Who Has to Croak for Me to Get Some Sales Around Here?

Happy Magic Realism Day!Title: “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Rank: 1

Blurb: “Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive.”

Review: “Hats off to those who could finish it. I, unfortunately, could not.”

Customers Also Bought: Everything else they ignored in College Lit.

Footnote: Also #14, #20, #30, and #40. Watch yer back, Frozen tie-ins.

One Hundred Years of Solitude [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

74 Comments

Lovely book. Shivery.

In other news, the bear is back. The bird feeders were rescued at 3 a.m. by the boxer doing her imitation of Lesley Caron in the climactic ballet of An American in Paris – that stiff-legged step they do endlessly as your life passes before your eyes – while going woo-woo-woo with her back hair up. Didn’t see the bear but did hear him making off.

Today in boring pedantry: Also just found out (it had been troubling me) that children roll painted hard-boiled eggs on the White House lawn in tribute to the Germanic dawn-goddess Ēostre. More can be found here.

For God’s sake nobody tell Fox News.

I remember doing a diagram to keep track of Aurelianos. The Garcia Marquez that sticks with me is Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Very short–you can read it in a couple of hours–but so incredibly vivid.

@Mistress Cynica: What’s the one in one paragraph? Autumn of the General? I can’t remember. Whatever it is it’s the one book of his I couldn’t get through. The opening of Love in a Time of Cholera is very fine, I think, with the man dead beside his dog and the room scented with bitter almond.

Tens of thousands of frat boys, drunk high school kids from Walnut Creek, and drug dealers are in Golden Gate Park today for 4/20. Our neighborhood is already overrun with them parking their cars and walking to the Haight. Mr. SFL and I are discussing the odds that someone gets shot this year. Dept of Parking and Transportation will have a field day ticketing all the cars driven by people from Stockton who don’t know how to curb their wheels when parking on a hill, or don’t know how to read No Parking signs.

Yes, I’m pissy. My car was broken into last night for the 6th time in a year. Asshats tried to steal it but succeeded in breaking off a shiv in the ignition. Turns out locksmiths want to charge a premium on Easter Sunday.

@SanFranLefty: That’s terrible. Sorry.

Both of our lovely cities are completely filled with fucking thieves. You go to shut your window at night and it’ll slam down on some jerk’s fingers.

@SanFranLefty: Wow. Easter Sunday is what.. locksmith rip-off day? I’m remembering a time – not Eostre’s festival so no bunnies were harmed – when the hub was supposed to pick me up at the stage door, thrusting aside the fans, to drive us North. Only he got to the car to find that the tyres were slashed. It’s horrible. One thinks that SF is above this crap on account of the gay but it seems not.

As to parking you’re on your own.

@¡Andrew!: Your city is probably filled with more than its share of 4/20 celebrants.

The good news is that Mr. SFL has the patience, fine motor skills in his hands, and laser-corrected vision that he managed to pull the broken piece of metal out of the ignition after 45 minutes of using a variety of tiny screwdrivers and pliers from the eyeglass repair kit. Since he saved me a couple hundred bucks on a locksmith, I bought him lunch.

@SanFranLefty: Since he saved me a couple hundred bucks on a locksmith, I…

…was expecting that to go someplace else.

@nojo: The night is young.

Meanwhile, the Stinque fashionistas will appreciate the Obama’s Easter ensembles.

@SanFranLefty: Dude.

@¡Andrew!: We shoot you first in Slaughter.

“Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?”

@Benedick: tyres? You do that shit on purpose.

Next you’ll be bullshitting me with fyres and bryres.

@JNOV: I can put up with ‘laying’ down, going ‘around’ the corner, even capitalizing days of the week and writing ‘toward’ but imma gonna needa hang onna few coreect spellings: tyres, cheques, storeys, assless chaps.

@SanFranLefty: Seems you married a straight man: congrats.

@JNOV: Mohammed Ali went to jail too. Think those were just coincidences?

