Are you in a relationship going nowhere? Does your boyfriend punch you? Why not get Tommy to do the breaking-up for you?

You can purchase anything on the internet. I'm now convinced.


Hey, this is like reading St. Elmo's Fire... in comic book form.

Some popular movies in the past have been based upon a relatively simple premise: take different people, all connected in some way, and then watch the ups and downs. Reality Bites, Singles, any John Hughes movies. There isn’t too much going on in the plot department but it’s a lot of fun to watch. This book was a lot of fun to read.

On the back cover of Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson, there's a quote that says this book is “completely voyeuristic. This is what it would be like to see your friends behind closed doors.” If you’re a young, twenty-something trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and whether or not you’ll ever find true love (or just get laid), this is the book for you.

Did you ever hate one of your friend’s girlfriends? Feel like killing neighbors in your apartment building who don’t know how to be quiet? Ice skate with a Costa Rican Olympic figure skater? Then you’ll totally relate to the stories in here. This is a hefty graphic novel, over 600 pages (and the only other graphic novel I’ve seen that had rivaled this length is Craig Thompson’s wonderful Blankets), but the story is broken up into chapters. I think this may have been a serial comic that was collected into a novel… I’m not sure. The book does go by fast, though.

Some parts are lighter than others, but there’s a serious thread that holds everything together. An aging comic book artist who got gypped out of the rights to a wildly popular character and his journey for justice. The epilogue to this book is a lot more sedate than the rest of the stories and made reading this book completely and totally worth it.

I know it costs a lot, but it is worth it. It’ll make a great addition to your graphic novel library.

If you would like to know more about Box Office Poison, check out the website.


Recently, all my television channels at home changed around. I hate it when this happens because the cable TV people never warn you (or, maybe they did and I just threw out that piece of mail without reading it.), so you get home and the channel you had left it on last night (Comedy Central) is now something completely different (Country Music Television). At first you watch, enduring the twang and sappy story line, waiting for punch line. Waiting for the screen to cut to Jon Stewart, who has a wickedly funny comment about how much country music sucks. You’re expectant smile slowly turns into a grimace and you suddenly realize the jokes on you- You just watched a country music video in it’s entirety, you fucking hick! Well, it wasn’t so bad. There was a storyline to follow, it was sad… it wasn’t so bad.

So then what are all the new channels? Where’s my MTV? Aw fuck, where’s the Cooking Network? Spike TV? Where’s the- wait, what was that? Bravo? We never got Bravo before. What’s this that’s on? A whole bunch of gay men… redecorating… making over this guy… who appears to be straight… Ohmigod! It’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy! I’ve never seen this show and it’s all people can talk about. After watching the episode (and the one that aired immediately after), I realized this is my new favorite show. The guys are hilarious and totally nice, their make-overs are amazing… I just, I don’t know. There’s something magical about the show.

And then Inside the Actor’s Studio (with James Lipton) was on. Have you seen this? (**Note: Sorry if this is coming off as ‘behind-the-times.’ Like I said, we never got Bravo before. You only need to worry when I say things like, “Have you guys heard of indoor plumbing? It’s GREAT! Such a time saver.”) I thought Will Farrell’s James Lipton impersonation on SNL was a joke, something he made up. This Lipton guy is a total freak. I saw the Ben Affleck one and it went a little like:

* * *

Lipton: Affleck. What kind of name is that?

Affleck: It’s actually Gaelic and Celtic. It was originally spelled A-U-C-H-L-I-N-

Lipton: What is your middle name?

Affleck: Geza. I was named after-

Lipton: What sound do you love?

Affleck: When a woman-

Lipton: What sound do you hate?

Affleck: Can I just-

Lipton: What profession, other than your own, would you like to participate in?

Affleck: Would you please let me an-

Lipton: Thank you. Ben Affleck everyone! [clap, clap, clap, clap]

* * *

So now Amy’s Must-See TV List goes a little something like:

1. Most Extreme Elimination Challenge
2. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
3. Inside the Actors Studio
4. Anything on Food Network


Bookmunch reviews 'Blankets' by Craig Thompson.

"Indeed, one of Blankets triumphs is in fusing form and content and demonstrating how the comic form can express that which words alone cannot."

I loved 'Blankets' and Thompson's earlier book, 'Goodbye Chunky Rice'.
You know how this week, people all over the internet were roasting the shit of out Neal Pollack? Did we really expect him to take it quietly? No. He responds.

Now, I have a question. Do you think, when we wrote, "But the roasts I read ranged from the sort-of-amusing to the nonsensical to the downright mean, and, in one case, jealous, bitter, pathetic, and near-stalker-like." Do you think that 'one case' was the one I wrote? Pathetic? Okay. Near-stalker-like? Sure. I just don't want a restraining order brought against me. I've never seen Neal in my life, man.


Anyone Can Be Bought

BARBARA: Will you do the dishes?

AMY: What? I just did them.

BARBARA: Come on.

AMY: Make Jason do it.

BARBARA: Jason asked me to do it.

AMY: So?

BARBARA: …I’ll pay you.

AMY: …How much?

BARBARA: Ten dollars.

AMY: …Twenty.

BARBARA: Fifteen.

AMY: I’ll do it for ten if you take the compost up.

BARBARA: I’ll give you twenty to do the compost too.

AMY: Show it to me.

BARBARA: [Pulling money out of pocket.]

AMY: [Walking over, looking.]

BARBARA: Here. [Hands over twenty dollar bill.]

AMY: [Grabs it.] Sweeeet.

{Later, with half of the dishes done, Amy collects all compost to be brought outside. Trudges through knee high snow, up to garden where a hole’s been dug in the ground. Dumps out one container from fridge, rinses it out with snow, pushes container into nearby snow so it won’t blow away, dumps out another containers, etc, repeat six or seven times. Trudges back to house, wet, feet frozen, nauseous from old, rotten food smell.]

AMY: [Sees Barbara on couch, eating Ben & Jerry’s, watching TV] Fuck you. This is so not worth twenty dollars.

BARBARA: [Smiles nervously.]

AMY: [Finishes dishes.]

JASON: [Returns home.] You did the dishes, Barbara?

BARBARA: No. I… I paid Amy to do them.

JASON: What?

AMY: Twenty dollars.

JASON: You never pay me to do the dishes.

BARBARA: I just REALLY didn’t feel like doing them tonight.

AMY: I wonder what I’m going to spend my twenty dollars on…

JASON: I have to do dishes for free.

AMY: Maybe I’ll get a CD…


Amy'n'Neal sittin' in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

I've made a contribution to the Neal Pollack roast. And there's a picture, too.


Check out the Neal Pollack Roast over at YPR.

Check out what Josh wrote:

"Look at you, Neal, right now: sitting at your computer, wearing nothing but three-day-old, three-in-a-pack Hanes briefs with the elastic’s springiness long depleted, munching on a Suzy-Q for midday breakfast, leaning backward at 45 degrees, so the crumbs that fall on your chest can be collected and saved for later, silently wondering if that lukewarm wetness under your legs is currently pooling sweat or the unevaporated puddle of yesterday’s incontinence..."


Looking for the "Best of" David Hasselhoff?

With more than 830 glowing reviews, it's obvious this truely is a five star album. Just read a few:

"The words flowed forth from Hasselhoff's tender lips like sweet nectar from the mouth of God himself." -npasto

"I must confess I had never heard of Dipstick Heffalump before I heard a rare radio acoustic rendition of 'Hot Shot City' and from then on, it was my mission in life to track down any CD with the track on." -roger_mctodger

"You could punch a soprano in the gut and not get the same vocal tones that shoot forth from his mouth. Effortlessly, he leans his big head back and lets loose a cry that causes whales to beach and dogs to shed." -Bukakky Swallows

"From the first time I heard this album, I wanted to stab myself up the bum with a double edged light-saber." - A music fan

"The song 'Hot Shot City' is particularly good." (Nearly every who wrote a review. If you're desperate to know just how particularly good it is, click here.)


The Barnes & Noble Experience

Oh yeah, there's also the B&N pervert. This guy writes the typical bathroom graffitti:

Be here 12:30.
I give good blowjobs.

But he actually shows up, and creepily follows any unsuspecting male customer who happens to have to piss at 12:30 into the bathroom.
Did I mention he drilled a hole in the partition between two of the stalls so he could 'peep?'

The maintenance people put a bolt through the hole, with metal plates on either side, to which he responded in permanent marker: "Was this really necessary?"
What is wrong with Louisiana??? Last week it was 'gay' being a dirty word that you couldn't say in school (even though the 'offender' was using it in it's proper context) and now you can't bring Advil to school. I understand if the student has all kind of X hidden in the bottle or is popping the Advil like M&Ms, she should be in big trouble. But if the poor girl is having her period and suffering from cramps, she should be allowed to take two.

What I want is all the MALE school board members to be struck down by the monthly curse. I bet you ten bucks they'd be singing a different tune.

Ooo, I have a full bottle of Tylenol in my bag right now. Who's gonna turn me in? Huh? Breakin' the law, breakin' the law...

P.S. I'm going to homeschool my kids. When I have kids. After I find a husband. Wait, gotta find a boyfriend first. Need to change my attitude before anyone'll take me. Hmm... note to self: start showering and going out more.
I finished reading Sunshine this morning while I was at my car dealership, waiting for new snow tires to be put on and that pesky right-front sway bar link to be replaced.

I haven’t ever read anything by Robin McKinley before but I know a lot of her books are retellings of fairy tales. Spindle’s End is about ‘Sleeping Beauty’, Beauty is about ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Rose Daughter is also about ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and Deerskin is loosely based on that classic fairy tale ‘Donkeyskin.’ While I’m a fan of fantasy and other books about fairy tales retold, I didn’t really flow with the way that the author wrote this one.

