Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Poem For the Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house,
No a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Which is probably why I did not wake until 2,
That, and a day in NJ is worth sleeping through.

I kid, I kid; though I had reason to rest,
For outside, a billowing blizzard still pressed!
Cars and trees, all covered in white,
It must have crept up on us this Christmas night!

As I sipped on my tea and toast with jelly,
The dog drooled nearby wishing it in her belly.
Poor sister was sprawled on the couch with the flu,
She spent the night puking, and she still felt quite blue.

But next to her bucket, our tree was pretty as ever,
Despite her (and the neighborhood) feeling under the weather.
Each bough trimmed with memories from holidays passed,
Funny how time seemed to go by so fast.

Below, I marveled at the snow globe I'd crafted,
For my mother, and others (that hadn't get shafted).
If only the glue I'd used hadn't been such a damper,
By issuing a warning of its fumes causing cancer.

I'd redeemed myself Friday by making some sweets,
What better crafts than the ones you can eat?
Linzer tarts, made of almonds & raspberry jam,
Then we sat down to a dinner of spaghetti and clams.

That Christmas Eve night, Lili left Santa a note,
The next morning she saw that he had in fact wrote!
"Santa Claus" had signed his name oh-so elegantly,
And left a shit ton of presents underneath our tree.

I unwrapped my gifts of stockings and clothes,
And we tossed aside boxes and wrapping and bows,
The poor dog sniffed longingly at the gifts at our knees,
So I gave her a present of some sharp cheddar cheese.

An American Girl doll and books went to Lili,
I got Bullseye the Horse and a gift card to Chili's,
Tron's Daft Punk soundtrack and jewelry too,
Plus Stieg Larsson's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

Mom sent out boxes of her homemade cookies,
To all the new NJ neighborhood rookies,
At one time, I knew everyone's faces,
But they've since moved away to far-off places.

Twas time to pick up Grandma, and Sis;
My 91 year-old aunt, a delightful old pris,
Passed the farms and forests, I seemed to get lost,
At least that day the roads weren't covered in frost.

At home we proceeded to eat, as Italians will do,
Turkey, ham and meatballs: ravioli too!
The stuffing was missing, but it wasn't a loss,
Since we'd our fill of potatoes and cranberry sauce.

After an indulgent dessert of pies and cakes,
We finally succumbed to our stomach aches,
So we said goodbye and I went to sleep;
No wonder I couldn't be roused by a peep!

So I sit writing a poem because I am bored,
Outside the window, it's still snowing a horde.
Almost 7pm now, and it's still hard to admit,
That Christmas is over so lickety-split.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Best of the Best

Take a look above.
Go ahead; I swear I won't pants you.

You see it up there? New link: "The UnKosher Best."
A pictorial list of my favorite blog entries, for your viewing/reading pleasure, and my ego.

Here's some interesting thoughts I had on writing recently, which came to me after reading George Orwell's "Why I Write":
"When you realize you are writer (notice I say "are," not "want to be"...since it's more like you realize you "have to be"), someone should warn you that you'll be spending your entire life trying to prove to yourself that you are.

However, that is not to say you're not a writer unless there is a constant inner struggle of self-worth. I believe that it is the shared, accounted act of achieving the knowledge that your talent, and worth, is innate - a journey most of us already endure - that defines a writer's life. A life that is ruled by inner conflicts between the ego and the true self; or truth, in itself, which all writers continually seek."
Well, do you agree or no? What are your own thoughts on being a writer?

Okay, NOW I'm gonna pants you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Blog Swap Post

I won't pretend to hide my enthusiasm in introducing you to my 1st ever guest blogger (all thanks to the clever guys at 20Sb) - so don't rain on my parade! It's not every day you get some excitement round these parts.

However, his introduction is largely superior to anything I could write (not to mention, succinct, which is a word I'm not terribly familiar with), so I shall not taint this entry further-
In the Year 2011: A Blog Swap Post
Hi, my name's Ryan. I'm not the enormously talented person you're used to reading over here, in case you hadn't gathered. Tara and I are participating in a blog swap, which means that for today I'm posting on her blog and she's posting on my blog. Nice to meet you.

