Archive for the ‘Synchronicity’ Category

Girls of Summer: Heather Ryan, Miss July 1967

October 21, 2011


Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed de Long.

So, it’s still in the 80’s in my little pocket of the universe— that’s around 30 to you metric friendohs — and I say that calls for one last Girl of Summer. (Don’t call it an Indian Summer; call it Global Warming’s Brief and Only Benefit.)

The lovely and talented Heather Ryan was Playboy‘s Miss July 1967. She is an all-around smashing girl and I’m super-psyched to finally finish the write-up on her. Whatch’all know about unusal pets? Cause this strawberry blonde here’s ’bout to change the game.



Says Heather, I don’t think there’s anything unusual about owning an ocelot, but people always stare when we go walking together.”

(“Call of the Wild.” Playboy, July 1967.)

Not so sure it’s the ocelot they’re double-taking on.

[Heather] currently resides at her family’s Glendale home, on the brink of the canyon: “It’s pretty desolate out there, but we’re lucky that we have no close neighbors, because the ocelot often screams at night.”

(Ibid.)

No couch potatoes looking for a BJ and a Blockbuster night need apply:

“I am,” she says, “fascinated by adventure, and I suppose it pervades most of my tastes. I like actors like Paul Newman, Charlton Heston and Steve McQueen, because they usually portray men who are as untamed as my ocelot.”

(Ibid.)



Speed-loving Heather admits to driving her 1966 Mustang faster on occasion than the law prescribes.

(Ibid.)

Attagirl. Speaking of which, the most terrible Mustang experience befell me this week.

I was running a bit late on my way to work. I headed on to the freeway with a newish Mustang ahead of me. The guy crawled down the ramp and inched his way through the merge, then continued to torture me by poking around in the middle lane, keeping me from getting in to the leftmost, fastest lane.

I was totally shocked. You’re in a Mustang, man! You do not drive a Mustang in the middle lane! Somewhere in Germany, the Cappy just felt a pang in his heart and shook his head, and he didn’t know why: now you know, brother. A guy was driving a Mustang in the middle lane at about 60 mph. I know. It was a scandal.



Though she hasn’t had much exposure to the psychedelics-freedom-love movement currently the kick among West Coast youth, Heather recently witnessed a mass “love-in” at Elysian Park.

(Ibid.)


“I’d never seen such a crew — everybody walking about and presenting the most unlikely gifts, like fruits and flowers, to each other.”

(Ibid.)

But she was not much in to the hippie scene, particularly the men —


TURN-OFFS: Men with long hair, and the unnaturalness of women today.

(“Playmate Data Sheet.” Playboy. July 1967.)

Totally agree. I don’t like long hair on men … sorry long-haired friends, it’s just a personal preference. No long hair, no skinny jeans. Spread the word.

As for Ms. Ryan’s dislike of the “unnaturalness” of women, who can argue with that? Besides girdles and foam butts, there was already plastic surgery and ubiquitous hairpieces. Of course, the problem has only gotten worse. I can only imagine what Ms. Ryan thinks of some of today’s Playboy centerfolds.


Number one favorite shot with a bullet.

AMBITIONS: A legal secretary or model, or perhaps I’ll enter a biological institute and become a laboratory assistant and transcriber.

(Ibid.)

Ms. Ryan did not fulfill those ambitions …

…Because she totally exceeded them. Get it, girl! A wildlife biologist, Ms. Ryan is a published author and has lead all-female eco-tours. Taxidermy is her hobby. In the Playboy article, she mentions enjoying hunting quail and rabbit, so it’s kind of a natural progression.

Ms. Ryan also mentions, when asked what she thinks is a great read, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury’s little masterpiece is one of my top favoritest books of all time, too. I just re-read it last weekend, as I like to read it every year around Halloween. Synchronicity! One of these years when I’ve sufficiently expiated my sins of ignorance to Mr. Auden, I will have to have a “Something Wicked” October.

There are many books I read at special times of year, but Something Wicked is one which I never fail to get toe-curling excited about in my anticipation. The descriptions are gorgeous, the writing crackles and terrifies and moves you — I adore all Bradbury, but I put Something Wicked in the most special, highest place.


Click above to scope the original Playboy article scans; there are pictures included in the spread that are not in this post, so give those a spin!

Cover model Venita Wolfe was photographed by Mario Casilli, who shot the following month’s centerfold: the lovely and talented sweetheart DeDe Lind.

