Banned Books Meme

If Kelly Brown, 6th grade teacher extraordinaire, is doing her FIRST meme, and doing it in honor of the recently-ended Banned Book Week, how can I possibly refuse?

Books I’ve read I will italize; books I own I’ll put a * in front of. The list is not mutually exclusive, of course:

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
*I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
*Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (saw the movie)
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling (saw the first movie)
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
*The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine parts
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
*The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
*To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
*Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest (saw the movie)
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
*The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
*The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
*Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Not a particularly large percentage, but to be fair to me, some are books targweted at kids, and it’s been a while since I was one. Perhaps I’ll get another shot with Lydia.

MOVIE REVIEW: 40-Year-Old Virgin

Here’s a confession, if you hadn’t already figured it out: I’m a bit of a movie snob. Usually, I go to films that are running at the more “artsy” cinema emporium in town, the Spectrum.. I DO tend to avoid the multiplex at the mall (and the mall in general). But it was movie date time, nothing was playing at the Spectrum that we wanted to see, and there is a local theater, the Madison, that plays more mainstream fare and really could use the community support.

So, that’s how Carol and I ended up at a movie called “The 40-Year Old Virgin.” I KNEW it was going to be a bit coarse and crude, of course. Yet it had several things going for it. Steve Carell, who I knew best from “The Daily Show”, was writing and producing, as well as starring. I found him painfully dead-on last season in the Americanized version of “The Office.” (Haven’t seen it yet this season.)
Catherine Keener, who I liked in “Lovely & Amazing” and loved in “Being John Malkovich” was featured as the potential love interest.
And most importantly, from my perspective, the piece was co-written by Judd Apatow, the creative force behind a couple of my favorite coming-of-age TV shows, “Freaks & Geeks” and the even more unfortunately short-lived “Undeclared.”

Andy Stitzer works in a Best Buy sort of place. Three of his co-workers (and friends?) discover his secret and decide to “fix” it, and him. In their own ways, they are nearly as inept dealing with women as the title character.

Yes, it was raunchy and even silly. Yet, Carrell held the center of the movie together. Also, anyone who has worked in a comic book store or similar shop will recognize the collector mentality that “Andy” possessed.

In many ways, it was dead-on on some of the ways of courting and relationships. “Shrewdly observant,” one review indicated, and I’ll buy that. Paul Rudd (probably best known from “Friends”), Romany Malco, and Seth Rogen (who appeared in both of Apatow’s TV shows) are quite sharp as the very different colleagues. Keener, who’s warm character-with-a-secret, was great, as expected. Jane Lynch, who’s been in “Best of Show” and “A Mighty Wind”, has quite possibly the best bit in the film.

Here’s the bottom line: it’s a comedy. I laughed. A lot. Even at thing I thought were tasteless, or goofy (“Jupiter aligns with Mars.”)

And in the midst of all of that, I thought the movie was…sweet, somehow. Everyone, from his upstairs neighbors on are pulling for Andy, as we did. So, for an intelligently crass good time, I recommend (much to my surprise) the movie.
NBC, which has less and less going for it, is loving the chance to exploit the success of the movie to promote Steve Carell’s appearance on SSNL last night (recorded, not watched), and especially the new season of The Office. I’ve seen the first two episodes. There’s a thin line between pain and pleasure, and this show REALLY stradles it.

5 months

I hit five months of blogging today, and here’s my second potpourri of the week. So it goes.

Forbidden fruit

I thought it was me. Occasionally, I’ve gone to a Blogger site and get some sort of message suggesting that the site is forbidden. But apparently, that’s a more universal problem, based on Ian’s comments of September 27. (He doesn’t seem very happy about it.) So, if you get a FORBIDDEN message coming to THIS site, try, try again, please.

The death of comics

There have been some conversation on some sites about the mid-1990s comic book crash. I suggested that while the end may have come later, the beginning of the end commenced with The Death of Superman. And judging by this week’s shipment, as described by Mike on September 29, I fear the end may be near again. Too much product at once will hurt a number of comic stores, I’ll wager, when a bunch of it sits on the racks.
I’m finding more stuff to give away to one person in my contest, including a stack of comics, unread, the last batch I bought in 1992. Just pick three or more of the best songs from all the Mixed CD candidates. Or give me a good meme.

“Ever seen a grown man naked?” -Pilot (Peter Graves) to kid in the movie AIRPLANE

First, Dorian frets about seeing a naked man.