We were told to write about something we planned on doing in 2011 that we've been putting off for far too long. My initial reaction to the assignment was “shoot, I don't really have anything like that.” Tara and I planned to chat sometime about writing about something else, but (as of this writing) that never really happened as both of us tend to be pretty busy people. So it happened that as I was riding back to Portland with my girlfriend that I realized “oh shoot, today's the 20th. Guess I'm writing about that first topic...”

Fortunately I only thought I had it more or less together. Turned out that I had a few projects waiting in the back of my head for just such an occasion. The ones that sprung on me as I watched the landscapes turn to cityscapes were my handful of unfinished novels. It's been my ambition since I was old enough to read to write a book and have it published. To be an author and to be read. I was a class clown, so of course this was a natural impulse, an extension of my “look at me” attitude. Somehow though, I've not yet realized that ambition.

My mental block tends to go a little like this:

“I should publish a novel.”

“Yeah! You should! Let's get going!”

Lots of writing ensues, and then, if I'm lucky:

“Alright, there's a first draft. Let's let it sit for a bit before I start editing.”

Time passes. Then the manuscript is picked up again and:

“Ew! Wow, did I really write that? I don't think I can even look at this anymore. Maybe I should rewrite it...”

But the rewrite never happens. Nor do edits. Instead the novel sits half-finished, rotting on the shelf until it's more or less forgotten while I go about my life. Then the cycle starts over again.

So I think in 2011 I'm going to try to break that cycle. I have a quirky little novel that I wrote mostly for fun, but partly to annoy, and I'm hoping... no, going... to edit it and have it ready for publishing of some sort by the end of 2011.

I'm gonna' do it this time. Really, guys.


Friday, December 17, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: High School Blogging

I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret this in the morning, so let's do this fast before I regain my "what the hell are you doing‽" response system.

Oh yes; it's time for-

Once upon a time in high school, I kept a LiveJournal. For the sake of my reputation (as if it could be any worse than the one I have now), I will not be disclosing the name of it so that all you snoopers can just laugh in the face of my fragile seventeen year old self. That's my job!

Back in 2004 (a staggering SEVEN years ago; this is why flashbacks are so saddening. Not because of the memories of then. But of remembering you are old), computers were all the rage. I don't know if some of you tots were old enough to remember, but things called Facebook, MySpace, smart phones and yes, even iPods didn't yet exist in popular culture. You know what did?

Palm Pilots.
AOL Instant Messenger.
 ...and LiveJournal. Everyone was doing it. My friends convinced me to get one, and it seemed a perfect fit as I was a writer and liked to whine. What could be better than doing it publicly?

I always scoff at bloggers nowadays who write as if they are giddy little teenagers (most of whom ARE still teenagers), abusing emoticons and cheesy internet slang that sounds straight out of a sitcom. However, today I re-read my old entries and realized I did the exact. same. thing.

I suppose we all feel that way about our teenage days, but we'll just have to live with it until we get old enough for our brains to deteriorate and pruning away at our memories in order to salvage what's left of our normal autonomous functioning.

With that, I give you the one entry I was not ashamed least afraid to share:
Will it snow? Or won't it? Feb. 5th, 2004 at 9:12 PM
I dont really know-the meteorologists change their minds very frequently. it confuses me. so ill just let mother nature do its little thang and see what happens..

so it turns out this mentorship thing is really cool. i get to go to jerseywood productions studio in highlands and learn about the film industry etc. maybe kevin smith will stop by one day. im hoping ^.^

PLUS i get to miss a half a day of school, which is always rather delicious. :P and this weekend i get to take driving lessons that i dont need since im 18, but my mom is making me pay for anyway. which isnt so delicious. but hey, you know what, this week wasnt all THAT bad.

now watch, i bet i just jynxed myself. -_-

i've actually been very void of sleep lately, and ive been conking out at any possible free time during the day. this often includes bus rides, viewings of Hitchcock's WEIRD ass movie "vertigo," (compliments of film appreciation/electronic field production class-and yes i know, the two class titles really have NOTHING to do with one another...-_-) and 1st period, advd. bio.

