Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tucker Max, you make me laugh

Damn it, I have to post again, about a writer so funny that I actually read the book in one sitting--I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell--by Tucker Max. It's not the kind of book you can read the funny bits out loud to people at work though, unless they can composedly take in stride what has to be, hands down, the best anal sex scene in American letters. I laughed, I wept, I howled so loudly the neighbors would have thought there was something funky going on had they been able to hear it over the Super Bowl. I haven't enjoyed a grandstanding, cocky twenty-something smartass so much in years. The book is a Rake's Progress of comic incidents involving sex and alcohol--in varying degrees but near constant presence--that won't be shocking to anyone who went to college and attended parties of, shall we say, substance, but he tells his tales well. It is best to let him take you for the ride and not expect too much--good advice for both his bed partners and readers--trust me, you will not be reading this book for its tender, sensitive portrayals of youth.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Nothing much new in the dog days of summer. All booksellers wait patiently with their eyes on the door for the next Big Thing to be delivered. In the meantime, here's a bookstore story from Pete, who was scanning in religion the other morning and heard--but couldn't see--a group of older ladies sitting in chairs talking...

"See how firm my bottom is, I've been working on it, it's really lovely, here, feel for yourself, feel how even it is..."

"Oh yes, that is nice and tight."

"Mine's nice too, feel this..."

"Oh my, that is nice."

"Oh, dear, well, mine's all loose and wobbly, here, feel this, what do you think I'm doing wrong?"

At this point his curiosity won out and he walked around the bookcase to see what was going on and found a group of women...



































Knitting.

Monday, July 25, 2005

As God is my witness, J.K. Rowling will never go hungry again

All human energy has been sucked out of the universe by the Harry Potter phenomenon. I admire Ms. Rowling for being able to write under pressure; just selling a few thousand of the books has turned my hair grey and sent me in to early menopause. My ovaries decided there are enough children in the world--proven by the fact that I just saw most of them running by wearing big black glasses and capes. Edith Head would be so confused. Ok, my pick for the cutest costume was a very small child who was wearing a wide-eyed look, a pillow case, big ears and mis-matched socks--he was a house elf. Almost worth enduring child-bearing to get one like that. There were some very bad costumes--I had to ask a bookseller whether there was a chicken character I had somehow overlooked and was told that that was a phoenix, but really, it was a grown-up who was happy to be able to wear his chicken outfit out in public again. There were some serious goth/SM get-ups which seemed to be motivated mostly by the excitement generated by getting the cape out of the closet as opposed to any story tie-in. Much fun was had by all. Except the people who came in and told us we were going to hell because we were promoting pagan devil-worship that will rot children's souls and turn them in to godless zombies. What would Jesus do? I think Jesus would have come to the party.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Is it too late to revert to being a colony?

Really, this is a primer on how to rationally react to irrational terrorist acts in your country: first seek to understand it, then stand up to it. No car decals necessary.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Streets filled with smoke, please advise

New endeavors make me feel foolish, like there is a spotlight shining on the lunacy of trying to do something new or out of the ordinary. This pain is probably required, in that moving anywhere out of one's daily habitrail is by definition uncomfortable, and that unless you're saying to yourself--oh, fuck it, no-one really cares--you're not pushing yourself enough. Usually the best things that have happened to me were when I was able to channel said fuck-it attitude and turn off the spotlight. Perseverance in the face of self-ridicule: onward.

*

Tonight the streets were full of smoke from what must have been a thousand pounds of gunpowder. I feel queasy about the country, like we're teetering on the brink somehow. I'd like to think that we're big, messy and eventually able to find consensus, but I'm afraid instead we may be big, blind and losing sight of what we do best.

I think Americans are like crows; we borrow, steal and refashion shiny things we like, we're gluttonous consumers not only of stuff, but of ideas. But what to do with ideology that refutes the very principles we're ostensibly setting off all the fireworks for? People to whom pluralism, tolerance, pretty much any Enlightenment ideals at all, represent an annihilating threat? A threat serious enough to warrant destroying the idea of the republic itself, because [fill in religious figurehead here] wants it that way?

I don't think we're mapping this very well. Partly because we're lazy, and tolerant in a redneck-libertarian kind of way, and we think we'll pretty much squash everything in our path. I expect competing claims about what constitutes a patriot, what worries me is what the patriot is fighting for: is this a little revolution that is good for us, or a negation of the common ground that binds us together? I think the people who hate our freedom are right here at home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

It's hot.

These desultory days I've been wandering in and out of sites; I can't seem to commit to the heat of writing, so all I can offer is what I've seen along the way...

Need summer music? Try Otto's. I can only get the dial-up link to work, but this music would probably be just as grand played on a transitor radio.

The Guardian has their style guide on-line, for when you're too lazy to get out of the chair and look it up, which, sadly, is most of the time for me. The prescriptions are British, so fellow Yanks take care.

Thank you Cool Tools: this is a great way to tie up cables; using velcro beats twist-ties from the grocery store.

This is the kind of backyard it would be nice to have now. [from the Edith Wharton collection at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Worth a visit.]

The cool summer jewelry of Rena Tom. I would like one of each. [via Design*Sponge]

I don't even know how to sew, but I'm thinking of figuring it out to get this apron/skirt from Amy Butler. I love all of her fabrics and this pattern would let you go wild. And while we're out on the porch swing sewing, why not work up some heirlooms from Subversive Cross Stitch? Your granny will pass out.

Those Romans knew what they were about when it came to water; I can't think of a civilization before or since that used it so well or had as much fun with it. (Yes, I know, also demonstrations of overwhelming imperial or papal power, but still, amazing.)

That is all...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Dept. of Geriatrics

Today I went to my happy local Target store to get new contacts, my old ones having shriveled up into dried, deposit-clad flakes. It's been a while since I wore them, and even I couldn't reconstitute them from the grave. So the lovely doctor did all the flippy lenses tests, and told me that my vision was pretty much the same, but that last test, which was clear, and bright, and lo I could read the fine print, that was the bifocal test. So like the boomers before me, I went to the local spinner rack display to pick up some reading glasses.

I have a message for the boomers before me: this is all you can come up with? My choices ranged from maniac granny to librarian with a whip. I was hoping for something more along the lines of Italian film star, something to give heart to a girl with greying hair and stiffening eye muscles, not make me the woman most likely to be hit on by a man with a fetish for schoolmarms.

This summer my project is to look in every thrift store I pass for cool frames. If I have to hang something off my neck it should have rhinestones! Be turquoise! Glow in the dark! Give me stock market updates! Produce a calming cloud of negative ions!

I think some scientists had better get to work on this.

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