It's a shame but they lost me a long time ago

Checking through the News Briefs at BookWeb, I see that the Dartmouth Bookstore is looking for new owners. It's too bad, really. I can't understand why it was doing so poorly; the location is great (right on Main Street) and it seemed like there were plenty of customers. It used to be that I'd go in there for a book when I was in Hanover, but they never had anything I was looking for.

Over at BookBlog, we were recently discussing book reviews and how one might choose to read any given book. Me, I go into a bookstore knowing exactly what I want. I go for it, grab it, pay for it and leave. In and out.

That was the problem (in my view) with the Dartmouth Bookstore. I would go in, look for a book I wanted, wouldn't find it, look for another, they wouldn't have that, etc. And don't even get me started on the fact that they didn't even have a graphic novel section.

When I do feel like giving all my money to an independant bookseller, I'll head over the the Norwich Bookstore. Mostly, though, I go to Borders or order through Amazon. Cheaper books and free shipping? How can I say no to that when I probably spend $2500 a year in books?


You look so much older... maybe it's time to start bathing in the alpha-hydroxy acids?

Y.P.R. turns one today. Just one. I can't believe it. They seem so professional and together but apparently it's all a SHAM! Actually, when I think about all the things I've accomplished since February 26, 2003, it's rather paltry compared to everything Y.P.R.'s done. Good job, guys.


Jay-Z and The Beatles? Trust me, it works.

If you haven't heard about the Grey Album, visit Grey Tuesday and download it. It's really good.
"The Lady And The Unicorn" lays out the fictional history of a real-life artwork, filling in a rich backstory where actual scholarship turns up only vague details."

The Onion reviews Tracy Chevalier's newest book.
I hope that cat is declawed

defective yeti has a baby yeti. congrats.
It's a lot less painful to watch than read

Recently, Paris Hilton came under the misconception that people will want to read a book about how rich/spoiled/trashy she is. Now, Jessica Simpson wants to write as well.

Jessica, sweety, you're idiocy comes off much more endearingly on-screen than on paper...

Okay, so sometimes I say stupid things. Like, the other day, my dad told me that Nick and I were going to perform at Access Hollywood's post-Golden Globe party. I said, so that's before the awards, right, Daddy? He said, No, honey, the party's after the awards. I said, but post means before. He was like, No, post means after. But I was sure I was right. I said, Daddy, then why do you put a postage stamp on a letter before you mail it?"

No way you can be 23-years-old, this stupid and function in today's society.

And I can't even imagine the editor's job. She/he'll get a stack of construction paper with things like "Chikin of the See... is it toona fish or chikin or pork or what?" scrawled across the pages in crayon.
Funny-named bunnies leave home based on psychic premonition, join cult, leave, find new home, notice no lady bunnies around, steal lady bunnies from farm.

Fuck yeah. I got an honorable mention at Bookslut. (I'm VermontGirl). Summarize a novel in 25 words or less. It's fun. Personally, I like my Watership Down summary.


I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.

This month discussion of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex is finally underway over at BookBlog.
From Neil Gaiman's Journal

According to Neil, there will be a Sandman convention in Minneapolis at the end of the year. Dude, I'm going. That's all there is to it: I'm going.

And I thought this was really cute. It took me a couple seconds to understand what I was meant to be seeing but, hey, it's just gone past eight in the morning and I haven't even dented me coffee yet.


Finally, the days are getting warmer.

Get out your buckets, it's time to start sugaring.
Must add to my ever growing/tottering pile of "to read"...

The March/April Book Sense 76 has been posted. I think that the hardcover selections always tend to be a little off-beat (and wicked popular once everyone hears about them).