The main character, Rae (a.k.a. “Sunshine) is a baker and leads a pleasantly normal life until she’s kidnapped by vampires. The story takes place in our time but, let’s say, “in another dimension.” Vampires, magic handlers and demons are understood to be real and dangerous/problematic enough to the extent where there needs to be two police forces: regular old cops for regular old people matters and a Special Other Force who deal with the other (special) things. The story moves along quickly and McKinley really keeps the vampires frighteningly removed from the reader. Other stories often humanize vampires to the point where they become your new best friend or your best new lover. I know for me, I don’t want to hang out with or have sex with a walking, talking dead body.

The only negative thing I can say about the book is that there were a few points in the story when I became frustrated and was like, “Get on with it.” McKinley writes in a stream-of-conscious style so that anything Sunshine thinks, feels, ponders, notices, etc can go on for pages and pages. The one part I’m thinking of kind of went:

[Something exciting happens. Sunshine turns to head.]
“Sunshine. What do you see?”
[Fours pages of what she might see, what she might or might not feel if she saw something good or bad, what she’d rather be doing right now other what she’s doing, starts thinking about everything that’s happened over the last four months…]
“What? Oh. Nothing. There’s nothing there.”

WHAT?! If it was nothing, why did I have to read four pages of inner monologue that Sunshine usually repeats every 30 or so pages? I expressed this frustration to my sister, who adores all of McKinley’s books and said, “That’s just the way she writes. I like it. You don’t like it?” No, not really. I guess it would like take a while to get used to.

All in all, this book is exciting, absorbing and a must read for those of you into vampire, werewolf and other supernatural books.


The Morning News - Roundtable: New Fathers Matthew Baldwin (Defective Yeti) talks about how he's getting ready for the birth of his son:

"At some point I kinda gave up on the pregnancy books and switched to childrearing books. So, since we know we’re having a son, I’ve spent the last few months reading books with titles like, Girls Are From Venus And Boys Are From Hell: Why You’ll Spend The Next Eighteen Years Cursing The Y Chromosome."
stereogum: You Had Me At Jello
Remember when VH1 was easy-listening videos and more female-centric? Back in the day, it was all Mariah Carey (pre-hip-hopified), Celine Dion and Whitney Huston. Do you know what I saw last night on VH1? A special on Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He’d just gotten out of prison and the show was basically a documentary about him trying to stay off drugs and alcohol, meeting with parole officers and trying to make it from the studio to home before curfew. Just before one commercial break, a preview of what’s coming up showed ODB sitting on a couch in a dirty wife-beater, hollering into a phone, “Bitch! Don’t call me no mo. I ain’t givin yo mutha-[beep] ass any mutha-[beep] money. You hear me? Hello? H-hello?” It occurs to me that this is something that should probably be reserved for MTV. As I’m pondering this, sipping a margarita, a commercial for A Kid Rock Christmas (airing on VH1) appears. Maybe VH1 is the new MTV… Maybe all of Viacom’s cable channels with eventually show the same thing.
The Onion A.V. Club posts their Least Essential Albums Of 2003 list.

Giant plastic nativity scenes in the neighbors' front yard. Airings of Jingle All The Way on bottom-feeding basic-cable stations. The return of Lexus commercials in which unspeakably rich families playfully surprise their loved ones with giant-bow-adorned luxury cars. All that merriment and holiday tradition can only mean one thing: the return of The Onion A.V. Club's Least Essential Albums list, highlighting a year's worth of music that no one could or should possibly want.


New issue of Bookslut out.
Bookmunch reviews The Amulet of Samarkand. I feel as though I must keep stressing how utterly great this book was. Bartimaeus is a djinni (pronounced "jee-knee") demon and at one point in the story he was talking about how magicians can trap demons inside things; boxes and containers and the like. He even knew of one trapped for a while inside a lamp. ... Djinni (Genie) of the lamp? Get it?
Neal Pollack writes something new at Haypenny. This is a nice fix for those of us suffering from the cold-sweats, hallucinations and lumbago of "Neal Withdrawl."


Weekend Update

Early Friday night was spent trying to play Rage. I say “trying” because it didn’t go all that well. When I first got the game, all the directions were in German, so I had no clue how to play. I downloaded the English version but realized this past Friday that these particular directions were (a) too long, (b) too confusing and (c) the pictures of cards shown didn’t match those in my deck. Great. Jason, his friends and I gave that up and went on to play Carcassonne. We were about half-way through when my sister got home and was like, “I wanna go see The Last Samurai.” The guys obviously weren’t going to go and I was like, “Are you serious? It’s 8:45. The movie’s at 9:15 and it takes forever to get to Claremont.” But she was about to cry so I ditched the game and hurried out the door with her. We got there at 9:15 and got our seats just as the movie was starting.

The movie was okay. It was beautiful and sad and all that but the thing about Tom Cruise is that you don’t ever get lost in the character he’s playing. You’re thinking, “There goes Tom Cruise on a horse,” or “Tom Cruise is fighting with a sword.” I told my sister on the drive home: “Of Tom Cruise gets an Oscar nomination for this movie, I’ll be surprised. If he actually wins the Oscar, I’ll eat a pair of my underwear.” She goes, “Ewwww,” and I don’t say anything, but I was thinking, “Dude, I’d obviously eat a freshly laundered pair of underwear. Why did she automatically assume I’d want to eat dirty underwear?”

Saturday morning, Barbara and I braved the heavily falling and rapidly accumulating snow to bring Griffith and Gatsu to the vet’s for their yearly rabies shot. They were both petrified and catatonic on the way to the vet’s, at the vet’s and on the way home from the vet’s. I didn’t particularly like the new vet we saw. She called Griffith “fat” (not in so many words). I can call Griffith chubby if I want to, but nobody else can. He’s actually all muscle. He’s like a little pit-bull.

Barbara, Jason and I, trapped indoors, played multiple games of Settlers.

Sunday: Shoveling. Shoveling shoveling shoveling. We got 15 inches. There was lots of brushing off cars and waiting for the plow to come through. The thing I hate about plows is that when they drive by, they leave a wall of wet, dirty, heavy snow at the end of your driveway that you then have to shovel (after you’ve already shoveled the whole driveway). I brought the cats outside and they were pretty freaked out by all the white cold stuff, but they eventually got into it.

Then I played Caesar and Cleopatra with Jason. It was all right but I think we need to play more to get the hang of it. Also, we were both dismayed by the fact that sometimes a vote by the patrons is postponed because there’s an orgy that day. No kidding. You turn over the card and it says, “No vote. Orgy today.” This game is supposed to be for kids, age 10 and up. What’s up with that?
Make your own snowflake.

Link from Defective Yeti.
News from the Upper Valley

Snow (and lots of it).


Matthew Baldwin has just posted his Good Gift Game Guide 2003.

I usually order my games from Funagain. I like their reviews, All-Time/Current Bestseller lists and prices. Matthew also mentions Game Surplus, which I might try for my next order.

I looked through some of his older G3 and found a party game called Werewolf. Best of all, it’s free!

My big Christmas order from Funagain? All the games were cheaper at Games Surplus!!


Music Review

I don't know if everything thinks this way... I suspect it's just me. See, in my head, I win the lottery when it's at, like, 200 million dollars. With my newfound wealth, I'm at liberty to do all kinds of extravagant things like (the scenario usually running through my head) throw a huge, P-Diddy style bachelor party for one of my friends. It doesn’t matter what guy it is, there’s going to be hundreds of people there anyway.

This party is going to take a YEAR to plan, so I hire all kinds of personal assistants and go around hiring college girls to be dancers at it (because I suspect that veteran stripper-dancer women have a halo of invisible yet omnipresent “skank” about them). So these college girls don’t have to get naked, it’s not like that. They just need to be able to do cool things to music. Like… juggle. Or spit fire. In my mind, it’s like Cirque du Soleil, except not for children.

So this is how I decide what music or songs I like: Would I use it in the imaginary Bachelor-Party-to-end-all-Bachelor-Parties Party?

Propellerheads; Decksandrumsandrockandroll
It's okay. Starts off pretty strong but it doesn't seem too listenable to me. Everyone seems to know “History Repeating” song but I like “Better” the best. It’s a shame it’s only two minutes long.

David Holmes: Lets Get Killed
“Gritty Shaker” is really good… once the song finally kicks in. Holmes spends so much time trying to incorporate NYC sounds and people that the music sometimes take a backseat. I don’t want to listen to some guy talking about what my sign means, I want to bop my head to music. “Rodney Yates” is good and reminds me of some Amon Tobin stuff.

Olive: Extra Virgin
This is a woman singing in a soft, sexy, ethereal way over phat beats. It appears to me that if my favorite music isn’t created by two guys messing around with electronics (Groove Armada, Crystal Method, Chemical Bros., Daft Punk, Air, Death in Vegas, Underworld, Thievery Corporation), it’s two or three guys fronted by a female singer (Morcheeba, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Massive Attack). This is pretty good. “Outlaw” is fun. “Killing” is a highly listenable song and it’s got smart lyrics.

Basement Jaxx: Kish Kash
I don’t really like it. I want to return it. Alex, if you’re reading this, this crap purchase is all your fault. I’m never listening to you again. “Plug It In” (featuring J.C. Chasez) makes me want to claw my eyeballs out. “Lucky Star” (featuring Dizzee Rascal) makes me want to repeatedly step on my own feet whist banging my head against a brick wall. “Good Luck” (featuring Lisa Kekaula) doesn’t suck. I don’t know what kind of drugs I need to be on to enjoy this album in it’s entirety, but you can count me out.
Ooooo... Lots of new photos up at explodingdog.
News from the Upper Valley

Speaking of River City Rebels, the Valley Snooze has an article about them (in a "Kids. What're you gonna do?" tone).

