adam j. sontag

slightly more like a website than before

an interception that was great

an epic conflit in which not one apostophe survived intact

On Sunday, Brian Washington of the New York Jets vs. the made an interception that was great, and got the touchdown vs. the Bufflo Bills Zoomed and won, on th’re 11th try against Bufflo and th’re second win of the season and they we’re happy.

This electrifying recollection of Brian Washington’s last-minute, game-winning touchdown belies its accuracy: In fact, this was the Jets’ fourth win of the season in their 13th try! It also belies the circumstance: The Jets “we’re happy” not only because they were victorious, but because it was an emotional, unlikely triumph, the team’s first game since Dennis Byrd was carted off the field of play, paralysed.

I was just happy because they won!

Many writers struggle bitterly with the appropriate usage of their vs. there vs. they’re. If you’re one of them, there’s an important lesson here: Never use th’re, it’s not a word. I learned this the hard way.

Jerry Rice broke the of touchdowns!!!

this field is also a book

Yesterday Jerry Rice broke the of touchdowns!!!

…Lo and behold, it would not be long at all. Only one week after tying the all-time NFL mark for receiving touchdowns, Jerry Rice claimed it for himself. This drama to which I’d subscribed reached its catharsis; indeed, the very word I breathlessly raced in to report found itself purged from the sentence!

It’s easy to assume that the intent of my illustration was merely to depict Candlestick Park at the moment of this achievement. That’s true, but I can say with reasonable certitude that what I really saw was the football field itself as the record book where Rice now stood alone, the surrounding thousands in their plastic seats swirling around numerous as the galaxies in the universe onto which he had now indelibly etched his name.

Me and my brother Jeffreys friend Jared

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Me and my brother Jeffreys friend Jared first Jeffrey and Jared playe whle I take my class at the Y and then we go home.

The vagaries of the English language are rife with opportunities to introduce imprecision. The so-called “garden path sentence,” which winds its readers’ attention back and forth on an idyllic journey to parseability, is a favourite of mine.

When you read a sentence like, “The exterior vent their frustrations,” everything starts off just fine! “The exterior vent,” gives you the distinct notion that we’re about to discuss an exhaust. But then, “their” boldly declares his presence, throwing you for a major WAT. Only then do you trudge back to “the exterior vent,” and realise that what you just read actually means, “The people outside are complaining.” Reading is hard, let’s have a picnic.

Today’s entry tugged me by the hand, giving me that familiar feeling I was being led down the garden path. As I reached “home,” however, I looked back in horror to see no route back to meaning. I had just (barely) survived a “teleporter sentence,” which is a term I just made up to describe when, a few words in, the reader suddenly finds himself, punctuation-free, in the middle of a completely different part of the narrative.

Long-time readers of this blog will not be surprised that I chose a Tuesday to experiment with both grammar and physics, as you all know exactly what was going on at my class at the Y.

Repeating ‘Repeating First Grade’

If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at this page right now thinking, “Hey, this website is way more websitier than I remember it being!” Well, we’re right. Over the few weeks, I’ve ported my blog over to Octopress and slapped on a fresh coat of paint. Intrepid observers will also notice that the entire month of November,1992 has mysteriously appeared in the archives. But for now, I must address the question of the hour:

Hey, You Said You Were Going To Do This Pretty Much Every Day In Synch With Your Journal From 1992

I still am! Unfortunately, I accidentally an entire year. It didn’t really feel like a long time. But still, that one’s on me. Seriously, my bad.

There’s still a lot of fun left to be had, so whether you’re rejoining this trip in progress, or you’re starting at the beginning, I’m happy to have you aboard again, anew.

Jerry Rice of the 49’s tied the record of touchdowns!

Yesterday Jerry Rice of the 49's tied the record of touchdowns!

Yesterday Jerry Rice of the 49’s tied the record of touchdowns!

Sports analysts seem to delight in magnifying the unique in the mundane. “This is the first time that two lefties from the same high school have pitched against each other during the first half of day-night doubleheader since the Ford administration!

This frenzy is only intensified when the milestone is not an infrequent coincidence, but the relatively forseeable conquering of a statistical milestone. But it was 1992: I was yet to see Cal Ripken play his 2,131st game, or watch Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chase down 61. In other words, when Jerry Rice caught the 100th touchdown pass of his career, I did not know that “records are made to be broken” was a thing. Everyone seemed so excited, I couldn’t help being swept up in the tide of history! After all, when would I again have an opportunity to witness something so momentous?

I am thankful for terkey

planet terkey

I am thankful for terkey
Terkey! terkey! yum! yum!
give me terkey I’ll eat it all up you chum. Thanks.

