Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You're The Man Now, Slumdog

Floyd (whose own blog can be accessed through the sidebar at the right) and I spent a good hour chatting on Facebook Sunday night. As you already know, when we get together to instant message, amazing things happen. Our lightly edited chat transcript, which contains MAJOR SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE SPOILERS, is below. If you haven't seen Slumdog, think twice before reading on.

One final point of clarification. There's a running joke among my friends about the titles of our future biographies. It started during a Milwaukee road trip, when Floyd said, "I don't see what the big deal about necrophilia is. It's a victimless crime." Jack Serpentine then suggested that Floyd's biography be titled "Necrophilia: Who's the Victim? The Floyd Masterson Story". From that point forward, we've added "The ___ ___ Story" to friends' hilarious quotes. You'll see a mediocre example below.

Floyd's text is on the left. Mine is on the right.

* * *

Why would anyone want to watch Revolutionary Road? It's like attending somebody else's marriage counseling.


read the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes
it's exactly what I figured it was
just two hours of arguing and angst
it's like what would have happened to Leo and Kate if Leo had survived the Titanic

I don't know what to believe
have you seen Slumdog?

excellent movie
highly recommended

I saw it too

did you like it?

but don't understand the hubbub
Good, not outstanding

I just think it's one of those rare movies that EVERYBODY should enjoy
and I really like Danny Boyle's directing

well, I bring it up because of the Titanic reference

no, Titanic sucked - it was female fantasy set in man-made disaster

those are both 2 leads that clearly are not in REAL LOVE
and will break up in less than a year

maybe - but that chick is damaged goods by the time the Slumdog gets her

that chick would dump Indian Big Ears after a month

I don't think she has many other options, even though she's really hot
Indian culture values virgins

the Floyd Masterson story

and I liked the setup - a crappy game show sets up flashbacks that tell a socially important story
fairly unique, and I think they pulled it off really well

minor point, but...
how did he get on the show?

you know, I thought they revealed that, but it was when I went to the bathroom

I mean, are we just supposed to believe they accept the first caller?
They showed that he knew how to call in, but don't they require some kind of proving rounds?
and then, once in studio, a play-in challenge?

no idea - India's a strange place
maybe they figured it'd just be fun to show how stupid slumdogs are

I find it hard to believe
that a country with a billion people
lets any jackass with a mobile phone

I believe it - I've seen Americans miss the first question, where they literally give you the answer
it's just fate, Dan
that movie is all about fate
that girl was destined to become a child prostitute
despite the slumdog's best efforst
and his brother was destined to live a terrible, hateful life until he dies in a bathtub full of money

let's talk about the brother
he could have killed that guy pretty easily without his bathtub trick
everybody's watching TV

I think he wanted his death to be symbolic
he had to die, for what he did to his brother and the woman he loved

and he walks up behind him, POP POP POP, he's dead, and the bodyguards are dead

yeah, but he wanted to die

murder suicide

and now I can't die in a bathtub full of money, as I had planned, because now I'll be accused of imitating SM

where did all that cash come from?


didn't he lock himself in the bathroom right after letting her go?

he's a drug dealer - they always have lots of cash - I've seen it in person

on your block

yes, outside the Chinese restaurant
there's a bar across the street called 95 South
I'm convinced it's a drug front
and not just because black people go there

because black and chinese people go

actually, very few Chinese in the neighborhood
mostly Caribbean folk
and Hasidic Jews, and hipsters
and a weird amount of dentists
there's a store nearby I found a couple days ago
it's a barber shop that also sells phone cards

phone cards are still huge

especially in my neighborhood
I'm pretty sure it's the No. 1 scam in Crown Heights
my roommate uses a phone card still
but she's from Toronto


I hung out with Lindsey, Dave and Adrienne last night
Adrienne made us watch Amelie
that movie made me want to hurt something cute and helpless

that movie started OK and dragged
and dragged
until I didn't give a shit if she found love



ugh - I kind of hated most of it - why were we supposed to cheer for Amelie?
or for annoying cute French girls that leave annoying clues for annoying porn shop workers
the movie was just SO FRENCH
did it really need an accordion soundtrack? Did we not get it was set in Paris already, with the artists and the vivid descriptions of food?

and all the bagettes about?