you know i was looking through the book the other night in a sleepy stupor, when i came across ACTUAL photos of a human cadaver, cut up like it was some kind of a lab frog. it was seriously freaky. ive never seen a person CUT OPEN before, and i certainly had no desire to. needless to say, i was a little weirded out by the images....though the guy closely resembled a squid i dissected in 7th grade. i guess what they say is true; it doesnt matter how different earth's creatures the inside we're just all the same ...... =)

wellllll enough about dead bodies.... ^.^ (what dead bodies :P)tomorrow is FRIDAY thank god. i get to work and maybe sleep if im lucky. im hoping that this month goes quickly....really super quickly..because im not partial to winter. and ive got senioritis. bad.

so adieu all. (or, however many ppl have actually decided to waste their time reading this....)and post ppl. because you might as well after getting this far. and i love getting mail!!!! ^_^

    •    Mood:  sleepy
    •    Music: The Film~ " Girl With a Pearl Earring" and Dido-White Flag
If this were a room, I would leave it to avoid the embarrassment that would most surely come from looking you in the face after reading this. A sensible person who eventually wants to to be taken seriously in the adult world would probably have chosen to purge their old blog accounts before they came back to bite. But I have sealed my fate by publishing this; and since you are in fact continuing to read my rant on the internet right now, it seems I still haven't learned my lesson.

One more flashback for you before I forget this ever happened. Even more embarrassing perhaps than my ramblings above - I give you, my bedroom (aka crime scene) circa 2004:

There's not really much to explain about his photo; I feel it already says everything about my adolescence that needs to be said: Pure Chaos.
I've created a key below for the items of most interest. Signs of the times, and of my scattered brain.
A. These boxes are from Avon. I thought they would work as a makeshift table. Silly Tara. Did you know I was an Avon lady? Probably not, as I bought more than I sold.

B. Awesome bubble lamp that changed colors, and broke soon after I got it. It was in my room until just this passed Thanksgiving, growing algae.

C. Ah, my iRiver mp3 player - only held 7 songs, but had a microphone!

D. My Staples laminated Final Fantasy VII collage of Yuffie and Vincent. I didn't even like FF. Yet, I still insisted on being a fucking nerd.

E. Among the items on my bureau: Izone camera film, a lip gloss set, my Kickboxing arm rope (TOUGH) and a tube of M&Ms that was most likely not filled with M&Ms, but that I kept regardless.
And somehow I still wonder why my teenage years were so damn stressful, after apparently having to climb a mountain of clothing just to get to bed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Week On the Brain: Writing

Sometimes, I like to be lazy and post other people's writings for you to read, instead of my own.

This is one of those times.

When I'm not compulsively checking Gmail and Facebook those every 5 minute moments of the day that I'm not running around work like a lizard with it's tail cut off, I'm on Google Reader trying to find material that I relate to my life; ie. stuff that reminds me of myself. (It's quite selfish I know, but don't we all just want to be understood?)

On what sort of "stuff" you ask? On film, on writing, on music, on art, on humor, on zorts, on life. And don't worry; I do it all with proper attribution (and genuine adoration.) Give these sources some love! it doesn't look like a complete cheat; aheh.

So if you're really that into what I'm into (creeper), please enjoy the fruits of my lethargy!

(Said in 1930's Newsreel voice)

"Stephen King on Writing," from Matriarchal Script Paradigm
Inspiration for all [blocked] writers everywhere. Who enjoys reading about writing, while not actually writing?.....that would be me.

"Her Idea" by Rilla Alexander, from Journey Round My Skull
Making psychological creative crises cute and colorful.

"The Problems You Are Facing In Your Creative Work," from Kid In the Front Row
A little side helping of Chicken Soup for the worthless-feeling-creative-Soul.

"Thoughts on Hybridity," from hamgirl
Proof that being reflexive is sexy. And totally fine. IT'S TOTALLY FINE, DAMMIT!!!! ::pants::

"How to Write a Great Script," from ScriptShadow
"Yeah, yeah, yeah" is what you'll think. But "Ohhh yeah" is how you'll feel after reading these inspiring pointers. Go get 'em tiger!

"Behold, the Blank Page," from Drawn
Click to enlarge.
And since everyone loves a meme (look at me, pimping this word - I didn't even know what the hell it meant till, like, yesterday), here's one I stole borrowed from My Inflammatory Writ, called "Writer's Envy," which consists of listing all the famous writers that one is jealous of. Perfect fit for this entry, wouldn't you say?

