Everything That Happens in My Life is Unique

A Flushing Shame: Poems about My Bowel Movements.Title: Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir

Author: Christopher Buckley

Rank: 40

Blurb: “As Buckley tells the story of their final year together, he takes readers on a surprisingly entertaining tour through hospitals, funeral homes, and memorial services, capturing the heartbreaking and disorienting feeling of becoming a 55-year-old orphan.”

Review: “It’s too damn bad his poor parents can’t disinherit from the grave!”

Customers Also Bought: “Wishful Drinking” by Carrie Fisher

Footnote: Our 538-page memoir, What I Had for Dinner Last Night, is in galleys.

Losing Mum and Pup [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon kickback link]

But wait! There’s more!

We hear talk in steerage that folks want to start up a Stinque Book Club for real, so here’s your chance to arm-wrestle for the first selection. If y’all can come to a consensus, we’ll post your reading assignment in a sidebar, and feature it the first Sunday in June so you can take turns playing Brian Lamb.

63 Comments

Word also comes this morning that Jack Kemp is no more. As with this book, I say – whatever. Heard Buckley interviewed recently, and all I could think was “why try to rehabilitate selfish conservatives?” Buckley pater begat Jonah Goldberg, Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin. FAIL.

I propose Wilhelm Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as a way of nipping this whole “book club” silliness in the bud.

@Serolf Divad: Or Gadamer’s Truth and Method – that would certainly derail it.

On Kemp:

“Eight years later, after serving a term as President George H.W. Bush’s housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole’s running-mate.

With that loss, the Republican bowed out of political office, but not out of politics. In speaking engagements and a syndicated column, he continued to advocate for the tax reform and supply-side policies — the idea that the more taxes are cut the more the economy will grow — that he pioneered.”

________________________________

“He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea and that was wrong.” – Benjamin Disraeli

This jackass is a perfect example of how being affected does not make you British no matter how hard you try. And by ‘British’ I mean Lord Peter Whimsy or some other titled fuckwit from bad fiction.

And dad had a cute nickname – just like the nobility! – pardon me while I fucking hurl.

The older one was a drawling asshole who gave ‘effete’ men everywhere a bad name. The only personal thing I know about him is this: someone we knew quite well in London reckoned the older Buckley to be his best friend in the word. I know, pathetic, right? The man had been a communist and ended up being a major fund-raiser for the Republican party (when we had such a thing) raising millions for Reagan. Well. He finally couldn’t take any more of it so he wrote to Buckley to explain how he was homoseckshuall but that didn’t change him in any way, he was still the same lovable guy he always was except for the smoking pole part. Buckley never spoke to him again. And what was worse, he got Pat to tell him he was no longer welcome in the house as he might corrupt this piece of shit and stop him writing crappy books like his old man.

Thank you for bringing just a little bit of darkness into my morning.

Re: Kemp, this from his wikibio: In a decision that was reviewed and upheld by the Surgeon General of the United States Army, Army doctors found him as unfit for active duty. That year, he led the Chargers to a division title, passing for 2,686 yards and 15 touchdowns. Years later, Kemp’s 1961 Chargers roommate, Ron Mix, recalled that Kemp needed “ten or so” shots of painkillers before each game and commented that “it sounds weird, but he could play football and not be fit to serve in the Army.”

Sounds weird indeed….

@blogenfreude: WIN

Okay, c’mon guys, we need serious suggestions for the book.

I’ve been thinking I need to re-read all the “literature” that I sort-of read and sort-of Cliff Noted in high school and college. Grapes of Wrath? Common Sense? Madame Bovary? Walden? Slaughter-house Five? Catch-22?

Or we could read the Garcia Marquez book that Cynica suggested – it’s short…

…Bueller?

@SanFranLefty: I am sorry, but I agree with Serolf Divad – let it be stillborn. It would make us more serious than is called for. No book club. I beg you.

Not everyone needs to participate in a book club. Those who think that doing so would be too precious or pretentious can spend their not-reading-the-book time doing manly things like playing rugby in the mud and throwing up afterwards. I just don’t want to know about it.

Anybody have a kid in high school and can get a hold of last year’s summer reading list? Ours used to be as long as your arm, darned Quakers.

If we’re going Vonnegut, I’d vote for Mother Night before Slaughterhouse Five.

If we’re doing trippy social commentary, I suggest Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I lost my shit every time he takes another hit of whatever on the advice of his attorney.

I don’t think they’re my style, but I’d read something by one of the Bronte sisters.

I’ve been struggling with Henry and June. I read something by Anais Nin that I absolutely loved, can’t remember the title, but these damned diaries are making me nuts. I’m not so sure she’s all she’s cracked up to be.

