Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
I was aware for some time that "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk was a novel before it was a movie. I love the movie and I've seen it more times than I can count. It's one of those movies, like "The Godfather," that you stop channel surfing to watch even though it's on basic cable with commercial interruptions. I've been interested in reading one of Palahniuk's novels for a while so I thought why not start with "Fight Club" since I enjoyed the movie so much and usually books are much better than their celluloid remake. In this case I will say that the novel and movie are of equal merit. There is so much translated from movie to book that I was a little disappointed in not getting a little more from the 220 pages I read. There are some minor deviations to the story that are not present in the book and the ending is a little different but other than that, the movie is a great representation. If you haven't seen the movie, read the book first and then rent the movie. If you have seen the movie I would still recommend the book but just be aware that there isn't going to be too many surprises.
Favorite line from the book: "Marla said she wanted to have Tyler's abortion." This was actually filmed for the movie but was replaced with the line: "I haven't been fucked like that since grade school." The book and movie just ooze great line after great line.
I am deeply disappointed but not surprised that you cast a no vote to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law. I can only hope that one day in the future when we have completely removed all forms of discrimination from our culture that you'll come to regret your decision and see how wrong it was! A majority of our military leaders believe that the time has come for this dreadful policy to be removed, but I guess you know better them.
Like I said, no surprise. I was scratching my head wondering why Dan Boren, our lone Democrat in the Oklahoma delegation, didn't vote at all on the matter. Maybe this was his only way to do the right thing without upsetting the conservative voters of his district. If so he's a coward.
What do you think? Will these conservatives regret their bigoted votes in later years as we slowly erase discrimination from American culture? Also, do emails to our elected leaders make a difference?
To contact Congresswoman Fallen click here.
Link to story on the House vote.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I found some information online about casting for "One for the Money," the Stephanie Plum movie. Left to right from the picture above: Daniel Sunjata as Ranger, Katherine Heigl as Stephanie, and Jason O’Mara as Joe Morelli. Interesting. I like Heigl but she's not quite what I pictured as Stephanie Plum. There hasn't been any other casting news that I could find. I'm curious to see who will play Connie, Vinnie, Lula, and especially Grandma Mazur. My vote to play Grandma Mazur:
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Quotes from "Twelve Sharp":
"How can you completely appreciate the Jersey shore if the air is safe to breathe in the interior parts of the state?"
"That was pretty funny. Vinnie minding that Pickle whacked off at the multiplex. 'It's probably the only thing you have going for you,' I told Pickle."
"Some communities have country clubs, some have senior centers, some have shopping malls and movie theaters. The Burg has two funeral parlors. Only Thursday night bingo occasionally draws a bigger crowd than a well-run viewing in the Burg."
"'What the heck was that?' Lula wanted to know. 'You had an expression on your face like you just had a irritable bowel experience.'"
"'Other men have girlfriends with safe normal jobs,' Morelli said. 'Like swallowing swords and getting shot out of a cannon.'"
"He looked over at me.
'I love you,' I told him.
'Yeah,' Morelli said. 'I know. But it's nice to hear you say it. I love you too.'
What wasn't said was that I also loved Ranger, but one thing at a time, right?"
Car deaths: 0 (amazingly!)
I was very disappointed to see that you voted to override Governor Henry's veto of HB 3284. I'm wondering why you think women, including rape and incest victims, should participate in a questionnaire about their pregnancy and personal life in order to obtain an abortion? I'm also wondering why you don't believe in the right to privacy and doctor/patient confidentiality? As a life-long Democrat who votes in most elections, large or small, I am deeply troubled by your vote. I don't know which is more offensive, the vote itself or the fact that you are a supposed 'Democrat.' I will not vote for you in any election and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same. I will go as far to say that if your name is on the ballot in November for Lt. Governor, I will leave that portion of the ballot blank. Thank you for your time.
(Name withheld to protect the innocent, me!)
House Bill 3284 requires women, including rape and incest victims, to participate in a questionnaire about their pregnancy and personal life in order to obtain an abortion. From what I understand that information will then be posted online. The Oklahoma legislature has already passed a similar law that was struck down by the courts. It's nice to see our elected officials are tackling the "big" issues.
