Wine appreciation night: Gold buttons & financial plans

winesJack Shackaway here.

The financial sky is falling. (So what’s new, eh? See here and here.). China’s economy is stumbling, the world’s share markets are tanking, and here in Bangkok anonymous malcontents have been bombing public places. Never mind. Starving writers are shielded from stock market crashes, at least, a regular feature of this life you don’t even notice if you have a pot to piss in but that’s about all.

Still, life can be good, and wine tastings … Read more

Hot times: A weather forecast

Forecast: Cloudy times, with a good chance of precipitate moral outrage.

demagogue

chimp angryHere in Bangkok, and just about wherever else in this world you look, the moral warriors are out and about on all sides making angry chimp faces at each other. So what’s new, eh?

In the course of a recent archaeological investigation of my hard drive, I came across the following screed, composed sometime in the mid-1990s, judging by associated potshards of popular culture and carbon 14 dating of … Read more

Bingeing on bingeing

Bingeing writers and binge writing. Traditionally, writers have been notorious bingers. And, aside from any occupational enthusiasm for booze and suchlike, we get binge writing, where instead of turning caffeine into books, as some would have it, writers instead turn whiskey into piss and engage in binge writing in the intervals between their alchemical endeavors. (I first encountered the expression “binge writing” listening to a Letterman interview with Hunter S. Thompson. See “What is writing?”)

hangovers joy of

hunter s thompson guardianBinge Read more

*Bangkok Noir* in French

A darker view of Bangkok.

Photo by Steve Gatto

The French edition of Bangkok Noir is on the shelves. 

Les auteurs de Bangkok Noir

John Burdett

Stephen Leather

Pico Iyer

Colin Cotterill

Christopher G. Moore

Tew Bunnag

Timothy Hallinan

Alex Kerr

Dean Barrett

Vasit Dejkunjorn

Eric Stone

And me too:

Collin Piprell

 

For another, darkly comic view:

Kindle

Amazon (print)

Smashwords

Read more

*Bangkok Noir*, French edition

A French edition of Bangkok Noir is due out from Editions GOPE in May or June 2012.

12 nouvelles de John Burdett, Christopher G. Moore, Colin Cotterill, Stephen Leather, Pico Iyer, Timothy Hallinan, Dean Barrett, Eric Stone, Tew Bunnag, Alex Kerr, Vasit Dejkunjorn, Collin Piprell.

Par-delà le sourire thaï et le wai plein de grâce, s’étend un paysage ravagé par les conflits, les rancunes, la colère, la vengeance, les disparitions et la violence. Un monde où perte de la face, … Read more

Karmic comeuppance impending

Bad karma comes knocking.

This is Thailand’s worst flood in 50 years and, judging only by the music and, perhaps, the fact that people didn’t have to check Twitter feeds every minute or so throughout, the 1942 version (video link) looked like lots more fun.

 

 

 

 

4.30pm. Mon. 24 October 2011. Up to the minute report from inner-city Bangkok (Soi Ari–Saphan Kwai).

A trickle of water is emerging from a drain on Phaholyothin Road in … Read more

Hot times in Thailand

This morning I had an interesting experience, one that I will now relate, sparing you any need to conduct your own field research.

In short, don’t put namman muay (“Boxing Liniment”) in your eye.

I awoke with a sore shoulder and, in jockish high spirits, I splashed some of this fiery oil onto the offending muscles with such enthusiasm that quite a lot of it went instead into my eye. Both hands being already contaminated, I couldn’t rinse the eyeball

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Life is terrifying

How’s the new year going for you guys? I had a piece of exercise equipment, in a somewhat inauspicious vein, try to crush my skull about 7am on the morning of January the first. Ever since, I’ve been reflecting on the fact that, just when you least expect it, irony can leap out and mash you. I hope, despite appearances, that incident wasn’t a harbinger of things to come in 2011.

Given the fact I was almost bitten to death … Read more

Tequila Mockingbird: Magic potion divinely inspired

The secret potion I revealed several months ago has proven a great success, in terms of interested visitors from around the world. And the world should rejoice, for  yet another formula has recently come to me in a vision. Preliminary testing is complete.

Tequila Mockingbird (serves 4-6)

Tequila                                                       500ml

Dried & roasted hot chili peppers       4-5  or to taste

Chaser/antidote

Lime juice                                                   500ml

Sugar                                                         4 tblsps or to taste

Salt                                                             2 tspns to mix in

Coarse salt                                               enough to rime … Read more

Jazz piano par excellence: FCCT Friday night happy hour

Bob King’s pianos don’t believe in musical spaces. This rendition of “Night in Tunisia,” e.g., presents a solid wall of brilliant but super-dense improvisation. When Bob’s in this mode, he says, the piano starts playing him. He’s capable of playing the most delicate, subtlest jazz you could want; but his piano doesn’t always want him to play it this way. So Bob can appear to resist, asserting his basic autonomy by demolishing a piano with his bare … Read more