My favorite books of 2013

My reading output has greatly diminished in recent years. I intend to fix that. Until then, here are the best books I read in 2013:

"The Lowland," by Jhumpa Lahiri. This got off to a slow start, but I finished it yesterday in an epic five-hour stretch. Lovely.

"Telegraph Avenue," by Michael Chabon. I would never call his writing "beautiful," but that’s only because it’s the wrong word. Every single sentence is perfectly put together. Phenomenal characters.

"Stories," by Alice Munro. The final four stories are generally autobiographical, the first she’s ever written in that vein. They are absolutely wonderful. She’s a master (and Nobel knows it).

"Life," by Keith Richards. This was so fun to read; I only wish it had come out sooner.

"Wild," by Cheryl Strayed. I really enjoyed this. I do not enjoy the meta conversation about it. Good for her for completing her epic trek.

Honorable mention: “Iodine,” by Haven Kimmel. Dark. Weird. Good.

02:15 am, by cakeordeath  Comments

Sometimes you take the wrong way home. Sometimes the data that helps you make a decision about which way to go home isn’t good, or quick enough, or changes en route. Sometimes you get home after a long day and a long ride home and stand in the kitchen making everything you can think of. Bread, pasta, stir-fry. Wine. Cookie butter. Cheese slices.

Sometimes it’s just like that.

08:31 am, by cakeordeath  Comments

Drunk guy at The National concert last night: “Being there. Man, that’s no good.”

It took me a minute. Oh, “Being There.”

Go home, drunk guy, you’re drunk.

08:50 pm, by cakeordeath 1  |  Comments

From Vietnam, two years ago

I just stepped out of a cab after dinner, and a woman in a pointed straw hat carrying a couple of baskets spotted me.

"Hello!" she shouted, and stepped up to the open door.

I ignored her and walked toward my hotel. She tried again.

"Bananas?" she whispered quietly, changing the ploy altogether.

04:00 pm, by cakeordeath 2  |  Comments

An incomplete life list

This is an unfinished life list that I’ve had sitting in drafts for … at least two years, because some of these are completed now. So here’s my now-updated, unfinished (both in items to be included, as well as completion of items) life list, just as a checkpoint now.

  • Run a marathon
  • Hike the Himalayas (amemded to: see the Himalayas)
  • Visit Rome, the Vatican, see the Sistene Chapel and Pieta (DONE!)
  • Learn to play chess
  • Drive a Zamboni
  • Do an Ironman 
  • Write a book
  • Read “Les Miserables” (considering removing)
  • Sell a photo (DONE!)

I plan to think on this some more and really update it soon.

08:00 am, by cakeordeath  Comments

Classes taught at Retro Fitness

  • Hay Baling (Daylight Savings Time Only)
  • Group 2-Mile Hike Into Town to Buy Salt Pork and Calico, Sponsored by Ed’s General Store
  • Calisthenics (Knee Socks and High-Top Converse Required)
  • Just Jacks (TM), a Special Holiday Two-Hour Jumping Jacks Workout
  • Jazzercize (Every Hour on the Hour)

Replace electrolytes after your workout with flat Coke and sugar cubes!

(One per member. For extra sugar, see Ed.)

09:10 pm, by cakeordeath 1  |  Comments

A restaurant for the ages

This is a LiveJournal (aww, LJ) from back in the day that my friend Lizzie and I collaborated on (I’m maliavale), and she emailed it to me this week after a spambot found it and left her a lovely and relevant message. Behold:

in our downtime, the lovely maliavale and I have decided to open a
restaurant. the name is still up in the air, but we have decided on
many menu items, with a few assists from nabbalicious, and the theme
is very clear. see if you can figure it out!

requests are welcome. soon we will have little suggestion cards with
small pencils and checkboxes.

Fleetwood Mac & Cheese
Paul Westerburger on a Morrisseed bun with Aimee Mannonaise
Split P. Diddy Soup
Culture Club Sandwich
Grilled Cheese Incident
Beach Po’Boys
Gwen Stew-fani
Paul McCartney & Buffalo Wings

Sides will include:
Nat King Coleslaw
Bread Zeppelin
Al Green Salad

Your dessert options are currently limited to Cream Puff Daddy, Red
Velvet Elvis Cake, and - for some reason, Maliavale insists on this -
Bowl of Eminems.

and of course for beverages, or Refreshments, if you will, which we will:
Neutral Milkshake Hotel

Youngsters may order from the Destiny’s Child’s Menu. And if you come
Tuesday evening, check out the special: Three Chili Dog Night!

11:25 pm, by cakeordeath  Comments