Yeah, yeah. This is maybe the highest density of posts per week in the history of this little and frankly often neglected blog. Fine. Whatever. I got the automation thing to work and so now it’s a lot easier to do and so I’m a lot more inclined to do it.

And people: I can automate fucking anything now. It’s so cool.

(And by “anything,” I obviously mean very little. But I’m learning and I got my new writing workflow to automatically generate new docs ever time I push and expose them on a pw protected place on the INTERNET so, feeling pretty good about that, anyway.)

But now, some things that I have been reading and might recommend.

Two Lives

by Janet Malcolm

This was actually the second Stein biography that I’ve read in recent months, and TBH it was pretty fucking awesome until the very end. I’m inclined to maybe blame Toklas and Katz (I think his name was) instead of Malcolm for this, but anyway, it was very good book. Compelling, interesting, and well written. Plus Stein is kind of marvelous in a lot of ways (and wildly frustrating in others), so, you know, fun to read about.

Tender Buttons

by Gertrude Stein

…speaking of Stein:


It is a winning cake.

Do you really need more of an endorsement?

Anyway, I’d read IDA at the end of last year and have been reading other things and man is it fun and invigorating. To quote Malcolm above, “[E]very writer who lingers over Stein’s sentences is apt to feel a little stab of shame over the heedless predictability of [their] own.”

The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise

by Georges Perec

A sample:

you go back to your desk and decide to try your luck afresh
in the afternoon or tomorrow or next tuesday or forty days
later obviously when you do go back to see mr x he will have
to be in his office if he is not then you would await his
return in the corridor and if he were to be a long time
coming you would go see ms wye and if ms wye were also not
at her desk you would circumperambulate the various
departments which taken together constitute the whole or
part of the organisation which toys with you then you would
go back to see mr x if he were still not there you would await
him in the corridor or else go to see ms wye on condition
not only that she be there but that she also happened to be
in a good mood otherwise you would circumperambulate the various
departments which taken together constitute the whole or part of
the organisation of which you are an employee then you would...

If that was not endorsement enough, well, here’s from the introduction: “Translating a text which is close to being unreadable in the original is a paradoxical but not a particularly difficult task, since ordinary readability is hardly an issue.”

I don’t know, maybe I’m just crazy, but I fucking loved this. I mean, it’s certainly no Life: A User Manual, but still really fun, and not unlike Tender Buttons, makes your brain a little fuzzy in a good way. I’m also very interested in computer literature right now (sorry all the good stuff is behind a wall; LMK if you want access) and so this dovetailed pleasantly.

And I will say it’s a very short book, which is what makes it readable.

Fried Tater Tots with a Sweet & Spicy Thai-Inspired Glaze

by Andrew Zimmern

These are just really fucking good. Made and ate them along with an excellent soup at a dinner party last week. Just marvelous.

I was going to include some weblinks but I think that’s enough, right? Or at least – I still need to re-read the webstuff to make sure that I actually do, in the end, recommend them, and so, you know, go read a book, why don’t you?