I'm getting Dr. Strangelove and Forgetting Sarah Marshall next from Netflix
I haven't seen either

Strangelove was much funnier than I anticipated
they both were, really

I'm ready for a comedy
man, I miss Rock Band
I'm trying to find people that can go out on a Tuesday night
there's Rock Band karaoke at a bar here, they have a really nice setup

that one lounge that had Rock Band here closed

not surprising

the dream is dead

that place is a black hole

but there are THREE hookah bars here now
fucking Slumdog influence

those things are overrated
as are hookahs
to me it's like the Maxim of smoking
be a man and buy a Playboy/cigarettes

I like how real slumdogs are insulted over the film title


oh yeah. there's some protests

that's awesome

portraying India in a bad light
"All you ever talk about is our slums"
that sort of thing
you know, because the slums aren't that big of a deal

which is worse than before, where Americans thought India was all call centers?

we should make a movie about India's pretty colors, and spicy cuisine

right, only about 3/4 of India's population lives in the slums, right?

yeah, only 750 million or so.

well, I can see why they're upset
the question I left Slumdog was: how much would I pay to take shit?
take a shit

both questions are good ones
a park in Chile had pay restrooms
it was only chump change

also, it left me with the option that, if I can't find legit work here in NYC, I can start giving bullshit tours in Midtown to stupid tourists

like what TJ does at the zoo?
"that bird can hold over 10 gallons of water in its beak"

right, a lot like Teej
I'm kind of surprised we don't have pay toilets here
I'm also a bit surprised there aren't more children running around covered in feces

I think the feces kids are just where you aren't
the bronx


get it?

I get it

I'd fit right in up there

Jersey is like the Mumbai of America
except instead of feces, the youths are slathered in hair gel and aftershave


so the kid knew about Samuel Colt from his brother...
where did his brother learn about him?

from his gangster friends, I assume
everybody knows the gun is called a Colt
also, colt is a delicacy in India
because they don't eat cows, you know

right. gotcha.

there was a urine-soaked hobo on my train home last night
he was asleep - I was the only person that sat in his half of the train
I switched trains pretty quicky
he smelled really bad

uh huh. cause of the pee pee

I did see a cop in the station look at him, sigh, and just move on
you know, if Guiliani were still mayor, that shit wouldn't fly
that hobo would have gotten dumped in the tracks
fucking slumdogs


you know, there's a part of me that wants to see something living touch that thing, just to see what happens
is it instant death?


I'd just like to see a rat bump against it and explode

seems like there should be lots of dead rats down on the tracks

there's not - they get eaten by other rats

and slumdogs
also: dogs
in the stew

there is a lot of graffit in the tunnels, which made me wonder how it got there
there's really not much room between the trains and the walls - if a train came while you were spraypainting, you'd be screwed

I think a lot about the tiles in the subway
that's a lot of tiles

was there a subway in Slumdog?

no way, dude
they don't believe in burying their trains
it's a Hindu thing

god, a subway would kill thousands of Indians a day if it existed

i guess the blind singer boy is in a subway station
or maybe just a train station that had downstairs

I think that was just a random tunnel
you know, that movie has made me look at beggars more skeptically

is it possible to be MORE skeptical?

now when I hear a beggar's story, I always ask if they're part of some hobo syndicate
then I ask to see their manager/owner

is Slumdog going to increase Indian tourism?

crap, probably


"honey, those slums look so adorable!"

"It's so colorful!"

"let's go adopt some huge-eyed Indian orphan"

"They love to dance!"

"so she doesn't get sold into prostitution and become a gangsters girlfriend"

I'm out of here. This city DOES sleep.


Sunday, January 25, 2009



Some commenter named Kim correctly points out that Alyson Hannigan was also spared from the curse of American Pie. In recognition, here is the recent yet classic Onion video about her boobs:

FCC Okays Nudity On TV If It's Alyson Hannigan

* * *

I don't mean to inhibit the discussions sparked by my recent posts (Kidding! There are never any intense commenting sessions within Tornado Slide.), but here's a few things I'm currently enjoying.

The new Franz Ferdinand album is out Tuesday. Judging from what I've heard on their MySpace Music page, I plan to purchase it. Give "Lucid Dreams", "Ulysses" and "Twilight Omens" a spin.

