What did they expect?

A lollipop-shaped, berry-flavored narcotic is the new hott drug on the streets. And people are surprised. I'm not. I'm betting this is a new wave of friendlier drugs. Cocaine will now be various fruit flavors and come inside pixie stix. Pills can be baked inside cookies and brownies. Heroin will be cooked down into ice cream topping...


Requiem for a Dreamer

Hubert Selby Jr. has passed away. This is so sad. He's one of my most favorite authors. There's an interview of him on the special features of the Requiem for a Dream dvd and he seemed like such a sweet guy.

Here is more at The New York Times.


Thursay night

Barbara: I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already.

Amy: I know.

Barbara: I’m going to be drawing all day at work, so it should go by fast.

Amy: That’s nice. I wish I could draw all day and get paid for it.

Barbara: It’s tiring on the eyes, though. Some of the women working at the tables in the middle of the room will rest their head on their arm for a few minutes.

Amy: Sleeping?

Barbara: Resting their eyes for a little while.

Amy: Yeah, that’s called “sleeping.” You can’t do that where I work. People would be like, “What the hell are you doing? Wake up.”

Barbara: Sometimes Gwen sleeps for 15 minutes under a desk.

Amy: Are you kidding me? She crawls under her desk and goes to sleep?

Barbara: Well, there’s this row of tables against a wall and she’ll sleep under there. Like, half in and half out.

Amy: … You don’t think that’s a sign that she has mental problems?

Barbara: She only does it every couple of months.

Amy: That’s doesn’t make it okay. What kind of operation are they running at your work? I would understand it if you guys were working 20 hours days but come on, you can’t go 8 hours without a nap? Just tell them to drink more coffee.


Kid's books?

Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor is unfortunately being compared to Harry Potter. I love the HP books but I don't think comparing a different book to a juggernaut bestseller (to potentially increase the book's sales) is a good idea.

And a French girl named Flavia Bujor started writing a book at the age of 12 and had it published when she was 14. I'd like to read The Prophecy of Stones just to laugh and talk about what a crap writer she is because she's still only a kid. But here's the thing: Click on her picture in the news article... No way she's 15-years-old. She's a thirtysomething posing as a kid to excuse her shitty writing skills! Seriously! If not, though, I don't know what's in the air/water in Paris but it's making people age wicked fast.
Very good news

'Donnie Darko' to be re-released. I can't wait. I've got the DVD but will definitately go to a theater to see it on the big screen.

This is like this, only you get a shorter time period, have to write less but draw a heck of a lot more.
Good Reads

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Ricky Gervais from The Office. Two most upsetting bits: (1) The Office is over. I had no idea. Just two seasons and two Christmas specials? That's it? I want more. (2) NBC is making it's own version of The Office. I shudder to think what it might be like. When I said I wanted more, I meant more of the British one.

Also, The Onion uses movies to determine whether or not drugs good or drugs bad. Avenging Disco Godfather and Phych-out are now on my Netflix queue.


Sunday music

[Jason, in the back room of the house, drilling something in the wall, moving things around]

BARBARA: It sound like Jason’s playing the drums back there… Doesn’t it?

AMY: Yeah, like he’s banging his hands against the water heater. Like [Miming drumming] PAH! PA PA PA PAH!

[Jason, banging around back room more]

AMY: And then, like, when he wants to hit the cymbals, he punches his fist through the window. [Laughing]

BARBARA: … What?

AMY: He’s like [Miming drumming] PA PA PA PA PAH- and then [Miming punch] SMASH through the glass.

BARBARA: What are you talking about? I was just talking about him-

AMY: [Laughing harder] And then his hand would be all bloody.

BARBARA: Okay, I’m taking the cats outside. You come out when you’re sane again.
Title filed away under "Someone must pay me cash money to read"

Jeeze, I could barely make it through this review. It was starting to sound a little bit too much like a T.V. show I'm watching about four vapid New York whores. Then I read:

In fact, ''Bergdorf Blondes'' makes ''Sex and the City'' resemble a carefully constructed anarcho-feminist critique of capitalist society.

Hott damn, this book must really be shit then.
DVD review

1. Sex and the City: Season 2
The girls are still slutty and still loving it. I, on the other hand, am rapidly getting tired of it.

2. This is Spinal Tap
Funny but I'm beginning to notice a similarity to all the Christopher Guest movies...

3. The Rundown
Has anyone else seen this movie? Why is it not being touted as "a movie so funny, you'll nearly black-out laughing"? I got it simply because it has The Rock and Seann William Scott in it but parts of it ended up being a riot. In addition to that, all the fight scenes are completely (and comically) out of control. I would recommend it to anyone who loved Old School.
Slowing coming around to accepting Bobby Flay

Y.P.R. posts my Food Network diatribe. It may read as "boring" to most people but it was one of the most fun pieces I've written.


