Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The New Kings of Nonfiction

One of the best things about being married to a librarian is finding random books around the house. This also means there are stacks of books everywhere and no room for them on our bookshelves. However, when a book by Ira Glass appears next to your car keys you shouldn't consider it clutter. Even if on further examination it turns out the book is an introduction by Ira Glass and a group of essays that he seemingly approves of. That's still a good book. Reading Dan Savage's Republican crusade first (although I was a little disappointed to not find the story about him licking doorknobs in Iowa) makes for an awesome start to any collection. It also featured some writers whom I've read a lot (Mark Bowden and Chuck Klosterman) and some I know I'm supposed to read more of (Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis). If your only criteria for inclusion is nonfiction, then you get a lot of variety that makes this pretty entertaining for everyone. Check it out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Maui Gold

This lady at work was talking about these pineapples she had in Hawaii called Maui Gold. I thought this was some kind of code word for good weed, or coke, or something illicit. It turns out it is really just a type of pineapple. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be used to describe the absolute best of something. I'll start by nominating this Sunday as the Maui Gold of auto racing. Formula One in the morning + Indy 500 in the afternoon + Coca Cola 600 in the evening = Maui Gold. I'm salivating thinking about that "pineapple" already.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Motherless Brooklyn

As you may have gathered, I don't read a lot of fiction (to loosely quote Dom Irrera I appreciate it when some comedian prefaces a joke w/ "true story" b/c God forbid you make up something funny to tell an audience). However, when the guy from Deadspin eschews dick jokes to recommend a book I put it on the reading list (if the library has it). Maria brought me this book from the library and she commented that the author, Jonathan Lethem, wrote a book that she wants to read. Having read one of his books, I'm ready to read anything of his put in front of me. I do like crime fiction and those novels by Jim Thompson always leave me wanting to write something of my own (besides grocery lists although I plan to incorporate those into some larger work). This falls into the same category. He may not write in this genre all the time, but there was enough in this book to know that he can make up a story that keeps the reader interested no matter what the subject is. The main story is a guy w/ Tourette's trying to solve a murder. Random "EATME"s aside, it doesn't get in the way of relating everyday activities of a detective to the "diagnosed" compulsions of a freak show. After reading this it seems like people w/ Tourette's should all just become private detectives and we'd wipe out an epidemic (private dicks w/o an explanation for their behavior). That's how convincing this book was. True crime, sometimes scary. Made up crime, entertaining in this instance.

Time Machine

I'm pretty sure it's still 2008, but I've had several experiences recently that sent me back in time. First, I went w/ my younger brother to Toms River, NJ for the first time in 19 years. I guess it's changed, but I couldn't tell you how. However, I've changed enough to not resent the entire town. That's progress! We also went to Atlantic City for the first time since I was old enough to gamble. Here are some excerpts from exciting A-City conversation.

Kevin: (while we are eating at Hooters) Dude, did you notice the pregnant waitresses in this place?
Me: No. (FYI, pregnant waitresses wear t-shirts and non-pregnant waitresses wear the tank tops).

Me: (at the blackjack table talking to the seemingly European dealer) So, Simeon where are you from?
Simeon: Ventnor.
Me: Wow, I haven't lived here in a really long time.
Simeon: Oh, originally. Bulgaria.

As if that wasn't enough, the Polvo show on Saturday was a who's who of 1994 Chapel Hill. Pete claimed to feel old, but I'm pretty sure he was in the middle of the age bell curve for attendees. He told his old age theory to some girl there and she said that babysitters must have been in huge demand in the Chapel Hill area that night. That's probably true. Still, it's a good feeling to know that other people have had widely different (although in many ways very similar) lives than you since 1994, but you can still have a good time talking about the past, present, and future.

Finally, I was cleaning out Izzy's closet and found a storage container w/ wedding gifts. The fancy silverware and wine glasses were still in good shape, so I put them in a more accessible cabinet. I hope I sent thank you notes for all of that stuff.

That's a lot of memories from 3 different decades. W/ all the changes that have taken place in my life (and I'm sure yours too), it's good to have enough distance to forget (or at least put behind me) the bad stuff and remember that I had lots of fun in a lot of different places w/ a lot of different people. And those people and places will always be w/ me even when they aren't there. So cheers, thanks a lot to all of them.