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Friday, October 13, 2006
Grandma: "He was so nice at first!"
I like to keep this place apolitical because I enjoy employment in the field of journalism and the paychecks from it are invaluable for purchasing food and shelter.
So, no indictment of Republicans in general here, but... damn! Could it get any worse for the GOP? Really. GodDAMN! Another scandal thingy.
Every day, another headline. I fully expect to see a headline on CNN in the coming weeks that just says, "GOP lawmaker fucked your grandmother, never called."
Because that's the only way I can see it getting any worse for them.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Homeward Bound... with a monkey
New Space Monkeys! comic this morning, hopefully bringing us back on track to our usual twice-a-week dosing.
I'm not sure why, but I really like this one.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Tall blonde and little furry
The most shocking thing about this music news is that the album won't be called Deck the Hall & Oates
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I thought I could read books
That's what I get for trying to write some book reviews here late at night when I was very tired. I misspelled the word "books" in one of the first lines. I spelled it something like "booooooks." I must have fallen asleep while writing that word.
Mystery Sinus Theater
New Smallville recap! It's sneezy.
Ah Ah Ahhhchooo Got A New Power! -- Clark is felled by the common cold (no, seriously), and turns his sneezes into sneeze lemonade by learning a new superpower: superbreath. He could have just watched Season 4 if he wanted to learn how to massively blow.
Monday, October 09, 2006
The geekiest blogger
The folks who edited this entry say it gave them a headache. I can't imagine why. It's just me talking about my computer upgrade. By the way, everyone around me is totally tired of hearing me talk about chipsets, SLI-compatible motherboards and how to overclock a Duo 2 Core processor. I promise I'll shut up about it as soon as it's all put together.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I read books
I reviewed two books for MSNBC.com recently. One is a mystery set in Minnesota called A Trout in the Sea of Cortez. The other is a fairly boring book about the history of denim jeans called Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon.
Some other books I've read over the summer (I guess you could call these mini-reviews):
Why Moms Are Weird by Pamela Ribon -- I thought it would be strange to review a book by someone I consider a friend, but it makes it much easier when that friend is someone who lives out in L.A. and whom I don't get to see all that often anymore. What makes it even easier is that the book is very, very good, a funny and bittersweet story that finds the author moving in the right direction. It's hard to believe that Pamie's first book, Why Girls Are Weird was published only three years ago because the voice of the book seems so different.
Maybe it's because while reading the first book I couldn't separate the author from the work. The lines I read were spoken in my head as the author's voice and some content from the book was from pamie.com. The version in my head starred Pamie and despite it being a work of fiction, that's how I visualized the story as I read it.
Why Moms Are Weird is an even funnier book (the first 100 pages regularly found me pausing to read funny paragraphs to my wife as I went along) and the writing itself feels more dynamic, the plot more structured and the voice behind it more assured.
Which is all to say that Pamie is growing as a novelist and that she has successfully written a book about a woman who doesn't automatically make you think it's a thinly veiled version of herself. She also populates the book with funny characters, some exasperating, others only slightly exaggerated versions of characters similar to people you probably know. And very few writers that I read can drop a more appropriate song title or TV show reference that aptly sets the mood.
Those of us who read Pamie's site get to follow her career and get what sometimes feels like in-between bonus content while waiting for new books. But unlike a lot of authors who got their start with fame online, she's created a smart dilineation between the voice on her site from the voice that sets the tone in her books. It's to her credit that in only two novels she's been able to do that, instead of merely finding a way to shoehorn her site into book form.
Very highly recommended.
But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn
Most journalists have stories about meeting celebrities or pseudo-celebrities (in college, I'd interviewed Ice-T, Robert Bork and they guy who played Greg Brady before I graduated), but few of those stories are as candid as the ones Jancee Dunn tells in her book. A former writer for Rolling Stone and former VJ for MTV2, Jancee is amazingly funny and her writing is spry and friendly, even when she's talking about getting dissed by rock stars or having the nervous sweats before meeting certain movie stars.
Though the book is more memoir than you might expect, the bits about Dunn's family and her New Jersey upbringing are just as entertaining as her stories about meeting Dolly Parton or Madonna. They also warm up the book considerably, making the hives-prone author more accessible and likable. It's hard to fault Dunn for the later chapters where she entered a drug and alcohol-fueled downward spiral that alienates her from all the people in the book we've grown to love given that it really happened to her, it does change the tone of the book considerably. But, like a romantic comedy, things all work out in the end and there's even a Prince Charming waiting for our plucky hero in the end.
I heard Dunn on an appearance on Howard Stern and saw the book in our intra-office book sale and picked it up without knowing much about the author. But it was a lucky purchase -- it's a very fun read and there's even bonus chapters on her Web site to give you a sample of what the book is like.
Gentlemanly Bitchfight: Part 1
Over at Videogamey.com, we're going to start doing some regular features, one of which is called "Gentlemanly Bitchfight" (all credit to Glark on that one). The feature is basically Omar vs. Glark discussing topics related to videogames.
This week, it's retro gaming. I am pro. Glark is con. Let the fisticuffs begin!
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