Saturday, December 24, 2011

Felicia Navidad!

Or whatever floats your boat this time of year.

I'll be back next week hopefully to do some end of the year postings before heading to Dallas for a long New Years weekend.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

One Shot

Dave's book club keeps rolling right along frantically trying to reach my goal of 50 books read this year. It's not going to happen unfortunately with Vegas, home for the holidays, and Dallas finishing off the rest of the year. I resumed "One Shot" (466 pages) by Lee Child which I had momentarily set down to read "Out of Oz" last week. From Goodreads:

"Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, from the world he lives in—no phone, no address, no commitments–ex–military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. In Lee Child’s astonishing new thriller, Reacher’s arrival will change everything—about a case that isn’t what it seems, about lives tangled in baffling ways, about a killer who missed one shot–and by doing so give Jack Reacher one shot at the truth.…

The gunman worked from a parking structure just thirty yards away–point-blank range for a trained military sniper like James Barr. His victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time. But why does Barr want Reacher at his side? There are good reasons why Reacher is the last person Barr would want to see. But when Reacher hears Barr’s own words, he understands. And a slam-dunk case explodes. Soon Reacher is teamed with a young defense lawyer who is working against her D.A. father and dueling with a prosecution team that has an explosive secret of its own. Like most things Reacher has known in life, this case is a complex battlefield. But, as always, in battle, Reacher is at his best.

Moving in the shadows, picking his spots, Reacher gets closer and closer to the unseen enemy who is pulling the strings. And for Reacher, the only way to take him down is to know his ruthlessness and respect his cunning–and then match him shot for shot…"


My fourth Reacher novel this year by Lee Child. I like the author and his awesome main character but I'm probably over it for a while, at least until sometime next year. Too much of a good thing and all that. It dawned on me while reading this current novel why I like this series so much. Each story is completely different from the last, at least in what I've read so far. With a fresh narrative it's actually a welcome to have a reoccurring character. While "One Shot" doesn't quite measure up to the previous two novels I've read by Child, it's still a great thriller and a great read. An author that gets better with his yearly outputs? I wish Janet Evanovich was listening.

Anyhoo, another great story by Child, well written and a worthy mystery/thriller. Recommended for fans of the genre. Pick up any Reacher novel by Child as reading them in order isn't necessary to appreciate the series.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Who's the Coach of the Year?


This guy!

"Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been named the winner of the 2011 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The award, presented by the Fiesta Bowl, is selected by the members of the 1,200-member strong Football Writers Association of America."

Link.

While we're talking about college football: suck it BCS...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Out of Oz

I ventured into the world of Oz yet again as seen through the eyes of Gregory Maguire in "Out of Oz" (568 pages) in the final volume in the "Wicked Years." From the cover of the book:

"Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.

Yet amidst all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of
Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is up to Rain to take up her broom—and her legacy—in an Oz wracked by war.

The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the bestselling series begun with
Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises—the hallmarks of the unique imagination of Gregory Maguire."

What can I say? I'm a huge fan of the "Wicked Years" by Maguire. I've been hooked on the series since I pickup up "Wicked" for the first time a couple of years ago. I really think Maguire was back in full form after an uneven, though enjoyable, second and third installment in the series. The events formed and expanded upon starting with the first novel are wrapped up satisfactorily in this final book. Though, in keeping with the previous books, there's still some questions left to ponder by the author. Practically every character, major or minor from the previous novels, has either a role to play here or if not at least a mention. Good stuff.

Highly recommended for fans of the series, second only to "Wicked." I'd also recommend reading the other books in the series before tackling this novel solo as so much has happened over the course of the previous three installments.

-SPOILERS-

Who released Glinda from Southstairs near the novel's conclusion? I took it as Elphaba. One can dream...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Blue Memory Meme

Yet again from Sunday Stealing and a day early. It's been a while...

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
Shut the fuck up!!

2) If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
I have absolutely no clue. Maybe Al Gore, he's a pretty cool guy. Or maybe Bret Easton Ellis, to see if he's as fucked up as his novels.

3) You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
It would have to be somewhere close and cheap. Vegas is out since I'm going next week. Hmmm. Chicago, New York, or San Francisco?

4) What do you think about most?
It is, to say the least.

5) You have the opportunity to spend a romantic night with the music celebrity of your choice. Who would it be?
Again I have no clue, I can't think of a musician crush I'm having right now.

6) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
A little incident that landed me in jail in Colorado a couple of years ago.

7) What's your strangest talent?
The ability to remember little factoids that normal people don't give a shit about. An example would be me correcting someone who uses the phase "don't drink the Kool-Aid" when everyone knows they drank Flavor Aid at Jonestown.

8) What would be a question you'd be afraid to tell the truth on?
Nothing comes to mind, at least for the purposes of this blog. I'm a pretty up front person when necessary.

9) Ever had a poem or song written about you?
Now that you mention it I think someone has.

10) When is the last time you played the air guitar?
Today. It's something one has to do daily for a healthy and long life.

11) Do you have any strange phobias?
Not really. I used to be a little nervous flying but as much as I've traveled lately it isn't an issue anymore.

12) What's your religion?
Atheist.

13) What is your current desktop picture?
Blackhawks hockey logo.

14) When you are outside, what are you most likely doing?
Walking to or from my car.

15) What's the last song you listened to?
Fist Up by the Blow.

16) Simple but extremely complex. Favorite band?
Off the top of my head would be Shiny Toy Guns. Given some thought would be Fleetwood Mac.

17) What was the last lie you told?
On this meme. Can you find it?

18) Do you believe in karma?
Absofuckinglutely.

19) What is a saying you say a lot?
"Bye Felicia!"

20) What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength?
I hate these kinds of questions. My absolute and utter ability to not give a shit about a person or a situation given time. Ditto.

21) Who is your celebrity crush?
Paul Rudd or Chris Pine lately.

22) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: heart.
Ache. It's a heartache, nothing but a heartache. Hits you when it's too late, hits you when you're down. It's a fools game, nothing but a fools game. Standing in the cold rain feeling like a clown.

23) How do you vent your anger?
I either curl up into myself or I go batshit crazy.

24) Do you have a collection of anything?
Too many moldering in boxes in storage. Video games, stamps, coins, trading cards...

25) What is your favorite word?
Turd.

26) Are you happy with the person you've become?
Sometimes.

27) What's a sound you hate; sound you love?
I hate the sound Styrofoam being mashed. I love the sound of a spring storm sans tornado.

28) What's your biggest "what if"?
Too numerous to mention. The road/harder path less traveled kind of thing.

29) Do you believe in ghosts?
It's fun to consider but not really.

30) How about aliens?
Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

31) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
Buying that black pullover from Express last fall.

32) What's the worst place you have ever been to?
Jail or Kansas.

33) Can insanity bring on more creativity?
I don't think so, either you have the aptitude or not.

34) Most attractive actor of your opposite gender?
Mila Kunis.

35) To you, what is the meaning of life?
Good friends, better food, and top shelf liquor.

36) Define “Art”.
I can't. It is what I think it is and may not apply to someone else.

37) Do you believe in luck?
Not really but I ALWAYS wash my hands after pissing while playing blackjack, you know, for luck.

