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Day 05 – A book that makes you happy

Man...this is difficult. Lots of books make me happy. Let's do Matilda, since I just re-read that with my daughter. I love smart little girls who outwit nasty adults and save the day.

Day 06 – A book that makes you sad

All those books where a dog needs to be put down because they got rabies. Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc.
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Almost forgot.

Day 3 - Favorite series

Anne of Green Gables. I've read every single book to pieces, and practically know them all by heart now.

Day 4 - Favorite book of your favorite series

As I get older I appreciate Rilla of Ingleside more and more. It's the most realistic one, I guess, and the only one (aside from Anne's House of Dreams) where the characters have real problems to deal with.
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If you read on a tablet, these are pretty good deals:

Ruhlman's Twenty, Michael Ruhlman $2.99
Zodiac, Neal Stephenson $1.99
Blasphemy, Sherman Alexie $1.99
Complete Works of L.M. Montgomery $1.99
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I just finished reading Matilda to my daughter. She's just at that age where she can start paying attention to chapter books, and Matilda's the first one I picked because it's one of my favorites, and also it's about a really smart little girl. My daughter loved the different pranks Matilda played on her parents, and her mouth dropped open when she found out Ms. Honey's aunt was really Ms. Trunchbull.

I love Roald Dahl in general, even though I know a lot of it is pretty problematic with the racism and everything. I forgot how much of it is really about how terrible adults are, and that's probably why so many kids relate to it, plus it's pretty outrageous in a cartoony way. Not to mention all the British-isms; all those witty phrases really passed me by when I was a kid. I just wanted the "eye power"!
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I found this 30 Day Meme tumblr, so I'm going to pull some out to do some to just get myself writing something. No guarantees of actually finishing everything.

First one I'm doing is the book one: 30 days of books.

Day 01 – Best book you read last year

Oh man...did I even read anything last year? 
It looks like I read Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between The World And Me. It was beautiful and painful, and I should probably re-read it to see if there's anything new to glean from it, especially after reading so many terrible critiques of it, ranging from "it's classist" to "it's too pessimistic". I think there was a decent one I found on Metafilter, (but I can't find it right now, and it's not the Jacobin one that rants about how he should support Bernie Sanders (newsflash: he already said he was voting for him)). Maybe it was another Jacobin one. Anyway, I think the critique laid out some of Coates' blind spots pretty clearly, and says basically that he doesn't give enough credit to the politics of organization, and says that he focuses too much on individual injustices at the expense of collective action. I think. I think there was a podcast where they discussed it further? Maybe Chapo Trap House? 


The Birthmark of Damnation: Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Black Body.

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So there are a lot of deep important books I wanted to read but the news has been so depressing lately that I'd rather not. Anyway, once I read that they cast Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu for Crazy Rich Asians, I was like, dammit now I have to read this. If you like light, breezy, fast-paced chatty chicklit about the rich Asian elite diaspora that make the American rich elite look like rank amateurs when it comes to opulence and overspending, you'll like this book. There's so much name-dropping and so much designer worship but also so many arguments about where to get the best Singaporean food that it'll make you really hungry. There doesn't seem to be that much in LA, but here's some to check out.

Anyway, at its core, the book is about Rachel Chu and Nick Young, who are both professors seeking tenure in the US. Nick invites Rachel to Singapore to meet his family, without informing her that he's pretty ridiculously rich and is dumb enough that he thinks his mom and grandma would think that he could just marry whoever he wants without any social consequences. It's a fish out of water story for Rachel, and we're basically seeing the Singapore elite world through her eyes. There's also a parallel story with Astrid, Nick's cousin, who is super-rich on her own and has the most expensive taste for couture, but somehow managed to settle down with a guy who insists on earning his own living instead of taking her father's money and gifts.

For the most part the book is rich people porn. Also Singapore porn, as the country and its food are lovingly detailed to the hilt.

So, it's also been a long time since I read actual Asian American lit, and in that light, this book was refreshing in more than a few ways. The most important being that it's not another goddamn narrative about how miserable it is to grow up Asian American and how they're trying to figure out their identity. Maybe it's because these characters are older, but they're comfortable in their skin, even as they have a bit of unease about their own identity (Rachel hasn't dated Asian men in a while for specific reasons until Nick), and it's just part of their life and not all-consuming. Kevin Kwan talks in this interview about he "began writing the book, because I wanted to introduce the West to the concept of the real Asia and contemporary Asia, where people are empowered and their lives don’t revolve around the West at all."