There are only two possible reasons I can see for Senator Corn to agree with this bill: (1) he's pandering to conservative Oklahomans or (2) he truly believes in limiting choice based on wacko, grandpa in the sky religious reasons (there's antipsychotic medication out there that would help with that).
I encourage everyone, in Oklahoma, who believes in keeping abortion safe, legal, and private to contact Senator Corn and other "supposed" Democrats to let them know this kind of vote is unacceptable. Senator Corn can be contacted here.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
"WHY are we not surprised that President Barack Obama has (a) apparently chosen not to follow long-standing tradition and nominate an Oklahoman to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and (b) has left our state’s congressional delegation and others out of the loop?"
Why would President Obama (a) care about sending an Oklahoman to the U.S. 10th Circuit when we voted overwhelmingly for McCain in the last election, not one of Oklahoma's 77 counties votes for Obama and (b) why would he feel the need to keep any Congressman from Oklahoma in the loop? Our five Representatives and two Senators have done nothing to help this President, including Representative Boren, the lone, "supposed" Democrat in the delegation.
Perhaps the Sooner state has reaped what it sowed. Opinions?
Monday, May 24, 2010
I really need to read happier books! "The Road," written by Cormac McCarthy is my twentieth completed book of the year. The 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner for Literature is an incredibly simple story. As the description above suggests, a father and son set out on a journey to reach the coast in a post-apocalyptic world. The novel chronicles the day to day survival of the duo on their journey; finding shelter from the cold, finding enough food and water before they starve, and avoiding those who would do them harm for their possessions. Always the road is there or near, their only companion besides each other.
It was interesting to read what mankind would be reduced to in light of some cataclysmic event, in this case I took it to be some sort of nuclear war, though the book never says explicitly. Moreover, the event was some years in the past so the narrative details how life would be when so few resources and people remain. The novel is bleak and at times disturbing but what really shines through is the simple story of a father and a son and their interactions with each other in the harshest of environments. Recommended.
- Graphically a solid effort and as pretty as the first game in the series. It's hard to say the Wii can't compete graphically with the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 when a game looks this good.
- Controls are super responsive, again. Mario has all his trademark moves and new ones via the help of new suits. For me, control while riding Yoshi is a bit trickier. For some reason I kept forgetting to aim the wand at targets for Yoshi to eat, expecting him to do this functionality by just facing an enemy or object.
- It seems to me that the difficulty has been kicked up a notch. I've probably died more times in this game than I did in my entire effort with Super Mario Galaxy. All too often Nintendo published games try to appeal to everyone and, while great games, the difficulty can suffer. Nintendo games recently have incorporated a play feature where the gamer can let the system play certain areas for them in an effort to help the less seasoned gamer move forward in the level. Perhaps this feature will enable Nintendo to produce more challenging games or levels.
- Once again the music is fully orchestrated, combining a mix of old school Mario music we all know with new tunes.
- My favorite level so far, the Puzzle Plank Galaxy. The music is also interesting.
- The goofy storyline from the first game has been removed. The current game is stripped down to mainly just Mario going from world to world and level to level. This is a welcome change. Less time with story and roaming a hub world means more time with some crazy platforming.
I probably won't ever get around to writing a review for this game as I'm sure it will be weeks before I've completed the game in it's entirety. I'll just say this, if you like Mario games, especially Super Mario Galaxy, then there is no way that you'll be disappointed in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Great graphics, controls, and level design in conjunction with many new suits, Yoshi, and a streamlined level system will probably make this one of the best Mario platformers on any Nintendo system. Buy this game. If you don't own a Wii, buy one and then buy this game!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Today is the 30th anniversary of Pac-man! I spent a lot of time and a lot of quarters playing video games in my youth. I always favored Ms Pac-man over Pac-man, especially when you would find one of the games where the control speed had been modified.
Donkey Kong - awesomeness, most notably the pie factory stage. Miyamoto was and still is the man.
Wizard of Wor - one of the best two-player games at the time.
Burger Time - Build burgers while you're chased by giant weenies and scrambled eggs, lovely.
Galaga - was there ever a better shooter? I think not!
Spy Hunter - Peter Gunn theme over and over and over and over and over and over again!
Dragon's Lair - laserdisc cartoon video game, very frustrating and impossible to beat without shelling out a shit ton of quarters.
What are some other old school arcade games I'm missing?
Joystiq Nintendo says: "Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the best Mario game ever."
