The party goes global...

Free counters!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas music I can get behind

A tip of the hat to my brother Stephen for alerting me to this great parody of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," entitled "I Am Santa Claus." Maybe it's just me, but man, Christmas music this year has felt more intrusive than ever. Here's an antidote. Oh an by the way, the guy just nails Ozzy's voice.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Best Present for Dreamy Teenage Girls Who Are Senitive About Being Animal Lovers: The Preservationist is a geeky animal lovers’ family saga masquerading as a cool end-of-the-world apocalypse story. What's not to like? Also there’s a tough chick in it. Maybe more than one. Available on Kindle too, if you like that.

Best Choice for the Closet Naturalist of Any Age: The Geometry of God by the lovely and talented Uzma Aslam Khan tells the tale of a fossil-discovering young girl in Pakistan, her argumentative grandfather, and the forces trying their best to disrupt them. Available on Kindle too. Mehwish rules.

Best Present for Horny Adolescent Males Who Hate to Read: The Book of Samson contains many scenes of violence as well as the actual line: “Then I went in her.” Actually it contains this line several times over. Nuff said. If it's running low on Amazon, you can get it here.

Best Choice for Bewildered Parents Wondering How the Heck Things Ever Got to This Point: Fallen lets you know that, hey, families have been just a little bit warped pretty much from Day One. Special cameo from God lends weightiness, plus maybe fatalism. Did I mention Kindle? And hey, if Amazon is still sold out, you can get it at Barnes & Noble.

Best Choice for the Aficianado of Tragic Love: Trespassing by the lovely and talented Uzma Aslam Khan contains all manner of love stories, licit and otherwise, requited and otherwise, tragic and otherwise. Ideal huddling-under-the-comforter material for those chilly winter afternoons. Now on Kindle--as of like, today. Cool!

Best Present for Teenage Girls, or Boys, or Anybody Really, Who Is Unafraid to Loudly Proclaim Their Love for Animals, Talking or Otherwise: The Gamble of the Godlessis rife, positively rife I tell you, with talking animals, one-armed sorcerers, drug-addicted felines, warriors with dark secrets and so forth. Groundbreaking? Hmm—no. Buckets of fun? Oh yes. Available as a Kindle-style eBook only. A great e-stocking stuffer for 2.99.

Best “WTF” Present for Your Weird Uncle or Possibly Cousin: Monster, 1959. Because really, “WTF?” is the only natural response to this book.

My high-tech life, for better or worse

Okay, I did it. I caved. My old cell phone died after 3 years so I needed a new one so I went and… bought a smart phone. How smart? Smarter than I am, that’s for sure.

It’s a Blackberry, of all things. (Now I feel like a lawyer.) It’s sleek and stylish and satisfyingly heavy, and now I can do things like check my email compulsively (oh great) and, I suppose, download apps and so forth, if I ever learn how to do that, which I don’t think I will, because you know, life is too short to spend staring at a tiny little screen.

But I must confess: I love it. It’s heavy and solid in my hand and mighty pretty. So there you go… I've resisted this whole tech thing as much as I can—I mean, I have a computer, but I don’t fetishize it—but now the game’s up. I’ve caved. I changed the wallpaper on my phone last night so now it’s even cooler. Pretty soon I'll personalize my ringtone. Then... Game over.


The other thing I got myself for Christmas, which I’m not even a little ashamed of, is the Rolls-Royce of mp3 players, the uber-iPod, the Cowan J3, 32 gigs, etc. It’s great. I’ll be able to store all the CDs I listen to for PopMatters without having to, like, delete stuff every time I want to add stuff. The sound is terrific and the covers look mighty pretty, and it’s got this whole touchscreen thing so you can just scroll through the album covers and pick which one you want to hear by tapping it. NO READING REQUIRED. A moderately intelligent bunny rabbit could use this thing. Have I mentioned that I love it? I actually look forward to loading the dishwasher and brushing my teeth every night, because that’s when I get to listen to it. That’s how much I love it. Should I be worried? Short answer: yes.