Same with Henry Miller. I read Tropic of Some Old Shit, and it was teh suck.

I am a HUGE Faulkner fan. Any of his would be great, and my personal favorite is The Sound and the Fury.

I’ve read some amazing coming of age books: China Boy, la Maravilla, The Liars’ Club, A Girl Called Zippy. Prep was pretty meh.

And there’s always DFW. I’d love to reread Infinite Jest.

Currently I’m reading The Black Jacobins, but I’m stuck at the part where the mechanics of the African slave trade are being described. I always this problem. I might just skip it.

Here’s my problem — I’ve read most of these books, and I bet you guys have, too. I have no problem rereading them, and I’d like to see if I understand them differently now that I’m in my forties, but I don’t want to subject you to something you don’t care to reread. ::shrug::

ADD: Flannery O’Connor — Everything That Rises Must Converge

@SanFranLefty: @blogenfreude: If people are opposed to having it here, could we do it in the clubhouse? I think everyone who wanted to participate is on there.

@blogenfreude: Nobody’s forcing you to do it, just like nobody forces me to read your Stormy posts. Love ya, darlin’! xoxo

@JNOV: I bought Infinite Jest last week based upon your recommendation. It’s a long one, though, I don’t think I could polish it off in 4 weeks.

@Mistress Cynica: Not everyone is.

@SanFranLefty: Yepper, that’s a long ass book. It’s more like a vacation book. We could always run through his short stories.

@SanFranLefty:
Boccaccio: The Decameron Oxford World’s Classics edition (Guido Waldman, trans.)
Cocteau’s World, An Anthology of Writings By Jean Cocteau (Margaret Crosland, ed.)
The Onion: Dispatches From The Tenth Circle

I am always up for re-reading Catch-22.

I think I would rather use the social pressure of a bookclub to read one of the recognized classics, of the kind that takes effort, which I have not yet had the time and ambition to tackle.

Fiction or non-fiction.

Boswell’s memoir of Johnson is something I am interested in.

Yeah, the Decameron. I love to read historical material that has as its focus the kind of things history does not deal with. Personal memoirs from people hundreds, even thousands, of years ago. The rare ones that are real, genuine, that put you inside the head of someone living in a completely different different world (but my experience, and the pleasure, of this kind of thing is you see its never so different, that human nature is so constant).

There is something to be said for “know your enemy.” I have always wanted to read Saint Augustine, and even Luther.

And Byron’s Don Juan. Not many seem to read it, its fucking hilarious, with an amazingly modern tone of snark, the whole thing is as put-on as Steven Colbert, its so so modern in tone.

@Mistress Cynica:
Caroline Mytinger: Head-Hunting in the Solomon Islands- Around the Coral Sea
Carolly Erickson: Great Catherine, The Life Of Catherine The Great, Empress Of Russia
Robert Polito: Savage Art, A Biography of Jim Thompson

Okay, here is a question: which one of the great books, and by “great books” I do not mean the established traditional canon, which one of those books that is immensely highly regarded, is also the least read?

Now you all know these books are out there, the masterpieces that everyone knows of, has maybe read some of, but never read.

Fiinegan’s Wake? Anything by Faulkner, I refuse to believe anyone has ever hacked his way through those sentences alone, The Gospel of John, what?

@Promnight:
Anything by Joyce.
Anything by Proust (Have you ever really made it through À la recherche du temps perdu?).
I find it very surprising that many people have not read Brothers Karamazov or War and Peace or even Catch 22!
Far, far too many people have not read one of the greatest novels written in English: The Golden Bowl
What is so very sad is that they read Atlas Shrugged instead….

@Promnight: Smaller, then. A slim volume that contains English prose so perfectly written that I burst into tears: Tillie Olsen’s Tell Me A Riddle (not just the story by that name, but the collection in which it appears).

We are so diverse that we are never going to agree on one book. How about a dedicated ongoing stinque culture thread that we put in our current undertakings or experiences in art, music, dance, theatre, etc. I do love how we mix it up on our dance floor, but it seems that we have a lot to say on art stuff from the helvetica movie to benny’s costumes over time, to rungay. I think that Michelle’s threads belong in politics, however.

@redmanlaw: And Michelle’s shoes, natch.

I’m intrigued by Ewalda‘s suggestion of a book that makes him burst into tears.

Keep going until noon Eastern time with your ideas and votes for others, kiddos. Then Cynica and I will confer and come upon a choice. And it may not be democratic, and you all love us, so *PLEASE* don’t be hurt if your suggestion isn’t picked for the June discussion/debate sans Blogenfreude.

