August 21, 2014

"Honor is All We Know": What Happened, Tim?

I don't know what's up with this -- Amazon put it up on pre-order in April for a June release and I got excited. But then it never came out. I know Rancid was in the studio last year recording, so something should come out of those sessions. Is Tim still committed to Rancid, or is he too far into his Tim Timebomb persona to put this out? I was just listening to ...Wolves last night, and lamenting that it had been over a year since I've seen them live. I need new Rancid, Tim. Can you help me out?

August 20, 2014

Seconds - Ha! More Like Firsts: Looking at O'Mally's new graphic novel "Seconds"

This is the Scott Pilgrim guy, right?

I didn’t read Scott Pilgrim, so I can’t compare this to Scott Pilgrim (I did see the movie, but none of this reminds me of Michael Cera).

I did like this book though – even though it stars a girl (Ew! I know right)

It’s about starting a restaurant. And time travel, done in an incredibly new and inventive way. Or it was new to me. If the Scott Pilgrim guy was ripping anyone off, I missed the antecedent. This book is also about love and about not trusting contractors, and finally that all places have a certain spirit of their own. There’s also a spooky kinda-goth chick that I liked. She’s one of the few people that could sense the spirit. She also burned her arms, but then didn’t but then ….

You know what, just read the book.

August 15, 2014

My first Vans

I've never owned a pair of Vans. In the 90s when I was wearing skate shoes, I was an Airwalk guy.
That changed when I was looking for a new pair of work shoes. I work in an office environment, but it is a little casual, and I can get away with wearing sneakers. I was looking for a replacememt of the Adidas Superstar IIs that I have. I liked those but they were a little narrow for me and the leather and rubber get hot (I own three pairs of them in different colors, so I am an Adidas guy). I had bought a pair of brown hemp Sambas to be my brown shoes, and I was looking for an all-black version of those since I love those so much.

I looked and looked and couldn't find a pair that was all black except for making a customized version on the Adidas website. Needless to say I wasn't to happy with the idea of dropping ninety five dollars on a canvas shoe, so I actually went to the mall to find a shoe store. I tried these on at my normal size, and they felt a bit loose, so I backed down a size and at the store they felt great. I'm still getting used to them and breaking them in right now. The canvas wears differently than most sneakers, so you feel the friction as your foot moves inside the shoe as it holds onto you sock. Or perhaps I just should have gone a half size up because my foot is wider than it is long.

There's also the fact that the sole is thinner than some other shoes, so when I wear pants that are fine with thicker-soled shoes, the back cuff of my pants keep catching on the heel. Overall, they are comfortable and look good. I don't want to sound too critical, I do like them. In fact I only thought of writing a review because I was looking for more Vans on line. They're just a little different.

August 9, 2014

Avoid Hiassen's Strip Tease

I have often seen Hiassen pop up in my Amazon recommendations, but I had never read any though for whatever reason.  The work seemed compared to smart and literate men like that of Robbins or Moore, so Amazon kept telling me to check this guy out. I never did until just recently, when this book was part of a Humble Bundle collection that I bought.

I’m not sure Striptease may have been the best introduction to his work. I couldn’t figure out what I didn’t like about it until I was about halfway through.  It is the basis of the derided Demi Moore movie of the same name. In spite of the movie coming out when I was a teenage boy and therefore being part of the prime audience, I never saw the movie (ok, maybe I saw some of the scenes).  That wasn’t even the issue, though it did make me think of the book in a slightly different light. The problem is that a lot of the details are too clever by half and make the book unrealistic. For example, the main character is a stripper with a heart of gold. The only reason she dances is because she needs the money to fight for her kid. Also: The judge on the case often goes to the place where she works. The judge also is the only judge in family court history to give a child to a father who has no means of support and has several convictions but those were expunged because he works as an informant for some police officers. The father’s real means of support? He steals wheelchairs and resells them. 

It’s quite ridiculous. Then add that the main driver of the plot is an over-sexed politician... never mind that part is real. Basically it reminds me of the worst ridiculousness that can be found in the books of Chuck Palahniuk. They are the same kind of details that I thought were clever and I slipped into my undergraduate fiction. I have to give Hiassen the benefit of the doubt though. This book is 25 years old. Perhaps he got better. This book, however, is to be avoided.