The River City Rebels, eh? From what I hear, they think they're hot shit. Jason was telling me that one of them (the lead singer) was like, "I'm the best thing to come out of the Upper Valley!" I think I'd like to interview them for YPR.
At The Minor Fall, The Major Lift: The Rime of the Ancient Editor.

“And articles? Don’t make us laugh,”
The buyers said with scorn
“To whom exactly is it news
that guys jack off to porn?”


Heads up: The best selling adult fiction book in Australia won't be released in the states until March 2004.
French finally get Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I think it's totally unfair they had to wait that long. If they can release the English version and the English audio at the same time, they should release all translations at the same time as well.
The Onion A.V. Club doesn't give a favorable review of Vernon God Little Personally, I'm looking forward to reading it. After how great last year's winner was (Life of Pi), I have faith. Although that quote ("A scabrously funny debut" - Entertainment Weekly) on the front made my smile falter. I don't read anything Entertainment Weekly likes. They're not the most literate magazine publication around.


For those of you that don't know, my sister works at a little place called Stave Puzzles. She cuts puzzles for a living. Sounds stupid, I know, but I reap the benefits. In her free time, she gets to cut puzzles to take home and they’re awesome.
Watch The Meatrix and change the way you eat.
Louisiana School Punishes 7-Year-Old Boy for Talking About His Lesbian Moms

“I was concerned when the assistant principal called and told me my son had said a word so bad that he didn’t want to repeat it over the phone,” said Sharon Huff, the second-grader’s mother.

Marcus McLaurin was waiting in line to go to recess on November 11 at Ernest Gallet Elementary School when a classmate asked him about his mother and father. He responded that he didn’t have a mother and father; instead he has two mothers. When the other child asked why, Marcus told him that it was because his mother is gay. The other child then asked what that meant, and Marcus explained, “Gay is when a girl likes another girl.”

Upon hearing this, Marcus’s teacher scolded him in front of his classmates, telling him that “gay” is a bad word and he should never say it at school, then sent him to the principal’s office instead of letting him go to recess. The following week the school required Marcus to attend a special behavioral clinic at 6:45 in the morning, where he was forced to repeatedly write “I will never use the word ‘gay’ in school again.”

On a student behavior contract form that Marcus had to fill out and give to his mother about the incident, Marcus wrote that the thing he did wrong was that he “sed bad wurds.”

This is the kind of close-minded, ignorant, back-water thinking that really burns my toast. We much teach our children (and ourselves) to be understanding of, accepting of and loving of all people. What they should be more concerned about it Marcus’ spelling and grammer.


Hello. Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and slept off all that tryptophan. I took Friday off as well, so it was a nice long weekend. Thanksgiving itself was rather uneventful but it’s always a new experience having a meal with my Korean aunt, uncle and cousins. During dinner, Jason picked up the bottle of wine and went to refill his glass, at which point my aunt jumped up and tried to grab the bottle from him. A tugging match ensued, droplets of wine spraying across the table, until Jason shouted, “Fine! Just take it!” Then my aunt calmly refilled his glass and set the bottle down. Then my mother burst out laughing because it’s Korean custom that you should never pour yourself wine. Someone older at the table should always do it for you. Oh, okay now I understand. If that hadn’t been explained to me, it would have just been another odd family occurrence unquestionably filed away.

Something else: I noticed my mom doesn’t have a bread knife while I was at her place, helping to prepare the meal. I asked her if she’d like one for Christmas and she nearly dropped the turkey. You should never give someone you like a knife as a present. Never. It means you’re cutting the relationship, [cutting hand through the air in a chopping motion], ending the friendship. Okaaay, I didn’t know that. And out of the blue she says when I find a man I like, I should give him salt and pepper shakers. Why, I ask, expecting a profound, Confucius-like reason. Because, salt and pepper, they always go together. I thought about it and it made sense, but then I started thinking about how weird it would be to date guy for a while and suddenly say, “I have a very special present for you.” He’d open up a box containing a pair of salt and pepper shakers, frown, look at me and I’d mouth the words, ‘I love you.’ I’d look like a total lunatic. No, I don’t think that’d work.

Thanksgiving evening I went to see Timeline. Talk about an eye-rolling movie. I was entertained for two hours but this movie had some of the worst lines. The lead female character whines at one point, “I killed a man. I have to live with that.” She appears to be distraught over the fact but less than two minutes later, she’s slamming a sizable rock across a knight’s face. If she’s that blood thirsty, what was she complaining about earlier? Also, one of the archeologists, Marek, excavated a tomb in our present time and saw that the statue of the man only had one ear. This perplexed and excited him (because he’s a dork). When he went back in time, he got his ear chopped off. Immediately, he starts smiling and screaming, “It’s me! It’s me! I’m the one in the tomb!” My mouth drops open as I’m watching this. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. If it was me in his place, my initial reaction would have been, “My EAR! My fucking ear is gone! Where’s my- I can’t believe-“ Commence hyperventilating and passing out.

Let’s see. Friday nothing happened. I finally finished Eragon, which was only ‘Okay.’ Too much like Lord of the Rings. The Bartumeaus Trilogy, The Amulet of Samarkand was fantastic. I couldn’t put it down. It’s all about magicians conjuring demons to do their bidding, exact revenge, etc. It’s also really funny. Read it.

Saturday, somewhere around 4:00 am, I got sick. Really sick. I don’t think it was food poisoning but it was bad. Everything inside me came up and I couldn’t even keep water down. I knew the only cure was Gatorade. I lay curled in bed, shivering, until I heard Barbara get up. “Barbara,” I feebly called. She came into my bedroom to see what the matter was. I explained as best I could and said, “Gator-ade. Please, take all the money on my wallet and buy me as much Gatorade as you can…” She sent Jason out because she’s lazy and I spent the next twenty-five minutes dying slowly as I listened for the sound of his car coming up the hill. Finally, when Barbara passed by my room, I asked her, “Where the fuck is Jason? Didn’t he just go to the Mini Mart at the bottom of the hill? [Demon voice] I need Gatorade NOW.” She said she thought he went to P&C. What? P&C is like a million miles away. I sob quietly, tearlessly (because I’m so dehydrated) into my pillow. Eventually, I quench my thirst but spent all day bed, suffering bouts of shivering, sweating and aching.

Sunday was spent battling a migraine the size of Texas and saying over and over, “I can’t believe how sick I was yesterday…”


Book News

1. Neil Gaiman is working on a new novel. How is it coming along?

Not that the novel has yet made it off the ground. Right now it's taxiing madly backwards and forwards across the airfield, with ground staff comically throwing themselves out of its way as it hurtles dangerously toward fences and buildings. But I have faith in it.

Me, too.

See... I think maybe this plane reference isn't actually in reference to the status of Gaiman's novel. I think he actually was on a plane and all this was happening (for real). Check out his blog to know for sure.

2. Publisher’s Weekly has launched their new website. You now need to be a subscriber to view everything around the site.

3. The Onion A.V. Club reviews Chester Brown’s Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography and Joe Sacco’s The Fixer (which they don’t show the cover for). If you would like to know more about these artists/authors, you can check out their personal studios at Drawn & Quarterly.
Last 10 Search Term to Return

1. hatchet by gary paulson quotes (Google)
2. poopy butt in manx cats (Google)
3. mtv room raiders underwear drawer (Google)
4. blacklight bleach bottle party (Google)
5. “based on” “Hatchet” “gary paulson” movie (Google)
6. pictures of sirius-the dog from the prisoner of azkaban the movie (Google)
7. girls with dentures (Google)
8. tommy hilfiger’s daughter (MSN)
9. Altered State by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Google)
10. “jessa” “campbell” (Google)

Poopy butt in manx cat! I knew Griffith wasn't the only one with this embarassing problem!
What's up with Amy Blair's write-up? "Smokey Tornado"? That's awesome.
Oh barf. I can't even believe this is real.

Found the link through Gawker.


Bhah ha ha ha haaaa!!

I've just done all my Christmas shopping at Amazon. I'm done. I got the most perfect gifts, wrapping paper, cards, etc. Now I don't have to deal with:

1. Last minute shopping and getting people crap gifts because all the good stuff was bought weeks ago.
2. Traffic.
3. Getting shoved around by bitchy/frantic shoppers.
4. Traffic.
5. Going from store to store to store because one person wants music while another wants cooking things while pets need pet things, etc.
6. Dealing with vacant sales people.
7. Lines in stores.

I’m seriously going to have so much more free time in December than I did last year. At the moment, my mom is really into copper things so I just went to Kitchen & Housewares and typed “copper” into the search box. A bunch of copper things came up, clickity-click, I’m done shopping for my mom and I know she’s going to like the gift, as opposed to the Mickey Mouse pencil holder gave her last year. (“Sorry, it was all I could find… Uh…Oh yeah, and I love you.”)

See, this is exactly why I'm shopping online this year.
I’m a little late with this, but The Canning Season by Polly Horvath has won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

"Though fairytale-like in its setting and its charm, do not be fooled. Suicide, decapitation, wretched mothers, and a sprinkling of profanity pepper this poignant, philosophical, darkly humorous novel that dips into subjects from technology to love to death."

Suicide? Decapitation??? It doesn’t sound like your normal children’s chapter book; it sounds good.


Who Put the Banana Peel in the Middle of the Road?

This past weekend, I learned that you shouldn’t play eight consecutive hours of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and then drive out to the convenience store for a jug of milk. You end up racing along bendy roads at 50mph, taking sharp corners by pulling up the emergency brake and fish-tailing the rear end of your car, shooting speed boost mushrooms if you think someone’s going to pass you, etc.