(Check out Writ's picks here.)
Novel you wish you'd written: Oh lord, for reals? Do you have a couple of years? I guess if you forced me at gunpoint and/or promised me a cookie, I could settle on A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers. A genius it was, Eggy. You fucker.

TV you wish you could have been/could be a staff writer on: "The Simpsons," "Arrested Development" (I'm so original!)

Blog you wish you'd started: Forgotten Bookmarks. I loot antique books for worthless old artifacts in my spare time already!

Play you wish you'd written: I'm going to pretend I overlooked this, and that I'm slightly uncultured. 

Poem you wish you'd written: "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" (Silverstein) & "The Raven" (Poe). I wanted to be eclectic.

Screenplay you wish you'd written: (You asked for it) Amelie, You Can Count On Me, Beetlejuice, The Princess Bride, Let the Right One In,  Mixtape, Adaptation...

Song you wish you'd written: "Rapture" by Blondie. Find this song for an amazing trip and lyrics you will want to memorize immediately.

Blogger with skillz (or readership, for that matter) you wish you could steal: Hahaha, oh that's easy. How about EVERYONE ELSE.

Okay, I sort of kid. "Hyperbole & A Half" is top on my list.

Hey kids! Steal the "Writer's Envy" meme for yourself and unabashedly unleash your inner jealousy unto the internet!
In other words, I'd like to know.

Friday, December 10, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: It's Christmas[Music]. All Over. Again.

I'm not gonna lie. I like Christmas songs. They remind me of Christmases long, long ago; the way I used to feel all snuggled up indoors, with the smell of pine needles and the heat coming up in the morning...

I LOVE Christmas music.

So shut the hell up, go roast some.chestnuts, dress yourself in some fucking flannel, and listen to my

Top 13 FLASHBACK FRIDAY Holiday Tunes
The ones you all know and love, but perhaps are afraid to admit.  It's okay - that's why I'm here. 
To take on your shame.
  1. Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime 
  2. Wham! - Last Christmas 
  3. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas
  4. The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping 
  5. Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick
  6. Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
  7. Trans Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24"
  8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Crystals
  9. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
  10. Frank Sinatra - Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
  11. Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad
  12. Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock
  13. Vine Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here (from Peanuts)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Zortians Are Coming....

Well this just makes my little heart go pitter-patter.

I got the urge today to once again Google the word "Zort" (surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, this is an ongoing hobby of mine), hoping in silent desperation that there was indeed another little nerd child out there who was as enthralled with the world of "Ed Emberley's Big Green Drawing" book as I, and was painstakingly uploading their myriad of childhood sketches of the little one-eyed darlings in hopes of reaching me on the other side of the interwebs - like a Google message in a bottle.

(For those of you not versed in the world of Zort, please refer to my previous zortian ramblings.)

The back cover of the best [drawing] book ever.
Usually, I have no such luck. I find only my own images, which tends to make me somewhat depressed about the state of my almost 25 year old life. However, today: breakthrough!

I am happy to say that after many years of looking, I have found another work of zortian perfection:

Courtesy of Joe Kuth @Red Panda Comics
This adorable piece of imagination is by fellow blogger, talented artist, and obviously awesome dude, Joe Kuth. I can't tell you how excited I was to find this. Actually, I'm telling you right now, though I shouldn't since it's slightly embarrassing: I may have peed a little.

The best part of this discovery is that I no longer have to hide my blushing face as I fawn over little green men with three legs - there are others out there who share in my appreciation of Ed Emberley and his wonderful world. (Read an interview with Kuth here; you'll see what I mean.)

BUT WAIT - (that's right, you know the rest....)

Joe, in part with his blog, has put together a tribute book to Mr. Ed Ember' himself, consisting of artwork drawn by other fans around the country!

Where the fuck was I when this was happening?!

Thankfully, my disappointment at not getting the chance to be included in this book was overshadowed by yet another amazing discovery (I'm running out of ways to emphasize my text):

Yes, it's true. There is a documentary. About Ed Emberley. Coming. Soon.

Does this mean that Zortians might make an appearance as well? Possibly even......animated?

Only time will tell......and I will await, ever anxiously....

