I’ve resumed my pro bono position copyediting for local media outlets reporting on bicycling-related news. This time, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has enlisted my services* to ensure the fairness and accuracy of their coverage of a recent near-fatal collision between a car and bicycle. The text…
This book’s cover is what attracted me first. But the book’s content makes it one of my favorite reads of the year. Sims crafted a book about zombies without ever needing to call them zombies. It’s not really even about them (I mean, it is, but it’s so much more). It’s about, I think, the human condition of fear motivated by isolation and isolation motivated by fear. But this isn’t a horror novel. It’s about the relationship between a son and his father (a young man tries to find his father, most likely dead, in the aftermath of an undead pandemic). It’s about the relationship between lovers (how can you trust the one you love, when that love is a liability in the face of contagion?). Sims’ narrative voice is clear and genuine, funny at times but always respectful of his characters.
This novel spoke to me. I finished it and immediately wanted everyone else to read it so that I could share that feeling. I’m thrilled that this is the first novel by Bennett Sims, but I’m saddened that it’s the only novel by Bennett Sims. Expect big things.
If you’re a fan of the zombie genre, you need to read A Questionable Shape. If you’re not a fan of the zombie genre, but you value thoughtful, moving, well-written prose, you need to read A Questionable Shape. Look. You need to read A Questionable Shape.
Wow. I had no idea I was going to love this book as much as I did. This is a book about friendship, paranoia, and the lengths we’ll go to convince ourselves of what we want to believe is the truth. It’s hard to write about the plot without giving things away, but there are twists and turns throughout, and an ending that was particularly satisfying. My advanced reading copy passed through six readers before I saw it again, and everyone was crazy for the book.
I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine for two years. For two years, I lived in a world that felt like a distorted mirror of my own. A country that wanted to be Westernized, while simultaneously wanting anything but. It was cold, and dark, and I was (justifiably) paranoid. Reading You Are One of Them brought me back there. It felt like I was being let in on every inside joke, every subtle reference. That’s how well Holt has crafted the world of her novel. She nails the mood, the cultural nuances, and the paranoia. So much paranoia.
You Are One of Them is a book that you’ll read until you have to come up for air, only to plunge right back in again. Get to it.
Hey, you’re a guy. You like your beer cold, your engines revved and your girls gone wild. So come on down to the heteronormative party of the year — He-Fest! The only chromosome that matters this weekend at the Roy is “Y,” with testosterone-torqued displays ranging from the outdoors to…
Via the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jason Adkins (Director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference) is saying that the GLBT community isn’t equal. Not equal? There should be no such thing as second-class citizen.
That’s some bullshit. Adkins is a fool. And what’s the public purpose of marriage at all? You don’t need to be married to reproduce, and there’s certainly no guarantee that marriage creates a more stable population.
Marriage, at least the contemporary, 21st-century version of marriage (which is all that matters, since that’s what we’re living), is a love license.
1. We know the Obama presidency has been flawed but I don’t think we do enough to acknowledge the Sword of Damocles that has been hanging over his head since he assumed the presidency. He was damned if he did or did not with regard to so many issues. Not only did he inherit a complicated economic…
Echidnas and the platypus are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes. The female lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg 22 days after mating, and deposits it directly into her pouch. Hatching takes place after 10 days; the young echidna, called a puggle, then sucks milk from the pores of the two milk patches (monotremes have no nipples) and remains in the pouch for 45 to 55 days, at which time it starts to develop spines. The mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the puggle, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months.
Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. During mating, the heads on one side “shut down” and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female’s two-branched reproductive tract. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal copulates.
“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I only believe in pleasures. People who call reading detective fiction or eating dessert a guilty pleasure make me want to puke. Pedophilia is a pleasure a person should have guilt about. Not chocolate.” - Ira Glass, New York Times (Aug 16, 2012)
“Vice President Joe Biden will make campaign stops this week in Minnesota, where he’ll focus on the economy, jobs and ways to reduce the debt, according to a release from the Obama campaign Saturday.
The public can attend Tuesday’s events, one in Minneapolis at the Depot on Washington Avenue at 12:30 p.m. and the other in Rochester at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are free. Call 612-244-7872 (Minneapolis) or 507-848-3221 (Rochester).
Mitt Romney will be in Minnesota on Thursday for fundraisers hosted by a group of Republican supporters, including former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee will attend a reception Thursday evening in Minnetonka Beach and then a private dinner in Shorewood. Entrance tickets to the reception start at $2,500 and go up to $10,000 per couple. The private dinner costs $50,000 per couple.”
“Recent history has provided a lesson in what happens if the Democratic base decides not to participate fully in the outcome of a presidential election. Remember 2000? Various pundits convinced millions of likely voters that there was no difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Ralph Nader was most successful in spreading this specious philosophy, and he garnered 2.74% of the popular vote. Most of these 2.74% were likely Gore voters.
The results were cataclysmic. In a year where a few thousand votes would have swung the election, George W. Bush was elected. Within two years, he had started two wars. These wars cost 137,000 civilian lives, 6,419 American soldiers’ lives (4,488 in Iraq and 1,931 in Afghanistan), cost upwards of $4 trillion, and put the country $15,904,628,648,096 in debt. He put together the most conservative Supreme Court in American history, and the world was thrown into the worst global recession in 79 years.
These results would seem to imply that it does indeed matter who sits in the White House. There is a chasmic difference between the priorities and leadership of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. There is a chasmic difference in their outlook, in their intellect, in their ability to represent the U.S. abroad and to understand the plight of the 99% at home.
Republican leadership is not better for the economy than Democratic leadership. Bill Clinton brought the country eight years of peace and eight years of prosperity. George W. Bush brought two wars, crippling recession, and engendered a tangible, unshakeable feeling of national malaise. Two wars and a recession will do it every time.
President Obama inherited all this. And he’s done a very good job of trying to get us out of the hole Republican leadership put us in. The economy is in better shape now than it was in 2008—that is beyond debate. He ended the war in Iraq and he’s nearly finished our role in Afghanistan. And he accomplished what Bush’s two wars were meant to do: he removed the threat of Osama bin Laden. He has made great strides in access to healthcare and higher education, in protecting the environment, in gay rights and women’s rights… The list goes on. And this list is the purpose of 90 Days, 90 Reasons.”
“I really think it’s crazy, that we hit our kids, it really is. Here’s the crazy thing about it, kids are the only people in the world, that you’re allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They’re the most vulnerable and they’re the most destroyed by being hit, but it’s totally okay to hit them. And they’re the only ones! If you hit a dog, they fucking will put you in jail for that shit. You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you, but a little tiny person with a head this big that trusts you implicitly? Fuck them, who gives a shit?”—Louis C.K. (via deantrippe)