Sunday, August 31, 2008

Drunk Monkeys

These monkeys will steal your drink.

Walton Ford

I think I may have put something up about Walton Ford before, but that's okay.

Necropolis - Walton Ford

Dirty Dick Burton's Aide de Camp

Friday, August 29, 2008

the book, not the movie

H.P. Lovecraft is a very good writer but I don't think he gets enough credit for it. The Call of Cthulhu is very creepy and has kind of a Borges structure. Since it's Lovecraft it's about cosmic, unspeakable horror, which is why it's interesting that some brilliant person turned it into this:

This website is a fun Borges puzzle.

The Darjeeling Limited Soundtrack

I liked the movie, although I think it was a lot more like a short story than a traditional film. I think I'd like it more if i saw it again. What I REALLY like is the soundtrack. I tried to find clips of some of the best songs - there is a lot of title music from old Indian films that doesn't really have youtube representation. But if you watch this, the end and credits of The Darjeeling Limited, you can hear a fine sampling. The Kinks, that catchy french song, and - my favorite, about 5:10 in -title music from Merchant Ivory's "Bombay Talkie"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

With All the World

"You could have the whole maldito world if you wanted.

"The world! It was what she desired with her entire heart, but how could she achieve it? She watched the flow of traffic past the parque and did not know."

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Thanks for lending me this book, Meghan

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mad Men

I haven't posted anything about Mad Men because I wanted to use an image of my favorite scene in Season 1 - and I can't find it online. But I'm tired of waiting, so this one will have to do.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

El Rosario monarch butterfly sanctuary

Three things I will almost definitely love and one thing I hate


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based on an F Scott Fitzgerald short story, directed by David Fincher, starring Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, and Brad Pitt

Burn After Reading, written and directed by the Coen brothers, starring Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, George Clooney, Brad Pitt

Synechdoche, New York, written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Samantha Morton


Chuck Klosterman. I read part of one of his books, and I can't believe how boring, immature, and desperate Klosterman's writing is. He comes across as an annoying little boy who wants badly to be liked. He has nothing to offer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Because there is never enough Vonnegut.

Thus were the brains of most, but not quite all, Booboolings made to grow circuits, microchips, if you like, which on Earth would be called imaginations. Yes, and it was precisely because a vast majority of Booboolings had imaginations that two of the B-36 sisters, the short story writer and the painter, were so beloved.

The bad sister had an imagination all right, but not in the field of art appreciation... When the bad sister was a young woman, she and the nuts worked up designs for television cameras and transmitters and receivers. Then she got money from her very rich mom to manufacture and market these satanic devices, which made imaginations redundant. They were instantly popular because the shows were so attractive and no thinking was involved.

... New generations of Booboolings grew up without imaginations. Their appetites for diversions from boredom were perfectly satisfied by all the crap Nim-nim was selling them. Why not? What the heck.

Without imaginations, though, they couldn't do what their ancestors had done, which was read interesting, heartwarming stories in the faces of one another. So, according to Kilgore Trout, "Booboolings became among the most merciless creatures in the local family of galaxies."

If these don't make you happy you're a monster

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

old color photographs

It's unsettles me to see color photographs from before the 1960s or so. For example:

Hot sweet potato vendor, New York City, October 1942


Deadeye Dick

"There in the back of the church, I daydreamed a theory of what life was all about. I told myself that mother and Felix and the Reverend Harrell and Dwayne Hoover and so on were cells in what was supposed to be one great big animal. There was no reason to take us seriously as individuals. Celia in her casket there, all shot through with Drano and amphetamine, might have been a dead cell sloughed off by a pancreas the size of the Milky Way.

How comical that I, a single cell, should take my life so seriously!

I found myself smiling at a funeral."

Kurt Vonnegut

(Sorry, I'm on a Vonnegut bender.)


As soon as I got home from Ireland, I got sick. If only I had one of these...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I loved this story when I read it over five years ago, and I still love it.

Basically, this guy who worked at a fish market was cutting up fish when one of the fish started shouting things in Hebrew about the apocalypse. Some other people heard it too. My favorite part about this whole thing is that the worker still killed the fish, cut it up, and sold it.

On a site note, aren't catfish scary?

Bummer and Lazarus

Apparently back in the 1860s San Francisco had a big problem with stray and wild dogs, and they were regularly trapped and killed unless they were able to somehow prove their worth to the community. A dog named Bummer was allowed to roam the streets because he was an excellent rat-killer. Eventually Bummer rescued another dog from a bad fight and nursed him back to health by sharing his scraps and huddling with the other dog at night to keep him warm. When the other dog recovered they became a sort of inseparable rat-killing team, and the newspapers named the other dog Lazarus. Bummer and Lazarus were a big hit with the media and popped up in all sorts of news stories and cartoons. Lazarus died first, either because he was kicked by a horse or because he was poisoned after biting a boy, depending on who you listen to. When Bummer died after being kicked by a drunk, Mark Twain wrote a eulogy:

The old vagrant 'Bummer' is really dead at last; and although he was always more respected than his obsequious vassal, the dog 'Lazarus,' his exit has not made half as much stir in the newspaper world as signalised the departure of the latter. I think it is because he died a natural death: died with friends around him to smooth his pillow and wipe the death-damps from his brow, and receive his last words of love and resignation; because he died full of years, and honor, and disease, and fleas. He was permited to die a natural death, as I have said, but poor Lazarus 'died with his boots on' - which is to say, he lost his life by violence; he gave up the ghost mysteriously, at dead of night, with none to cheer his last moments or soothe his dying pains. So the murdered dog was canonized in the newspapers, his shortcomings excused and his virtues heralded to the world; but his superior, parting with his life in the fullness of time, and in the due course of nature, sinks as quietly as might the mangiest cur among us. Well, let him go. In earlier days he was courted and caressed; but latterly he has lost his comeliness - his dignity had given place to a want of self-respect, which allowed him to practice mean deceptions to regain for a moment that sympathy and notice which had become necessary to his very existence, and it was evident to all that the dog had had his day; his great popularity was gone forever. In fact, Bummer should have died sooner: there was a time when his death would have left a lasting legacy of fame to his name. Now, however, he will be forgotten in a few days. Bummer's skin is to be stuffed and placed with that of Lazarus.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We should all be as good to our friends as Lorna Page is

This 93 year old woman who just published her first novel - a "feminist thriller" - has used the profit she's made to buy a big house in the country, and has invited her friends to move out of their old folks homes' and in with her. How nice is that?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies - 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.' "

Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, August 1, 2008


I am on my way here for 10 days.