Saturday, January 18, 2014


I am going to attempt to digest 45 books this year, as foolishly made public on Goodreads. This is good, though, as dealing with failure builds character. I routinely hit inert patches in my reading, as sometimes it's hard to find a minute to relax. And sometimes it's hard, in minutes of relaxation, to not play Call of Duty or otherwise stare into space, noodling on the guitar and watching it snow and wondering if noon is too early for a glass of whiskey.

What time is it anyway?

[glances at stove]

I suppose I could've just looked at the desktop. Maybe I'll write a screenplay. This is a good start, right?

[A MAN is seated at a table. He turns and furtively glances at the stove.]

I read online today that a hacker somewhere hacked into a person's refrigerator and used it as part of a botnet. I'll refrain from wondering why a refrigerator needs internet connectivity and instead lay claim to the idea of sentient appliances. YOU HEAR ME, INTERNET? MINE. If I see a Tom Cruise vehicle next year about sentient appliances-- actually I think this is already a movie. Pulse? I'll look it up.

[A MAN furtively searches for a plot summary of the movie "Pulse"]

"An intelligent pulse of electricity is moving from house to house. It terrorizes the occupants by taking control of the appliances..." Okay, so, similar. I wonder why I remember this movie, I've never seen it. One of those video store memories that gets lodged into your brain as a kid-- like the cover of "Earth Girls are Easy," a masterpiece in the form, obviously.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Michael MartoneMichael Martone by Michael Martone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A game of hide and seek where the reader is "it," and where Michael Martone chooses the most whimsical of hiding places. I'm sure there is truth here beyond that which is philosophical, but it hardly matters. Even when the author spins out such ludicrously banal biographical notes as the one that recounts an abridged history of ex-wives, ex-pets, and the accompanying oddball living arrangements (such as having resided for a time with his second wife in a remodeled congregational church), only to wind up an amateur archaeologist on the slopes of Vesuvius-- all this and more in roughly two pages-- Martone's fictional biographies are somehow warm and earthbound. For all its inventions and disguises, this collection of vignettes is never unduly fantastic. Even when Martone transforms into a giant insect in a riff on Kafka, the result is very human.

My first (literal?) foray into the author.

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