(((((I am so not liking the new BLOGGER -- it's buggy (two crashes so far) and the formatting is all messed up....they give you all these new features in "create" but they're gone in the edit window, WARUM??? I come back and they MESS everything up -- I'm all but giving up trying to fix the frigging line feedsSss!~!!!!! -- sorry but it's not my fault if the formatting is frigged up))))flame off ...
I'm back and in that post-vacation funk. As you can guess, I did not
drive across state to the Siren festival. There's a ton of excuses but
mainly I just didn't want to be around a throng of sweaty people in hot
weather in an amusement park-like setting. So, I'm old and lame.
Weather was off and on but I had plenty of time to read (Kaplan's
Meditteranean Winter, Stephenson's Quicksilver, the Essential
Shakespeare and Sunday NYT) and listen to stuff (how come you can have
thousands of MP3s but you grow tired of them so rapidly? answer:
I think part of it is the sound delivery system I have -straight off
the laptop to a pair of Loudman speakers - is lame - I need one of
those MP3-802.11G-etc. boomboxes - do they exist?). Lots of fishin',
swimin' and boatin'...
...not alot of hotties up there in the Finger Lakes. The locals
consisted of these horrid foul-mouthed obese girls with pacifiers
around their necks or dressed-from-ankle-to-ear Mennonites on bikes
(Choice: Mennonite babe). But I was pretty content to just laze around
the lake, fire up the grill (upcoming post on my other blog)
and watch the lone loon that was trolling around. But you know after a
week I was pining for me own bed, where I didn't have to worry about
spiders and centipedes nesting in my nose and I didn't have to listen
to my companion snore or my 13-year-old nephew point out all my
shortcomings (sunburned nose, too fat, read too much, can't catch
fish,e tc.). For the record I caught two fish (threw 'em back, I'm just
too squeamish for the whole cleaning ritual and like the god-like rush
of sparing lives) and the others caught some bass which we sauted for
A word on Neal Stephenson -- as you can guess I like him as an imaginative writer but man, oh man, does he have trouble writing about women. Book 2 of Quicksilver unravels mainly because he has such a hard time describing his heroine (Eliza) and her relationship with Jack Shaftoe (and now we know why he named him SHAFT-toe, ahem). Things only pick up when he sends Shaftoe out on an adventure. His previous books had the same problem -- his only good women character was the pizza delivery girl in Snowcrash and she was mainly depicted as a tomboy.
Kaplan's book (Meditteranean Winter) is an awesome travel book about his adventures
as a freelancer during the '70s in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Dalmatia
(Croatia, mostly) and Greece. I recommend it for anyone who likes to
read about exotic travel but doesn't always dig the whole logistics of
actually doing it. There's also a ton of ancient history and politics
embedded within and even a little bit of auto-biographical stuff for
those interested in Kaplan's background (read his latest Atlantic
Monthly article on the Siege of Falluja or my favorite book of his To
the Ends of the Earth)...
The New York Times Sunday Mag had a longish article on some of the current graphic novel artists (although it's about 10 years too late) but its worth checking out if only for the discussions with Tomine and Chris Ware (there's audio interviews on the NYT website as well - lame registration required).