Archives: June 2007

This is the archive page for [June 2007]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Ten Movies About...How Great Drugs Are | June 29, 2007
Today: Ten great films featuring scenes that glorify drug use. | Read entire entry

Too awful to finish: "The Pesthouse," by Jim Crace | June 29, 2007
Today's book to be too awful to finish: the grandly pretentious and overwritten post-apocalyptic dystopian novel "The Pesthouse," by award-winning author Jim Crace. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Player Vs Player | June 29, 2007
Today's obsession: The hilarious online comic strip "Player Vs Player." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Power and the Glory," by David Storey | June 29, 2007
Today's photo: "Power and the Glory," by London-based photographer David Storey. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Dead Ringers | June 28, 2007
Today's movie: The 1988 David Cronenberg dense psychological thriller "Dead Ringers." | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: QuickMuse | June 28, 2007
Today's obsession: The cutting-edge website QuickMuse, which literally records poets composing new poems in real time, so that you can watch the creative process yourself later. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "The Triplets of Kenmore," by Mike Innocenzi | June 28, 2007
Today's photo: "The Triplets of Kenmore," by Chicago-based office worker Mike Innocenzi. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," by Marisha Pessl | June 27, 2007
Today's book: the gifted-child murder-mystery "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," by Marisha Pessl. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Madness" by "Sandra" | June 27, 2007
Today's photo: "Madness," by London-based non-profit administrator "Sandra." | Read entire entry

What sci-fi novels do you recommend to your snotty lit friends? | June 27, 2007
Science-fiction author David Louis Edelman has an intriguing entry up at his blog today: of what the best sci-fi books are to recommend to your snotty, overeducated literary friends. Click through to read more. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Sound Of Young America | June 27, 2007
Today's obsession: The public-radio interview show and popular podcast "The Sound Of Young America." | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 01: Literago launch party | June 25, 2007
Welcome to the new CCLaP Podcast! Today, episode 1: a two-minute video report from the recent launch party for Chicago literary website Literago.org. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Jessica Smith | June 25, 2007
Today's obsession: East-coast conceptual poet and self-publisher Jessica Smith. | Read entire entry

UPDATE: Photos of my childhood library, revealed! | June 25, 2007
Hey, you remember that personal essay I posted two weeks ago, about the public library I used to go to as a kid that had been fashioned out of an old Victorian mansion? Yeah, I finally tracked down some photos. Click through to see them, as well as to get the story of how the photos came about. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Sears Tower" by Cheryl Lemanski | June 25, 2007
Today's photo: "Sears Tower," by Chicago-based travel writer Cheryl Lemanski. | Read entire entry

Breaking news: CCLaP joins another social network for book nerds | June 22, 2007
Hey, fun news -- CCLaP has joined yet another specialty social network for book lovers, this one entitled GoodReads.com. Check out this entry for all the details. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "stair," by Jennifer Brown | June 22, 2007
Today's photo: "stair," by Chicago-based professional photographer Jennifer Brown. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: YesButNoButYes | June 22, 2007
Today's obsession: The smartly-written pop-culture blog "YesButNoButYes." | Read entire entry

Dr. Sketchy's is coming to Chicago | June 22, 2007
Fun news -- the "Dr. Sketchy" series of nude life-drawing classes, started by "female Crumb" illustrator Molly Crabapple, is coming to Chicago, starting tomorrow. And the first one features a friend of mine, too, burlesque dancer Michelle L'Amour. Click through for all the details. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Soon I Will Be Invincible," by Austin Grossman | June 21, 2007
Today's book: The witty postmodern superhero comedy "Soon I Will Be Invincible," by Bay-area debut author Austin Grossman. Or, hmm, is that gritty postmodern superhero drama? | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The 1982 Knoxville World's Fair | June 21, 2007
Today's obsession: the 1982 world's fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. Yeah, I know, I'm not sure why I've been obsessing on this lately either. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Calligraphie," by Emma Viguier | June 21, 2007
Today's photo: "Calligraphie," by French photographer and model Emma Viguier. | Read entire entry