P.S. But I feel like we should all start reading Infinite Jest on the side in honor of JNOV for discussion around Thanksgiving 2009.

@Promnight: Actually, Faulkner taught me how to read. Certainly couldn’t squeeze blood from William Carlos Williams’ turnips.

@SanFranLefty:
i agree with you about the classics we snoozed through hormone addled and hungover. i recently read the great gatsby, having had no appreciation a hundred years ago the first time.
it took quite some coaxing from shrinks to convince me that just because i wasn’t F. Scott Fitzgerald doesn’t mean i should start communicating by sign language.
he’s a maestro of words, blew me away.
i’ll read anything, see ya in the sandbox meeting, i’m in.

@Ewalda: In my estimation War and Peace is the great thrill ride of fiction. Particularly in the new translation by those people whose names I can never remember. Ditto Karenina. I’ve read the first three books of A la Recherche but can’t make it past that on account of the extreme worthlessness of the central characters. I usually don’t make value judgements on the people in fiction but it’s hard to read about the Guermantes as being anything other than figures of fun. I read my fill of James and missed Golden Bowl unfortunately. I might try again one of these days.

@Promnight: I refuse to believe anyone could read Finnegan for pleasure. I can’t stomach Ulysses either: I have a horror of that Oirish style, it makes my flesh creep.

Let’s not forget Nabokov. Lolita makes me laugh and cry: sometimes both together.

If you’re looking for suggestions might I point you towards the best unknown important woman writer of the 2nd half of cent 20? Christina Stead. Cyn will know The Man Who Loved Children but might I point you t’ward Letty Fox: Her Luck? Or, my favorite, Miss Herbert, the Suburban Wife? On second thought, they’re probably none of them in print. For classics, Hardy? Middlemarch?

Chekov’s stories? Or The Manuscript Found at Sargossa? Or Les Liaisons Dangereuse, most fab story ever. But I’ll read pretty much anything, so long as it doesn’t involve quirky cops investigating stuff. I’ll hold off on cracking Les Miserables. It looks like I’m not going to be able to read The Nine as I can’t stand the writing.

@Mistress Cynica: Sure – do it in the clubhouse – as if Flores and I could stop it (or want to).

@Benedick:
oh heart be still….
Les Liaisons Dangereuse, all time fave of mine too!!! xo

Whatever you choose, can you make sure there’s a Classics Illustrated version?

I must confess I have never read any of the Russians, War and Peace and Crime and Punishment appeal to me. So does Lolita, I love the movie from the 60s, and Ewalda’s Tell me a Riddle, maybe dip our toes with something short?

@Benedick:
don’t yell at me over this, but i saw “jersey boys” in miami.
i thought it was fantastic and i see you rolling your eyes even though it won the tony in ‘o6 for best musical.
i’m so starved for broadway musicals!
i WILL be in new york for west side story, where bloggie has promised to feed me, maybe you’ll meet us and we’ll all go see WSS !!!!

Just thinking of DFW made me go find this, from “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men:”

Pop Quiz # 4

Two late-stage terminal drug addicts sat up against an alley’s wall with nothing to inject and no means and nowhere to go or be. Only one had a coat. It was cold, and one of the terminal drug addicts’ teeth chattered and he sweated and shook with fever. He seemed gravely ill. He smelled very bad. He sat up against the wall with his head on his knees.

This took place in Cambridge MA in an alley behind the Commonwealth Aluminum Can Redemption Center on Massachusetts Avenue in the early hours of 12 January 1993. The terminal drug addict with the coat took off the coat and scooted over up close to the gravely ill terminal drug addict and took and spread the coat as far as it would go over the both of them and then scooted over some more and got himself pressed right up against him and put his arm around him and let him be sick on his arm, and they stayed like that up against the wall together all through the night.

Q.: Which one lived.

@baked: Just so long as you don’t go see “Wicked” – it’s been in SF for months and the commercials are on the radio every 5 minutes which cause me great distress.

@All: Good suggestions, keep ’em coming. If nothing else we’ll start a running list of options.

@Benedick: War and Peace . I’ve mentioned before that the “new” Pevear and Volokhonsky is a worthy successor to the beloved Maude translation I grew up with. I love them both, so maybe “adjunct” might be better than “successor”.
@SanFranLefty: Tillie Olsen’s writing has been picked to death by those who analyze the political, socio-economic, psychosexual, feminist, etc aspects of her work. That’s all secondary noise to me, because what those people miss is the sheer beauty and magic of her words. Tell Me A Riddle makes me burst into tears because the prose is absolutely perfectly wrought, each word a pearl that is ideally matched to the one before and the one after. It is the way I have always wished I could write. In some ways, it is the book that ended my own writing ambitions (pretensions?).
I’m not sure I can adequately convey how deeply I experience the book each time I read it. The words on the page are just beautiful.
Of course, YMMV, and I might just be a crackpot who sees beautiful word patterns, when what is actually written is crap.