GIS Day: Part II

GIS Day (part 2) was moderately better today, but maybe that’s because I left early. I went across the street to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The new exhibit on mammals was cool, the Asian, African and Native American sections were good but the BEST was the geology and gems area. I went through the back way so I didn’t see the Hope Diamond until the end. All the gems, though! Oh! I wanted to smash my fist through the display cases, grab fists full of the sparkling gems, shove them into my pockets and start running. Oh! Some of them were the size of sandwiches! So big! Then I got to the national gems, a room filled with diamond necklaces, canary diamonds, rubies, sapphires and tiaras! Then I got to the Hope Diamond. Talk about hype. Yeah, it’s cursed, beautiful and has a colorful history but what’s the super big deal? It’s in a display case in the middle of the room and the pedestal it sits on turns 90 degrees every 15 seconds so no matter where you’re standing, you’ll eventually get a frontal shot of it. A whole bunch of people were standing around it, cooing, and I was thinking, “Yo, did anyone see the diamond necklace, earrings and ring set in the other room, totaling 256 carats of yellow diamonds? I’d take that over this necklace any day, you idiots.” I understand the overall allure of diamonds, though. When faceted properly, no other mineral can give that sparkle. All other gems pale in comparison.

Then I went and saw T-REX 3-D at the IMAX Theater inside the museum. It cost eight dollars and lasted a mere forty-two minutes. It’s good for kids but I felt gypped. I thought it was going to be all in the jungles and dinosaurs ripping apart other dinosaurs with entrails and shards of bones flying at the screen but instead, it was a poorly executed melodrama about a girl who wishes her paleontologist dad would take her some on digs with him. There were parts where things flew out the screen at you while the girl walked through a “jungle” (in her mind) after sniffing some prehistoric paleo-fumes and I jumped a little but, overall, the movie was weird. I want to try some of those fumes, though. It looks like you get an awesome trip from it.

My flight is tomorrow morning, so I’m going to read a little, crank call a couple other hotel rooms and go to bed.


GIS Day: Part I

GIS Day sucked. I think I talked to no more than a dozen people and it was all people who liked to hear themselves talk. I couldn't believe what some of these people were saying. And then, when I was actually paying attention, I didn't understand what they were asking. I'd say, "So... you want a GIS interface for all historical monuments and when you click on them, you can view construction reports on that monument?" and they'd be like, "No. I want you to teach my students GIS." And I'm the ONLY one that didn't get it. I'd ask my question and all the other presenters around me, who have the magical ability to put two and two together, turned to me at once and so, "NO NO NO NO NO, she means she wants you to TEACH GIS to her STU-DENTS." Whatever. Shut up.

And I have more of the same to look forward to tomorrow. Good news is I can kick out early and hit some of the museums before they close for the day. I want to see all the gems and things at the Smithsonian. That would be cool.

I might go out later (it's raining wicked bad, so I don't know) and see if I can't find a good bookstore. Olsson's is supposed to be around here somewhere.


At the Nation's Capital

I’m in Washington D.C. this week, for work. Tomorrow is National GIS Day. “So soon?” you exclaim. “It seems to sneak up on me every year!” I know how you feel.

Well, even if you don’t know what the hell a Geographic Information System is, it’s just a map on a computer. It can, of course, be more complicated than that. You ever use MSN’s MapPoint or MapQuest? Those are web-based GIS interfaces. If you don’t have ESRI software on your computer to create your own GIS, tape a map onto your computer monitor. Close enough.

I came down with a co-worker who’s staying outside the city with her parents. She brought her 7-month-old daughter down to spent time with her parents. Here’s something they don’t tell new parents: When you have a baby and need to go somewhere, be prepared to pack 10 times more than you would have packed pre-baby. I brought a computer bag and a small carry-on. My co-worker brought a car seat, stroller, duffle bag big enough to fit several small children inside, backpack and diaper bag. Oh, the baby as well. And it’s not like she packed irrelevant items (I’ll just bring this vase and lamp. You never know.), she needed and used 80% of just to get from home to Boston to DC.

When I picked her up this morning, she went put her things in the trunk and saw my small bag. She said, “That’s all your have? That’s cool.” She said it in passing, innocently, but I felt bad all of a sudden. Like, maybe I should have brought more so that she wasn’t the only one bogged down. Her daughter was really good throughout the whole day, though. She didn’t cry once and only started to whimper late in the day. We all felt the same way but the baby was the only one vocalizing it. So she did a good job.

I’m very tired. And kind-of spoiling for a fight. I’m going to watch a movie, read some more of Eragon (not bad, for a 19-year-old home-schooled writer), prance around naked in front of my hotel window and go to bed.


What an asshole. I suppose if you're over 22 you also shouldn't read comic books or play video games either.

I love Bukowski and I hope Tompkins gets his teeth knocked out by a bar stool.
There's a heated discussion over at BookBlog. Okay, it's about as heated as a benign book like A Home at the End of the World can be.
Check out my interview with the U.S. Border Patrol over at YPR.


It’s funny looking at all the books I have listed to the left, over there. I just glanced through them and was like, “Oh, I accidentally spilt orange juice all over the cover of that one… And that one somehow got caught between my closet door and the wall this morning…” Oops, I should take better care of my preciouses. My preciousessss…
I went to Best Buy yesterday evening. Have you ever been to one? Of course you have. You’re probably living in a civilized area where Starbucks litter the city blocks and there are (legal) things to do after eight o’clock at night. When certain chains have lowered their standards enough to set up shop in town, you know it’s all people are going to care about around here. When Wal-Mart came, offering the lowest possible prices and ensuring the financial demise of local shops, people flocked to the Grand Opening and bought all kinds of shit they didn’t need. When Border’s opened and advertised hours extending until (gasp!) ten o’clock pm on weeknights and eleven o’clock pm on weekends, literate people spent all their free time there (as opposed to the two independent booksellers down the road who subsequently went out of business). Now: Best Buy.

It’s like an electronic carnival. I went in for the first time just to see what it’s like. It’s been open here for about a month, so the number of gawkers as opposed to actual shoppers has shifted more toward the latter. There really aren’t that many places around here that have a decent selection of electronics, so I thought I might find cool things here. The one word I can use to fully describe my experience at Best Buy is “Loud”. It was almost “Obscenely Loud”. I went looking for a mic attachment for my digital voice recorder. They didn’t have anything that specific, just eye candy and pipe dreams for us regular folk. An $8000 plasma screen TV? Yeah, right. I browsed through the digital cameras, trying to get into the memory and see what shoppers had been taking pictures of. Alas, no memory cards in any of them.

At a loss for what to spend my imaginary money on, I headed to the back of the store to check out car audio systems. My factory issued one is starting to get fuzzy and I want a kick-ass system. The young dude working in this area, Pat, showed me around the three large displays. I asked him which is better: Pioneer or Kenwood. I’m a little wary of Sony. I know they’re really popular but I’ve gotten some really crap products from them in the past (e,g. An $80 digital voice recorder, which plays back audio sounding as though I was strapped to the roof a car speeding down the interstate.) He told me that Rockford Fosgate is really good.

The method for figuring out what audio suits your car is really cool. You select your car’s make, model and year on a touch screen monitor and it tells you what speaker’s will fit. Then you decide what brand you want. I ask Pat if I really need a new deck. He said yes because it will produce a better quality of sound. Okay, I need a new deck and speakers. What about a sub-woofer? He says that since my car is open, I’ll probably only need one, as opposed to two that the usual ghetto-slammers around here get. And I’ll need an amp. What? What the fuck, Pat? They cost, like, 500 bucks. Yeah, but if I get a sub-woofer, I need an amp as well. That’s just the way it is.

Pat starts touching buttons on the monitor, setting up a sound trial for all the options I’ve just chosen. When it comes to the style of music to select (Country, Hip/Hop, etc) his finger hovers for a moment above Jazz. You motherfucker. I stab “Electronic” before he makes the biggest mistake of his life. I was expecting a banal house beat to come on but, surprisingly, Crystal Method starts up. By the time the beat really starts thumping, customers at the front of the store are craning their necks toward the back to see what all the hullabaloo is about. I’m bouncing to the beat, transfixed by the totally awesome sound, while Pat swings to and fro on his crutches.

Okay, it’s looking like all this is gonna cost a lot of money. Is this something people are going to want to steal from me? Oh yeah. Pat tells me his brother’s system was stolen a few months ago. Are you serious? Around here? Oh yeah, over in Lebanon. All you need to do is cruise by the Lot Lizards behind Burger King once and if they hear a kickin’ sound system, they’ll remember your car and your license plate. Oh my God. I mean, it’s not like I’m ever going to cruise by any Lot Lizards in the middle of the night because I’m not that kind of girl, but still. Oh my God. It was a $4000 system, too. Can you get insurance for a car audio system? Yeah. Pat’s got insurance for his, after what happened to his brother.

Pat asks me if this is something I’m going to want tonight. I shake my head and try to play it cool. Oh, no no, I’m just, you know, getting an idea of what I want. Besides, I’m sure I can get everything here cheaper from a catalog… The music was so good, yo. … So good.


I've just been informed the the term lot lizard means different things in different places. In my case, it means the burn-outs (male and female) who park behind fast food joints and stand around planning what they want to do for the night but only ever end up parked behind fast food joints for the night.


Josh over at This is Not a Pipe makes reference to the new MTV show Rich Girls. I’ve seen it a couple times. It’s about Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter and… some other girl. They’re really rich and all they do is shop, bitch, cry and say stupid things. There’s this one guy who, I don’t know, one of the girl’s likes but he’s friends with both, whatever. I flip to the show and the guy, Mike, is crying. I mean, absolutely sobbing. Snot running down his face and everything. I think, “Whoa… what happened?” He’s in the middle of saying: “We’re friends, you know? Do you know [sob] how much it hurts me when [sob] you said that? [Wiping away snot, strings of spittle stretching across mouth] I just- I thought we were, like, friends. It was, like, you and me and Allie. [Some random guy sits on stone wall next to them. Mike turns to the guy.] What are you doing?... Get out of here. [Other guy says he just wants to sit there.] You’re a fucking loser. Get out of here! [Other guy can’t believe he’s being attacked like this.] Well you are a fucking loser, now get out of here! I’m kind of in the middle of something here!” And on it went… That Mike is a pansy-ass jerk-off. I’d like to meet him on the street some time and kick him where it counts. What a jerk.

