Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Reviews: Various

Howdy, all. Sorry I've been scarce; I've been a-traveling. I'll put up a post about the recent travels this weekend. But first, to catch up on my various books!

First up, the family history book about Julian & ...Lorilla, possibly. It's been at least weeks and I'm not sure I remember all the names. The book was good! Very interesting in parts. Sort of repetitive, though, and it had a tendency to tell a short version of someone's life and then you'd read an extended version of their life a few pages later. Regardless, I liked seeing some parallels from myself in some of our relatives.

Next up...

The New England Grimpendium, by J.W. Ocker. This was an OK book-certainly an interesting idea. It's from an author/blogger that I occasionally follow. This was on my wishlist for a long time. He visited a ton of 'dark' locations in New England and wrote a travelogue about it. Many of the locations were haunted houses and such, but most were someone's tombstone, or the scene of a famous murder, or so and so's home, and so on. Probably worth a library check-out rather than a purchase. Overall, an OK read.

Next up...

Ghosts and More Ghosts, by Robert Arthur. Now truthfully, I bought this book for the cover. I found it on a website somewhere and thought the cover was absolutely awesome. Of course hen the book arrived, it had the insanely stupid cover depicted above. The cover I thought I was getting is...

Yeah. So... Anyway, I got the stupid cover back when the book was like $3, and now for some reason the book is $25. I must have bought the last inexpensive copy. I will keep an eye out for it because I am 100% in favor of owning books just to have them look cool. So there.

Inside, the stories were surprisingly good. They're all from this guy who wrote for various odd magazines in the 1940s, so the stories are all quite clean and interesting. A little predictable, with modern entertainment having done some variation of many of the stories many times over for the last several decades, but otherwise a good read.

Oh, and the funny thing: there are no ghosts in this book. At all. There is one monster, and one story 'about' a ghost but which doesn't actually feature a ghost at all. Most of the stories are about supernaturalish stuff like getting special powers or finding objects with abilities or things like that. It should have been called "Vaguely Supernatural Tales."

And finally, I swear I read a church one...what the heck was maybe not. I thought I did but it's not coming to mind, so I guess not? It seems like I intended to read one.

Currently I'm reading a 'horror' anthology called The Dark, which is OK. "Horror" stories are notoriously not remotely scary, but it's been on my shelf for ages and I've vowed to read every last book that has been gathering dust before I allow myself to accumulate any more. So stay tuned for a report on that one in a week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Edgar Allan Poe

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Original poem: Two cows

One fine warm day there came two cows
Fresh from eating hay
The one cow looked at the other one, and speaking, he did say
"Wow that was great, I do declare that hay deserves top biling
But really when you get to it, it wasn't very filling."

"Can I come over to your house and chomp on some butter or grass?
My lack of food is unbecoming such a bonnie lass."

"Um, I think we're dudes," the cow replied
And shook its furry tail.
"Holsteins, or heiffers, or something like that."
(He'd read this in the mail.)

"Don't you be ridiculous, that seems quite crazy,"
The other cow intoned...
We have udders and give milk and that seems pretty girly.
You probably are stoned."

"I don't even know what that means," said the cow
And chomping on its hay,
Said "And as for udders, I think guys have those too
And that's all I've got to say."

It turned and walked away and never shared any of its butter.
The other one shook its head and said,
"With that cow it's always one thing or an udder."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Original Story: Two Bright Gay Frogs

At a family gathering, an elderly grandpa has agreed to bring the grandchildren together to tell them some amusing stories. He calls everyone together to sit at his knee in the living room.