@Ewalda: You will be sorry to hear that, according to Amazon, the only edition of “Tell Me” now in print is that story only in a book full of feminist lit crit essays. I like short stories, essays, and novellas for their tight, beautiful writing. In the best of them, each word seems to be carefully and perfectly chosen because there is room for rambling. They are like poetry in that sense.

@Mistress Cynica:
Try this LINK for used copies through Amazon.

@Ewalda: Mrs RML gave us her feminist insights last night as regards the Jean Grey/Phoenix character in X-Men 3: The Last Stand.

@redmanlaw: Yes, but where does she come down on the important issue of chicken cutlets? I’m sure there is a long thread about this over on the Jez.

@Nabisco:
I think it might have something to do with loaves and fishes or the holy hand grenade of Antioch.

“…And Pageant Judge raised the breast Implant up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this Thy breast Implant that with it Thou mayest show Thine cleavage, in Thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu… [At this point, the friar is urged by Brother Maynard to “skip a bit, brother”]… And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take select the Holy Size, then shalt thou order C, no more, no less. C shall be the cup size thou shalt make, and the size of the implant shall be C. D shalt thou not select, neither select thou B, excepting that thou then proceed to C. DD is right out. Once the size C, being the “perfect” size, be healed, then heavest thou thy Holy Cleavage towards thy pageant judge, who being naughty in my sight, shall gawk at them.” Amen.”

@Nabisco: Chicken cutlets? Oy vey.

@Ewalda: @Mistress Cynica: Also check your local library, though then Nojo won’t get the kickbacks on the purchases.

@ManchuCandidate: I heard Guy LaFluer is going down hard for lying in his son’s probation hearing, maybe like 14 years. How many is that in US American?

@redmanlaw:
Depends on the Quebecois Hockey Discount which is the same as regular judicial sports discounts.

Seriously, the son is an utter douchesack and a potential poster child against inherited wealth.

@Nabisco: Genius! I mean, apart from the sliminess.

@SanFranLefty: I gave Nojo a nice kickback from Amazon when I bought a new laptop on Saturday.

@Nabisco: You had to link to a post with a picture of that bony fake-looking freak, didn’t you?

@redmanlaw:
So, the wine was flowing pretty good last night, then?

@Ewalda: Whoa. That probably doubles our total revenues in one shot. Beer run!

@Nabisco: Nice to see we are finally taking pageants seriously, the way they do in Argentina. But she is so unattractive, the skinny thing.

@nojo: I am glad Ewalda reminded me, I am determined to have one of these new reader thingies, I will remember to use your amazon link.

@nojo: I bought the new Dylan disc (good, but not great – yet) and a pair of speakers for the home office ‘puter. Total purchase about $30. Feed the birds, Nojo!

@mellbell: I just can’t believe the pageant person could mention the use of chicken cutlets as the preferred method of enhancement and as a defense against the sure-we-bought-the-falsies admission. Does PETA know about this? Or Frank Purdue, for that matter?

@Nabisco: Feed the birds, Nojo!

Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.

@Ewalda: Nah, just the everyday stuff around the house. I did have a martini later, though. And thanks for the tip – I just ordered Mrs RML an adamantium cased Mac Book for Mother’s Day, our 14th anniversary, Cinco de Mayo, Earth Day, half of Christmas, Kwaanzaa, etc.. . . shhhh.

Beats pearls, I guess.

(Yes, Cyn. I know. A lady should get both. )

@nojo: I always wanted to laugh so hard I floated up to the ceiling.

@Nabisco: Me too! And arriving home from the movie, I actually tried.

Not that I have time to participate in a book club (he said, coming late to the party), but I’d recommend The Enormous Room by ee cummings. Most people have no idea he wrote prose, but there it is. It’s a cubist memoir of his experiences as a French POW in WWI. I hadn’t known prose could be cubist until I read it.

@redmanlaw: I think a laptop has the most important quality that women have always treasured in jewelry: Portable Valuable Property.

@Mistress Cynica: She cried when I told her, and Nojo can get some chips and salsa to go along with the beer from Ewalda’s new machine.

@redmanlaw: Looks like I owe everyone a couple rounds when they visit Sandy Eggo.

And, for the MacBook, free maintenance.

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