Friday, June 26, 2009

Yesterday at the Motown Museum

Never can say goodbye ... no, no, no, no ...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rest in Peace: Michael Jackson

I can almost hear him saying "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, peace at last!"

What I mostly feel is sadness. Maybe you younger folks just think of him as a freak and an alleged molester ... but I remember him when he was a little boy and I've been a fan of his for a while. Not recently though. (Remember how good Thriller was?)

I just feel sad that he couldn't transcend the weirdness before he died.

Ha! It humbles me. Will I transcend my own special weirdness before I kick?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Updated Book List 2009 June

Copyrighted image courtesy of K. Smokey Cormier

This is what the book list looks like now:

Book List 2009

  1. A History of Cambodia - David Chandler
  2. A History of Modern Indonesia - M.C. Ricklefs
  3. A House in Gross Disorder - Cynthia B. Herrup
  4. A Point of Light - Zhou Mei
  5. A Spy's Revenge - Richard V. Hall
  6. A Will For Freedom - Romen Bose
  7. Agnes Smedley - J.R. & S.R. MacKinnon
  8. Armed Communist Movements in Southeast Asia - Lim Joo Jock, Vani S., Eds.
  9. Asian Labour In The Japanese Wartime Empire - Paul Kratoska, Ed.
  10. Beating the Blues - Thase & Lang
  11. Between Two Oceans - Murkett, Miskic, Farrell, & Chiang
  12. Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
  13. Blood On The Golden Sands - Lim Kean Siew
  14. Captains of Consciousness - Stuart Ewen
  15. Chinese Customs - Henri Dore
  16. Clay Walls - Kim Ronyoung
  17. Colonial Masculinity - Mrinalini Sinha
  18. Daniel Deronda - George Eliot
  19. Dictionary of the Khazars - Milorad Pavic
  20. Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Charles Mackay
  21. Finnegan's Wake - James Joyce
  22. First Person Singular - Joyce Carol Oates
  23. Folklore of Tamil Nadu - S.M.L. Lakshman Chettiar
  24. Force 136:Story of A Resistance Fighter in WWII - Tan Chong Tee
  25. From Pacific War to Merdeka - James Wong Wing On
  26. Gaijin - James Clavell
  27. Gandhi's Truth — On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence - Erik H. Erikson
  28. How I Adore You - Mark Pritchard
  29. I Am America (And So Can You) - Stephen Colbert
  30. In Pursuit of Mountain Rats - Anthony Short
  31. In The Grip of a Crisis - Rudy Mosbergen
  32. Kempeitai:The Japanese Secret Service Then And Now - Richard Deacon
  33. Kempeitai - Raymond Lamont Brown
  34. Krait:The Fishing Boat That Went To War - Lynette Ramsay Silver
  35. Kranji - Romen Bose
  36. Labour Unrest in Malaya - Tai Yuen
  37. Lest We Forget - Alice M. Coleman & Joyce E. Williams
  38. Life As The River Flows - Agnes Khoo
  39. Living Hell - Goh Chor Boon
  40. Luntaya Acheiq: An Illustrated Book of Burmese Court Textiles - Punvasa Kunlabutr
  41. Malaya and Singapore During the Japanese Occupation - Paul H. Kratoska, Ed.
  42. Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan - Melody Ermachild Chavis
  43. Modern Japan, A Historical Survey - Hane Mikiso
  44. My Island in the Sun - Khor Cheang Kee
  45. Nakshi Kantha of Bengal - Sila Basak
  46. Niels Lyhne - Jens Peter Jacobsen
  47. Nonsense - Robert J. Gula
  48. No Cowardly Past - James Puthucheary
  49. Operation Matador - Ong Chit Chung
  50. Orientalism - Edward W. Said
  51. Outwitting the Gestapo - Lucie Aubrac
  52. Pearl S. Buck, A Cultural Biography - Peter Conn
  53. People's War, People's Army - Vo Nguyen Giap
  54. Primitive Art - Frank Boas
  55. Prometheus Rising - Robert Anton Wilson
  56. Raffles - Maurice Collins
  57. Reading Lolita In Teheran - Azar Nafisi
  58. Red Star Over Malaya - Cheah Boon Kheng
  59. Rehearsal for War - Ban Kah Choon & Yap Hong Kuan
  60. Rethinking Raffles - Syed Muhd. Khairudin Aljunied
  61. Revolt in Paradise - K'tut Tantri
  62. Rosie - Anne Lamott
  63. Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (The Biography Of A Master Film-Maker - Andrew Robinson
  64. Screenwriting 434 - Lew Hunter
  65. Shanghai Refuge, A Memoir of the WWII Jewish Ghetto - Ernest G. Heppner
  66. Sherpas Through Their Rituals - Sherry B. Ortner
  67. Singapore & The Many-Headed Monster - Joe Conceicao
  68. Singapore The Air-Conditioned Nation - Cherian George
  69. Singapore The Pregnable Fortress - Peter Elphick
  70. Sisters in the Resistance - Margaret Collins Weitz
  71. Soldiers Alive - Ishikawa Tatsuzo
  72. Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce Vol. I - Anthony Reid
  73. Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce Vol. II - Anthony Reid
  74. Strangers Always A Jewish Family in Wartime Shanghai - Rena Krasno
  75. Stress and Mental Health in Malaysian Society - Tan Chee Khuan
  76. The Art of the Novel - Milan Kundera
  77. The Autobiography of An Unknown Indian - Nirad C. Chaudhary
  78. The Bengal Muslims 1871 - 1906 - Ahmed
  79. The Birth of Vietnam - Keith Weller Taylor
  80. The British Humiliation of Burma - Terence R. Blackburn
  81. The Devil Finds Work - James Baldwin
  82. The Discourses - Niccolo Machiavelli
  83. The Double Tenth Trial - C. Sleeman, S.C. Sillein, Eds.
  84. The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600 - 1800 - C.R. Boxer
  85. The Emergence of Modern Turkey - Bernard Lewis
  86. The End of the War - Romen Bose
  87. The Eye Over The Golden Sands - Lim Kean Siew
  88. The Gift - Lewis Hyde
  89. The Gravedigger's Daughter - Joyce Carol Oates
  90. The Jungle is Neutral - F. Spencer Chapman
  91. The Lives of Agnes Smedley - Ruth Price
  92. The Old Wine Shades - Martha Grimes
  93. The Malayan Union Controversy 1942-1948 - Albert Lau
  94. The Mak Nyahs Malaysian Male to Female Transexuals - Teh Yik Koon
  95. The March of Folly From Troy To Vietnam - Barbara W. Tuchman
  96. The Mind's I - Hofstadter & Dennett
  97. The Nanjing Massacre - Honda Katsuichi
  98. The Origins of The Second World War in Asia and the Pacific - Iriye Akira
  99. The Plague - Albert Camus
  100. The Political Economy of Social Control in Singapore - Christopher Tremewan
  101. The Price of Peace - Foong Choon Hon, Ed.
  102. The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang
  103. The Remembered Village - M.N. Srinivasan
  104. The Right To Die - Humphry-Wickett
  105. The Rise & Fall of the Knights Templar - Gordon Napier
  106. The Scents of Eden, A History of the Spice Trade - Charles Corn
  107. The Sky Book - Richard Misrach
  108. The Tin Drum - Gunther Grass
  109. The Ugly Chinaman - Bo Yang
  110. The War in Malaya - A.E. Percival
  111. The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler
  112. Three Came Home - Agnes Newton Keith
  113. Time Bombs in Malaysia - Lim Kit Siang
  114. Tokyo Rose - Masayo Duus
  115. Virtual Reality - Howard Rheingold
  116. War & Memory in Malaysia & Singapore - P. Lim Pui Huen, Diana Wong, Eds.
  117. Who Won The Malayan Emergency - Herbert Andrew
  118. Wilt on High - Tom Sharpe
  119. Witness to an Era - Frank Moraes
  120. Women in the Holocaust - Dalia Ofer, Lenore J. Weitzman, Eds.
  121. Writers' Workshop in a Book - Cheuse and Alvarez
  122. You'll Die in Singapore - Charles McCormac
  123. You'll Never Get Off This Island - Keith Wilson
  124. Your Memory: A User's Guide - Alan Baddeley

