30 May 2008

Rate of Production... Slowing...

So, you may (or may not) have noticed that the posts on Bottom Shelf Books are trickling out at a less than steady rate. (You could also say that the quality of the posts have gone down... but that would just be mean.)

Part of the reason is that we are knee deep preparing for an upcoming wedding and trying to do as much of it ourselves as possible. Like Save the Dates! Look, we're famous-ish!

28 May 2008

Everyone Poops



Everyone poops... apparently even former press secretary Scott McClellan. Here's an actual excerpt from his much-hyped tell-all book (this passage refers to questions about the Valerie Plame CIA leak case):

"I could feel something fall out of me into the abyss as each reporter took a turn whacking me," he writes of the withering criticism he received as the story played out.

Can it be? Is McClellan actually admitting to $h!tting his pants during a press conference? I smell a NY Times bestseller! (No pun intended.)



"Don't worry, I washed my hands. See?"

27 May 2008

Doctor De Soto



Author/Illustrator: William Steig

Few know this, but Doctor De Soto was inspired by a speech given by Doctor Franklin De Soto, considered to be one of the earliest pioneers in the field of Dental Medicine. (Interesting fact: D.D.S. = Dr. De Soto.)

In his commencement speech to the West Virginia School of Dentistry Class of 1927, Dr. De Soto described, in surprisingly candid detail, the pains of devoting one's life to dentistry. Here is an excerpt:

"All of you have given years of your lives studying the field of dentistry. What was it that drove you? It definitely wasn't the lifetime of halitosis and plaque-caked mouths that inspired you to complete this grueling degree. So why did you do it? For the same reason I entered the field: the simple desire to help your fellow man. You were born with the impulse to alleviate the sharp pains of daily life and to soothe the dull and persistent hurt that plagues your neighbor. But I'm here to warn you: your idealism will not be rewarded.

This is what you will receive for your trouble: You will be the nightmare of the young children who come screaming into your office as if you were the devil himself. You will be subjected to an endless parade of adults who brazenly lie to your face... yeah, you "try to floss everyday", my ass. You will devote years to straightening the teeth of spoiled adolescents who will use their flawless smile to convince some poor soul to marry them--and you won't even get an invitation to their wedding.

So I'm warning you now: Dentistry is a thankless profession. For those of you considering a career in dentistry, do not for one minute expect accolades or even simple gratitude for your efforts. No amount of free toothbrushes or sugarfree lollipops will sway the fickle souls of your patients. Your clientele is like an ungrateful and unholy wolf, just waiting to take a bite out of your youthful idealism. That being said, I encourage you to proceed because yours is still a noble profession. But if you do choose to travel down this thorny path, do so with eyes wide open, or else you will be consumed by the very people you are trying to help. If my years of dentistry have taught me one thing, it is this: An open mouth is just a bite waiting to happen. With that, I congratulate you, Class of 1927. Best of luck. You're going to need it."

Rumor has it that a young William Steig was an undergraduate student who took Dr. De Soto's words to heart and decided to change his course of study from dentistry and pursue a life as an artist. Yet, as his book shows, he never lost his respect for the dental profession or the mousy old curmudgeon who took the time to tell him the truth.

08 May 2008

On the Campaign Trail: Duck for President



Against all odds, Duck is continuing his historic bid for the presidency of the United States. Lately, in order to keep himself in the public eye, he has been making the talk show rounds. Here are some soundbites from his interview with Larry King:

On Senator Obama: "I agree with the Senator when he says that it's time to get beyond politics as usual. The difference is that I am willing to take it a step further. I think it's high time we entered into an era of politics as unusual. And what would be more unusual than having a humble barnyard duck your Commander in Chief?"

On His Temper: "I know that there is a video floating around on YouTube that has caused quite a stir. I admit that in my past I have had some anger management issues... but trust me, they are nothing compared to John McCain's legendary outbursts. Plus, that cougar had it coming."

On President Bush:
"He is the definition of a lame duck president--I think America is ready for a change. I think America is ready to have an awesome Duck in the White House."


For more information, visit www.duckforamerica.com.

01 May 2008

BSB Flashback: Do You Want To Be My Friend?



3 May 2007

Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle

Hmmm... Carle might want to take this one back. In this story, a little mouse goes around asking various animals "Do you want to be my friend?" To which all the animals answer: "No." The mouse suffers one rejection after another until he finally comes across a fellow mouse. This time, when he asks "Do you want to be my friend?", the mouse answers "Yes!" and the two little mice go running off to play.

You might just think its a cute little story at first, but think again. Imagine the same exact story, but this time instead of animals, the story features little kids. Not so cute anymore, is it? The story carries an underlying message of self-segregation that is a little unsettling. Hopefully, this politically-incorrect theme was unintentional. Given his stellar track record, I am willing to give Carle the benefit of the doubt--for now. But I'm keeping my eye on you, Eric.

Silver Lining Note: On the bright side, with a little controversy, comes... THE TEACHABLE MOMENT!!! This is the perfect opportunity to engage your child in a frank discussion about race relations in modern day America. You can start by asking, How come none of the other animals wanted to be the mouse's friend? or Why did the two mice end up being friends? or Why was the elephant such a big jerk?

Then, have your child read Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, and write a 12 page paper analyzing playground dynamics to create a theoretical framework that outlines the challenges of identity formation in the multicultural climate of today's American society. 11 point font, single spaced, and with full citations (APA format). And make sure they take it seriously, because this assignment counts for 50% of their childhood.