Movie and book summary 2009

Last year around this time I made a goal to read at least one book or more for every movie watched. The goal was to be more discerning with movies. I definitely watched less movies than the previous year but as you can see from the list I watched a lot of garbage. Resident Evil? Taken? Not so good. Keeping Mum and Everything is Illuminated, however were excellent.

I read a lot of Cormac Mccarthy and glad of it. Not so proud of the Last Lecture. I apologize if whoever gave it to me is reading this! Pygmy? Very disappointing, I'll be approaching future Chuck Palahniuk books with care. Here is the list, books I wrote about or posted excerpts from are linked to the post.


1. Kundera, Milan
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
2. Robbins, Tom
Skinny Legs and All
3. Strauss, Erwin
How to Start Your Own Country
4. Pausch, Randy
Last Lecture
5. Mcewan, Ian
6. Tzu, Sun
The Art of War
7. Thompson, Jim
Pop 1280
8. Bukowski, Charles
9. Miller, Frank
Batman: Year One
10. Knight, Michael
Dogfight: And Other Stories
11. Brooks, Max
World War Z
12. Rand, Ayn
The Fountainhead
13. Rushdie, Salman
Midnight's Children
14. Gaiman, Neil
Anansi Boys
15. Guevara, Ernesto Che
Guerrilla Warfare
16. Amis, Martin
The Rachel Papers
17. Coomaraswamy, Ananda K.
Myths Of The Hindus and Buddhists
18. Crome, Keith (Ed.)
Lyotard Reader and Guide
19. Zamyatin, Yevgheniy
20. Galvin, Olga Gardner
Alphabet Challenge
21. Stein, Scott
Mean Martin Manning
22. Largen, Christopher
23. Pressfield, Steven
War of Art
24. Palahniuk, Chuck
25. Delillo, Don
26. Mcewan, Ian
In Between the Sheets
27. McCarthy, Cormac
All the Pretty Horses
28. McCarthy, Cormac
The Crossing
29. Obama, Barack
The Audacity of Hope
30. Mcewan, Ian
On Chesil Beach (Reread)
31. Dostoevsky,Fyodor
Notes from the Underground
32. Carver, Raymond
33. McCarthy, Cormac
No Country for Old Men
34. Ford, Madox Ford
The Good Soldier
35. DC Comics
The Return of Superman
36. James, Henry
Daisy Miller
37. Machiavelli, Niccolo
The Prince
38. Album, Mitch
Tuesday's With Morrie
39. Brensilver, David
40. Calvino, Italo
The Castle of Crossed Destinies


1. Battle Royal (rewatch)
2. Pinapple Express
3. Shoot Em Up
4. Watchmen
5. Resident Evil: Apocolypse
6. Snatch (rewatch)
7. Incredible Hulk (Norton)
8. Walk Hard
9. 30 Days of Night
10. Hancock
11. Star Trek
12. Borat (rewatch)
13. Choke
14. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
15. Bruno
16. Taken
17. Luck Number Sleven
18. Keeping Mum
19. The Fountain
20. District 9
21. Inglorious Basterds
22. Observe and Report
23. Crank 2
24. Robinhood Men in Tights
25. Slumdog Millionaire
26. Everything is Illuminated
27. 40 Year Old Virgin
28. Men Who Stare at Goats
29. Law Abiding Citizen
30. Terminator Salvation
31. He's Just Not That Into You
32. Whatever Works
33. The Road
34. Avatar
35. Dodgeball

Another 10 words and phrases I am asking everyone to stop using in my presence

1. Guestimate
Example Usage: I’d guestimate her bride-price to be at around 8 cows.
Complaint: I’ll let it slide if you’re using it to mock moral stories that involve trading women for cows, but for those of you who are serious— please refrain in my presence or we can no longer be friends.
Annoyance Value: 8

2. Broad Daylight
Example Usage: The police officer threatened people on the street in broad daylight with a firearm because his Hummer was hit by snowballs.
Complaint: As opposed to narrow daylight?

3. Expresso
Example Usage: I would like a Venti Peppermint Mocha Expresso with whipped cream, stat!
Complaint: My rant at people who confuse expresso with espresso is temporarily suppressed due to an overwhelming craving for a Peppermint Mocha, but the word is espresso, folks. ESSSSSpresso
AV: 9

4. Touch Base
Example Usage: Hey Milton, I’ll touch base with you later to go over the PTL numbers.
Complaint: It almost sounds dirty. Say “talk” or “contact” instead or, once again, we can no longer be friends.
AV: 6

5. What do you say? (as a greeting)
Example Usage: What do you say Jim Bob?
Complaint: This is something you say to a child after he/she has failed to say thank-you, not a greeting. When I hear this it makes me feel I’m being reprimanded for not saying “hello” fast enough.
AV: 8

6. Weird
Example Usage: He’s just weird. He gives me hateful looks every time I order expresso.
Complaint: The word itself doesn’t bother me, it’s the people who use it in place of what they actual intend or worse, as vague judgment. More often than not, the word reveals a speaker’s comfort level, sensitivity, and lack of cultural understanding.
AV: 5

Read the rest here...

Liu Bolin: The invisible man

"This guy paints himself... no trick photography ... no photoshop ...he just paints himself."

[click for more]

Banana Flavored Giant Orange Peanuts

I haven't been posting my writing lately because I haven't been doing much of it. Here however is something I wrote for/about Lindsay and her disturbing taste for a certain type of...

Banana Flavored Giant Orange Peanuts
by a.b. samien

She likes nasty sweets, circus peanuts, but
I let that slide because of the way
I feel here in the audience, sitting. Her hand
rests on my knee, her fingers
brush epidermis stretched over patella and
whatever else. I do not know the words.

I choose not to imagine her orange stained tongue,
teeth grinding rubbery plastic,
lips parting to accept that horrible candy
in the same way I ignore thoughts of
her past lovers.

Her fingers still rest on my pant leg and
the details of the room somewhere
else with the words from the voices
on stage that now, no longer mean…
For I mean only to take her outside,
to wrap my arms around her,
nasty circus peanuts and all,
for as long as she’ll let me.

Ron Mueck, Evan Penny: hyperrealistic sculpture

On a recent Washington D.C. trip I saw some of Mueck's work in-person including the below pictured: Untitled (Big Man) (2000).

The "Big Man" is, well... big. I couldn't find measurements but I'd guess the sculpture was 7' in its presented form. Due to its realistic nature it felt as if the sculpture could rise at any moment, put aside his sulking, and wreak havoc on the inconsiderate tourists and photographers disturbing his solitude. Here is more of Mueck's work and other sculptures by similar artists.