Flashback Friday: Bookfoolery: If I never sleep again until the end of my days, at least I will die well-read

June 3, 2011

This post originally appeared on June 24, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.

Maybe “well” is subjective …


If anyone but my Asia Argento plays Lisbeth Salander in an English-speaking adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I will put my hand through a blender. I pictured her the entire time I was reading.

Finished Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over a sleepless night that lead to one uneasy stretch of light snooze cut short by sudden bouts of vomiting. I found it very absorbing — the book, not the violent gut spasms from who-knows-what combination of stress and inattentively poor personal care — but it caromed briefly in to a few areas for which I was not wild. Still it all hung together in the end and I recommend it without reservation. Then I ended up reading a particularly pulpy and breezy Ross Macdonald mystery from the 70’s whose title I have already forgotten even though it kept me company for several hours.


See? Lots of people have insomnia and go on to have perfectly normal Summers! The Shining (Kubrick, 1980).

I only remember that I’d picked it up a few months back along with a couple 70’s editions of Zane Grey at my preferred comic store, which, besides selling comics and related games and accessories, also carries a small inventory of used, cheapo books and spotty collections of memorabilia depending on what luckless local nerds have either died or lost enough money to place their treasures in hock. I snatched up the Greys and this Macdonald book a few months ago because I dug the kind of blocky-schlocky look to the lines of the cover art.


The Underground Man — that’s right. Decent enough title, I guess.

The phrase “blew my mind” was used repeatedly in the book to refer to literally taking too much acid and suffering brain damage and prolonged schizophrenic episodes triggered by hallucinations, which usage I thought was a handy demonstration of the evolution of slang — in the book it was suggestive of overdose and possible fatality, but you can see how it developed over time the more benign definition it has now in the sense of changing one’s worldview in a feller-than-the-usual-pace-of-educational swoop, while still somewhat referencing the phrase’s original intent.


2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968). He swar to gar for all his life that whole sequences of this film were not planned to look like an acid trip, to which anyone who has ever done acid says, “Sure.”

The Macdonald book wasn’t the worst thing ever and some of the slangy shenanigans and quaintly dated rough talk in it wet my palate for some Hammett. I never re-read Red Harvest until October (red HARVEST, get it?) but I also brought down with me from Portland The Dain Curse and the Op’s short-story collection and could give one of those a spin. Think that’s what I’ll do tonight.

Actually maybe Hammett is only the appetizer. Know what? I think I will try to squeeze in L.A. Confidential before I have to pick up Tommyknockers. I usually, though not maniacally, like to read that closer to Christmastime because of the whole Bloody Christmas scandal that sparks so much of the action, but I’ve been self-auditing through all these long sick waking nights, and by setting this bookfoolery in to print I have come to see that I’ve got some really fucked-up and compulsive reading habits which are even perhaps the least of my worries and so I feel like rebelling against myself in this small thing to test the waters of making Change happen. I’m going to do this because I can.

Synchronicity — just dug out Red Harvest and the quote on the front cover is from Ross Macdonald, the author whose pulp I read this morning. Wild way that the universe is telling me I’m on the right track? or subconscious self-affirmation from whatever part of my brain has been looking at that (quite kickass) Red Harvest cover for the last four years?

I can’t say for sure. Either way, tell that girl from Canada that it ain’t ironic.

Ghost Posts on a Big Day with bonus Confessions of a nervous puker

April 28, 2011

Today is my kidlet’s birthday. It’s also the day of her class trip to the zoo, as it worked out, and thankfully the school at which I teach is on Spring Break, so it’s all come synchronicitously together in order that I could chaperone the trip and spend the day with her classmates and her. Which is where I’ve been all day. Unless

When I was a kid, there were no less than three separate occasions on which I was supposed to take a field trip to the zoo with my school and got so excited the morning of the trip that I threw up and was told I could not go.

Consequently, my first zoo visit was in Berlin at age 18. No regrets, because it was a kickass experience, as well as informative: did you know that one of the zoo’s elephants was actually the first casualty of the Allied bombing of Berlin? Tell A Friend!

Well … that’s a pretty bleak fact, any way you look at it, really. Maybe keep it among us. I’m sorry I even said anything. Lately I’ve been blurting out awful things: I don’t know what’s going on with me.