@blogenfreude: Ummmm – guessing Honda Civic?. Bitch.

@Benedick: laying down something you’re holding? Yes. Laying yourself down? NONONONONO!

How do you pronounce “cheques”? Because if you pronounce it like “Czech,” you should spell it like “check,” because that makes perfect sense.

@Dodgerblue: Exactly.

@Benedick: Don’t let you gob write a cheque(s?) that your arse can’t cache.

Back to the topic at hand, Salman Rushdie has a great tribute to Garcia Marquez.

@blogenfreude: Good guess, but no. Saturn sedan. The cop told me that Civics and Saturns are the easiest to break into because apparently there are only two permutations of the manual key. My neighbor up the hill said his Civic was stolen a couple of years ago by someone using a master key. Car was found on the other side of town the next morning, master key still in the ignition.

And let’s not forget his translator, Edith Grossman, who translated everything from Love in the time… onwards. There are a few outrages in the linqued piece, not the least of which is that it’s at the Washington Post, but it won’t turn you gay or anything.

The English in his novels can be conspicuously, sometimes self-consciously, baroque but I am not one of those who insists that a sentence can only be five words long because sometimes the thought will take the writer into places she didn’t expect to go: once encountered, labyrinths can open unexpectedly on sunlit meadows where, on a fine crisp morning one October some years ago a dog barked as the stranger approached and it was seen that the pear tree planted by Aurelia Juliana to mark her sixteenth birthday had split, revealing a fissure between its two upright…

Wait. What?

@Benedick: Journalism’s rule of short sentences was practical: Stories had to literally, physically be trimmed to fit space, and short sentences were easier to cut.

Why anybody else would do it is solely a matter of style.

Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) is the first rule of legal brief-writing, closely followed by Show, Don’t Tell. When I tell young lawyers “make it sing” they generally don’t know WTF I am talking about.

@Dodgerblue: I once had to tell an attorney that the sentence “Plaintiff’s tears have a distinctly crocodilian flavor” was not appropriate for his 10th Circuit brief.

@Mistress Cynica: Thank god. Opposing counsel might have whipped out his cane on that one.

@nojo: Who’s OP? I know who SCP is….

@Mistress Cynica: But what if he had written the shorter “Plaintiff’s crocodilian tears” instead?

@Dodgerblue: I try to minimize the words and narrative. I’m a big fan of using photos in briefs. Thousand words, such as, and then some. It’s really not done as much as it should be, and it’s been extremely effective when I’ve done it (or seen it done by others). Also charts, especially for mind-numbing discovery disputes.

@SanFranLefty: Same guy had to have it explained to him that four pages without a paragraph break was not OK unless his name was William Faulkner.

I’ve forgotten how to read.

I once walked off the end of a jetty into a canal because I was reading as I walked. My mother watched me do it – but that’s another story. I used to walk 20 mins from Sidcup train station home reading as I walked. Now after months of trying I can’t complete Lord Jim. A book that in my early 20s I read twice and adored. Adored. Adored!! At that time I read all of Conrad’s novels. Gulped them down. Now I can’t get past the incompetence of the structure regarding Marlowe. I mean first, the reader wants to drop kick him in the head – is he the most annoying narrator in fiction or what? And the whole incompetence of the story telling cuts me to the quick. And then it’s shot through with thunderbolts of talent and plus maritime lore. I can’t remember if Marlowe persists through the imaginary ‘native’ nation finale that makes one one go boo hoo while expelling snot as the book falls helplessly to the floor when Jim becomes Tuan. I’m praying on the altar of the Holy Pug that he doesn’t. Trouble is, technically speaking, third person is a lot more trouble to pul off than first – as the actress said to the bishop.

But it’s distressing. Is it the iPad? Is it that I’m old and don’t respond as I used to do? What next? I hang up my assless chaps, cancel my account on Craig’s List M4M, and buy a pair of Birks?

I’m hoping that Catt can offer guidance. From his own experience. Of the old.

