Friday, January 8, 2010

Economic Stimulation.


Artboy said he would buy the books himself.

Today I hit the bookstore in search of a copy of Shuan Tan's tales from outer suburbia. I've fallen hard for Tan's illustrations and can't wait to dig in to this collection of tiny stories. I also picked up a copy of Chuck Klosterman's Eating the Dinosaur and drooled, once again, over The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (1)...which I did not buy. Again (2).

I love the bookstore.

I know that buying online is "more convenient" and can often be cheaper but I also know this.

When buying online you don't find, in the biography section, a copy of Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Pornstar turned full-cover-frontal so that the smoke 40's Hollywood starlet-styled Jameson's cigarette appears to be curling its way to the shelf above it.

And the book displayed just above Jameson's "Uncut! Uncensored!" biography about her life in the adult film industry?

Mike Huckabee's Do the Right Thing.

Brilliant.

1. I suddenly find myself in a lit binge fueled partly by the fact that I'll be teaching a lit class next term. Unfortunately job #2 now requires that I limit my teaching at job #1 to only one period.
2. It's only a matter of time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fear of Commitment.


A confession.

I was one of the seldom noted male readers who enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.

I will also note that I am one of the seldom noted readers who enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love who has been eyeing Gilbert's new book, Committed, warily.

But that might all be for another post.

What struck me today was a piece in The Washington Post where author and journalist wondered about the "why" behind the popularity of Eat, Pray, Love. Why did it strike a chord? Why did it attract such attention? Why did it inspire women to write to Gilbert to tell her that they married, divorced, or followed in her nomadic footsteps?

Here's what I think.

Gilbert is one heck of a writer who was able to tell her story with just enough glamour and effortlessness and easy-from-the-outside epiphanies that it sounded like a surefire cure for the life blahs. It was an educated convertible. A spiritual pole dancing class. A fast in a four-star hotel. A "look ma, no hands" pilgrimage.

That's not to say that I minimize what Gilbert went through in any way. It's not to say that I doubt the sincerity of what she wrote or how her journey affected her in any way.

I don't.

But I think some of the popularity of Gilbert's book is that it became a kind of weight loss infomercial for  finding oneself.

Or, maybe I'm just bitter and need a vacation.

Paid for by my publisher.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not blue.


The first thing to be said is that I love winter so I'm not about to blame the season for the way I'm feeling.

I love the cold. I love the snow (1). I actually love getting up when the world is still in that in-between state of night and day. It's not the same as dawn and actually feels more like dusk.

I don't mind getting up in the dark and walking the dog in the dark and walking through Chinatown at the end of the day in the dark.

So this kind of gray mood that's been hanging over me since yesterday evening (2) isn't so much troubling as it is annoying because it's making me feel so run down. It's not the same kind of tired as if you had cleaned your house (3) or done something productive. It's like you've stayed up too late watching old movies.

I know people who shop this feeling away. Who are motivated into bouts of baking or housekeeping (4) or fits of creativity.

Others, the crowd I feel most fond of, hit the couch with a pile of blankets, fresh magazines and the remote (5).

There is nothing so frustrating as a case of the grays.

1. When we actually get to have it.
2. Pre-headache.
3. Which I have not.
4. Not me.
5. Or Hulu on the laptop. Did you know that you can watch Bewitched on Hulu? Be-witched. And Buffy. It's genius.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's hard to argue with that.


This post started out as me taking a few minutes to complain about yet another headache.

I get them all the time now and have no idea why. Growing up I was never a headache person but now I sometimes get to the point where my only defense is going to sleep just so I can close my eyes.

I decided to try to quickly track down a book cover that had to do with headaches...which yielded no results.

Head...nothing good.

Ache...nada.

And then I typed in "pain".

"Did you," the search engine responded, "mean 'Palin'?

Thanks for the laughs algorithm.