As an example, I was next going to tell you that, growing up, besides vomiting my way out of zoo visits, I also got sick on my birthday two different times, and, in one instance, my mother briskly carried out the party in the backyard without me while I knelt on my bed and watched out the window of my room, but that’s bleak, too. Then I was going to say that I still throw up all the time when I’m nervous, upset, or excited, and it’s not an uncommon sight to see me roll down my window and have to puke out the car while behind the wheel, driving on my way to some place or person I feel Ways about that get my guts all knit up, but that’s even worse. Jesus wept, this is supposed to be about my kidlet’s birthday! I’m giving up.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow (today) finds me on the trip as a chaperone, and not so excited that I got sick and the teacher and my mom made me stay home. Again.

Take-two Tuesday and Yesterday’s News — Movie Moment: Une femme est une femme, Zodiac quackery and cock-gobbling Virgos edition

February 8, 2011

edit: Since this post’s original appearance, I’ve been reclassified as a Leo by … the sometimes-I-tune-in Zodiac powers that be? Not actually sure whom. Fellow fabulously-damaged Virgin Panda tried to explain it to me over soosh bombasticos last week but she is much, much better at understanding this stuff than I am.

This post originally appeared on February 7, 2010 at 9:14 a.m., so practically one year ago. Synchronicity in Yesterday’s News!

Romance, science, and zodiac quackery in Une femme est une femme/A Woman Is A Woman (Godard, 1961).


Virgo is a hard worker, a neglected mother, a quotidian task master, and a selfless martyr. Virgo is also a reality TV train wreck, a drunken psychopath, and a self-abusing anorexic. Virgo is analytical on a good day. Virgo is self-critical, self-loathing, self-deprecating, self-flagellating, and self-defeating on a bad day.


The Virgin, contrary to what her title may suggest, is the resident cock gobbler of the zodiac — never a topper, always a bottom. If you’re looking for a woman who will abuse herself, party like it’s Greek harvest time and she’s drunk on mead, please you sexually without so much as a nod to her own hungry genitalia, and perform all the humiliating duties you’ve assigned to her as wife and mother, look no further than the drunken Virgin of the zodiac.


And yes, more often than not, this naughty little maiden is getting crunked at the club or downing daiquiris at the Mommy and Me block party, an attempt to drown to death the echoes of self-loathing that usually prevent her from embodying the female charm and charisma she labors to possess.


The Virgo vibratory pattern is restrictive, effective, judgmental, exact, helpful, and neurotic. Virgos are a lot of things, socially charismatic not being one of them.


Usually, when I meet a Virgo, my natural reaction is, ‘this person must have Aspergers.’ They fixate on minutiae like Rainman [and] have more clicks and ticks than a malfunctioning android attempting to process human emotion.


Virgos rule the house of diet, perfectionism, and nourishment. Just glance at a list of famous Virgos and you’ll find more self-flagellating, adulthood suppressing skeletors than you can shake a stick at: Amy Winehouse, Rachel Zoe, Nicole Ritchie, Karl Lagerfeld, Twiggy, Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Peggy Guggenheim, etc.

[personally adding Anne Bancroft, Evan Rachel Wood, Lauren Bacall, Ricki Lake, Greta Garbo, and Rose McGowan to that list].

Yes, that is pretty much the way of it.

Virgo is the embodiment of human turmoil.

Insightful and amusing zodiac sign analysis by Carly, whose blog “Do you think I’m smart? Astrology and other Ass Munchery” is right here on the wordpress. Usually I say that I don’t believe in all that large astrological nonsense, but I have to admit that’s the first one I’ve ever read that was right on. Maybe I just needed to read all the horrible things I already know about myself confirmed, instead of the butt-licking backhanded compliments in most horoscopes, in order to start giving it some credence.


Final thought.

How to Spot a Virgo Woman:

  • They have an eating disorder.
  • They give rigorous handies.
  • They have acid reflux.
  • They’ll do “anything for my man.”
  • They want your love, but don’t deserve it.

    (more, if you’re into that — she is very clever and scathingly funny)

  • 69 Days of Wonder Woman: Day 42, DA, the Ballet, and Hip 2 B Squarr

    December 10, 2010

    Oh, hey, synchronicity: just had a DA post and here comes 42. Hell and goddamn! It’s going to be a good weekend. Numerical coincidences are powerful omens and portents in the Book of E. It’s good timing because I’m going to the ballet tonight. Time to get my Nutcracker on. Shit, yeah. Droppin’ king-size cusses and psyched for the ballet: that is me. I am the squarrest. L-7. Right here.