Netflix sent "The Promotion", starring my new favorite actor, John C Reilly, and Sean William Scott, the lone surviving American Pie career.

When I rent indie comedies, I'm always more than a little concerned that they won't be funny. I am pleased to tell you that "The Promotion" is quite funny -- a bit like an adult "Election". I can't understand why it's sitting at 51% at Rotten Tomatoes -- maybe interneters saw that Fred Armisen was in it so they assumed it was garbage? I assure you his role is minimal and fitting. Rent it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where Were We When

Gav has a new post up. I'll be responding soon.

I was going to bitch about The Dark Knight being left out of the Best Picture race, but then I looked back at '00s and '90s nominees and saw

Gangs of New York
A Beautiful Mind
Erin Brockovich
The Thin Red Line (the only film I've ever walked out on)
Shakespeare In Love
The Full Monty
Jerry McGuire

and all the other films that didn't deserve nominations or wins. So who cares? I don't care.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Heimlich My Balls, Cap-i-tan

Tom Colicchio: Hero.
By Ezra Klein

There’s a phenomenon in journalism called “burying the lede”: It’s when a writer buries the factoid or argument that makes his story interesting deep in the body of the piece. I do not mean to bury my lede. So here it is: Earlier tonight, Tom Colicchio saved Joan Nathan’s life.
You don't have to follow the link and read the story -- even though it's brief, I'll save you the trouble. Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio was at a fancy event, and gave some other chef the Heimlich maneuver.

The word "hero" has been thrown around a lot these past few days. For Martin Luther King Jr., and Sully the pilot, deservedly so. For Top Chef Tom, not so much. The Heimlich is a life-saving procedure, sure, but its degree of difficulty is zero.

Let's go easy on "hero", so its meaning is not diluted. Please save it to describe only those finest characters. Like Derek Jeter, perennial All-Star. Or Brad Pitt, who donates small portions of his worth to charity. Or America's firefighters, who put their lives on the line every day to cook America's chili, wash America's fire engines, and play America's pickup games in America's fire station driveways.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Layout (My Blogness)

I've added an iLike application to the sidebar, despite my distaste for its name and its effect on Tornado Slide's appearance. If you like the idea of hearing things that have recently caught my ear more than you hate the bigger right sidebar, I'll keep iLike around, and update it every month. If not, say so, and I'll get rid of it.

I turned on TNT tonight, kind of pumped to see Kobe vs. Lebron go at it at the Staples Center, and I saw Anderson Varejao brick a wide open J, a Cavs offensive rebound and regroup, another Anderson Varejao brick, a Kobe foul, Kobe's "I haven't been this mad since I was almost held accountable for rape" face, then another Varejao stinkbomb. Things gradually became more palatable, but as a casual NBA fan I DESERVE BETTER.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The South American Experience: Santiago, Chile

[NOTE: This is the final installment of my verbose travelogue, which took less than one year to finish. It covers our time in Santiago, Chile. Previously, Montevideo, Uruguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Puerto Iguazu, Argentina; and Valparaiso, Chile were discussed. Thank you for feigning interest in our remarkable tale.]

February 14, 2008
Valparaiso, Chile

Matt and I enjoyed one final breakfast at the Robinson Crusoe Inn before our second taxi ride in Valparaiso, which was much shorter and much more relaxed than the first. We secured two adjoining seats at the front of the bus, and proceeded toward Santiago in a timely manner. A teenaged male across the isle took an interest in our Americanness, and we struck up a conversation.

The youth was headed to Santiago to visit his cousin, with whom he would attend a World Wrestling Entertainment event. His English was very good, but I found myself speaking deliberately and avoiding contractions, making sure I was easy to comprehend. Noting his personal music player, he or I steered the conversation toward music.

(The recap is nearly at an end, so I'll take this opportunity to sandwich some music-related loose ends into the story.

First off, If I lived in South America for 50 years, I still could never ascertain when a hit song was on the radio or on music television. I watched a handful of music videos during our hotel room downtime, and they all sounded bad and looked worse. One possible exception was broadcast many times during our two weeks -- the song seemed okay, but the video felt too "Californication" to be enjoyed.