This entry actually is actually not from the 25th. It’s floating around around before the 16th, but I’ve decided to leave it here to coincide with the last day of school before Thanksgiving. In keeping with the vacation theme, I’m withholding all further comment except to surmise that this was probably the last time I ever misspelled “turkey.”

Miggitt caught a punt return all across the feld

Last Sunday Miggitt caught a punt return all across the feld for a touchdown!

Last Sunday Miggitt caught a punt return all across the feld for a touchdown!

A long kick return for a score is one of the most exciting plays in football. To this day, I can barely contain myself when a Jet takes one back all the way. Just a few weeks ago during the Jets’ listless loss to the Ravens, I was nearly ejected from the Boston bar where I was watching the game after doing a lap around the bar at top speed, screaming “GO JOE! GO JOE! GO JOE!” as Joe McKnight sprinted 107 yards in one of that evening’s only bright spots.

Thus it’s no wonder that images of a 92-yard punt return would still be dancing around my head two days later, despite the fact the Giants ultimately lost ther game to the Eagles on November 22nd, 1992. At the time, I thought that Dave Meggett was on par with contemporaries like Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders. And why not? For the duration of my football-watching-consciousness, he was one of the most electric returners in the league, playing for a team to which I was regularly exposed.

After 20 years of watching professional football, I know that flash-in-the-pan kick returners come and go, and that even a couple of All-Pro seasons don’t make for a permanent mark in the public’s consciousness. As it turns out, Dave Meggett isn’t an all-time great, he’s an incarcerated, serial sex offender.

we are going to toss out the old systems

Who says this?!

I can’t wait til we open the new computers we have gotten: we are going to toss out the old systems.

Computers got to the house where I grew up long before I ever did. My dad began programming on time-sharing systems in the 1970s, and in 1987, he started a home-based financial-services software company, Ajay Financial Services, named after his newborn baby boy (me). In the late 80’s, “working from home on the computer” was not something one did curled up on the couch; my parents added a second floor onto our home to accomodate the business.

Upstairs lay a wonderland of circuitry that enchanted me from my earliest days, a buzzing office (with real partitions!) teeming with HP 3000 minicomputers, dot-matrix printers, eminently rideable chairs, and even a gigantic 9-track tape drive on wheels. If you’re having trouble picturing all this, here’s a Very Old Data Center:

Years before I ever got to elementary school, I was learning reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic from Charlie, a 286 running DOS. “Charlie,” mind you, was not a sweet nickname invented for a friend, it was the computer’s actual name on our LAN. For the most part, I was even able to launch Reader Rabbit from the command line myself, though I’d occasionally pester my dad with questions like “Where is the B?” and “Where did the W go?”

the gleep


Eventually, I’d become master of the keyboard – and other peripherals. One day in kindergarten, my dad came in to tell the class about his job, and brought in a computer to do a demonstration. At one point, frustated watching a classmate struggling to use the mouse, I jumped in and angrily yanked it away from her. I simply couldn’t grasp that she had never even seen one before.

This is all a very roundabout way of saying that if, four paragraphs ago, you were wondering how a six-year-old boy ends up sounding like a grizzled sysadmin, you probably aren’t anymore.

we have gotten two new computer

we have gotten two new computer

we have gotten two new computer

It was today, still melancholic from the prior day’s letdown, that I truly reached the apex of my minimalistic period. Like a pint-size Frank Stella, I boiled the new computers that had just arrived down to their very essence, considering these mystical harbingers of the future from all angles and synthesizing them into their most basic form: a box.

“But Adam,” you retort, “surely you were just a six-year-old in a rush to turn in your journal?”

Nope. What I described is definitely what happened.

One day I’d like to apple pick

One day I'd like to apple pick.

One day I’d like to apple pick.

My phrasing here frames the apple picking as some distant eventual fruit-gathering quest deferred. In reality, it was (briefly) an annual tradition for my family. We’d make a picnic lunch and load into the car for a trip to a mythical land known to me only as “upstate”.

In apple picking, unlike programming, you definitely don’t want to get started on the low-hanging fruit. To that end, my dad had jury-rigged an impressive contraption from a telescoping painter’s pole and two paint paddles . With it, we could effectively beat the system, snatching fresh, virginal fruit from the tallest* branches, leaving the other visitors to scrounge for the few remaining apples dangling within arms length.

Apple picking likely ended up on the bucket list here as a coping mechanism. “Apple season” runs through the early autumn, and as November stretched along, I had probably recently received the news that we’d missed our window. “Maybe not this year, but one day,” I moped.

*18-20 feet