    Knitted by insanely talented kaby on the craftster.

    “Look, I’m up to here with cool, I’m so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat in me for a month, I’m so hip I have trouble seeing over my pelvis. Now will you move before I blow it.”

    (Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Chapter 19.)

    69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 7: Why then, o brawling love, o loving hate, o anything of nothing first create?

    November 23, 2010

    (This was all news to me. So the theories advanced here are kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.)

    Wonder Woman’s archnemesis Cheetah was apparently introduced in No. 6.1 of the original, Marston-penned Wonder Woman line (1943). The original Cheetah was Priscilla Rich.


    via the wiki, Cheetah’s first appearance, 1943. Cover art by Harry Peter.

    Priscilla Rich was depicted as a young, insecure debutante who suffered from a split personality developed because of her inferiority complex. Following a benefit dinner, Ms. Rich’s alternate personality became dominant, triggered by an encounter with Wonder Woman, whose superiority to earth women activated Ms. Rich’s coping mechanism for her low self-esteem. This other self, Cheetah, continues to come out from time to time to try and kill Diana, foil her plans for good, etc.

    I noted with interest in researching her that, in a lot of the panels I read, it seems that Ms. Rich’s alter ego, Cheetah, actually hates the Priscilla personality almost as much as she dislikes Wonder Woman.


    Priscilla retreats to her room and collapses before her makeup mirror. There she sees an image of a woman dressed like a cheetah. “Horrors!” she cries, as she gazes at her evil inner-self for the first time.

    (the wiki.)


    “Don’t you know me?” replies the reflection. “I am the REAL you — the Cheetah — a treacherous, relentless huntress!” The image commands her to fashion a Cheetah costume. “From now on,” intones the reflection, “when I command you, you shall go forth dressed like your TRUE self and do as I command you…”

    (Ibid.)

    It is not terribly difficult to see metaphors here for female cattiness. I think it goes back to what I wrote about earlier, the empty need for women to best each other. Ms. Rich and Wonder Woman had no actual beef: why did Ms. Rich create one? Because she felt insecure.

    And why does Cheetah hate herself almost as much as she hates Wonder Woman?

    I think because she despises her own weakness, and, as Cheetah, she sees her Priscilla personality as hampering her goal to become the greatest woman alive.

    So a) she makes something out of nothing because b) she feels badly about herself, doubly over. That’s crazy and yet so true and typical.

    She does not want to, but she must. Why? It is so unnecessary, just as it is unnecessary for women to gang up on one another in real life, too. But they always do.

    Final note: the IGN ranked Cheetah in 2009 as the 69th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time, which is great synchronicity for our 69-day project.

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: What life will you choose?

    November 9, 2010


    Tartu, Estonia.

    Last night I was hitting up the facebook to see if my friend’s breeched baby had turned yet (yes) and, at the top of my feed, another friend had just posted this great quote from David Whyte: “Anything or anyone that doesn’t bring you alive is too small for you.” It was really perfect timing because I’d been letting a number of things grind me down and boss me around rather than keep to the task of optimistically trying to stay in charge of my own life.

    As far as destiny goes, I don’t know if the wizard or the goose is the better choice, but what is most important and uplifting, and what I will try to remember with the best hope, is that I have a choice.

    Burroughs Month: Making a hole in time

    November 8, 2010


    Question: In Cities of the Red Night, you deal with cut-ups as a form of psychic research. Is that based on any research or experience of your own?

    Burroughs: Oh, yes, it’s based on research of my own, naturally. If you take, say, a time segment and start cutting it and playing around with it, often quite interesting things will emerge.


    Q: The method in the novel was to read and then have sounds interspersed —

    B: Yes.

    Q: What would be the theory behind that? Synchronicity?

    B: No theory behind it, it’s just a fact. Just a phenomenon.


    Q: In The Job, you cited a case where you displaced a restaurant that had served bad food by your use of tape recordings. How did that work?

    B: I don’t know why it works. You simply make recordings in front of the restaurant, and you take pictures as you make the recordings. Then you play the recordings back in front of the place and take more pictures —

    Q: In front of the owners, or the workers?

    B: It doesn’t matter.


    Q: Is it necessary to distort the recordings?

    B: Not necessary at all. What you’re doing, actually, you’re sort of making a hole in time. People are hearing what happened yesterday, and they think it’s happening right now, so it makes a hole in time through which something can cause a disruption.