Monday, December 6, 2010

In Which Some Cool Comics, the Black Swan & Matt Groening Serve As a Mirror Inward

I like to sometimes to write about my weekend activities, in case you think I don't get out enough. Rest assured, I do try to make the most out of my days off. At least the first day - then, as is the case with this Sunday, twelve hours are set aside for delicious sleep.

So whether you want to hear it or not (forget the fact that it's easy enough to click off this page), I will happily recall my weekend experiences, in a neat listed form:

Black Swan
I was anxious to see this, and that anxiety followed me throughout it's viewing and into my dreams. As with Aranovsky's film "Requiem for a Dream," I would impart the following advice to any 1st time viewer: prepare to be unnerved.

And I was. I won't go into too much detail because a.) I trust you aren't reading this blog for a movie review (and if you are, I apologize, though it's a very good idea, come to think of it....), and b.) giving it away would be awfully rude.

I will say this: Winona Ryder is exquisitely scary, the music of "Swan Lake" is as haunting as the jaunty hand-held choreography, and the entire experience of watching this movie will make make your insides feel as dark and hollow as the cheekbones of a ballerina.
Hence, good stuff.

Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival
Conveniently located down the street from our apartment, the festival proved to be the perfect way to spend our Saturday (and our money). Crowded, yes; but filled to the brim with some awesome comic artists, which I feel compelled to share with you all, as I spent the entirety of last night adding their blogs to my Google reader and subsequently goggling at their art. And, as a bonus, may I remind you that they are all lovely ladies, which gives this sort of lovely lady hope.

  • Junko Mizuno - bought a signed copy (!) of her first manga (now out of print), "Cinderella." Cute and deadly are the words that best describe her style.

  • Jennifer Tong - alas, I could not bring myself to shell out the $50 for her beautiful neon lemonade silkscreens, but luckily I was able to see all her fruitallucinations on her site. (Yeah, that's right, I shoved that pun right in your face.)

  • Marian Churchland - though she wasn't at the festival, I felt I had to bring her up in the company of my new fave female comickers. The main squeeze of Brandon Graham (also a great artist, and the brain behind "King City"), Marian lives in Canada and brings the cuteness as she she blogs about pie and jackets. I snagged a copy of "ELEPHANTMEN: Damaged Goods" last time I was at Bergen Street Comics. Good investment!
Fittingly, Marian's cover for Brandon's "King City."
  • Aidan Koch - I passed by her table quickly, trying to keep myself from nabbing a copy of "The Whale," in all its water-colored poetic glory. Later on I find out it was actually the artist herself sitting quietly there, trying to sell her first comic ever. Now I really wished I'd bought it.

  • Jungyeon Roh - again with the expensive silkscreens! So wonderful and yet so out of reach....I really wish she had been selling her book. I understand the reasoning for the price however; >sigh< if I only I were rich enough to buy art instead of getting angry at myself for not creating it.

    • Lisa Hanawalt - I can't take complete credit for this find; for Ryan, it was love at first sight with the "Hats" sketch. I soon followed after he brought home #1 and 2 of her "I Want You" series. Not many women can get away with psycho sexual animals and subtle fart jokes...but Lisa can.  

    Click to enlarge (believe me, it's worth it to see the Irritable Bowel Syndrome hat

    Matt Groening
    This is what really made the weekend - after 3 hours of festival goodness, Ryan and I make our way to the entrance. And who is standing at the Ad House Books booth, bag full of goodies, but the creator of "The Simpsons" himself, the first artist I ever learned the name of at the tender age of 7 - in short my hero - Matt Groening. Ryan urges me on, and I sheepishly creep up behind the unsuspecting victim guy and introduce myself. (Finally, knowing the real pronunciation of his name pays off!)

    As is the case with most celebrity/hero sightings, I babble on about loving his work and seem to forget my confidence. Out pours my undying devotion for "The Simpsons" over the course of my lifetime (which coincided with the shows existence as well.) He chuckled at the image of me with a Bart doll in the crib, and I thanked him for bringing years of humorous dinner time TV to my family.

    You'll be happy to know that Mr. Groening is a perfect gentleman and all-around nice guy, who seems genuinely pleased with meeting fans; and thank goodness, as dealing with a motor mouth like me can prove to be difficult. He even asked me what I did, after I professed that my love of film mainly stemmed from his Simpsons parodies. What proceeded was my usual explanation of "Well, I'm a producer...for test commercials, but that's not what I want to do.....I actually went to school for film directing and writing, and I also did animation, but I had to ultimately choose one, and I'm still paying it all off..." yada yada. The poor man.