38) In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?
I don't know, all of mine have failed at one point or another.

39) What's a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?
Come on Eileen.

40) Where were you yesterday?
At home most of the day chillaxing.

41) What's the worst injury you've ever had?
I sprained my ankle severely once when playing basketball. I know it's not a major injury but I couldn't walk without crutches or a boot for a month.

42) Do you have any obsessions right now?
Always. Right now, Futurama, Skyward Sword, and the War on Christmas.

43) What's up?
Same old shit just another day or nada is my usual response.

44) Ever had a rumor spread about you?
I'm sure I have. I love it. I matter!

45) Do you believe in real magic?
Nope and I don't believe in fake magic either.

46) Do you ever hold grudges against people who have done you wrong?
Absolutely. It's one of my defining characteristics. An elephant never forgets... to kill!!

47) What's your favorite (non-pet) animal?
Tasmanian Devils.

48) What is your secret weapon to get people to like you?
My sparkling personality. Unfortunately it's the same thing I use to get them to hate me.

49) Where is your best friend?
Probably sitting across town being a total dousche.

50) What do you think is Satan's last name?
Seery, Martin, or Brown.

Cowtown Christmas Parade

Well the Stockyard City Christmas Parade to be exact but it'll always be Cowtown to me. I guess this is becoming a Christmas tradition, going with the Rents and my great niece Lo.

As usual we were right near the dais that held the parade "commentators." Throughout the parade all I could think was...

"Don't they look lovely June?"
"Fabulous Harry I love the feathers."



My favorite part, the longhorns. Later in the parade there was a couple riding two longhorns which were spotted black and white. Their animals names were Oreo and T-bone. How awesome is that?


Nothing says Oklahoma like an outhouse attached to a truck at a parade! Really?


Lamas! Watch out, they spit!

Lo, as sweet as an outbreak of anthrax...

Actually a pretty fun parade only minimally marred by my mother accosting the former Lt. Governor. The only thing missing, in my opinion, was a couple of High School bands. How can you have a parade without a marching band or two?

Friday, December 09, 2011

Skyward Sword Final Anaylsis

I just finished my first run through of The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword on the Nintendo Wii and all I can say is that it's a fantastic game worthy to be included in a long line of great Zelda games. The big question? Is this this the best Zelda game to date? Not even close but still a wonderful experience. I'd probably rank the game third after The Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past.

What Skyward Sword does well it does exceedingly well. Beautiful graphics, an orchestrated soundtrack, true 1:1 ratio using the controller, a ramped up difficulty from the past two installments, and superb dungeons. What drags down the game from being the best in the series is linear gameplay, a repeat battle of an annoying boss, three times, and one too many fetch quests, especially toward to last third of the game. I'm also a little puzzled that Ganondorf isn't Link's nemesis in this game, which is usually the case in most all console versions of The Legend of Zelda.

My criticisms aside this is a remarkable game that should be played by any Zelda, Nintendo, or Wii fan. Rolling through the quest should take the typical gamer anywhere from 40 to 60 hours to complete with an additional "Hero Mode" opened up upon completion for the more serious gamers. I would rank this game as one of the best games the Wii has to offer. I still can't decide if it overtakes Super Mario Galaxy 2. Play this game if you haven't already or buy a Wii just for the experience, it's definitely worth the 99 bucks.

Kitchen

I read a quirky little book last night called "Kitchen" (152 pages) by Banana Yoshimoto translated from the Japanese by Megan Backus. The book consists of two novellas. From the cover:

"When Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen was first published in Japan in 1988, 'Banana-mania' seized the country. Kitchen won two of Japan's most prestigious literary prizes, climbed its way to the top of the best-seller list, then remained there for over a year and sold millions of copies. With the appearance of the critically acclaimed Tugumi (1989) and NP (1991), the Japanese literary world realized that in Banana Yoshimoto it was confronted not with a passing fluke but with a full-fledged phenomenon: a young writer of great talent and great passion whose work has quickly earned a place among the best of twentieth-century Japanese literature.

Banana Yoshimoto's
Kitchen is an enchantingly original and deeply affecting book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, transsexuality, kitchens, love, tragedy, and the terms they all come to in the minds of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Told in a whimsical style that recalls the early Marguerite Duras, 'Kitchen' and its companion story, 'Moonlight Shadow,' are elegant tales whose seeming simplicity is the ruse of a masterful storyteller. They are the work of a very special new writer whose voice echoes in the mind and the soul."

Yoshimoto's two stories of loss and love are written perfectly in a very minimalistic way. She has a rare gift of encapsulating many emotions with a simple turn of phrase. I don't think there was much missed through the translations but there were a couple of times I was scratching my head at certain structures here and there; however, I'm not sure if this was really due to the translation or just a product of her quirky style of writing. Highly recommended for a quick and satisfying read with a few sad tones that ultimately end triumphantly. A nice and surprising find.

"One caravan has stopped, another starts up. There are people I have yet to meet, others I'll never see again. People who are gone before you know it, people who are just passing through. Even as we exchange hellos, they seem to grow transparent. I must keep living with the flowing river before my eyes."

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Gone Tomorrow

Another Reacher novel in the books so to speak. "Gone Tomorrow" (543 pages) by Lee Child. From Goodreads:

"New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn’t.

In the next few tense seconds Reacher will make a choice--and trigger an electrifying chain of events in this gritty, gripping masterwork of suspense by #1 New York Times bestseller Lee Child.

Susan Mark was the fifth passenger. She had a lonely heart, an estranged son, and a big secret. Reacher, working with a woman cop and a host of shadowy feds, wants to know just how big a hole Susan Mark was in, how many lives had already been twisted before hers, and what danger is looming around him now.

Because a race has begun through the streets of Manhattan in a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. Susan Mark’s plain little life was critical to dozens of others in Washington, California, Afghanistan . . . from a former Delta Force operator now running for the U.S. Senate, to a beautiful young woman with a fantastic story to tell–and to a host of others who have just one thing in common: They’re all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or maybe just enough to get him killed.

In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . . and for Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, it’s a mystery with only one answer–the kind that comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye."


I really enjoyed this novel again by Child for two reasons primarily: the back story dealing with events with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980's and the setting in Manhattan. Having just been to New York City last summer, there's something really cool about reading about current places you've just visited. The story unraveled and took place primary where I was staying and sightseeing during my stay there. Very cool. If only more novels took place in Oklahoma City!

Highly recommended especially for fans of thrillers. There were a few parts were I was on edge and squeamish too, a rarity for me when reading anything.

Must See TV

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of television. Sure my TV is on more often than not when I'm at home but usually it's just background noise while I'm reading or doing something else. There's rarely a show that I absolutely must catch on first airing, thanks mostly to the Internet. Lately I've found myself glued to a few shows, meaning more than one at a time, amazingly enough. I thought I would compose a list of what I'm watching and what I think television has to offer that's good recently. I also need to preface my list by saying that there isn't anything worth watching on the networks, namely ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Expanded cable and premium cable offer so much better stories that I've found it impossible to watch anything on the big 4. I mean there's no nudity, cursing, and barely watered down adult themes!

