Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hyperbole and a Half

Let me clear something up right away, Hyperbole and a Half is a comic book.  It is also a memoir of sorts.  It is not a graphic novel, because it is not fiction. Also, I don't like graphic novels for some irrational reason I cannot explain and I liked this collection of comics therefore it cannot be a graphic novel. My logic is impeccable.

Hyperbole and a Half is based on Allie's blog of the same name, which you've probably seen at least a sample. Allie is upfront about some of her inner demons but this book is done in such an adorable and relatable way...you'll smile even if you are secretly worried for Allie a little.  While I've never suffered from the kind of depression of which she describes I think everyone can relate to not wanting grown-up responsibilities.  I learned to like to cook (most days) but it took a long time.  I STILL hate to do ironing. Why?  Let's compare: cooking for 45 minutes = delicious brownies (with downtime to read) and you can eat and share (theoretically) said brownies. What does 45 minutes of ironing get you?  A couple of non-wrinkled shirts? Who cares? Also, no downtime and more importantly: NO BROWNIES.

So, Allie talks about how weird she was as a child, her weird dogs, her bout with depression and some of her issues with her self identity. Sounds sad but it is actually funny and cute.  Even though she draws her avatar like a slug-like thing, she is funny, young and cute herself.  I suspect as she gets older she'll be totally fine with wanting to throw sand on children. It's one of the few good things about becoming an old lady.

Drink with what Dave and I call homemade Prozac. What is homemade Prozac, you ask? The richest most decadent brownies you can make warmed with a little ice cream on top. Pair that with a little aperitif glass filled with single batch bourbon.  You can feel the healing powers.      

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Martian

Not since My Penis, Myself, has there been a more guy oriented book. Boob jokes, poop jokes, tricked out vehicles, sex jokes and long complicated math-heavy real science word problems.  Not that women can't do math, because they totally can.  (It just so happens I'm not one of those lovely and capable women).

This is one of the books that seems like it's meant to be a movie. Hey, it is!  Well, it's not quite done yet. It stars Matt Damon (who is that guy's agent?) and has a bunch of other famous people with great agents.  Directed by Ridley Scott, I am thinking this will be awesome even if it is not.  I even liked Prometheus which is a ridiculous movie.  This is my favorite thing that happened in Prometheus: Hey super creepy looking thing...let me put my face near you because I think you are like a little bunny....Argggh!!

The Martian is about an astronaut stranded on Mars. Our main guy, Mark, is a very smart but writes in his journal like a dorky 13 year old kid, with lots of lame jokes.  For example, It wouldn't have surprised me to read a scene where there was a complicated math problem which was based on how many tampons needed to fix the water reclaimer. It was likely in an early draft. Think Nicolas Tesla's  journals written by Tim Allen.  Anyway, you might like this if you are a dude or a lovely math oriented woman who doesn't mind a poop joke or two or three.  Most people can wait for the movie. Would it have killed them to cast Hugh Jackman?  Can't this book give me something?

Drinks:  A martian martini seems appropriate:  2 oz. gin and 1 oz. Midori (or other melon flavor liqueur), combine with ice and shake and strain.  Serve in a martini glass. The pretty color makes this drink reminiscent of a little-green martian, not a dusty, frozen rusty and oxidized planet drink, which frankly doesn't really sound all that appealing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Leaving Time

WHERE'S THE BEEF?  If you know that catchphrase you are likely over 35.  Which is fine, fine, no problem (how are your knees feeling by the way? Fair to middling? ok).  Anyway, no one under 25 would ever get this phrase unless they are a hipster and found a Where's the Beef? T-shirt in a vintage shop, which was so 2009. It's all about 90's references like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles now.

At the risk of turning into Comic Book Guy officially, Leaving Time really dropped the ball on the cultural references.  One narrator is 13 years old and she would never know of a movie called A Few Good Men.  I asked a friend who is 25, and she looked at me like I'd lost my mind.  Come to think of it, that's pretty normal for us, but she also said she'd never heard of it.  A Few Good Men, Some Like it Hot and a reference to Fred Flintstone seem suspiciously relevant for a 48 year old popular writer. That's more careless than The Fonz riding that bull in the rodeo to save Uncle Ben's dude ranch. Two can play at this game. (*squints eyes*)  

Leaving Time is a mystery involving elephants, psychics, the mentally ill and more elephants. You will learn more than you ever wanted to know about elephants.  There are some passages in here that involve declarations of love that are genuinely vomit inducing. The story is saved from complete crap by having a twist ending. The twist still does not reconcile how the 13 year old would be busting out Boba Fett references.

Leaving time is close enough to Last Call: 2 oz. vodka, 1 ounce concentrated and chilled jasmine green tea, 1/2 oz Domaine De Canton liquor. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and garnish with a lime twist.