    And then the most insightful thing came out of his mouth: "Well, what do you want to do?"

    Apart from being completely flabbergasted at his wanting to know in the first place, I also had to stop and think. Why would he ask me that question? And why was this happening today, of all days, at the comics festival of all places? Was there perhaps something serendipitous about this particular moment?

    All I can say is that ever since he asked me, I've been wondering about the same question myself.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Animalympics

    There are certain childhood memories that, when I look back on, seem so amazingly joyful that it's almost too much to handle in that moment. Hardened stress-driven New Yorker that I am, being able to experience perhaps a small millisecond of childlike joy just shoots a laser beam right through my jaded soul.

    Bittersweet is perhaps the best word to describe the feeling of nostalgia, as it is both heart warming and heart wrenching to think that at one point in your past, things seemed truly magical.

    Sometimes those instances still occur, but because most adults are so preoccupied with worldly things, it's not so easy to hold onto. Hence, the flashback, and its appeal to me; because for once, I can revel in the glory that was childhood, and try to keep it least for a little awhile.

    Now that you've dried your tears of this sentimental interruption, let me focus your attention on the latest (emphasis on "late" - and completely justified. Since it's the day before Thanksgiving, this qualifies as a Friday...right? Right.)


    Animalympics was one of the VHS movies we had that we weren't sure how we acquired. It's possible that Grandma saw it one day at the video store and decided that since it was a cartoon and featured animals participating in Olympic-themed sports, that it was instant gratification.

    By george, was she right.

    • First of all, it was a parody - and given that we were a snarky family, this was immediately a plus.
    • Second of all, it has the voices of Gilda Radner (of SNL fame), Harry Shearer (of The Simpsons Fame) and Billy Crystal (you could tell he was a big deal since even I knew who he was.)
    • Third of all, it was goofy. There's an alligator boxer, a Japanese penguin gymnast and an Italian octopus bobsled team called the "Calamari Brothers." Yeah. Awesome.
    • And finally, it had a great soundtrack. By people that were not Disney.
    I was trying to fall asleep the other night, but I simply could NOT get these moments out of my mind. I remember watching this video over and over again, and constantly being swept away.

    But it's just a cartoon, you say!

    Ahhh, but there's no such thing as just a cartoon......

    This is how the movie opens - can I begin to try to explain how fucking amazing this looks? Possibly not, it's mostly because you're not 10 anymore. Shit sucks, don't it?

    Little did I know, the animators who worked on this film had some pretty impressive resumes: Brad Bird (Pixar, The Iron Giant), Roger Allers (The Lion King), and Steven Lisberger (writer and director of Tron, and I you can definitely see the influence here.) I was a geek before I even knew what it meant!


    California neon ocean hallucination trip. As a kid you were flabbergasted, mystified, perhaps a tad bit frightened, yet completely enthralled with the images that were being played across your TV screen. The only thing that's changed is the lack of a VCR.


    For some reason unbeknownst to me, no one has posted this song with the visuals from the actual movie. For those of you that were not fortunate enough to see, just picture this - Million Dollar Man + Wild Boar = Ski Champ - while you're listening.

    Let's face it; coming off the 70s, there had to be some disco in here. I have to admit, I was a BeeGees fan, so this delighted me beyond words. But even if you don't like disco, or dancing animals getting it on, it's still pretty damn catchy.

    I leave you with a final gem; the song itself is a bittersweet trip into something that whispers like nostalgia, makes your stomach float as if on air, and your mind imagine that for a suspended moment in time, you really are away from it all.

    This is the stuff that childhood dreams are made of.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    You + Me = $500 Worth of Free Books

    This is a little bit different from my usual ranting, but when it comes to books, all time stops for the matters at hand.

    Thanks to a tip from Indy Grrrl, I recently discovered that Chronicle Books is holding a contest exclusively for bloggers (yeah, I guess I would consider myself one; sure): Post a wish list of $500 worth of books and get entered into a drawing to win them all.

