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Showing posts from November, 2009

Cannonball Read 2 #5: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I was a little daunted by this book at first. The Hitchhiker's Guide is so well known and loved that I was a bit put off--I tend to avoid things that are very popular (that's why it took me 4 years to pick up a Harry Potter book and why it's likely I will NEVER read anything from the Twilight saga...well, the popularity and the fact that they sound fucking stupid...another discussion for another time.) Also, I enjoyed the movie a lot (I think I was one of the few people that did) and thought maybe that would ruin the book for me.

For those who don't know, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the story of Arthur Dent, an ordinary British man who discovers not only is his house being bull-dozed to make way for an expressway, but the entire EARTH is being destroyed (for an interstellar expressway, of course.) He is, at the very last moment, saved by his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be from another planet--sent to Earth to do research for the Guide. Arthur a…

An Open Letter (#6)

Dear Drew Barrymore and Jodie Foster,

Hi! How are you! Both of you ladies have been looking well lately, and your careers seem to be on track. Congrats Drew on your directing debut--I don't intend to see it, but I'm sure it's going to be great.

I'd really like to ask the two of you a small favor--could you please please take Lindsey Lohan under your collective wing and perhaps rescue her from her ever-twirling downward spiral of drugs and terrible leggings? I know it's a lot to ask, but I feel like of anyone in Hollywood, the two of you are uniquely positioned to get La Lohan back on solid footing. After all, you both have experience in dealing with families who are fucked up in a way only found in show business, and Drew could certainly explain why drinking and doing drugs at a young age will only result in poor decisions like showing your boobs to David Letterman. Both of you seem to have come through the hurricane of childhood stardom into relatively stable, produ…

Cannonball Read 2 #4: Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower 4) by Stephen King

Wizard and Glass continues the story of Roland the Gunslinger and his ka-tet as they travel across Mid-World toward the Dark Tower. After their troubles with Blaine the monorail in the previous book, they are stranded in a version of Kansas where nearly everyone has perished from a plague (King fans will recognize this as the world of The Stand, and will recognize Randall Flagg when he arrives to give our brave wanderers a hard time). While the ka-tet walk across the barren landscape, trying to find their way back to the beam, Roland tells them the story of his past--how he came to be a gunslinger, about the woman he loved, and most importantly, about when the world started "moving on."

This book is more of a classic fantasy story, and has more in common with George R.R. Martin than with Carrie. However, it is still full of King's lush descriptions and lively characters. I was somewhat disappointed to have to leave Eddie, Susannah, and Jake's part of the story, but a…

Cannonball Read 2 #3: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

So it only took me a week to fall apart on NaBloPoMo--I guess spending 8 hours a day sitting at a computer during the week makes me rather disinclined to do it during the weekend. Humpf.

Life of Pi is the story of Pi Patel, a young Indian boy whose father owns a zoo in India. His parents decide to emigrate to Canada, and set off on a ship with several animals they are selling to zoos in North America. One night during the crossing, the ship sinks, and Pi is dismayed to find himself stranded on a 26-foot lifeboat with an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena, and a full-sized Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The story sets up Pi's upbringing in India and his experiences with the various world religions, but the majority of the book concerns his 227 day ordeal on the open sea.

I read this on the recommendation of a friend of ours--this is The Bartender's favorite book, and after he'd be raving about it for weeks, the opportunity came up for me to borrow a copy. First of all, the story…

This American Life

Okay, I do not listen to NPR. I know I should--I know that it's probably full of really important things that would boost my hipster cred, solidify my proud liberal stance, and make me a significantly better person--but I just can't seem to do it. I have tried, I swear, but...I get so bored. When I listen to the radio, I don't really want to be edified. I want to dance around my kitchen and sing "Don't stop believin'!" at the top of my lungs or do a really embarrassing dance to Britney Spears. I am part of the generation about whom Kurt Cobain sang, "Here we are now--entertain us!" I don't know, I guess I feel the same way about NPR as I do about dark chocolate: there are lots of reasons I should like it, on paper it's perfect, lots of people I admire and respect like it...I just happen to hate it.