GameTrailers video review.
1UP rates the game an "A." "Nintendo shows that 'more of the same' doesn't have to be a bad thing."
Finally for more reviews, check out Metacritic where the game scores an average of 98.
Sunday, how long?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Three days to go...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
"Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980's, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation. They have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, and lived in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money."
"Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and reenters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine. He tries to renew his feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and heroin. Clay's holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs, and also into the seamy world of L.A. after dark."
"Less Than Zero" is the perfect title for this novel. There is nothing to like about any character in this book. The only character I felt the slightest bit sorry for was the protagonist, Clay, but even as his ordeal in L.A. becomes much more severe, I still loathe him. A generation who had everything handed them too soon, Generation X. As one exchange in the novel puts it so well:
"...what don't you have?"
"I don't have anything to lose."
The back cover of the book quotes USA Today:
"Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation."
Fuck J.D. Salinger and fuck Bret Easton Ellis. Disgusting and powerful. Recommended.
"According to the single-bullet theory, a three-centimeter-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter rifle bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh. If so, this bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone."
The reason I write at all about a Senator from Pennsylvania is because Specter lost his seat last night in the Democratic primary. Specter was always somewhat of a moderate so I never really had too many problems with him in spite of the ridiculous single bullet theory.
Why did Specter lose his seat? Was it because he switched parties last year from Republican to Democrat or is it just simply a bad year to be an incumbent? While we're mildly on topic of the JFK assassination, do you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Some quotes from the book:
"Lula's a size-sixteen black woman squashed into size-ten leopard print spandex. And the weird thing is, in her own way, Lula looks pretty good in the animal spandex."
"Dollars to doughnuts, my mother was in the kitchen ironing. Some people popped pills when things turned sour. Some hit the bottle. My mother's drug of choice was ironing. My mother ironed away life's frustrations."
"I ran through the store gathering together some basic foods. Bread, cheese, Tastykakes, peanut butter, cereal, milk, Tastykakes, eggs, frozen pizza, Tastykakes, orange juice, apples, lunch meat, and Tastykakes."
Car deaths: 3
Pearl's Oyster Bar (no times given)
- Will the real Felicia please stand up?
- NO MEAGAN!
- Tsunami bomb
- Pocket gay
- Dance monkey
- Justin's cat like tendencies
- Matty's Woo
1:59 - Hammer Time
2:09 - Or else it gets the hose again
2:11 - Don't be a DB on my bday
2:15 - I'm gonna make you squeal, make you squeal, make you squeal...
2:20 - Hallelujah
2:23 - Little man in the boat
2:25 - Midnight train to Georgia
2:28 - Spelunking Meg's vagina
2:38 - David off the phone, how long?
2:40 - I want your love, Justin breaking out in song
2:42 - Meagan took a greaser!
2:45 - Daddy it's time!
2:46 - Steel Magnolia tribute
2:55 - Kim and Justin dance
2:56 - I'm Meagan for crying, loving you
2:56 - Minutes! Minutes! Minutes!!
3:06 - For God so loved the world...
3:11 - Tornado Warning
3:12 - I wanna die at Tramps
3:16 - Tornado at Edna's at 4:11 and Tramps at 4:13
3:22 - "if a 'nado comes, I'll lay on top of you and grind"
3:27 - David volunteers to snake Meagan
3:34 - Hook echo
3:38 - Pearl's peeps
3:46 - Meagan's poop jitters
3:47 - Release the Kraken
3:57 - Seriously, tornados?
3:58 - Tornados how long?
4:10 - Torrential hail storm
4:12 - Holy shit!
4:30 - Hail = Hell
4:35 - Sharpie time?
4:45 - Access the damage
4:46 - A lot of damage
4:50 - House on fire at Justin's
4:59 - We survived the "hell storm"
5:10 - Still having fun at Kim's bday
Interesting. Maybe we shouldn't take "the minutes" while partying...
Monday, May 17, 2010
Everyone met up at Pearl's Oyster Bar (they were out of oysters!!) for Kim's official birthday celebration. After food and drinks we headed to Edna's for some Lunchboxes and then the storm rolled in...
Everyone's car at the bar was pretty much messed up! Since Sunday Funday came to an early end (for Kim anyways) we should reschedule later in the week for sushi. Well maybe not, I'm just always looking for an excuse to eat raw fish...
