Friday, August 31, 2007

Ain't That the Darnedest Thing?

Here's a strange tale: apparently four orphaned baby hedgehogs have adopted a scrub brush as their mother. That's right, a scrub brush. It's cute, yet, somehow, very sad... I'm just not sure how great your parenting skills are if you can be replaced by a common household item. But it sure makes for a cute picture!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #100

Title: The Magnificent Ambersons
Author: Booth Tarkington
Judgin' the Book By Its Cover: Ooh, the cover art gets a bad grade on this one... I mean, come on people, you could have used an illustration or a photograph or something... did you even try?

Thoughts: My first impression when I picked up this book was, "Wow, Booth Tarkington-- great name!" Plus, he's a fellow Hoosier and the book is probably set in Indiana, so you gotta give him props for that. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, although I had the rare experience of having seen the movie prior to reading the book (the Welles adaptation was very true to the book, so I kept feeling like I had already read it). The book immensely succeeds at creating an engaging story about family, wealth, love, and pride while also depicting the rapid changes the Industrial Revolution wrought on American life. It's a very American story-- the fortunes that our entrepreneurs build overnight into empires are transient, and the emperors themselves usually vanish from popular recollection in a few short decades (as my dad always says,"Easy come, easy go"). Kinda makes you stop and think what you spend your time, energy, and money working towards, since, after all, there's only one Kingdom that's immutable.

Down= 1
To Go= 99

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?

This is the most disturbing commercial I've ever seen. Period. Poor Elvis is probably doing somersaults in his grave (if he's really dead, that is).

Yep, I'm a Bookworm

And now for something a bit more pretentious... I've resolved to read every book on the Modern Library's list of the top 100 novels of the 20th century. I've noticed that since I graduated from college I've gotten progressively stupider-- writing is a laborious and unpleasant task, my verbal communication skills have seriously suffered, and my vocabulary is alarmingly similar to Homer Simpson's. I've decided to start with #100 and work my way up, mainly because I don't have the chops to dive headfirst into Ulysses, but also because that seems to make the most sense-- after all, no VH1 countdown starts at #1 and works its way down. That would be stupid! Now look-- I've used a form of "stupid" twice now in this article (crap, now that's three times). Do you see what I mean about the Homer-like vocabulary?

I'm planning to write a little post about each book I read just to get in the habit of writing more frequently. Feel free to chat with me if you've read the book I'm working on-- there isn't much I enjoy more than talking about books (except for maybe talking about movies... or Elvis...), and that's something that's been sorely lacking from my life since graduation. But if you'd rather just mock me, that's fine, too. This is somehow geeky and pretentious at once-- how often in life does that combination occur? Sigh. I'm pretty excited, though, and now that my Harry Potter fever has subsided, I'm ready for some more serious reading. It's about that time.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Deadlier than Sharks...

As we lay Shark Week 2007 to rest, I'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate nature's lesser-known assassins. First on this list is the innocent- and cuddly-looking marmot. While these little guys may seem harmless, the marmot, a close cousin to the also cute woodchuck, may carry the bubonic plague. Bubonic plague! I suggest that you write to your congressman to request that the Whack-A-Mole game be renamed Whack-A-Marmot to raise awareness before the U.S. becomes one giant Hot Zone.

Next on the list of terror: pigs! I always suspected that Babe had it in for me, but my worst fears were confirmed this week when I read in The Good Good Pig that pigs kill more humans every year than sharks, and are, in fact, so vicious when raised in crowded conditions that they are known to eat anything that enters their pen, including babies or small children! As a result, I've decided to increase the pork products in my diet by 300% to fight this epidemic of pig violence towards children. It's the least that I can do.

Well, I hope you take this into consideration next time you head out to the petting zoo at Central Park. These animals WILL kill you, so I suggest you avoid them entirely. After all, they're deadlier than sharks.