I'm going through the books, seeing which ones sound good. The most controversial one I've seen is this one. Apparently, either you love it ("The book is laugh out loud funny and Kyle Smith has the rare ability to express what most men think and feel about women and life in general.") or hate it ("This is a shameful exercise in fiction. How astonishing that it saw the light of day to publication. I have no idea whether Mr. Smith actually lacks talent, or whether he has chosen to use his talent in an unproductive, wasteful manner--but in either case, having endured his debut novel cover to cover, I can honestly say, without reservation, that it was one of the weakest books I have read in quite a long time."). Yeaahh, maybe I'll skip this one...
A Fox in the Woods

There's a cool thread over at I Love Books (my newest addiction) concerning coming face-to-face with authors. I posted my David Sedaris signing episode, which actually wasn't a horror at all. Quite the opposite. When someone posted a comment saying they knew what I looked like, I got very afraid and didn't sleep for days. Then I learned that he was talking about this picture (bottom). I had forgotten about it probably because that's what I look like with my human skin on. Most of the time, I actually do look like this. David Sedaris was right, all right.


This is my story: For nine straight months I was addicted to chocolate sex crack-cocaine home-made crystal meth, which I sold to children and... and I once killed a party clown with a hammer.

Everyone seems to coming out with memoirs recounting a traumatic/fucked-up past. There's Augusten Burrough's Running with Scissors, James Frey's A Million Little Pieces and now Brad Land's Goat. I'm not really sure what the reader's meant to feel when they finish these books: Horror? Shock? Envy? All of the above? I think these books sell because they're so "out there" and wild. Who wants to read a boring memoir, really?

I remember the summer of the 13th year was a particularly memorable one: Old Man Jenkens at the end of Elm Street got a brand new riding mower. It was the first time I'd ever seen one and I was completely transfixed by the raw power it exuded.

Bor-ing. Now if you read something like:

When I was 13-years-old, a band of gypsies kidnapped me and made me their sex-slave for the entire summer. Eventually, I perfected a handjob technique known as "the basket", which I performed on my uncle as soon as I returned home. We were married for two months before I died of a heroin overdose.

You're going to want to buy that book, right?


Donna Martin Graduates!

Remember a while ago on Gawker there was mention of the upcoming Victoria Spelling wedding registery? I told a co-worker about it who immediately told me to go to the, because if you're registered at William Sonoma, it'll show up there. Etc, etc, etc: Check this out. Fucking hilarious.

Nat ....... - Beverly Hills, CA 2|12|2004

Tori, Even though I hated cleaning up your bulemic puke stains from the bathroom floor of the Peach Pit I will never forget the times you let me rub Crisco all over your over-surgeried body at the Peach Pit AD. Maybe now that you are getting married you will stop going to the Crazy Horse with your brother and peeing in public while you are gallavanting around LA.

By the way, I don't know about everybody else, but I'm not breaking down and getting her something. If anyone needs new kitchen tools/gadgets, it's me.


More recently, I have shit my patriotic knickers in anticipation of the spectacular Presidents' WEEK sales events.

I submitted an item to The Black List and they've put it up. Sweet. What's with all the grades given, though? It looks like you either get an A or an F. What happened to the comfortably mediocre C+?
It was a pleasurable weekend, no matter how boring it sounds.

Finally got around to playing Puerto Rico with Barbara and Jason. The game went so well (i.e. smoothly) that we played two more times back-to-back. Three times in a row?! That hasn’t happened since Carcassonne.

Puerto Rico is an extremely well thought-out game along the same lines as Settlers, in that there are goods to produce and things that you can do with those goods (in the case of this game: trade for money or send back to the Old World). Each player gets to be Governor in turn and each player selects a role to take (Craftsman, Mayor, Builder, etc) and all the other players may participate in that role as well. All the nuances of the game would appear confusing and/or boring if I listed them out here, but suffice it to say that this game was fucking great.

Now I’ve got to find some willing players for a game of Fluxx.

