No one could possibly be more excited about Fridays than Murray Saul, who sounds as though he is having a total mental meltdown as he hypes up his listeners for the weekend. Saul barks, growls, rants nonsensically, and eventually speaks in tongues as though possessed by demons. This is a truly amazing bit of audio.
This is actually Mark Bittman doing this audio, right?
I enjoyed Nathan Rabin’s The Big Rewind, which I rather appropriately read on my iPod’s Kindle app over the weekend. This Times review is correct, in that the end is a bit de trop and filled with score settling television-y stuff, but the early chapters are nothing short of fantastic. Memoirs about group homes (see also Happy Baby) are terrifying, especially for nerds like me—coming home to the same crazy kids I avoided at schol would have been a nightmare.
“Look, we all know people. Think about the weirdest dude you know. The dude who wouldn’t go to graduation because he wanted to stay in the parking lot and hand out fake Round Table Pizza coupons. We all know good people like that. We know how it sounds when they speak. All I do is mimic or parrot. Nobody would ever say that I am empathetic or a good husband, but I don’t miss a beat when it comes to rubbernecking the strange. Last night I was out having a smoke and I saw some chick doing Wii Fit in her front window. I walked over and had a look to see if she was topless. She wasn’t, and somebody shut the drapes, but that kind of story shows you my dedication to checking things out.”—Onstad in Vice.
I love this Vanity Fairedit of Sarah Palin’s resignation speech. Wayne Lawson, VF’s literary editor, is an old family friend and he is EXACTLY how you’d imagine/want the literary edior of Vanity Fair to be, unlike most magazine editors these days.
According to Arthur Frommer, the currency conversion curmudgeon, “now’s the time for Buenos Aires.” And while I agree with his general sentiment—place is awesome—his reasons for going right now are off base.
His first point is that it’s a deal if you can get 3.8 pesos for a buck. True, if you’re an international currency trader! But as A-From himself frequently points out, you won’t get those rates once you factor in ATM fees and other bank shenanigans. Why doesn’t he mention that this time? It’s inconvenient!
Second, this exchange rate-based tourism ignores inflation, which is something of a national pastime in Argentina. (Yes, even eight years after the ‘01 economic collapse.) While INDEC just reported 5.3% inflation over the past year, everyone knows that Cristina Kirchner is having government bean counters massage numbers—to the tune of reducing reported inflation by up to two-thirds.
So in reality, the peso has appreciated by about 20% over the last year while inflation—a specialty in Buenos Aires in my experience—is up roughly 15%. That makes the city definitely worth seeing at 5% off—but hardly a historic bargain.
Excellent points, all. Exchanging money in BA is particularly fraught with peril for anyone that tries to do it at the airport, which is famously bad if you do it on the wrong side of baggage claim when you arrive. For exchange rate travelers, this Forbes article mentions some spots where you can get more bang for your buck. But it’s all relative; in Prague, I got 19 or 20 CZK to the dollar, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the 33 CZK to the dollar era.
“Incidentally, since I’m writing about Michael Bay, I feel it is only appropriate to use as many exclamation points as possible, in a futile attempt to convey the mind-bogglingly extreme and in-your-face nature of Bay’s work. Whose face is Bay in? Mine. Yours. Society’s.”—Onion A.V. Club
When I stopped in my local deli on the way home last night around 11 p.m., two college-age girls were dancing at the counter to Korean pop music playing over the store sound system. On percussion, the grumpy Korean owner, who thumped away on the counter with his hand. He clearly reveled in the ladies dancing for him—almost as much as he enjoys overcharging me for beer.
As I approached the counter, the ladies asked me to dance. I demurred. “He’s not as drunk as us, Sarah,” one of them explained to the other. Then a female dwarf, who was somehow a part of the dancing girl group, asked the other two ladies if they wanted a sandwich, and The Grind: Bizzaro Edition came to an end.
“Imagine your loved ones conquered by Napoleon and forced to live under French rule. Do you want them to eat that rich food and those heavy sauces? Do you want them to have soufflé every meal and croissant?”—Woody Allen, Love and Death. Happy Bastille Day to our French friends, inventors of pastry-iotism.