the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Happy Dooce Got Fired Day

A year ago today I got fired from my job because of my website. And I thought that instead of celebrating with vindictive destructive behavior, like asking everyone to write an email to Her Heinousness inquiring about her recent botox injections, how about I resurrect a past Dooce challenge that many of you may have missed the first time around.

In its former incarnation the challenge consisted of choosing 12 songs and 1 book you’d take with you if you had to flee a nuclear holocaust and/or a second term with George W. And as I got thinking about it, I realized that 12 songs is just too easy. What this challenge needs is a Sophie’s Choice type dilemma: do you choose the socially responsible Bob Dylan song or the Marvin Gaye song that signifies the lusty implosion of your innocence? Could you live with yourself if you forsook the Bee Gees? Choices, people, choices.

I’ll go first, and this was seriously fucking hard:

“Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison

Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi

  • Cindy

    2003/02/25 at 11:21 am

    Amanda Lew: The porpoise song is awesome.

  • jenB

    2003/02/25 at 11:24 am

    jimbo, Ironmaiden sung “Run to the hills”, not Megadeath. FYI 🙂

  • Katie

    2003/02/25 at 11:25 am

    Song: Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin
    Book: 1984; it will be my guide book in case big brother comes. But I would like to say you’re my hero for picking Everyone Poops.

  • Donna

    2003/02/25 at 11:28 am

    My skin: Natalie Merchant
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Shirley Jackson

  • Aarika

    2003/02/25 at 11:30 am

    Song: “Lonely Teardrops” by Jackie Wilson

    Book: Pure Drivel by Steve Martin.

  • Dave

    2003/02/25 at 11:47 am

    I am going out on a limb here:

    Book: Wilderness Survival — Gregory J. Davenport

    Song: I Will Survive — Gloria Gaynor

  • Croz

    2003/02/25 at 11:47 am

    Song: “Trouble” by Cat Stevens
    Book: “Gravity’s Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon

  • Big D

    2003/02/25 at 11:49 am

    song: In Love With A View – Mojave 3

    book: Desert Solitaire – Ed Abbey

  • Ecritures

    2003/02/25 at 11:50 am

    Song: Demande au soleil – Garou

    Book: A la recherche du temps perdu – Proust

  • petit hiboux

    2003/02/25 at 11:51 am

    see, i’d never take a pop/rock song with lyrics. you’d get tired of it. instead?

    miles davis’ “flamenco sketches” and tolstoy’s “anna karenina”.


  • CK

    2003/02/25 at 11:51 am

    Song = Into the Mystic by Van Morrison

    Book = The Brothers K by David James Duncan

  • Be

    2003/02/25 at 11:56 am

    Song: “Before Today,” Everything But the Girl

    Book: “Naked,” David Sedaris

  • Naaman

    2003/02/25 at 12:01 pm

    Song: 1812 Overture

    Book: The Idiot

  • The Drifter

    2003/02/25 at 12:01 pm

    Song: “Mr. Mastodon Farm” by Cake, but only if it’s the live version they played last year during the Winter Olympics. Otherwise, “Baba O’Riley” by the Who, purely for the air guitar possibilities.

    Book: The Oxford Unabridged Dictionary. Seriously.

  • Bill

    2003/02/25 at 12:05 pm

    Book: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

    Song: “Clocks” by Coldplay

  • kgjbnme

    2003/02/25 at 12:05 pm

    “Jack the Ripper” – Morrissey

    “Ballet Shoes” – Noel Streatfeild

    PS: Happy Dooce Got Fired Day!


    2003/02/25 at 12:05 pm

    Sixteen Tons; Tennesse Ernie Ford
    Imajica; Clive Barker

  • the joker

    2003/02/25 at 12:07 pm

    song: “you enjoy myself,” phish- a live one

    book: “siddhartha,” hermann hesse

  • Heather #2

    2003/02/25 at 12:13 pm

    “And It Stoned Me” by Van Morrison

    White Oleander by Janet Fitch

  • Can't say

    2003/02/25 at 12:14 pm

    Book: “White Jazz” by James Ellroy
    Song: Anything By Neil Finn or Michael Penn

    In honor of the Dooce Anniversary, I would like to point to Oh, Crap because it lets me make fun of all my co-workers and bosses online. And today, it made the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal (no online version of the article, of course).
    Huzzah to the Dooce!