A show that I enjoy immensely on MTV is Room Raiders. Three people (usually girls) are grabbed from their homes while a guy goes through each room and decides who he wants to take out on a date- without ever having met the girls! What makes this show great is that the guys always pass judgment against the girls based on the lamest things they find.

Guy: [Holds up a wig.] What is this? Why does she have a wig? She’s obviously insecure about who she is.

Girl 1: [Watching guy on monitor in a van.] That was for Halloween. I’m not insecure.

Guy: [Opening freezer, seeing bottles of liquor. Liquor on top of fridge.] Lots of booze here. I don’t know, maybe girl number two has a drinking problem.

Girl 2: We had a party last weekend. It’s all left-over from that.

Guy: [Checking alarm clock.] 9:02. Who gets up at 9:02? … I guess she doesn’t need to get up early for anything… Like a job.

Girl 2: That was from when I took a nap! It’s set for 9:02 at night!

Guy: [Pulls out denture cream from nightstand drawer.] Whoa! This girl does NOT have dentures!

Girl 3: [Screaming at TV monitor on van.] It’s my grandmother’s! She stayed in my room a while ago!

Some of these guys, though, are really sneaky. They’ll check what websites the girls have been to on their computers, they’ll always check out the underwear and bra drawers (some of them even smart enough to check bra sizes). Occasionally they’ll check under the bed or read private passages from diaries and notes. They also use a blacklight to check the sheets for any suspicious stains.

Guy: Let’s do the blacklight test. [Turns off lights, passes light over pillow. Huge, misshapen stain appears.] OH MY GOD! What is that? [Passing light back and forth.] What is that? Ugh.

Girl: [Screaming at monitor] It’s just bleach! I bleached my hair!!

Guy: … Ugh. That- that is disgusting. I don’t even want to know what that is.

And then, of course, when I’m watching this with my sister, she has to ask, “So, Amy. If I guy came into your room, what do you think would happen?” And I say, “Well, he’d say, ‘Look at all the books. There’s, like, a million books in here. And… dirty clothes on the floor. And old coffee cups on the desk. And her underwear isn’t very sexy.'” Awww… So sad.
Weep. Neal Pollack is shutting down his blog. If Neil Gaiman does the same, I'll kill myself. I mean it.


So last night I’m watching some TV. As soon as a commercial break appears, I ask Barbara, “Where’s the tv thing?” Before she hands it to me, she asks, “Don’t you think it’s weird we call it ‘the tv thing’?” I stop to think about it and realize, yeah, it’s a pretty stupid thing to call it. “Most people call it ‘the remote control’ or ‘remote’”, she went on, “but we always called it ‘the tv thing’.” It hits me how stupid I sound and I can’t stop laughing. I wonder if it’s because we grew up with a Korean mother who didn’t know all that much English. Maybe she called it ‘the tv thing’ and we learned from her. I don’t know, maybe it’s a New England thing.

I’m just wondering how many other people in the world call the controller ‘the tv thing’ or if I’m the only one.

Also, does anyone else call cat turds “poopy-doo ding dongs”? Because we do that as well. It’s not uncommon to hear someone in the house say, “Griffith dropped a poopy-doo ding dong outside of the litterbox.” Or, “Griffith has some popy-doo ding dong on his butt.”


I finally finished ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffery Eugenides. This book was only marginally easier to read than ‘The Crimson Petal’ but not nearly as good (in my opinion). It was extremely well written and I believe Eugenides deserves the Pulitzer he won for it, yet there was something missing. In case you aren’t aware, the story is about a hermaphrodite named Callie (later, Cal) and her family. Rather, I should say it’s about her family and a little bit about her. 75% of the book is about her grandparents and parents. Near the end of the book, Callie hits puberty and things change. Interspersed throughout the novel, there are few pages here and there of Cal telling his present-day story about being in Berlin. These parts were interesting to me but there really wasn’t all that much information he gave.

I didn’t like the fact that basically all of the book was about the past. It’s important and interesting to know about her family history but by page 250, I was still reading about her grandparents and thinking, “Sheesh, when are we gonna get to Callie’s story?”

You can’t really go wrong with a Pulitzer Prize winning book. They’re all long, satisfying reads and worth the money. This one, though it was good, wasn’t my most favorite.


When did BookSense get it's new look? I don't really like how you need to enter a zip code to view to view the best sellers and Book Sense 76. Before, you could just look at them on the booksense website. And now they don't seem to have all those cool lists they used to. They used have a new list each month (or two) based upon catagory: new mysteries, books about baseball, poetry, etc. Where are these lists now? And when you go to a local booksense bookstore's webpage, the Book Sense 76 Picks are different for every store. It's all so new and confusing (therefore bad).


Inis “Search Inside the Book” Poatur Beally Norks!

I have two cats in my household. You may have heard them mentioned here before. They're Manx brothers named Gatsu and Griffith (those of you who know Berserk will know what the names are in reference to). Anyway, Manx cats don’t have tails. I grew up with a Manx named Candy and decided if I were ever to get another cat, it would have to be at least part Manx. The temperament of the cat is awesome; they’re really friendly and cute and the missing tail is adorable. If you’re the type of person that likes dogs but doesn’t want one, a Manx is for you. I swear Candy used to growl and bark at new people who would come to the house.

Anyway, I’m looking for books at Amazon on Manx. Using their nifty new “Search Inside the Book” tool, my results for “Manx” are:

1. Manx Ballads and Music (Celtic Language and Literature: Goidelic and Brythonic)

People from the Island of Man (between Ireland and the UK) are called Manx. This is where these cats are originally from. So this books is probably the people and not the cats.

2. The Manx Cat (Learning About Cats)

Sounds promising…

3. The Manx: The Cat With No Tail

4. The Get Fuzzy Experience

What? I love that comic strip! There’s stuff about a Manx in it? There’s a quote from page 80 that says: “… TRINK OF FIOW MANX XGS `OU’LL BE HELPING MY DONATING TRIS BLOop…..” [Shaking head] What? What does that mean? Trink of fiow manx xgs… After clicking on the link to the actual page, I read the bubble above Rob’s head that says “Think of how many dogs you’ll be helping by donating this blood…”

Goddammit! It’s “many”, not “manx”. And “BLOop”? Someone want to tell me what the hell a “BLOop” is? You’d think Amazon would have a dictionary abiding text translator.

It’s apparent to me that this “Search Inside the Book” is shit and doesn’t work. I was going to enter into the contest and win that Segway, too.
Extreme Beer Tasting

Magic Hat: #9

This is one of my absolute favorite beers. The only drawback I can see that that it would be classed as a ‘girl beer’ since this “not quite pale ale” is brewed with the essence of apricot. It’s tasty like a mo-fo, don’t get me wrong, but you really wouldn’t see a macho man drinking it. Maybe one of the preppy stock exchange guys.

Magic Hat is brewed in South Burlington, Vermont. One thing I really like about their beer is that there’s a random, often mystifying, rhyme printed on the inside of all their bottle caps. This one says, “Milk a cow till it says ‘WOW’”. What does that mean? No really, there must be a person checking all the rhymes to ensure that no obscene ones (eg. I’ve got class so kiss my ass) come through. So who read “Milk a cow till it says ‘WOW’!” and went, “Next!”?

For the most part, you need to be high to really appreciate the bottle cap messages. I suspect this is because there are a couple dudes up in Burlington who think this shit up by taking a hit off the bong, pausing… and then issuing forth prophetic statements wrapped in smoke. “If you want to stay, you must par-tay”. Dude! That’s a good one. Wait-wait- what about, “Wipe your sleeve to believe”. Fuckin’ awesome man! Write that shit down!

So then, somewhere in Vermont…

Fred: Hey man, here’s a beer.

Eric: Thanks dude. [Opens the beer, reads the cap] ‘Wipe your sleeve to believe’.

Fred: [Looking at Eric’s sleeve] Whoa man! You have some peanut butter on your sleeve! Look!

Eric: [Looking] Whoa… [Wipes it away with finger, sticks finger into mouth, sucking off peanut butter]

Fred: … How did they know?

Eric: Dude… How did they know?

Fred: So… like… what do you believe now?

Eric:… I believe… in the Universe. Like, there are no accidents. I mean, I had stuff on my sleeve and I didn’t know until I read the cap. It was, like, a- a- a- message or something.

Fred: You think those Magic Hat guys are really magicians?

Eric: Probably. [Takes sip, shrugs] How else could they have known? What does your cap say?

Fred: [Reading cap] ‘Kill your friend to make the mend.’

Eric: What?

Fred: Sorry, dude.


EBT Rating: *********-
This is how the world ends.
Good interview of Neil Gaiman up at Sequential Tart. I don't know how that dude can carry so much around in his pockets.


Ween on Halloween. I was looking forward to this concert up in Burlington even though I’m not a huge Ween fan. I just thought it’d be wild to see all the costumes and people watch.

Barbara, Jason and I arrive at the Memorial Auditorium at 7:30 pm. The band comes out at 8:30 and the pushing begins. It wasn’t so much heavy moshing as it was heaving leaning and slow pushing. I was right up front and felt like I was in the ocean. Okay, this isn’t too bad. I can handle this. There’s one guy that’s totally wasted, though, and he’s kind of oozing around the crowd. He’d lean into me and I’d pushing him away. Miraculously, he wouldn’t fall. He’d just press himself against other people.

