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Archive for the ‘book club’ Category

a super upsetting review

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

I mean, I’m not super upset.

Well, I might be. It’s been a rough fall.

But this is not about that. This is about A SUPER UPSETTING COOKBOOK ABOUT SANDWICHES (real title, guys). It’s by a guy who owns a sandwich shop in NY called No. 7 Sub and I would really appreciate some takeout from the next person I know who goes there, ok?

I have made none of these sandwiches, but not for the first time I’m sitting on my couch reading through the book and laughing. I’m going to try to give you four funny quotes, but if they don’t seem funny then let’s agree you just need more context and should read the book yourself, ok?

  • “With all the usual condiments, [fake/meaty veggie burgers] taste a lot like McDonald’s hamburgers, which are both excellent and the end of the world.
  • “… I am drinking as fast as I can so that I can be funny again. I am trying to write ‘A Heartbreaking Cookbook of Staggering Sandwich Genius’, but I realize that it’s just ‘An Immature Food Book of Stuttering Sandwich’.”
  • About people who insist on a bag for a single, well wrapped sandwich: “I’m going to start making little handles for your sandwich out of masking tape and make you carry your sandwich like a tiny, broccoli-filled briefcase. And don’t make this sandwich because it is too good for you.”
  • Do a bunch of stuff to prep mussels. “And if any of your mussels don’t close while you’re doing all this, then throw them away and give a very brief speech for each one of them. I never said this was going to be easy.”

Is the funny coming across? He’s mad about a lot of things. People complaining about good food for dumb reasons is what most of them boil down to, but … maybe funny-mad is actually just my particular sweet spot. (Says the writer who is shooting for that at least 68% of the time.)

Anyway. If I was going to make one sandy from this book (and I might! Even though I hate sandwiches!), it would be The Famous Rap Battles of History (again, real sandwich name, guys). I, to no one’s surprise, don’t have permission to give you his recipe (I mean I didn’t ask so this seems like the safe assumption). But look at the assembly list.

  • Fried Fish
  • hamburger buns
  • Coleslaw
  • Dirty Tartar Sauce
  • General Tso’s Sauce

Everything in italics is a whole separate recipe, y’all, and the recipes aren’t always what you’d expect. The coleslaw has fried garlic in it. Dirty tartar sauce is mostly chicken liver. It’s no wonder I haven’t made this.

Super upsetting.

how else are you supposed to judge a book?

Friday, January 11th, 2013

I assume that if you are not allowed to judge a book by its cover, you’re supposed to use the title. Right? I mean, it’s just ridiculous to expect people to READ a whole book before passing judgement. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

Yeah, let’s try the title thing. What would I suspect these books were about if I couldn’t see the covers?

Salem’s Lot: a serious look at the accused witches in Salem, MA, and their lot in life. Or something about someone turning into a pillar of salt, maybe. I’m going to say 2.5/5 stars. (My rating for the actual book, 3/5. Stephen King didn’t used to be as good as he is now!)

Ishmael: Moby Dick II, obviously. Suspected rating: 4/5. Actual rating: -10/5. THIS IS THE WORST BOOK EVER. A talking gorilla lectures you about being a bad person for 263 pages. It sucks. The cover doesn’t illustrate that any more than the name does, though, so I’m not really sure what the takeaway here is.

Half Life: Science? Specifically nuclear chemistry, maybe? Assumed rating: 0/5. Actual topic, which is TOTALLY CLEAR from the cover, is conjoined twins. Actual rating: 3.5/5. (It was pretty depressing.)

There you go. Through the magic of a very small and hand selected sample, I have proved that stupid saying is wrong at least 2/3 of the time.  Not too shabby. Judge by all the covers you want, people, I give you leave.


Dear Diana Gabaldon

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I am not going to pretend that I don’t sometimes get kind of worked up about Twilight.

I could try, but the fact that I not only own but actually wear this tee shirt would probably make it hard to believe me.

Yes, it is sometimes silly. It’s something that I get to do with my girlfriends. I may not truly care, deep down, that Bella is a complete and total idiot for choosing Edward when Jacob was right there the whole time!!! Or you know, I might. However, when New Moon came into the theaters, two of my girlfriends and I went to see it and had ourselves a fabulous time. Tonight I’m going to a party at my best-friend-since-middle-school’s house to watch it again with 8-10 other ladies. Next weekend Queen B is having a sleepover at her house to watch it again.

By next Saturday I will have yelled ‘hi honey’ at a television screen roughly a bajillion times (because that’s what I yell when Jacob shows up), I will have oooed and ahhed and laughed at hilariously inappropriate vampire sex jokes, and I will be able to quote most of the  movie by heart. I can’t wait.

I still hate Bella, but I think Twilight has actually been good for women of my generation. It’s given us something social acceptable to get girlily excited about, and I will be sad when it’s over.

HOWEVER. My Twilight besties – ALauraBorealis in particular, but Kim, Crockett’s mom, and most of the women who will be at the party tonight too – have started to fill the printed word Twilight void with the Outlander series.

Outlander is about a woman named Claire who inadvertently travels from 1943 to 1745 in Scotland by falling through some magical druid stone configuration thingy. It’s the first in what is currently a series of 9 books written by Diana Gabaldon. Claire has Frank in 1943 and Jamie in 1745, and Claire has lots and lots of sex. LOTS of sex. If you, like my lady friends, were frustrated by how little sex there was in the Twilight series, this is seriously the book for you. Witness:

I was lame and sore in every muscle when I woke next morning. I shuffled to the privy closet, then to the wash basin. My innards felt like churned butter. It felt as though I had been beaten with a blunt object, I reflected, then thought that that was very near the truth. The blunt object in question was visible as I came back to bed, looking now relatively harmless. Its possessor [Jamie] woke as I sat next to him, and examined me with something that looked very much like male smugness.”

I hate it. I seriously, truly, hate it. I haven’t finished the first book yet, and I have no intention of trying to get any further. I swing back and forth between being bored and being disgusted, since the sex is fully consensual at most half the time. I like Claire about as much as I like Bella, although for different reasons. I hate Bella because when I was 17, I was like that. I think most 17 year old girls were. Boys were tantamount and could bring the end of the world with a nasty look, and if I could yell at 17 year old Emma I would – I can’t so I yell at Bella instead. I hate Claire because she’s 26 and married and insanely, psychotically selfish and self involved. She almost gets people killed 1in 1743 because she thinks she knows best. She has a very ‘ho hum’ attitude about the fact that she disappeared from under her 1945 husband’s feet and he probably, you know, wonders where she is. When Jamie beats the crap out of her (yeah, that happens) she objects but for reasons that make me want to pull my hair out.


Dear Diana Gabaldon,

I know you don’t need me as a fan. You have your own wiki, for heaven’s sake. I know that you have a PhD and I don’t (yet). I know that women the world over want to be your best friend.

I don’t. I’m sorry, I just don’t. I don’t like Claire, I don’t like Frank, and I’m not a huge fan of Jamie. I prefer Twilight, Bella’s whining and all.

I would tell this to the 700 girlfriends of mine that recommended you instead of you, but I’m worried they would lynch me.