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Weekly Obsessions 

Things we were obsessing about on March 9, 2005

Should you ever find yourself in the market for a personalized NFL jersey, and should your name, given or chosen, be, oh, let's say, ANAL ANNIE or ASS MONKEY or CUM QUAT or MOTHERLOVEBONE or even just plain LESBIAN -- well, sorry, you'd be shit out of luck (and if your name happens to be SHIT OUT OF LUCK, sorry again). Thanks to the astute folks at, we now know every one of the 1,159 words and phrases the NFL bans from its jerseys (which can be purchased online at; until recently, a buyer entering any word from the hidden list would be scolded: "This field should not contain a naughty word." Also among the "naughty" words: POOP, RAE CARRUTH, JESUSCHRIST, and, most curiously, GAY (both a sexual orientation and the name of a real-life New England defensive back). The list was made public last week, and the league quickly bowed to general outrage, assuring it would strike "gay" from the list. Way to go, DICKFORBRAINS. T.C.

Having paid big bucks to hear William Bolcom and Joan Morris concertize over the years (Morris sings and Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, accompanies on the piano) we were thrilled to learn about a free series of recitals devoted to American popular song in Berkeley. Bolcom is a visiting professor at UC Berkeley this semester, and the concerts are, nominally, under the auspices of one of the university's lecture series. The duo will offer witty running commentary on the songs along the way. On Monday, March 14, they'll perform music by Kern, Berlin, Gershwin, Arlen, Rodgers, and others, in a program titled "Stairway to Paradise: The Flowering of the 'Song Jewelers,' 1920-1940." The following week, they'll be highlighting works of Weill, Leiber, Stoller, Sondheim, and Bolcom himself. Christmas comes early this year. M.B.


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