Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The end of Barnes and Noble?

I heard they were hurting, but this story about my neighborhood Barnes and Noble (two moves ago, I used to live just a few subway stops away from this) took me by surprise.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wearing a hat this week

I just went to one of those 'cheap haircut' strip-mall places. Bad move. It looks like someone worked me over with a Rototiller.

I'm going to try to fix this when I get home (with a couple of mirrors and culinary scissors.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

"We don't sell dank.'' (Reruns, part two.)

My eccentric neighborhood has some of the most unusual signs I've seen in a long while. Here is my latest sampling. The words are unchanged but the italics are all mine.

This is from two signs hanging up at the Daljeet's Boutique.

"No photos. No brats. No cellphones. no restroom so don't ask. No loitering. This is not the place to eat your pizza, tie your shoes, smoke whatever you smoke or hang out.''

Wow! Thanks, Daljeets, for making us all feel so cozy and welcome. And here's another one, from the Cannabis Company: "We don't see weed, bud, herb, dank, ganja, trees, or marijuana, and not even reefer. We don't know where you can get some. Thanks for reading, and welcome to the Cannabis Company.''

Well, that just about covers it, although they didn't mention green bud or fat nuggs. And here's one more sign, at Murio's Trophy Room. I'm wondering if an over-vigilant bartender put it up there:

"If you look under 125, be prepared to show I.D.''

Monday, August 16, 2010

PVHS Reunion at MotoArt

Had a great time at the PVHS reunion. Still, I sensed I was growing older when my father, who drove me to the event, walked into the venue and asked if we were in the right place -- and someone came up to him and asked if he was part of my graduation class! (My Dad just turned 84 years old.) It was great to catch up with everyone, and the venue looked like a bit of Soma right in the middle of Torrance, CA. It was part aircraft hangar, part art gallery, with bits of airplane rejiggered as furniture, sculpture, etc.

Had to cut out earlier than expected after imbibing a mysterious libation known as a "Sea King.'' Will not confirm or deny rumors that my parents drove me home from this event.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Revenge of the microphone: Gary Shteyngart at Bookshop Santa Cruz

The microphone kept cutting out on Gary Shteyngart during his informal Q and A this week at Bookshop Santa Cruz. “Technology hates me, obviously,’’ the 38-year-old author and writing professor explained. The danged thing cut out three times.

The world of gadgetry has every reason to despise Mr. Shteyngart. His new book, Super Sad True Love Story, is a funny, scathing response to shortened attention spans, the waning of books and reading, and the dominance of the digital world. In his new novel, reading is so marginalized that people think books smell like unwashed feet, and sometimes spray them to conceal their odor. Instead of reading, the people of SSTLS check in regularly with their apparat, a gizmo that, among other things, helps people log onto the Web, keep tabs on their health and broadcast their “hotness’’ rankings. To prepare himself for this book, Mr. Shteyngart broke down and got an iPhone. “It pings all the time with useless information all day long,'' he said. While Shteyngart said he had no problem with digital reading devices, he fears that books “are becoming yet another file that gets transmitted through the air like so many millions of other things.’’ Reading, he said, requires “a huge act of empathy” and emotional commitment, which is becoming increasingly difficult '‘when all day long we are being bombarded with little packets of information.’’

According to Shteyngart, his new book is not a cautionary glimpse into the world of tomorrow.

“Speculative fiction is not about the future,’’ he explained. “It’s about where we are right now.''

(I chose this illustration because it looks vaguely like the bear on the cover of his first book.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reunion stripper

I found that link I was talking about in a previous entry. Could hardly believe this. She hired a stripper to go to a reunion in her place last year -- and had the stripper wired with an earpiece so she could give offstage directions!

I think the big running joke from this 'documentary' is that people always look so different at reunions anyhow (so how would someone really know if it wasn't you?)

This person grew up in the same town as me but technically it wasn't the same high school (I think her high school was a temporary merging of my high school and a rival nearby high school, unless I'm mistaken ...)

Anyhow, looking forward to my own reunion -- if any PVHS friends are out there reading this, would you let me know if you're going?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Formerly Hot book

Enjoyed reading this article about a college classmate's book, which creates a new demographic. I don't know Stephanie very well but I wish her success with this.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Politically correct used cars

In my new hometown, "used cars'' is considered an offensive expression, and highly insensitive.

In fact, there's a car lot, two blocks away from me, in which the words "used cars'' cannot be found anywhere on the parking lot or on the merchandise.

Instead, there are little stickers on the windshields saying "this car has been previously loved.''

Friday, August 06, 2010

My new Author's Photo.

Here it is.

You'll notice that I'm not smiling in this one either.

The photographer is Carolyn Lagatutta.

Going to my high school reunion

I've only been to one before in my life. Determined not to look at any of the name tags and see if I can recognize everybody.

There is an outside chance that I will have a most unusual chaperone (or driver) for this particular event.

By the way, I just stumbled across this crazy story about a woman who went to the same high school as me, but instead of going to her 10th reunion, she hired a stripper to go in her place! Wondering if this is a true story. Personally, I don't think I'd get away with doing something like that.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Yarnbombing in Santa Cruz?

Thank you to Helene, who wondered if my Fuzzy Tree (see below) is part of the Yarnbombing trend. Check this out.