Saturday, August 23, 2008

What a wonderful capitalist society

...Yeah, so, getting ready for the inevitable return to the routines of work, day care, et cetera until my next glorious vacation sometime.... in 2009. Gah.

PhotobucketBut at least I have plenty of reading to keep me company. I didn't exaggerate when I say I spent much money in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I managed to stuff more than 40 books and a dozen or two CDs/DVDs into our suitcases, which all just barely fell below the 23kg/50 lb. weight limit. I kind of feel like I just binged at the falafel shop, all bloated and dazed, and I am not allowed to buy new books until Christmas. But I did manage to complete some of my graphic novel paperback series, including Mike Mignola's Hellboy, John Byrne's Fantastic Four Visionaries series and one of my personal favorites, Warren Ellis's acidic and raw journalist-in-the-cyberpunk-future saga, "Transmetropolitan." I also stocked up on books by everyone from Cormac McCarthy to Nabokov to Stephen King to Richard Dawkins. If anyone needs me, until it's summer here, I'll be reading.

Other random notes:
"Tropic Thunder" is easily the funniest movie I've seen this year, a great, absurd satire of Hollywood and war movies. It also reminded me that Robert Downey Jr. is the most awesome actor on the planet right now. Who else could pull off an Australian Oscar winner lost 'in character' as a black Vietnam soldier? Downey is so danged funny he blasts co-stars like Ben Stiller and Jack Black off the screen. Between this and the 180-degrees different turn in "Iron Man," 2008 shows it's time to give this man a real Oscar, stat!

• New favorite album of 2008 so far: The Hold Steady, "Stay Positive." It's a buoyant, hook-filled stew of bar-band rock meets Hüsker Dü/Clash punk fury, and frontman Craig Finn's droll delivery and shrewd songwriting makes him feel something like the second coming of Elvis Costello. An absolute stunner of a record with red-hot one-liners everywhere in these tales of dreamers, druggies and dudes: "Me and my friends are like the drums on 'Lust for Life.'" Who wouldn't want friends like that?

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