    Q: How did you stumble upon this method?

    B: It came from a series of experiments with actual street recordings, making recordings and playing them back in the streets. When you do that, you find that very interesting things will happen.

    Q: I think people are still uncomfortable with this sort of acausal view of the world.

    B: I’ve never subscribed to cause and effect.

    (1984 interview.)

    The third time I read through Burroughs’ explanation of how to perform the psychic cut-up to make the restaurant disappear, something clicked: I turned a mental corner and found myself forming the thought, “Of course — the pictures being the same on both days confuses the recording and that makes the hole.” I actually still know what I meant, and that thought description does not fully explain it, but I ought not think about any of this because I’m crazy enough already and have got to actively dissuade myself from burning down the Wendy’s on a monthly basis*, plus I’m not feeling so hot today to boot, so I’m going to go lay down with a book.





    All pictures not of Mr. Burroughs are via Square America.

    *At night, when there is no one there to be hurt. I’ve given it loads of thought.

    69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 5: Fruitlessly turned against each other instead of joined in force

    November 5, 2010

    It seems to me that despite all our claims of girl power and sisterhood women are still our own worst enemies, and I do not have to ponder or prod at the why of that: it is manifestly so much easier to lay the blame for a situational upset or emotional turmoil at some other chick’s feet than to examine your own self.


    Scanned by yours truly.

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us” (Walt Kelly, Pogo creator, comic legend). You know?

    And so we fruitlessly turn against each other instead of joining forces and really making new and great things happen, and the more often we do that, the less is ever truly resolved, and women end up with all these doubts and neuroses that we’ve unfairly placed on ourselves. We are all doing ourselves a bad turn. Like, why, on meeting someone equal to you in strength, would you need to best them instead of teaming up and being friends? Wouldn’t they understand you better than anyone else you’ve ever dealt with, and wouldn’t you better benefit from mutual friendship than from facing off? What a horrible instinct, to destroy what’s like you in order to be sure you are still alone and “The Best.”

    Wait, I feel like I’ve written something about this before … I want to say it involved a picture of Zooey Deschanel looking twee with a pink ribbon.

    (three or so minutes later)

    Okay, found it. It’ll be today’s Flashback Friday, and it’ll be posted directly following this WW Day 5, inspired by and related to this post. And actually it works great because that was about my first parent-teacher conference for kidlet last year, and I just went to her first parent-teacher conference for this year yesterday.

    Synchronicity: still for dinner.

    Daily Batman: Hate and a re-tread, by way of introducing 69 Days of Wonder Woman

    October 6, 2010

    HATE.


    Despite proudly embodying the female geek who doesn’t do it for the attention nor as an excuse to wear body paint to Comic-Con, and resists getting pigeonholed into gender-based stereotypes of any kind, I have always disliked Wonder Woman with a strength bordering on disgust, when by rights you’d think I’d be a loyal fan. Thing is, when it comes to neuroses and the inside scars that cover us all, I’m quite the nutritious and delicious bowl of grape nuts: my shit is complicated (a complete part of your imbalanced breakfast!). Let me re-run a former post as an explanation.

    This post originally appeared on July 4, 2010 at 9:54am.

    Never liked Wonder Woman, tried to explore it and gave up, but that article from yesterday’s Daily Batman got me questioning why once more I have this antipathy toward her. I think it’s because she is flat-out frankly powerful and balls-out aggressive, and for some reason that leaves me cold. Because I’m not like that? Or because I want to be? Going to work it out. Got to get back in to that “Jump” frame of mind!


    via lookatthisfrakkinggeekster on the tumblr.

    “Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable, let’s prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”

    (Douglas Adams.)

    Happy Fourth of July! Scheduling a Daily Batman, maybe a Girl of Summer and then I will catch you on the flip.

    /end former post

    Again: HATE.


    So — I’m done with my thinking, have assembled research materials, and am ready to start a project wherein I explore the character and my response to her and try to extrapolate some meaning from those explorations.

    Final note: it turned out funny but please let’s not go mentally gutter-trolling in re: the “sixty-nine” days. That’s not representative of the sex act but rather a day for every year the character has been around. I know it is titillating, but, hey, I didn’t tell her to first appear in December of 1941, in which month we will conveniently end the project. Synchronicity: it’s What’s For Dinner! It is also an album by The Police!

