The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts from the “Books” Category

The New Beat

Posted on March 23, 2013

John Clellon Holmes once said, “Everywhere the Beat Generation seems occupied with the feverish production of answers—some of them frightening, some of them foolish—to a single question: how are we to live?” Holmes was a kind of wrangler of his wayward band of brothers – Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Cassady. He collected and compiled all holy data equally induced by drugs and existential despair to document and thus immortalize the claudicant enlightenments of his lost thinkers. And that’s what it was all about; the beatniks occupied themselves solely with the single most relevant question of any person’s life: how are we to live? In this way, we are all beatniks. No one’s experience or story counts for more than any other, just as no one…

A Russian Ballet and Zoom Cafe

Posted on October 1, 2012

In you’re ever in a foreign land, let me divulge a crucial not-so-secret secret that I find people sometimes forget. Take the time, spare the energy, and spend the money to go to places and do things. You’ll only regret not going to those places and not doing those things. In my case, I’ve been trying to maximize my time in Peter by seeking out the best bars and food and Russian cultural experiences, like the ballet and Zoom Cafe for instance. While I’m not one to be the most appreciative of ballet, this rendition of Don Quixote was visually stunning. And Zoom Cafe, the swanky restaurant featured below, is seriously cool. It’s like a lounge covered in books, pillows, coloring-book menus, crayons, and…

Gratuitous Photo Dump//Nikon FM

Posted on May 4, 2012

After a month-long nerve-wracking misadventure with my Nikon FM, I finally see a finished product. Film photography is dying medium, but I’m still thrilled to use it. This camera has shaved years off my life just from sheer stress, but the feeling of seeing these photos materialized feels too good; the weight on my shoulders is alleviated, I breathe easier. I think I have a problem. Cherry Blossom Festival, 2012. Ten minutes before I took this, the painter said that someone stole one of his paintings that was leaning against a nearby tree. He was fuming, and the last thing he probably wanted was for someone to steal another one of his images with a camera. A photo of the paints will have to…

Blossoms and Bitches

Posted on March 23, 2012

It has been 100 years since cherry blossom trees were shipped over from Tokyo as a gesture of peace, amnesty, and friendship between the US and Japan. This was a brilliant motion that energizes the city every spring and makes beautiful blossom petals dance in the wind. The current Cherry Blossom Festival is not without its implications, but the one I lament the most is the crowds of people. Yes, this season is exciting for me in a photography, jogging, and people-watching kind of way, but if people think I will uproot my reading spot on the side of the Jefferson Memorial to make way for their family photo with the expectation that some person won’t purposefully photo-bomb their perfect memory with a hideous…

The Story of a Book

Posted on March 2, 2012

It’s seldom that I see anyone perusing the stacks of the library. While this indicates that too many people aren’t taking advantage of a different type of infinite wealth of knowledge and wisdom they have at their keyboard-stroking fingertips, this also means that I have unlimited literature all to myself. I can skip along the aisles in utter joy, dragging my fingers along thousands of leathery bindings and there is no one there to obstruct my path. I can, theoretically, build a blanket fort anchored by books, one with bookshelves for walls and two password-guarded exits (hint: it’s the invention in Cat’s Cradle that destroys the world). This is nothing but a silly theory, but it is one I am determined to test. And there would…

Books and the Stig

Posted on January 20, 2012

My bedroom is comically imbalanced – the desk is cocooned by a lego-esque border of old and new books. Books I love, books I’ve read, and books that have yet to endure the gratuitous cover-bending that comes with each thorough and addicting read. This provides for a not-so-subtle contrast comparative to the rest of the room, which is stark white and empty. My Stig flash drive is the king of the books.

Bucket List 2012 and My Intentions in the Year We Supposedly All Perish

Posted on January 15, 2012

There are some mysteries that will never be solved. One, for example, is how the search engine term ‘woman puts boyfriend in headlock with her thighs’ led two people on two separate occasions to this blog. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t meet a moment of arrest and briefly reconsider my choices in content. Another celebrated  mystery is how Kim Kardashian ever became famous. As far as I can tell, she lacks any talent in its traditional sense but somehow commands the attention of millions just by looking hot, even though she can’t even do that right because she looks like a plastic extraterrestrial with a comically and disproportionately inflated ass. The last mystery mentioned will be how this stigma and inherent…

Book Rant

Posted on September 12, 2011

How can a place call itself a bookstore when it doesn’t carry any of the publications of Bill Bryson, possibly the greatest writer of all time? How can people work in a bookstore, thereby assuming unto themselves the label of “book person” because they accepted the job after all, and not know who Bill Bryson is?? And then they couldn’t point me in the right direction for Camus, Solzhenitsyn, or Neruda. God, that sounded pretentious.