By 10:30, I’m ready to go home. I know that Barbara and Jason want to stay so I ask for the car keys. “I’ll go sleep in the car,” I say. Barbara flips out because she doesn’t want me walking to the car alone. Hey, this is Burlington, not Harlem. I’ll be fine. But no, she wants me to wait.

I sit on some big wheeled boxes at the back of the Auditorium and drink water. I like looking at people’s costumes. There’s a guy wearing a rocket ship, a cow girl, wonder woman, a faerie. It’s all good.

Barbara comes to the back and viscously wonders what’s the matter with me. Nothing. I’m not a huge Ween fan, I’ve had my fill of the show, I’ve got a headache and I’m wicked tired. I’ll sit here until you’re ready to go.

Jason’s having a fine time. He’s dancing and wandering around. Barbara’s standing next to me, getting angrier by the minute. Eventually, Jason sees her face and says, “All right, let’s go.”

So we walk back to the car in silence. I’m the bad guy because I caused this whole problem by saying I was ready to leave. I never said we had to leave! I could have slept on the boxes in the back. Barbara was the one with something shoved up her ass.

On the ride back home, I lay down and go to sleep. Before I drift off, I can hear them talking in the front seat. I can’t make out much but Jason says how he would have liked to stay until the show was over and how Barbara’s being a bitch, blaming me for the whole thing. Fuck. Them. I think before closing my eyes.

I wake up to Barbara angrily chastising Jason for not listening to her:

Barbara: You’re obviously not listening to me.

Jason: I thought I was.

Barbara: I’m telling you about these five different ideas I have and I’m trying to tie them all together and while I’m thinking about how to say it, you say, “So, are they man-made?” …

Jason …

Amy: What the fuck is she talking about?

Barbara: [Angry] You’re not listening to me.

Jason: [Quiet] I don’t want talk about it.

Barbara: Why?

Jason: …

Barbara: [Whining] Why are you mad?

Jason: Just finish what you were saying.

Barbara: … I was saying that Nature is the biggest Nurturer. People don’t realize that.

Amy: [Rolling eyes in back seat]

Barbara: Resources are being used up and the environment is being wiped out. It’s important to ecosystems to have a natural environment.

Amy: Shut up.

Barbara: Animals depend on the environment.

Jason: [Says something unintelligible.]

Barbara: Well, a man-made pond would be all right. Because, after a while it’s fully integrated into nature. And it’s important for all the animals that depend on it. Fish live in the pond, the birds eat the insects-

Amy: Shut up.

Barbara: …insects live there… frogs live there…

Amy: Shoot me now.

Barbara: …deer go up to the ponds and drink water…

Amy: I’m going to open the door and jump from this moving car.


Barbara: Bats are so cute. Vampire bats are the cutest.

Jason: [Asleep at the wheel]

Barbara: They don’t actually suck blood. They bite people or cows and there’s something in their saliva that keeps blood from coagulating.

Amy: It’s one in the fucking morning. Shut up.

Barbara: So they’ll keep on licking the bite and it’ll keep on bleeding and they’ll lick up the blood. They’ll be like lick-lick-lick-lick-


Barbara: -lick-lick-lick-lick. They’re so cute.


Jason: [Pulling into drive way]

Amy: [Jumping out of car before it stops. Runs inside and goes to bed.]

- - -

Barbara has a "real problem" with people that (a)cut her off when she's saying something and (b)people that don't listen when she's saying something. I'd like to address these two points.

1. She flips out and cries when someone cuts her off. Little does she realize, she doesn't get cut off anymore than anyone else. She's just hyper-sensitive about it. It makes her feel like she’s not important when someone cuts her off. I say: Shut the fuck up and get over it.

2. She flips out and cries when she thinks that someone’s not listening to what she’s saying. Meanwhile, someone will be watching an interesting program on the Cooking Network and she’ll say something stupid/pretentious {See: Car ride home, above}. She’ll wait and when she doesn’t get a response, she’ll get totally pissed off and say, “You never listen to me!” and go lock herself in the bathroom to sob. It’s not like anyone purposefully ignores her. If you don’t drop everything you’re doing to focus 110% of your attention on her, she takes it as a personal slight. I say: Shut the fuck up and get over it.

I’m done venting. I feel remarkably better.


Last 10 Search terms to return

1. naked kougra (Yahoo)
2. halloween fuck video witch (Google)
3. dave mckean illustrator (Yahoo)
4. yrics new york “neal pollock” (Google)
5. “embarrassing stories” pee (Yahoo)
6. puking pumpkin picture (Yahoo)
7. Song Lyrics: “Pour some sugar on me..I’m hot, sticky, sweet..from my head to my feet...” (Yahoo)
8. graham roumieu (Google)
9. meg ryan in “the cut” pictures scene erotic see here (Google)
10. book report on Margaret Atwood’s oryx and crack (Google)

You can find #6 here. And it's called Oryx and Crake, not Oryx and Crack. Sheesh.
I think I’ll call in sick.

We have a big dry erase board outside my office at work. Occasionally, we’ll write things we’re supposed to be doing or things we must remember to do. According to this coming Monday, “Shave Amy’s head” is on the agenda. Funny.
Extreme Beer Tasting

Samuel Adams: Winter Lager

I’m a fan of the original Samuel Adams beer. It’s got a dark, rich flavor. This seasonal beer is difficult to describe. [sip] It’s got some extra flavor to it, but it’s hard to pinpoint what the flavor is. [sip] I don’t really like it. Written on the paper wrapped around the neck of the bottle, it says: “For centuries, brewers have crafted special beers to celebrate winter. In this tradition, we brew our Samuel Adams Winter Lager to share with friends. This rich and hearty lager is one of the finer pleasures of a winter evening. Cheers!” Then it’s signed ‘Jim Koch’, who I presume to be the president or CEO of The Boston Beer Company. Or, hopefully, maybe he’s the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Samuel Adams person. Who knows.

What was Samuel Adams famous for? It says here that he was not only a brewer but a patriot as well. I remember seeing his statue in Boston around government center. After a friend read the plaque at the base, “Samuel Adams blah blah blah”, I remember asking, “Samuel Adams? The beer guy?” At 19, I was an idiot. But even now, I can’t recall what he’s in the history books for. Paul Revere told us that the British were on their way, John Hancock is that guy with really big handwriting, Washington can’t lie and Franklin got electrocuted. Even now, I bet if you went to a history book and looked up “Adams, Samuel” in the index, you’d find “See: Beer”.

Hey, I think they should make a beer for all our forefathers. George Washington Ale, Thomas Jefferson Hefewiezen, Andrew Jackson Porter... You can get shit-faced and be patriotic at the same time.

Getting back to the beer at hand…The box is a icy-pale blue color making you feel all chilly like those mint gum commercials. It makes you wonder if, after you take the first sip, you’ll exhale and see icy cool breath hovering in the air. All the snowflakes on the box and label aid in this expectation.

Unlike the Pete’s Winter Ale, which sports a crass cartoon character in the midst of jumping off a ski lift and performing a split in mid-air, the friendly man (Samuel Adams?) in olde tyme clothing on this label is raising his tankard in cheer and provokes a feeling of goode will. It makes you want to sit in plush leather chairs around a crackling fire in a book-lined parlor with your colleagues, remarking on what a good dinner you just had. Pete’s Winter Ale makes you want to get wasted, party and then pass out in a pile of your own vomit.

On the bottom of the box, which seems to be the new place to hide interesting information [pinky to mouth], there are five pictures of the five different beers that Samuel Adams brews (excluding the Winter Lager). There’s the classic ‘Boston Lager’, the relatively new ‘Sam Adams Light’ (using his nickname to make this light beer appear friendlier) and three seasonal beers: White Ale, Summer Ale and Octoberfest.

If you would like to visit the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, call 1-888-661-2337 for tour times and information. And don’t forget to “savor the flavor responsibly”.

EBT Rating: * * * * - - - - - -


New pictures up at explodingdog.
This is for a novel...

I've just recently learned that you can do anything if you tell people it's research for a novel. Since NaNoWriMo starts this Saturday, I've spent the last couple evenings feverishly scribbling out a plot outline. Ever hear that saying "write what you know"? The only things I seem to know, in order of knowingness, are:

1. Books
2. Beer
3. Computer programming
4. Vermont

Let's take a look at this list.

A book about books sounds kind of lame. Plus, there are several new books out right now covering that theme. 1. Books

A book about beer? I'm down with that. I could make a pub crawl across the country, sampling all the different kinds of brew. Actually, I don't think my bank account (or liver) could handle such a grandiose plan. 2. Beer

Could a reader remain interested (or at least awake) for over 300 pages of computer programming and office humor? Yeah, it's called Microserfs. I could write a programming manual, but that's... that's not a bad idea. I could invent my own programming language and make a fake and funny manual about it. Don't steal my idea! The only problem with this is that it wouldn't be a novel. It would be shelved in the 'Humor' section of a bookstore, only purchased as a Christmas present for that cousin you have that works with computers but you don't really know what he likes. He'd probably like something like this. Then the book spends the rest of it's existence on his bathroom floor, next to the toilet. But it's still a good idea. [Licking tip of pen] I'll just jot this down right here.

Vermont. Here's something I would like to write about but I'm afraid the book might end up being a slap in the face to my state. I do not want to write about all the yuppie people that moved up here from Long Island and call themselves "Vermonters". But if I showcase the real people (eg. my family), there's going to be a lot of 4-wheeling, shotgun shooting, tobacco spitting, cow tipping hillbillies running around in overalls with no shirt or shoes on.

But the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Small town living doesn't have to make for a boring read. Hey, it can even win you a Pulitzer. So small town living in Vermont... This town has got to have a general store, one school (encompassing K-12), post office, fire department (volunteer, of course), police station... Now, if I put this town way up in northern Vermont, right on the Canadian border, what would happen if some of the high school kids went up in Canada, bought some beer and tried to smuggle it back in? Would the border patrol catch them?