Apparently it's been 26 years since Joy Luck Club. I wonder how I would feel re-reading it.

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I finally went into The Last Bookstore downtown. It was as great and as hipster-ish as I imagined it. There's an art collective or something upstairs, and a really great children's section in the back. Because my kid is about to enter that age of chapter books, I thought I would, ahem, rebuild my childhood library for her. Except this time I get to keep all the books. So I got: Hatchet, Heidi, and Child of the Owl. I just finished re-reading it.

I vaguely remembered Lawrence Yep's name on a bunch of young adult books I read for school. But I remembered Child of the Owl because it is such a specific vision of San Francisco Chinatown in the early seventies - "this new band called The Beatles", and the way Yep describes it is such an apt description of the way it was when I was a kid that I could picture everything vividly - from Portsmouth Square to the way the protagonist's grandmother sews piecework for extra money.

And I loved the relationships in this story, and the way the history is woven in. Casey's the daughter of a shiftless gambling addict, who has to move in with her grandma in Chinatown after her dad gets robbed and beaten up. It's also a kind of coming-of-age story, and how Casey finds herself and her identity through her grandmother's stories.

Anyway, this book is part of a series and now I have to get the rest of the series. I think it's supposed to span seven generations of a Chinese family and their fates in America. So it's a lot.
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I'm really excited about the release of Mark Twain's autobiography. Apparently the entire thing's never been released before. And here's a link to audio versions of "Chapters from my Autobiography", which are parts that Twain published before his death. Includes mp3 and ogg formats.

Other book-ish news:

There will be a new "Autobiography of Malcolm X", that will include the "lost chapters" that deepen our understanding of Malcolm X. According to the article, they were not originally published because "they showed a broader view of humanity and freedom that was out of sync with the separatist tone of the rest of the work". Via 50books_poc.

storySouth is on online literary magazine dedicated to showing off the best writing from the "new South", especially new writers. They're opened votes to the public for the MillionWriters award for the top 10 stories of 2009, all of which can be read online. Via Alas, a Blog.

I'm loving the T-shirts at Out-of-Print Clothing. They're T-shirts of classic book covers. Though I'm not sure why there are fewer women's shirts. It doesn't seem like it's that hard to make a transfer to a women's shirt, does it? And what? Is no guy going to wear a shirt for I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings? Via Ethical Style. If that's the case, I want more Jane Austen and Jane Eyre shirts.

Apr. 9th, 2009 06:53 am


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I am kind of ambivalent about spoilers. Just so you're forewarned, this post is full of them and THERE ARE NO CUTS.

Sometimes I will go out of my way to avoid spoilers for certain shows I like. Unfortunately, I love the Internet, and the Internet loves all my favorite shows. I accept that one of the hazards of going on the Internet is finding out information about media I haven't consumed yet, even if I don't go out of my way looking for it. This is how I got spoiled for Sarah Connor even though I haven't watched the last two episodes.

So Kal Penn is taking a job with the Obama administration. Congratulations to him! But! He left the TV show House in a pretty spectacular way, by killing himself. NPR reported on this without including a spoiler alert, and they got earfuls from angry listeners who'd recorded the episode on their TiVo but hadn't watched it yet.

To which my reaction is, what fucking babies!

I wonder, how many of these people ever bothered to complain about anything else on NPR? The economy's going to pieces. Global warming is real. We have a black president now just finishing up his first European tour. Republicans are the minority now. Still assholes.

But I guess none of that compares to people's entitlement NOT to know something about a show.

The whole focus on spoilers bugs me because at some point in order to talk about a show, a book, or a movie in any significant way, you have to discuss what's actually in said media. Spoilers ruin plot points in the story but without that particular plot point the story does not exist.

It makes me want to go and buy that T-shirt with all the spoilers on it:

He's the DEAD person!
Luke is the father.
Romeo and Juliet die.
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The one I truly don't get is the "you can't take a book into the bathtub" argument.

