Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Honored Guest

People are weird. If you into dark comedy like a good Coen Brothers movie you might like Joy Williams. When David Sedaris mentioned how much he loved her in his diaries she was moved up in my reading queue. Honored Guest is a collection of short stories where at least one character is strange. How can in a person in polite society deal with this behavior?  Well, I hate to tell you this but we can't.  Ok, the people I know from Boston or Jersey can, but not in the Midwest.  If you know what to do, please let me know because I have my fair share of nutcases in my life. Seriously...help me (drowning sounds...glug, glug, glug).

One of my favorite stories involves a small cocktail party in which one guest describes all ten of her daughters. One of the other guests, just says something like: This is not how you speak at a sociable evening! She then just storms off. Preach! I can really see why David Sedaris loves her stuff.  I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but I like dark humor so it was fine, not amazing but wryly amusing. I'm going to give one of her novels a chance.

Joy's name is ironic as she has a touch of misanthrope, but she likes irony so maybe it's all for the best. I was worried I was a misanthrope myself but it turns out I just have a few loud duds in my life.  You know the type, the conversational LeBron James where they just dominate you. Hey, I'd like to talk now--No, in your face! Don't you dare drive the lane! Fine, I'll just sit on the bench....(they don't even notice--continue to talk about Trevor's SAT prep class).  Anyway, this isn't for everyone.  If you are expecting David Sedaris, please don't, it's more literary, subtle and kind of melancholy. 

We need to counter this dark humor with a little Sunshine (that's the drink): 2 ounce of white rum, 1/2 ounce vermouth, 1 ounce pineapple juice and dash of grenadine. Mix all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. I think you could add the grenadine later as a visual element but well, I'm weird too.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The World of Lore

A non-fiction book about monsters? Another book based on a famous podcast (just called Lore), The World of Lore is about vampires, werewolves, creatures and some strange true life stories. The book is illustrated, but a word of warning, if you listen to the audio book or podcast....Aaron's narration is well, unusual. He has excellent diction. He just has an usual cadence. Imagine Captain Kirk during a deposition. Or how about a nerd trying to make a pedantic speech after climbing the stairs. Words. Come. Out. Oddly. 

This book doesn't go into great depth about any one topic, and some monsters are more explainable than others. Mothman, Robert the Doll, the book covers a lot of ground. It reminds me of an art history survey class where you just touch on a little bit of everything.  Just replace Donatello with the Jersey Devil.

While the illustrations are fine I think they really missed an opportunity to make this with old-school paper dolls.  Hey werewolves can have casual Fridays (puts tiny paper Dockers on werewolf). And sure, while a ghostly billowing shirt is in style, it would be nice to pair it with some fashion leggings and cute boots.  Maybe you would get out of the house more ghost lady--maybe haunt the tasting room of the local craft brewery for a bit.

C'mon we have to read this with a Zombie: (I always think it has enough alcohol to turn you into a zombie--which makes me worried about what people think of Long Islanders if that is their iced tea). Add these ingredients to a large glass with cracked ice: 1/2 ounce white rum, 1&1/2 ounces golden rum, 1 ounce dark rum, (you own a rum factory apparently), 1 ounce lime juice, 1 teaspoon papaya juice, 1 teaspoon pineapple juice and 1 teaspoon superfine sugar. Stir. "Float" 1/2 ounce of 151 rum on top! Just hope they don't bury you alive after you pass out.