Saturday, January 28, 2006

West Coast confidential

Proposed new, easy-to-read format for The Dizzies:

Snacks Aplenty
Good eatin': Vietnamese sandwiches, In-n-Out Burger, Tri-Village (honey-glazed pork folded into soft Chinese bread and sided with lotus seeds and fermented rice), Shik Do Rak (barbecue meat wrapped in sheets of "duk"), Señor Fish (shrimp and scallop burrito), fruit
Randomly hilarious: The OC Weekly has a section of one-sentence restaurant reviews.

The literary life
Reflection on James Frey: The hoax itself is the work of art.
Preliminary judgment on Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Amazing!
Books bought at the excellent Book Baron (Anaheim):
1. A Man to Conjure With, Jonathan Baumbach
2. A Father's Words, Richard Stern
3. Europe, or Up & Down With Schreiber and Baggish, Richard Stern
4. The Ginger Cure, William Granson Rose
(That top-hatted image up top is the Book Baron logo.)
Final reflection on Frey: The hoax wants to be discovered.

Thumbs up: Brokeback Mountain
Thumbs down: The Constant Gardener, now available on DVD


New pet peeve: Songs with L.A.-specific lyrics (Sheryl Crow having fun on "Santa Monica Boulevard"; Missing Persons explaining that "nobody walks in L.A."; Pavement referencing the "Hills of Beverly"; Tom Petty namechecking "Ventura Boulevard"; etc.)

I'm Just Sayin'
New literary pet peeve: Obligatory harshing on McSweeney's, even when you really like what they're doing.

E.g., The Elegant Variation recommends The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, but needs to preface it thus:

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you and yes, we are recommending a Believer product.

The Baltimore City Paper likes the Collins Library's Keeler reissues—despite previous reservations:

Every once in a while even the insufferable do something right. Witness McSweeney’s—that maddening repository of sincerely sarcastic in-jokes and the lemmings who care to understand them—reissuing Harry Stephen Keeler’s 1934 The Riddle of the Traveling Skull.


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