14 January, 2006

Light Reading

....chapter two, I think I fell in love with you....

Over the holidays I’ve been doing some reading. I like books as gifts even thought they sometimes don’t fit.

For instance, I mentioned to my father that I generally like the sort of stuff N.’s got lying around the house.

So my dad and stepmom send me a Kitty Bartholomew’s book, Decorating Style. An excerpt:

Hands-On Project: Distressed Curtain Rods, Finials and Brackets

1. First, you want to create nicks, gouges and indentations in eh wood as if it has been around for decades. You could start by striking it with a garden cultivator or other tool to create what looks like wormholes. Don’t just hit the pieces straight on; hit them at an angle to create gouges.

2. For another kind of indentation, whip the wood with a chain. Most of us worry about marring a soft wood like pine. But here you can use the soft wood to advantage. It’s easy to nick and mar. To make even deeper marks, I also hit the pieces againsst a sharp metal post.

3. To add another dimension to the distressed wood, pour strong coffee over the pieces and watch them soak it up. This is especially helpful if your pieces are made from different types of wood that might take the wax slightly differently. The coffee helps equalize the tones of different woods. It will dry quickly.

4. Next, roll your pieces in gravel and dirt. You don’t need a box of gravel like a show here- just some dirt and gravel. Roll the ietms in the gravel and really grind the dirt into the wood. The dirt gives the wood added color and texture.

5.Let this whole concoction dry, and then wipe off any loose dirt or gravel.

6. Finally, polish the pieces with Briwax. I used a light brown Briwax, rubbing it in with a soft cloth. Apply two or three coats, letting the wax dry for 20 minutes between coats. Then buff the pieces to a glorious patina. You want the darkness of the wax to be obvious. Why make faux wormholes if they’re not noticeable?

Why, indeed.

Not what I meant, obviously.

From my sister, as requested, The Edison Gene, by Thom Hartmann. This is just some really yummy stuff about weather patterns, geology, evolution, and the anthropologic bottleneck that occurred some fourty thousand years ago. And what the genetic pattern that leads to the divergent attentiveness known by many as ‘ADD’ has to do with all of that.

The Grim Grotto, by Lemony Snicket, who hides critical reading and writing techniques in the body of each work. Fluffy has Book The Twelfth of the Unfortunate Events series, The Penultimate Peril, but he won’t let me touch it until he’s finished reading it. And he only just started The Grim Grotto. Grrr. Hurry, little man. HURRY.

For the second time, (another gift from my sister), Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, the man with three first names. Someone mentioned ‘literary bragging rights’ in conjunction with this book, and I’ll admit it’s a Reader’s Reader sort of read, highly engaging, inscrutable, requiring a high degree of sticktuitiveness.

Shadow, by Bob Woodward, about the effect of Watergate on the next several presidencies. And no, I didn’t rush out and buy Secret Man. Regular CrushWorlders know how I feel about that whole situation. And regardless of whether or not Bob Woodward is personally a putz, it is mere fact that he doesn’t have the engaging writing style of a Lemony Snicket or a David Foster Wallace.

This week’s CityPaper, which contains not one, no nary a one, Nixon reference, not from The Political Animal, not from Tom Tomorrow nor from The Pain...When Will It End? and it’s getting pretty bleak, boys, I have to tell ya.

There is good news, though: Booby Smooth’s veto of the Wal Mart Bill was overturned, and that’s the most encouraging news I’ve heard all year. Well, in the last fourteen days, anyway. And CityPaper does make mention of the lovely Imogen Heap, who’s got an Edie Burkel-esqe voice and a face like (a young) Joan Jett.

Lest you think that Primarily Decorative has turned toward the dark side of Pure Intellect, let me assure you that not only did I watch South Park the other night and laugh, yes OUT LOUD, but in the next day or two, I will buy Candy Girl by ex-stripper Diablo Cody, which I’m really looking forward to, as I’ve loved her blog for a long time.

On deck is Rob Breszny’s Pronia is the Antidote for Paranoia which is a large smooth trade paperback, packed with words to lift my spirits, stir my senses and energize my eros.

Not that my eros ever needs much help, really.

(Every Day I Write The Book; Elvis Costello)


Paul said...

There used to be a show on A&E called "Lovejoy", about an antiques dealer. Generally he dealt in the real thing, but he wasn't above making his own. His assistant, Eric Catchpole, used to help him by doing things like beating pieces with a length of chain to make it look "distressed".

Now and then if I'm in an antique store with a certain friend and I spot something that is probably not really an antique, I refer to it as a Catchpole original.

el sid said...

no one ever buys me books. i think they're scared that books'll make me smart or somethin'. hum.

but you were up to your old tricks in chapters four, five, and six...

Inanna said...

There's no need to got to all of that trouble with making wormholes!! Just send my Edison child outside with it, then polish it. Done.

Cybele said...

No, but it's just silly, see, as my house is furnished in a style I like to call Eclectic Relative Castoff.

Sid, ya gotta ASK people to buy you books. People think, oh she's probably already read this, and in most cases they're right, so it's risky.

How to occupy your kid: "Here, Nate, take these chunks of wood outside and wail on them with garden tools and gravel and stuff, take as long as you need." Probably gets you at least ten minutes of peace.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there was more than one kind of book lying around at your dad's house. Did you notice? The psycholgist in me wants to know why he chose this kind of book rather than whatever else was there....
Hmmm... ?