Despite my deep love of books, I have never taken a book into the bathtub. I generally shower, so the whole bathtub thing is moot. Is this something a lot of people do? I'd be afraid of messing up my book with soapy water.
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I like books. I like memes. These are two book memes I've seen popping around - the first one is for the BBC's Top 100 reads or something like that. The second is a reaction to the list and is mostly or exclusively on people of color and in different countries other than the UK and US. The instructions are the same for both: BOLD the titles you've read; ITALICIZE those you intend to read; and UNDERLINE those you loved. (As an aside, I generally comment on most stuff I've read.)

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I am really excited because I picked up The Big Aiiieeeee! at the Brand Bookshop today. I almost got Snow by Orhan Pamuk, but I stopped in my tracks once I saw this anthology of Chinese and Japanese American literature.

I have a tortured relationship with Asian American literature, because most of it pisses me off too much. Yet it's an itch I can't stop scratching, to the point where I took a couple of Asian Am lit classes in college. Boy were those fun! Anyway, they always went back to the Frank Chin/Maxine Hong Kingston split, where Chin basically accuses Kingston and those like her (or at least as successful as her) of selling out, of being traitors to their own people. (For the record, as writers, I like Kingston, am mostly indifferent to Chin.) So this anthology is pretty legendary, but I've never seen it anywhere, until today.

I have barely started, but the intro is full of gold:

We begin another year angry! Another decade, and another Chinese American ventriloquizing the same old white Christian fantasy of little Chinese victims of "the original sin of being born to a brutish, sadomasochistic culture of cruelty and victimization" fleeing to America in search of freedom from everything Chinese and seeking white acceptance, and of being victimized by stupid white racists and then being reborn in acculturation and honorary whiteness.

It is an article of whilte liberal American faith today that Chinese men, at their best, are effeminate closet queens like Charlie Chan, and at their worst, are homosexual menaces like Fu Manchu. No wonder David Henry Hwang's derivative M. Butterfly won the Tony for best new play of 1988. The good Chinese man, at his best, is the fulfillment of white male homosexual fantasy, literally kissing white ass. Now Hwang and the stereotype are inextricably one.

More to come! 

ETA: This may take longer than expected. I tried to get through "Come All Ye Asian American Writers of the Real and of the Fake", and while certain parts were compelling, most of it feels like a relentless history lesson with no point and the other part feels like a diatribe against writers who are more successful than him. For all Chin's claims that David Henry Hwang, Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan are irresponsible writers who've been sucked in by white liberal Christian stereotyping, it's kind of hard for me to swallow that he thinks that all Chinese people live and are educated a certain way, and that he's the authority on authenticity.

I checked the publication dates, and looks like the copy I have was a reprint published in 1991. That makes me wonder two things: in all of the twenty or so years that had passed since the original publication, they couldn't find more than one woman who's "of the real"? (Well, maybe a few names are ambiguous so I'll have to double-check that.) And after twenty or so years, shouldn't Asian America encompass more than Chinese and Japanese Americans?
Jun. 9th, 2008 11:04 am

what i love

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When people come over to our house and start pulling stuff off my bookshelves to read. It's awesome! (Also, everyone who comes by comments on The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen, none of it positive. I still haven't read it yet. So far, I've gotten, "Ugh, unreadable", and "Guy's such a whiner".)

I have some books to give away, and if you want anything, please let me know in the comments. I'm willing to mail within the continental U.S. (Links to books may contain spoilers.)

Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke (science fiction)
Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 - Using Dreamweaver 4
The Complete Computer Popularity Program, by Todd Strasser (young adult, published 1984, complete with cheesy cover).
Squeeze, by Ellen Streiber, based on The X Files (science fiction, I assume)
Airframe, by Michael Crichton (thriller, I think)
2002 Thomas Guide, Los Angeles & Ventura Counties
2002 Thomas Guide, Metropolitan Bay Area (comes with CD-ROM)
Class of '89 (Senior), by Linda A. Cooney (young adult, published 1988)
The Girl of His Dreams, by Harry Mazer (young adult, published 1987)
Sugar & Spice, #13: Blind Date, by Janet Quin-Harkin (young adult, published 1988)
The Star Spangled Contract, by Jim Garrison (thriller)
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, by Edith Hamilton (non-fiction - not a textbook, published 1969)
Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism, Third Edition (published 1976) - I have no idea why we have this.
Farewell to Fat, by Richard Simmons (cookbook, still shrinkwrapped)
Wild Seed, by Octavia E. Butler (science fiction)
Mind of My Mind, by Octavia E. Butler (science fiction)

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We went to go see Jennifer 8. Lee at Vroman's in Pasadena talk about her new book, the Fortune Cookie Chronicles, which traces the lineage of various Chinese American food items such as fortune cookies and chop suey and General Tso's chicken. It was fascinating and very humorous discussion that brought up all sorts of huge, relevant issues - food, masculinity, racism, immigration, and of course, "what it means to be American". I think what she said was "if our standard of what it means to be American is 'as American as apple pie', then how often do Americans eat apple pie, and how often do they eat Chinese food?"

