Monday, December 24, 2007


I am getting a little tired of all this snow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And one other thing...

We will be experiencing exciting holiday-times, northern climates, family fun, and friend blasts for the next couple of weeks, so Spacebeerian updates will be few and far between.

Pellucidar (1915)

Thanks to the book- hunting and lending skills of the lovely choo, I helped myself to a big helping of Pellucidar (1915) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As you might know, Burroughs also wrote the Tarzan novels (which I love -- and I also super love the movies, of which there are about 500), and the John Carter/Mars/Barsoom novels, of which I've only read one, but I liked it quite a bit.

Pellucidar is actually the second in Burrough's hollow earth series that started with At the Earth's Core. I haven't read the first book in the series, but like many adventure novels, the action is pretty self-contained and references to happenings in the first book are explained.

Our hero, David Innes, invented a mining drill back in the first book, but when he drove it into the earth with his partner Perry, they quickly lost control of the drill and feared for their lives as they headed to the center of the earth. Boy were they surprised when, instead of encountering molten lava, they found an undiscovered world. There is a pretty complete description of Pellucidar's geography and inhabitants on Wikipedia, but the highlights are: There is no horizon since the land curves up to follow the interior curve of the earth; the sun hangs in the center of the sky and never moves, so there is no sense of time and there is never night; there is a moon that hangs in the sky, just one mile over the "Land of the Awful Shadow" which can never escape from the darkness of the stationary moon; the people are at a stone age level of development, and most live in caves; and freaky intelligent giant flying lizards terrorize the small and unorganized groups of humans and make them their slaves using the brute strength of a third race of semi-intelligent apes.

In the first book it seems that David and Perry began to organize the humans and fight the lizards, and David also marries one of the super lovely caveladies (Dian the Beautiful). But when David takes the mining machine back to the surface to get some 20th century materials to help in their revolution, a bad human kidnaps Dian and the alliance falls apart.

Pellucidar begins with David's return to the earth's core and follows him as he rescues his woman, fights the evil lizards, reunites the cave people, and teaches everyone about building boats, firing cannons, reading, and not enslaving captured prisoners.

The book is a fun read, as all Burroughs is, and the geography and people of Pellucidar allow for some pretty creative adventures. There are occasional slips into early 20th century racism, but only slightly cringeworthy and nothing too blatant. I would gladly return to the world of Pellucidar -- and I am particularly excited to see what happens when Tarzan goes there...

[Check out the back cover here. And if you are so inclined, just read the whole darn thing here.]

Friday, December 14, 2007

Frozen in time

It wouldn't be the holiday season without another creepy ad from Cuisinart (click on the picture to see it in all its freaky glory). This time everyone is staring at grandma! Except for the couple sitting across the table from each other, who are gazing lovingly into each others eyes with strange grins. Maybe they hate grandma?

Thursday, December 13, 2007


My hair looked really awesome for about an hour today, but since I work alone in a basement and didn't have any meetings, no one saw it but me. Now it looks a little bit weird again. Thought you'd like to know.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Wrip Wrap Wrippidy Doo

I am admittedly not all that crafty, but I had a lovely time at a holiday-type craft night this weekend, where I made the watercolor masterpiece you see above. I think I'm going to wrap something in it. Just wait and see if you get to be the lucky recipient!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Certain Things Last

Sherwood Anderson (pictured here) is best known for his 1919 publication, Winesburg, Ohio -- I haven't read that yet, but I did just finish my first excursion into the world of Anderson with Certain Things Last: The Selected Stories of Sherwood Anderson (1992, ed. Charles E. Modlin). Wow.

The stories in this collection were all written after Winesburg, Ohio, from 1920 until the year of Anderson's death in 1941 (he died of peritonitis in Panama at the age of 64 after swallowing a piece of a toothpick embedded in a martini olive, which is actually a pretty unique way to go). But Anderson's writing style is so compelling and modern, that you forget that the stories are taking place in the early part of the twentieth century until someone rides up in a horse and buggy or gets called off to fight in the war.

These stories explore complicated conflicts of modern life -- rural life vs. urban life (both resulting in isolation broken up by moments of connection), single life vs. married life (both filled with desire for what you do not have -- a desire Anderson apparently felt personally since he married four times), and art vs. labor (never feeling like you are doing what you want, or able to do what you want as well as you want to). Even though the stories are generally dark, there is a humor to Anderson's observations that keep the characters from getting bogged down in their emotions and desires.

I loved this book.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Three P's

Painting. Partying. Pebbernodder.

I'd love to chat, but they are keeping me busy.

[Okay, I'm not actually partying, but I needed another P.]

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Hey, guess what? I accidentally turned 31 last week! To celebrate I ate fried chicken, talked about As I Lay Dying, drank bourbon, took two days off of work, got the oil changed in both of our cars, bought a pair of shoes, had people over, and made the cranberry upside-down muffins pictured above. Not necessarily in that order. Revel in photos from the gathering, all taken in a five minute period after I told a drunken Dr. M to take some pictures. Pretend you are there!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Whole Shootin' Match

If you live in Austin, you should make your way down to the Alamo Ritz this week to see The Whole Shootin' Match (d. Eagle Pennell, 1979). It is really just a great movie all around -- funny, touching without being sentimental, nicely acted, entertaining -- and on top of all of that, you get some nice footage of Austin in the late 1970s. Pennell also directed Last Night at the Alamo, which is also excellent and available on VHS, so if you can't get to the Ritz this week, at least put that one on your list of things to rent.

Do it!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Word of the Day: Fantod

As in "the potential mouse under (in?) our fridge is giving us the fantods."

This word comes up numerous times in the book of Sherwood Anderson stories I'm reading right now, and is also the name of Edward Gorey's personal publishing company, The Fantod Press.