  • Can't Say

    2003/02/25 at 12:15 pm

    Oh, Crap is at Sorry.

  • Jessie Street

    2003/02/25 at 12:20 pm

    Shawn, my 4 year old has it memorized too. On the page where the little boy “Does it in a special place” and is running into the bathroom half naked, my son 1) thinks he’s the little boy in the book 2) swears the little overalls laying on the floor is a frog that’s chasing him into the bathroom.

  • Shane

    2003/02/25 at 12:22 pm

    Song: “Three Days” by Jane’s Addiction
    Book: “Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller

  • Summer

    2003/02/25 at 12:23 pm

    H#2–I’m in the middle of that book and I can hardly put it down!

  • Joshua Kaufman

    2003/02/25 at 12:27 pm

    “I Can’t See You” by Tim Buckley

    “100 Selected Poems” by e.e. cummings

  • robin

    2003/02/25 at 12:28 pm

    song: It will break my postapocalypse heart every time I listen to it, but I gotta have it: the long, slow, forlorn, live version of Thunder Road, by Bruce Springsteen.

    book: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, because I’m only halfway through, and it’s so good I could start all over again as soon as I finish.

  • abi

    2003/02/25 at 12:36 pm

    Song: “In Bloom” – Nirvana
    Book: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, because I really should read that book someday.
    Agreed, this is very hard.

  • eyemkent

    2003/02/25 at 12:42 pm

    Reading over the responses, I find I’ve changed my mind over and over. Pleased enough, I think, just to see that Cave, Bush, Bowie, Sedaris and Irving have made somebody’s list…

    1984, that survival manual, and even the blank paper seemed like smart ideas… but I think, knowing that my tenuous grip on sanity will be short-lived anyhow, I might as well enjoy the trip. Anything by The Residents would do nicely (Semolina, perhaps? Maybe Mahogany Wood?), and why not The Naked Lunch, by William Burroughs, thereby eliminating the need to focus on whatever remnants of reality lie lurking in my radioactive hole…

  • Blubber

    2003/02/25 at 12:52 pm

    song: Mozart – Requiem in D minor

    book: The divine Comedy by Dante in Italian, German and English – this way you get to enhance you language skills

  • Aaron

    2003/02/25 at 12:59 pm

    Time the Revelator by Gillian Welch

    The Water-Method Man by John Irving

  • drew

    2003/02/25 at 1:02 pm

    redemption song – bob marley
    clan of the cave bear jean auel

  • hartwell

    2003/02/25 at 1:05 pm

    the joy of cooking – irma s. rombauer et. al

    alive – pearl jam

  • Dave "Fuddy Duddy" Thomas

    2003/02/25 at 1:12 pm

    Itís a terrible question with no good answer, and not because it’s hard to pick favorites. In your proposed post-apocolyptic vacuum, any single song — heard over and over for eternity — would soon turn toxic to the ear and soul. Likewise, that sole-surviving book, as the only permanent source of wisdom, would just spawn a whole new litter of misguided, bickering relgions.

    Tell me why I would want to choose my own poison, and Iíll tell you how much the world needs more scripture.

  • the fool

    2003/02/25 at 1:22 pm

    song: if i can’t have the entire “magnolia” soundtrack, i’ll settle for “deathly” by aimee mann

    book: invisible cities, italo calvino

  • slackjaw

    2003/02/25 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for stickin up for me Miss Mea-Mea. When I was 9 my dad read me the whole thing and it was all one big book so I guess I’ve always thought of it as one book.

