Friday, December 30, 2005


When I see a couple of kids
And guess he's fucking her and she's
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed all their lives---
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
And thought, That'll be the life;
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide
Like free bloody birds.
And immediately

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it; the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

--Philip Larkin (1974)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Trip to the antique store

Dr. Monkey
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.

Went to this cool antique store during the holidays and saw everything from a human skull to a Kenny Rogers photo montage.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Bird

For some reason, the Kansas City Star thought it necessary to give us a 1500-word piece on athletes flipping the bird. I can just picture the reporter pitching this to his editor: "Uhhh... I got this great idea about a pressing issue in the world of sports. Steroids? Salary Cap? No, sir. The Bird."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Signed books

DFW - Infinite Jest
Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
I don't have a scanner, but I do have a digital camera and this weekend I had some time on my hands so I decided to take shots of a few of my signed books. I discovered that many of the books I've had signed were not signed on the title page so that's difficult to communicate in a single photo and some of the signatures are pretty plain and unremarkable. I've got a funny Zadie Smith signature that I can't seem to upload right now, but hopefully soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
The paw, the maw, the look: sheer beauty.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The reading docket

1. I am slowly working my way through Volume 1 of Emma Goldman's "Living My Life," which is incredibly well written and informative. I'm going to start looking for volume 2 soon, but I am taking my time with this one, about one chapter per night.

2. Am also taking my time going through "The Good Earth." I read it a long time ago but had absolutely no perspective on it and couldn't even recall the plot, but now that I am re-reading it I am riveted. This is the Chinese Steinbeck. After I'm finished I might have to sit down and figure out what Buck is saying about contemporary American ethics, especially with respect to investing in real estate.

3. This weekend I passed up the chance to get the hardcover or Audio CD of DFW's "Consider the Lobster" in order to buy something I really wanted to read (for the first time): Jack Finney's sequel to "Time and Again" - "From Time to Time." Written 25 years after the first book, this one follows the adventures of Si Morley as he goes back to 1912 (or forward to 1912 since he is still living in the 1880s) to affect the sinking of the Titanic.

4. Next in the queue: James Magnuson's "The Hounds of Winter" and Steinbeck's "The Long Valley"

5. Books I'm looking to buy: Nathanael West's "The Dream Life of Balso Snell"; Upton Sinclair's "Oil!"; Leon Rooke's "The Beautiful Wife"; and John Hodgman's "The Areas of My Expertise."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Wow, a million bucks

This guy who runs the Million Dollar Homepage is actually pretty close to his goal of raising a million bucks. As of right now he's at $828,200. Evidently he got a lot of press in November (including the Wall Street Journal) and the spillover should carry him over the $1M mark. It's obviously a fad marketing scheme, but it's still a pretty impressive accomplishment. What got him going was that the local media in England picked up on the story and he was able to shape that exposure into a snowball of publicity. Obvoius: any revolution in the world will have to use the media.