2007-12-21

A Very Walken Christmas

From the Christopher Walken blog:























‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even this mouse.
For I bit off its head, and shaved off its hair,
Stuck it in Timmy’s stocking, hung from the chimney with care.

The children asleep, waiting for Santa to come,
While visions of sugar…wait…what the fuck is a sugar plum?
Grandma in her ‘kerchief, Grandpa in his cap,
Had just settled down, for a long winter’s nap.

To say “just settled in” is a bit of a mistake,
Twelve years in those chairs, they won’t soon awake.
I think they’re fun, you can move them about,
I had just put Grandpa’s cold fist in his mouth.

When out in the yard, there arose such a clatter,
I looked onto the lawn to see only bone and grey matter,
The moon lit the moisture on the new-scattered flesh,
The blood yet to freeze, you could tell it was fresh.

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But eight stupid little dogs … err … tiny reindeer,
Strapped to a driverless sleigh were these fawn,
And I knew Santa’s remains were all over my lawn.

He always was a bit jolly, a little bit high,
And what’s Christmas Eve without a DWI?
I took a seat in the sleigh, between seven large bags,
Peered over the front, and read off the dogs’ tags:

“Now, Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!”
What lonely sicko names their stupid dog Vixen?
“On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!”
Your master is mangled, and surely we’ll miss him.

But Christmas goes on, with me at the reigns,
Sure beats hanging out here and cleaning up brains,
But the reindeer won’t budge, kinda makes you wonder,
If they know that I was in The goddam Deer Hunter.

“C’mon silly dogs! I know you recall,
how to dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
That got them started, and to the house-tops they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys, and the Angel of Death too.

So to all you naughty kids, don’t ever fear,
I’m running the show, and this might be your year,
You might hear me cackle, as I swoop down like a hawk and
Howl “Merry Chris-mas to all, from your pal Santa Walken!”

Note to the little ones: Do not worry about your fat friend. There are 17 confirmed immortals in the world. I am one of them. Santa is another. He will be back next year. Hopefully he’ll lay off the sauce.

Does Your Toilet Keep Running?

2007-12-15

The Human Table

EXPLETIVE DELETED has legs!


Sarah Monster emailed me this morning to let me know that the Chicago Tribune, like, totally digs the anthology!

In the introduction to "Expletive Deleted" -- a collection of 21 unapologetically vulgar short stories that pays homage to "perhaps the single most useful word in the English language" -- Mark Billingham fittingly describes the "f"-word-laden anthology as "a gratuitous orgy of bad language." The list of contributors -- which reads like a Who's Who in Crime Fiction -- includes Ken Bruen, Laura Lippman, Jason Starr, Charlie Huston, Olen Steinhauer and Sarah Weinman.

Noteworthy selections include Ruth Jordan's "Little Blue Pill," an ingeniously twisted noir gem that delves into the psyche of a sexually sadistic female serial killer; "Hungarian Lessons," by Steinhauer, about a writer's surreal erotic encounter in a Budapest hotel room; and Bruen's "Spit," a categorically cold-blooded story about love, rejection and retribution. Weinman's "Lookout" brilliantly blends multiple narratives revolving around a child abducted from a quiet neighborhood, and David Bowker's "Johnny Seven" is equal parts coming-of-age tale and diatribe against Neil Diamond.

But perhaps the most unforgettable -- and nightmare-inducing -- story comes (not surprisingly) from Huston: "Like a Lady" is about a psychotic criminal couple whose blood-chilling exploits make the Manson clan look like a bunch of prepubescent girls staying up late on a sleepover to watch "Hannah Montana" reruns.

One criticism of the collection has to be the thematic similarities between some stories. The analogous conclusions to Libby Fischer Hellman's "The Jade Elephant" and Otis Twelve's "Fluff" (both outstanding selections in their own right) lessened both narrative impacts, as did the parallels between Reed Farrel Coleman's disturbing "Pearls" and Nathan Singer's darkly poetic "The Killer Whispers and Prays ... Or Like a Sledgehammer to the Ribcage," which both revolved around similar dysfunctional relationships.

Crime-fiction fans who aren't repelled by heaping helpings of obscene language, deviant sexuality and graphic violence will find this collection, in the words of Billingham, "a dark, disgusting and fabulous treat," but those offended by the "f"-word should stay well clear of this collection.

