Wishing Stars is an iPhone-powered game you play at Disneyland. (Think "scavenger hunt.") It's a real-life adventure that unfolds as you find clues, solve puzzles, and explore the furthest reaches of the park (...maybe even some places that you didn't know existed!)
This sounds like a fun game to play the next time we go to Disneyland (though I'll be content with the easy puzzles, given that traipsing around obscure corners of the park to win virtual prizes may not, admittedly, be the most fun for Penelope, at this age).
One of the disadvantages to reading Nabokov's Lolita is that it's a bit awkward to bring around with you in public. Imagine it, on the train to work; on a bench at the park; on an airplane, sitting next to a stranger: everywhere it goes, it draws--or at least, in the mind of its reader, appears to draw--disapproving looks.
And the thing is, it's a filthy book. Absolutely filthy.
But also: funny, and beautiful, and clever, and sad. I read it for the first time, a couple of months ago, and just loved it. Read this, which is one of my many favorite passages (and listen to Nabokov reading the opening lines).
She had entered my world, umber and black Humberland, with rash curiosity; she surveyed it with a shrug of amused distaste; and it seemed to me now that she was ready to turn away from it with something akin to repulsion. Never did she vibrate under my touch, and a strident "what d'you think you are doing?" was all I got for my pains. To the wonderland I had to offer, my fool preferred the corniest movies, the most cloying fudge: To think that between a Hamburger and a Humburger, she would--invariably, with icy precision--plump for the former. There is nothing more atrociously cruel than an adored child. Did I mention the name of that milk bar I visited a moment ago? It was, of all things, The Frigid Queen. Smiling a little sadly, I dubbed her My Frigid Princess. She did not see the wistful joke.
When the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle started a message board thread on 100 reasons for this song's greatness, every single fraction of "Ignition (Remix)" got its own nomination (and the list went well beyond 100).
Here's the thread in question (I assume). You should read it.
But also, you should listen to "Ignition (Remix)" again, because it's just that ridiculously good.
As I turn out of my hotel's full parking lot, veering onto the Strip, I come across something rarely seen in Vegas: frozen construction projects. I pass cranes abandoned at the site of the Echelon, a huge, multibillion-dollar project of four hotels that is now just three buildings of nine floors of concrete and steel beams sitting idly on some of the most expensive real estate in the country. I pass three more abandoned sites--63 empty steel floors of the Fontainebleau, a sad unfinished shell that was supposed to be Caesars Palace's Octavius Tower and two cranes halted on a structure that was supposed to be a St. Regis condo building. I then drive up to where the New Frontier was razed to build a resort modeled on New York City's Plaza Hotel. It's just a dirt wasteland, so ugly that Wynn planted a row of trees so his hotel guests wouldn't stare at it from their windows. I never realized an economic defeat could look so much like a military one.
Las Vegas is fascinating & over-the-top, even in decline.
"Holocaust movies always have Jews as victims," he said, plainly exasperated by Hollywood's lack of imagination. "We've seen that story before. I want to see something different. Let's see Germans that are scared of Jews. Let's not have everything build up to a big misery, let's actually take the fun of action-movie cinema and apply it to this situation."
Quentin Tarantino, talking about Inglourious Basterds. I want to see this movie.
Lately, I get more excited by watching Usain Bolt run than by pretty much any other sporting event. Granted, I'm watching mostly the historic races, but that he's making history like this, right now--and that I can watch it in HD only a couple of hours later--is just incredible.
One day Usain Bolt is going to do something that a normal human being might do. He'll spill his tea, or drop his chicken nuggets, or trip over his shoelaces. ... For now, he astonishes and astounds with everything he does. Maurice Greene, a former 100m world champion and world record holder, summed it up beautifully: "The Earth stopped for a second, and he went to Mars."
I have a favorite drunkard. He was an athlete--a professional wrestler in fact--but he was also a gifted entertainer and a true artist. His parents named him Andre Rene Roussimoff, but we knew him as The Eighth Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant.
I found this article re: Andre the Giant's drunken escapades utterly charming. (Maybe that's bad?)
It reminded me of this Entertainment Weekly article about Rob Reiner that I read (!), which had this quote about M. Roussimoff:
Andre the Giant weighed 500 pounds, so we couldn't figure out how to get him on the horse. So we hooked up a pulley system with wires. Now, this is the day the Beaujolais nouveau has come out, and he starts drinking at 9 a.m. By the end of the day, he's literally drunk 20 bottles of [wine]. I'm finishing shooting in the Fire Swamp. [A crew member] said, 'Governor, do you want to take a look at this rig?' So I go to the other end of the studio. They open the doors of the soundstage, and there's this semi-drunken giant being lowered from the ceiling onto this horse, and he's going, 'Hullo, boss!' And I'm thinking, 'What do I do for a living? What is this job I have?'''