Sunday, January 16th, 2005
Reading & Listening List Part 6
It’s inevitable that people should ask, "what are you up to these days?" and it’s just as predictable that this question sends me whimpering into some corner, or behind the couch, hoping the inquisitor’s head will explode or at least that there might be some leftover Skittles there, behind the couch, and not green ones, though under these dire circumstance those, too, would supply some comfort.
So, ignoring the pedantic sarcasm that is a natural response to such queries here are some lists, and being a consumer society, where what we purchase defines us eerily accurately, well, this should answer your question, assuming you were about to ask.
A straightforward answer requires full disclosure: I never read one book at a time. Instead the nightstand, under the cot where I fitfully sleep, in my knapsack, next to the Kitchenaide, and here, beside the keyboard are the books I’m currently, actively reading. Some, sadly, will be discarded before completion, but that’s expected.
- Doubt: a history, Jennifer Michael Heckt
- The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler
- The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowieck
- Something Rotten, Jasper Fforde
- You Shall Know Our Velocity, Dave Eggers
- More Adventures of the Great Brain, John D. Fitzgerald
- Leaving Home, Garrison Keillor
Travel Books (planes and trains)
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut
- Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett
- The High Window, Raymond Chandler
- Diary: A Novel, Chuck Palahniuk
- How to Be Good, Nick Hornby
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Copote
BTW, heartily recommend Cahill’s Jaguars Ate My Flesh for reading during travel.
- Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
- Lords and Ladies, Terry Pratchett
- Time Traveller’s Wife
- Going Postal, Terry Pratchett
- Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, Christopher Moore
- Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
- Practical Demonkeeping, Christopher Moore
Memorable ’04 Books
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, an awesome book. really.
- The Difference Engine : Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer, Doron Swade (for geeks only)
Haven’t bought (tee hee) anything recently, instead relying on the oldies. Current playlist:
- Lionnel Hampton
- Cowboy Beebop (TV Show Soundtracks)
- Selected Ambient Works, Aphex Twin. Yeah, this hasn’t left my playlist in something like ten years. Says something.
- Southwest Music Conference (MP3 stream). Again, this has been playing for quite a long, long time.
Skipping over those whose suckage, well, if Deep Think were given the choice between these two questions "find the last digit of pi" or "describe how bad this film is", well, d’Think would gladly sign-on to madness and start clunking 3.1415926… until a pop followed by a whiff of ozone ended the task, that’s how much they suck.
Oh, that list of my top 100 films? I found it. It’s actually "50 of the top 100" and "200+ other good films". But here’s the list, stripped of the top-100 designations. a film list
The following were fine, had some merit, or I’ve forgotten that they sucked.
- Kung Fu Hustle
- Ang Bok
- Finding Neverland (decently entertaining)
For sheer shock-value, gotta include a couple of movies that leave me little hope for this country, it’s people, or mankind in general:
- Meet the Fockers. Start here because I’m gloating that it’s as terrible as feared. It was an in-flight film, which sets a pretty low bar, but this crap even failed to clear that inch-high hurdle. What is it with these Ben Stiller films that people like? And like them they do, there were laughs on that plane, or perhaps, they were staring at the screen but had their headsets tuned to the Cheney’s appearance on Hardball… If you can’t see these punchlines and slapstick physical comedy bits coming long before their staid screen execution, well, enjoy your boxed set of Married With Children; the Lost Episodes.
- We Were Soldiers. OK, after twelve installments of Lethal Weapon, you’d think people would have had enough of Mel Gibson. Mad Max and he was through taking challenging, deep roles, eh? Soldiers was such a load of sentimental hokum your stomach will cramp groaning from the Significant Moments punctuated by swells of Meaningful Music between Mel’s Stirring Addresses (who, incidentally, isn’t such a bad actor, but the writing in his films — unforgivable). Oh, plot? A Vietnam-period film about how a racially enlightened and progressive military careerists … are you sick yet? By the way, shaky, hand-held cameras do not equal realism or highten the drama. Just so you know.
These are some video recommendations. Sure some old stuff, but found the re-viewing enjoyable.
- Motorcycle Diaries
- Before Sunset
- In the Mouth of Madness
- Before Sunrise
- King of Comedy (1999, Hay Keck Wong / Choi kek ji wong)
- Party Monster
- Napoleon Dynamite
- The Big Lebowski
- The Sea Inside
- Born Into Brothels