@Benedick: I find my patience declining for anything that lacks wizards and dragons.

@Benedick: You need to take your pills. Really. I’m serious about that.

Do you even take pills? I’m at a loss… And since you asked, yes. Yes, it is totally because you are old. That’s it exactly. You are older than me and that will always be true even if it isn’t relevant. Don’t cancel your man-sex account though, the only true thing in life is that there is always someone as hard up as you are. And that’s magic time, my friend. MAGIC TIME.

In other news, I’m drunk again. Where the fuck is Jnov? She understands me.

@Mistress Cynica: you never did answer me, hon. How much would a book bound in human flesh fetch on the market these days?

@Benedick: And it’s “lying down”, goddam it. How many times do I have to tell you?

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: Sorry, I guess I missed that. It would depend on the age (of the binding, not the supplier of the skin, although I suppose that could also be a factor; see, e.g., uterine vellum), the skill of the binder, and to some extents the contents. In general the ick/Nazi factor would keep prices down in respectable auction houses. I wouldn’t expect a 19th/20th century binding of human skin to fetch more than $10-12K. Now a 16th century human skin binding on a copy of Malleus Maleficarum? Katy bar the door.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: I am young at heart. And I do not know the meaning of bitterness. Unlike some.

Today is mandatory sexual harassment training day at my outfit. I think that, by now, I understand this topic pretty well, and I only tell off-color jokes to a select few, for example everyone here.

@Dodgerblue: So it’s a how-to session? Do you get CLE for that?

@nojo: We could watch an episode of “Mad Men” with the admonition not to do any of what we see.

@Dodgerblue: But it always works! Except for Pete.

@Benedick: Oh, I’m only bitter on Tuesdays. The rest of the week I am a joy to be around. Really.

And I only tease you because I am immensely fond of you, and somewhat jealous as well. But don’t tell anyone, I’ll never admit I said it.

@Mistress Cynica: I read some puff piece on Harvard having three such books in their special collection. I guess it is not as icky as it sounds, most books of that type are medical texts bound with what was handy, which in the case of Renaissance doctors was dead humans. Torturers too, which is why you find law books bound in it.

@Dodgerblue: I read that quickly and thought you were enjoying mandatory sexual harassment so naturally I’m all like let me slip into something less restrictive. As the bishop said to the actress.

Good news everyone. Last night I finally broke through the sphincter of the damn plot and was treated to a stunningly well-told scene. Today I had to be at doctors offices and then in a restaurant and so had a chance to read more and have re-entered the fable that I remembered. I’d forgotten that it was originally run as a serial at Blackwood’s hence the front-loading of endless repetitions. But really, when it was bookized couldn’t some editor have taken Mr Conrad to The Café Royal, put a gin and tonic in his hand and said:

Nigel, you don’t mind if I call you Nigel do you? I call all my writers Nigel. I find it’s easier to remember.

About the repetitions. Nigel, darling, might I suggest a few teeny-tiny cutty-wutts? Only the boring stuff. Not about Jim’s manliness. While we’re on that subject did it ever occur to you to engage your hero, who seems an upright sort of muscular chap, to take on some supple, oiled, near-naked native boy in a wrestling match? No? One only brings it up on account of one’s classical education. Band of Thebes and such.

What about some oysters? Do say yes. Then I think perhaps sôle Douvres véronique, poulet estragon, pommes soufflé, poire belles helène, salade bâtarde… Nothing too heavy. One must return to one’s office. Nose to the grindstone and all that. Where was I?

Oh good God! Oh look there’s Binky. Pretend you don’t see. Oh I say, Binky! Didn’t se you there. Do come and meet this most divine Polish chappie. Nigel. He’s most awfully rugged. Bites the corks off bottles of Moêt. Incorrigible. Oh now I say, Binky, that’s a most awfully shallow observation. I have no idea about his needs for a jock strap. Though I’m pretty sure it must needs be ample.

