Where The Wild Things Are

November 29, 2008

where-the-wild-things-areI must have a nostalgia addiction, because every time I go back home, I inevitably find myself going through all my old stuff—books, toys, photos, ticket stubs—and reminiscing about the good ole days. I also always find a few knick knacks that I bring back with me that I’ll never actually use. This time I dug up a pair of Crest sunglasses the color of toothpaste. Where the hell do you even get something like that?

One thing I found that I’m totally jazzed about is Where The Wild Things Are, the children’s book to end all children’s books by Maurice Sendak. When I used to read this story as a little dude, I would immerse myself in the character of Max and get lost in the vivid illustrations. It’s sad, but as people get older, their imaginations dissipate. It’s a natural byproduct of the trappings of adulthood—getting a job, making money, settling down, blah de blah blah blah. I think that’s bullshit. People should be encouraged to maintain an imagination, if only as a way to keep one’s sanity. I’m not saying we should all jump into cardboard boxes and act like astronauts, but pick up a book like Where The Wild Things Are and get lost in it for 10 minutes. It might change your day.

PS—As I’m sure many are aware, there’s a film version of the book by my man Spike Jonze slated for October 2009 release. Apparently it’s been pushed back several times due to disagreements over the filming process (obviously) but let’s keep our fingers crossed that this actually sees the light of day…read more at the film’s website HERE.

Frog and Toad

September 25, 2008

Does anyone remember the children’s books Frog and Toad? Man I used to love that shit. Frog and Toad was a series of children’s books by Arnold Lobel originally published in the 1970s based on the adventures of, you guessed it, Frog and his friend Toad. Each book contained a collection of short stories revolving around a central message or value. The illustrations are sweet—albeit a bit trippy—and the stories teach kids (and adults for that matter) the importance of friendship, acceptance, patience, amongst other lessons. Maybe that’s what the world needs right now: story time with Frog and Toad, some cookies and milk and a nap. Check out the photo above, don’t those dudes look happy? Their clothes are so fresh too.

Just a quick addition to vanillahead’s previous post, my personal favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is:

A great site that indexes every comic strip is at http://www.transmogrifier.org/ch/strips/index. Enjoy.

The Great Gatsby

April 22, 2008

So much has been written about this novel in the eighty or so years since its initial publication that it seems superfluous that I should even mention it in a blog. The reason I do, is that I read it for the first time last month. That’s right, in my twenty-plus years of schooling, I never read The Great Gatsby. I think I (my parents) deserve a refund.

The reason Fitzgerald’s masterpiece is deemed as such is that it is timeless. The central concepts of decadence, unadulterated materialism and the immorality that often accompanies them have existed and will continue to exist in every generation. In this way, I feel as though I couldn’t have chosen a better time in my life to pick it up.

As a twenty-something living in New York City I completely identify with protagonist Nick Carraway. Like Nick, who lives in a modest shack relative to Gatsby’s palatial residence, I live in a relatively affordable apartment with four friends. Like Nick, I’ve made acquaintances with people who use the word “summer” as a verb, play polo and go for drinks at The Plaza (and who doesn’t know a rich, arrogant douche like Tom Buchanan).

Yet as much as I loathe that lifestyle and despise many of the personalities associated with it, I can’t help but be intrigued and shamefully suppress jealous impulses. I think it is out of this contemptuous curiosity that Nick casually partakes in Gatsby’s lavish parties. Who wouldn’t want to lounge on a beach-front patio in a linen suit sipping Mimosas and listening to jazz? Fitzgerald depicts such scenes so effortlessly that you can almost smell the expensive cigars and feel the cool summer breeze through starch white curtains.

A part of me wishes I could afford to live like that, but it only takes a second to snap back and realize that it’s just not me. So excuse me while I grab a 40, sit on the couch and shoot the shit with my buddies.