Chicago litblogger? The Sun-Times would like to hear from you, please. | June 21, 2007
I caught an interview with Chicago Sun-Times Books editor Cheryl Reed today, where she makes an interesting confesson: that she wants to hire more Chicago reviewers, but can't find any Chicago reviewers. Litbloggers, click through for all the details. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: To Live and Die in LA | June 20, 2007
Today's movie: The overlooked William Friedkin 1985 neo-noir "To Live and Die in LA," also one of the first starring roles for both William Petersen (CSI) and Willem Dafoe. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: "Duchess" chess rival | June 20, 2007
Today's obsession: "Duchess," a board game from Australian computer professor Alan Blair, which both simplifies and makes more complex the original game of chess, so that groups of people can play together at once. Free download! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Chicago (blur #2)," by Christian Gates St-Pierre | June 20, 2007
Today's photo: "Chicago (blur #2)," by Montreal photographer Christian Gates St-Pierre. | Read entire entry

Lifehacker has a bunch of computer hacks for book lovers | June 20, 2007
Productivity website Lifehacker has a great entry up today, featuring a dozen pieces of software, browser extensions and more that all have something to do with books. Click through for the link. | Read entire entry

And this is why I no longer play Second Life | June 20, 2007
Okay, not really, but you should check out this hilarious real-world parody of Second Life anyway, embedded in the main entry courtesy YouTube. Click through to watch. | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...Sexy Nerds | June 19, 2007
Today, part 1 of a new series, presenting hopefully funny hyper-specialized lists of themed films, and why I in particular think they're so great. This entry: Ten great movies featuring sexy nerds. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP Movie Club? | June 19, 2007
And speaking of movies....I got an email from a CCLaP reader yesterday that made me laugh, where she admitted that each time I announce what's next on my Netflix* queue list, she runs out and rents the movie herself, so... | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "downsky," by Balogh Attila | June 19, 2007
Today's photo: "downsky," by Hungarian artist Balogh Attila. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Millions | June 19, 2007
Today's obsession: The already well-known (in certain circles) literary-criticism blog "The Millions." | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Slynx," by Tatyana Tolstaya | June 18, 2007
Today's book: The darkly funny Russian science-fiction fairy tale "The Slynx," by Tatyana Tolstaya. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Cross-Media Entertainment | June 18, 2007
Today's obsession: Christy Dena's "Cross-Media Entertainment" blog, which takes an intellectual look each day at the various ways entertainment projects are hopping across different mediums and formats. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled" by Ryan Hunn | June 18, 2007
Today's photo of the day: "Untitled," by Manchester (England) DJ and music-industry administrator Ryan Hunn. | Read entire entry

The Neo-Futurists want your zine | June 18, 2007
Here's interesting news -- cult favorites The Neo-Futurists are creating a zine library in their theatre lobby, to entertain the audience members who sometimes arrive hours before a show is to start. Click through for all the details on where to send your own publication. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: 24 Hour Party People | June 15, 2007
Today's movie: "24 Hour Party People," the partly true, partly fictionalized tale of Factory Records, the Manchester label behind not only the '80s post-punk scene there (Joy Division, New Order, etc) but also the '90s rave one (Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, etc). | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "beach_path," by Mark Wisniowski | June 15, 2007
Today's photo: "beach_path," by Chicago-based professional photographer Mark Wisniowski. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Fart Party | June 15, 2007
Today's obsession: The online comic "Fart Party," by San Francisco twentysomething Julia Wertz. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Possibility of an Island," by Michel Houellebecq | June 14, 2007
Today's book: The ultra-dark dystopian science-fiction tale/snarky autobiography "The Possibility of an Island," by controversial French author Michel Houellebecq. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Helvetica (the movie) | June 14, 2007
Today's obsession: The new documentary "Helvetica," examining both the history of "the world's most perfect font," and the various ways it's been used over the decades. Opening tomorrow in Chicago, with the filmmaker on hand too! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "241," by W Vallen | June 14, 2007
Today's photo: "241," by Chicagoan W Vallen. | Read entire entry

