Bookspotting: The Man With The Golden Typewriter

The Man With the Golden Typewriter is a collection of Ian Fleming’s correspondence relating to the Bond novels. It’s a hefty tome, but well-organized and an interesting peek into the state of the fiction publishing industry in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as Fleming’s personality.

Fleming was a likeable old sod, despite his flaws, and with a charming habit of thanking various helpers by naming related characters after them. His correspondence with the real-life version of Major Boothroyd (Bond’s armourer, introduced in Dr. No and only later called “Q”)  was particularly memorable. The flesh-and-blood version was a gun enthusiast in Scotland who wrote an articulate and impassioned letter to Fleming deploring Bond’s choice of sidearm in the early books, complete with facts and figures about muzzle velocity and whatnot. Fleming, v. appreciative of the advice, entered into a long-time correspondence with Boothroyd on that subject and, eventually, Boothroyd was hired on by Cubby Broccoli as a consultant to the Bond films on the same subject.

It’s not a book to read in a couple of binge sessions, but best kept by the bed (or in your commute bag) and enjoyed over an extended period of time, lest everything blur together and lose coherence.

If you’re a fan of the Bond novels and want to learn more about the man who wrote them, this one’s a must-read.

Hoping For The Best…

I caught up with the rest of fandom and watched the trailer for Rogue One.

I must say, it’s engaged a whole hell of a lot more of my interest than The Force Awakens did. I didn’t see that in the theater and I doubt I’ll bother with it when it’s out on DVD, either. The more I heard about the plot, the harder I rolled my eyes.

Like TFA, Rogue One stinks of fan-service but at least they’re breaking some new ground with (mostly) new characters and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my cosplay fingers started itching by the time the trailer was halfway done.

I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be The Phantom Menace all over again.

Politics, Etc.

I watched the Wisconsin primary results with a mixture of relief, trepidation and annoyance. Relief to see the Orange Bastard finally lose a primary – and lose hard. Trepidation because he’s got such a lead that a contested convention might be too much to hope for. And annoyance because even when Sanders wins a state by double digits, the media can’t be arsed to spare him any coverage. Sure, sure, the Orange Bastard generates more clicks but, dammit, the bias in coverage has gone beyond ridiculous.

I’d love to see a floor fight at the Republican convention in July for two reasons. First, I’ve never witnessed such a thing and it might be somewhat entertaining to watch – from afar – although all the real action will be happening behind closed doors. Secondly, I’m rooting for Kasich to come out as the compromise nominee and so does he, otherwise he wouldn’t still be in the race.

July’s going to be interesting, but getting there might kill me.

This is Worse Than the Dental Procedure…

I’m only a couple of days into the mandatory “No chewing for you!” diet post tooth-pull and I’m ready to commit homicide for something crunchy and salty.

I’m currently getting by on mashed sweet potatoes, avocado, Greek yogurt and scrambled eggs. Oh, and pudding, of course. The Husband has offered to make pancakes for dinner tonight* and I think I can get away with those if I’m careful. But they’re not French fries, dammit.

For what it’s worth, you can eat hummus right out of the serving container, but it feels only marginally less trashy than doing ditto with peanut butter.

*We have pancakes for dinner about once a month because we’re grownups and we can do that.

Tea: A rant-ette

I’m told that Brits are getting the hang of making decent coffee – although Starbucks might be setting them back a few years – but Americans still don’t quite have the hang of tea. At least, they don’t at you average chain-store coffee place. I understand it’s too much aggravation to take the 190 degree water that’s already heated for the coffee and heat it further to 212 but, dammit, the stuff does taste different when it’s steeped properly. Oh sure, you can get something tea-colored and almost good enough but a Brit newly off the boat (so to speak) would probably be horrified. Me? I’ve gotten used to it. I refuse, however, to use Lipton tea bags. Fortunately, a number of British brands are easy to get over here and there are some excellent purveyors of loose tea, too.

Copping Out

I just had a tooth pulled and, no, I’m not high on prescription painkillers, but I am justifying missing a day in my personal post-a-day challenge.

I will say, though, pursuant to yesterday’s post, that I find myself looking forward to the Dr. Strange movie far more than I ever was to Batman v. Superman. I was only going to get psyched up about that if they had Christian Bale and Brendan Fraiser in the title roles, respectively.

Things I Do For Self Care

  • Read.
  • Eat.
  • Play with the cats.
  • Read and eat.
  • Sew – although it’s more often an exercise in masochism.
  • Write angry blog entries and then delete them.

Hm, the list seems a little scanty. But I’m not – and never have been – the “give yourself a pedicure / scented bubble bath / makeover” kind of person, so all those options are ruled out. Exercise should be on the list, but it feels too much like hard work.

Need to figure out what else I can put on the list.

Hm.

A friend died and, predictably, it tore the lid off my own can of personal grief. I’ve been seized with the desire to find recordings of my late husband, because I feel like I’m forgetting what he sounded like. And I want to show said recordings to the chap I subsequently married for reasons that elude me. I’m not going to go ahead with that idea until I figure out the reasoning because I can think of at least two ways that such an incident would not end well.

Food, So-Called. Well, Actually…

When eaten fresh out of the package, Peeps are actually pretty good. I don’t know what all the hate is about. It’s just a sugar-coated marshmallow.

Then again, I say this a person who has, of their own free will, eaten Fry’s Turkish Delight and Marmite. Not simultaneously, of course. Even I think that would be going too far.

I found Wagon Wheels at the imported candy shop last week and squealed like a little girl. I’ve grown accustomed to being able to find Galaxy chocolate and Aero bars without too much trouble, but I haven’t seen a Wagon Wheel since I last patronized the tuck shop at my middle school.

Are those still a thing? Tuck shops? Or have they been swept aside by so-called progress?