10 September 2009

Stuff I like - September

It's Zombie Me! Like Thriller, but without all the touching!

1) Zombie portraits

Even if Mr Christopher Williams was not one of my dearest and oldest friends, even if my cute l'il mug had not been his first zombie portrait, even if these were like five hundred bones instead of just one hundred – yes, even then I would post this. With “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” burning up the New York Times Bestseller lists and zombie movies a hot Hollywood commodity right now is exactly the right time for this idea.

See, Willie, as I call 'im, is a pretty great artist and he has set up this little etsy.com site where you send him a photo and within 3 weeks-ish he hand draws (no computer graphics – no cheating of any kind!) you a perfect likeness of yourself.... yourself as one of the flesh-eating, brain-hungry walking dead, that is. Christmas is right around the corner, and this is what everyone on my list is getting is getting. I hope my mum likes it.....

2) “Heavy Cross” by the Gossip

Every now and then you get a song – like really get it in that totally clich├ęd way like you're a teenager again and you want to listen to it all the time and you just know that when you have rose-coloured memories of this time years from now you will hear this song as the soundtrack. Vice versa is true as well – when you hear this song played on some Muchmusic retro special ten years from now you will be hit in the chest with nostalgia and all of the stuff that is happening to you right now will happen to you all over again.

That's how I feel about “Heavy Cross” by the Gossip. Even if you don't normally listen to radio-friendly bluesy lesbian punk you should definitely download this song – it is really really good, and in about three months when the Gossip are the most famous rock band on the planet you can tell your friends that you knew about them before they did. Bragging rights are fun.

He has the face of a writer.

3) Finding old Stephen King books

I was a voracious reader as a kid, and I had exercised all of my options in the “Young Adult” section in my local library by the time I was ten. (They allowed people to take out a maximum of 26 books a week. I did.) It was at that age that I abandoned 'teenager' books for adult material and for about two years I read almost exclusively adult trash like Stephen King, VC Andrews and Dean Koontz (even as an 11 year old I knew that the last two were not any good.) When I was 12 my Auntie Sharon gave me a copy of Margaret Atwood's “Cat's Eye” and that ended my King phase. I plunged into esoterica, the Beats and feminism, abandoning all drugstore novels as unworthy of my haughty intellect.

....But lately I have been thinking about just how much Mr. King influenced me, both with his writing and with his sheer amount of creativity. Over the years I have kept an eye on his books and even read a few of the new releases (borrowed from Willie,) shamefully hiding them behind some Beckett or Burroughs while riding the bus. Reading them is the mental equivalent of candy – flooding my brain with endorphins and really easy to digest calories.

His books crop up on book trade shelves more often than anyone else's and by gum, I am sick of hiding it! I like to read Stephen King books. (Embarrassed....) I think he is a good writer. (Deep breath.) I like his bizarre, interconnected tales. (Cheeks burning.) I like spooky stuff. (....well, that one is no secret.) So when I find your old copy of “Misery” in Manila or your dog-eared Skeleton Crew paperback on Flores, I am gonna read them. Both for old time's sake and because I want to. Stick that in your ear, haughty intellect.

Get on the %$@ing barbie.

4) Going to Australia

Back in Laos (so that musta been early April?) S and I booked a one way ticket to Melbourne on (you guessed it) Air Asia when they were having a crazy sale. We got our tickets from Kuala Lumpur (as a major SE Asian hub we always end up there anyway – 4 times so far for me) to Melbourne for 100 CAD per person, taxes included. Too cheap to pass up!

We had the notion that maybe we would do the working holiday thing for 6 months or so, but as the clock ticks steadily forward and I realize that I am edging toward thirty (ok, in a few years, but still – yipes!) we abandoned that idea of going to Australia at all in favour of school (me) and career (S.) But I still have that ticket to Melbourne burning a hole in my inbox.....