    Yesterday’s News and Burroughs Month: Double inaugural editions and an introduction

    September 9, 2010

    Mexico, September 8, 1951 — The Daily News reports that, in a drinking game which turned tragic, writer William S. Burroughs accidentally shot wife Joan Vollmer fatally in the head. He was aiming for the glass of gin on top of her head.


    William Seward Burroughs, 37, first admitted, then denied today that he was playing William Tell when his gun killed his pretty, young wife during a drinking party last night.


    via Le Revérénd Docteur right here on the wordpress.

    Apparently William S. Burroughs was also a heroin addict and later threw out being bi and went whole-hog homosexual, being one of the first to identify as “queer” and reclaim the word as positive. The latter I’m way down for and think is great, the former …? — I don’t get how people can be addicted to heroin and still live long and functioning lives. Heroin addicts, clue me in on how this is possible? Seems so inescapably destructive a drug that it kind of puzzles me. I suppose having a lot of money helps. Then you don’t engage in all the risky behaviors poorer addicts do in order to acquire money to buy the drug. This is speculation: I am neither well-off nor a heroin addict. I like to try and take a “never say never” approach to life but I feel safe asserting that I will probably never be either.


    I’ve used this picture before, but I cannot get enough of Burroughs’ delightfully priggish and pedantic expression. Looking straight down his nose at Kerouac and no doubt both laced to the gills. 1953, Greenwich Village.

    I say “apparently,” about those factoids from his life story because, you guys, it’s super embarassing and inexplicable, but I know pretty much zip about William S. Burroughs. I don’t know how it happened, but seriously — virtually zip. I don’t even know if I’ll like all that I plan to read by him, but I was idly flipping through my millions of pictures and run across the scan of the newspaper clipping. I decided that the coincidence of a) searching for someone new to focus on this month; b) toying with an idea for a feature called Yesterday’s News that would be news out of history that had also literally been printed the day before the present date, rather than the more hackneyed “on this date in history…” etc, and c) finding something on Burroughs that’d been published yesterday in history* was too much synchronicity to ignore. So today marks the beginning of Burroughs Month. Welcome!



    To be clear: Joan Vollmer was killed September 7. The article is dated September 8, and is the “yesterday’s news” to which the category will henceforth refer. This is partly a “how good am I at searching archives” challenge as well.

    edit: Please read the comments, where DaveW takes us to school in re: heroin and Ms. Vollmer. Thanks for the info and insights, Dave!

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Jane Birkin edition

    July 15, 2010

    Behind her the graffiti says something about “death is” something or other “is all” “according.” What? Yes? No? The babelfish is no help when the text is all obstructed by beautiful and delicate inspiring icons. Anyone who has the downlow on this shoot and is able to fill in the blanks, please let me know.

    Main thing of it is, she has a suitcase and it’s a travelin’ time. Synchronicity.

    Railing against my own stupidity — misguided Bookfoolery and forcible rejection

    July 8, 2010

    I did a stupid thing and decided to skip The Tommyknockers. Instead, I read L.A. Confidential, then Red Harvest, then some subpar book from Jeffery Deaver that was a bit afield from what I usually expect of him.


    Image via thegunnshow right here on the wordpress. Girls Like a Boy Who Reads. My cover looks exactly like that but I do not look exactly like him. Check the blog out.

    He spells it Jeffery and not Jeffrey, but that is not today’s issue. Also I am mad at him for getting tired of his Lincoln Rhyme characters (you may remember their portrayals by Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in the film adaptation of The Bone Collector) and moving to this boring woman in Monterey as his new detective, but there was a preview in the back for a new Lincoln Rhyme so he is sort-of back in my good graces. Jury is out: he better not do anything stupid like kill off Lincoln or his hot redheaded girlfriend Amelia. That is still not today’s issue.

    Today’s issue is that I skipped The Tommyknockers which I always read over the Fourth of July in order for maximum synchronicity and a karmically blessed Summer, and I thought I’d try something different and not be a slave to superstition, but I think I got a little overly cocky. Right away bad things started happening.

    And it’s obviously all because I did not read The Tommyknockers and the blame for this situation can be laid only at the door of that fact and has nothing to do with my own behaviors and weaknesses. (eye roll)

    Now instead I’ve read the Gentleman’s generous loan of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I’m about to make a date with Milo for us to simultaneously begin Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

    Pictures come from Une femme est une femme and allthatsinteresting on the tumblr.

