Sunday, April 22, 2007

Un Lun Dun

I borrowed the new China Mieville book, Un Lun Dun, from a coworker and have dived into it. It's sort of a YA book, but is more like a hybrid of Terry Pratchett & Phillip Pullman crossed with Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum & Monty Python, where a young girl and her friend are thrown into an alternate London and being stalked by Smog. It has very cool pen & ink illustrations throughout. Kinda China-lite, lots of atmosphere but not a lot of character development. Nowhere near as dark and gritty as Perdido Street Station or The Scar, but still lots of surreal fun. I'm enjoying the little milk carton that follows the girls through the story like a kind of lactose-Toto. Fun. I'm hoping it follows through to some satisfying conclusion...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Everyone, it seems, has a secret side

I decided to go to a book signing featuring Food Network personality, Giada De Laurentiis (Everyday Italian), at a local Sur La Table, a national chain cooking supply store. Since I’m a closet Food Network junkie, I really couldn’t pass up meeting the network’s sweetheart.

The event was for Saturday, April, 14th at noon. Thankfully the major snow storm forecasted for the day before materialized way south of Denver so it was not canceled. The publisher stipulated that it would be a ticketed event, with a ticket handed out to anyone who purchased her new book, Everyday Pasta, at that store.
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On the Monday before, I went across town to purchase the book and get my ticket. At that time there was only about a couple dozen tickets handed out. However when I got there on Saturday an hour and a half before the event (I was picking up some chef knives I dropped off to be sharpened and was going to hang out until the event) there was already a line that extended outside the store to about 3/4 the way down the block. So I picked up my knives, dropped them off in the car and went to get in line. It was funny hearing people exclaim as they walked past me to get in line that they didn’t think there’d be this many people. Hey, she’s a TV personality, what does one expect?

The line started moving promptly at noon and as I managed to get in the store itself, the line snaked through the perimeter of the store. I had my camera with me and the stipulation was that no flash was to be used and no pictures taken as you got to within a few meters of the table where Giada was signing. It went smoothly and quite quickly, very little chat, just move along after she signs.

I caught glimpse of her as I wound my way through the store in line and she was dressed as she normally is for a show. If you are not familiar with her shows, Giada mainly wears a snug shirt that shows and accents her cleavage, sometimes with a blouse over that shirt like she was wearing for the signing. However, me being the observant puppy I am, I noticed what she had on under the table she sat at. I did a double take and sure enough Giada was wearing knee high black leather boots, sort of a cross between fetish wear and motorcycle boots, with silver buckles all the way up the sides. Something you would find at Hot Topic or even a fetish shop.

My turn at the table came and I had some time to chat as I had four books for her to sign. I was dazzled by her trademark smile (up close and personal) as she asked if I was Scott, as indicated on the Post-It note stuck to the first book. I said I was and she beamed at me as she started signing. I then mentioned that I love her boots. She stopped signing, looked at me for a second in surprise and then hit me again with her trademark smile touched with a bit of a conspiratorial grin and said she liked them too. A few more pleasantries were exchanged and then I was off to the side, my time with Giada and her boots over.

After watching many of her shows, I never would have guessed Giada would have a thing for knee high black leather multi-buckled boots. It makes me smile every time I think about it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007)

The world has lost one of its great writers - but the writing remains.

If you haven't read Player Piano (recently), do so.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

May 6 discussion = Haven

June 3 discussion = The Ordinary