The Walking Dead: I've pretty much given up Sunday Funday lately just to watch the offerings on Sunday night on AMC. That's saying a lot! Though the first half of the second season just ended it still makes my list of what everyone should be watching now. Current episodes can be found and watched online as well as On Demand. The latest slate of episodes were a little uneven especially compared to last season, but it's still one of the best and most unique shows on TV right now. It's a worthy watch for no other reason than to contemplate how people would really react if indeed a zombie apocalypse were to happened. The themes of morality versus survival are heavy this season and it really makes one wonder how they would behave in such a dire environment.

American Horror Story: The only show I've watched religiously on FX. Airing on Wednesday night, the show is the story about a couple and their daughter who move to L.A. and move into the locally famous "murder house." Gruesome death scenes preface each episode from different eras of the nearly 100 year old house where those who have died are doomed to remain on the premises. Exceptional actors and bloody special effects makes American Horror Story a must watch. Though a little over the top, the stories abound with nudity, sex, and violence, all good things! Definitely a mind fuck from week to week but that's what keeps me coming back for more, just to see where the hell the story is going to veer off to.

Hell on Wheels: Another gritty new series by AMC on Sunday nights. It's pretty much the story of the transcontinental construction (say that three times) of our railway system. It's a western that tackles themes of the encroachment of civilization to native areas, political palm greasing, and the complications of the end of the Civil War. I'm still withholding judgement on the show but I'm liking what I see so far. Man I really miss Deadwood!

Top Chef: In its 9th season, Top Chef is still a must watch for me on Bravo on Wednesday nights. The series has lost a little bit of it's spice over the years but it's still a well done series with plenty of drama and culinary contests. It's one of the few shows I tune in to season after season and often even blog about, at least I did until I became so lazy here.

Returning shows I'm most exited about:

A Game of Thrones: One of the, if not the best new show on television. The second season is due to return in April on HBO. I came a little late to the party and had to watch the first season online. I did it in one setting. I'm excited to see if the second season follows the second novel as closely as the first season did the first novel. Absolutely not to be missed. Watch the series online or buy it on DVD if you haven't seen it already. I can't imagine anyone not liking this show, especially fans of the series of novels.

Futurama: Good news everyone! Futurama is back on Comedy Central on Thursday night. Though the show is in hiatus right now you can catch a mix of the older episodes as well as the newer ones on Thursday nights. I'm a bit of a Futurama fanatic. I own all of the original episodes on DVD and if I happen to catch the reruns on TV, I usually stop to watch no matter how many times I've seen them. Though the show is not nearly as funny as when it first aired on FOX a decade ago, it's still better than most crap on TV right now. As the writers and actors seem to be getting back in their groove the quality of the show seems to be getting better and better.

So that's pretty much my list of must see TV right now. I'm sure I've missing some terrific shows but I'm somewhat limited by my lack of viewing hours as well as my limited expanded basic cable set up. What's everyone else watching now? What am I missing?

The Obligatory Countdown to Vegas Post


Ah the Glitter Gulch, my favorite titty bar in all of Las Vegas. Just kidding.

So it should be an interesting trip this year since I'm only traveling with the Rents (parents). No other friends or family are going this trip. Essentially that means I'll be in lone wolf mode a lot, especially at night.

10 days to go!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Bad Luck and Trouble

Reports of me abandoning my blog have been exaggerated. In fact I've been without a computer since just before Thanksgiving. My dad has had his in the shop so I loaned my laptop out to him while it was being fixed. I could access the Internet on my phone if necessary but it's not very conducive to blogging. Hopefully I'll be back to some kind of regular schedule now.

In the meantime I read "Bad Luck and Trouble" (473 pages) by Lee Child, another novel in his Jack Reacher series. Yet again, it was a random book in the middle of the series but luckily prior knowledge of the previous novels didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story. From Goodreads:

"From a helicopter high above the empty California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night…. In Chicago, a woman learns that an elite team of ex–army investigators is being hunted down one by one.... And on the streets of Portland, Jack Reacher—soldier, cop, hero—is pulled out of his wandering life by a code that few other people could understand. From the first shocking scenes in Lee Child’s explosive new novel, Jack Reacher is plunged like a knife into the heart of a conspiracy that is killing old friends…and is on its way to something even worse.

A decade postmilitary, Reacher has an ATM card and the clothes on his back—no phone, no ties, and no address. But now a woman from his old unit has done the impossible. From Chicago, Frances Neagley finds Reacher, using a signal only the eight members of their elite team of army investigators would know. She tells him a terrifying story—about the brutal death of a man they both served with. Soon Reacher is reuniting with the survivors of his old team, scrambling to raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that is growing darker by the day. The deeper they dig, the more they don’t know: about two other comrades who have suddenly gone missing—and a trail that leads into the neon of Vegas and the darkness of international terrorism.

For now, Reacher can only react. To every sound. Every suspicion. Every scent and every moment. Then Reacher will trust the people he once trusted with his life—and take this thing all the way to the end. Because in a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they’d better be ready for what comes right back at them…"


Another excellent novel by Child, an author I just recently started reading thanks solely to my mother, an avid reader of mysteries. The story flies by with the help of excellent writing and an interesting collection of characters that you wouldn't want to find yourself going against. The Reacher character is such a great protagonist, someone who's so loyal he's willing to do what he thinks is right regardless of the boundaries of the law and maybe what some would consider moral. He also has a unique talent for numbers and information that is fascinating to read and clearly shows he's more than an ex-army brute.

Check out any book by Lee Child, I believe every novel he's ever written is centered around the Jack Reacher character. Highly recommended. I'm already into another installment in the series.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Loralei Repost

A repost from 12-04-08. Today is Loralei's third birthday. If we can get her to put some pants on we'll start the party...

My niece finally gave birth to a bouncy baby girl named Loralei on November 26th. I think most babies are usually on the ugly side especially shortly after birth but this one does seem a little sweet... or so I thought.
Anyone that knows me can tell you I have a very low threshold for children. Sure I like to torment them and terrorize them (just like my ex-boyfriends) but once I'm over them they can go away. I've never wanted kids. Ever. Period. I'm that rare breed of asshole that wants to spend his time and money on himself! That's not to say that I don't love all my nieces and nephews, it just took me 16-18 years to want to "hang" with them for more than an hour at a time.

In a moment of weakness I finally held the baby on her second night in the hospital. Four short hours later that night I was back at home reeling on my bathroom floor puking and shitting at the same time into the wee hours of the night. Coincidence? I think not. What started out that night in my bathroom (the most wretched experience I have EVER experienced) has mellowed into a weeklong offering of achiness, fever, soar throat, stuffy nose, and swollen glands. I felt so bad after work on Sunday I went directly to mom's house for some much needed titty. I returned home Tuesday night. Keep in mind that I'm 35 years old folks!
All kidding aside I think Nick and Casey have done a terrific job and I hope they have a long and wonderful life together as a family. I look forward to torturing "Lo" for many years to come as I still do to Casey, Brandy and her little beast Blaire. One thing's for sure, I won't be holding the baby any time soon just in case she really does have it out for me already!
Oh and in case you're wondering I'm not wearing a wig in the picture above, I'm just six months overdue for some Manicuring as Frank likes to say.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Skyward Sword Impressions

It's that time of year again! No, not Thanksgiving, it's time for all the great holiday video game releases. I've put in a few hours into the new Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Wii, Skyward Sword. Here are some of my initial impressions:

The Good:

Graphically the game takes a little step forward from Twilight Princess. The game stylistically is a combination between Twilight Princess and maybe The Wind Waker. The graphics are a little smoother than the last outing and a little more colorful. Probably the prettiest game on the system thus far but still obviously lagging behind what the PS3 and XBOX 360 can do.