    Bookfoolery: If I never sleep again until the end of my days, at least I will die well-read

    June 24, 2010

    Maybe “well” is subjective …


    If anyone but my Asia Argento plays Lisbeth Salander in an English-speaking adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I will put my hand through a blender. I pictured her the entire time I was reading.

    Finished Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over a sleepless night that lead to one uneasy stretch of light snooze cut short by sudden bouts of vomiting. I found it very absorbing — the book, not the violent gut spasms from who-knows-what combination of stress and inattentively poor personal care — but it caromed briefly in to a few areas for which I was not wild. Still it all hung together in the end and I recommend it without reservation. Then I ended up reading a particularly pulpy and breezy Ross Macdonald mystery from the 70’s whose title I have already forgotten even though it kept me company for several hours.


    See? Lots of people have insomnia and go on to have perfectly normal Summers! The Shining (Kubrick, 1980).

    I only remember that I’d picked it up a few months back along with a couple 70’s editions of Zane Grey at my preferred comic store, which, besides selling comics and related games and accessories, also carries a small inventory of used, cheapo books and spotty collections of memorabilia depending on what luckless local nerds have either died or lost enough money to place their treasures in hock. I snatched up the Greys and this Macdonald book a few months ago because I dug the kind of blocky-schlocky look to the lines of the cover art.


    The Underground Man — that’s right. Decent enough title, I guess.

    The phrase “blew my mind” was used repeatedly in the book to refer to literally taking too much acid and suffering brain damage and prolonged schizophrenic episodes triggered by hallucinations, which usage I thought was a handy demonstration of the evolution of slang — in the book it was suggestive of overdose and possible fatality, but you can see how it developed over time the more benign definition it has now in the sense of changing one’s worldview in a feller-than-the-usual-pace-of-educational swoop, while still somewhat referencing the phrase’s original intent.


    2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968). He swar to gar for all his life that whole sequences of this film were not planned to look like an acid trip, to which anyone who has ever done acid says, “Sure.”

    The Macdonald book wasn’t the worst thing ever and some of the slangy shenanigans and quaintly dated rough talk in it wet my palate for some Hammett. I never re-read Red Harvest until October (red HARVEST, get it?) but I also brought down with me from Portland The Dain Curse and the Op’s short-story collection and could give one of those a spin. Think that’s what I’ll do tonight.

    Actually maybe Hammett is only the appetizer. Know what? I think I will try to squeeze in L.A. Confidential before I have to pick up Tommyknockers. I usually, though not maniacally, like to read that closer to Christmastime because of the whole Bloody Christmas scandal that sparks so much of the action, but I’ve been self-auditing through all these long sick waking nights, and by setting this bookfoolery in to print I have come to see that I’ve got some really fucked-up and compulsive reading habits which are even perhaps the least of my worries and so I feel like rebelling against myself in this small thing to test the waters of making Change happen. I’m going to do this because I can.

    Synchronicity — just dug out Red Harvest and the quote on the front cover is from Ross Macdonald, the author whose pulp I read this morning. Wild way that the universe is telling me I’m on the right track? or subconscious self-affirmation from whatever part of my brain has been looking at that (quite kickass) Red Harvest cover for the last four years?

    I can’t say for sure. Either way, tell that girl from Canada that it ain’t ironic.

    Weekend warrior friendohs, and a brief bookfoolery follow-up edition

    February 22, 2010


    Gorgeous George and Corinnette on our way to find undiscovered country.

    Had a great weekend up in the great white woods with the fabulous friendohs, other than the kidlet being wretchedly sick; if she dies of double-pneumonia-screaming-meemies-and-bad-hair (very common and tragic disease) it is sure to be my fault for falling prey to her “I’ll be fine, Mommy, please please please let me go to the snow!” baloney sauce and not just keeping her home like I ought to have. The only component missing that would’ve made the weekend even more perfect were Paolo and Miss D, who’d sadly decided, with greater wisdom than the kidlet and me, to stay home so Paolo did not compound his cold. We are hoping to do a follow-up trip in the Spring and I can’t wait for them to come along and appear in my annoyingly copious pictures (my friends are kindly tolerant of my photographic shenanigans, but I’m very lucky they’ve never seized the camera and thrown it off a cliff).


    Did You Know? This beautiful child is actually a festering harbinger of plague and germs that can singlehandedly fell a houseful of hale and hearty adults in Just Two Days. “Think I’m cute, do you? Enjoy the bronchitis, suckaaaas!”