    Needless to say, I'm all about this, and spent the latter part of yesterday drooling over the list you see below. But I'm a generous one, and like people to read what I'm reading, so if you comment on this posting and I happen to win, you could get all these specially, handpicked books too!

    So if you share the same odd taste in books as yours truly, get on this shit.

    So Crazy Japanese Toys!


    So Crazy Japanese Toys!

    By Jimbo Matison
    Foreword by Rodney Alan Greenblat
    When huge alien spiders or ocean-dwelling mutant dinosaurs hell-bent on destruction decide to pay a visit to humankind, they always seem to stop in Japan first. So Crazy Japanese Toys! showcases a cast of totally cool, totally sugoi ...    MORE

    ACME Catalog

    ACME Catalog

    From Warner Bros.
    Text by Charles Carney
    Iron birdseed, anvils, fake holes, and more—for years The ACME Company has been the sole purveyor of the fine products used by Looney Tunes characters. Chronicle Books is proud to present an exclusive catalog featuring ACME's must-have, ...    MORE

    Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers

    Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers

    By Robert Schnakenberg
    On the heels of Secret Lives of Great Authors, Great Artists, and Great Composers comes Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers—an uncensored look at screen legends ranging from D. W. Griffith and Frank ...    MORE

    The Doorbells of Florence

    The Doorbells of Florence

    By Andrew Losowsky
    These alluring photographs of doorbell panels in Florence, Italy, inspired stories that imagine the lives of the people who dwell at each address. Charming, whimsical, and elegant, each story is a perfect match for its photo, balancing the ...    MORE

    Olive, the Other Reindeer

    Olive, the Other Reindeer

    Written and illustrated by J.otto Seibold
    and Vivian Walsh
    Olive is merrily preparing for Christmas when suddenly she realizes "Olive... the other Reindeer... I thought I was a dog. Hmmm, I must be a Reindeer!" So she quickly hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole. And while Santa and ...    MORE

    America's Doll House

    America's Doll House

    By William L. Bird, Jr.
    From the Star-Spangled Banner flag to Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History is home to some fascinating objects. In fact, one of the most fascinating of these, and one of the most ...    MORE

    Secret Lives of Great Artists

    Secret Lives of Great Artists

    By Elizabeth Lunday
    In the tradition of our best-selling Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents (120,000 copies in print), here are outrageous and uncensored profiles of the world's greatest artists, complete with hundreds of little-known, ...    MORE

    Secret Lives of Great Authors

    Secret Lives of Great Authors

    By Robert Schnakenberg
    In the tradition of Quirk's bestselling Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents (100,000+ copies in print), here are outrageous and uncensored profiles of the world's greatest writers, complete with hundreds of little-known, ...    MORE

    You Know You're a Writer When . . .

    You Know You're a Writer When . . .

    By Adair Lara
    You know you're a writer when
    . . . You'll never forgive your parents for your happy childhood.
    . . . The doctor tells you that you have terminal cancer and you think, "I can use this."
    . . . You accidentally sign a check with ...    MORE

    Writer's Workshop in a Book

    Writer's Workshop in a Book

    Introduction by Richard Ford
    Edited by Alan Cheuse
    and Lisa Alvarez
    Since 1969, the prestigious Squaw Valley Community of Writers has helped develop the art and craft of many who are now household names. Instructors such as Michael Chabon, Mark Childress, Diane Johnson, Anne Lamott, Robert Stone, and Amy Tan ...    MORE

    The Writer's Toolbox

    The Writer's Toolbox

    By Jamie Cat Callan
    Designed by a longtime creative writing teacher, this innovative kit includes a 64-page booklet filled with exercises and instructions that focus on a "right-brain" approach to writing. Sixty exercise sticks—First Sentences, Non Sequiturs, ...    MORE

    TCM Classic Movie Crossword Puzzles

    TCM Classic Movie Crossword Puzzles

    By Turner Classic Movies
    Foreword by Robert Osborne
    Film-themed crossword puzzles from Turner Classic Movies are a wildly popular feature in its Now Playing viewer's guide, received by 160,000 subscribers each month. Collected here for the first time are 80 challenging and ...    MORE

    The Indiana Jones Handbook

    The Indiana Jones Handbook

    By Denise Kiernan
    and Joseph D'Agnese
    For every fan who's dreamed of cracking a bullwhip, rescuing lost treasures, and evading giant runaway boulders, The Indiana Jones Handbook offers all the tips and tricks of the adventurer's trade. Complete with step-by-step ...    MORE