Mr… Nigel here – it’s an old family name; before the revolution they owned practically everything east of Prague – what do you mean what revolution? The revolution – good Lord, anyhow Nigel here has written the most divine book about chaps and poofs. What do you mean, what kind of poofs? Nautical poofs. God, I’d kill for a gin. How about you, Nigel? Well this is what I call a productive luncheon. Mummy will be pleased.

I understand why he made this structure – the great conundrum of fiction is: who is telling this fucking story and to whom – so it could refract the hero’s story – Lord Jim – through the eyes of a man who’s seen too much and is afraid any more to believe. But he saddles it with a framing scene on a verandah that has Marlowe telling the story to a bunch drunks who seem to sit through about eight hours straight of yappity yap without even a pee break that has not the slightest even hint or whiff, if you will, of credibility. And it makes all kinds of mischief with the structure. But nevertheless, the story has come blazing back to life and had me weeping in my veggie wrap. Always a good sign. I know you were all concerned so I wanted to take the earliest opportunity to tell you:

You may sleep tonight. Fiction is Safe.

@Dodgerblue: Yesterday I thought that I was finally gonna get fired from my white collar sweatshop job–oh, sweet release!–only to learn that not only am I not fired, but they’re putting me in charge of another critical firm-wide project that launches next week because of my great work on a similar project earlier this year. SonovaBITCH! At this point, I’m gonna have to march right into my boss’s office, slap my balls on his desk and order him to suck ’em. Please, please, please tell me that I’ll get fired for the seckshal harrassments.

@Benedick: And English was his 3rd language, no? After Polish and Frog.

@¡Andrew!: Uh, it has to be non-consensual. I’m not aware of your boss’ interests vis-a-vis balls.

@¡Andrew!: Darling. You need to make more scenes.

@¡Andrew!: Think about it — what if he says “Darling! I thought you’d never ask!” Then you are stuck with a shittly job AND a boss who thinks he can lick your nutsack any damn time he wants. Pretty inconvenient, particularly with that big project coming up. Like, you’re late to a meeting and the copier’s broken and your boss comes up to you, and there you are! Stuck for another 15 or 20 minutes while this guy toungebathes your boy-jubblies. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

You need to be creative. Crap in someone else’s cube and blame it on the CEO. Bring an iguana to work in a little three-piece-suit. Surf for porn in your underwear wearing a Regan mask. You can DO this Andrew, we believe in you!

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: I do, actually. I love it. I was horrified as I began to reread it after all these years finding myself doubting my brilliance as a teenager. But now I realize that of course I wasn’t wrong. I have always been right. I actually think it’s a beautiful story hampered by a too literal framing. But that intrudes less as it goes on (and as, perhaps, the author forgets to keep it going) and there’s a wonderful Saga-esque quality to it inasmuch as characters appear, and then we follow their stories, then they go away never to reappear, all of it looping back to Jim. He has no surname: in the course of the story he will go from clueless, to outcast, to lord. Conrad pulls off a very mystifying effect: the more we know about Jim, the more unknowable he becomes. I highly recommend it. I’m actually re-reading it now as a research project and to find that it can still make me throb has been a charm.

I can hardly wait to get to Patusan.

Andrew, darling, we all love Catt in all his aspects. He’s one of our treasured elder gays. Bless him, he knows the lyrics to Native New Yorker. But as to the advice, though we’d all love to see the balls on desk video, one must caution that unless one is fired by end of contract or caprice of boss, said boss can claim just cause which means your unemployment payments are fucked. Just saying.

I underestimated my male kitten’s ability to launch into the sky like Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes.

I came home to a sad cat with matted and missing hair around his neck and on his legs and stomach. He was sticky, so I did what most normal people do: I read the instructions on the package about how to remove the non-toxic flypaper glue if it becomes stuck on your hands. The answer is soap and water.

