tshirts, cartoon cats, and why i love book covers

8 April 2010 § 4 Comments

i had to splurge and use some of my financial aid money to buy this awesome shirt celebrating the best book ever:

check out outofprintclothing.com for more lovely shirts. they also donate one book for each shirt sold.

also, they had the smarts to recognise master and margarita (or it’s maurice sendak kitty cover) as a book worth advertising.

a recent new york times article points out, book covers, sadly, are a dying art form. as our society embraces digital readers, the unique physical appearance of each story is lost: instead, they are replaced by the plastic shell of the device used to display them. this anonymity is something new to the american book enthusiast: in japan, all paperback books are made the same size, and for the most part, have nondescript covers. book covers that conceal the details of the reader’s tome of choice are popular among those who commute via rail. after all, does everyone on the train need to know you’re reading a book about an eleven-year-old wizard ? granted, in the uk, the adults simply asked for a more sophisticated jacket for their silly sorcerer stories.

i dread the day when all our novels are electronic and all our “books” are manufactured in china, designed in california. i have always loved old book covers: my friend jon and i have amassed large collections of old, hardly bound books that, while the yellowed pages can’t seem to stay inside, are decorated with the most beautiful vintage artwork. it makes my shelf smell funny, but i like that.

in fact, the reason i picked up master and margarita in the first place was because the cover–and the man diligently pouring over it’s contents–caught my eye in a coffee shop. the man stood in line during the very busy morning rush, his nose pressed between the pages the entire time. he placed his order, and as i whipped together his latte, he stood right in front of me reading the book. i noticed the hebrew title, on what i would consider the back of the book.

“what are you reading ?”
“huh ? oh, an old russian book. but it’s in hebrew”.
“i see that. what’s it called ?”
“it’s called ‘devil comes to moscow’. it’s very interesting”.
“it must be, you read it the whole time you were in line, and it’s loud as hell in here. you recommend it ?”
“yes, of course ! i wish i knew the english title, but the author is named boolgykov”.

it took a bit of investigating, but i found the english title and picked it up the next week. i read it in one sitting, and had to call in sick to work the next day because i had stayed up all night reading about the master, his love, a vodka-drinking cat, and the fifth procurator of judea, the equestrian pontius pilate.

a random man in a coffee shop pouring over an interesting-looking volume in a language i know fifty words of somehow managed to introduce me to a book that a lifetime of russophilia, library visits, and lit classes had not.

needless to say, i’m sad to see the art of the book cover go.


mmmm moscow

28 February 2010 § Leave a comment

i’ve had moscow on my mind since october. it’s something about the weather: as soon as california gets cold, i start thinking about -20 degree windchill, trudging through dirty snow, and the moscow skyline.

i got this necklace on etsy because a) i’d never seen one like it before and b) ten bucks is pretty much my maximum when it comes to selfish expenditures these days.

it’s called the st petersburg necklace from etsy seller The Reliquary Shop. it’s cute, shipping was fast, i like it, but… i’ve got two issues:
1. the charm looks like st basils, which we all know (or SHOULD know) is in moscow and not p’burg.
2. the seller also makes twilight shit. i am 100% opposed to anything twilight-related. my cat could create better characters and she’s non-verbal and plays with her own shit.

it’s just a necklace, but now i get to sit in my warm house and picture shashlyk stands in the frozen park instead of starbucks on every corner.

anyway…uh, buy handmade !

latvia’s dead

27 December 2009 § Leave a comment

latvia is dead. so dead, especially if their junior team is any indication: they lost to canada today in a merciless 16-0 defeat.

but why latvia ? they’re the first team that team russia will face off against in the 2010 olympics at vancouver. i don’t know who is on the roster for latvia (i mean really–there are no latvians on any of my nhl teams, that whole country is off my radar). but oh, russia ! this is the team to beat:

G Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
G Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes
G Semyon Varlamov, Washington Capitals
D Andrei Marko, Montreal Canadiens
D Ilya Nikulin, Ak Bars Kazan
D Dmitri Kalinin
D Konstantin Korneyev, HC CSKA Moscow
D Denis Grebeshkov , Edmonton Oilers
D Fedor Tyutin, Columbus Blue Jackets
D Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Penguins
D Anton Volchenkov, Ottawa Senators
C Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
C Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
C Sergei Fedorov, Metallurg Magnitogorsk
LW Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers
RW Maxim Afinogenov, Atlanta Thrashers
LW Danis Zaripov, Ak Bars Kazan
LW Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals
C Sergei Zinovjev, Salavat Yulaev Ufa
RW Alexander Radulov, Salavat Yulaev Ufa
RW Viktor Kozlov, Salavat Yulaev Ufa
LW Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
RW Aleksey Morozov, Ak Bars Kazan

in idiot russia, wife controls you !

3 October 2009 § Leave a comment

in case you missed it, today i had a very important message for someone:


in case you have NO idea what i’m saying (perhaps you can’t read russian ?) my message was this:

i hate your wife. my dear friend alexei semenov, i hate your wife. she’s a bitch. (it sounds a lot meaner in russian).

and why do i hate mrs. semenova ? well because she’s an idiot whore who took away one of my two favourite defencemen in the whole damn NHL. he played for my sharkies for the last two seasons, and he was fun to watch. fifty seven penalty minutes last year in under 30 games. he speaks my “moon language”, so i like to yell at him and nabby during games, or give them imaginary pep talks before big games i cannot attend. i sang the krokodil gena song to him on his birthday (well, in my car by myself). alexei is like an even taller russian version of my very tall non-russian friend morgan. and when i met him at a charity event for the sharks, these annoying girls were squealing at him and asking for autographs and pictures. i calmly said, “Извените, мой друг, здраствуе–фото ?” and he stopped and smiled and took a picture with me.

but after our terrible showing in the playoffs, semy’s name was removed from our roster. he wasn’t claimed by anyone all summer until a few weeks ago when he signed with the rangers, maybe my…third least favourite of the original six… oh who am i kidding, i only like the leafs and habs and sharks). but at least he was on a team, would be on my fantasy teams, and i could still see him on center ice. but then the bitch took him.

and dammit, he was one of MINE ! patty, joe, pavs, whatever. semy and seto were MINE ! i have doubts about nabby but he’s my домвек (a word i made up using the words home and boy because russian doesn’t have the term “homeboy”). goc was almost one of mine, but he was Немец, boo hoo. and it’s NOT a good time to take my boys away. the season started yesterday, i’m on medication ! jeez !

so now my mission is to find a contact with semy and at least let him know there is one little cheburashka out there who is really gonna miss her big d-man друг. пока, алюшенка. 😦

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