Friday, September 26, 2008
A new title caught my eye at the library last week. Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow. I loved the cover, red with a black snarling dog silhouette. Nick Hornby had a quote on the back -- love his books, so was likely to like this one. Until I started reading it, I didn't realize it was written in Free Verse. Yikes! this took me back to High School and all those ancient Greek stories and plays. I was stuck on the plane with no other book in sight, so I dove in. It was amazing.
The free verse gave it a cadence that matched the momentum of the story. It's lyrical and the form allows Barlow to use his words to almost paint pictures. I often 'see' a book when I'm reading it. This one felt like a full blown movie -- with a sound track. It's essentially well written suspense/crime novel that focuses on men (and a few women) who can change into werewolves at will. When in wolf form they can pass as dogs. They recruit other people who are "strong and lost" to join their packs. For fun, they blow off steam out in the desert in wolf form, munching on steak they bring in coolers.
Anthony is a down on his luck LA native who ends up with a job as a dog catcher. He falls in love with a female werewolf who's left her pack and determined to keep the other wolves from outing her. The packs in LA range from one run by a lawyer to one run by thugs and a third by surfers. The dogs and men play cards, break up meth labs, run scams and take over the dog pound. One is adopted in dog form and uses his new home as a safe-house to hide from the other dogs. A dedicated cop gets drawn in and has a hard time believing what he's seeing, even after it's clear what these people actually are. No matter how I try to describe it, I can't do this justice.
There is a great New York Times Book Review by Sam Anderson here: http://nymag.com/arts/books/reviews/43564/. Let me know if you read the book and what you think!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Henry has a new friend, and regardless of what he may think, she's joined the family. We officially adopted Bea (short for Beatrice) today from the SPCA. Henry came from the SPCA with the name Prince Henry, so we thought it was only fitting to add Princess Beatrice to the family. (Of course, we don't use the Prince or Princess.) Bea's name at the foster was Beanie . . . and since she's not a football player for Ohio State, and we don't want to be taken for OSU fans, Bea she is. She is also a Pit-mix and between 6-7 months old. We've had her for the last 2 weeks on a trial basis and she's been a fun addition, adding all kinds of shenanigans to the mix. Right now, we're working on breaking her of litter-box snacking (ugh!) and of cat wrangling. She hasn't actually really seen a cat, but she's poked her nose under all the beds trying to see what they are. They protest violently, and sooner or later she'll get a swipe on the nose. That may not stop her, though!
In other news, glamping was great fun (see previous post) and both more and less rustic than I thought it might be. We were in a lovely spot north of Santa Barbara, CA in a canyon between some very rugged hills full of chaparral and poison oak. I managed to see both a bobcat (racing away from us as fast as it could go) and the fattest skunk I've ever seen. We were also bedeviled by very tame raccoons who wanted our s'mores fixings. We also got a lot of work done and finished 30+ new product concepts that will go for testing in a few weeks. Sometime after the beginning of next year our team will get to see some of the ideas we'll be working on for 2010 and 2011. We do work that far in advance! What I didn't have, however, was reliable Internet access. Very frustrating, because now I have to spend time this weekend catching up on my email and other work stuff.
Next week I'm off to CA again. Lucky me! (Can't quite figure out how to convey sarcasm in a blog post. . . anyone have an idea to share?) It's a bit late in the game, but suddenly we need to find a different co-manufacturer for the new product that I'm working on for 2009. I'll be gone the majority of the week, so Tim has full dog duty again, bless that man!