Fully orchestrated music! Finally. This is first Legend of Zelda game that takes advantage of a fully orchestrated score and the update is a very welcome one. I haven't heard too many melodies from previous games yet but the music is a fantastic upgrade. In addition, the game comes with a bonus CD of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony, containing eight tracks from various games in all their symphonic glory. Very cool.



The controls take advantage of Wii Motion Plus, meaning that every move with the wand is in true 1:1 ratio. Simply put, however you move the controller, your sword follows the exact same movement in the game. Puzzles can be solved and enemies can be defeated in exacting ways depending on how you slice or jab with the controller. Indeed this is a huge jump for the series especially when it comes to combat. Most foes will block your thrusts forcing the gamer to attack in precise and differing ways rather than just rattling the Wii remote back and forth.

The Bad:

The game takes its sweet time getting to the action. There's a very long intro/tutorial to the game that takes about an hour before the true story unfolds. While this to be expected, especially after playing the last two installments in the series, it's still a little frustrating for the eager gamer.

From what I've played so far the game is very linear. The adventure seems to go directly from one place to the next without much open ended exploration left to the gamer. Hopefully this will change as the story moves forward as has been the case with previous Zelda games.

The Ugly:

Initially the difficulty seems to be much higher than previous games. Once I finally made my way to the first boss in the first dungeon I literally died at least a dozen times trying to figure out the best means of success. I consider myself a fairly good gamer yet I found myself cusing quite a bit as my ass was handed to me by a foe or while I scratched my head trying to figure out how to progress. I've also found that hearts are less prevalent in this game meaning that it's worth taking along regenerative items before tackling a new area or dungeon.

Overall a great initial reaction to a series I adore. Better graphics, outstanding music, and precise control makes this a worthy addition to the franchise so far. Best Zelda yet? Of that I'm unsure but I'm ready to devote 60 game hours to find out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Need to Keep My Mouth Shut

Naturally after bragging about Oklahoma State's football team (see the post directly before this one) they traveled to Iowa State and laid an egg, losing in overtime 31-37. After about five minutes of pulling my hair out I got over it. In the grand scheme of things life is far too short to get really worked up over a college football game. After the dust settled Saturday it turns out the Pokes aren't in too bad of shape! They still have a solid chance to win the Big 12, to play in the a BCS bowl, and if a couple of more teams lose, play for a National Championship. Thank you Oklahoma and Oregon for the losses yesterday!

I caught the second half of the OSU game at a bar on Friday night. After the loss, a few Sooner fans began chanting "Boomer Sooner" in the bar. This chapped my ass worse than the game itself. I had the pleasure of explaining to my Sooner friends last night after their loss to Baylor that karma is a bitch...

Finally, one last word about college sports. My friend Amy sent me the following article on my phone Saturday morning:

The details of what happened in between are a blur of tears and anger, sorrow and disbelief.

It had been 355 days since the Cowboys last fell on the gridiron but it had been more than 10 years since this close-knit community has had to deal with a far greater loss.

The tragic deaths of Oklahoma State women’s basketball coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna, as well as two other OSU alums, shook the OSU fan base to its core. Then a 37-31 loss to Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium poured salt in a much deeper wound.

OSU has suffered more than any school should and Friday just didn’t seem fair.

I typically travel to road games but, for whatever reason, I skipped the trip to Iowa.

Instead I found myself in Gallagher-Iba at a press conference that can only be described as surreal. It felt like a bad case of déjà vu as it was announced, yet again, that OSU had lost members of its basketball family in a plane crash.

No matter how trivial it might seem it the wake of tragedy, I found solace in the notion that the football team could provide some sort of quick relief, a minor painkiller for an ache felt throughout Cowboy nation.

Then the unimaginable unfolded in the Iowa plains.

OSU’s offense faltered. The defense stumbled. The special teams failed. And for the first time in nearly a year, a loss was marked on the schedule on the most painful of days for it to occur.

As I sat at my computer struggling to find the words to describe the indescribable events, I decided I needed to see something first hand before it would be possible.

I got in my truck and headed down the road to Stillwater Regional Airport. I needed to see the team land. I needed to see something positive, something important.

What awaited me at the airport was a touching scene that reminded me just how special the people of Oklahoma State truly are.

At 2:45 Saturday morning, the cold wind aimlessly ripped through the gathering of nearly 150 orange-clad faithful who were already frozen from the events of the previous day.

But then in the distance, a noise grew louder. It was the sound of the jet carrying the Cowboys safely back home. It is something we all too often take for granted but will be challenged to overlook again.

As the team exited the plane and approached a gate ill-fitting of the gathering on hand, the singing began.

“Proud and immortal

Bright Shines Your Name

Oklahoma State

We Herald Your Fame

Ever You'll Find Us

Loyal and True

To Our Alma Mater

O-S-U.”

Coach Mike Gundy smiled as he appeared to fight back tears. Todd Monken doled out a few hugs. Several players gave high fives and, amid the overwhelming despair, signs of happiness could be found.

The sound that overtook the howling winds and the insufferable hum of desolation was the sound of cheering, providing a soundtrack to recovery from the loss of a team and the loss of lives before it.

The words of the alma mater took on an entirely new meaning. Loyal and true, indeed.

Sure, the national title hopes were lost amid the throngs of cardinal and gold who stormed the field to celebrate the biggest win in Iowa State football history. But the cold dose of reality from the morning helped to put things in perspective.

Monken described the loss as, “… a hard one to take for a long time.”

Brandon Weeden expressed his regret that they couldn’t deliver a win to assist in the healing process from the crash in the Arkansas hills and called it, “one of the hardest days in Oklahoma State history.”

Monken then added, “It’s one thing to lose early in the year, but it's another to get to this point and see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're 10-1, and I don't know if I've ever been 10-1 and felt so empty."

But that empty feeling preceded the warm arrival that awaited them in the early morning hours. That emptiness found some relief.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe it’s not a title this season, but it was a light nonetheless.

That light was provided by the Cowboy fans at the airport and by those who were there in spirit.

The football team might not have won Friday night but you, dear Cowboy fans, are already winners.

This university, this athletic department and this community will overcome tragedy once again and the reason is you. There was undeniable proof that Oklahoma State will again rise above.

I know I will remember Nov. 18, 2011.

I will remember the pain of losing cherished members of the Cowboy family. I will remember watching OSU’s football championship dreams fade away. But most of all, I will remember how lucky I am to be a Cowboy and to be associated with people like you.

One sign at the airport terminal struck me in particular.

