November 30, 2006

Doing It For the Kids

The Kirkus Best Children's Books of 2006 includes most of the usual suspects, including King Dork. (That's a pdf file, by the way.)

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November 29, 2006


Or rather, upcoming:

I'm going to be doing a reading &c. at Moe's Books in Berkeley on Tuesday, Dec. 5th. 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94704. 510 849-2087. 7:30 PM.

I'm also going to show up at "Arline and Beth's Holiday Dream Show" of the Porchlight Storytelling series, presented by Arline Klatte and Beth Lisick, to play a song or something. That's Monday, December 18th at the Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market St., San Francisco. 7:30 PM.

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Never too young?


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November 27, 2006

Get on Your Bikes and Ride...

If you want to witness Joel Stein writing about King Dork in Time Magazine and comparing me to Mark Twain, sort of, go here. (I like the Chris Henchy quote.)

UPDATE: I'll tell you what: it sure is weird to see your picture in a real honest to god magazine. It isn't on-line, but this is the photo they used in the dead tree version of the article, taken by Paige O'Donoghue when we were goofing off at the Hyatt a few months back:


(Unfortunately, they misspelled her name on the photo credit - sorry Paige!)

And, by the way, if you're interested in those Sam Hellerman T-shirts, here's where to get some.

UPDATE II: According to the article, the King Dork trailer helped the Gary Sanchez guys "see" it as a movie. (Which was news to me.) Of course, the credit for the video goes to Andrew Krucoff, not me. Nice work!

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November 26, 2006

Let Mother Sort it Out...

Graham of Harry's Place celebrated his anniversary by going to see Chas and Dave.

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"Quotation Mark" Abuse


I "love" this flickr gallery.

("via" boingboing.)

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November 24, 2006

Our Neil

Long-time readers of this blog, if there still are any, may remember Neil Clark, the eccentric British journalist most noted (by me, at any rate) for an article entitled "Slobodan Milosevic, Prisoner of Conscience."

He once sent me an email from his aol account which concluded:

Learn from the mistakes of your great inspiration, the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. Had he bided his time and waited a while before invading Poland he would probably have succeeded in his plan for total world dominion. But thankfully he failed, and so I think will you.
(I admit, in retrospect, that he had a point. Any plans I may have had for t. w. d. have, to put it mildly, not panned out, at least not all the way.)

One of the most charming things about Clark is that his passion for his own contrarian views is matched by a disarming difficulty with ordinary things. He's not all that good at spelling or grammar, particularly when he is excited about something. He hasn't quite mastered the ins and outs of html, and it is only recently that he figured out (more or less) how to break his text into paragraphs on his blog. He has been observed attempting to engage a spam-bot in stimulating dialogue. The email quoted above was his third attempt: the first was blank, while the text of the second was incomplete. On the third try he managed to include the entire message. Even though he was mad at me, I was kind of proud of him, as I was when he finally figured out how to change his blog's banner so that it no longer registered his disapproval of "perpertual conflict." He is like the waitress who manages to drop a tray and knock over a couple of chairs and a table while trying to pour your coffee. Even though there is scalding coffee all over your table and perhaps even your lap, your heart goes out to her. You want to comfort her, tell her everything is going to be all right. You may even feel like giving her a great big tip. That's kind of how I feel about Mr. Clark, truth be told.

Anyway, it is, I suppose, in this grand tradition that his recent attempt to sue fellow britblogger Oliver Kamm for defamation or slander (or something) appears to have resembled nothing so much as a man tripping after having inadvertently tied his own shoelaces together. So it goes. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this kind of adorable. At least, I detect something of the same appreciation in this reminiscence from a Harry's Place commenter:

He once e-mailed me ordering me never to call him 'a charlatan and a bounder' in a public place again unless I could provide evidence that he was such!!!
Good times.
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November 21, 2006

The End's Ends

Milbarge of Begging the Question reviews several books, including mine.

King Dork's ambiguous resolution is not to everyone's taste, though those who "get it" really do seem to appreciate it. I'm pleased with this formulation from the BtQ review, because it succinctly captures the intent, for good or ill:

I like the ending, which is ambiguous but not disappointing, and appropriate for a coming-of-age, where the endpoint is often not clarity but perspective.
That's what they all say, I imagine, but still...
Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:02 PM | TrackBack

If Parody is the Word I Want...