Unfortunately, when you don't speak Spanish, the language will push your subconscious toward the only songs you know that have Spanish lyrics. For me, that meant the following songs shared a near constant rotation in my head:

Cancion Del Mariachi (Morena De Mi Corazon) - Los Lobos with Antonio Banderas, as featured on the Desperado soundtrack

Mirando De Lado - Kinky, as featured on a Morning Becomes Eclectic compilation

Don't Cry for Me, Argentina - the Madonna song I'm pretty sure I never heard all the way through, from the goddamn Evita film that I'm sure I never watched.

The lesson, of course, is that I need to learn Spanish.)

My new teen friend talked enthusiastically about Dream Theater, a band that is basically American Rush. Although I now avoid DT's overwhelming brand of progressive rock, I immediately saw something of myself in the child. After all, I once owned DT's 1992 "Images and Words" cassette, thanks to the mostly-misleading yet then-amazing single "Pull Me Under". We continued to discuss bands, and he listed more hard rock preferences like Guns N' Roses and a DT sound-alike Stradivarius (who is, I can confirm from a brief pull off the young man's mp3 player, a cross between Mannheim Steamroller and Styx, and should be avoided). Shockingly, he betrayed his age by disliking Led Zeppelin, calling their music "boring" with the exception of "Stairway to Heaven". Ironically Of course, for most Americans, "Stairway" is now the most boring song in the Led Zep catalogue, overplayed on classic rock radio and made insufferable post-"Wayne's World" deluge.

I suggested he find himself some Queens of the Stone Age immediately, and also recommended Sleater-Kinney, Rage Against the Machine, Arcade Fire, and visiting Portland if he ever makes the trek to the US. Rock on, little friend, wherever you are. (Probably Chile, where I left you.)

From the bus depot, a taxi was required to reach our Holiday Inn Express further inside the city, in the upscale Providencia area. After check-in, Matt and I found and rode the very clean subway to Cerro San Lucia, a park near the center of Santiago's action. We passed fountains and statues and young couples making out on the way to the summit, where we were underwhelmed by the hazy Santiago panorama.

We left the park and continued to walk around that part of the city. In a large city square, a man soliciting donations to a local school talked to us briefly about the upcoming US presidential election. He might have been wearing eyeliner. Matt gave him some coin. We moved on, passing many more young, adoring couples, street vendors selling flowers and terribly tacky gifts, even a pair of dogs that seemed to be in the spirit of the Hallmark holiday.

Our previously purchased subway tickets were no longer working, thanks to increased rush hour fares, a practice that I assume is very easy to figure out if you are fluent in Spanish, yet a minor mindfuck if you are not. We bought new tickets, which came with a free piece of candy, and headed back toward our hotel's neighborhood.

Matt and I are simple Americans with certain Pavlovian urges. For two weeks, we'd been immersed in the Spanish language. The result? We hadn't learned a word or phrase, but we were incredibly hungry for tacos. When we passed Pub-Licity, a casual dining concept with a Mexican-looking menu, we abandoned our standards and ordered "El Mexicano", which appeared to include both tacos and taquitos. It was a mistake.

Back at the hotel, I ran up Matt's cell phone bill with a Valentine's Day call home. I never paid him back, but remain appreciative.

February 15, 2008
Santiago, Chile

We rose at 7 a.m. Matt had made arrangements to meet a man named Martin, who would take us on an kayaking excursion down the river, toward penguins and other exciting sights. A lame, cold, Holiday Inn Express breakfast fueled us before we walked outside, directions and map in hand, to meet our destiny.

Our appointment with Martin was at 9. We stumbled around the city until 9:30, unable to make any sense of the directions Martin wrote, coming close to the mythical address several times only to see our hopes evaporate. Matt was irate. He would become more irate later that day, after he checked his email account, and read a new message from Martin. The email was an Martin's apology. He forgot our appointment, and was therefore not at the rendezvous point at 9 a.m. Even if we'd managed to locate our destination that morning, Martin would not have been there to meet us. Matt swore a particularly gruesome vengeance against Martin that evening.

Down but not out, we regrouped at the hotel and set out for Cerro San Cristobal, a large park centered around a gigantic hill/tiny mountain that bracketed downtown's north side. We walked to the park entrance, purchased two one-way tram tickets, and rode to the summit.

A plaque announced that Pope John Paul II said Mass here a while back. A large statue of the Virgin Mary looked over the city, as did many telecommunications spires. Nice work, parks department! Lookin' good!

