JAVA MONKEY IN TOP 5, VENUS, VOLVER... Atlanta's Creative Loafing magazine has named the Java Monkey Speaks Anthology Vol. 2 in its list of Top 5 books of 2006. Kodac called me yesterday to tell me and I ran downstairs at my office to pick up some copies. You can also read the full list and the rest of CL's "Year In Culture" coverage at this link.
I am absolutely gobsmacked -- as the Brits say -- at the response to the excerpt from Conquering Venus posted below. Besides the comments left here at the blog, I've gotten more than a dozen back-channel emails from folks wanting to know what happens next, pointing out verb confusion in one sentence and concerned that Irenne must not get any exercise since she cannot leave her home! Fabulous stuff. I'll leave the excerpt up for a few more days, so please continue to leave your comments or email me your thoughts.
Went to see Pedro Almodovar's new film Volver (which means "Coming Back") last night with Cleo. I thought it was funny and Penelope Cruz was brilliant, but the pacing toward the end was glacial. The film was two hours, but only needed to be about 90 minutes. It was also very talky and having to keep up with the subtitles, which usually doesn't bother me, was a challenge. Cleo nodded off a couple of times. I recommend Volver just to see Penelope doing her thing. She absolutely deserves all the accolades and awards she's received...she holds the film together. However, she ain't got a prayer against Helen Mirren at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. All About My Mother still reigns as my favorite Almodovar movie.
Saddam Hussein was hanged last night in Iraq. What a waste of rope. Where's Osama bin Laden? I'm sure Dubya and his daddy were doing the happy dance last night, since killing Saddam was more of a personal vendetta than anything else. Is Iraq and the world any safer now that he's dead? Nope.