30 June 2008

Library Book: George Flett

I don't know much about George Flett, and in fact hadn't heard of him until checking in George Flett: Ledger Art for the library. This book comes in a blue canvas box, and all of the artwork is gorgeous. Check it out.

This book is every bit as beautiful as the artwork inside. I don't have much else to say about it, but take a look at the book and his artwork, and they'll all speak for themselves I'm sure.

29 June 2008

Fan Love

Boston fans love their sports teams, just in case you didn't know. I did know, but I was still a little surprised when I passed this little scene celebrating the Celtics recent NBA Finals victory on my way to work:

Sorry about the awful picture. Clean windows on sunny days aren't usually very conducive to photographing, though I do kind of like seeing Tremont Street and Boston Common across the street.

Anyways, how about that? I'd love to see the wedding where the bride chooses a makeshift tube-top celebrating her favorite team's recent championship. However, I think she could get in on the act too. I mean, the Celtics have white jerseys.

24 June 2008

Stairs = Shelves

So I spent a decent amount of time looking at blogs today at work, instead of, you know, doing actual work. Anyways, during that time I happened to stumble across this little bit of awesome amazingness, courtesy of Geekologie:

That's pretty damn sweet. I also like the tabbed stairs. While it might get annoying should you be stumbling half-asleep up or down those stairs, I think the tabs are a very nice touch. Plus, how could you walk anywhere near those stairs and not be totally amazed at them? Right. So I'm pretty sure you'd never be drowsily navigating them.

If you didn't click on the Geekologie link, I suggest you do it. Not only does it include more pictures, but it includes a link to a bookshelf fort. Yes. That's right, fort.

20 June 2008

Perks of the Job / The "ew" List

Some days my job can be pretty boring, like when I'm killing time filling in Tables of Contents for marketing books. On other days though, like today, the job just throws interesting things at me all day. First, I spent a good portion of the morning reading I.D. Magazine. This magazine was so interesting that it will get its own post in a day or so.

After running around, researching marketing stuff (in 2007, 1,486,836 Bostonians owned DVD players), and doing other biblioteque-ish stuff, I got today's serials. Being in charge of serials is pretty fantastic when someone accidentally sends two copies of Zoetrope: All Story, which is a fantastic magazine. Mark Mothersbaugh of Wes Anderson movies fame, yes plural, is the guest designer, which provides for numerous fantastic paintings and a funny rambling rant about design.

Also, this job allowed me to read Entertainment Weekly without dropping the $4 or whatever it is (technically, I was getting paid to read it, now that's a perk!) This issue focuses on what they called "The New Classics." This is an attempt to tell us what the best movies, albums, books, etc. of the past 25 years were, but really it's just a print version of VH1's "Top 100 (blank)". Regardless, lists are fun because they automatically trigger most people's agree/disagree switches, myself included. Here are my highlights and lowlights:

Best TV shows - Really, I was just happy to see Freaks and Geeks make the list at number 13. If you've never seen it, check it out. Judd Apatow knows what's up, and like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Anchorman, etc, Freaks and Geeks is proof. Freaks and Geeks shows that Apatow knew how to create real, interesting people from the very get go. Some of those faces look familiar, yes? Also, Arrested Development comes in at 16 and Saved by the Bell at 100.

Best Albums - Now this, I can totally get behind. Number 1 album of the past 25 years: "Purple Rain!" Purple Rain! Yes! Listen to that album, and I dare you to not go crazy when Prince says "Let's Go Crazy!" Lots of people joked that Prince's Super Bowl halftime show was stupid, but remember how a whole stadium of people who weren't there to see Prince sang along with him and his guitar during Purple Rain? Right. "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" comes in at number 2, which is pretty bold only because I expected to see Thriller there, but Lauryn Hill seems like a decent choice. I liked seeing Kanye West's "The College Dropout" at number 4, but I have a hard time with that being ranked so high but Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" is 66. Seriously? The College Dropout doesn't happen without The Chronic coming before it. No way. Also, "Siamese Dream" at 91? That's a perfect album. Perfect. Starting with the album's opening drumroll, through the peaks and valleys of guitar and Billy Corgan's vocals, to the last note, every twist, turn, and sound is perfectly orchestrated.

Best Books - Of course I'm going to have a gripe with this category, though I shouldn't have expected much from Entertainment Weekly. Their website says it all: "ew" dotcom. Number 1 is The Road. I've never read it, but I've heard it's not even Cormac McCarthy's best book. The Goods: Stephen King's On Writing (21), Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies (39), Lois Lowry's The Giver, and John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany (73). I for one think all of these books should be higher, but especially Owen Meany. The Bad: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson ranked at 85. Really? 85? Maybe the good people at "ew" were distracted by that gold sticker on the cover. (Though, to be fair, both The Road and Interpreter of Maladies also won the Pulitzer, but Gilead is better than every book I've listed here.