Christopher Buckley spins a spot-on Jeeves and W. parody in the New Yorker:

“Dash it, Jeeves, the only exit strategy is victory.”

“Yes, sir. So Dr. Kissinger keeps insisting. And yet, as the Bard would suggest, ripeness is all.”

“What are you talking about?”

“ ‘King Lear,’ sir. A play by the late Mr. Shakespeare.”

“Just spit it out.”

“As you may recall, sir, I had suggested replacing Mr. Rumsfeld before the election, rather than after.”

“Deuced good idea, Jeeves. See to it immediately. Walk him up the scaffold, and no blindfold. That’ll get us a few votes.”

We W.s are slow to anger, but, when the feeling comes, the ground around us trembles.

“If I may, sir?”

“What is it, Jeeves?”

“The election is over.”

“Oh. Dash it all, Jeeves, you might have told me.”

(via Andrew Sullivan.)

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Mr. Grayling Objects...

Eagleton reviews Dawkins. Mr. Grayling objects. Norm comments. Mr Grayling objects...

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Try this out...

Gir set up some stuff that, we hope, will make the comment spam more soft and manageable, so I'm turning the comments back on just to see what happens.

Only posts on the main page will allow comments. Comments on everything earlier than those will be closed. (Do I have that right?)

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November 19, 2006

Inscription in a copy of Thomas Merton's Raids on the Unspeakable

Found at a used book store in Oakland:


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November 17, 2006

think a loserish 10th-grade version of High Fidelity’s Rob Gordon crossed with a young, insecure Klosterman.

Pajiba comments on the King Dork movie news in its Weekly Trade Round-up.

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November 16, 2006

King Dork vs. English 98

These photos are from Razor's wild and crazy English class:




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November 15, 2006

My Man Will

I've been getting lots of calls and mail about it, so clearly the story is out, but I may as well mention it here anyway.

The film rights to King Dork were acquired by the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay Paramount/Vantage production company Gary Sanchez Productions.

It's early days yet to say when or if it will actually get made into a movie, but it certainly is a step in the right direction towards that eventuality.

(I'm still too scared to turn my comments back on, but there is a discussion of the announcement over at the Pop Punk Bored if you want to type something.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:11 PM | TrackBack

Organic Ezekiel

Tracey found this shopping list at The Beanhouse:

[image of "found" shopping list deleted; it may be viewed here -- ed.]
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November 14, 2006

then you plunge into forests of the night and embrace the darkness....

Buckfast "tonic wine" is apparently all the rage in today's Young Scotland. I have never tasted it, and indeed I know next to nothing about it, but I did enjoy these exuberant (and perhaps slightly hammered) "reviews" from Buckfast enthusiasts on the website, including this one:

happnin this is the bucky crew fi fife praising buckfast loud 'n' pround! Canni get enuff eh the tonic likes its just the best drink yi could git roond! 3 bottles eh buck nd thats the trick likez, insted eh a apple a day drink a bottle eh buck a day lol brilliant stuff keeps us aww gawn ! The Bucky Crew fi Fife !!
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November 13, 2006

I Give Up

I feel I can no longer fight the spam robots, so I have turned off the comments. At some point, I imagine, I will post something new, at which time I'll consider turning them back on just to see what happens. Till then, if you or the spambots try to comment on a previous item, you or the spambots, I believe, will get a message saying something like "registration required." Yet you and the spambots will find no available means of registering anything. Sorry about that. I know it's rude, but I really can't take it anymore...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 12:48 AM | TrackBack

November 06, 2006


In the process of trying to delete the thousands of spam comments left on this site recently, I accidentally junked the 19 most recent real comments. I have tried to locate them to restore them, but the layers of spam are so thick and numerous that I may never spot them. My apologies.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The King Dork paperback is some time away, but we're working on copyedits for it now. I haven't found too many errors, but I am not known for my attention to detail. If anyone has noticed any typos or other errors, could you email them with the page numbers?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:21 PM | TrackBack

November 02, 2006

As True as it Gets

If you're up for some "true-life storytelling", I'm on the bill of this Kitchen Sink Magazine event called "Telegraph Stories."

Sunday, November 5. 7 to 10 PM at the Make-out Room, 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA. With Chris Baty, Sam Hurwitt, David Skolnick, Pillows, and Sweetbriar.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:29 PM | TrackBack