Desperately seeking Maple Syrup

Y.P.R. posted my most recent Vermont Girl in Weathersfield. They also have a new do, which I think is very posh looking. My only question is: Who is this Wally guy that's doing all the html?


Solitude and Fortresses of Youth

Michael Chabon writes an op/ed piece for The New York Times about the student expelled and teacher fired from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco:

We don't want teenagers to write violent poems, horrifying stories, explicit lyrics and rhymes; they're ugly, in precisely the way that we are ugly, and out of protectiveness and hypocrisy, even out of pity and love and tenderness, we try to force young people to be innocent of everything but the effects of that ugliness. And so we censor the art they consume and produce, and prosecute and suspend and expel them, and when, once in a great while, a teenager reaches for an easy gun and shoots somebody or himself, we tell ourselves that if we had only censored his journals and curtailed his music and video games, that awful burst of final ugliness could surely have been prevented. As if art caused the ugliness, when of course all it can ever do is reflect and, perhaps, attempt to explain it.
2004 Eisner Award Nominees (for 2003 Publications)

This is great. For Best Short Story, the "Death" story in Sandman: Endless Nights is nominated. I didn't particularly think this was the best story in the collection but I've always loved the Gaiman/Russell combo. The other nominees in this category remind me that I've got to get some Little Lit to read.

A comment about the Best Single Issue nominee: Conan #0. Personally, I thought a comic book about Conan the Barbarian would be stupid, but it was really well written and the artwork was great. I think Tom at The Funnybook Factory was telling me that the drawings Cary Nord did were so beautiful that they simply colored over it, no inking necessary. I loved it.

And I'm very happy to see Persepolis and Blankets nominated.
Totally got both in the bag

Nominations for the Bram Stoker Award are up. Neil Gaiman is on the list twice for Sandman: Endless Nights and The Wolves in the Walls.


Easter Dinner

Before eating, my mother painstakingly played Jingle Bells on the piano, showing how well her lessons were paying off. She went back into the kitchen and I started playing Scarborough Fair, which was simple considering all the notes in the book had letters on them and all the keys had clear stickers with corresponding letters. So really, it was just like typing. Right around “true love of mine,” my mother comes back into the living room and asks where I learned to play. I tell her I was just messing around. She then asks if I want to take lessons with her. As I ponder having to spend any more time at my mother’s house than I have to, she says, “It can be arranged.” She said it so seriously; as though she were a Mafia boss and I had just asked to have somebody whacked. In the end, I gave her a noncommittal “maybe” and told her to get her ass back in the kitchen.


When the possibility of fame overshadows everything else

While crocheting last night, I listened to “Making the Band: 2”, or whatever that new P. Diddy reality show is. I have new respect for Diddy because he’s so funny and obviously works hard. He also has the ability to cut right through any bullshit the teeny-boppers sling around.

On this episode, one of the singers (dubbed a “diva” by the rest of the band because she doesn’t like being around cigarette smoke) was confiding to someone and all I heard her say was, “I have to take care of my voice. I was- I was blessed with a gift from God. God gave me this voice… And I’m not going to let any motherfucker mess with my shit.”

I stopped crocheting for a moment to ponder her statement. The hand of God apparently came down and massaged her vocal chords, blessing her with a voice that frankly must sound ten times better inside her own head. Then she goes on to express her concern over anyone trying to, wittingly or unwittingly, damage her magical gift. The fact that she was talking divinity then cursing like a trucker was… a perfect example of what’s wrong with people.

Then she got a phone call from home, telling her that her little daughter was sick at home with pneumonia. She freaked out for a little while, screaming at the other members of the band for looking at her/talking to her/breathing. In the end, she decided to go perform at the show instead of going home. Suffice it to say, this girl is totally worthless.


where is my catapillar?

New pictures up at explodingdog 2004. Looks like the designs are getting simpler... I like it.
What is up

Watching: Sex and the City (Season 1)
I knew these girls were easy but come on. I’ll keep watching because I’m sickly fascinated with the world they’re living in but the whole premise is one tragic female cliché. Loosely based on the book by Candice Bushnell, it all comes off as a stereotype about how modern women act. It’s all about how you look and how soon until your next sexcapade. I refuse to believe that there are real women who act this way. If they do, they should take stock in themselves and sort their shit out. I’m afraid, though, that this whole series only vindicates their lifestyle.

Doing: Crocheting a blanket for Mother’s Day
Okay. I’m not so sure now that this “home-made blanket” thing is such a good idea after all. I’m using really pretty yarn made by Manos del Uruguay but it’s wicked expensive. Seriously, by the time I’m done I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent $400.00 on fucking yarn. Let’s be honest, you can’t put a price tag on the love you have for the woman who gave birth to you so many years ago but if you could, I bet it’d less than $400.00. I love my mom but she’s psyched if I stop by her house just to say hi. If I give her a Kit-Kat on Mother’s Day she’d be appreciative. No doubt she’ll adore the blanket but she really won’t have any idea how much it cost. If she knew, I think she’d slap me for wasting so much money.

