Jul 26, 2009

Support my bro.

My good friend, and former (tear) stroke seat/team captain, Adam Furlong, posted the following on his Facebook profile last week:

"On a whim, signed up for a 45 mile bike ride in Philly on Aug. 23rd for the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Donate money, I'm trying to get to $250."

To that I say: HELP HIM OUT. Adam is a total badass athlete, and merits the support on a personal basis, but also, it takes cash to fight cancer. Any dude willing to bike 45 miles, and raise money to save lives, deserves to meet his goal, for himself, and for all the people fighting the good fight (seriously, cancer, fuck off).

Donate here.

Recently read.

Olive Kitteridge: I liked this quite a bit. It's most definitely a short story collection; at times, Olive's presence in pieces where she isn't the protagonist feels forced. For example, in "The Piano Player," or especially "Ship in a Bottle," you could remove Olive entirely and not miss a beat. That said, her appearances in "Incoming Tide," and "Starving" were essential. I also wish Strout had included a story from Christopher's point of view, since Olive's relationship with her son proves tempestuous at best. He's just such a shit to her, and we never really understand why (though I suppose that enables us to relate all the more to Olive).

Still, this is an incredibly beautiful collection. Strout captures the intimacy of small moments, brief glances, and mundane ritual with true artistry. I had the great pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Strout about a month ago; having met her, this book makes perfect sense. She's just as slightly offbeat and endearingly human as her characters. You can tell that she knows and likes these people, even as she breaks their hearts. Strout described the book as "good sentences," and she's right, but it's also much, much more.

Naked: I don't have as much to say about this one. It's David Sedaris; either you like him, or you don't. I like him, but I don't think this was his best effort. This might be another instance where I love previous books by the author so much, that I set the bar too high (Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim). My favorite Sedaris essays usually focus on his family, with hearty doses of poignancy and self-deprecation. He achieves that here with "Ashes," and "The Women's Open," but I don't think he achieved it often enough. I usually can't put his books down; this one took me almost two months to get through. It's still David Sedaris (brilliant, biting, hysterical), but reading Naked felt like going through the motions, instead of breaking new ground.

Jul 15, 2009

I miss these people.

I saw this image at Low Resolution yesterday; I quite like it. It tells the whole story, Six and Eight and Baltar ushering in a terrifying, uncertain future; Kara and Lee opposite Laura and Bill, making home out of the space between each other. When this show was good, it was really, really good. Episodes like "Faith," "The Hub," and "No Exit" were some of the best television I've ever seen, period. The finale was awful and gross, but for the first time in a while, I can see past that to the smart, beautiful show I loved.

Good times.