Unrequired Reading: The Februariad

Here’s your monthly dose of Unrequired Reading, dear readers who are too lazy or otherwise uninclined to follow my twitter feed at twitter.com/groth18

My dogs would get so confused on these awesome staircases.

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Nothing about how Craigslist enables Arab protestors and revolutionaries to get laid? #noitdoesnt

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Great pix from Sept. shuttle trip in honor of my production manager, who bailed on our current ish to watch the launch.

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Simon Schama on Helen Mirren. Well, not ON Helen Mirren, but you know. #IneverdidseethatMazurskyversionoftheTempest

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Sadly, I’m sure there’s a novel/screenplay about a romance between a mope and a fluffer.

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So it’s better to shoot at civilian protestors with 7.62s, not .50s?

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“Exotic Superfluid Found in Ultra-Dense Stellar Corpse”: the title of the new Orb record? #littlefluffytweets

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Glad to find out street heroin and my G&Ts both have quinine: always important to stave off malaria. #themoreyouknow

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I’d be afraid of the NJ version of this #50moststylishnewyorkers list.

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Gator and the Berra. #NYY #louisianalightning

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Don’t bet against the Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken. #starbucksduanereadeorcupcakes

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Profile of Al Goldstein: the (not-)new pornographer.

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Greatest. Memo. Ever. #weneedtosolvepakistanbeforelunch

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@simondoonan: not exactly a fan of Fashion Week (but hilarious). http://slate.me/gLK6Jz #nyfw

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tl;dr?

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There really should be a Yinka Dare award, too. #nbaantiawards

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Great Michael Caine interview. Get Carter was #badass

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“Alcoholic hospice”? I used to joke about drinking with careerist determination, but wow.

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Ahoy-ahoy! #thatisall

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If only Bill Murray had missed out on The Man Who Knew Too Little, too… http://bit.ly/fCEPi9 #billmurray #castingdirectorofbabel

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To Mr. & Mrs. Ball, a son: Curve. #intheloop #greatestmovieever

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That’s it! No Ferrari for me! #okayidriveasubaru

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KenJen on #Watson: very smart, very fast, speaks in an uneven monotone, and has never known the touch of a woman.

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Michael Lewis (satirically) on who’s to blame for the financial crisis: #blamecanada?

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It’d be funnier if the greys just took off like rockets: #judginggreyhounds

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Did NYC consult @dandrezner for the zombie invasion section? #apocalypselaw #escapefromnewyork

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West Egg. 8-Bit. Great Gatsby video game. #gatsbyfornes

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Great piece by Adam Kirsch on literary criticism. Go read it! #notbookreviews

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Sartoria Rossi: or is it Satori Rossi? #beitalian #iwishicoulddressthiswell

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@nealstephenson on the development of the Rocket #ficktnichtmitderRaketemensch! #youdroppedthebombonme

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Valentine’s Day special! Here are the best NYC restaurants in which to stage a breakup! #noromance

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Fun story of SEO abuse on Google. #jcpenney #seohack

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Not on the menu @ Veselka: Ron Rosenbaum on cannibalism in the Ukraine c.1932-3 #noendtoevil #ieatcannibals

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Schizo NYC from @jeremoss: Two-Face, Composite Superman, or Ultra The Multi-Alien? #splitcity #uglierbytheday

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“Yoga in bed” is a euphemism, right? #clydefrazier #whatrhymeswithtantric

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Ouroussoff fluffery on new Gehry bldg. Was this actually written by a computer using random samples of O’s prose?

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Important lesson – never marry a chemist: #whenxiaoyemetthallium

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I’d wear Jesse Eisenberg’s costuming from Social Network before I’d be caught dead in Sorkin’s sack suit #badfashion

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Richie Rich: explosion on the runway. http://bit.ly/gyAz2R #nyfw

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My old man swears he once reached a polar research base with his HAM setup: #wb2zvs

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Not quite as implausible as Jews In Space, but it’s close: Jews In Syria! (neat story, trust me) http://bit.ly/gkOntd

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Neat @nicknotned (Nick Denton) Atlantic Wire interview about his news consumption habits.