The Telegraph has an amazing interview up with Tony Kaye | June 14, 2007
Just wanted to point people to a really amazing interview in British newspaper the Telegraph today, with famed controversial director Tony Kaye ("American History X"). | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City," by Carl Smith | June 13, 2007
Today's book: Historian Carl Smith's "The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City," a detailed look at the architect and city planner's original 1909 post-fire plan for the city, as well as the current conditions that went into its making. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Good Night," by Pierluigi | June 13, 2007
Today's photo: the self-portrait "Good Night," by Italian photographer Pierluigi. | Read entire entry

Interview with Miranda July up at Powell's | June 13, 2007
Just a short heads-up, that Powell's Books has an interview up today with dark humorist Miranda July. Click through for the link. | Read entire entry

McSweeney's needs $130,000...er, now | June 13, 2007
Bad news -- the distributor for small press McSweeney's recently declared bankruptcy, erasing over $130,000 in payments that was owed to them. They're having a sale and rare-item auction to try to make up the difference; read this entry for all the details. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: "Oh, if we could all grow up with the kind of library I did." | June 12, 2007
Today, the first in a semi-regular series of personal essays, since I don't have a book or movie review ready to post today; in this case, a memoir of the first public library I started using, converted from an old Victorian mansion in St. Charles Missouri, and which helped to cement my love for books at a very early age. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Chicago st" by Jovan J. | June 12, 2007
Today's photo: "Chicago st," by Flickr member and professional video editor Jovan J. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Independent Film Channel blog | June 12, 2007
Today's obsession: The staff blog for the Independent Film Channel, a cable network devoted to small and artsy movies. | Read entire entry

Don't forget, the new Bookforum is online and free | June 12, 2007
Just a reminder, that the venerable paper publication "Bookforum" is now making the entirety of their content available for free online. Click through for more, and a link to the latest issue. | Read entire entry

Book review: "HP Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life," by Michel Houellebecq | June 11, 2007
Today's book: The extended literary essay/love letter "HP Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life," by controversial French author Michel Houellebecq. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Sears Tower @ 70th Floor," by Leif Johnson | June 11, 2007
Today's photo: "Sears Tower @ 70th Floor," by Chicago-based magazine editor and history doctorate Leif Johnson. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: David Louis Edelman revisits "Lord of the Rings" | June 11, 2007
Today's obsession: Science-fiction author and Campbell Award nominee David Louis Edelman, who at his blog this week revisits the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in book form for the first time since seeing the Peter Jackson film versions. | Read entire entry

Quill nominations announced; does anyone actually care? | June 11, 2007
It's the news you've been waiting all morning to hear -- the 2007 Quill nominations have been announced! Zuh? Click through for all the details...or better yet, don't. | Read entire entry

Don't forget, CCLaP's on LibraryThing and Shelfari (with even more material than here) | June 9, 2007
Don't forget, CCLaP maintains accounts at the nerdy-book-lover social networks LibraryThing and Shelfari; read this entry for an explanation of what they are, how to join, and what exclusive content you'll find there but not here at this website. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: moleskinerie | June 9, 2007
Since I mentioned my Moleskine blank notebook in a previous entry today, I thought I'd also take the time to mention moleskinerie, a fantastic blog maintained by the company that manufactures the notebooks. It is in fact one of... | Read entire entry

Book review: "Little Children," by Tom Perrotta | June 9, 2007
Today's book review: The scathing suburban indictment "Little Children" by Tom Perrotta, made into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Kate Winslet. | Read entire entry