Her presentation was pretty organized, and we saw a bunch of different images and videos, from Chinese people in China trying fortune cookies for the first time, to the video of a sad little five year old girl in China explaining that she was born in America and was being raised in her village in China while her parents were working in America, and America was "at the airport, far away".

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My subject line does not refer to anything in particular. I just got tired of writing titles like: "stuff on my mind" or "things I'm thinking about."

Mark has instituted "burrito Fridays". This Friday, we schlepped down to Yuca's, a James Beard-award winner in the "America's Classics" category. It's a little mom-and-pop stand known for its burritos, small portions and cheap prices. Mark liked it better than I did, but then, I am not a good judge or fan of Mexican food. I felt that there was a definite lack of flavor and didn't like the mess the torta I got made on my hands. For some reason they also sell burgers, though if you are going to a place like Yuca's, what the heck are you doing ordering a burger?

I finished reading Junot Diaz's The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao last week. I really liked the book, although I wanted to love it like I usually do his other work. Although the book is ostensibly about Dominican ghetto-nerd Oscar, it's mostly about his sister and his mother, two larger-than-life women who dominate his life, and it's told from the perspective of the sister's ex, a Dominican player with secret nerd tendencies. I love the way Diaz writes, and liked the fact that he didn't translate most of the Spanish or a lot of the geeky references for his audience. Some people don't like that, but it's something I really like when it's done successfully. I think the protagonist was a little too much for me sometimes and I kind of hated him at points. Otherwise the book was well-written but could have used a bit more editing.

Now I have just started Edwin Abbott's Flatland, which is about literally, two-dimensional characters. It's an interesting science-fiction experiment, but it is also one of the most sexist books I have ever read. Males in Flatland are complete shapes and get more status the more angles they have. Females in Flatland are straight lines and are prone to killing their husbands and emotional outbursts and have inferior intellect. Yup.
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I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, mostly having to do with computer technology.

Hackers by Steven Levy
is basically a history of the computing world and its peculiar offspring - hackers and their hacker-ish philosophy. It took me a while to get into the book because the minute details of the hardships of early computing didn't really interest me, until the focus was more on the people involved. Then it became more like reading about Mark and his friends, but 30 years ago! (Although I'd find it a stretch to call them heroes.) The computer world moves fast - this edition was reprinted in 1994, so it barely even touches on stuff like the Internet, if at all, so to me, it seemed really outdated, and I had to keep remembering that one gigabyte was actually a lot back in those days. And I also learned about where the philosophy of open-source came from and discovered that Bill Gates was a jackass about it even in his teenage days. Unsurprisingly, the book's focus is mainly on the white nerdy males - the only major female that is talked about in any length is Roberta Williams, one of the founders of Sierra Online, who basically got addicted to games. It's fascinating learning about how the industry evolves from an idealistic movement to one that has to concern itself with business deals, stock options, and the newcomers' inability to deal with ever-changing markets. The other thing that fascinated me was how much leeway was given to star hackers - if a hacker proved his ability, then all sorts of concessions were made. That's something that's still very much part of the culture - many of the people I know who work in tech insist on doing a bulk of their work at night; when they do come into work, t-shirts and jeans are their uniforms, and the free sodas keep them fueled throughout the day. Of course they also work round the clock, so the companies don't really complain. Google, in addition to feeding their people, providing transportation, and health care, also provides free laundry services.