* * *

And on the book front, I read voraciously this past weekend. You can see to the left that I finally finished off Child of My Heart (I’ve seen drums less hollow than this book), read the first trade of Rex Mundi (one of the most erudite comics I’ve read), BOP! More Box Office Poison (I realized why these stories were left out of the original graphic novel in the first place), the third book in a particularly trashy trilogy (which is too embarrassing to list on the left) and am finishing up Grass for His Pillow, which I started some months ago and cast aside for no explicable reason. I have to write some of these reviews so that I can raise my Amazon Reviewer rating. My goal is to crack the top 1000 by the end of the year.


Gotta leave a post-it for myself somewere. Almost forgot to do The Friday Five.

1. Are you superstitious?
Yes. [knocking on wood]

2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition?
Everyone knows you shouldn't sign your name in red ink. It's the same thing as signing your name in blood (which is something you should NEVER do). When I was younger, I worked for my mom and once filled out my timesheet in red ink and signed my name at the bottom. She ripped it up, slapped me across the face and made me fill out another in black ink. ... I lied about the 'slapped' part, but she did rip it up and make me fill out another.

3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition?
Favorite? We're not talking about ice cream flavors here. But some of the ones I follow are: Don't open umbrellas in the house, don't whistle in the house you live in, keep a tidy house or else Fortune won't come for a visit, etc.

4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual?
Yes. Pigs are good luck. You should have pig calendars and figurines all over your home.

5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
Yes. Because I'm a Libra. (duh)
A zany new puffed corn snack-- for you piggies out there!

This morning, I went to put some of these into a sandwich bag to bring to work. The bag had already been opened and as I started to unroll the top, I saw the word "OINKS". The "Z" was off the the side and unreadable. Needless to say, I didn't bring any in today.


She raised her voice to me and said, You bought it! You made a deal!

This scared the shit out of me.


Problem #2 I have with new Superman movie: They want Beyonce for the part of Lois Lane.

Remember what a freaking riot Super Troopers was? You pissed you pants laughing, I know you did. Well you better start stocking up on Depends, my friend.

In other movie news, more particularly comics --> movies news, I hear they're making a Wonder Woman movie and a certain vampire slayer is in heavy talks for the lead role.

Also, I can't wait to see Hellboy. I'm going to have to read the comics before it comes out, though. While I was chatting with Tom (my trusty comicbook seller), I asked him why "the red guy from Hellboy has those circles on his head." I was almost asked to leave the store due to my disgusting display of ignorance. I was briefly told that Hellboy's horns need to be cut off or else the Right Hand of Doom etc, etc, etc. I think I know someone who's got the whole series of comics but I might just go out and get the trades.

Has anyone ever heard of a movie called Superman? I thought so. So why the poop are they making a new one? And the powers that be want McG at the helm? Reminder: He was the conductor of that train wreck called Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Just leave it alone, man. The movie has been made- 4 times in fact. No one can be Clark Kent better than Christopher Reeve. And Dean Cain. And that really fit guy from Smallville...

(Okay, you caught me. I found out all this cool stuff here.)
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

Who would ever call Ulysses inaccessible? I've read it three times. Well, I've picked it up three times. I couldn't finish it or, in fact, get past page five.

JOYCE: "I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of ensuring immortality."
Princess Leia diagnosed with bipolar II, John Nash a paranoid schizophrenic, Amy just plain crazy

Ms. Fisher has a new book coming out. It's a fiction, though. She couldn't do a memoir because "the truth is a very stern taskmistress." She goes on to talk about her hallucinations: "I became psychotic. I didn't sleep for six days. I felt I was getting secret messages from CNN."

Which reminds me, I learned last night that B hasn't ever seen A Beautiful Mind. Shocked, I said in my drugged-out manner, "Dude, you like totally have to see it. Have you heard anything about it? Heard any... uh... like things that would give anything away?" She said no, we went out, rented it from a local video store (skirting around my Netflix obligations) and watched. Or rather, I watched her, waiting for the moment of enlightenment... Which never came. She took the movie in way too calmly. I even had to pause the movie to make sure she understood: "You understand that his roommate, the little girl and Ed Harris aren't real, right? They're like only in his head." Yeah, she got it and thought the movie was 'good' but wasn't nearly as impressed and I was the first time I saw it.

