Browsing Month February, 2006

Book-hunting deprived of a soul

I enjoy browsing book stores and sales in hopes of the random score for something readable—I’m not looking for valuable first editions. I’ve never been one to festishize books for their dollar value, just their informational, emotional, or intellectual value. The most money comes into it is when I calculate cost per idea. Something like more…

Snowing like a pillow fight

Weatherdudes and weatherdolls across the eastern U.S. are smacking their smug little lips in satisfaction this morning at their accurate predictions of a big snow dump overnight. It’s only the second substantial snow we’ve had this winter; the other happened while I was out of town. Incredibly, there was lightning and thunder with this storm. more…

Why you buggin, word man?

“In the early 1990s, when the mites first struck hives in the United States, Utah’s etymologist announced that after a single infected colony had been destroyed, the state was free of the infestation.”

Difficult to be from Missouri

Banning plays like Grease and The Crucible in my home state of Missouri is one more incident in a series going back decades that make it difficult to tell people that yes, indeed, that’s where I was born and that’s where I’m from. This case, like the others that have happened in Missouri, is shameful. more…

The Black Dahlia

It’s gladdening to see they’re making a movie of The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. It’s the best noir novel I’ve ever read—and I’ve read oodles of them, many in French. Even a book set in a ramp-and-bypass town like Los Angeles becomes darker and crackling when written in a grotto-and-bistro French more guttural than more…

Occasional Diary Entries of German Director Werner Herzog

“When Klaus Kinski and I made Fitzcarraldo, I had trouble maintaining my composure. At one point I told Kinski I would shoot him if he did not cooperate. This comes to mind this evening because I buy a pound of spinach leaves for dinner, but when I cook the spinach, it reduces, and there is more…

Chinese Translation of “How the Mind Works” is Out

Ben Han, who I know through the Internet, just let me know that his translation of Stephen Pinker’s How the Mind Works into Chinese is now out. I gave Ben a hand with some of the cultural references. Ben is Taiwanese, so he’s not necessarily going to know what happens to Anna Karenina at the more…

St. Louis’s Bloody Third

“I had a friend who lived in the Bloody Third, and one day he had too much to drink and was getting a little rowdy in his apartment. Someone called the police and when they showed up, he was waiting in the doorway with a golf club, ranting and raving and swinging his club back more…

Uri Geller: still full of crap after all these years

“I change people’s lives for the better. For instance, I can almost guarantee you that 95 per cent of the children who come to this show will never smoke or touch drugs in their lives.” Go back to the bulimia, Uri. You’ve got poisons that need purging.

Amazon wishlist

This isn’t a prompt for anyone to buy me anything, but I started adding to my Amazon wishlist. Sometime in the last 10 years I became a list-maker. It surprised me when I realized it. I’ve thought of myself as a bit too carefree for that and I thought I had my mild obsessiveness for more…