I don’t usually review books on this blog, because I’ve been mostly reading biographies of silent movie stars and Depression-era criminals, so why would you guys care, right?
But I decided to delve into Japanese literature, except, you know, translations, because the only word I can read in Japanese is “bizu,” which means bead, and looks like a guy sitting down throwing a ball to a guy running with his arms behind him.
So I read Audition by Ryu Murakami. It’s a short book, around 127 pages or so, which means it’s not like I wasted more than a couple hours of my time (I read really fast, and by the end, I was skimming because I was like UGH WHEN IS THE NARRATOR GOING TO GET MURDERED ALREADY).
But I still wasted my time.
The gist of the story is that this jerk-ass piece of crap Aoyama has been widowed for seven years. He cheated on his wife, but she was a real classy lady, so she didn’t mind. Then she died, but, being a real classy lady, she died quickly and without complaint. So obviously she was A CARDBOARD CUTOUT AND NOT A REAL PERSON AT ALL. Like, Jesus, Murakami-san, I get that she’s not all that relevant to the plot, but she was so obviously fake.
Anyway, this cheating asshole Aoyama has this wonderful teenage son (whom he never spent time with before his wife’s death, but then he does, and they totally bond and whatever) who says: “Hey, dad, why don’t you get married again?”
So then Aoyama and this friend of his decide to fake a movie and hold auditions for the role of the main character, who coincidentally has all the traits Aoyama would want in a wife (those traits being 1) classically trained in some art or another; 2) being cool with his cheating; 3) dying without complaint).
So he finds this chick whose name I’ve already forgotten, and Aoyama falls head over heels for her because she is 1) like, 20 years younger than him; 2) the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen; 3) seems to match all his criteria for spousedom.
So they start dating, and everybody’s like, “I don’t know, there’s something odd about this chick,” even though she never does anything odd, it’s just this vibe they pick up on, but Aoyama’s like, “whatever, guys, she’s HOT,” and then finally in the last couple of pages she stalks him and tries to cut off his feet.
BUT SHE DOESN’T KILL HIM. She kills the dog.
Then his damn son comes home and rescues him by stabbing her in the throat. And then the book is over.
So I guess if you like a long, dull buildup to a jerk WHO DOESN’T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO GET MURDERED and two-dimensional female characters and male characters being all, “Jeez, why aren’t there more beautiful, classy women for us sexist pigs to cheat on our long-suffering wives with?” then this is the book for you.
So, today, my comic book store boss and my funeral home boss will meet for the first time.
So I’ve been looking for the perfect notification alert. The one that encapsulates, you know, me. My essence.
I started with Gunter’s “wenk wenk” from Adventure Time.
I tried the opening from Cowboy Bebop’s Tank!. (No, the exclamation point is really in the song title.)
I gave the Knights Who say “Ni” saying “Ni!” a go.
Anyway, now I’ve got the sound of Pacman dying.
… although this post title is.
Hi, everybody! I’m not dead or even in a coma, but it has been very busy at work, and also I did Thanksgiving (you guys should try my mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, because they are so good), so Internetting has been about the last thing on my mind.
But I’m back, and I’m sorry, and I went to Moana with my daughter last weekend, because sometimes she makes me go to Disney movies. (I guess our only other option was the new Harry Potter minus Harry Potter thing, but, then again, Eddie Redmayne is really pretty.)
So, Moana! Here’s some things I love about it:
- Casting actual Pacific Islanders to voice-act. That’s cool.
- The song the crab sings.
- Dwayne Johnson is finally the sexiest man alive, like, jeez, what took so long? Were you waiting for him to not be alive?
- Auli’i Cravalho has a gorgeous voice.
Also, the plot was fine, and I’m pretty sure they got the Maui myth about right (I’m sorry, but I’m not as up on my Pacific Island mythology/folklore as I should be!), and the stupid chicken was even stupider than the chicken I had when I was a kid, so that was good.
My daughter says it was really good and you should go watch it, and I’ll just say: Yeah, it was fine.
Yeah, so, apparently Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher had a torrid affair during the filming of Star Wars, which would be cool, because, like, wow! Han and Leia were really in love, that’s great, but it’s not cool because Harrison Ford was totally married and Carrie Fisher was totally only 19, and now one of my favorite movie romances is ruined!
Thank God I have my other favorite movie romance to fall back on.
It’s been a bad week, obviously, but last night a friend and I went to the movies to forget our troubles and also, in my case, to ogle Benedict Cumberbatch.
That’s right, we saw Doctor Strange! It was great!
Oh, you wonder how the movie itself was? Well, way too much backstory, for one thing. Some hokey CGI work for another. Really obvious dialogue and story/character beats (there’s one character that Dr. Strange asks, “Do you ever laugh?” and you know he’s going to laugh at the end of the movie, and then he does, and it’s like, “Yeah, duh.”)
The middle part drags and the end drags and also the beginning drags, and there’s this romantic subplot that maybe people who don’t want to marry Benedict Cumberbatch when they grow up might be interested in, but I don’t think so.
I had hoped that I lived in a country where people wouldn’t vote for someone who gives them an easy scapegoat for all their problems.
I had hoped that I lived in a country where people wouldn’t vote for someone who treats women as objects.
I had hoped that I lived in a country where people wouldn’t vote for someone who says if we give the rich tax breaks, it will benefit the poor.
I had hoped that I lived in a country where people wouldn’t vote for someone who insults disabled people, and women, and dark-skinned people, and anyone who isn’t exactly like him.
I had hoped that I lived in a country where people wouldn’t vote for a hatemonger.
I had hoped that I lived in a country where my neighbors wouldn’t tell their daughter that “Hillary kills babies” and “Obama is a terrorist.”
I had hoped that I lived in a country where the woman I met at my work who described her own granddaughter as “the little darkie” was the exception, not the rule.
I don’t live in that country. I am ashamed of us. I am ashamed of myself for not being able to convince more people that love should triumph, not hatred.
Today, I am ashamed.
Tomorrow, I will carry on.
Dear My Country:
Please don’t vote for evil, or you will make this hamster sad.
I thank you, and these baby hamsters thank you.
My former favorite coworker recently related to me a story of her brother-in-law in Texas.
“After he voted for Donald Trump,” she tells me, “he had to go have a stiff drink to clear the bad taste out of his mouth.”
“Well, it’s not like he had to vote for Trump, you know,” I said. “He had options.”
“Yes, but if you want to keep your party in power, you have to vote for Trump,” she replied.
“Gross,” I said.
Because, seriously, how do you take a song as awesome as Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London and combine it with the classic southern rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama and make something that sucks?
(P.S. I linked to the two good songs, but if you want to listen to Kid Rock, you’re going to have to find him your own damn self.)