Edit: 400th post!
"The way I see it, life is a jelly doughnut. You don't really know what it's about until you bite into it. And then, just when you decide it's good, you drop a big glob of jelly on your best T-shirt."
Stephanie on Joe's grandmother: "His grandma Bella was nuts. She had this Italian voodoo thing going that she called the eye. I'm not saying the eye worked, but I've known people who got the eye to coincidentally lose their hair, or skip their period, or break out in an unexplained rash. I was half Italian, but none of my relatives could give the eye. Mostly, my relatives gave the finger."
"'It's the Hungarian side of the family,' Grandma said. 'We're tough. We come from a long line of army deserters and nasty alcoholics.'"
"Everyone crossed themselves at the mention of the IRS. Street gangs and the mob paled in comparison to fear of the tax code."
"Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor shoe sale at Macy's could get me out of Saturday dinner with my parents. Like a spawning salmon, I was expected to return to my birthplace. Unlike salmon, I didn't die, although sometimes I wished I could, and the migration took place weekly."
Car deaths: 2
A highly recommended and funny series. Start with "One for the Money" and you'll be hooked!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
"In Coney Island, Brooklyn, Sara Goldfarb, a lonely widow, wants nothing more than to lose weight and appear on a television game show. She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive quest, while her junkie son, Harry, along with his girlfriend, Marion, and his best friend, Tyrone, have devised an illicit shortcut to wealth and leisure by scoring a pound of uncut heroin. Entranced by the gleaming visions of their futures, these four convince themselves that unexpected setbacks are only temporary. Even as their lives slowly deteriorate around them, they cling to their delusions and become utterly consumed in the spiral of drugs and addiction, refusing to see that they have instead created their own worst nightmares."
There's not a lot I can add to the description above without giving too much of the book away. Selby's stream of consciousness style and lack of punctuation or breaks between the character's dialogue did take some getting used to, but after figuring out the distinct style in which each character spoke, it wasn't too much of a problem. The narrative is gritty and descriptive. At times I found myself deeply disturbed by the graphic nature and in depth detail that was given to the use of drugs, particularly heroin through needle use. I wasn't sure I was going to finish at one point with just about ten pages left to go!
The story is powerful and tragic. As the characters sank deeper from their pursuit of their dreams by their increasing self destructive behaviour, I couldn't help but feel that I was falling with them. A very emotional and real read. Highly recommended. Stay away if you're looking for a feel good book or a happy ending.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Debit card receipt at Hudson's after cash ran out: $90.00
Order of chips and queso that the bartender forgot to ring in: Free
Hearing Dann and Kim sing karaoke for the first time (ever): Priceless
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
How to Give a Cat a Pill
1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse in from the garden.
6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail. Get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw
9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans and drink one beer to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from the top of the tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
13. Using heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed, tie the little fucker's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.
How To Give A Dog A Pill
1. Wrap it in bacon.
2. Toss it in the air.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Brand new cookware!My chili was really good this time, even better than what I cooked last time at the Beaver chili cookoff, or so I thought! Once again my chili had good flavor and color as well as some good heat. As the top 10 was being announced at the end of the event, the more names that were called the more confident I was that I was going to place high or even win the competition. No such luck! I didn't even make the top 10. I blame it on Pauls Valley being so close to Texas... Seriously I think the middle aged ladies judging the competition probably didn't like the heat on my batch. That's the thing with public judging, you never know how tastes will vary from person to person or region to region.
At the end of the presentation of awards for every chili cookoff I've been to they always announce the "kiss your sister" award or eleventh place. Guess who won that honorable distinction? It was kind of cool to win the "kiss your sister" award in one regard, they actually presented a plaque for the placing with "kill your sister" printed on the trophy.
Eat your heart out twelfth place! All in all not a bad day and a lot of fun in spite of the suspect taste buds of the Pauls Valley folk.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
According to Wikipedia, Cinco de Mayo is more heavily celebrated in American than it is in Mexico. A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day.
Does anyone do anything special for the 5th of May yearly? I actually have friends who take off the day after Cinco de Mayo in anticipation for a hangover! While I'm happy to use any excuse to go out to drink beers, I seldom if ever have done anything to "celebrate" this informal holiday.