I visit the U.S. Border Patrol webpage and see that Vermont is in the Swanton Sector. In fact, Swanton is in Vermont. I see a phone number to call if you'd like to visit the office. Hell yeah I wanna visit the office. I've already got some questions: Does the BP cover every single road that connects Vermont to Canada? There are at least 2 dozen marked roads but probably just as many unmarked 4th class roads and trails. What about lakes that the US and Canada shares? Does the BP patrol in boats as well? And snowmobiles in the wintertime?

I place the call and talk to super nice Border Patrol people. I tell them that I'm doing research for a novel and would like to ask some questions about what the USBP does. I'm also going to write this up for YPR. I ask if it would be all right to stop by next weekend (I'll be up in Burlington on Friday night for the Atmosphere concert). The man wonders if Saturday is what I had in mind. I inquire as to whether or not they're open on Saturdays and am promptly laughed at. The U.S. Border Patrol is "open" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Duh. Of course. I'm told to come on up, they'll have an agent waiting for me and I can watch a video that the new recruits watch. Cool. After a little more finagling, they said they'd have a Canadian Mountie waiting for me, too. Double cool plus.

Like I said, if it's research for a novel, you can do anything.
I just recently started reading TMFTML on a regular basis. This is hilarious.


Ahh hah ha haaa!! Bookslut has just announced their First Annual Pecker Contest. This project spawned after Dale Peck (unjustly) called Jessa ditch-dirty stupid. What the hell does that mean?

As for me, I think Peck is just a reviewer who likes to write nasty things about other authors and their books in order to gain personal notoriety. Actual reviewing falls second, just behind saying mean things so people will notice him.

Now, I admit, I’ve been saying some nasty things recently about Madonna. I apologize. I’d like to make up for it by saying some nice things. She’s incredibly limber, she’s really rich, she enjoys her some yoga, she’s married to a nice looking British man… she has good fashion sense… I really liked “Ray of Light”.


The Onion AV Club reviews a cd that's had non-stop play in my stereo for the past couple weeks: Atmosphere's Seven's Travels.
Last 10 Search Terms to Return…

1. Peter Kuper the metamorphosis reviews since October (Google)
2. ALE fluid (Google)
3. kelly ripa gonna have a fourth child (AOL)
4. beyonce wears extensions (Yahoo)
5. “Takashi’s Castle” (AOL)
6. “100mp”Race Cars (Yahoo)
7. frisbee rotation in a fluid (Google)
8. “I don’t know what you heard about me” original (Yahoo)
9. Leonard Shlain Sex Time Power shit (Google)
10. “Def Leopard facts” (Google)
News From the Upper Valley

14-year-old girl shoots 1,300 pound bull moose. “I couldn't believe it,” said Cassandra. “It was only the eleventh moose I had ever seen in my life.”

Well it’s a good thing she shot it, then. I mean, it would have been a shame to let it keep on living, doing moose things and being one with nature.

This is one of the things I hate about Vermont. There really aren’t that many moose around here and I think we should just let them be. I can’t say as I’ve ever eaten moose but I image it’s gamey and gristly. I think that girl could better spend her time learning how to quilt or knit or spin yarn. Or, if she simply has to shoot a gun, send her out to shoot clay pigeons or foam deer. I’m not down with killing moose.
Neil Gaiman makes a good point about Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion”: If you’re filming a movie about Christ and your lead actor is struck by lightning and your assistant director is struck by lightning twice, maybe it’s a sign that someone isn’t too happy with the work you’re doing.


The Shady Lawn Motel is getting pretty famous. It's referenced here as "a roadside Vermont motel". That's almost right. It's more accurately "a sleazy Vermont motel where high school kids go to have sex".
Amazon has a new search inside the book feature. They're also running a contest that features a Segway as the grand prize. All you have to do is write how this new feature worked for you. The entries will be based upon (no lie): Persuasiveness (10%), Humor (20%), Style (20%), Originality (30%), and Creativity (30%). You have until Nov. 15 to enter.

I want that Segway.
Why not submit something to YPR's graphology project?
A couple new images up at explodingdog.


Good lord, I just saw the new Britney Spears video, “Me Against the Music”. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Not only does the song suck, the video features Madonna and tries to capitalize on the infamous “open mouth kiss” the two performed at the MTV Music Awards. The video looks suspiciously like the “Slave 4 U” video, only filmed in cooler tones (plus, Britney’s not looking as hot). What’s Madonna doing in the video? What else: a bunch of yoga moves. Hey, M-dogg, keep it in the gym, all right? I know you’re trying to look straight pimpin’ in your white suit and cane and that’s all right but the push ups, slithering, bending, crawling has to stop. You look like a fucking spaz. By the way, you can’t write.

[Sigh] Britney, Britney, Britney. You’re so hot, why do you have to do things like this? Also, why’s your new album called “In the Zone”? What is that? Wasn’t that a fad diet a while back?
Extreme Beer Tasting

Unibroue: La Fin du Monde

La Fin du Monde, literally “The End of the World”, is 9% alcohol by volume beer that undergoes a triple fermentation process, literally “fermented three times”. What does this mean? It means this beer is going to kick your ass, spank you and call you names. Unibroue, pronounced “unibrow”, is a Canadian company. They brew and bottle their beer in Chambly, Quebec. Quebec is that French-speaking province that wanted to secede from Canada a while ago. All I know about Quebecians… Québécoise… the people of Quebec is that they drive too fucking fast through my state. And I hate the fact that when you get to northern Vermont, the mileage signs on the side of the interstate start showing distances in miles and kilometers. Barton 12 mi (18km). Fuck you! When you’re in the US you leave your dirty fucking metric system at the border!

Let’s see, I’ve had 3 sips of this beer and I wanna fight. This is some good beer. It tastes a little bitter, but maybe that’s because it’s not ice cold. The bottle tells me that “the excellence of triple fermentation through a blend of special yeasts gives this malt beverage LA FIN DU MONDE an exquisitely robust flavor of exceptional refinement.” There are some pictures on the bottle: a close up of hops that looks like peanut/corn nut party mix, an image of a fat bottomed proper beer glass and a tall slender one with a red “x” though it, and a tilted bottle showing a bunch of gunk at the bottle of the bottle . They call this gunk “refer-mented on yeast base.” Refer… mented? Please tell me they only wrote this to have “refer” printed on the label.

The central image that the words “LA FIN DU MONDE” wrap around is a topographic picture of Quebec, complete with a glowy halo surrounding the province and all surrounding area receding into darkness. Unibroue is trying to say “Quebec=good” and everywhere else sucks and is evil.

“This ‘liquid gold’, with its wild spices and incomparable flavour so precious to ancient explorers, could only be brewed in the high lands of America. Travelers of old, it was said, would gladly go to the end of the world to reach La Fin du Monde!” So says the box. First of all, I don’t taste no wild spices. True, it doesn’t taste like ordinary beer (which is probably why the room is spinning) but I don’t think it’s particularly ‘spicy’. Second of all, and I’m going to be U.S.-centric here, I never thought of Canada, or Mexico for that matter, as being in America. Yes, yes, we’re all in “North America”, but Canadians live in Canada (unless you’re French-Canadian), Mexicans live in Mexico and Americans live in the America. We’re all human and I love everyone, I love you man, but I don’t want no Quebecers calling themselves “American”. I’m done. I’m sorry. [sob] I take it all back. I love you all. I don’t want to behave in that “I rule the fucking world cuz I’m an American” fucking manner. That’s, like, why Americans suck. I’m sorrrryyyyy!!

Unibroue: Don de Dieu

[Belch] Fuck me. I don’t know if I can handle another beer after LA FIN DU MONDE. Seriously.

Okay, I’ve just made supper and put it in the oven. I feel a little better now. This Don de Dieu has a pretty picture of a big golden ship sitting in violet waters with rays of sunlight braking through storm clouds in the background. There are loads of men on the ship (Spaniards? French?) and a slew of canoes with Indians paddling up to the side. One of the Spaniards is… pulling one of the Indians up onto the ship. Or maybe receiving a gift from him. I don’t know. The Indians are all wearing feather head-dresses and thongs. Interesting. The Europeans are probably transmitting a virus to the Native Americans that’s going to wipe them out within weeks. It says here that “the Don de Dieu in Tadoussac, June 3, 1608, under the command of Samuel de Champlain de Brouge, commissioned by the King of France to pursue, by way of the great Canadian waterway, the exploration of this vast and inhospitable land called America.” What? There were way too many commas in there. I have to read it again because it’s not making any sense to me. … … Oh okay, I get it now. So-and-so, under the commission of this guy, ordered by that guy, was told to rape and pillage his way across the New World.

“In spite of a higher alcohol content, Don de Dieu is a surprisingly light-tasting beer with a delicious ‘spices’n fruit’ flavour that gets better with every mouthful.” That sounds dirty. I also just noticed that they’re spelling their English in a British manner. I say, the favour of their beer is most pleasing. What say we go down to the theatre at Piccadilly Centre and catch a humourous film? Jolly good idea.

This beer is also 9% alcohol by volume and is bottle refermented. I actually like the taste of this DON DU DIEU beer better than LA FIN DU MONDE. It’s more mellow, not as bitter, but still has a Belgian quality to it. The bottle says that Unibroue is imported by Unibroue USA INC. in Shelburne, Vermont. Shelburne… I think I’ve been there. I think it’s near Stowe? Maybe Ben & Jerry’s is in Shelburne? I know there’s a museum in Shelburne because I hear about it on the radio all the time.

Okay, so [belch] don’t cook while you’re drinking Unibroue beer. Don’t operate heavy machinery. Don’t do anything other than sit quietly in a chair. I’ve just checked on my supper and succeeded in burning off by right index finger. But hey, it’s time to eat.