“KB and MS would be proud.”

There is no doubt.


It's always good to keep things in perspective. The artice above can be found here.

Ride 'em Cowboys...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10-0!

I've been a little hesitant to write anything about Oklahoma State's football team this year as not to jinx them. With only two games left in the season I think I'm ready to do some bragging. With their win over Texas Tech Saturday, OSU moved to 10-0 on the season, the best start in school history, the previous best being 9-0 in 1945. They've also achieved their highest AP, Coaches, and BCS rankings at number 2. How did we get there? See below, the two games in bold is where I needed resuscitation:

Sep 3 Louisiana-Lafayette W 61-34
Sep 8 Arizona W 37-14
Sep 17 at Tulsa W 59-33
Sep 24 at (8) Texas A&M W 30-29
Oct 8 Kansas W 70-28
Oct 15 at (22) Texas W 38-26
Oct 22 at Missouri W 45-24
Oct 29 Baylor W 59-24
Nov 5 (17) Kansas State W 52-45
Nov 12 at Texas Tech W 66-6
Nov 18 at Iowa State 7:00 PM
Dec 3 (5) Oklahoma 7:00 PM

Obviously we should smoke Iowa State on Friday night which really leaves one competitive game left on the schedule, the dreaded Sooners in the annual Bedlam game. What's on the line in the last game of the season? Nothing much, just a chance to play for the National Championship in New Orleans! Also at stake is OSU's first Big 12 crown, a Heisman Trophy for Brandon Weeden, and another Biletnikoff Award for Justin Blackmon. No pressure.

What do the locals think of all this Oklahoma State success?


If it is the end of the world I could go out a happy man with a 12-0 regular season record... Go Pokes!!

Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen

Really Bravo?

In another unusual twist to the Top Chef cooking competition, Bravo gives us Last Chance Kitchen. The last person eliminated on the show has the chance to cook one final time to stay in the competition. The goal for the losers is to cook every week against the most recent person eliminated for a chance to get back in the contest at the end and compete for the 125,000 dollars!

This being the first week of Last Chance Kitchen we are treated to Andrew and Janine (the last two chefs out in the qualifying rounds) cooking in a best pizza throw down.

Andrew prevails over Janine and wins a chef coat that he will defend against next weeks eliminated contestant.

The online only Last Chance Kitchen footage can be found here.

When I heard about this final, final cut that Top Chef was offering I rolled my eyes but upon watching the video I think I'm kind of down with the concept. At the very least it will potentially give a good chef who was prematurely eliminated the chance to get back in the finale.

Thoughts or comments?

Sexual Orientation Protected in OKC!

"A measure proposed by Ward 2 Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid that extends employment discrimination protection in city offices to gay people passed Tuesday by a 7-2 vote."

Wow. This is great news for Oklahoma City, or at least for those employed by the city. I don't know if I'm more surprised that the vote was actually held or that the margin was so wide.

I think city leaders are finally starting to realize that in order to compete with bigger cities it's legislation like this that actually helps attract economic development. The state of Oklahoma may still be living in the Dark Ages; however, Oklahoma City itself seems to be making moves in the right direction.

So proud of my city and its council right now!

Link.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Origins Trailer

Six more days...

Top Chef: Sweet Sixteen

I was finally able to catch the second episode of Top Chef: Texas after missing the first run last Wednesday. Luckily Bravo always shows re-runs of all their shows twenty times a week!

This week we conclude the third round of the qualifying challenge as well as the bubble round. In the qualifying round the contestants choose from ten different ingredients on a table with each item having a mystery time for competition which were 20, 40, and 60 minutes. Top Chef always has to put in that little twist.

The bubble round was a little more simple. The chef contestants were asked to just make any dish they wanted with the ingredients in the kitchen. Six chefs were left in the bubble round while only two spots were left on the show. Edward and Grayson were the two last chefs to make it into the competition.

Other observations:

Chaz (mama's boy) sure got a lot of talking time this week. I figured this was a pretty good sign that he would make the cut and be part of the final sixteen but unfortunately he wasn't able to even get his food plated in time. His crush for Padma turned into being crushed by the judges.

I love the line up when everyone is spouting their resumes at their introductions. I was really hoping that one of the contestants would confess to being the day shift team leader at Arby's.

It's cool that Paul made the final cut. He's the food truck guy. I think it will be interesting to have a contestant from a non-traditional food background on the show. Hopefully he'll last.

Speaking of lasting. People who usually never advance very far into this competition, older chefs and private chefs. Case in point this week, Laurent (51) and Jonathan (private chef). I guess Robin did manage to hang around for a while on Top Chef: Las Vegas much to my dismay...

Has anyone ever had ox tail? Just curious. I've eaten a few crazy things in my time but never tail of any land animal.

No Gail this week. Boo. I was going to try really hard to pay attention to her boobs.

Grayson wanted to be a professional drinker at age 15 but went into the restaurant business instead. In my experience the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

I like how Molly defended herself for being a cruise chef and being just as good as the other chefs in the competition. She was promptly sent home on the bubble round for over cooking her shrimp.

Next on Top Chef: apparently a lot of cooking, a lot of crying, and a lot of mother fucking cussing.

Next chef out: since I still don't have a good feel about everyone I'm going to say either Ed or Grayson simply because they had to cook twice to make it into the competition.

Next week predictions: a more traditional Top Chef episode?

For me next week is when the show really begins. I look forward to getting to know, and hate, the chefs in this competition!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Feast for Crows

Once again I return to George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series with the fourth book "A Feast for Crows (1060 pages). From Goodreads:

"After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors."

"A Feast for Crows" is actually half of one book that Martin had originally intended to publish but it became so large it was released into two separate novels, the other being the recently released "A Dance with Dragons." What he did was take half of the characters and placed their entire story into one volume while the other half is represented in the next book. I was a little put off initially by this concept but I got over it fairly easily. As with the other books in the series each chapter is written from the perspective of a single character with the action possibly being in different parts of the realm.

I love this series in spite of the mammoth length of each installment. The only other minor nit I might make with "A Feast of Crows" is the slowly evolving story, at least in comparison with the other entries. Highly recommended. Read this series and start with "A Game of Thrones."

The Madness Meme, Part 2

I thought I would do some Sunday Stealing today while I'm oozing here on the sofa watching my beloved Dallas Cowboys...

Cheers to all of us thieves!

23. Do you ever walk around the house naked?
Sometimes but not very far, maybe to and from the bathroom.

24. If you were an animal what would you be? Why?
Ozzy Osbourne because he's rich.

25. Hair color you like on someone you’re dating?
I'm not particular just as long as it isn't a soulless Ginger.

26. If suffering an injury, would you rather be left blind or deaf?
I think either would be truly tragic but I think I would have to go with being left deaf though I would miss music dearly.

27. Do you have any special talents?
I'm an expert at drunk texting.

28. What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?
Hang up my keys on the wall near my door.

29. Do you like horror or comedy?
I like both, who doesn't?

30. Are you missing anyone?
A couple of people that I don't get to see very often.

31. Where do you want to live when you are old?
Someplace that isn't solidly a "red state" in Presidential elections.

32. Who is the person you can count on the most?
The Rents (parents).

33. If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be?
That's a tough one. Maybe Paul Rudd ala the Romeo and Juliet years.

