Monday, July 24, 2006

What's New

So what's new with you? Read any good books this summer? See any good movies? I recently finished Violin by Anne Rice and am on the last 100 pages of Blackwood Farm by the same author. Blackwood Farm is very, very scary. I actually had a couple of bad dreams after reading it one night. Seriously. Her writing is so descriptive and you can tell by reading her work that Ms. Rice is someone who is very meticulous in editing her work. Speaking of which I sent her an email and she responded to me! I had written to her probably twice before in the last two months and did not get a response but I guess the third time is a charm. I basically said I admire your work etc. etc. and I was interested in when Christ the Lord is going to be released in paperback. November for those who are interested.

I never really enjoyed fiction that much until I started reading her books. I read Interview With the Vampire about a year or so ago. But stopped about halfway through for some unknown reason. I picked it up again last October and have been reading her books ever since. Once I finish Blackwood I will have read 11 of her books and don't plan on stopping any time soon!

Art is very subjective. So really I could never tell you who you should like or not. We all have our own preferences for things and really why we are drawn to one type of music or a particular author is really not something that can be definitively answered. Yes, we can give reasons. But who knows why we all have different tastes. But that is what makes the world go round.

Anyway, Rice's use of New Orleans as a backdrop to her horror is absolutely perfect. Much in the way New York City is to true crime. I have read many, many true crime books. New York City is the perfect landscape for true crime. From the concrete jungle known as Manhattan to the Bronx with its rough and tumble areas, to the vacation-like settings of City Island and Orchard Beach, to Brooklyn with its tough areas but also its artsy and ritzy areas as well, to the suburb-like Staten Island, and finally the all-purpose, multicultural Queens. New York City adds something to any outstanding story of crime with its uniqueness. This goes for New Orleans and horror. Having been there I can totally become engrossed in Rice's descriptive writing of the swamps, the city, the old buildings, the colonial mansions, etc. I guess that's why I keep reading her books. I am totally sucked in, no pun intended.

I have to hand it to Madison Square Garden Network and their ability to provide outstanding programming on a 24-hour sports channel without being stuck on one particular sport. Their two latest additions have truly enhanced MSG viewing. The Vault hosted by Al Trautwig goes back in time to great Garden memories on the ice and the hardwood. Meanwhile, the ageless "Mean" Gene Okerlund hosts a program of classic WWE from MSG. I remember fondly the days when once a month MSG would air three hours of live action from 33rd and 7th. Great stuff!

I have to say that I am a bit perplexed at how the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan have been shoved out of sight in the last week or so. Since this Israeli conflict started, we have gotten virtually no coverage of what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. This actually is good for President Bush, particularly with Iraq. Fighting has really heated up in Afghanistan as coalition forces and Afghanis retake towns from the resurgent Taliban. The news out of Iraq is more of the same with daily car bombings and it appears that a low-level civil war it taking place.

So there was David Gregory with his smug, haughty attitude criticizing President Bush for cursing at the G8. Yes, I'm sure we have all seen the tape countless times. But what was so amusing was Gregory pretending to be an impartial observer asking his panel what they know those really fair and balanced guys from the New York Times. Right.

One guy I really like from the NYT is Tom Friedman, author of From Beirut to Jerusalem, which I highly recommend. I saw him on with Tim Russert, another great guy. No one has a better handle on what is going on in the Middle East than Friedman. He is very fair and although he does have a fair amount of criticism of the President he is not one of these dorky, snickering weasels like said Gregory or Maureen Dowd. Ugghh.

Finally, I am still working on my novella but I have had mucho problems with blogger lately. It is very, very frustrating. But I will be posting more of it very soon. Thanks for checking in and keep coming back. Don't hesitate to leave comments.

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