Saturday, October 08, 2005
BY DEBORAH S. MORRIS
October 8, 2005
A Queens auto body shop mechanic found a wild surprise on his way home from work last week -- two baby alligators abandoned in a tank dumped in the back of a decrepit car.
"His car was parked nearby and he saw them and brought them home," Hector Cepeda, whose roommate found the two alligators in Brooklyn, said Friday. "They were in a dry tank with no food or nothing."
Darain Housen shows off his 'hairy hat'. - NORMAN GRINDLEY
DARAIN HOUSEN HAS not taken off his hat for the last 20 years. He bathes, he sleeps and does everything possible in it. It is a perfect fit.
But unlike other hats, his is not made of cloth but from the very hair on his head which is why it cannot be removed.
Housen has been sporting his 'natural hat' hairstyle for the last 20 years. The 40-year-old barber who lives in Somerset, St. Thomas said he came up with the idea after some of his friends decided to wear hats to a party but he could not find one to wear.
"Mi an dem fi go a di party but di three of them had caps an' mi had none so mi get two mirror one behind mi and di other in front of mi an' mi trim mi hair like a cap an' go a di dance," said Housen.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I'd heard from one inveterate moviegoer that this was a really good thriller. I don't agree. I thought it was okay, maybe about a C. You know the story, right? Jodie Foster's on this big plane, and her six-year-old daughter disappears. Or does she? Jodie seems to be the only one aboard who's actually seen the kid, and Jodie's been under a lot of stress lately, what with the recent death of her husband and all. So maybe she's just nuts. We in the audience know better of course, because she's Jodie Foster. No way is she nuts. Naturally we wonder what the heck's going on, and the search for the kid begins. Luckily Jodie is jet-propulsion engineer and knows all about the plane, including a bunch of stuff you wouldn't think would be important to an engineer. I won't say any more about the plot except to mention that there are several things that struck me as highly unlikely if not totally implausible. But in this kind of movie, you expect that kind of thing.
A 25-year-old woman in Melbourne, Fla., was treated at a hospital Thursday after an alligator jumped out of the water and bit her hand as she tried to feed it by hand, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release.
The 3-foot alligator bit Danielle Rivera, of Palm Bay, Fla., Thursday afternoon at Crane's Creek in downtown Melbourne.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
But about Blonde Lightning. It's a sequel to Earthquak Weather, which I mentioned a while back. Like that book, Blonde Lightning could be called a crime novel, but it's also a book about Hollywood, about how a low-budget movie gets made, about friendship, about relationships, about life and death and chance. (I even suspect there's a Conway Twitty fixation lurking in there somewhere, but I can't find the Harold Jenkins reference again, so I could be wrong. I'm not wrong about the Twitty part, though.) Anyway there's a lot going on.
The narrator is once again Mark Hayes, who's not really a very nice guy. You kind of forgive him because all he really wants to do is make movies, and he keeps getting dragged into things by Clyde McCoy, the writer who plays a prominent part in Earthquake Weather. Clyde wants to make movies, too, but he has even fewer principles than Mark. Their relationship is at the heart of the novel, and I was reminded a little bit of The Long Good-Bye (the Altman movie version more than the Chandler novel). Hayes isn't great at relationships, and it's no surprise that the ones he's involved in never end well. Hayes is a survivor, however, as he proved in the earlier book. He'll do what it takes to get by, even if it's something he'd really rather not be involved in. His ethics are his own, as someone once said, and they're flexible.
I liked Earthquake Weather quite a bit, and Blonde Lightning is just as good. Maybe better. You should read them both, in the proper order. So go get started.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The American Veterans in Domestic Defense will have rallies Saturday at six of the Montgomery County Library branches.
"These libraries have become polluted with written and pictorial pornography at the expense of quality literature," said spokesman Jim Cabaniss, a resident of The Woodlands. "For several years now the people in Montgomery County have complained about this decadence to the proper authorities with little or no results."
"We're not going to burn books but we're going to cut them up," he said. There are 70 specific books they are complaining about.
Thanks to Jeff Meyerson, here's a link to a great article filled with advice for my homie, Anna Nicole Smith, the most famous person ever to live in Mexia, Texas. She was a student at Mexia High School for a couple of years, and she was in a biology class taught by my brother. Now, he's living out a quiet retirement in Point Enterprise, Texas (not even on Google Maps), while Anna Nicole, who probably doesn't remember a single thing about biology (well, the way it was taught in that class, anyway) is in the headlines, on the TV screens, and generally being famous. It all goes to show what a good teacher can do for your career.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Not that this is really a Gold Medal book. Gold Medal writers went in for linear story-telling, and Sallis doesn't, not here. His style is a bit different, but it's just as rewarding, and the book is full of references to movies, books, even opera.
Drive is the story of a man called Driver. He says that's all he does. His day job is doing stunt driving in the movies. He moonlights as a getaway driver for robbers. He's very good at both jobs, and, as we discover in the course of the book, he's good at a few other things as well. The plot is a classic one: after a job, Driver is stuck with a pile of money that isn't his. Somebody wants it back. In this case, Driver wants that somebody to have the money, and it's returned. Things don't end there, however. That's just the beginning. We learn about all of this in bits and pieces, and not in chronological order. Mixed in with that story are other stories, about Driver's job in the movies, about his early life, about some of the people he knows. There's even a cat. It's all very fine stuff, indeed.
Apparently the Big Name publishers wouldn't touch this book because of its length. Poisoned Pen took a chance, and it's paid off with rave reviews and even some Hollywood interest. I hope the book sells as well as it deserves to because it proves what we Gold Medal readers already knew: a book doesn't have to be 400 pages long to be awfully damned good.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Click the link to see a picture of the car. Very cool.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
At a lot of conventions I've been on panels about the fact that young people don't seem to be reading much SF these days. My theory about this is simple. They're not reading SF because there are no more magazines like Science Fiction Adventures. Today's SF mags are aimed at a more "mature" audience. The stories are no doubt more "literary" than the ones of my youth, but they don't have the same kind of appeal. (And you sure don't see covers like the ones on SFA any more.) It's no wonder that kids coming to SF now are more likely to come by way of gaming, TV, or movies. And it's no wonder that tie-in novels are more popular than the kind of SF that gets praised in reviews and printed in the magazines.