shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


wednesday hangovers

1. The inimitable and suave Michaelangelo Matos rounds up his 2004 year and then proceeds to write a bunch about music, as he is wont to do.

2. Time Magazine's Best and Worst Books of the Year, topped by Susanna Clarke (best, natch). (Via Jonathan Strahan.) They even include comics.

3. Booksquare reacts to the Google Labyrinthian Library of God news.

4. These people want you to donate money so they can build a hobbit hole and live in it. (Via Kottke remainders.) Why don't you just send us money to help pay for our house instead? We will SO call it a hobbit hole.

5. The Washington Post has a long obituary of Susan Sontag (which also fails to mention Annie Leibovitz). I particularly liked this paragraph, which is mostly a couple of quotes: Sontag's own motivations were simple, she said: to "know everything." She had a lusty devotion to reading that she likened to the pleasure others get from watching television. "So when I go to a Patti Smith concert, I enjoy, participate, appreciate and am tuned in better because I've read Nietzsche," she told Rolling Stone magazine. "The main reason I read is that I enjoy it." They strike out, however, with a silly appreciation by Henry Allen, mostly about watching the author buy ice cream (and failing to note the flavor). Newsday does much better, letting a friend rather than a gawker write about Sontag. He closes with a laudable motto from her: "Be serious, be passionate, wake up!"

6. The Washington Post also has a piece on a subject close to my heart -- champagne. On boutique champagnes, to be precise, many of them quite affordable. Justine rhapsodizes about New Zealand's sparklings and it appears that a cheap-end one is now available here: Lindauer (New Zealand) Brut ($10, Allied Domecq): Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this superb little sparkler is delightfully fresh and bright, with fruit notes that are clean and restrained. With excellent acidic balance and soft but persistent effervescence, it is one of the best bargains I've tasted in 2004. I will take it upon myself to report back.

7. I just went nuts and put Tank on our Netflix queue. Oh my.

8. Jeopardy Supertournament planned featuring Ken Jennings, via the Tingle (who is offering a forum to channel your hatred or disappointment about books you read this year).

9. The news stories about the tsunami are wearing thin, because they have an inability to capture the horror of it in words. The pictures, however, are continuously breaking my heart with their ability to speak of the thousands of personal tragedies involved. Give something, if you can. (See also the aforementioned Justine's latest musing.)

That's it for now.


  • At 12:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    When you add Turk 182, that's when you know you're really in trouble. Hey, also saw Justine L's fancy sci-fi book on display at the MLA book exhibit yesterday. V. fancy! --cinetrix


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