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Covering J.G. Ballard #jgballard

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Real question is: Can a novel be “philosophical” without being dreadfully dull? #doubtit

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Metropolitan or Gossip Girl? or … #whitstillman #gossipgirl (I’m a Metropolitan man)

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Queenstown, where I heard the voice of God (also, where I bungee-jumped) http://nyti.ms/dSZiHx

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Greatest. Band name. Ever. #drteethandtheelectricmayhem

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Clive James on roman policier: #okaytheyrecrimenovels

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The honey badger doesn’t give a shit: #randall

Honey badger remains b-a-d-a-s-s (I can’t even survive drinking half a 40 of King Cobra). #honeybadger

Unrequired Reading: The Return!

At New Year’s, I decided to call an end to the weekly Unrequired Reading posts, figuring that it was easier for people to just follow my Twitter feed (twitter.com/groth18) and/or Facebook posts. But at that party I attended a few weeks ago, two other old acquaintances told me that they enjoyed this feature and were kinda bummed that I’d decided to stop posting it.

So I’ve decided to compromise: Every month (or thereabouts), I’ll post a mega-Unrequired Reading for those of you too goshdarned lazy to just add me to their Twitter feeds! Enjoy! (yes, I left the hashtags in so you’d have some idea of what the posts are about.)

Continue reading “Unrequired Reading: The Return!”

Unrequired Reading: December 31, 2010

Happy New Year’s Eve, dear readers! Welcome to the final installment of Unrequired Reading! That’s right! Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! This feature is O-V-E-R!

For a while now, I felt like I’ve been battling against the tide of instant/mini-blogging by posting a weekly collection of links I enjoyed and wanted to share. The thing is, most of the items I put on Unrequired Reading are recycled from my twitter feed or my facebook page, so it hasn’t made much sense to collect them here, except to allow me to say, “I posted something!”

So, it’s the end of the Unrequired Reading era. I’m planning to use this blog for longer writing, travelogues and the like. If you’re interested in keeping up with those links I posted to Unrequired Reading, then follow my twitter feed: twitter.com/groth18.

Twitter also auto-tweets links to my new blog posts, but adding my RSS feed to your reader will clue you in to any long-form posts I write, as well as my What It Is posts (the necessity of which I’m also reassessing). I really hope to do some longer writing next year, but I make no promises. I’m much more intent on getting a regular podcast series off the ground.

(I know, I know: podcasts are even more passe than short-form link-blogging, but I’ve wanted want to work in that form for a while now, and I think I have a recurring segment that’ll make it something more engaging than The Gil Roth Show.)

If you want to keep up with my pictures, check out my flickr posts here or subscribe via RSS.

In other news, I turn 40 in less than 2 weeks, so if you want to buy me something nice, you can check out my wish list on Amazon.

And now, on with the show! Have a happy new year, dear readers!

Continue reading “Unrequired Reading: December 31, 2010”

What It Is: 11/29/10

What I’m reading: The Odyssey, some goofy Johnny Ryan comics, and a ton of magazines I needed to catch up on, like Monocle, New York, Fantastic Man, GQ, Esquire, and Interview.

What I’m listening to: Barking, The Lady Killer, High Violet, This is Happening, and Ain’t Nobody Worryin’.

What I’m watching: The Promise, Alice in Wonderland, Moon, About a Boy, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and some more of season 1 of In Treatment.

What I’m drinking: G&T with Ethereal gin, from a little distillery up in the Berkshires.

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Being cute for our Thanksgiving guests, going on a colder hike at Wawayanda. I’d share the specs with you, but I updated the GPS app on my iPhone and now it doesn’t work correctly. Yay. Thanks, Motion-X!

Where I’m going: I’ll be in Puerto Rico next Sunday-Tuesday for a mini-biz trip. It’ll be my first JetBlue trip, and my first flight from Newburgh Airport, up near Herriman. Continental’s rates were absolutely exorbitant, esp. since I was booking late, so I’m going to break with my rule of not flying direct on this trip. I have a 6 a.m. flight back home on Tuesday (via Orlando), but I don’t think I’m capable of staying up all night and rolling straight into the airport, as I once did.

What I’m happy about: Getting some errands done during my week off, managing to get $500 in trade-in value for my 1st-generation MacBook Air from Tekserve in NYC, and spending a little while comic-shopping with my pal Mark. Also, I was happy to have a long conversation about men’s fashion with a clerk at the Club Monaco store in SoHo. It sounds superficial, I know, but it was nice to chat with someone who took one look at me and recognized that I didn’t dress by accident.

What I’m sad about: Some punk-ass kids smashed my mailbox over the weekend, prompting me to buy and install a new “vandal-proof” one.