However, I thought maybe my problem was that I don't like listening to things. I can't listen to books on tape for the same reason: I …

Cannonball Read 2 #2: The Wastelands (Dark Tower 3) by Stephen King

The third book in Stephen King's Dark Tower saga continues the story of Roland the Gunslinger, Eddie, and Susannah as they work their way through Mid-World, trying to reach the Dark Tower. In this story, they add two more members to their ka-tet (group drawn together by fate). One is Jake Chambers--the young boy that Roland came across and then was forced to sacrifice in book one. They manage to pull Jake through the door again and into Mid-World alive. Also, they are joined by Oy, a "bumbler" (sort of a combination of a puppy, a woodchuck, and a raccoon) who becomes Jake's pet. The group sets off again in the path of the beam. Along the way, they run across a very nasty mechanical bear, come in contact with some of the very unpleasant remains of society, and spend some very very stressful hours on a monorail that has gone insane.

This is much better than the first two books because the finally starts humming along. It seems that the group is together for better or f…

Things I Love on TV

Warning: I watch a lot of TV. Probably significantly more than is healthy. Here are three things that I currently enjoy watching in no particular order.

1. PTI (Pardon The Interruption): This is a sports show that is on ESPN five days a week. The hosts, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon (sports columnists) discuss the sports topics of the day in a timed format. They usually have headlines, a 5-minute interview with a guest, and some "games" (for example "Role Play" where they ask either other questions, and have to answer in the persona of a sports star or celebrity) or viewer mail. Both men are quite knowledgeable and also humorous. It's a great way to catch up on the important sports stories of the day while still being entertained. This is also one of the few shows that The Boyfriend and I both enjoy.

2. America's Next Top Model: Starbucks Queen and I are both obsessed with this terrible reality show brought to us by the largest ego on the planet, Tyra …

Cannonball Read 2 #1: Diary by Chuck Palahniuk

Diary is the tale of Misty Wilmot, a middle-aged woman living on a Nantucket-esque island called Waytansea with her pre-teen daughter and strange mother-in-law. Her husband Peter attempted suicide, and lies in a vegetative state. Diary is Misty's way of communicating with Peter, explaining what has happened since he became comatose in case he ever wakes up. As the story goes on, Misty makes several unpleasant discoveries; she finds that before his coma, Peter had developed a very disturbing habit of making rooms in houses he was remodeling disappear, her mother-in-law has some plans for her she may not be able to resist, and the history of Waytansea Island and its native inhabitants is considerably more upsetting than poor Misty would have guessed.

I love Chuck Palahniuk's work, though I understand it's not for everyone. His short, choppy, repetitive style strikes a chord with me--there's something very visceral about it. I like his odd little gimmicks--in Fight Club it…

Movies Movies Movies!

It was kind of a big movie weekend, because after the party Friday night, I was sort of blah for the whole weekend. I watched a couple movies, and figured I'd talk about them here for my post of the day.

KungFu Panda: I'm a sucker for movies like this, but the darn thing really WAS hilarious. The Boyfriend and I laughed until the tears ran down our faces, then laughed more. The animation was amazing, and Jack Black was really perfect for the role of hapless panda Po. Sometimes Black can overshadow the character he's playing, but here he was just awesome. I was also happy to spot the ever-delicioso Ian McShane as the voice of the villain. (I kind of wish I could get Ian McShane's voice as hold music--I am on hold a lot, and I'd happily sit patiently if I could listen to him talk about whatever. He could read the phonebook and I'd be delighted.) The story of a fat panda becoming a mighty warrior worked well, and the humor was good for kids, but adults will have no…

NaBloPoMo and Milk

So it is November 1, first day of both NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and the first day of Cannonball Read 2. Unfortunately, I wasn't chosen to participate in the official CR2, but I'm going to do the unofficial version instead. There's a list of the unofficial participants (The Kids Who Stink and Suck at Kickball). I'm also going to try and manage NaBloPoMo, but I can't make any promises.

Friday night, I watched Milk, which I had been meaning to see for quite some time. I'd kind of been putting it off, since it's not really something The Boyfriend or Starbucks Queen would be interested in seeing. However, it was late at night, I was still too drunk from partying to go to bed, and it was on OnDemand. I'm glad I finally got to it.

The story of Harvey Milk and his rise to power in San Francisco in the 70s is an inspiring story. The man was determined to make a difference in his own way to try and help those who at the time didn't have a voice. …