34. What did you dream last night?
Nothing, I was so exhausted that I had a dreamless night.

35. What is your favorite sport to watch?
College football.

36. Are you named after anyone?
My dad and I guess his father before him.

37. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
I like all kinds of beers from lagers to stouts and everything in between. If it's a mixed drink I like Captain Morgan and Coke.

38. Non alcoholic drink?
I drink water mostly. I hardly drink caffeine anymore but when I do I go with a Dr. Pepper.

39. Have you ever been in love?
A couple of times, it was a waste of time.

40. Do you sing in the shower?
Sometimes. I blast music through the house when I'm showering more times than not.

41. Have you ever been arrested?
I have and I wouldn't recommend it.

42. What is your favorite Holiday?
Arbor Day.

43. Would you ever get plastic surgery?
Maybe a nip and tuck here or there but nothing major.

44. Have you ever caught a fish?
I have. I like to fish but I hardly ever get to do it.

Friday, November 04, 2011

"In God We Trust"

"In a 396-9 vote, the House of Representatives reaffirmed 'In God We Trust' as the nation's motto on Wednesday. The resolution's Republican sponsor said it would clear up any confusion President Obama created by once referring mistakenly to 'E Pluribus Unum' — a Latin phrase meaning 'out of many, one' — as our motto. ('In God We Trust' replaced 'E Pluribus Unum' in 1956.) Obama mocked Congress for frittering away its day on such a symbolic gesture instead of focusing on creating jobs."

Link.

Does anyone else like "E Pluribus Unum" better? Why was it changed, along with The Pledge of Allegiance, back in the last century? This would be a great springboard into attacking religion again on my part but I think I'm going to take a pass today, anyone who reads this blog already knows my views: if you're a Christian get some help! There are some great psychotropic medications on the market these days...

In other news, the House of Representatives will be holding votes all week to reaffirm the following:

The bald eagle as the nation's symbol. Too bad we didn't go with the turkey, it seems more apropos these days, no?

The Star Spangled Banner as the nation's anthem. However, the House may try to tweak Francis Scott Key's famous poem by adding God somewhere in the patriotic song.

The American Flag. The House will declare that yes indeed the flag has 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies and 50 stars representing all fifty states. The colors will also be reaffirmed as such: white signifying purity and hope, red standing for courage and sacrifice, and blue representing freedom, truth and justice. Why one of these colors doesn't represent the Christian God was an egregious oversight by our forefathers!

Taking a back seat to the legislation mentioned above will be jobs and the economy. God bless America...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Lion Among Men (Revisited)

It's been almost two years to the day that I first read "A Lion Among Men" (309 pages) by Gregory Maguire. In fact tomorrow would be the exact date. My first impressions of the book can be found here. It's amazing that I can remember exactly what I was doing the day I received this book (helping a friend move) but I had forgotten many of the details of the novel. From Goodreads:

"While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, a figure known as Brrr the Cowardly Lion arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. Abandoned as a cub, his path from infancy is no Yellow Brick Road. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the warmongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics."


As with my other readings of any of the "Wicked Years" novels, I find the second time through to be much more enjoyable. Freed of any expectations I can take in the book for what it is. Though fans commonly like this book the least, I now consider it to be just as strong as "Wicked" or "Son of a Witch," an opinion that is new. True, the book moves along at a much slower. What the pace of the story lacks, it makes up for it with answers to questions readers have wondered about since the first novel. And as I've said before it opens up a whole new can of worms to wonder about.

Having re-read the "Wicked Years" saga, I'm very eager to get down to reading "Out of Oz," which was released last Tuesday, the final installment in the series. From what I've read online the last novel should tie up all the loose ends and storylines proposed in the last three volumes.

"The Wizard was revealed as a mere mortal, and a bit of a charlatan at that. As clever with his hands - all those tiktok inventions, those terrifying images he projected - as he was with his diktats and fiats and fatwahs. Oh my."

Top Chef: Texas!

Dear Top Chef, I really tried to like your Masters edition, All Stars edition, and Just Desserts edition but I just couldn't. Now that we're back to the original format I couldn't be more stoked. Welcome to season nine of Top Chef Texas!

Blogging about Top Chef is always difficult in the first couple of weeks. It takes some time to get to know all of the new contestants. Bravo made things even harder this years starting off with 400 chef contestants. Well not really. Actually they're starting out with 29. After two episodes all of these contestants will be narrowed down to a more traditional number of 16. The first two rounds focused on the first two groups of chefs where they would be rewarded with a chef coat and make the cut to be in the competition, sent home from the competition, or placed on the bubble where they would have to cook yet again for another chance to make the competition. After two rounds we're left with 11 locks for the show and a hand full of cooks left on the bubble. Next week the third group of chefs will compete as well as those left on the bubble. Whew.

Some random musings on the first episode:

Two new celebrity judges join Tom, Padma, and Gail this season, Emeril Lagasse (I can never look at the man again without thinking of Elzar from Futurama) and Hugh Acheson, who is in dire need of an eyebrow specialist. What happend to everyone's favorite sell-out, Anthony Bourdain? Lame.

As soon as chef contestant Tyler Stone opened his mouth in an interview snippet I knew he would be leaving sooner rather than later. They guy was way too cocky not to be sent home early. In fact Tom sent him home before he even had a chance to cook! Note to future contestants: if you can't butcher a pig you probably shouldn't (1) volunteer to do so and (2) be on a cooking competition show.

A couple of chef contestants failed to finish plating their food, costing one a spot in the final 16 and sending another to the bubble round. Have these people not watched an episode of the series before?

According to the opening it appears as though all the cooking competitions will be split between Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin. No love for Houston? And what about my favorite Texas city of all time, Amarillo? A city that's 300 miles long and 1 mile wide...

Is anyone else disappointed that there isn't a contestant named Suck Lord?

I can't remember what Gail was wearing or what her boobies were doing! Hopefully that's not a bad omen of things to come this season!

It looks like Chicago is going to be well represented this season. I eagerly await to see if there's actually anywhere good to eat in Chicago and where those places are located.

Next on Top Chef: more of the same. Two more rounds of potential contestants duking it out for a spot in the final 16.

Next chef(s) out: a ton of them. There are only five spots left in the competition.

Next week predictions: I think it's a little too early for this, let's wait until we have all of our finalists in place.

So far so good with season nine I think. I like the new opening rounds format where the contestants have to cook to get into the competition. The season should be a lot of fun, as you know everything is bigger in Texas (I wonder how often we're going to hear that gem of a line this year?).

Monday, October 31, 2011

Son of a Witch (A Third Time)

My push to read the Wicked Years books before "Out of Oz" is released tomorrow continues with my third reading of "Son of a Witch" (329 pages) by Gregory Maguire. My first and second impressions of the novel can be found here and here. As with my third reading of "Wicked" I thought I would just relate some quotes I jotted down as I read through the novel:

"The Witch had locked him in the kitchen with Nanny and that jittery Lion. Showing surprising resourcefulness for one so dotty, Nanny had driven the handle of a one-egg iron skillet into the rotten wood of the doorjamb. Getting the idea, Liir and the Lion gouged at the hinges until the door fell heavily inward." In fact this is not how events went down in "Wicked." It was Nanny who had lock Liir and the Lion in the kitchen as the Witch dealt with Dorothy. A false recollection by Liir or a mistake by the author?