Grandpa: Hey there, kiddies!
Kids: Hey there, Grandpa!
G: Would you like to hear some of my famous home-grown stories?
K: Yaaaayy!
G: Alrighty then. Well, let's see. There are so many amusing stories that I could tell. Did I tell you the one about the gopher and the watermelon?
K: Yes, many times.
G: (Slightly taken aback) Oh! Oh OK, I see. Well then, I'd better dig a little deeper into my bag of tricks. How about the story of the frogs?
K: (No one seems to recall this story)
G: Ah ha! Well then, let's see if I can recall. Oh yes. "Two bright gay frogs were on their way, one bright and bashful day, when..."
K: (Giggling)
G: What?
K: Why are they gay?
G: Because it was a nice day and they were in a good mood.
One of the older kids: My friend Kayla at school has two moms that are gay, and they hold hands in public all the time.
Other kids: Eeeeewww!
G: Wait, wait. Look, they're not 'gay' gay. They're gay. Like, you just happy and stuff.
Smaller kid: Are they happy because they like rainbows and rainbows are pretty?
G: Kids, just hang on here. They're not homosexual frogs. They're just platonic friends.
Kids: What's 'plutonick' mean? Does that mean they kiss each other?
G: No! Now gosh durn it, I'm trying to tell a story here, and all of these interruptions are very distracting. Just trust me, that the frogs are simply casual acquaintances who bear each other no ill will and are just hanging out. OK?
Kids: OK.
G: "Two bright, uh, happy frogs were on their way, one bright and bashful day, when they came upon an ass. "What big old hooves you have, kind sir," to which he replied, "Sassafrass!"
Kids: (Scandalized) Grandpa! You're not supposed to say that!
G: What now?
Kids: The ***A*** word!
G: A word? Now listen here, I'm an adult, and I can say all sorts of words. Which word was the A word?
Kids: You know which one!
G: (Realizing) Oh! Oh kids, that's just like a word for a donkey or a mule.
Kids: Why would you call him that? He seemed like a nice donkey or mule.
G: He is! Well, he's kind of grumpy, but that's OK, but look, I'm not swearing here.
Younger kid: I'm telling my Momma! (Runs out)
G: Suzy! Oh, now, look you guys. Some words' meanings change over time, and that's OK. Just bear with me and we'll try to finish the story.
K: Are you going to swear anymore?
G: Now....OK yes, fine, I'm not going to swear anymore. So listen up. "Three questions, please is all I ask, he said so niggardly, and on your way you frogs will be, so--"
K: (Horrified) GRANDPA! Holy cow!
G: Oh come on, it means "grudgingly mean" or something like that, and there's nothing intended--
K: I think we have somewhere else we should be. (The kids start dispersing.)
G: Look, no, wait! OK, I get it. Some old timey words don't quite mean the same things nowadays. I understand. I promise, I will do my best to entertain you and try not to use language that you might find offensive.
K: Promise?
G: Cross my heart! (Crosses his heart)
K: Well, OK. (They gather back together.)
G: I think for this one, I'm going to avoid controversy altogether and I'm just going to sing for you. How does that sound?
K: Great, Grandpa!
G: (Picks up guitar) OK then. Well here goes'! (Starts strumming a bluesy tune on the guitar...) "Frankie and Johnny were lovers, lordie oh how they did love..."


Friday, June 7, 2013

True confessions 6/7/13

  • When I first heard "Walking on the Sun" by Smash Mouth back in the 90s, I thought it was a new song by Oasis representing a 'funky new direction.'
  • I once accidentally drove the wrong way down a one-way street. It was intense. I wound up doing a 50-point u-turn in the middle of the road. I looked really cool that day.
  • I once wore my pajamas shirt to middle school on accident. It was a neon pink St. George Marathon jazz band shirt they'd given me for playing my trombone at the finish line, and it did look like I'd slept in it.
  • For a time, my favorite movie was Willow.
  • When I was about 12 I bought some 'spy' glasses that extended out slightly from your face and on the sides of the glasses as you were looking at them were a reflective mirrored coating that functioned like side mirrors on a car, so you could see who was behind you. This would presumably help you anticipate attackers, but mostly just got you called 'Hey Geordi.' Also they were 'rainbow tinted.'

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Random thoughts 6/6/13

  • They should make a sequel to Saturday's Warrior called Sunday's Warrior. If that does well, they should move forward to Monday, and so on.
  • Let's just drain loch ness and be done with it. If there is a dead plesiosaur sitting on the bottom, then at least we'll know, and we can stuff him and put him in a museum.
  • If they ever made a video game of that show Game of Thrones they should call it Video Game of Thrones.
  • The Eurythmics should have called it "Sweet Dreams are Made of These." It doesn't rhyme at all to call it 'Sweet Dreams are Made of This' and you don't have the option of twisting 'This' until it vaguely sounds like 'These.' And if people don't think that 'These' makes any sense, they should change it to 'Cheese.' Most people would be content to dream about cheese as opposed to having nightmares or anxiety dreams about work or other matters. Especially if it's either EZ-Cheez or Chili's delicious queso.
  • Frozen yogurt seems like a good deal at $3 a cup until you realize that you can buy an entire thing of ice cream at the grocery store for like $2.75.
  • I'm going out on a limb and declaring Sweet Chili Doritos the best Doritos since the sadly discontinued 'Flaming Red' Doritos. Those were really good and these are too, though they're *slightly* too hot/spicy. Too much spice can get in the way, and this *almost* does but the flavor is too good that it's OK.
  • So I still use iTunes because my phone and my iPod shuffle both sync to it, and it has a thing where it will email you if an album from an artist you like has been released. Part of this is that it will also email you if something new comes out from an artist you've previously purchased. That being said, STUPID ITUNES I DOWNLOADED 'HOLY DIVER' ONCE LIKE A MILLION YEARS AGO, STOP SENDING ME ALERTS ON EVERY DIO TRIBUTE GREATEST HITS REISSUE COLLECTION. THIS ACCOUNTS FOR ABOUT 90% OF MY ALERTS.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dan Henninger

**I recently moved back to a Windows computer and my beloved MS Paint program, from which I have been absent about 4 years. So bear with me as I get my bearings...

As to the American population, beset with anxieties over low growth and persistent unemployment, they're expected to gut it out with their inspirational president. In year five, he's proposing 15 "manufacturing hubs" that he says will be "global centers of high-tech jobs." Anyone who has seen "Annie" on Broadway knows the translation: "The sun will come out—tomorrow."

-Dan Henninger