More about the Printers Row Book Fair, and CCLaP's first social event! | June 8, 2007
It's official -- CCLaP is throwing its first social event at tomorrow's Printer Row Book Fair! Read this entry for all the details. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Steampunk Star Trek | June 8, 2007
Today's obsession of the moment -- a fan-made, turn-of-the-century, silent-movie version of Star Trek. Rock! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "A Disappearance on Wacker Drive," by Jonathan Lurie | June 8, 2007
Today's photo of the day -- "A Disappearance on Wacker Drive," by Chicago-based Jonathan Lurie. | Read entire entry

"Out of the Book:" Is this the future of book promotion? | June 8, 2007
Portland's "The Phoenix" let me know today about an ambitious new plan by Powell's Books to promote various titles at their stores. Called Out of the Book, it's an attempt to supplement or sometimes completely replace the traditional author... | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: A Scanner Darkly | June 8, 2007
In today's installment of Movies for Grown-Ups: "A Scanner Darkly," the black 2006 sci-fi thriller by Richard Linklater, based on the even blacker novel by Philip K. Dick. | Read entire entry

Commenting system now working! | June 7, 2007
Good news -- CCLaP's commenting system is now working, although I'm still having some problems with the software that's supposed to inform me when a new comment's been submitted. Read all about it in this entry, including a detailed look at CCLaP's ethical guidelines concerning comments. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: PSST! Pass It On... | June 7, 2007
Today's obsession of the moment: "PSST! Pass It On..." an ongoing experimental animation series, curated by designer Bran Doughterty-Johnson. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled" by Jan Kretschmer | June 7, 2007
Today's photo of the day: "Untitled," by Munich-based photographer and architectural student Jan Kretschmer. | Read entire entry

Are you ready for the Printers Row Book Fair? | June 7, 2007
Today, more information than you ever possibly wanted to know about the 22nd annual Chicago Printers Row Book Fair, the largest free outdoor literary event in the entire Midwest. | Read entire entry

New Mac software accesses your city's library database | June 7, 2007
Today, a heads-up about a new piece of Mac freeware called Library Thing, which connects to your local library's database and imports your due dates into iCal. | Read entire entry

Chicago arts: a $1 billion industry? | June 7, 2007
Today, news on a recent report that shows that Chicago's art industry generated over a billion dollars in revenue in 2005. Man, that's a lot of Monet posters! | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: City Creator | June 6, 2007
Today's Obsession of the Moment is the online game/design challenge "City Creator," kind of like SimCity but just the fun "actually creating the city" part, designed as a fun diversion by designers and programmers Denise Wilton and Cal Henderson. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Jasmine off the beaten path," by "rip_curled" | June 6, 2007
Today's photo of the day -- "Jasmine off the beaten path," by Flickr member "rip_curled." | Read entire entry

Book review: "Virtual Worlds: Rewiring Your Emotional Future," by Jack Myers with Jerry Weinstein | June 6, 2007
Today, a review of the non-fiction book "Virtual Worlds: Rewiring Your Emotional Future," by noted media columnists Jack Myers and Jerry Weinstein. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: kuler | June 5, 2007
Today's obsession -- the free online color-scheme application "kuler," created and maintained by Adobe, makers of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "eyes in the sky," by Andy Marfia | June 5, 2007
Today's photo of the day -- "eyes in the sky" by Chicagoan Andy Marfia. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Sunset Gun | June 4, 2007
Today, a profile of film critic Kim Morgan, LA Weekly contributor and author of the movie blog "Sunset Gun." | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Raw Shark Texts," by Steven Hall | June 4, 2007
Today, a review of the genre-crossing fantastical novel "The Raw Shark Texts," by Steven Hall. | Read entire entry

Welcome to CCLaP. Version 2. | June 4, 2007
Greetings from the official web presence for the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, or CCLaP. Today, a little introduction to who the organization is and what its goals are. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Metropolis (1927) | June 1, 2007
Today, the latest in CCLaP's series of film reviews, this time covering the 1927 dystopian science-fiction epic "Metropolis." Written by CCLaP executive director Jason Pettus. | Read entire entry