Monday, February 28, 2005

February media update plus random Oscar shizzle

Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary.


1. Dark Water by Koji Suzuki: A collection of utterly meh short stories by the author of The Ring. The only remotely good one is "Floating Water", which is the basis for an upcoming film starring Jennifer Connelly.

2. The Problem With Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler: A very Southern book about a free-spirited woman who dies mysteriously, leaving behind friends who search for the truth.

3. The Memory of Running* by Ron McLarty: A man loses his parents in a car accident, and shortly thereafter, he learns that his long-lost schizophrenic sister has been a Los Angeles morgue. Without thinking, he gets on his old bicycle and starts riding to California from Rhode Island. A tremendously moving road trip story of an entirely different color.

4. The Bachelorette Party* by Karen McCullah Lutz: Okay, yeah, it's chick lit, and the writing isn't always stellar, but it's really, really funny. During one particularly choice scene, I was wracked by the kind of soundless, hysterical laughter that leaves your cheeks bright pink and tear-streaked.


1. Interior Desecrations* by James Lileks: Oh god, this book is too fucking funny. Lileks found pictures of 70's interior design and compiled them into one eye-bleeding book. Did people actually think this shit was attractive? The mind boggles.

2. Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem by Anthony Bozza: My strange fixation with Eminem's nose continues.

3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss: The perfect book for anal-retentives (I think there's a hyphen in that) like me who groan out loud when they see signs like "Journal's on Sale".

4. Belly Laughs by Jenny Mc Carthy: Ordinarily, Playboy Playmates with big fake titties and bleached blonde hair annoy the shit out of me, but Jenny gets a pass because she's got a gross sense of humor, as evidenced in this sporadically amusing account of her pregnancy and childbirth.

5. Kyoto: Less than a month now!

6. The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C.A. Tripp: This is the book that has received tons of press lately because it claims Abraham Lincoln was gay as an Easter basket.


1. Bleach vols. 17-18 by Tite Kubo

2. Love's Zephyr vol. 4 by Motoi Yoshida

3. Casino Lily by Youka Nitta

4. Sweet (anthology)

5. Count Cain vol. 7 by Kaori Yuki

6. Pheromomania Sydrome: Symptoms of a Girl's Delusions by Ichiha

7. Princess Man and the Magic Lamp* by Kayono

8. Doll Garden* by Yuri Hasabe

9. Gakuen Alice* by Tachibana Higuchi

10. Lucu Lucu vols. 1-2 by Asari Yoshito

11. Shine* by Masami Hoshiro


1. The Magdalene Sisters: Disturbing fact-based movie about Irish women who were shut up in virtual labor camps and forced to work in laundries for such "sins" as having babies out of wedlock, flirting, and being raped. Astonishingly enough, the last of these laundries wasn't closed until 1996.

2. Punch-Drunk Love: What a strange, strange movie. I'm still not sure if I liked this or not.

G and I watched the Oscars last night, and I'm sad to say I only guessed 11 out of 24 categories right. Boo!

Since it's Monday and I'm in a shitty mood, I can't come up with any brilliant quips about the Oscars, so here are a few choice ones from people who are more on the ball this morning than me:

From Defamer:

*Tragically, [Hilary Swank] wasn’t able to find a stylist to dress her on her big night, and had to settle for slipping into a three-dollar navy blue stocking from JC Penney cut down to reveal her toned ass-crack. She went to the “girl from a trailer park” thing, which is obscene for someone who’s just won their SECOND Oscar. Um, you’ve already overcome the Cheez Wiz sandwiches and GTOs on blocks in the driveway years ago? White trash cred expires after the first award, Hils.

*An entire roomful of people breaks into hysterical laughter at the very sight of Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz. It appears that just before the Crows took the stage, Sideshow Bob successfully attacked Duritz’s head and is sodomizing his scalp.

From the always brilliant Cintra Wilson of Salon:

*Jeremy Irons looked like his face has been soaking in a turpentine-based happiness remover.

*Hilary Swank's body in her dark blue dress was so pneumatic, she looked like an erotic balloon-animal made of inner tubes.

*Tim Robbins looked like he just woke up and went bobbing for apple bongs.

*Antonio Banderas, looking like he just took a swim in Julio Iglesias' sebum pond, was sitting in what looked like an adobe Mexican prison set, or El Grande Castillo del Taco Bell, braying with Carlos Santana, who was grimacing with simulated guitar-passion behind his Blueblockers. Jesu Christo. Next time, instead of letting Banderas disgrace himself to represent Hispanic culture, perhaps the Academy should just cut to a shot of stuffed bullfrogs dressed like mariachis. Or maybe a cute terra-cotta lawn sculpture of some drunk guys wearing sombreros, having a siesta. Or a piñata, shaped like a burro. Ai caramba.