Matt and I elected to hike down Cerro San Cristobal rather than take the funicular down with the German tourists. The trail was long and winding, steep in spots, but easy overall.

It dropped us at the base of the park, a zoo in the trendy Bellavista neighborhood. It was early afternoon. The nightclubs were empty, as were most of the bars, but a few restaurants were active. We chose the busiest one, and sat outside, shaded from the bright sun.

The restaurant served traditional Chilean food. Seeking retribution for the previous evening's "Mexican" food disaster, we both enjoyed Escudo beer and studied the menu carefully. Matt picked the conger eel stew. Proud to venture into the exotic, I chose a complicated-sounding dish featuring beef and spices. It turned out to be potroast. The roast was overdone, and the primary spice was garlic; still, it could have been worse -- I could have gotten the conger eel. In fairness to the restaurant, there were many other dishes on other patrons' tables that looked awesome. Were it socially acceptable to flag a waitress, point at a neighbor's food, then point to my mouth, lunch would have been a more satisfying.

We'd already walked a good distance prior to lunch. The walk back to the hotel was not scenic, and seemed insultingly long, due to the influence of beer and the sun. We stayed in our room until sunset.

Several good restaurants appeared after a search. One looked especially fancy, advertising itself as Australian and featuring a female lounge singer. By the time we'd gathered an impression of the place, we were sick of her voice, and headed down the block. Tirimisu, a casual Italian restaurant, ushered us past the busy patio and seated us immediately. Matt had a calzone, I had a pizza. Both were excellent, as was our wine, our first ever bottle of Carmenere, and our 9th bottle consumed in a fortnight. Our final, tenth bottle -- a small cabernet sauvignon -- was purchased at the hotel lobby that night, at Matt's insistence.

February 16, 2008
Santiago, Chile

Out of steam, Matt and I needed to waste the morning, pack, and get to the airport well ahead of our 11:25 p.m. flight. We walked a mile or so to a gigantic mall, and stepped into only three shops: North Face, Penguin Clothing, and a bookshop, where I looked at books with pretty pictures of Valparaiso. It was a forgettable day.
The reason we don't have any quotes for this place is because it's ordinary as hell. I'm not saying it's the worst city in the world, there is just nothing to do. Everything fun is outside the city. Sure, the city is clean -- very clean for its size -- but that makes it even more uninteresting. My motto for Santiago: "Santiago. Whatever."
The subway, spectacularly clean though it may be, does not connect to the international airport. A taxi dropped us there at 5:30 p.m., which gave us plenty of time to fill out paperwork and pass through checkpoints. I consumed my first ever meal at Ruby Tuesday. We boarded a flight alongside a billion retirees, one of whom took the middle seat between myself and Matt. Unlike the flight south, I was able to sleep a bit this time.

Matt didn't want a traditional breakfast, and was wooed by the Chinese food offerings of the Dallas Fort Worth airport's food court. I accompanied him through the execution of the bad idea, and soon we both laid in an abandoned gate, quiet and queasy, upset about the freak snowstorm in Kansas City that cancelled our return flight, knowing we'd now have to fly into Wichita without our luggage, rent a car, and drive 2.5 hours to Lawrence, stopping only for at gas stations for drinks and a Journey CD. It was an annoying homecoming only made sweeter by seeing girlfriend's newly banged face cut hair and eating her freshly baked scones. Matt, unaffected by both of Kim's charms, had to back his own car out of my garage and head back to Wichita, like a sucker.

[End of vacation]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What Child Is This

Worst names I saw on birth certificates in an unnamed Kansas city:

Glyde (Female)
Acy Dutch (Male)
Jasper (Male)
Landrey (Don't Remember)
Alexus Grey Lynn Noel (Female)
Neveh Brianno Jo (Female)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Case Of The Mondays

"I can't remember! I knew last week, but I've slept since then."

Variations of this "joke" continue to spark BIG laughs during meeting around the office.

In related news, I'm in the midst of planning several intricate homicides (or one simple suicide).

Also on notice: "If no one volunteers, someone will be voluntold."

But hey, any work is good work, right? In this economy? Right?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2008 Recap - Printed Words

Ernest Hemingway - "A Farewell to Arms"

I did enjoy reading about WWI prenatal care, with Catherine's attempt to keep the baby small by drinking beer. However, as I mentioned earlier this year, I was not impressed by my first Hemingway exposure.

