Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes wrote a young adult novel and it sounds fantastically weird

Gibby Haynes, frontman for legendary psych band the Butthole Surfers, penned a young adult novel, "Me and Mr. Cigar," to be released in January. And no surprise, it sound fantastically far fucking out. I can't wait to read it. Here's the description:

Seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester is never without his dog, Mr. Cigar. The two have made a pretty good life for themselves in North Texas, organizing drug-fueled dance parties with Oscar’s best friend, Lytle Taylor. The only real grownup in Oscar’s life is Carla Marks, protégé of his deceased father and the genius behind the enigmatic IBC Corporation. (Oscar’s mom spends all of her time with her new boyfriend.) Carla doesn’t approve of Oscar’s nefarious activity, though his parties provide an ideal environment to test-run some of IBC’s more freakish technology. As for Oscar’s older sister, Rachel . . . she’s been gone for the past five years, having fled after Mr. Cigar bit off her hand.

But Oscar knows that his dog is no menace. Mr. Cigar is a loyal protector: a supernatural creature that can exact revenge, communicate telepathically, and manipulate car doors and windows with ease. So when Rachel—now twenty-two and an artist living in New York—calls out of the blue and claims that she’s being held hostage, Oscar sees an opportunity to make things right between them . . . at least until Carla Marks warns Oscar that Mr. Cigar’s life might be in danger, too.

Suddenly Oscar finds himself on the run with his dog and his best friend.

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Why I'm sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a high-school in Pensacola, FL

The principal of Booker T Washington High in Pensacola FL cancelled the school's One School/One Book summer reading program rather than letting all the kids go through with the previously approved assignment to read Little Brother, the bestselling young adult novel by Cory Doctorow. With Cory and Tor Books' help, the teachers are fighting back.

Growing Up Gay in 2013: Joe Schwartz, the teen in "Oddly Normal"

My friend John Schwartz at the New York Times wrote "Oddly Normal," a wonderful book about how he and his wife Jeanne worked through challenges to learn how best to support their son Joe, who is gay.

In the Atlantic today, Alice Dreger interviews Joe, who is now 17 years old, "to expand on some of the themes explored in the book and answer some questions raised by people who have commented on it."

Joe is a really interesting person, and the interview is terrific. Go have a read.

(Photo: John and Joe, shot by Ethan Hill for the NYT) Read the rest

"Pre-gaming" leads to riskier behavior and more alcohol consumption, groundbreaking study finds

A Swiss study has found that "pre-drinking," "pre-funking," "pre-gaming"—basically, the ritual among college-age young adults of drinking before you go out to drink, leads to "excessive consumption and adverse consequences."

Pre-gaming didn't have a name when I was their age; it's interesting how the phenomenon (is it even a phenomenon?) has become a media meme this year. This NYT story is another example.

I realize the newly-released study provides citeable evidence about a behavior with dangerous consequences, but the results are kind of like, yo, thanks, Captain Obvious.

"Increased drinking was associated with a greater likelihood of blackouts, hangovers, absences from work or school or alcohol poisoning. Pre-drinkers were also found to engage more often in unintended drug use, unsafe sex, drunken driving or violent behavior."

Sounds about right. More in the LA Times. Read the rest