    Boy there is a lot of really great shit to listen to and read out there…

    ummmm…(except for that “clan of the cave bear” thing)

  • anarchocyclist

    2003/02/25 at 1:32 pm

    “Tumbling Dice” by the Rolling Stones

    CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

  • KT

    2003/02/25 at 1:44 pm

    song: ‘what would you say?’ by jeff buckley

    book: ‘interview with the vampire’ by anne rice

  • anna jr.

    2003/02/25 at 1:47 pm

    i can’t pick a book. i have read too many and few of them more than once.

    i’d say the old testament (which i have never read) but i’m pretty sure it would piss me off and i have to stop reading it.

    but the song would be “love is a battlefield” by pat benetar. no question on that one.

  • drew

    2003/02/25 at 1:52 pm

    > ummmm…(except for that “clan of the cave bear” thing)

    have you ever read that book?!? the whole series (so far) is great.

  • Tasha

    2003/02/25 at 1:55 pm

    Song: “‘Round Midnight” by John Coltrane and Miles Davis

    Book: any of the Zits collections

    The way I see it: I’m a writer. I can write. I’m not worried about forgetting something. But pictures…those I need to see. And cartooning is amazing, so I could look at it forever. Humor is everlasting.

    When you first shut down after you were fired, I tried in vain to hunt you down. I was SO glad to see you came back. 🙂 Peace.

  • slackjaw

    2003/02/25 at 2:00 pm

    Ummm, Yea I read it. (otherwise I wouldn’t have commented on it)

    I liked the end though. You know, the part when you close the book and don’t have to read anymore of that implausible caveman drivel…

  • lee

    2003/02/25 at 2:08 pm

    “If You Want Me to Stay” by Sly and the Family Stone.

    I’m with the Drifter on bringing the dictionary. Hopefully an encyclopedic dictionary – with pictures and other visual aids.

  • chunderchud

    2003/02/25 at 2:28 pm

    song: The Bad Plus cover of Aphex Twin’s Flim

    book: The Collected Works of William Blake

    That way I could still wonder at art.

    hey, it was that or Stomp by Brothers Johnson and the Pearl of Great Price

  • Sheila

    2003/02/25 at 2:29 pm

    Book: Barlett’s Familiar Quotations (since someone else already snagged the dictionary)

    Song: Cuts You Up – Peter Murphy

  • david

    2003/02/25 at 2:36 pm

    long time lurker first time commenter…

    song: Catherine Wheel : Receive
    (I destroy myself. I know I know I know.)

    book: Italio Calvino : Invisible Cities
    (this would really fuck with the future)

  • Kate

    2003/02/25 at 2:42 pm

    I cringed when I read “clan of the cave bear” too… and I LIKED the series. I just think I’d need to bash my head in after reading it a few thousand times. It’s extremely entertaining, but in a romance novel kind of way.

  • monorailmike

    2003/02/25 at 2:51 pm

    Song: “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” by Sugar

    Book: “Travels with Charley” by John Steinbeck (which I’ve gotta reread one of these days…)

  • Xanthan

    2003/02/25 at 2:59 pm

    Oh, you’re right… this is tough. How did you ever choose "Everyone Poops" over "All About Scabs" by Genichiro Yagyu?

    Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes, because its the funniest book yet written

    Song: Jammin’ by Bob Marley

  • Miz_A

    2003/02/25 at 3:05 pm

    This is a great challenge… makes me think about 2 of my favorite things.
    I have to go with
    song: Pachelbel Canon in D minor
    book: Count of Monte Cristo

  • Paula

    2003/02/25 at 3:07 pm

    Good Lord this was hard. The songs are easy in terms of which band’s ouevre (did i just use that word? and, more importantly, did I spell that correctly?) to choose from – The Pixies being the one particular expression of musical bursts I couldn’t live without. The problem was, which one? After much deliberation between “Levitate Me,” “Caribou,” “Gigantic” and many, many others, I’d have to say: “Wave of Mutilation.”

    As for which book, practically, I should pick something long, but honestly, I like to laugh and I’d need some Sedaris or Sarah Vowell to cheer me up. So, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is my pick.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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