    Hollywood Glamour Pack

    Hollywood Glamour Pack

    By Turner Classic Movies
    Foreword by Robert Osborne
    Introduction by Molly Haskell
    You save $11.95!
    Leading Men
    7 x 9 in; 240 pp; 200 color and b/w photographs
    Leading Ladies
    7 x 9 in; 240 pp; 200 b/w and color ...    MORE

    The Star Wars Poster Book

    The Star Wars Poster Book

    By Stephen J. Sansweet
    and Peter Vilmur
    One of the very first Star Wars posters had no images at all—just enormous block letters that announced, "Coming to Your Galaxy This Summer: Star Wars." The rest is history. Now, 28 years later, the 350 most amazing Star ...    MORE

    Picture Show

    Picture Show

    By Dianna Edwards
    Foreword by Robert Osborne
    Turner Classic Movies may be best known for running the timeless films we never tire of watching, but behind the scenes is another treasure few get to see: a vast archive of posters from more than seven decades of movie making, including the ...    MORE

    Wookiee Cookies

    Wookiee Cookies

    By Robin Davis
    Boba Fett-Uccine and Princess Leia Danish Dos are just the beginning when the Force is with you in the kitchen. Wookiee Cookies is your invitation to fine culinary experiences in the Star Wars frame of mind. From C-3PO Pancakes ...    MORE

    What's Your Poo Telling You? Activity Book

    What's Your Poo Telling You? Activity Book

    By Anish Sheth, M.D.
    and Josh Richman
    Illustrations by Peter Arkle
    and Matt Johnstone
    Celebrate the wonderful diversity of poo, pee, and farts with this one-of-a-kind, action-packed activity book from the authors of the best-selling book What's Your Poo Telling You? Featuring humorous illustrations and an ...    MORE



    By Lisa Katayama
    Illustrations by Joel Holland
    Japan has a way of thinking that is just . . . different. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Tokyo-born journalist Lisa Katayama's collection of urawaza (a Japanese word for secret lifestyle tricks and techniques). Want to ...    MORE

    Bedside Dream Journal

    Bedside Dream Journal

    With this handsome journal, recording one's dreams (and the inspiration, introspection, and wonder that grows from them) has never been easier. Complete with a dream glossary and helpful instructional text to guide the user toward more ...    MORE

    Curious Lists

    Curious Lists

    Charming, comical, and unquestionably curious, this encyclopedic journal of unusual list topics is the perfect kick-start for creative minds of any age. Featuring whimsical illustrations and room for creating over 300 personalized lists on ...    MORE



    Keep a daily record of life's little blessings with this keepsake gratitude journal filled with a year’s worth of insightful prompts, inspiring quotes, and ample room for reflecting on all the things that make life great. ...    MORE

    The Egyptian Book of the Dead

    The Egyptian Book of the Dead

    Translation by Dr. Raymond Faulkner
    Introduction and commentary by Dr. Ogden Goelet
    Preface by Carol Andrews
    Foreword by James Wasserman
    For millennia, the culture and philosophy of the ancient Egyptians have fascinated artists, historians, and spiritual seekers throughout the world. Now, this reissue of a Chronicle Books classic brings to light once more the legendary ...    MORE
    52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

    52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

    By Lynn Gordon
    Illustrations by Karen Johnson
    Feed your creative muse with these 52 little bites of inspiration. These portable cards are perfect for artists of all kinds, especially those who like to color outside of the lines. ...    MORE
    Drop Dead Cute

    Drop Dead Cute

    By Ivan Vartanian
    Drop Dead Cute showcases the work of 10 cutting-edge female Japanese artists whose art combines the pop charge of Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara with a thrilling personal mixture of sweetness and power. This next wave of painters ...    MORE
    The 1000 Journals Project

    The 1000 Journals Project

    By Someguy
    Foreword by Kevin Kelly
    Voyeuristic. Inspirational. Entertaining. One thousand blank journals are currently circulating throughout the world, beckoning contributors who find the journals by chance on trains, in cafĂ©s, and anonymously left on doorsteps. Artist ...    MORE

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