Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


First, Eat All the Lawyers -- Why the Zombie Boom is Really About the Economic Fears of White-Collar Workers.

So true, and why even as I trudge wearily through the daily indignity of working in "Administration" I continue to keep up my skillz on the shooting range, as well as upping my oog threshold and getting my ag on by constantly picking fat, nasty worms off my homegrown kale. Oh, and I also work to keep up my cardio. Everyone knows cardio is numero uno in surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Anyway, timely, cute, but also sad and quite serious, read; however, forget the mere fear of the onset of obsoletism or feeling useless as a marketing executive in a literal flesh-eating zombie crisis -- we're already full swing into a walking dead crisis of the existential kind. After reading this, I was reminded of one of my posts from long ago that touched on the very real zombification through out of control consumption and the dulling of wonder -- two things that are brought on and exacerbated by white collar drudgery.

^^ Black Friday, (no) braaaaaiins...

In the 5 years since I wrote that post, these issues and the proliferation of zombie media have reached a tipping point as economies fail in a 21st century just beginning to assert itself. The rioting in Europe and the Middle East, the Occupy movements across the US protesting Wall Street's walking dead (who are always hungry for the meat of our livelihoods) and the reinvigoration of the minimalist and buy local movements -- are these likely to be mass crossbow bolts to a collective zombie noggin, or just a last stand by an exhausted populace constantly outmanned and undermined by the sheer number of both figurative zombies and the ones who have given up?

Where are we going, and who will we become along the way?

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Wow, what a fantastic piece in the New York Times on Haruki Murakami, his new tome, 1Q84, and the odd and oddly intoxicating organism that is Japanese culture.

I read an excerpt from the 1Q84, "Town of Cats" in the New Yorker last month, and it was terrific. But this piece by Sam Anderson is so great because instead of focusing strongly on this single book, he so deftly zeroes in on the beating heart of Murakami's work -- that terrible and beautiful Murakami muse: the darkness and light, the "ennui and eroticism" that is Japan, and his self-described outsider status.

Anderson implies that Murakami is bemused by his unofficial Japanese literary ambassadorship to the world, as he thinks of himself as a sort of reject from Japanese society. But this is what I find so tragic and beautiful about Japanese culture: their wa (which means both "Japan" and "harmony") -- and thus their perceived homogeneity -- while working well on the surface, lends itself to an individual and private feeling of otherness, of outsider status. This paradox of rejection and complete Japanese-ness, and Murakami's ability to heave this sort of unrequited love out of himself and into the novels that he writes, is what makes him the perfect ambassador for this country in perpetual identity crisis. I don't think Murakami is alone, and I think both he and Anderson know that.

After a few minutes, a strange creature fluttered into my view of the garden. At first it seemed like some kind of bird — a strange hairy hummingbird, maybe, based on the way it was hovering. But then it started to look more like two birds stuck together: it wobbled more than it flew, and it had all kinds of flaps and extra parts hanging off it. I decided, in the end, that it was a big, black butterfly, the strangest butterfly I had ever seen...[m]oments after the butterfly left, Murakami came down the stairs and sat, quietly, at his dining-room table. I told him I had just seen the weirdest butterfly I had ever seen in my entire life. He took a drink from his plastic water bottle, then looked up at me. “There are many butterflies in Japan,” he said. “It is not strange to see a butterfly.”

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I had two hits within seconds of each other on my blog the other day, from opposite sides of the country, one on a Mac and one on a PC, but for the same query...

"emergency", sexy

What? If this were an actual phrase rather than a grave misuse of search query punctuation, and had come from Japan, I wouldn't bat an eye as this is totally bitchin' and way appropo Engrish. But in the US of A? Can you 'splain, anonymous googlers? Am I missing something?

In any case, speaking of Japan, I love that this was the entry page.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

I get really, really annoyed when bloggers have random paid product placement in their blogs. Yeah, I know, it's great if you can make money blogging blah blah, but c'mon, it IS kind of gross -- especially when the plug is inserted all pseudo-natural-like. Ugh! Totally gross. Admittedly, two of my favorite blogs do have product placement in some of their posts, but it is always posted as "sponsored content", which I can get behind an itty bit more.

That said, be forewarned that this post has some serious product pimping. But since I do not get paid to blog (unless you count blogging from work -- shhhh :P) you will understand that this pimping is completely from the heart. And if you have eczema, like I do, you will also understand why I want to pimp this motha out.

Griffin Remedy Bulgarian Lavender Body Lotion

Griffin Remedy, based in San Francisco, offers vegan products that are 100% paraben-free, with no artificial colors or fragrances. I've been using Griffin Remedy's shampoo and conditioner for years now, because I wash my hair every day and want something less chemical-based but not so crunchy I get no hair shaft protection and end up with nasty hippie hair, and their shampoo and conditioner are THE BEST. So naturally, I decided to try out the body lotion because I needed some not chemical moisturizer for my super dry office. I found it very emollient, yet not super greasy. Great, that'll do.

But the unexpected side effect? Eczema on my fingers lessening significantly, and in some areas GOING AWAY.

This is big news in my world. Big enough (yet not TMI) to BLOG about it and maybe, just maybe, help someone else looking for relief and give one of my favorite little companies a little boost.

Their body lotions contain MSM, or sulfur. My understanding is that sulfur is used to control dandruff, another type of dermatitis. And you know that rotten egg smell at hot springs? The same hot springs that are touted as oh so good for your skin? Sulfur, baby. It also probably doesn't hurt that this lotion is free from parabens and other nasty stuff. And that it also contains lavender, which has been traditionally used to treat skin wounds and irritation.

The forever skeptic in me also acknowledges that there's a chance it's all psychosomatic (and full disclosure -- that seems to be my [Western, and very skeptical] doctor's opinion). But what if it ISN'T psychosomatic? Either way, I feel great knowing that I can support a local business by using a product I need to use anyway that is both natural and may be giving me this benefit, and share it with people who may have similar problems. For real, go get some!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WOO-HOO! Here's the New York Times Book Review of Harry Houdini, illustrated by my friend, the very talented Chris Lane.

"Beautifully illustrated." Big-time kudos.

Chris, as you may recall, also did the cover of Trevor's first book, Rarer and More Wonderful, and more recently, the illustrations for Zombies: A Record in the Year of Infection (in which moi was depicted as patient zero).

It looks like a fantastic book. So very excited for Chris!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oh Japan, you so crazy.

This, in combination with the eroding walls of internet privacy, are going to cause some problems, I'll tell you what. Off to sequester myself in a hidey-hole in the Canadian tundra...

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Have you ever wondered how to dress your man like this?

Or this?

Or this?

You *need* Nerd Boyfriend. Seriously awesomesauce.

This one may be my personal favorite ('tis also the most complete). And for those times when I DON'T feel like caking on blue eyeshadow and wearing next to nothing, oh Chris O'Dowd/Roy/Officer Rhodes, you're my go-to guy.

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