1. Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King’s one of my favorite writers. Most people, when they hear his name, go to The Shining, The Stand, IT, Cujo, Carrie, and Needful Things. Okay, maybe not that last one. For me, though, King’s best works are Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, The Body, The Running Man, Black House, Insomnia, IT, and The Dark Tower series.
The Dark Tower.
I started reading this series when I was twelve and finished when I was twenty-six. I was lucky enough to be frustrated by the gaps in publication that happen when you’re reading something as it’s being written. I remember King’s car accident in 1999 and wondering to myself and friends if the Tower would ever be finished. Luckily enough it was, to the delight of some and the chagrin of others. As with the ending of any epic story there were a number of gripes about the resolution, but I enjoyed every word of the series. I loved reading about Roland, Roland’s world, and the relationships he forged with those he brought along on his quest. I loved (and still love) sharing this enthusiasm with others. When he published the final novels in 2006, I was fine with the conclusion. Marvel published a series of comics following that that filled in the gaps of Roland’s early days, and those are well worth reading as well.
Imagine my delight when King announced that he’d written another Dark Tower book, The Wind Through the Keyhole. Falling in-between books 4 and 5 of the proper Dark Tower series, The Wind Through The Keyhole gives service to the ka-tet we know and love, while taking the bulk of the story to tell two beautiful tales; one of Roland’s youth and another fairy tale, buried within the first. To a fan of the Dark Tower, it’s wonderful. It’s rich with the verse and dialiect that only Mid-World can have. It’s more.
King can really put a sentence together.
To celebrate its publication, here’s an unrelated short story by King, My Pretty Pony, read by Jerry Garcia. I’m a fan of the Grateful Dead, so these two things fit right into my “hug zone”, but even if you’re not I think you’ll see that Garcia’s voice lends itself really well to the telling of this story.
2. Jamie B. Wolcott – I stumbled across Jamie B. Wolcott’s artwork thanks to Curtis Eller, who plays fantastic banjo music hearkening to nineteenth century America. Seriously, if you haven’t heard his stuff, you need to check it out. Anyway, Wolcott’s art really speaks to the poster design given to old circus performances and other sideshow elements of the day. Check it out:
More here: http://www.jamiebwolcott.com.
*edited 6/4/12, as Jamie B. Wolcott isn’t “a guy”, she’s Curtis’s wife!
3. Nintendo Cereal System – Nintendo’s had more than a few hare-brained strategies, but you can’t really fault them for thinking that at the height of their popularity a cereal based on the Nintendo Entertainment System would work.
Unforunately, it didn’t. Here’s the commercial:
4. Understanding Human Behavior – Retrospace posts this amazing textbook about human behavior. The cover is creepy enough, but with chapters like “The Frigid Wife” and “Pleasure and Pain”, you know you’re in for a real objective treat.
Also, this office is amazing. This should be my office.
Two rotary phones!
5. Perfect Strangers – I discovered this game this week, and it’s pretty flat-out amazing. I haven’t been able to achieve my dreams yet, but maybe you could?