Apple Confidential

I’ve been sort of sick this weekend, although I think drinking my weight in grapefruit juice and sleeping 14 or 15 hours a day has mostly stemmed it off. It was that kind of sore throat, coated tongue, back of throat crap that is usually the first stage of something worse. What’s weird is that I have only had this sort of sickness all year, and not a full-blown cold. I hope I did not jinx things by saying that. Anyway, the three-day weekend plan has been to mostly sleep, and do some reading and other vagueness around the house.

The other day I read Apple Confidential 2.0 by Owen Linzmayer. It’s a very good history of Apple, from the birth of the two Steves up to the present. It was just published in 2004 by No Starch Press. I enjoyed reading this book a lot, because it reminded me so much of the “ancient” history of ten years ago when I supported the Mac at IU. I read through the various timelines and it made me think back to when we got our first PowerMac, when I first saw a Newton, when I first got to mess with a color Mac, and all of the other intersections with my computing past. Anyway, it’s an excellent book. I paypaled Owen twenty bucks and he sent me an autographed copy. You really should go to his site and do the same.

I had to get out of the house today, so I went to Union Square to shop for books. I went to The Strand, which for the first time ever was actually too cold instead of too hot, but didn’t buy anything. I also bought tickets to see that new hockey movie about the 1980 Olympic team, but I chickened out and decided I’d rather sit around the house for two hours instead. I know that sounds stupid, and even I can’t figure it out. Anyway, I hate sports, but I really like sports movies. I know that makes no sense, but it’s true. I have never sat through a college football game in my life, and I’d rather jam a pencil into my ear than do so, but I really loved the movie Rudy. Go figure.

I won’t go into the whole Valentine’s Day/anti-Valentine’s Day because things are just too far gone for me to deal with it, and I realize that it’s totally my fault. So I did not leave the house on the 14th, and then today I went to Duane Reade and bought about two pounds of candy for 50% off and ate them until I was sick, then I downloaded a lot of really sick pornography. That did not really solve any of my problems, but it took up as much time as the hockey movie would have.

It’s freezing outside, but it’s not bad in here, and it will be even better when I’m in bed reading and staying up late because I have the day off tomorrow. So here’s to that.


The most popular poet of the 20th century

I think one of the fundamental problems when I read too much is that I find out facts that make me essentially think that my worldview is completely fucked, and I am the only person alive who is not a robot, or possibly I am really in a coma or a heavy dream after taking too much Tylenol PM and Robitussen and I’m just imagining everything around me, like some kind of Twilight Zone episode, and I’ll suddenly be awakened by space alien people with pig faces.

For example, did you know who, by publication volume, is the most popular published poet of the entire 20th century? Put down your drink before you read any further. It is JEWEL. No shit. Not Robert Frost. Not Ezra Pound. Not William Carlos Williams. JEWEL. Jewel Kilcher, the Alaskan elf folk singer. SHE SPELLED BUKOWSKI’S NAME WRONG IN THE GOD DAMNED BOOK AND SHE SOLD MORE COPIES THAN HE DID OF ALL OF HIS STUFF COMBINED.

That is all.


Snow Crash

I’m getting so restless around the house, I actually cleaned. I really want to go out and do something, but it’s freezing again, and I don’t really want to blow any money, either. So I’m watching Die Hard with a Vengence on TV, although I missed the part where they digitally edited McClane’s sign that says “I hate n-words” to “I hate everyone”. I did just catch the part where the 7 train is at the fake 2-3 Wall Street station and blew up in a way that completely defies physics. Despite about 20,000 goofs, this is still a good movie. If I ever see it in the $7 bin, I’ll have to pick up the DVD.

One fun thing about watching the Sunday afternoon movie is you see the most pathetic, low-budget infomercials for junk As Seen on TV products. There was just one for the Eggstractor or something like that. It starts out with black and white footage of a woman with really crappy, frizzed out hair and no makeup, trying to peel eggs in the most pathetic way possible. Then they switch to full color and show the woman with totally Jenny Jones makeover hair, full makeup, and happily plugging eggs into this device that looks like a plastic squeze tube and another piece of plastic that extrudes off the egg shell. She’s happily de-shelling eggs like the thing’s giving her ten orgasms per egg. Then it shows the kids using it, and it’s the greatest thing since GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip. They also use the phrase “high protein” about 80 times in 30 seconds to placate the Atkins freaks. I never knew peeling eggs was such a god damned problem.

Anyway, I finished reading Snow Crash, and I was really happy with it. It’s probably one of the best books I’ve read in a while, and something so completely different. I’ve always wanted to like cyberpunk, but the Gibsonesque stuff wasn’t that great too me. It was good, passable, but too much like the crappy SciFi shows that they make to fill up time on the WB network on Saturday afternoons, and not enough like the very first time I saw Star Wars or something like that. But this book really blew me away, because it was like one part Mark Leyner’s humor with one part Kurt Vonnegut’s ability to take a couple of disparate stories and slowly weave them together by the end of the book. It’s also got all of this weird religious theory in it that almost threw me, but was still very interesting, and I wish I could learn more about that without tackling some giant, 1200-page theory/reference book I will never read.

Nothing else going on here…


In the library, Djibouti

I found out something interesting today: the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington has ordered a copy of Summer Rain! This is, as far as I know, my first library sale. It’s very strange that ten years ago, I was picking through their used book sale books trying to find something to write about, and now they have one of my books. So if you go to their site, do a search on “Konrath”, and there it is.

Two copies of the annotated Rumored just went to Djibouti. Try to find that one on your globe. Hopefully, I will get some good photos to add to my collection.

Not much else is going on. I got a metric assload of new CDs this weekend, and got the new Simpsons game. Plus I had a ton of books show up today, so I’ve got a lot of media to consume. But now, I need to shut down this machine to put in a hard drive switch, so I can boot from Windows or Linux without having to swap cables each time.