They may not be top-shelf Great Literature, but some of my favorite books - - mostly out-of-print, but available in libraries and thrift stores - - are the humorous fiction and nonfiction of certain female writers of the 40s and 50s. In particular, Mary Lasswell, Betty MacDonald, and Peg Bracken rock my world. And I collect whatever examples I find of the "take to the hills" genre of books - - humorous first-person tales of city people who moved to the country, back before the era of hippies moving "back to the land." (Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I is probably the best-known of these.) I'm also a big fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series (which together comprise The Great American Novel, in my humble opinion), E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia books, Margaret Wise Brown, Jane Austen, Walter Brooks, and Philip K. Dick.
What do I collect? Some days I feel like it would be more accurate to say, what DON'T I collect? When in doubt about whether to buy something, I just repeat my favorite rationalization: Even One Is A Collection! Mostly I'm a Dish Queen and an Old Magazine Junkie, but I have a house full of all kinds of that great, groovy, kitschy 20th-century ephemera that turns up at thrift stores. Currently I'm hunting hardest for Shriner fezzes and other Masonic/Shriner items. Matt continues to accumulate transistor radios and "other electronics stuff" - - an elastic category that includes rabbit-ears tv antennas, early small televisions, tv remote controllers, videogame units and cartridges, and vacuum-tube amplifiers and other stereo gear.
If I'd been on the web in the past, say in 1972 or 1983 or even 1991, I'd probably be creating web pages to rave about The Firesign Theatre, the Church of the SubGenius, rubber stamps and mail art, Ghoulardi and other TV horror-movie hosts, DEVO, exotica music, The Simpsons, or Mystery Science Theater 3000. But that was then and this is now, so I'll spare you the links and move along...
Matt has been involved in videogame design and production since 1981, from old-school coin-op games, through the Commodore 64 and Nintendo eras. Currently he's having a blast working at Blizzard North, where he's the
ponytailed producer on Diablo II for the PC.
As I slouch into my cranky middle years, my life tends to revolve more and more around my couch and my computer, but here's proof that every once in a while I do escape the house for 36 hours of wild life: in front of the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, it's those four notorious housewives, Mimi Pond, Lynn Peril, Al Hoff and me (I'm the one in leopardskin.)