Then, in response to my teasing him about HIS use of naked men, Fred strikes back (September 29), by putting up pictures of naked women. Actualy, ONE naked woman in three poses.

Crime and punishment

Two stores worth reading in this week’s Metroland:
“Four antiwar demonstrators beat rare federal conspiracy charges they say were brought to chill dissent” but still have their legal problems. The St. Pat 4 tried a SECOND time in my hometown of Binghamton, NY.
Also read in Rapp on This about the Authors Guild suing Google, and why it’s a dumb idea.

And re: crime: two references to O.J. Simpson on the same day? (September 28)

Yup. Mark Evanier (9:14 pm) and Polite Scott

Doctor, doctor

And speaking of the latter, I’ve been really interested in Scott’s dissection of medical procedures in comic books and on the TV medical drama House. I don’t even watch House, and it’s still intriguing and informative.

Remember that the Traveling Wilburys had a Vol. 1, then a Vol. 3

I’m pleased, or at least relieved, to note that Tom the Dog is as mystified by the gap between Episodes 1 and 2 of the new season of Arested Development as I was. Was the “previously” segment a joke, or did they ax the second episode in favor of the third so they could get Charlize Theron and Dave Thomas on sooner?
There’s an article in the Sept. 20 WSJ, p. B-1, that starts:

FROM ELVIS PRESLEY to Kurt Cobain, battles over a rock star’s legacy often generate years of rancor and legal wrangling as surviving bandmates, family members and others pick through recording archives trying to decide how best to represent the fallen icon.
Not so for Bob Dylan. With a torrent of new projects focusing on his most-revered period, from 1961 to 1966, the singer is pre-empting the posthumous image-massaging that has confronted many rock estates by dealing with his own legacy now, while the 64-year-old is still very much alive.

If you’re looking for the whole thing and can’t access it otherwise, I’ll e-mail it to you.

Thanks for the meme

Tosy stole another one. It’s really kind of dumb in an arbitratry way. Doesn’t mean I won’t do it.

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Since I’ve only been doing this for a short while, I easily found on my post of May 24:
“But there have been other bands during the years that have had more complicated issues.”
That’s it? I might as well take the 23rd sentence of my 5th post, the penultimate sentence on May 6:
“And I’m very happy for the industry.” (The industry in question: comics.)

Opiate of the masses

A number of folks have been enamoured of a recent website called The Church of Klugman, whose tag reads as follows: “This is a brand new religion – a religion worshiping a man who is a legend, a myth, who brings a new social conscience to our troubled times. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Church of Klugman!” It’s sorta funny/goofy. But Gordon shoudn’t change his name. I LIKE his name.
My current favorite commercials are a couple from DHL showing bad customer service (waitress pushing the coffee across the counter, the bagger putting the gallon of milk on the top part of the grocery bag, and my favorite, the two young women chatting away about nothing – one of them gives the customer the “just a minute” index finger.) It works because it’s quite believable.
My current least favorite commercial is for some McDonald’s chicken sandwich, with two women who look like they’re pecking away at grain. My wife HATES that thing more than I do.

The Sporting Life

When I realized that the NYY, BoSox and Cleveland could end end up in a three-way tie prior to last night’s games with 2-1 for Boston and Cleveland, I decided to root for that outcome. Cleveland lost, so now they need to beat the White Sox twice while the Red Sox, who won last night, and the Yanks split.

I told Greg Burgas that if he gets 19 right in his picks for weeks 13 and 14 of the NFL season, I’d buy him a drink. I’ll have to find his favorite bar and PayPal the money since Greg’s in AZ, and I’m not.

Bush, Whacked

People keep sending me these things:

#Don Rumsfeld is giving George W Bush his daily briefing and tells him that three Brazilian soldiers have been killed in Iraq. George says “that’s absolutely terrible”, is lost for words, and holds his head in his hands for several minutes. His staff are amazed at the response, and the whole room stays silent. Finally George lifts his head from the table and says “exactly how many is a brazillion?”
#This is a poem made up entirely of actual quotations from George W. Bush, arranged for aesthetic purposes, by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson.  A wonderful poem like this is too good not to share.  It is truly a testament to literacy in the age of Every Child Left Behind!

Make the Pie Higher!

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It’s a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.

Families is where our nation finds hope, Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!

And baby makes three

Finally, because you all really Need To Know:
Took Lydia to the doctors for her 18-month check-up on Thursday. She’s 26 lbs., up a couple pounds, 75th pencentile. Height 33 1/4″, up a couple inches, 95th pencentile.

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