As a kid, my father told me that constantly. "Eso es Satanico" referred to Ninja Turtles, Smurfs, Garbage Pail Kids, and even Madballs. I tried to convince him that Scooby Doo wasn't 'satanico' because the monsters were actually angry old men who ran county fairs and not at all related to the devil or he-who-must-not-be-named.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've had a harder time reading the Ironweed by William Kennedy than I care to admit. I love the book, but the prose is winding and sometimes difficult to follow. Difficult for me is what I mean, coming from the school of Hard Case Crime and easy-to-read books of that kind. Ironweed is a dark, slow book. Devastating and full of horrid imagery and dark, dark humor. I started the book more than three weeks ago and I'm at about 110pgs, sad to say.

Also, though, it's The Wire that's ruining my life. Taking things over. I work, I work out, make and eat dinner, I watch The Wire, have a quick conversation with Beth, and go right to sleep. If I could find the time, I'd watch two, maybe three episodes of The Wire every evening. Disc 1 of Season 2 arrives from netflix tonight. You can guess what I'll be doing with my post-work post-gym evening.

I love this show. So far, I don't love it I like I loved The Sopranos or The Shield, but I do love it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Killing Castro is one of the more ridiculous books I can remember ever reading. I'm okay with that, though. I enjoyed the shit out of it and it was a good break after reading Unless, a very emotional and mournful book, a couple of weeks ago.
American dudes with guns and bombs go to Cuba and try to kill off Castro. There's the mercenary type who doesn't care about anything but money, the guy who is dying of cancer and wants to do this one good thing before he's dead, the dude who wants revenge, the guy who just wants out of the country because he's wanted for a double murder, and the savage stupid one who spends the entire book trying to rape the girl on the cover. Killing Castro seems to be like a somewhat more stupid version of that movie Valkyrie that's out in theatres now. History tells us the end of the novel and it really just is a matter of watching these guys get there. Silly action with dumb characters spliced in with a lot of really interesting historical bits, detailing Castro's rise to power.
There are loads of Lawrence Block fans out there that were dying for this reprint to come out, and I can only imagine they're happy with it. This was my first Block experience. And I'll keep reading his work as long as Hard Case Crime keeps sending it to me.
P.S.- Killing Castro takes the award for most embarrassing book cover, I think.
Also- Wow. Block originally wrote this in 1961. People have wanted Castro dead for a very, very long time.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I went on a Gallery Walk tonight in Downtown Seattle. Pioneer Square, the neighborhood is called. I can see myself going on these a lot, in all the different neighborhoods.

It was a mostly quiet affair for me, since I don't really know too many people in town, but it was okay. Being alone in a roomful of people who are talking to each other can get a little grating but then I see these photos of Michael Kenna's, and I know the trip was worth it. The quietness of them-- I don't know how it made me feel. Like we live in a beautiful place, I guess. I don't know. I'm afraid I left my art critic hat in the other room. It doesn't matter. I got a little lost, I spent the better part of half an hour looking for parking, I was there alone, and traffic was a nightmare, but I felt pretty great when I saw his work on those walls.

Jennifer Harrison's work also made me feel pretty glad to be there. The paint literally jumps off the canvas, as if she were working in play-doe or cake frosting. The work is simple and repetitive, but that's beside the point. Just look at it.

One day I'll learn to express how art makes me feel, if I feel anything at all. A lot of the time I'm just happy for these artists, that their work is on display and that they're making a living from what I can only imagine to be their favorite activity in the world.

I don't know.

It should be mentioned that I am searching (and failing) for descriptive words to use in this blog whilst very comfortably using (wearing?) my slanket which the lovely Bethy bought for me. Thanks, hon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It occurs to me that Unless is the first Canadian novel I've ever read. It also occurs to me that Unless is the first novel I've ever read by a woman and about women. It left me wondering if the book was meant for women, a little bit.

Unless is a first-person narrative about a woman who has suffered a great tragedy in her life, the kind of tragedy of a tentative nature that manages to keep her mind on this tragic event throughout the entire book because beyond the sadness there's also a great deal of worry involved.

There's a lot going on here. The narrator, Reta Winters, is an author of what I can only describe as chick-lit. 'Comic fantasy' is what she and her editor call the books she writes. Reta also translates the memoirs of feminist author and Holocaust survivor Danielle Westerman, and Westerman's views carry over into a lot of the book. The reader follows along with Reta Winters while she deals with daily life, writing, friends, and family while also dealing with what else is going on, outside of her control.
This makes up the bulk of the book.

I thought it was a solid, though very wordy, read. I'm glad I read it but I'm afraid my attention span made it so that some of the passages blurred into each other. It left me feeling as though there were something profound that the author was trying to impart that I must have missed. I don't feel as though that's the author's fault, though.

About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I don't have enough time on my hands. I have too much time on my hands.