May 22, 2012 • Parenting: Dad
Welcome to fatherhood! At first glance, the adventures of New Dad sound an awful lot like the adventures of Bachelor Man:
· Late nights with a bottle in your hand
· Working extra hard to get her into bed
· Explaining why it’s OK for you to spend some time apart
· Sleepover parties with tons of girls
· Talking about drugs and alcohol
But now all these activities have a whole new spin. That late-night bottle is full of baby formula, not Sam Adams. You’re luring that cutie-pie to bed by reading a story, clearing the room of monsters, and fetching “one last glass of water” before retreating to the blissful haven of your own room. That talk about spending time apart is going to happen while your child wails in despair as you try to say good-bye and drive away on the first day of school. The sleepover party—yeah, your job is to rent a movie that a roomful of nine-year-olds will all like. And talking about mood-altering substances gets a lot less funny and a lot more serious when you’re the one explaining to your child why she should not use them.
It’s a whole new world, huh? But, being a dad is life altering—for the better! A lifetime of joy awaits. Also, a lifetime of stuff that needs doing. Fortunately, Stuff Every Dad Should Know exists to help.
May 21, 2012 • Fiction: MG & YA
Tobey Maguire and Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys
Hipster bookworms crawl out of the woodwork when an adaptation makes its way to the silver screen. “Oh, you’re seeing “The Hunger Games” this weekend? I read those books before anyone knew about them.”
Here are some book-to-movie adaptations that are “really obscure.” I mean, you’ve probably never heard of them.
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008): Based on the Michael Chabon novel of the same name, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh explores the complexities looming in the mind of just-out-of-college Art Bechstein. In order to make the novel more cinematic, writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber merged best friend Cleveland Arning with the novel’s homosexual love interest Arthur Lecomte. Cleveland’s girlfriend Jane was given a much larger role in the adaptation, turning what was in the novel a periphery character into a central one.
The choice to “simplify” Art’s experience by creating a love triangle rather than letting the characters live in this complex experience where not everyone knows everyone else would be enough to turn a Chabon purists away. But the pure fact that there is a commercial version of this coming-of-age novel gives those same Chabon purists hope.
Wonder Boys (2000): Another movie based on a Michael Chabon novel, The Wonder Boys was a box office flop. So much so, that after the initial February release director Curtis Hanson and producer Scott Rudin lobbied to have the movie re-released in November 2000. The ad campaign was redesigned to emphasize the ensemble feel of the film -- a sharp contrast to the original poster, which featured a sole headshot of Michael Douglas accompanied with the tagline “Undependable. Unpredictable. Unforgettable.”
While the poster and trailer were arguably more accurate the second time around -- capturing the essence of this potential one-book wonder author as he navigates relationships with his colleagues, lovers, and students -- the re-release was also a financial disappointment. This adaptation, however, left all the major players in tact, trusting its audience to find the beauty in complexities.
May 21, 2012 • What Would You Do?: Readers Respond to The Last Policeman
If there was really just half a year before the whole planet went kablooie, what would you do?
I am a coward. In my day to day life, I see so much rude behavior in the public sphere, but I don't have the guts to say something. People do all sorts of little things that make someone else's day just a little bit worse.
May 17, 2012 • American History, History
The Rosenbach Museum on Bloomsday
Who doesn't love a good museum? In Philadelphia, where Quirk is located, we have a ton of 'em. Rocky even ran up the steps of one. We're also proud to be the home of the Rosenbach Museum and Library, an incredible place full of rare texts. And that's not the only museum that's all books all the time. Here are some more.
Rosenbach Museum (Philadelphia, PA): The Rosenbach Museum and Library was founded in 1954 and is home to the collections of Philip Rosenbach and his younger brother A. S. W. Rosenbach. The museum currently boasts an exhibit on the illustrations of Maurice Sendak, offering a glimpse at three picture books by the Wild Things artist. Beginning May 30th, the museum will display an exhibit titled “Who Owns Ulysses? Joyce and Copyright.” If you can’t make it out to Philadelphia, the Rosenbach’s website alone is worth a visit. Past exhibits on Abe Lincoln, the Civil War, and the history of neckwear are archived and can be explored virtually.
Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC): Founded in 1932, the Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-class research center and prides itself in being the premiere center for Shakespeare studies outside of England. The library is also home to the Folger Theatre, producing three plays a year.
An exhibit titled “Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers 1500-1700” is currently on display as part of the museum’s celebration of women writers. Visitors can also view one of Shakespeare’s First Folios, which is permanently on display. The Folger owns 82 copies of the First Folio, approximately one-third of those believed to still be in existence.
May 16, 2012 • Handbooks: Worst-Case
It’s Wednesday again, and we’re approaching the big summer travel season. In honor of my own upcoming vacation, I’m going to share some advice from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel.
Okay, I am unlikely to encounter this specific danger in Orlando, but you never know what’s coming.