Best Movies - Now that I've gotten worked up about Gilead, I feel like making this brief. Pulp Fiction is number 1, which is kind of stupid. I was happy to see Rushmore at 22 and Waiting for Guffman at 79.

That's that. Other funny things from the issue include Rainn Wilson dressed as Xena. I later checked in new books, of which included The Branding of MTV: Will Internet Kill the Video Star? by Paul Temporal. Sorry Mr. Temporal, I'm afraid MTV killed the video star. Also, McSweeney's again publishes a pretty book, with One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box (pictured), with three collections by Deb Olin Unferth, Dave Eggers, and Sarah Manguso. What this picture doesn't show is the beautiful gold leaf highlights. When I publish my book (that's right I said "when!"), I hope it's beautiful like some of the McSweeney's books and journals.

14 June 2008

Father's Day

More and more as I've gotten older I've found myself increasingly seeking out and rummaging through bookstores. I've never been sure as to why I find such pleasure in bookstores, but the more I think about it, the more I'm sure it's because of my father. I've never known a lot about my dad, and it wasn't until the past few years that I've become close to him in any way. We never did any of that stereotypical father/son stuff like playing catch and him showing me how to hit a baseball; I have three older brothers who took care of that. Only two nuggets of advice from him come immediately to mind. First, he told me that smoking is the most awful thing a person can do to his body, and that I should never ever start. This one came after I'd been smoking for a few years. (I should say though, that though I didn't recognize it then, his approach to the rhetorical situation was fantastic, and I can't imagine I could've realized that then, before all those writing center/writing pedagogy classes and meetings I've been through; he told me a story about how when he tried smoking as a kid, he couldn't concentrate on anything, especially not hitting a baseball. It just messed up his hand-eye coordination. He told me this when I was in high school, when the one thing I did most of the time and enjoyed most of all was playing baseball, which I did a lot. That's just good parenting). Second, he told me I should always open the door for a lady. "Just do it, because you're supposed to," he'd said. Again, good parenting.

Anyways, back to the book thing. My dad is kind of an awkward person. Ever since I got too big for him to play-wrestle with, I started to notice his awkwardness. He doesn't seem to know what to do with himself when we're out in public most of the time, and he'll get lost in his own world, pacing back and forth no matter where he is. (This kills my mom. She absolutely cannot stand this). There are two places, however, where my dad seems always at peace*: in his designated chair in my parents' living room and in bookstores. 99.9% of the time he's in his chair, he's accompanied by a beer and a book. When we moved from Hawaii to Washington, I discovered Barnes and Noble (no, there were no B&Ns on Oahu then), and my dad could get lost in there for hours. Sometimes I'd go run around with my mom while he was alone in there, other times I'd stay in the bookstore and shop for myself. Shopping for anything with my dad was impossible, but he could never say no to buying me books. ("Sorry son, I don't want you to read!") I think it made him kind of proud to see me reading, even if what I was reading was garbage (and it was - for awhile I read crazy science fiction about ghosts ruling the world and stuff like that, with no allegory for anything).

Now, I can't go into a bookstore and not think of my father. I don't think he's the reason I became an English major or want to become a writer, but for me there will always be a connection between my father and the general idea of books.

*I have to write this, because it is necessary. I absolutely love the way my dad has aged. He has absolutely eased into the role of the grandpa. Now that he has grandkids, (and my cousin's daughter) to be around, he has become a giant kid. Sure, he still has awkward moments, but not with the kids around. Children LOVE my dad, probably because he can be a grown-up child without trying. I hope I can manage that as I get older (Rachel does a fantastic job of helping me maintain a childlike joy while becoming somewhat of a grownup, plus she appreciates her beer and books as well so she gets along famously with my father. How awesome is that?)

08 June 2008

Library Book

One of the perks of my job at the Emerson College Library is that I'm the first person to see all the new books we receive. Every so often we get really cool books that I probably wouldn't otherwise know about. The first* featured book is:

War Posters: Weapons of Mass Communication by James Aulich.

Yes. I love books with pictures. I also love when art is used to reach out to people and at least attempt to change the way people think about important topics, in this case war (obviously). Aulich gives equal time to both propaganda and anti-war posters such as these Uncle Sam images.

Most of the better images are from France and the Soviet Union, but I didn't take pictures of any of those. I did, however, take a picture of a more recent poster.

I have to say, the older posters are much more clever.

*This is actually the second featured library book. The new Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of Kafka's Metamorphosis was first brought to my attention when I checked one in for the library.

06 June 2008


I'm currently looking for a new apartment. I've seen a billion pictures of different apartments in Boston it seems, and I've recently come across this photo:

I'm not sure why, but I actually kinda like the stack of books and just the table in the middle. Very neat.

*This post is a total copy of A Cup of Jo's "Home Inspiration" posts, only completely less cool.


Rachel is an incredible Minesweeper expert. I am totally awestruck and jealous, and now addicted.