And after the movie, I wondered: What would happen if you were a figment of your own imagination?
If I ignore it, maybe it just won't happen.

Shit. Today's Terror Mood Ring over at YPR is "3 days to find a valentine." Great, I didn't realize v-day was that close. Well, time to send out my valentines. (So many options.)


Blankets: Bet you didn't know it was influenced by Proust and Nabokov.

Karin L. Koss, for Bookslut, interviews Craig Thompson. If you haven't read Blankets or Good-Bye, Chunky Rice by now, you should. Also, if you're not in the habit of reading Bookslut's interviews, you should do that, too. They always get someone awesome.
Janet's boobies have been bounced/pointed/thrust in our face for so many years now, no wonder we're all desensitized.

Why did she do that, Daddy?

Well you see, son, Janet Jackson has another record coming out, and she's afraid that no one cares.

This is the first honest insight I've read concerning "nipplegate".


Is it Timberfake or Trousersnake? Personally, I think it's Stomachache

Did you see the Grammy's last night? Yeah, I think everyone did. If not, a whole bunch of people blogged it. What's even more spectacular, everyone blogged it the same way: write scathing comments regarding wardrobe/speeches about the presenters/performers/Joan Rivers every 2-15 minutes. It was funny the first time around.

1. Whatevs. "Still funking and still sucking. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop mainlining H!"

2. Neal Pollack for Salon. "George Clinton better book P-Funk some time in Tha Cosmic Rehearsal Studio! All we need now is La Jacka's honkers to make the night complete."

3. This is what you call obsessive. "Whoa, anyone else think George Clinton was gonna up and die climbing those stairs? The Church of the Funk almost ended on national television. He nearly turned this carotid artery out."

4. Jesus. This guy was actually happy and felt like a "proud papa" when Justin Thinmilkshake got an award. Yech. "Then George and his army came on with their P-Funk train wreck, sloppy as hell which I suppose is how it ought to be."


5. Matt Tobey's City of Floating Blogs. "Holy shit is the best way to sum up the sonic clusterfuck that was the tribute to funk."

6. WWKAD. "Saddest Moment: George Clinton stumbling onto the stage in search of 'the funk', only to find more dementia and arthritis."
Electronic Performers

This is great. Air and The Crystal Method are going to be at the Avalon in Boston. I've already ordered my tix. Have you? C'mon, get your tickets and I'll see you there. I'm tempted to see the N*E*R*D show as well, which I think would make for the best month (musically, at least) ever.
Starting The Friday Five on a Monday.

1. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
I don't know. I don't have a very good memory... Probably something extremely mundane like shoplifting or smuggling a cocaine-filled condom (secreted away, up my bum) across the Mexican border.

2. What one thing would you like to try that your mother/friend/significant other would never approve of?
Six months in a minimum security madhouse.

3. On a scale of 1-10, what's your risk factor? (1=never take risks, 10=it's a lifestyle)
Seven. Seven point five. Seven point nine five.

4. What's the best thing that's ever happened to you as a result of being bold/risky?
I haven't been caught... yet. Besides, I think the statute of limitations has expired.

5. ... and what's the worst?
Flesh wound to my left shoulder from a Smith & Wesson .38 double action pistol.


Casting call [in my head] for The Endless...

The Modern Word is running a contest: Write a review for your favorite book turned into a movie- even if it hasn't been made yet! Can you guess my choice? The author's last name starts with "G" and ends with "aiman"...
C'mon. Give me full frontal nudity from someone I actually want to see naked.