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling is basically about the birth of the EFF. It shares some overlap with Hackers, but the people Sterling focuses on are basically screwing around with phone systems instead of computers. It's a great look at how law enforcement, in their eagerness to capture so-called criminals, don't actually realize that the so-called criminals are smart and resourceful enough to band together and use the law back against them. Again, the focus of this book is on white nerdy males who don't seem to realize that the world outside computers can and will intrude upon them, even if they think they're not doing anything wrong. I find this naivety completely fascinating, as it's a sort of luxurious assumption that only the most sheltered, privileged people can make. For example, many of the hackers were actually in communication with law enforcement, whose resources are stretched to the max, but they didn't get suspicious of this at all. They assumed that the law enforcement would warn them if they were about to get in trouble, and would tell them to knock it off for a bit, and then they could safely get back to whatever it is they were doing. My mind boggled at this revelation. Like Hackers, this book is kind of outdated at this point (a hacker stole over 200 megabytes of information!), but it's still an interesting look at the culture and how it's shaped the current one.

Other book I just finished: Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century - an anthology of short stories and criticism edited by Justine Larbalestier.
Jan. 8th, 2008 09:22 pm

a question

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I have $100 in gift cards for Barnes & Noble. Do you have any suggestions for books I should get?

My tastes are all over the place - here are some of the people I really love reading:

Octavia Butler
Margaret Atwood
Ursula K. Le Guin
Maxine Hong Kingston
Jorge Luis Borges
Junot Diaz
Roald Dahl
Toni Morrison
Neil Gaiman
Zora Neale Hurston
Salman Rushdie
Ruth Reichl
Kurt Vonnegut

I would really love a comprehensive Chinese cookbook, like a version of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I'm afraid it doesn't exist.
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  • In response to the scandal of the Shanxi brick-kiln slaves, lawyer and activist Wu Ge (吴革) has submitted a proposed amendment to the Criminal Law defining and criminalizing slavery.
  • A recipe for okonomiyaki, courtesy of the Chronicle Books blog. Chronicle Books is one of my favorite publishers - whoever does the design for their books (many people, I imagine) are geniuses. It also helps that many of their books look really interesting and informative. I love okonomiyaki, and I wish there were a Japanese restaurant close by that served it. It looks like it's probably really easy to make.
  • Jackie Chan set to appear in drama set in Japan - a drama on the lives of Chinese immigrants in Japan's Shinjuku district. Uh, no comment for now.
  • Thank you, Jeff Yang: A Taste of Racism in the Chinese Food Scare - Nevertheless, China has been portrayed as a nation blind to hygiene and blissfully unconcerned about recent reports of food contamination. That's troubling, because it reinforces the notion that befouled food is the consequence of a foul culture. Chef and gustatory adventurer Anthony Bourdain may have said it best in a 2006 Salon interview in which he noted that there's "something kind of racist" about culinary xenophobia: "Fear of dirt is often indistinguishable from the fear of unnamed dirty people." Link from Serious Eats.
  • I cut my hand on my dad's butcher knife today. When I moved out, my parents gave me that knife. It is a dangerous thing - it's really heavy, and it's been dinged over the years, so much so that there isn't a straight line anywhere. You know how in Chinatown you go into the little shops with the ducks hanging in the windows? And there's the guy behind the counter chopping your roast pork and roast duck into pieces with simple, beautiful whomps? That's my knife. I hardly ever use the knife, but I took it out to slice some turnips the other day. My chef's knife just wasn't cutting it. It wasn't exactly going through things like butter, but I pounded the hell out of that thing. I'm telling you, my knife will cut through just about anything. I almost feel like a real cook with it.
  • Currently reading: Connie Willis' science fiction novel Doomsday Book - it is surprisingly engaging. I'm almost done with it, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I wasn't really expecting anything except a diversion, but it's got time travel into the Middle Ages and a spunky heroine. (I'm not a fan of the word "spunky", but I'm not sure what else works.) One thing I did notice - people spend a lot of time trying to get hold of people via the phone, and for the longest time, I was like, dude, does the future not have cell phones and the Internet? I flipped to the copyright page, and discovered it was published in the early nineties. So that explains it!
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  • I wish I was one of those people who can sleep in. I went to sleep around midnight and woke up at seven and couldn't go back to sleep. Now I'm awake and typing.
  • I have a lot of thoughts on Sicko, and the American healthcare system in general, but I can't seem to articulate my thoughts properly, probably because there's so much to talk about. Meanwhile, here's the Greencine (Greencine is a Netflix clone that focuses more on indie films and is based out of San Francisco. I do not have an account there, but if you love movies and movie commentary, you'll love their blog.) roundups:
  • Books recently read:
    • Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, by Alan Alda - I've never watched M*A*S*H (yes I know it's a good show), and most of the time I don't recognize Alda when I see him on television, but I loved this little autobiography. It's less a tell-all gossipfest than it is Alda going over his life as a curiosity. He recounts the difficulties of growing up with a mentally ill mother, life on the road with performers, and his first and only love. Along the way he learns and re-learns many lessons, and never stops feeding his curiosity and craving for knowledge. The title references a childhood incident in which his dad decided to get their dead dog stuffed and the resulting tragedy. It's such a sweet, well-written book; Alda sounds like a really easy-going, if hyper, and friendly nice guy.
    • How to Survive a Robot Uprising, by Daniel H. Wilson - I'm almost done with this. A tongue-in-cheek book about how to defend yourself realistically from robots. It is highly amusing, and a very well-designed and quick read. Useful, especially since I just watched Transformers.
  • Transformers satisfied on my 8-year-old boy level. Minimal plot, corny jokes, and Shia Labeof or whatever-the-hell-his-name-is was so grating. I don't know if it's the character he plays, or if that's how he really is, but he seemed like sort of a douche rather than someone I would root for as an underdog or someone I would identify with. It is the ultimate Michael Bay movie - lots of things explode, and giant robot machines get to duke it out. I don't remember much about the cartoon itself - but I was more into Voltron anyway.
  • Silence of the Lambs - I'd never seen this before. I know, I know. Creepy movie, brilliant performances.