He chilled on my lap while I lathered him with a soapy washcloth, but he wasn’t too keen on being rinsed. He was still tacky, so I threw some vit-ah-men E on that guy. He still looks pitiful.

Then the Revelation: This soap and water trick assumes that your hands are virtually fur-free, unless you’re ‘Catt with the palm issues. So, I did what any normal person would do: I Googled “How to remove flypaper glue…” and “from cat hair” self-populated. I was no longer the lone idiot with the ridiculous issue.

This person shared my pain:

My kitty is sticky.

Please help me remove glue from a cat with luxurious long fur. Complication: she reacts violently to human touch.

An infestation of drain flies led to the deployment of one of these glue-stick traps, which worked wonderfully well until the cat got stuck to it.

Mina is a lovely long-haired black cat, in the foreground here and looking appropriately hunterly here. I stole her out of an alley when she was three weeks old, and had to bottle-feed her. She’s a nasty little feral hellspawn who loathes human contact. I am the only person who can handle her without risk of injury — and even then, I get bitten a fair amount.

The trap got stuck to her belly and the right side of her head. It came off without much of a problem, but now the fur on her belly and along the side of her head (including the ear and whiskers on the right side) is very sticky, with bits of dust and paper and things stuck to her.

It took rubbing alcohol to get the glue off my skin. How do I get it off the cat? Is there a magic cat-unstickying soap? Should I tie her down and shave her belly? Please [help] me… and my evil man-eating vicious hateful killer sticky cat.

I’m going to let him take care of it rather than do anything people recommended to OP. I just hope he doesn’t get stuck to the wall or something.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: I do, and that doesn’t frighten me for some reason.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: Yup – read the same thing. I think Hahhhhvahhhhd tries to keep them hidden.

@Benedick & @Tommmcatt: Gracias, amigos. You’re right, of course. Ideally, he’d be outraged and fire me on the spot, but with my luck he’d suddenly develop an uncontrollable urge for huevos magníficos, and then I’d really be screwed. I’ll have to resort to more subtle ways of freeing myself.

It’s a little early for Stinque After Dark, but… Facebook just suggested a post for me from a group called Hayampos Animal with the opening line “how to training dong?” A vexing question, indeed, and one I’m sure that many of our Y-chromosomed Stinquers have pondered over the years.

Fetch! Sit! Speak!

Nope. Only thing that works is “Walkies!”

Also, I strongly advise against the Cone of Shame.

@mellbell: Just watch out when dong goes blort. As per the BeeGees #1 hit: Don’t Get Semen In Your Eye.

Because I’m generous, I’ll let somebody else riff on Cesar Millan.

@nojo: Didn’t he leave his wife for some dong?

@Dodgerblue: Made me look…

Divorced, alimony, new funbags.

My , what mischief y’all get up to on a Garcia Marquez post. I always enjoyed the description of the enormous testicle, in Spanish, from “Autumn of the Patriarch”.

But then I also suffered a mild TBI on Sunday. Wait, can something traumatic also be mild?

/crawls back into bed/

@Beggars Biscuit: Ohh, feel better. I understand that a brain is pretty important.

@¡Andrew!: I liked the crapping in a neighbor’s cube thing. You should give that a whirl.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: Just cause. Reminds me of an incident in a show I was in that became known as dance belt gate.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: You must get me drunk some night – shouldn’t be hard, as the actress said to the bishop – and I’ll tell you all about it. Yes, it does involve dancing boys.

Swinging by to say hi. Writing a litigation plan and budget tonight then it’s off to the homeland of John the Savage of Brave New World tomorrow.

@redmanlaw: Hey, you! Was listening to Master of Puppets and wondered how you are.

@redmanlaw: Local Planning Commission went bazonkers today on a project that my outfit supports. It was funny to watch the deputy City Atty try to tell them that their plan was flat-out illegal without saying so.

Now watching the Lefties run the Cynicas out of Texas. While in hardball, the Lefties are playing my boys tonight.

Google Play Movies. Netflix might have to go.

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