"His voice sounded soothing, even hypnotic, but the prisoner crouching against a back wall scooched her bare feet underneath her skirts. Shell's boots drew near until he was standing flush against her. She moaned or whimpered, and her feet curled the farther under her skirts. Mercy was hard to accept, Lirr guessed. Shell's feet rocked from toe to heel, with a comforting rhythm, and his heels began to lift from the floor." Shell, the future Emporor Apostle, bounder of opiates and rape.

"A capacity for interiority in the growing adult is threatened by the temptation to squander that capacity ruthlessly, to revel in hollowness. The syndrome especially plagues anyone who lives behind a mask."

"In Quadling thinking, one plus one doesn't equal a single unit of two. One plus one equals both."

"His other talent, though, was a distillation of memory into something rich and urgent. He guessed, in the hours or years remaining to him, he would remember the effect of Trism clearly, without corruption, as a secret pulse held in a pocket somewhere behind the heart."

"Still smeared with her birth blood, and the watery beginning of her little feces. He took her to the doorway and held her up in the warm rain. She cleaned up green."

Up next, "A Lion Among Men."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicago Signs

Resistance is futile!

What happened to the first sixteen?

We call them speed bumps here in Mayberry. A new meaning for a quicky?

Sign over one of the bathrooms at Roscoe's. I couldn't decide if this was my entrance...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hang With Me

I haven't posted in a while as I was away on another trip to Chicago. I arrived back in Oklahoma City on Monday apparently bringing back with me the the plague. I've been in bed or on the sofa since. Bummer.

Song of the trip:



Picture of the trip:


I'll post some more once I'm feeling better...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National Coming Out Day

I'm out! As if there was any confusion to those who read this blog. I hope that anyone struggling to be open about their orientation has the courage to come out to their friends and/or family today; however, if it isn't something they can do right now, I'm down with that too. The only person one has to be true to is himself.

I've lived openly for so long I don't actually remember when it was I came out. I told my parents I was gay and they said "okay" and that was pretty much it. I've never had issues with any of my close friends or family in regards to my orientation. If anyone has had a problem with it they've kept it to themselves which is a wise decision on their part...

Happy Coming Out Day!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Wicked (A Third Time)

I've set out for the third year in a row to read the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire, starting of course with "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" (406 pages). I guess I'm ramping up for the fourth and final installment, "Out of Oz," due to hit stores November 1st. My first and second impressions of the novel can be found here and here. Rather than going over ground already covered in previous posts, I thought it would be fun just to list some quotes from the book that came to my attention.

Melena on Frex: "For a man who condemned worldly pleasures he ate with elegance. She loved to watch the arabesque of fingers and two forks. She suspected that beneath his righteous asceticism he possessed a hidden longing for the easy life."

"Perhaps, thought Nanny, little green Elphaba chose her own sex, and her own color, and to hell with her parents."

"'Perhaps our time here is limited,' said Frex, sighing with contentment and clasping his arms behind his head - the typical male response to happiness, thought Melena: to predict its demise."

"Galinda didn't see the verdant world through the glass of the carriage; she saw her own reflection instead. She had the nearsightedness of youth. She reasoned that because she was beautiful she was significant, though what she signified, and to whom, was not clear to her yet."

"Galinda always felt as if she couldn't see the whole picture. It was disconcerting, and to her credit at least Galinda felt inside herself the ripping apart of some valuable fabric - was it integrity? - when she sat in Madame Morrible's parlor and drank the perfect tea."

"I've told you before, I don't comprehend religion, although conviction is a concept I'm beginning to get. In any case, someone with a real religious conviction is, I propose, a religious convict, and deserves locking up."

Elphaba: "'I should say you'll look back on this summer and cringe. She may be lovely, Boq - no, she is lovely, I agree - but you're worth a dozen of her.' At his shocked expression she threw up her hands. 'Not to me! I don't mean me! Please, that stricken look! Spare me!'"

Elphaba: "I love you so much, Fiyero, you just don't understand: Being born with a talent or an inclination for goodness is the aberration."

Fiyero: "He did not approve of anarchy (well, he knew he was in lazy doubt about everything; doubt was much more energy efficient than conviction)."

"'What's your beef?' said the Cow, in a dark humor."

Nessie to Elphaba: "Well, you can have the shoes, my dear - over my dead body."

"The alien girl - she called herself Dorothy - was by virtue of survival elevated to living sainthood. The dog was merely annoying."

"And of the Witch? In the life of a Witch, there is no after, in the ever after of a Witch, there is no happily; in the story of a Witch, there is no afterword. Of that part that is beyond the life story, beyond the story of the life, there is - alas, or perhaps thank mercy - no telling. She was dead, dead and gone, and all that was left of her was the carapace of her reputation for malice."

"And there the wicked old Witch stayed for a good long time."
"And did she ever come out?"
"Not yet."


Again, one of my favorite reads, at least in the past three years. I enjoy it more and take more from the story with each reading.

Red River Shootout


Fall is in the air and that means it time for the annual Red River Shootout between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas! Being an Oklahoma State fan I really don't have a dog in this hunt but I do get so amused by the trash talking going on all week, especially on Facespace, between Sooner and Longhorn fans. I usually root for the Sooners since Texas is a vile, evil place and the home of George W. Bush. Here is an example of some of the things I've seen on Facespace this week, having predominately Oklahoma and Texas friends:




And my favorite courtesy of my friend Jason:

‎"And I shall de-horn the wicked." Psalm 75:10. BOOMER! SOONER!

Of course we all know who the best is...


Go Pokes!!

Football rivalries, one of the many small things that make life worth living!

Bible Thumping!

"Chickasha, Okla. -- Chickasha police arrest Justin Farley, who is accused of beating up his wife for not buying a Bible.

According to a police report, Farley punched his wife three times in the head and then choked her for not buying a Bible at a local Walmart store.

Police said Farley's wife claimed her husband likes to buy Bibles and then tear them apart.

Farley faces a domestic abuse charge, police said."
(You think?)

Link.

I have no words... Only in Oklahoma!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Storm of Swords

I've continued reading George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, just finishing the third installment, "A Storm of Swords" (1177 pages). From the back cover:

"Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

A Storm of Swords

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world....

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...."


So far "A Storm of Swords" is the best in the series as well as the lengthiest. Martin has created a universe that I literally can't put down with so many twists and turns that it's very hard to predict which direction the story or individual characters will take. This is a good thing. Very well written and deeply engrossing. Highly recommended. I can't wait to read "A Feast for Crows!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spelling?

Who says you can't find anything worthwhile on Facespace?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One For the Money Trailer

I have to admit, it looks pretty good. Hopefully it will be as funny as the first couple of Stephanie Plum books. Thoughts?

Are the Planets Aligning?

What I've learned lately...