What I’m worried about: That my inability to get into LCD Soundsystem is a sign that I’m an old fart.

What I’m pondering: A good quote about my heart for the website of my wife’s pal Nicole’s blog. I’m thinking of coming up with something from here.

What It Is: 11/15/10

What I’m reading: The Odyssey.

What I’m listening to: The Lady Killer, The Point of It All, and some gorgeous jazz music, courtesy of my old pal Paul Longstreth, who was playing the club at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon St. last night (btw: I’m in New Orleans this week)

What I’m watching: Week 2 of season 1 of In Treatment, the finale of Eastbound and Down, and a catch-up of Bored to Death episodes. On Sunday, I caught The Social Network at The Theatres at Canal Place, and enjoyed that. I haven’t liked Jesse Eisenberg in any previous film, but he did a great job with the role. The movie’s last act was kinda weak and, well, it just sorta stopped, but it was a fun ride.

What I’m drinking: Beefeater & Q-Tonic (on Sunday evening; there’ve been various other gins over the course of the week, including Fifty Pounds, Citadelle, and an alleged Hendrick’s)

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Lamenting the lack of a farmer’s market and missing their Sunday hike, since Amy wasn’t going to jam them both in the back of her Mini while I’m away.

Where I’m going: I’m in New Orleans, after a delayed Saturday night flight.

What I’m happy about: Just being in New Orleans. I know New York is the Greatest City Ever, but New Orleans is still my favorite. Oh, and getting to see Paul play on Sunday. That was just rapturous for me.

What I’m sad about: Being here without my wife. I’ve traveled to a lot of cities on my own, but it doesn’t feel right to be here without her. When I got in late-ish Saturday night, I went out from my French Quarter hotel to get some dinner. I ended up getting a fried catfish po-boy and Abita at Primo’s on Decatur St. I had a table on the balcony, and looked out to the river, and realized that I was across the street from the place where we got married. I felt a few moments of elation, recollecting that weekend five years ago. Then a guy down on the sidewalk began bellowing in a rage at someone on his cellphone, and the moment snapped.

What I’m worried about: Getting instant-onset diabetes from those beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

What I’m pondering: Whether the idea I had at the jazz club Sunday night for a movie script is totally awesome or just the hack result of too many G&Ts and an excessive emphasis on the romance of New Orleans.

What It Is: 10/18/10

What I’m reading: I started The Odyssey, but decided to take a short break with Never Let Me Go.

What I’m listening to: Fox Confessor Brings The Flood and Sir Lucious Left Foot

What I’m watching: Bear Nation (some of my best friends are bears) and Withnail & I

What I’m drinking: Dry Fly & Q-Tonic

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Not a lot. I was sick, so no Sunday grey-hike.

Where I’m going: Nowhere in particular, but I’m hoping to get a Herriman hike in on Saturday with a pal, provided my headcold’s all gone.

What I’m happy about: Getting into NYC on Saturday to meet up with Mark F., a good pal of mine. We had a nice brunch at the Double Crown, during which the ex-girlfriend I mentioned last week dropped off the accordion I’d bought from her. After eating, Mark accompanied me to the Billy Reid store on Bond St., and then we walked up to Astoria Wine & Spirits, St. Mark’s Comics and Porto Rico Importing Co. (for a bottle of Bols Genever, Marvel’s Strange Tales II, and a pound of Kona, respectively) before the farmers’ market at Union Square and Mark’s departure back to the Bronx. We had a good, meandering conversation. Between that and the previous weekend’s catch-up with my old high school pal Jen, I’m reminded of how much I need to stay in touch with old friends.

What I’m sad about: This lousy headcold. Grr.

What I’m worried about: Well, Mark’s response to our conversation about wearing nicer clothes (a prelude to visiting the Billy Reid store, which was a blast, btw) was, “Are you belatedly becoming a metrosexual?” I told him that if I started wearing man-scara, he could disown me, but once I began lugging the old-time suitcase containing the accordion down the street, he withdrew the question. As it turns out, carrying that accessory into the store seemed to grant me some weird street cred with the staff at the BR store. It seems that “Can you check my accordion for me, please?” isn’t said often enough nowadays.

What I’m pondering: How long it’s going to take me to learn to play that accordion, considering I have no musical training. Also, what else Never Let Me Go is a mix of. So far, I’ve got Such, Such Were the Joys and Camp Concentration (which you really should read). And whether I’ll ever buy anything from Billy Reid (I was sorely tempted).