Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

April 29th, 2014 No Comments »

So, confession: I’m one of those people who for years claimed that Salinger was one of my favorite authors, even though I had only read Catcher in the Rye. Yeah, I know. But seriously, Catcher in the Rye was great! I figured at some point, I would validate my favoritism by reading the rest of his work, and with last year’s release of the Salinger documentary, I felt it was time.

There’s obvious risk in backfilling the justification for a supposed favorite thing of yours, years after your initial claim. What if it sucks? What if it turns out that I hate it? Then I’d have to admit to everyone that I’ve been living a lie!

With that shame cloud looming over me, I embarked on the rest of Salinger, hopeful and a bit nervous.

I started with Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. Raise High was … it was good, pretty, sweet. Seymour was okay, nothing mind-blowing.

Next I read Franny and Zooey, and… it was good, but I was starting to get a bit worried. I mean these books were all good, quite good, and all were sometimes very pretty, but I wasn’t excited about them in the way that I was expecting-slash-hoping to be.

Then I read Nine Stories, and I let out a sigh of relief. So let’s get started!

A Perfect Day for Bananafish
Yes, this story! This is the story that reminded me why I hailed Salinger a genius and a legend after reading only a fraction of his works.

(As always, only spoilers lie ahead. Actually, the internet says that this story is pretty readily available online. It’s short, so why not read?)
Read the rest of this entry »


"Thrifting" vs Shopping at Goodwill

January 30th, 2014 No Comments »

People who hate rap love to praise Macklemore. Oh, not because of his music, but because of his messages, they say. "I don't like rap, but I really like the messages Macklemore stands for." "Rap is always about money and 'bitches and hoes', but Macklemore raps about real issues, like social issues, and consumerism, and homophobia, and drug use…"

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu no. No, he doesn't.

Macklemore has exactly one message, and it’s "I'm a white middle class male, and I'm going to impose my moral superiority on everyone else!"

My rant tonight is about Thrift Shop. Man, I hate this song. I actually think it's catchy, at least it was before it was overplayed all to hell, but my God, I hate this song's stupid message.

In Thrift Shop, Macklemore is explaining how "f*cking awesome" thrift shops are. He’s proud of hanging out at Goodwill with the moms and grandmas because he loves saving money and getting unique baller outfits for dirt cheap.

Yeah, okay. The only reason Macklemore enjoys shopping at Goodwill is because he’s never had to shop at Goodwill.

First of all, the Seattle Goodwills that Macklemore is shopping at are different from poor people Goodwills. In Seattle Goodwills, if you make a donation, they give you a tax receipt. Poor people Goodwills, you make a donation and you get a coupon for 10% off your next Goodwill purchase. Seattle Goodwills are essentially hip vintage stores, and hipsters like to go "thrifting" there to pick up unique finds. Poor people Goodwills are aisles and aisles of bad jeans and Hanes beefy T’s with design-it-yourself screenprints on them.

Macklemore loves shopping at Goodwill because he can concoct his ~craazy outfits~ on the cheap! Gator shoes and leopard mink! So hip!

Lolz. When you have to shop at Goodwill, you're desperately trying to find things that look normal. The last thing you want is for people to think you bought some weird crap secondhand.

It's fun and exciting to shop at Goodwill if all you're looking for is a hilarious coat or a stupid hat, but imagine trying to get whole family's wardrobe there. Your t-shirts and jeans and all your sweaters.

I mean, jeans from Goodwill. If you've never had to shop for jeans at Goodwill, I mean had to shop for jeans there, let me take a moment to break this down for you. The whole world agrees that jean shopping in general is the worst, especially shopping for women's jeans. Hard to find a pair that's comfortable, flattering, the right wash, the right fit, etc. Jean shopping sucks even when you’re at a normal store where there’s a wall of jeans in the exact same style in a rainbow of sizes from 0 to 16. Even when you can go to multiple normal stores, each with stacks and stacks of jeans, all of which conform beautifully to the season’s trends. Even in these ideal environments, it's hard to find a good pair of jeans.

So, lololol Goodwill jean shopping. When you’re shopping at Goodwill for jeans, it goes like this: You take the entire section of jeans that are in the realm of your size — so like, 3 to 12 — and try all of them on. If it buttons and zips, and doesn't seem to cut off your circulation or fall off of you, and doesn't have like, weird, only-find-this-at-Goodwill crap on it, purchase! Btw, in a given shopping trip, approximately 0 jeans will meet this bar, so expect to go thrift shopping every week.

No, Macklemore, thrift stores suck. Rich people clothes stores are glorious. Beautiful new clothing in beautiful fabrics, all seasonally appropriate and some degree of trendy. Pristine stitching and textures. Fully stocked and organized so I can buy 10 new things in half an hour, versus spending every Saturday every week combing the Goodwill racks, with the hope that maaaybe something in my size will be the same color as those jeans the girls at school are wearing.

It’s so easy to disdain others' obsession with expensive clothes when you can afford it. "Fifty dollars for a t-shirt, that’s just some ignorant bitch shit."

I love that Macklemore is calling something "ignorant bitch shit" in his song where every other line is dripping with hypocrisy and privilege. Macklemore is smugly wondering why more people don’t shop at thrift shops, then the only things he buys there are gag items. Buying Gucci is "being tricked by a business" but he lists the Air Jordan 3’s as "one of my top five Jordans."

Then when people credit Macklemore with starting a conversation on materialism and hip-hop, UGH. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

Let’s go back 10 years ago. 10 years ago (!), Kanye West dropped All Falls Down, remember that song? All Falls Down is addressing exactly this same topic, the obsession with brands and expensive clothes, but with far more depth and sensitivity than Thrift Shop. Whereas Macklemore condemns people for being obsessed with brands, Kanye condemns materialism while being understanding of why there is an obsession with materialism, an obsession that he admits he shares. "We shine because they hate us, floss cuz they degrade us, we're trying to buy back our 40 acres."

But I mean, as Macklemore says, clearly the only reason someone would want brand name shirt is because they’re "trying to get girls from a brand." Right? Not for pride, not for a glimpse of a better life, but to impress the opposite sex!

Yeaaaaaah. So, tell me again which rapper is talking about real issues, and which one is talking about the "typical" bitches and hoes stuff?


git svn checksum mismatch

December 17th, 2010 2 Comments »

When I update suuuuuper old Chromium repositories, I occasionally get that stupid Checksum mismatch from svn. It happens often enough that it's a thing, but uncommonly enough that I forget how to fix it each time. So, FOR PROSPERITY:

Checksum mismatch: trunk/src/chrome/test/functional/search_engines.py 5d1082dfc3e6363ece792d7cd49fde0a7ce9c6df
expected: e88e3ea6349cb44955d58e6a3964824f
got: af58cced63097504e4bfb6574c252f4a

Then proooobably what happens was search_engines.py downloaded wonky or something such that the hash no longer came to be the correct thing. So solution:

See what was the revision number of the last change on the file:
git svn log chrome/test/functional/search_engines.py

Reset svn to be closest parent before that revision:
git svn reset -r62248 -p

Do a git svn fetch!

Dance at your success.


I need a hero

September 21st, 2009 No Comments »

OH WAIT FOUND ONE SEE ABOVE