Here’s to hoping that you’re Mardi Gras is even twice as rockin’ as your Lundi Gras. This is my third “Letter from New Orleans” inspired by the excellent book Letters from New Orleans by Rob Walker. (Letter 1, Letter 1.5, and Letter 2). The purpose of my last visit was to work hard and volunteer some time. This time, we were going to have some fun.
The wind was blowing on the Amite River.
Today is Mardi Gras Day, the culmination of the carnival season. Although the carnival season can be a few months long, parades begin about two weekends before Mardi Gras Day. We flew into New Orleans for the first weekend of parades, which also happened to be the weekend that my niece was having her third birthday party. Due to crappy weather on both ends, our flight was delayed. So we missed the action on Friday night. Read more »
I trust that everyone is having a spectacular Lundi Gras. Here are some things that have been piling up in my “to post” box.
Malcolm Gladwell of The Tipping Point and Blink! fame has a new blog. I always confuse him with the Freakonomics guy.
While traveling from New Zealand to Australia, Henry Rollins – punk legend, author, and spoken word guy – was reported by a fellow passenger to Australia’s version of Homeland Secuirty for reading the book Jihad:The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia. After pointing out that the book was written by a Wall Street Journal reporter and was published by Yale University, Rollins responded as any of us would:
Please tell your government and everyone in your office to go fuck themselves. Tell them twice. If your boss is looking for something to do, you can tell him I suggest he go fuck himself.
Coincidence?: Then, Morrissey was picked up and questioned by the FBI and the British intel agency for making public statements against the governments. First, they came for the ambiguously asexual cult songwiters…
Over at Neal Pollock’s blog, he posts on hip children’s CDs, cool kids’ books, and a book on sex and the new parent. Pollack offers up his own marital advice (pay attention fellas):
When your wife says “either you watch The Daily Show or get some nik-nik,” always choose the nik-nik unless there’s been some really important national or world event within the last 24 hours.
Just back from sunny Acapulco (which at a cloudless 87 degrees for 7 straight days in a row is truly paradise) and was able to plow through some vacation reads.
Continuing on the teen theme……..First up – Prep by Cutris Sittenfeld. This is definitely a chick book so to my fellow BGB gals out there – read on. This book chronicles a Mid-Western, middle-class girl’s experience at one of the top prestigious Northeastern boarding schools. Not too surprising – Lee Fiora is an outcast for her entire high school experience and Sittenfeld does a great job describing how it feels to just want to fit in. She does such a good job in fact that at many points, it was painful to read because I was so empathetic and could personally relate to Lee. Read more »
Sorry for the long absence from posting — apparently my reading ability is slowing down like the rest of me. Anyway, glad to be back, but once again with bad news. I picked up Superstud (Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin), by Paul Feig. I was drawn in by (a) the cover art, and (b) the fact that Feig was the creator of “Freaks and Geeks“, a tv show that I adored.
This book chronicles Feig’s younger years, particularly his “coming of age” with respect to sexuality, and is pretty much broken up into three parts: (i) his struggles as a young, god-fearing amateur onanist, (ii) his dating history, in which he is horny, afraid, and can’t pull the trigger even when given the opportunity, and (iii) his eventual success at getting over the hump (pun intended). There are some funny bits (like in the final chapter, in which he is finally going to go all the way but can’t figure out where the “entrance” is, wrongly assuming that the entrance should be in the center of the “triangle” he’d seen in Playboy as a youth), but I found the whole thing pretty boring overall. I expected this book to be sidesplittingly funny, but I was by and large disappointed. It just didn’t live up to the hype I had placed on it when I saw it on the shelf at Target.
If you want to read funny stuff about being a teen in the eighties, go back and read How I Paid for College.
I have been keeping tabs on some interesting looking books with the hope of getting around to some of them one day. However, it does not appear that I will be completing my current book anytime soon. Maybe you guys can do something with this list in the meantime.
OK. I can throw those scraps of paper away now.
So, did anybody attend the spelling bee at Manuel’s Tavern? We need a report. (My best bet for the current-events word: surveillance.)
This is my second post inspired by Rob Walker’s book Letters from New Orleans (my first post is here with bonus material here). This one is called:
Dinner With Royalty; Lunch with Moldy Teeth
Two weekends ago, I went back to New Orleans to contribute what I could to the relief effort. I had noticed on my last trip that many of the best restaurants in New Orleans, while open, had visibly open tables. Unheard of. Mom and I decided to run into the French Quarter to eat at K-Paul’s. Neither of us had ever eaten there before, because the huge lines outside were legendary. Read more »
The E. Annie Proulx story that became the inspiration for the movie Brokeback Mountain just keeps on inspiring. Singer Jill Sobule has written a song that explains what the Cheney shooting was all about (free download). Willie Nelson, ever the outlaw, has released a gay cowboy song (available for pay on iTunes). No, really. Lastly, a new video Brokeback to the Future removes the subtext and gets into the real relationship between Marty McFly and Doc.
I got Gilead by Marilynne Robinson as a gift, and since it won the Pulitzer Prize – I thought that it was worth reading. Mistake #1.
Then once I was at about page 50 and hating it, I assumed it had to get better. Mistake #2. So I did finish it and wasted about 4 hours of my life. Mistake #3. Unless you are an uber-intellectual, religious scholar – this book will bore you to tears. Read more »
Now that Dr J has so decorously opened the Pandora’s box of politics, I guess I may as well leap in. I’ve finished Al Franken’s The Truth (with Jokes).
I may as well own up to having read it, now that the NSA is going to be going through our document shredder. Thanks again, Dr J. The Truth preaches to the choir. At this point in the game, no one on the wrong side of the fence is going to pick this book up, unless they intend to write this other book. Which is too bad, really. I’d love it if we could have anything approaching civil discourse in this country. That ship has sailed. Remember when Bush was going to “bring a new tone” to Washington? We didn’t know the half of it.
Read more »
Nothing new to add to this story, but schadenfreude compels me to comment on Dick Cheney’s blowing of a cap into the ass (face, actually) of a longtime stalwart of the Republican Party here in Texas.
I never thought I’d write this, but I’m jealous of Dick Cheney. I’ve always wanted to shoot a Republican.
I do love the way this is being described in the news accounts: Cheney “peppered him” with shot. The guy is in the ICU, but he was only “peppered.” It probably tickled.
Between re-building the site and the winter olympics, there is not going to be a whole lot of posting or reading going on around here for the next few weeks. Olympic coverage hasn’t started yet today, but it is snowing (briefly, I’m sure) here in the ATL. Here are a few things that have been meaning to find their way into a post lately:
The Believer has announced the five finalists for their 2nd Annual Book Awards. Hit the link for sample sentences from each book. I have not read any of these, but the list looks interesting:
Last year’s winner was Home Land by Sam Lipsyte, which Shaft and I dug.
The two go hand in hand, really. NASCAR is teamimg with Harlequin Romance Books to release steamy novels about dirt track dates. Bookslut has the story and an unbelievable sample of the sure-to-be riveting plot line (be sure and check out the name of their tipster – yep). The first book, In the Groove (heh), has gotten rave reviews (5 stars) by Amazon readers. Shaft, I officially double dog dare you to be our NASCAR Literature Liason. I would, but I’m still waiting for Fitty’s book to come out.