Republicans (as least those who want to be President) believe in three things:

1) If you don't have health insurance, for whatever reason, you should just die instead of being a burden on the tax payer. Or you could do what Ron Paul laughingly suggested, ask for help from your neighbors or the churches!

2) State sponsored executions in this country are an applause line.

3) Being a homosexual member of the armed services is worthy of being booed. I understand that most of the people on stage at the GOP debate probably don't believe this but then again not one of them had the balls to stand up to the terrible behavior displayed by the conservative crowd.

4) Oklahomans were buying this shit at the Fair:


Patti Stanger needs to know when to shut her mouth.

“'The Millionaire Matchmaker'” told a gay male caller he could maintain an open relationship because 'there is no curbing gay men,' she said."

To be honest, in my opinion, I don't think her remarks were too far off the mark but it's probably not something you would want to say on a television show promoting your own show. Again, in my experiences, I haven't known many gay men who have been able to carry on a long term relationship without some form of cheating entering into the equation, my own personal experiences included. Having said that, the influences of gay social life in Oklahoma City probably contribute more heavily to this phenomenon than gay men being unable to commit. I mean probably the biggest form of social interaction for gay men here is in a dank gay bar replete with alcoholics and drug users. Not a good place to hang out with the hubby.

I still, and will always, hate the Washington Redskins. They can't even beat a banged up Cowboys team that has an offensive line with an average age of 12 along with third sting wide outs! I love how Tony Romo went from the goat to the hero in a matter of a couple of weeks. Yes, it's cool to be a Romosexual again. How 'bout them Cowboys?!

Finally I learned that I just can't ride scary carnival rides anymore. I left my sphincter on the ride pictured below:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Darth Vader

Saw this at Reddit and the geek in me just couldn't help but pay it forward...

That Meme That's Going Around...

I like these kinds of memes. From Sunday Stealing.

Cheers to all of us thieves!

A. Age: 38.

B. Bed size: Queen.

C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the bathroom.

D. Dogs: Not anymore. I do like Beagles and Basset hounds.

E. Essential start to your day: Nothing, if we're talking about legal drugs like caffeine.

F. Favorite color: Blue.

G. Gold or Silver: Platinum!

H. Height: 175.26 cm.

I. Instruments you play: Played French Horn and trumpet but it was many, many years ago.

J. Job title: Intake supervisor at the County Morgue.

K. Kids: No thank you.

L. Live: Shiny Toy Guns?

M. Mother's name: Mildred.

N. Nicknames: Dave, Pooh, Pooh Bear, or the Debil.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None.

P. Pet peeve: Religious zealots and social conservatives.

Q. Quote from a movie: "You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it."

R. Right or left handed: Right handed.

S. Siblings: Two, a brother and a sister.

T. Time you wake up: Anywhere between 5AM and 3PM.

U. Underwear: Boxer briefs.

V. Vegetable you hate: Not a fan of tomatoes.

W. What makes you run late: My alarm not going off.

X. X-Rays you've had: Chest and foot.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Just made some stew, viva la fall.

Z. Zoo animal Lions, tigers, and bears.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dear Diary, I Named an Elephant Today...

From W.T.F Weekly Meme.



1) Next week is my 30th birthday, but I'm boycotting it because I am not ready to leave my 20's behind. What has been the toughest birthday for you so far?
My toughest birthday was 31. The realization had finally sunk in that I was in my 30's! 40 is just around the corner. Yay!

2) In general, what is your favorite ride at an amusement park?
I really don't like amusement park rides. I have visions of flying off the rails on a roller coaster ala Final Destination 3. I'm going to ride some today at the Fair since my niece left me a bunch of tickets she had left over from her trip there.

3) Recently the Oklahoma City Zoo held a contest to name its newest elephant baby. With today (Sept. 22) being Elephant Appreciation Day, what would you name an elephant if you could name one?
Stampy! From a great Simpsons episode when they had a pet elephant. Can anyone even remember when that show was good?

4) On Sept. 22, 1920, the Band-Aid was invented. What is something you wish you could cover up with a Band-Aid?
Sally Kern's mouth?

5) Other than gasoline, what do you frequently purchase at a gas station?
Smokes, Dr. Pepper, and of course Giant Chewy Sweet Tarts.

6) If you had to eat only three different foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
This is a tough one! Cereal, soup, and some kind of fish course.

7) Today (Sept. 22) is Dear Diary Day. Finish this sentence: "Dear Diary, I wish I knew ..."
I wish I knew back then what I know now...

8) Would you rather have children and make a decent salary or have no kids and make a great salary?
Not a fan of children so I'd have to go with a great salary. Besides can you even afford to raise kids on a "decent salary?"

Troy Davis

I'm sure everyone has already seen the drama that unfolded last night as Troy Davis' last appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied and he was finally put to death by the state of Georgia.

"Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing MacPhail, who was working as a security guard at the time. MacPhail rushed to the aid of a homeless man who prosecutors said Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. Prosecutors said Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah."

Link.

This is third time Davis' execution had been halted since 2007. Apparently the game clock finally ran out on him in spite of seven witnesses from the original trial changing or recanting all or part of their testimony. That's what's so crazy about this whole story. I'm really surprised that the Supreme Court didn't at least grant a new trial. Having said that, I really don't know the complete facts of the crime and trial other than what I've read and seen on television. Maybe the correct man was punished. What if the correct man wasn't?

There's something very wrong, in my opinion, with a country that allows the state to execute people. Talk about the ultimate government intrusion, to take away all that someone is and will ever be. Putting aside that the death penalty has never been a deterrent to crime, I believe that the possibility of killing one innocent man is justification enough to trash the whole system. Alas, America demands an "eye for an eye."

That's my opinion, what's yours?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Devon Tower Tops Out

I read in The Oklahoman (aka the Daily Disappointment aka the Fishwrap) the other day that the Devon Tower downtown had reached it's maximum height and the company was going to celebrate with something or other at the sight today. To honor the occasion and the changing Oklahoma City skyline I went down to Bricktown this afternoon to get a picture of the building.



Since it towers over all other buildings in the area, it kind of reminds me of this:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Mayhem

I keep meaning to participate in this meme and I always seem to forget. Not today! Click on the picture below to check out the site.

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

What's the best way to get rich?
Hard work and dedication! Oh screw that, playing the lottery.

Have you ever eaten anything that you once saw alive?
The only thing that comes to mind would be lobster and oysters.

What creeps you out the most about clowns?
The fact that someone would choose being a clown as a profession.

Tell us your best or favorite garage sale or flea market find.
Nothing. I don't go to garage sales or flea markets. Strike that, I used to go to a flea market here in Oklahoma City when I was 19 that had a bar in the back. I just went to drink because they didn't try to ID me.

Who should get slapped on the wrist today?
I'm not sure about a slap but I sure would like to punch Sally Kern in the face.

What do you need to accomplish this week?
I need to get my dining room prepped so I can paint the walls and woodwork.

What's your best tip for online shopping?
If you can't get free shipping forget about it.

This was pretty random. Can you tell us something really random to end this week's meme with?
My boy Mario is always watching out for me when I'm at my desk.