The astute reader will notice that, as usual, quite a few new titles have crept it. While I would never refer to any reader of mine as a fart (ass-toot?), I will admit to being a creep when it comes to books. Slow, creeping accretions to my book lists abound. I admit it, and hang my head, if only to read a little faster (it's a great angle if you adjust the light right). In the event, I will publish an updated list at the beginning of July, since I've read enough to brag a little and hint to any friends who might read this that they could, without shame, think of getting me pizza, or a cheeseburger, or cake, even, to congratulate me for my efforts.

Although, quite frankly, the current reading is mostly pretty grisly WW II Pacific Theatre material. Why do I read this stuff? Leave a comment. It'll keep me from eating chocolate till I pass out, or something.

Oh, yeah, check the previous book list and reviews.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I know that this book needs no help from me ... people are buying it and reading it -- and enjoying it. It's a good good book. I just finished it meself and loved it. It had everything I wanted at the time. I had been watching serious things on DVD and wanted to read something that lifted my spirits but wasn't fluffy. Plus, I wanted a story set in a place very different than my own. Boy, did I get that in spades! So the setting was wonderful for me -- lots of outdoors AND it's an island ... I love oceans, rivers, lakes, creeks ... even puddles. So there you go. Yes, and I loved the characters. The story is told in a series of letters. The main character is a writer. The story moves along quickly. There are no wasted words. And the characters made me laugh out loud. What more could you ask from a book? Well ... yes, substance. There's that too.

I highly recommend it.

Note: My list of books that I've read from January until end of June (with short reviews) will be posted here sometime in the first two weeks of July.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Liberals, Sparks, Stencils and Much Much More ...

Stencil in San Francisco, 2006

Dear Reader, have you discovered yet? It’s a website you can go to and see videos of various lectures, performances, discussions, author presentations. I just watched one called “Why Jesus Was a Liberal: Rev. Scotty McLennan” and another one “Electricity Theater with Omega Recoil.” The latter was about these two guys -- John Behrens and Sparky Jewell -- who combine science, art, electricity, and sparks. A really fine one featured Russell Howze who is the author of Stencil Nation and the founder of

I encourage you to visit