    Poor Corinnette, who rode with me and Gorgeous George and the kidlet, was probably sick to death by Sunday night of Elvis, which we bumped in the car nearly the whole weekend, partly because we’re both huge fans and partly because Gorgeous George was the driver which left me as the passenger with way too much time to look over cliffs and dread death at the hands of unknown reckless drivers (I trust Geo implicitly: it is those loose cannon other sons-of-bitches that I fear will careen around a corner and cost me my child’s life), so we played tunes that I could stare out the window and sing “Little Sister” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” along to, giving me something familiar to focus on rather than hairpin turns and speeding Subarus.


    Elvis Presley and Sophia Loren clowning around. I am telling you this because though talented they are virtually complete unknowns of whom you have probably never heard.

    At one point along Highway 140, when we were on a straightaway and I was feeling less Nervous Nellie —had my eyes open and everything! just like a big girl!— I remarked to Geo, “Elvis Presley really was a great performer. It’s too bad he wasn’t more popular,” which we thought was hysterical.

    Gorgeous George’s wonderful parents were as wonderful as they always are, and Saturday night, after playing word games and bullshitting over beers and barbeque for a few hours, Pam-tastic and Senior (Geo’s folks) screened this nothing-less-than-cool-as-shit movie for us about the early career of Shirley Muldowney that seriously revved me up.


    Still from Heart Like A Wheel (Jonathan Kaplan, 1983), starring Bonnie Bedelia and Beau Bridges as Shirley Muldowney and Connie Kalitta. Anthony Edwards (pictured) plays her grown son, who is on her pit crew. It’s a really great, great movie. I sat next to Pam-tastic, who had posters of Shirley all over the den we were watching the movie in, and she filled me in on extra details while we watched. Amazing experience. They’re so great.

    Shirley Muldowney was the first NHRA female champion drag racer; her struggle was totally engrossing, and a story I’d never even heard of, which I love finding out about all new shit when it comes to deeply detailed sports, and for it to be a lady driving fast on top of it just sealed the deal. I am going to try to find more screencaps and factoids to share more about her in the coming days. Pam and George even know her. They are rad. Kick ass, I’m serious. Best in the West!


    Lo-Bo and the Gentleman when we’d finally stopped trekking past protected meadows (normally I’m all in favor of those but cheese-and-rice, I had a sick kid and it was really coming down; it was a great relief to stop walking). They are watching Corinnette gather the materials needed to demolish the Great Dane’s mini-snowman. All respect due to Niels and his snowman, I need to say that for being built by an engineer, that thing sure went down like a bitch.

    As a follow-up to my last entry before leaving town, on the bookfoolery front: I took neither Vonnegut short stories in the wake of Jonohs’s novel-loans nor Panda’s much-maligned copy of Oates’ Zombie up with me to read while on our weekend Yosemite retreat. (Although I did let kidlet bring her comic book, and I did not at any point attempt to swipe it: I can be taught!)


    l to r: Corinnette, the Great Dane, and Michelle-my-belle at the lea, watching Gorgeous George destroy the snowman.

    I realized the only logical choice to take for a trip to the snowy woods with friends was a book about a trip to the snowy woods with friends: Dreamcatcher, by Stephen King. It was perfect to sink in to bed at night and re-live the highs and lows of that admirable group of old friends after spending the day having so much fun with my own.

    I really dearly love every one of the four lead characters in Dreamcatcher and will happily tell you all about why I think they are some of the best and most shining examples of King’s already-wonderful pantheon of character creations if we are ever stuck on a tarmac at the end of a runway while they repeatedly de-ice our plane; lord, how a real estate secretary from Miami wishes this were just a random example of a situation and not pulled directly from my real life.


    Jonesy and the Beav (Damian Lewis and Jason Lee) attempt to hail a helicopter in Dreamcatcher (Lawrence Kasdan, 2003). This movie is jam-crack-packed with hot men bein’ hot. And nice and brave and heroic. Great book, great flick.

    Anyway, snow and friends in the novel. Snow and friends in my life. Synchronicity. Except we did not encounter aliens. That I remember. Moving along, the free time I have today while watching my little sicklet means I have almost no choice but to pass the time between making her food and giving her cold medicine by finally crack-a-lacking on posting up the undone Valentine Vixens. Come sail with me. HMS Sexytimes, ahoy!