As the URL of this blog indicates, I consider myself to be Really Good at the Internet. Also, I am pretty bad at keeping up with this blog. Seeming contradiction here. No real conclusion here, just an observation.
But sometimes things are just too cool not to share - so cool that I feel that if I don't record it somewhere, somehow share it, I will be doing a disservice to my loyal cadre of readers, if when I say "cadre" you understand "group of 3 people who I tell when I've posted on this blog." So without naming names, I hope you enjoy this, Maddy, Jules and Erica. (Oops.)
Ever wonder what's sitting on your bookshelf? Wish you could glance across the spines and remember if your edition of The Phantom Tollbooth is the one with the "appreciation" by Maurice Sendak or the introduction by Michael Chabon*? Enter Google Books, with which I have only just begun experimenting. I'm entering all the books I own...I can then scroll through them anywhere I log into Google. I can also make wish lists (useful, though my Amazon.com Wish List is more comprehensive); create a "favorites" shelf; and store my eBooks. This started with my desire to compile a list of all the cookbooks I owned, and search their indices collectively for a recipe rather than paging through each one. (As I wrote that last sentence, I realized that I would thus be removing myself from the tactile experience of interacting with my books, which makes me a little sad, and reminds me of this article in the Times magazine about just that, sort of.)
ANYWAY! Here's my Google Bookshelf. What kind of uses can you think up?
Oh, and by the way, re: the delightful image at the top of this post... Do check out these prints by Jane Mount: the Ideal Bookshelf series. I discovered them on 20x200, a website I'm currently calling a "favorite," even though I was recently made to feel guilty about doing so by an artist who claims that he and his fellow creators-of-art are getting, quite literally, shortchanged in the transaction. Still. More art in my life + a conversation about the nature of getting art into my life = worthy of mention somewhere (right, readers 1, 2 & 3?!!).
*Trick question! The edition of The Phantom Tollbooth with Michael Chabon's introduction has yet to be released; but check out an excerpt, and a lovely tribute to Juster's masterpiece and its joyful (if a bit nerdy) toying with the English language, over here at the New York Review of Books.
One of the great new things that was invented along with the internet is music. It's typically a bunch of notes strung together to sound good, and it's totally rad. I've been checking it out lately and I really think it's going to catch on.
Seriously, though, the internet has totally revolutionized the way we entertain ourselves, though I'm not yet convinced we've found the best way to appreciate music. So, I use a careful combination of what's out there to keep my ears happy. It's a mix between Pandora, YouTube, iTunes, and my latest discovery: Grooveshark. Unlike Pandora, you can type the name of a song into Grooveshark and actually listen to it. You can also make and save playlists, save songs and/or artists as favorites, listen to "radio" stations based on genre and, my favorite touch, see what your fellow sharks are hunting out there in the vast waters of musicality [Sidenote: my username is julesjr1. Add me and let's share some jams!]. Such did my dear friend Jesse discover the sweet sounds of Jorge Drexler. Grooveshark told me he'd been listening, and using the power of Jing (more free software that I love. I'll tell you about it later), I captured our interchange on the very topic. Groovy, no?
That's what they say instead of "cheese" in Argentina, to make you smile (or at least look like your smiling) in a photo.
And this is the can of whiskey (yes, 8 shots worth) that is now, apparently, available in South America:
I missed the whole Four Loko craze in New York this summer, so I wouldn't know what to look for if I came across the odd shady bodega, but I think getting my hands on a can of this stuff will make me a contraband A-lister. Cheers!