So when S goes back to North America to start work, I'm gonna use that ticket – just for a week or ten days or so with a possible sidetrip to Sydney. Being a completionist, I had to get over my idea that if I didn't see all of Australia it wasn't worth seeing any of it. And as much as I want to do the East Coast and Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef and Alice Springs (where Priscilla was filmed) I also love big cities. A lot. So here I come, culture and food and farmer's markets and beaches and shrimps and that accent! See you in mid-October. Anyone want to take me for drinks?

5) The Ultimate Question:

If you could have lunch with any person, living or dead, who would it be?

I say Leigh Bowery. S says Jim Henson (he changed it from Darth Vader when I gave him a withering look.) You?


Cw said...

Thanks for the props! I link the hell outta your site. I'd do a little write up but you you seem pretty damn popular. Congrats Jess. I miss you ad hope to see you home safe and sound soon for drinks (Im still sober BTW 26 freaking days of nothing but coffee, tea and red bull)

- Willie

thatsorad said...

I LOVE the Zombie you!!!! I love reading your blog!!! You are such an adventuresome person! Most of my friends travil and live overseas. I feel oddly close to them or understaind them more through your adventures. :) So rad!

The Bug said...

Oh, now this is just ironical - I've been reading a Dean Koontz book all day. So there! I like him because his people could be ME & the things that happen so totally COULD happen. If the world was crazy. Terrifying - but not quite as scary as Mr. King. And he likes dogs.

But I'm a lit-lite kind of person. I LIKE well written books. I just don't choose them very often because I want the equivalent of Die Hard, or Romancing the Stone. Entertainment without a brain. Ooh - does that make me a zombie already?

Lindsey said...

My family lived in Alice Springs for a couple of years when I was 8 years old. We liked it a lot. We also visited Uluru, but my dad was the only one of us who climbed it. You HAVE to see it when the sun sets... You will have so much fun! I'm jealous. I want to take my husband there so he can see where I spent a couple years of my childhood.

Love your blog!

Emma Rose said...

Don't worry, I like Stephen King too. He is a good writer. And some of his books haunt me long after I've finished reading them.

As for who I would have dinner with...I have to say Jane Austen. I'd love to see if she's a clever in real life as she is in her books.

Sproglet said...

Tim Butcher, author of 'Blood River - A Journey to Africas Broken Heart. If you're a bookie and you haven't read it you MUST! Simply must. I'd love to have lunch with him and chat about his journey.

Oh, and I'm an 'out of the closet' Stephen King fanatic. If you haven't read the Dark Tower series then it's another must, the interconnectivity is amazing, he seems to bring a little bit of every novel he's ever written into these books. How one mind came up with them I have no idea!

I'll stop gushing now, it's becoming unsightly!

Kaotic said...

OMG, my brain just exploded trying to come up with that ONE name!

~~~still thinking~~~

Love the zombie picture(singing out the 'zombeeeyyyy' word The Cranberries way). :-)

Violet Dear said...

@thebug - I think you definitely need the zombie portrait! :)

@Sproglet - no, no - it's ok! Gush away!

Pat said...

On to Australia? On your own? You go, girl! I've always wanted to go there. Can't wait to read your posts and see your pictures.

Leanne said...

Love your blog too (been away a while so have to catch up). I live in Sydney, and would love to take you to drinks in Newtown, a funky place near the city that's full of foodies, students, goths, arty types, gay/bi/etc, heaps of restaurants and bars... Anyways, keep us informed if you're coming here :) Leanne

Grant said...

1. kills !
2. hole meets the scissor sisters?
3. Thot that old stevie was it too. Till the one word ruined all that came before(insert the sound in ur head of heavy equipment backing up)so there never could be an after... "Cujo". Could instantly identify with the gut renching epiphany of ponzi victims and fans of the first 3 Star Wars movies after the last 3.
4. beware trap door spiders in feather boas
5. chef gordon ramsey - 'f' bombs with ur epicure. At least u'd know the kitchen staff would be hopping. one of my patients actually had him as a boss at the dorchester in london, said he was a total, are u allowed to say the c-word on the interweb?

Violet Dear said...

@Pat - and after that, Sri Lanka, again on my own!

@Leanne - I will let you know! :)Thanks for the offer!

The Pollinatrix said...

I would have lunch with Tom Robbins.