Saturday, July 24, 2010

Florida Consumerism

We headed back to the library. This, of course, meant we headed past the library book sale again. It's about time I hit up a run down of all the terrible terrible things we have bought. You need to know the quality of books we're buying. I'll try my best to justify them here, but know that no amount of justification can really make sense of five Michael Crichton novels. Two or three? Maybe. Four – that's pressing it. Five? There's no excuse.

Congo, Michael Crichton – Killer apes. The movie was terrible, but after the success of Jurassic Park people thought it just might work. On screen it did not, but if I can get enjoyment from terrible science fiction series, then I'm sure there's something there. There just has to be.

The Lost World, Michael Crichton – The sequel to Jurassic Park. No T-Rex hits the mainland here. I remember this book being swift and sweet. I read it during a storm on an island accessible only by little ten horse power tin cans in the middle of a native reservation. It's time I give it a read again. Dinosaurs are awesome.

State of Fear, Michael Crichton – I don't know what this is about. It's got a back that lists praise from a few sources, so there are no plot summaries here, but for fifty cents it has so many pages. Might as well give it a go.

Time Line, Michael Crichton – Yet another in the list of novels that were turned into movies that didn't make the cut. I liked the premise of this movie, and if the novel can expand on it, in the ways I've always hoped it would... then there is some hope. Now not all his novels made terrible adaptations. Sphere was pretty true to the novel, but it wasn't a great novel. I loved it when I read it as a wee one, but the end that made nothing matter at all really bothered me, and set me up for a life time of anger with the “it's all a dream” / didn't matter plot cliche. Also we got the 13th Warrior from Crichton's Eaters of the Dead. I do love this movie, but I'm not sure how it would hold up as a novel. I must find out some day. Mind you there's no SF there, not in the movie anyway. And then there's the Andromeda Strain that gave him the first big push – I know nothing of this. I have avoided the terrible 80s costumes all my life.

Prey, Michael Crichton – I think Stargate owes every single replicator story line to this novel. Maybe not, maybe something else came first, but this is what the back of the book makes it out to be. Katherine picked up this novel. In fact the next four are hers as well.

A Modern Treasury of Great Detective and Murder Mysteries, Ed Gorman – you know it's great when there's neither enough great detective or great murder mysteries to go it alone. Looking at the faded dust jacket (didn't BTTFII claim we should have moved on from these by now?) one wonders if quality control was as high back then as it is now.

Star Trek: Voyager – Mosaik, Jeri Taylor – The life and times of Captain Janeway written by the creator of Voyager, so you know it's totally in canon! Wowzers. I don't know what's worse? Having bought this book, or that knowing the purchase is precursor to having to read the entire text? So much potential for terrible here. Really, that's the only potential. Back in the early days before the re-launch of the Star Trek series in novel form little effort was put into the texts. Still – creator and all.

Best English Short Stories, Gordon an Hughes – Another treasury from the darker dust jacketed times. These are the books that rot mildewed in your basement. Ashamed to throw them out, but not compelled enough to make room on your shelf for them.

Geisha, A Life, Mineko Iwasak – A biography of a Geisha. There may be some hope here.

Forrest Gump, Winston Groom – I have wanted to read this since I realize Forrest Gump was not an original movie, but based on a novel from 1984. By page six is differs from the movie (Forrest is 6 foot 6, over two thirty pounds.) Even the first line contradicts the film, rather than life being a box of chocolates, and all that, Winston Groom writes, “let me say this: being an idiot is no box of chocolates.” What makes the book wonderful is that due to the diction one needs to read it aloud with proper accent. And I am.

The Beautiful Miscellaneous, Dominic Smith – It's a Trade Paperback which normally means it might be modern enough to be awesome. The cover? The rainbow spelling of miscellaneous, it makes me feel this could be a real cracker of a read. Son of a genius, terrible accident, starts to perceived the world differently. I'm hooked.

Anonymous Lawyer, Jeremy Blachman – The last book we have bought (thus far.) It's another Trade Paperback. Not good enough for mass market, but at the same time, that means it should have a reading level above grade five, and ideas that could be seen as subversive. It's written in the form of a blog, by a lawyer. It's supposed to be funny. Written by a blog author. You know what, maybe there is little hope for this, but it will be a quick read. So there's that.

Sandstorm, James Rollins – Ahh yes, I almost forgot about this one. Katherine picked up this gem because it had a three dimensional cover. One of those scratchy plastic things they used to put on collectible cereal boxes, or the box for the Jurassic Park, Lost World, VHS.

I'd like to say that's all we've bought since coming to Florida, but with little to do, we've spent a lot of time in malls and shops. The benefit of this is that I finally picked up a ukulele – Mahalo U320C with little gig bag, and an extra set of strings. It came to eighty bucks. Because it was so poorly tuned in store, I asked about how to tune it and was shown the magic of the friction screws, and told how to properly tune this beast. I would have screwed it up and busted it, me thinks, were I to have not asked.

I don't want to explain how long it took me to figure out I had to use the pegs on the two lighter strings too, even though they were in tune (a whole key off.) Now I can play This Magic Moment like a pro-star. Kinda sorta. I can play it anyway. Give me a song without Ds or Bs and I'm golden.

But it didn't stop there either. Today we headed out to Edison Mall in Fort Myers. It's named due to the fact that one Edison, T used to frequent the area back in the proverbial day. Now it's home to Hot Topic. Yes – Hot Topic. Look, it's not that I want to admit I shop there, but they do have great T-Shirts, and ever since Stew from Germany, and Japan, an back home, got me the Canada t-shirt, thus making them a viable option again, well I've been looking around.

One shirt had little robot GIR so excited, screaming, “I'm making waffles!” Well – I love waffles. And GIR. There was no choice. At least I avoided the Scott Pilgrim shirt. It was eight bit wonderful, but I would have felt like a poser. Were I to have read the book over the past six years, sure – but I only picked up at the end, and I still can't even find the sixth book. Three more shops were hit up in the Fort Myer area without success. Two not having it, one sold out. With the movie less than a month away, what's wrong with these people?

Katherine, too, grabbed a few shirts – one of a cute cartoony Link being all pissed off, the other of a Perler Sprite GIR which I will have to create when we get back. She may have also got a GIR water bottle, and wallet. Who can say?

This is what we've become. Consumer whores. And it's kinda sorta wonderful. On the other hand, we're supposed to be staying in Florida to save money. Funny that. Well, with just tomorrow left to hang around, before our four days at Universal we'll be on the move once more in no time. How sweet that will be.

In unrelated news, there is a giant monster stork that lives outside our home, whose foot long beak threatens to cut through the screen like a warm knife, and butter. I am not terrified of this monster, no matter how much it looks like the evil Marabou stork of death. Not at all. But if we could just keep it away? Well that would be great, thanks.


  1. Are you stateside right up until September?

  2. Who doesn't love 2010 winter games gear? Those Canada T-Shirts were awesome? It was selling like hot cakes in Canada. Good to see that you are back on team T-shirt!



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