Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Life is certainly interesting when you're Leaning With Intent to Fall

I've never been big on the whole "On The Road" experience,both in literature and in real life(way too fond of my creature comforts there)but as they say,to each his own.If you are curious about what living such a harum-scarum lifestyle is like without getting out of your easy chair,a good way to do so would be to grab a copy of Ethan Clark's lively memoir,Leaning with Intent to Fall.

The title refers to an alledged offense that can get you arrested in New Orleans(along with "assaulting a cheeseburger.") Clark is a freelance writer and the creator of such zines as Chihuahua and Pitbull and A Little Guide To Truing Bike Wheels,who recounts his times spent in New Orleans,both pre and post Katrina as well as in other exotic ports of call like Marshfield,Wisconsin,where he and a buddy sold fireworks during the summer season(with the constant refrain of "where's the good stuff?" being asked by every other customer they had at the tent).

Clark worked a number of odd jobs(stilt walker for a professional party company,delivery boy for many restaurants,one of which had fried Twinkies on the menu)and lived in various places that all shared one thing in common-they were filled with folks ready to party or just do their own thing.

He finds alot of good humor and pathos in this(including himself as the punchline when need be)which makes his stories incredibly entertaining,like hanging out at a friend's casual get together and listening to one of his/her rebel yell pals sharing a strange but true tale of fleeing wild dogs or trying to use a borrowed blowtorch to break into a sealed up monument just to look out one of the upper windows for the view.

Having never been to New Orleans myself,I can't say if the picture that Clark is a true representation of the life and times of certain young people there or not. I do feel confident in saying that certainly sounds authentic and proves that"this whole world's wild at heart and weird on top."

Also,while reading it,I kept thinking that it's the kind of book that Rory Gilmore's old boyfriend Jess would've kept in his back pocket to read while waiting to flirt with her at Luke's. Leaning With Intent To Fall is definately a smart and snappy tome for those who prefer to walk off the beaten path:

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