Check out this article. Now, look at the price of this book in the US and the price of the same book if purchased in the UK. (Hint: Multiply UK sterling by 1.67 for conversion into US dollar.) Very interesting, no?
Amy: [Looking though toy catalog] Oooo... there's all kinds of neopets stuff in here. [Pointing] Look, there's a Skeith toy and Zafara plushie. Look, here's a Kougra plushie. I have a Kougra.

Barbara: [Setting down her book] That's right. How are your neopets doing?

Amy: [Turning slightly away] Fine.

Barbara: Fine? Just... fine?

Amy: Well, I'm having trouble feeding them. Sometimes I forget and, like, they'll be "starving" or "dying."

Barbara: AMY!

Amy: Well the regular food is so EXPENSIVE so I just end up feeding them omlettes everyday because it's free!

Barbara: You just feed them omlettes?

Amy: [Tiny voice] It's free...

Barbara: What kind of a white trash pet owner are you?

Amy: HEY! The price of food has tripled since I first started playing. And the price for spinning the Wheel of Excitement has gone from 100 neopoints to 150 neopoints. Seriously, you have to devote 12 hours a day to neopets if you want to make any money.

Barbara: ...

Amy: But today, I went to the desert fruit stall and I won 15,000 neopoints and a water muffin and... something else. I can't remember what.

Barbara: A 'water muffin'?

Amy: Yeah.

Barbara: What the fuck is a 'water muffin'?

Amy: [Making derisive noise in throat] It's a muffin made out of water. What the fuck does it sound like?

Barbara: What-ever. [Picking up book and reading again]

Amy: [Flipping through toy catalog] I can't believe these plushies are 45 bucks... I want one.


I threw a Halloween-themed party on Saturday that ended up being way more work than it was worth. I made severed fingers, eyeballs, demon horns, witch’s hats, melted witch (with floating hand), spider web a la molde, salsa and the coup de grace: kitty litter. It literally took all day to make. Then guests started arriving: Grim Reaper, Mr. Cow, Mrs. Pumpkin, Medusa, Renaissance Lady, Star Wars Man, etc. I changed into my ninja outfit and tried persuading people to eat the food but the eyeballs looked “gross,” the molde looked “funky” and the kitty litter was “absolutely the most disgusting thing” people had ever seen. It’s just cake, crushed cookies and melted tootsie rolls! Seriously, it’s not really kitty litter. For the remainder of the night I was the drunken ninja slightly dozing on the couch.

Sunday was spent recovering. I played Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly ALL DAY.

Update: Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly on Gamecube sucks. There's all kinds of glitches, it takes forever to load and I finished it in three days. I hear Voodoo Vince on Xbox isn't bad, though... If you like the little kiddie games that aren't stupid (Spyro), try Ty the Tasmanian Tiger on Xbox. That one was really fun. The graphics were solid, the music wasn't annoying and I got into the habit of shouting, "You beauty!" in an Australian accent when something cool in my life happened.
Book Reviews for In The Cut by Susanna Moore

~ Susanna Moore's book is an edgy, taut, fast paced thriller. The story begins with Franny an NYU professor working with students from the projects in a writing class. This is a convenient relationship for her as she is able to work on her own book and fulfill her obsessions with language forms, particularly slang usage in this area of NYC. Some professors comment on her inappropriately close relationship with her students as she often sees them outside of class to discuss their projects as well as her interests. On one particular night she goes to a bar with a student where she witnesses a man and a woman engaged in a sex act and this sets the plot for the book. This book includes a lot of graphic sex scenes that Franny witnesses, recalls and engages in. She is not a particularly likable character and becomes less so as the plot moves along and she becomes involved in an investigation involving the murder of the girl she saw in the bar. The primary detective on the case, Malloy, is an interesting character who Franny senses is dangerous as well as exciting. As their relationship heats up, she begins to feel that she is being drawn into a dangerous, erotic game but doesn't want to stop herself. The last chapters of the book are page turners that I was unable to put down with an ending that doesn't disappoint. This book isn't for everyone though, it is graphic in both its sexual content and violent descriptions of the crime scenes. It is an exciting novel that will leave you thinking about it and its characters well after the book is closed.

~ It is absolute dreck. The "heroine" of the novel, while book smart, is so incredibly lacking in street smarts that it makes her character totally unbelievable and ridiculous. She's such a highly selfish and pathetic character, that I found myself groaning in parts because of the stupid situations that she puts herself in.

~ This book is the literary equivalent of a snuff film. Whatever Moore was trying to say gets lost amidst the gore and sex. This is a novel best forgotten.

~ When I finished the book I promptly threw it away rather than keep such bad juju in my house. I was left with a profound sense of disgust and disappointment that such a talented author could spend her time creating something that was, perhaps, technically laudable, but reprehensible on practically every other level.

~ It's blatant Grand Guignol, blood and gore and sadism, peopled with characters devoid of humanity with whom it's not possible to empathize. I also feel it is totally anti-woman. The macho detectives' attitude toward women is sick-making, but the "heroine" just laps it up, panting to be abused over and over again. P.S., it deserves no stars whatsoever.

~ Moore seems to think that by piling cliche onto cliche and then hanging 'shocking' sex scenes onto an empty plot she can thrill the reader. But she can't. The erotic writing was FAR from erotic and I ended up laughing out loud at the corny situations the characters found themselves. It misses out on a real opportunity to explore the complex and real dangers that women face in an urban environment. Two-dimensional characters and a real sense of laziness about the plot-line combined to make an eminently forgetable experience.

~ Such a boring, pointless story that only an antisocial might find appealing, with an ending that will probably leave you yawning. If you could care any less about the central character, you would be in a coma.

~ The story failed to engage my interest: the main character (what was her name again?) is a smug, would-be brilliant but hopelessly mediocre NYC single woman who pairs up with a big bad cop, delivered straight from Central Casting. One reasonably good sex scene does not a good thriller make. I found the ending neither sensational nor genre-bending; it struck me as a calculated, completely so-what solution to a not very interesting problem.

This movie, starring Meg Ryan, opens Oct. 22 (limited, wide on Oct. 31). I wonder what the reviews of the movie will be like…


Last 10 Search Terms to Return

1. fluid motion hat (Yahoo)
2. izzy prank emails (Google)
3. Brown Recluse Bight Picture (Google)
4. K&S fan ficiton (Yahoo)
5. shizzy bob from accounting (Google)
6. how to wink your left eye (Google)
7. “Mighty Wind” & “song lyrics” (Google)
8. “steve almond” bc (Google)
9. Most Extreme Elimination Challenge Photos (Google)
10. “How to draw naked people” (Google)
Extreme Beer Tasting

I’ve purchased a couple seasonal beers. These beers being flavors I’ve never seen before: Pumpkin. Okay, I can dig that. It sounds interesting. What I’ll do is drink the beer for you and report my findings. See, I’ll be doing all the work for you and saving you mass quantities of money. Extreme Beer Tasting (EBT) will hopefully become a regular addition to my blog.

Blue Moon: Pumpkin Ale

What can I tell you about Blue Moon? Well, you’ve probably seen it in the cooler at supermarkets so you know what it looks like. This particular style of ale is brewed with natural flavors and it’s brewed in the U.S.A. and… If you have questions you can call 1-800-BLE-MOON. I don’t really know anything about this beer, I’m just reading off the box and bottle. 1-800-BLE-MOON, eh? You think 1-800-BLU-MOON was taken? Call one eight hundred bleh moon. Heh heh. It’s probably worth mentioning I’ve nearly finished the first bottle. It tastes not even remotely like pumpkins; it just tastes like beer. This amber-colored naturally flavored ale is brewed only in the autumn and combines the flavor of vine-ripened pumpkin and spices with traditional crystal meth. What?! Crystal malt! It says ‘crystal malt’. Whew, heh heh, sorry about that. I was freaked out for a second there. I’m re-reading the sentence on the bottle and I’m just not tasting the ‘vine-ripened pumpkin and spices’. Which brings me to…

The Shipyard: Pumpkinhead Ale

Ahhh, Shipyard. I have a soft spot in my heart for this beer. I once went to a Geology conference in Portland, Maine and was able to consume a shit load of the local beer while I was still underage. That beer, the beer that had me puking in the bathroom in under 3 hours, was Shipyard. It’s good beer, I like it. This Pumpkinhead has a picture of a statue man on a sitting on a statue horse, with his right arm raised in triumph or victory. Where the statue man’s head should be is a cartoon pumpkin with fairly sinister cut-outs of a mouth, nose and eyes. I don’t know if this is meant to be a Sleepy Hollow reference or what, but it’s cool. Now for the first sip…

Oh yeah! You can totally taste the pumpkin and spices in this. The bottle says that this is a “malt beverage with pumpkin spice added”. It’s probably just some nutmeg and cinnamon mixed in, but it’s good. I should probably pour this into a glass instead of just sucking it straight out of the bottle. I want to see if there are spices floating around in it.

No spices floating about, just a nice amber color. There really isn’t much writing on the bottle. There’s the obligatory government warning, five cent deposit in various states, a scary picture of just the pumpkin head on the neck of the bottle and bar code. [Belch] There isn’t any writing on the box either. Wait, there’s something on the bottom. Oh look, it’s directions on how to get to Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brew Pub in Kennebunk, Maine. And how to get to The Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. There are even wicked nice maps to go along with the directions. The maps have that old-fashioned cursive, cross-hatch quality to them, complete with pirate ships out in the water and elaborately drawn compasses. There are large fish in the Atlantic Ocean which, if drawn to scale, are about the same size as the pirate ships. I might guess that they’re whales but… they don’t looks like whales. ... ... No, I don't think they're whales. The directions are really in-depth and I think it’s nice. It’s like the directions are kind of hidden on the bottom of the box and if you find them, you be in the Shipyard secret society and allowed into their factory. [Belch] Or something.