Ernest Hemingway - "A Moveable Feast"
Hemingway should really not have derived so much pleasure from the suffering of others, for his own self-portrait here is so innocent, straightforward, and he-manly that it forces the reader to doubt him and therefore his version of others.
"On this evening I was sitting at a table outside of the Lilas watching the light change on the trees and the buildings and the passage of the great slow horses of the outer boulevards."

No! NO YOU DIDN'T, PAPA HEMINGWAY, because no one has ever wached the light change on the trees, in Paris or elsewhere. There's poetic license and there's OUTRIGHT LIES, sir, and you are lying.

"There were no baby-sitters then and Bumby would stay happy in his tall cage bed with his big, loving cat named F. Puss. There were people who said it was dangerous to leave a cat with a baby. The most ignorant and prejudiced said that a cat would suck a baby's breath and kill him. Others said that a cat would lie on a baby and the cat's weight would smother him. F. Puss would lay beside Bumby in the tall cage bed and watched the door with his big yellow eyes, and would let no one come near him when we were out and Marie, the femme de menage, had to be away."

No! TELL ME YOU DIDN'T, PAPA HEMINGWAY! Tell me you are lying again, because you are sucking all the romance out of post-war Europe...

George Orwell - "Down and Out in Paris and London"

...and this semi-autobiographical tale of workers' and tramps' conditions in the 1920s sucked all the romance out of pre-war Europe. We look back on historical eras and dream about how wonderful it could have been to drink at speakeasys with Gatsby, not realizing that it was wonderful for the rich but difficult for most everyone else. Life among the rich is always romantic. Real life, among real people, much less so...

George Plimpton - "Truman Capote"

...Case in point, the biography of Truman Capote, a strange-looking, strange-sounding man who turned his talent into fame, and made little use of his talent after he was famous. We call that "wasted talent", but if you were given the choice to sit beside Andy Warhol in Studio 54's sex dungeon or sit behind a typewriter in your office, which decision seem a waste?

Elie Wiesel - "Night"

Brief and powerful, there's not much to say that its Nobel Peace Prize doesn't.

Joseph O'Neill - "Netherland"

Can an ordinary plot be made extraordinary by restructuring? Would "Reservoir Dogs" be less appealing if told linearly? Is this a good book?

Alipete asked me to read it after she disagreed with the NYT's end-of-the-year best list, and we've agreed that it is not a great book. If anyone could enlighten us as to why it is held in such great esteem, we would be thankful.

In the meantime, after this and "The Emperor's Children", I think it would be wise to avoid NYT-lauded novels which are set in NYC.

Paul Shirley - "Can I Keep My Jersey?"

I introduced myself to Paul at the library book sale, where we were browsing the very cheap offerings. Kim and I hung around to listen to him talk about his book, which I then purchased, read, enjoyed, and passed along to Floyd, who once guarded Paul in a 3-on-3 tournament.

Chuck Palahniuk - "Diary"

If I had paid to read Diary, I may have been disappointed. Since I took it from Matt's bookshelf, I have no regrets. I did its job, keeping me entertained during yet another summer conference in Atlanta.

Adam Haslett - "You are Not a Stranger Here"

These were good short stories, but I can only remember the plots of two. I used to be more excited about short stories. Now, I don't even read McSweeney's every day.

Cormac McCarthy - "No Country For Old Men"

The novel is slightly less suspenseful than the motion picture, but provides an illuminating, cathartic final act that went unfilmed. It's the first thing I've read that is perfectly summarized by its movie tagline: There are no clean getaways.

David Benioff - "City of Thieves"

The compelling tale of two boys trying to find eggs during the siege of St. Petersberg. The less you know about the book, the more highly I recommend it.

William Vollman - "Rising Up and Rising Down"

Abandoned. This was an abridged paperback, and I think the parts I was interested in were cut out.

On The Shelf

Nick Hornby - "Fever Pitch"
John Hodgman - "More Information Than You Require"
Sarah Vowell - "The Wordy Shipmates" (audiobook)
Scotty Fitzgerald - "The Beautiful and Damned"
Michael Chabon - "The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay"
Borders - $30 gift card