UPDATE:

The Booklist review:


Is it so uncommon for crime stories to contain profanity that the genre is crying out for a collection of ones that do? Actually, the titular conceit could work if the tales all hinged on swearing. And a few of the authors—including Laura Lippman, Kevin Wignall, and, memorably, David Bowker—do turn their plots on f-word usage. Others apparently just salted standard crime stories with extra swearing (oddly, a decent Sarah Weinman child-abduction story is so decent it doesn’t even boast any expletives to delete). But most of the writers took the opportunity to explore gonzo situations and themes (not that the reliably raunchy Jason Starr needed an excuse). Otis Twelve delivers an enjoyably naughty glimpse into the world of off-screen porn talent, for instance, and Charlie Huston airs out a remarkably psychotic love affair. Luckily, there are few weak stories in this hodgepodge—and Olen Steinhauer’s “Hungarian Lessons,” his scatologically vivid (but presumably fictive) recollection of a rough book-tour night with a hooker, is alone worth the cover price. It’s that effin’ good.

— Frank Sennett

2007-12-10

And the Dreidel Will Rock

Lifted this from an enchanting site. Who is this:

"His upbringing was so Jewish that when he first saw a picture of Santa Claus, he figured the bearded guy must be a rabbi."

Check out Jewsrock.org to find out.

Starfish Mob

“Dignity and Justice for All of Us”

Human Rights Day celebrates the 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are thirty articles that begin with

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

Is this a concept any country is even close to adhering to?

East Calls West

Mixed Bag


As a news junkie, there is a roller coaster ride of stories to be culled from the internet every morning that can set the mood for the day. Indignant is a common mood after the morning news feast. Fucking pissed is another. Occasionally some random human does something extraordinary for another and my hope for humanity is rekindled. For a while.

After finally finishing a biography of Lucrezia Borgia by Sarah Bradford (oh, that golden-tressed woman was misunderstood by history), I felt ready for anything the world had to hand me.

May I just say, HA!

Huckabee, trailing behind the perma-grimmed Guilianni in the polls, has moved us past his comments on those vicious need to be put on their own island gays to the state of all other sacks of skin inhabiting this land of faux-Freedom. Quoth the Huckster: "The reason we have so much government is because we have so much broken humanity. And the reason we have so much broken humanity is because sin reigns in the hearts and lives of human beings instead of the Savior." God knows Huck can turn a check to the most heinous behavior. He really inspires me to turn the other cheek.

In other news, Scooter Libby has given up his appeal in his CIA leak case involving perjury and obstruction. His sentence had been commuted but the Scootster was shooting for innocence in the eyes of the justice system. Nobody was ever blamed or held responsible for the actual leak once Libby took the fall. That's justice American style!

Fans of reality tv have got to be over the moon that the Writer's strike has effectively re-zoned every show on every channel to a slice of idiocy, unscripted. If we weren't doomed before, we are now. This is the Seventh Sign. And this the Eighth. A report that Letterman reruns are doing better than Leno reruns.

American news sources seem to assume that we assume that the only news beyond our borders involves everyone in the Middle East are still blowing us up and that the rest is much less important than, say, various B-list celebrities and soft news stories involving parrots.

Amusing to me is the story of a nun standing in front of an assembly of students reciting a list of cuss words they are not allowed to use.

I have not yet stumbled across a story that warms my heart the way the last day of school did when I was a wee, self-righteous student ass myself. But I shall keep my eyes peeled, as that lovely sentiment goes.

Back to a day of caffeine-induced floor mopping whilst blasting NoFX (thanks, Ben).

A Night at Quicky-Mart Mullet

2007-12-09

It's Finally Going to Happen

An Abba Museum.


Ready for you to take a chance on it in Stockholm June 2009, the three floors will house a wardrobe room, a recreation of the Polar Studios facility where the awesome foursome created many of their hits for fans to make their own rockin' Abba tunes and a Disco Room where, boy or girl, you can be a Dancing Queen.


Abba are donating clothing, musical instruments and other memorabilia to the museum. Beyond that, they had this to say: "It is nice someone feels compelled to take on our musical history."

Dig it!

Dresden Drain Spouts


2007-11-28

Sir Swimsalot?


Green Peace is holding a whale naming competition. With names like: Amal (means 'hope' in Arabic), Bumi (pronounced 'boo-me' means 'Earth' in Mal)a, Humphrey, Jacques (named for Jacques Cousteau, environmental activist, educator and explorer of the oceans), Kaimana (means 'divine power of the ocean' in Polynesian), Manami (means 'love of the sea' in Japanese), Shanti (means 'peace' in Hindi )and Veikko (means 'brother or a good friend' in Finnish) to choose from, what are the people of the word voting for by 72%?

