Thursday, February 22, 2007

Right-wingers do not get it, part 80,000

I don't know if you're familiar with the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics, but basically it states that the only reason to pull out of Iraq is because we lack willpower -- supposedly, like Green Lantern, we can do anything is we just have the will and the resolve.
That is so many different kinds of stupid, I don't even know how to comment on it, so I'll let Denny O'Neil do it. Denny O'Neil wrote most of the classic early 70's Green Lantern Green Arrow stories.

Books I've read in 2007, part 7

Wasn't much reading involved here, as this is a book of photos of people kissing. I got it because Tom Robbins wrote the introduction, and he does not disappoint as he makes a strong case for the kiss being mankind's greatest invention.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Books I've read in 2007, part 6

This book did what I wanted it to do. I wanted to learn more about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament that I will be attending next month. And I do feel like I have a better idea about what to expect, and I did pick up a few pointers about tournament strategy. So I guess I liked the book -- but I didn't like the author -- mainly because he kept making excuses for his (relatively) poor showing in the tournament. If he said that he should have trained with paper and pencil not on the computer once he said it a thousand times -- and he definitely said it once.

Boobs --- in bras and bars

Okay, I need some help here. I cannot figure this out. Thee Southern Belle has an amateur strip contest and the grand prize is a boob job.
Does that make any sense to you?
If you win the contest, doesn't that mean your boobs are pretty impressive and don't need to be surgically altered? Shouldn't the boob job should go to whoever comes in last? then it would be a real booby prize.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Books I've read in 2007, part 5

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training next week.
So it's time to throw out your Parka and your TheraFlu and your Ricola cough drops, and get ready for apple pies, hot dogs, blessed sunshine and baseball. And of course one of the cherished rituals of all real baseball fans (i.e. not bullies and cheaters) is despising the accursed New York Yankees. If for some reason you're having a little trouble working a full hate-on for the Bronx Bummers -- after all the Evil Empire is not what it once was, they haven't won a World Series this century (let's keep it that way) -- then this book will get you fired up all over again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thoughts as Spring training (finally) nears

I have way too many calendars -- I have a Simpsons calendar, a Get Fuzzy calendar, a Gustav Klimt calendar, a New York Times Crossword Puzzle Page-a-day-thingie, a Gil Elvgren pin-ups calendar and a baseball hall of fame calendar. I have this many cuz when they go on sale for a dollar I stock up. It's true I don't have enough walls to hang all of them, but they're all different. I just noticed looking at the baseball one, that yesterday (Feb 6th) was Babe Ruth's birthday. He would have been a hundred and 12 if he had just taken better care of himself. And the day before that was Hammering Hank Aaron's birthday -- he turned 71. I just thought it was odd that this two men who are linked together forever in baseball lore both have birthdays right in the middle of my previous sun sign, Aquarius.

Books I've read in 2007, part 4

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite writers. He's a linguist and a travel writer; I guess his most famous book is "A Walk in the Wooods" which is an account of his attempt to walk the entire 2,174 mile-long Appalachian Trail, but all of his books are good. Here he talks about growing up in Iowa in the 50s. Nothing much happens, he has a paper route, he loves to read comic books, and every year at the state fair he tries to get into the strip show -- but Bryson is such a great stylist that it's always fun to read, no matter what he's writing about.
Here he talks about candy:
"Perhaps nothing says more about the modest range of pleasures of the age than that the most popular candies of my childhoood were made of wax. You could choose among wax teeth, wax pop bottles, wax barrels, and wax skulls, each filled with a small amount of colored liquid that tasted very like a small dose of cough syrup. You swallowed this with interest if not exactly gratification, then chewed the wax for the next ten or eleven hours. Now you might think there is something wrong with your concept of pleasure when you find yourself paying real money to chew colorless wax, and you would be right of course. But we did it and enjoyed it because we knew no better. And there was, it must be said, something good, something healthily restrained, about eating a product that had neither flavor nor nutritive value."

Friday, February 02, 2007

P.S. to the Previous Post

Gail Parent (the author of "Sheila Levine is etc., etc.") also wrote a couple of books -- "David Meyer is a Mother" and "The Best-Laid Plans" -- that I have very fond memories of. But now I'm not sure I want to seek them out and reread because I'm afraid that time may have hurt them the same way it hurt Sheila Levine. They may have somehow gotten less sexy and less funny than they were back in the 70's and 80's.
On the other hand, Gail Parent was also the head writer for "The Golden Girls," one of the great sitcoms ever. And she also helped create "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" and wrote for the "Mary Tyler Moore Show".
I'll give her another chance.

Books I've read in 2007, part 3

This was one of my favorite books when I was in the 9th or 10th grade. I thought it hilarious and very sexy -- so sexy that I took it to school and had classmates read some of the "goood parts." I've been looking for this book for years, and I finally found it a couple months ago at a book store in Myrtle Beach.
But in rereading it, I found it hard to remember just what those "good parts" were. It doesn't seem sexy nor particularly funny -- a young woman nearing thirty decides to kill herself because she is unmarried and nobody really notices that the poor girl is depressed. Now part of the reason that I didn't find this book-length suicide note as uproariously funny in 2007 as I did in 1974 is because I used to be in the second category of Jean de la Brevure's famous quote ""Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" - and now I find myself more and more of a feeler rather than a thinker -- which sounds like I grope women on the bus or something, but I just couldn't laugh at this. It seemed too tragic. I kept thinking she needed to quit worrying about getting married and get on with her life.
Maybe another part of the problem is the cover of the new edition which shows a Twiggy-like model nothing at all like the zaftig Ms. Levine.
One other thing I remember about this book was how excited I was when the movie based on the book came out -- and how disappointed and angry I was after watching the piece of celluloid crap that had nothing to do with the book other than the title. I have never trusted that any movie based on a book will be any good from that day on. And in fact now when I find a book I love, I just hope and pray that they won't make a movie of it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Books I've read in 2007, part 2

This one required a pretty substantial suspension-of-disbelief quotient, as I really don't believe killers who take pictures of their victims and sometimes of the murder itself would take those pictures to be developed at a public photo lab -- but if they did and if the proprietress were an amateur sleuth then the rest of it makes sense, and it becomes a pretty exciting story