Monday, January 16, 2006

Soul Meets Body

In case there's anyone left among my readership who doubts that librarians are, in fact, superheroes, I submit, for your consideration, my roommate, who saved our apartment building from burning down on Friday afternoon (yes, Friday the 13th) because she gets home from work a good two hours before all us other 9-to-5ers and was thus able to call the fire department before the nascent blaze in the basement did too much damage. One of the firemen even told her, "if this had gone another half an hour, you wouldn't have had a home to come home to." Since we're not anticipating any actual thanks or appreciation from our landlady, I would like to ask you all to join me in thanking her for keeping those books shelved and for keeping a roof over our heads. Thanks, LK!

There's an outstanding article in last week's issue of The New Yorker called "Prairie Fire." It's written by Eric Konigsberg and it's about a fourteen year old genius from Nebraska who somewhat recently committed suicide under mysterious circumstances and how his parents, his friends, and the "gifted educators" who studied him under a microscope his whole life are dealing with his death in their own slightly self-deluded ways. It's fascinating stuff, and extraordinarily insightful and well written. Be sure to check it out if you have the means.

OK, how disappointingly bad was the hotly anticipated Scarlett Johansson/Death Cab SNL? The skits were horrible, Ben's voice was uncomfortably shaky, and Scarlett loves herself way too much. But, I did like the Swedish Chef ringtone bit, the "Daddy, why won't Shakira wrestle an alligator?!" punchline to the My Super Sweet 16 sketch, and Tina Fey's joke about Alito's wife being so upset during the hearings that she had to leave the room to get an abortion. I, somewhat sheepishly, also find myself being won over by the shaggy haired charms of Andy Samberg. Here's hoping next week's Peter Sarsgaard/Strokes pairing will fare better.

RIP, Shelley Winters. Alas, her final death scene!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone. Salon provides a valuable public service and posts recordings of a few of his interviews and speeches (incl. "I Have a Dream") to ignite your ears, and your soul.

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