Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wild Things, I think you moved me, but I want to know for sure

Where the Wild Things Are.

This was my favorite children's book as a very young boy and I see the Spike Jonze movie adaption comes out in the fall.

It looks promising. It's got a lot to live up to for me personally.

It was my first 'favorite' book.

Chester The Horse was my actual first book that had words I could read, but that story was a snoozer (sorry, Syd - but you'll be happy to know I own a copy of your equine opus this very day, for posterity).

Wild Things, though, was the shit.
My mom taught us to read at a pretty young age and books allowed me to escape from the Cirrhosis, Strokes, Smokes and Manic Depression that otherwise enveloped our (un)Pleasantville style home (sort of like the executioner giving you a blindfold and showing you how to tie it before signaling the firing squad to start shooting for the next 15 years).

'Cirrhosis, Strokes, Smokes and Manic Depression' - it's got a ring to it, eh? If I ever start a rock band, Mom & Dad, I've got the name and you'll be the inspiration ...

I was 3 or 4 when Chester arrived and a year or so older for Wild Things. Until I graduated to Dr. Doolittle, Encyclopedia Brown and The Phantom Tollbooth (which became my new best-est favorite), Max and his Monsters kicked ass.

So, Spike - this better be good. Ya made some wonderful flicks (Adapation and Being John Malkovich) but Charlie Kaufman didn't write this one and you've been uneven without Chuck at the pen. Do Maurice proud.

Looks to be a great cast of characters (Claire Fisher, Tony Soprano, Lola Heatherton, Charles Jefferson, Maxine Lund) but you've been fiddling with it for over a year, Spike, which worries me some. And there's talk the studio is influencing you to make it "more family oriented."

Stand your ground.

Fuck the family. This is for grown up kids. My childhood memories are depending on it.

Speaking of books that are the shit, I'm re-reading yet again Kirsten Bakis's wonderfully fantastic flight of canine 19th century Canadian rebellion and 21st century Manhattan society, 'Lives of the Monster Dogs.' If you ain't read it, I can't recommend it enough. Utterly original. Mops Hacker is dead - Long live Mops Hacker! Twelve years on and it's her only book but I hear tell she's working on a new one. I will be at the head of the line to read that one too.

For the techno-geeks, I'm taking David Astel's Jolt Award winning TDD guide for another spin. Really well written and engaging (two things I don't tend to find in tech books not written by Martin Fowler). As fresh and relevant today as it was when he wrote it in 2003 as it will be in 2013. It teaches you how to develop all over again, step at a time. How not to get ahead of yourself and how to truly design through code. Great stuff.

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