Gross. Michael Pitt as the new "it" boy? I think Gawker had it right by saying that he's "going to be like the old hotel-trashing Leo DiCaprio but with a touch of the old photographer-punching Sean Penn with just a whiff of crazy homeless man." Remember him as "Henry" on Dawson's Creek? I swear, he was like a dog Jen kicked over and over again but always comes back for more attention.
Preferred topping? Shrooms, the magical kind.

Don't know what to do for Leap Day? Why not make it a day that everyone can enjoy? I mean, can you think of one human being that doesn't enjoy a slice of pizza?
The wacky scent of catnip with the interactive fun of bubbles!

Last night, the cats at home had run out dry food so my sister and I made a trip to the pet store. I don’t really like going there because I end up buying toys for the cats that they don’t need and never play with. The only thing that they will play with is a balled-up piece of stiff paper, which they bat around like professional soccer players. In fact, they’re so good, I’m thinking of setting up a net under the kitchen table.

The Lebanon Pet & Aquarium Center is kind of like a free zoo. It’s pretty big and there are all kinds of animals. One area has sweet looking kittens (always sleeping) and puppies (always frantic). Another huge room, and by far the loudest, has all kinds of birds and rodents, ferrets and bunnies, guinea pigs and chinchillas. Downstairs is the aquarium section with a staggering array of exotic fish and a small room housing the lizards, frogs and tarantulas. You can’t help but wander around everywhere before picking up what you came for.

In my case, I came for dry food and ended up leaving with gourmet ocean fish flavored dry food, pouches of gourmet wet food, a kit to grow your own cat grass and a bottle of catnip bubbles. That’s right, catnip bubbles. It looks exactly like the normal kind you can buy, with the wand in it, only instead of blowing soap bubbles, you blow non-toxic catnip bubbles that you cat can chase/grab/bite. It sounded awesome, so I got it.

Once home, I immediately start blowing these delicious and psychotropic bubbles at them (which started leaving green toothpaste colored circles all over the kitchen floor). As usual, Gatsu was petrified and Griffith was indifferent. A bubble popped in Gatsu’s face when he went to sniff it and he immediately ran upstairs to cry. Another bubble landed directly on Griffith and he just gazed at it until it popped, not making any show of surprise/dismay when it did.

Barbara and I decided that next time we’ll get the cats high on catnip first before we start messing around with the bubbles.


"I think you would become too drunk to know right from left before you were too drunk to see the tedium in LCR."

I'm always on the lookout for new games. When I saw that the 9th best selling game over at Funagain was something I'd never heard of, LCR, I decided to head on over to Board Game Geek to check it out. Turns out, this game is horrible. I've never seen such a low overall user rating before. This game is described as "Stupid!", "utterly painful", "horrible" and "complete tripe." And you know it must be bad when it gets scores like "1e-04" and "6.6e-06".
Ha ha ha ha.


Is that an icicle in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

In the latest installment of Vermont Girl, I travel north to Fairlee to see people skating around a frozen lake. Was it exciting? No. Was it a learning experience? Kind-of. Will I do it again? Not bloody likely.
Bitch!! Get me another goddamn juicey-juice box! The Pats are down by one and I'm about to punch a hole in the wall!

Wilder, VT -- Do these kids look like the future jock/bullies of tomorrow or what? I'm sure this picture closely resembles any other Super Bowl party taking place last night but these kids are all between the ages of 8 and 10-years-old. I'm scared. And either these kids are enormous or that's a child-sized loveseat.
"Oops," Timberlake said. "It was an accident I reached around the front of Miss Jackson, grabbed a fist-full of pleather and pulled.

In an effort to upstage Justin and Janet's breast plate ripping performance at the Super Bowl as an attempt to upstage the Madonna/Britney/Christina (but who cares about Christina, really?) lip-lock at the MTV Music Awards, it's being rumored that Beyonce and 50 Cent will be dry humping at this coming Sunday's Grammy Awards. And Beyonce's only going to be wearing a fig leaf.