to learn a new word every day. This is, of course, increasingly difficult as one narrows down all the words with which one is unfamiliar. For example, in following Peter Sokolowski on Twitter--he updates the popular words people are searching for on Merriam-Webster--I find I know all of the terms he presents. That's reasonable, that's just trending: it only represents the curiosity of a predominant population less literate than myself. However, Wordnik produces, better than 50% of the time, a word I've never heard of or at least am unfamiliar with. They are a very delicious word source--their Web site is an indulgence of mine.

Where am I going with this? At Dr. Restack's recommendation, I'm going to start devoting posts to learning new words. I still have access to the OED, which is a mother lode of obscurity and obsolescence and their attendant etymology! I'm going to present a new word, relate its definitions, touch on its etymological underpinnings, practice using it in a sentence, and (privately) challenge myself to write a paragraph implementing one week's new words. (Dr. Restack suggests this is more easily done with Wordsmith's A-Word-A-Day e-mail updates, as they are thematic from week to week.)

And--don't be alarmed--I'm going to experiment with jump tags, so I can post an intro entry and the rest must be clicked on to read. Not doing this to be difficult, but I think it'll create a more interactive experience when guessing at new words. If it's too obnoxious I'll cut it out.

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