Monday, November 30, 2009

and bear our harvest home

Yikes, I better post while it's still November! Hope everyone has been having a marvelous season of plenty.

1) Overheard in the lunchroom today.
Teacher 1: What are you eating?
Teacher 2: Turkey with cranberry sauce.
Teacher 1: You always have the most exotic meals!

(I have never wished more to be an edgy cartoonist so I could illustrate this little scene to its full culturally subversive potential.)

2) I turned my cell phone off for my flight to Chicago... and it never turned on again. *mourns* Actually, it's quite liberating. Yet, there's that whole thing where I'm paying for the service. Also, it's my mp3 player. Also, I dropped my camera the week before so I suddenly have no functioning picture taking devices. I suppose I should look into repairing the damn thing...

3) Sure, I ate my way through my home town and had some quality family time, but the absolute highlight of my trip?

Miniature Rooms: The Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago Miniature Rooms: The Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago by Fannia Weingartner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Yes, I read the whole thing. Yes, I took the book to the museum. Yes, I gave my dad a guided tour of all 68 rooms whether he wanted one or not. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

Coming soon: JR's adventures in crawling! More Thorne Room action! (cue: crickets) Localfooding. Nostalgia for many things but mostly analog media. And the first in a recurring segment: From the Labon files, in which I am my own grandpa.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And keep me in mind of the ones who are kind

How did we get to Thanksgiving Eve already??? Tomorrow we're having our annual Thanksgiving at Alexa's, for which so many contributions have already been planned that I am utterly at a loss as to what I could possibly bring that people would actually eat. Got any ideas for dishes that aren't turkey, gravy, stuffing, relish, rice, a green salad, roasted root vegetables, a spinach tart, a beet gratin, two other veggie dishes, a pumpkin pie, an apple crisp, beer, or wine? No? Me either. Maybe I'll invent some Thanksgiving party games.

While I am thankful for all sorts of things, I'm not the type to get into them in public. I will, however, freely admit that I am thankful to get to live with a guy who in the midst of a conversation the other day noticed a jar of dried cranberries sitting on the counter, stopped literally in the middle of his sentence, said "Mmm, delicious!", opened the jar, popped some into his mouth, and cheerfully walked away. Without finishing his sentence. Or having the slightest recollection of what we were talking about. It was pure amazingness.

Hope everyone has a lovely holiday weekend wherever you all may be! I'm feeling particularly sentimental so I'll sign this one off old-school style...



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2008 Book List: A Visual

Between November 1st and today: two trips to DC, 1000 karate kicks, Asian-American Film Festival, all-day board retreat, three concerts, a lecture, and a planning meeting for an event I'm chairing.

But it's all worth it because I finally finished updating my 2008 books, and now I have the smug satisfaction that only producing a completely pointless montage of all their covers can inspire. So here they all are, arranged in descending order by rating. Look forward to a 2009 montage sometime in 2014. In the meantime, someday when I finally stop to catch my breath you may hear from me again!

Read by KT in 2008

Hardboiled and Hard Luck

Call Me by Your Name: A Novel

Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith


The Wedding: A Novel

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

The Guardians: A Novel

The Translator

The Cider House Rules

Your Blues Ain't Like Mine: A Novel



The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

On Fortune's Wheel

Funny Boy

Sense and Sensibility


Dreamquake (The Dreamhunter Duet, Book 2)

The Shadow of the Wind

The Longest Memory

The Hero and the Crown

The Vintner's Luck

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

The Twyborn Affair


Twilight at the Equator: A Novel

Loving Pedro Infante

So Hard to Say

Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran

A Miracle in Paradise

Coffee Will Make You Black: A Novel

Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Autobiography of a Family Photo: A Novel


If You Awaken Love

Stone Field, True Arrow: A Novel



The Book of Revelation

A Walk Down the Aisle: Notes on a Modern Wedding

Serafina's Stories

The Da Vinci Code

Dispatches from the Cold: A Novel

The King in the Tree: Three Novellas

Nocturnes for the King of Naples

Letters in the Attic

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Pesach for the Rest of Us: Making the Passover Seder Your Own

The Pirate's Daughter

Flight: A Novel

The Saffron Kitchen

Measuring Time: A Novel

The Charioteer

Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins

The Insufficiency of Maps: A Novel

The Holder of the World

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea

The Privilege of the Sword

I Left My Back Door Open: A Novel

Thomas the Rhymer

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This

Stir-Fry: A Novel

A Place I've Never Been

Comfort and Joy

Dropped from Heaven: Stories

Binu and the Great Wall: The Myth of Meng

Haunting of Hip Hop

The Grand Complication: A Novel

The Front Runner: A Novel

Elske: A Novel of the Kingdom

Ancient Rage

The Book of Lost Things

The Weekend

Wild Ginger: A Novel

The Friendly Young Ladies

Deception Point

Digital Fortress

Martin Bauman: or, A Sure Thing

Adele: A Novel

Body and Blood

The Girl with the Golden Shoes

The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman


Two Gentlemen Sharing

Mambo Peligroso: A Novel

The Fall of The Kings

My Side of the Story

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The God in Flight

The Mind-Body Problem

Porcelain Dove

Eclipse of the Heart