Listening: Alanis Morissette
I don’t know why, but I pulled out Jagged Little Pill the other day and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. I first got this album when I was a senior in high school and I don’t think there’s one song I don’t like on it. I got her next album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, when it came out and dug that as well. I didn’t get Under the Rug Swept, but I think I will now. She’s a really good singer. And she has a new album, So Called Chaos, coming out on May 18. I’ve been streaming the first single, “Everything”, and I like it.

Reading: Not Much
I’ll read a bit of The Kalahari Typing School for Men here and a little Hellboy: Wake the Devil there, but I haven’t been too focused on reading lately.

Playing: Harvest Moon
Not so much, though. I think my Harvest Moon binge this past weekend kind of desensitized me. I printed some Harvest Moon help off the internet and got dubbed a “cheater” at home. No fair. It’s not cheating, it’s called “being informed.”

Self-Realization: I get borderline hysterical about my cooking.
I made a couple cheesecakes the other day, one for home and one to bring to work for a party. There were a bunch of people over at my house on Monday and I offered them some. I tried it first and immediately started freaking out over the fact that it was still warm and, therefore, still soft. No wait, I don’t think you understand when I say “freaking out.” I mean that after I swallowed the first bite I wanted to retract my offer for everyone to have some. I kept saying that it wasn’t good and that it’d be so much better if it had cooled longer in the fridge. It tasted more like a cream cheese custard rather than a firm cheesecake. I didn’t like the way that the blueberries and raspberries made the bottom half of the filling purple and the top half was still off-white. I didn’t like that I sliced the strawberries a little too thick. And I was ashamed that I didn’t make the graham cracker pie shell from scratch. I didn’t actually say all that, it just running rapdily through my head. When I cook, I want everything to be fucking per-fect and I don’t understand it because I think I’m pretty laid back, you know? Maybe I just have a neurosis about this one thing. Anyway, when everyone had had a slice and came to tell me how good it was, I said “Oh, thank you.” But in my head I knew they were just placating me because I freaked out.


On Pulitzers and stickers...

My guesses were way off. This year's Pulitzer winner for fiction is The Known World by Edward P. Jones. I want to read it but I'm afraid that if I get it, it'll have that stupid Today Show sticker on the front. Like the Oprah books. In some cases, they're not even stickers but actually printed on the cover. Printed on the cover of The Kalahari Typing School for Men is a little cricle that says "First time in paperback!" Who gives a shit if this is the first time in paperback? I know it just came out in paperback, that's why I bought it. Now there'll forever be this blemish on the book.


It’s a Wonderful Life

Most recent addiction: Harvest Moon.

I’ve played at least 20 hours of this video game over the course of three days. This might seem like a lot because it is. In the game, you run a farm, growing crops and raising animals. You also try to woo a few of the town’s girls into marriage. I got the cute little farm girl to marry me by giving her flowers and presents. Now that we’re married, all she does it bitch about housework and how there’s never enough food in the fridge. Hello? I have to sell the food to make money to buy livestock to sell produce. It’s a viscous cycle she has no idea about because she stays in the house all day. The good thing is that I got her to call me “Master” all the time.

Because the game is sucking up all my free time, I’ve slacked off on my quilting, reading, cooking, laundry, showering, etc. I was planning on crocheting a blanket for my mom as a Mother’s Day gift but I doubt it’ll happen now. So sad.
Del Toro turned down HP#3 for Hellboy

Saw Hellboy this weekend and thought it was awesome. Loved it. Would like to see it again. Am in love with Ron Pearlman now. Reading through the NYT movie review today, Elvis Mitchell says that Hellboy has a "huge, stonelike left arm." No, man. It's the friggin' Right Hand of Doom. Right, not left. Jeeze.

I should mention that I drove 40 minutes to Claremont (with the nice theaters and digital surround sound) with Barbara and Jason to see the matinee. We got there just in time but learned that the movie already started... an hour ago. Daylight Savings strikes again. We had no idea. The next showing wasn't for four hours so we just went all the way back home and caught the movie later at the Sony [Crappy] theater.

On the way home, Jason was trying to call Sony for showtimes on his cell phone. I was telling Barbara about the nice theaters in Boston where all you have to do it type the first three letters of the movie into the phone and it'll tell you the showtimes for that movie only. She was so impressed you would have thought I told her about flying cars. Here, we have to listen to a shitty recording and if you catch the recording in the middle (and miss your title), you have to wait for the stupid thing to rewind and play over again.