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I am so sick of the iPhone. Yes, it'll change everything forever, with the nifty rotating browser! But how does it work, as a PHONE? Is the reception good? Do your calls get dropped?

I just finished reading this Wired article on Hans Reiser, the Linux programmer who's accused of murdering his wife. The whole thing is really strange. Three items I thought were odd, in a really bizarre article: The author describes the Oakland hills as "quiet and idyllic". Uh, quiet, maybe. Idyllic, no. He also mentions that Reiser first met his wife in Russia, where he had been several times previously using the Russian bride service. Okaaay. Three: Reiser has this obsession with manhood, and thought that teaching his son to play violent video games (which his wife objected to) would help prepare him to be "a man", because he otherwise wouldn't get that kind of education living in Oakland. (That is so funny I don't even know where to begin.)

Oh my god you know how I was bitching about our government and their stupid "English-is-the-official-national-language" thing? Apparently England has this thing where they offer free English classes to migrants, although they are considering limiting access. *sigh* And then I read that people are getting pissed off about having to "press 1 for English". Are you kidding me? Are you really that frickin lazy? And dumb?

We recently watched Sid and Nancy, which was a movie about Sid Vicious and his turbulent relationship with his groupie girlfriend. Neither of us know anything about the Sex Pistols, so we were both sort of befuddled when they cut to him not singing or actually playing any instruments while on stage. Maybe the movie itself is technically good, but I found it really hard to care about the title characters, because to me they both seemed like really unlikeable people who just screamed everything they thought. (And also mentally ill with no one to give them proper medication.) I thought Nancy seemed like a low-rent Courtney Love, and then I found out via Wikipedia that she did want to play the role, claiming that she "is Nancy Spungen". I mean, do you you really want to admit that you are a drug-addled groupie?

I'm almost done reading Extreme Cuisine: The Weird & Wonderful Foods That People Eat, by Jerry Hopkins. The foreword, of course, is written by Anthony Bourdain. There's some interesting stuff in here, but I doubt I will ever come up with the willpower to make myself eat ant salad, even if some varieties of ants "taste like honey".

I thought about the arguments that vegans make about how eating meat is immoral. I am not going to make any moral judgments about that, but I'm wondering about how vegans would suggest managing overpopulation of certain species? For example, crocodile and alligator meat were once banned, but once they started regaining their population, they had to be managed, and crocodile farms were born - for leather, meat, etc.

Hopkins makes a lot of arguments for adding other species to our diet as a "protein source", but I'm wondering why we even need to add another protein source. From all I've heard and read, most Americans consume too much protein anyway.

Amusing to me is the fact that the most befuddling items of consumption were started by the Chinese. Who the hell thinks up shit like bird's nest and thousand-year eggs (not actually a thousand years old)? Apparently, we do. (But I'm still American enough that I always turn that shit down.)
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