Mister Splashy Pants.

Read more about humpback whales migration in the Great Whale Trail blog.

2007-11-27

Precious




The name of the latest, cutest giant panda cub, born August 3, at the San Diego Zoo has been determined.

Zhen Zhen, which means "precious," is now 16 weeks old.

2007-11-26

Stephen King - Layin' the Smack Down on the Media

STEPHEN KING: So who's going to be TIME Person of the Year?

TIME: I really don't know, there's a very small group of people who make that decision.

SK: I was thinking, I think it should be Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

T: Really?

SK: Yeah. You know, I just filmed a segment for Nightline, about [the movie version of his novella] The Mist, and one of the things I said to them was, you know, "You guys are just covering — what do they call it — the scream of the peacock, and you're missing the whole fox hunt." Like waterboarding [or] where all the money went that we poured into Iraq. It just seems to disappear. And yet you get this coverage of who's gonna get custody of Britney's kids? Whether or not Lindsay drank at her twenty-first birthday party, and all this other shit. You know, this morning, the two big stories on CNN are Kanye West's mother, who died, apparently, after having some plastic surgery. The other big thing that's going on is whether or not this cop [Drew Peterson] killed his... wife. And meanwhile, you've got Pakistan in the midst of a real crisis, where these people have nuclear weapons that we helped them develop. You've got a guy in charge, who's basically declared himself the military strongman and is being supported by the Bush administration, whose raison d'etre for going into Iraq was to spread democracy in the world.
So you've got these things going on, which seem to me to be very substantive, that could affect all of us, and instead, you see a lot of this back-fence gossip. So I said something to the Nightline guy about waterboarding, and if the Bush administration didn't think it was torture, they ought to do some personal investigation. Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George. I said, I didn't think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture. And then the guy from Nightline said, "Well, obviously you've not been watching World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson." But I do — I watch 'em all!

Sideburn Hell Mullet

2007-11-24

Killer Paper Towel Dispenser Killer

My Name is Jen and I am a Logophile

log•o•phile

Pronunciation: (lô'gu-fīl", log'u-), [key]
—n.
a lover of words.

"There is a disease which consists in loving words too much. Logophilia first manifests itself in childhood and is, alas, incurable." - Peter Ackroyd

Since childhood, books have been my friends and I have always read constantly. At 10 years of age, I could often be found in a patch on sunlight in my bedroom, my dog Trouble with his head on my lap and my nose buried in a Vocabulary Builder.

I wasn't like other kids.

They wouldn't sit with me on the bus and I was always chosen last for school dances and for teams. But I wouldn't have traded my love of words for the social acceptance of people that listened to disco and called each other to make sure they'd be wearing matching skirts the next day.

I made it through the worst years of school by reading bags and bags of books that I would pass on to the few weirdo friends I had. I moved from sci fi to sociology to Sufi poetry to Sartre without out a sense of ever being full of enough knowledge.

Etymology
is also a hobby that I take no shame in announcing to the world. How language came about, the zigzagging history of various words, the bizarre rules different languages have and the endless number of words that can be encountered make me a happy girl. There are even words about words! That is glorious! And new words are being coined all the time! And, yes, I can be quite the sesquipedalian.

And I'm not the only one.

Because of continued voracious appetite for words and knowledge, I stumble across heretofore unknown words constantly. Today, I took great joy in discovering the word crepuscular. It sounds like some horrific bodily fluid that leaks from some horrific infection.

Quite the opposite.

It refers to what I always called a "God sky." You know, the ones they feature on Christian album covers - a dark, cloud filled sky with sunlight streaming through from what seems a single source from behind, throwing shadow and light in a truly heavenly fashion.

For a dry yet accurate description, lets go to Wikipedia.

Crepuscular rays, in atmospheric optics, also known as sun rays or God's rays, are rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. These rays, which stream through gaps in clouds, are diverging columns of sunlit air separated by darker cloud-shadowed regions. The name comes from their frequent occurrences during twilight, when the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. Various airborne compounds scatter the sunlight and make these rays visible. We see the light so defined because of diffraction, reflection and scattering.

Is that not cool?







Let me show you:

Can you almost hear the choir?

Me, neither.

But what a lovely word.




I must now go back to putting many words into a document and sending them to someone so that they can be inserted into a magazine full of many, many words.

Just had to share.