Friday, March 31, 2006

Book 17 of 26 -- Eddie Guerrero Biography

Cheating Death, Stealing Life : The Eddie Guerrero Story

So I recently had a lot of free time on a weekend (Translation -- I couldn't sleep and the NCAA games were making me all I AM STILL in the money hunt for some pools.) so I read a bunch with one eye on the games.

One of the books that I read while watching the games and while running on the elliptical machine was Cheating Death, Stealing Life : The Eddie Guerrero Story.

On November 13, 2005, Eddie Guerrero of the WWE passed away when his nephew found him dead in his hotel room. This biography was published right before his death and released immediately after.

I loved Eddie... he was truly one of my favorite wrestlers....

Eddie had some tough times in his life and this book essentially lays out all of them. Between being dumb, drugs, alcohol and pain killers, the man was lucky to be alive and have retained his family -- with several near misses during his 38 years.

By the time he died in 2005, he was free from drugs and alcohol for over 4 years... but it did its damage to his heart as he died of heart failure. years of abuse of alcohol and anabolic steroids damaged his heart so much that it was almost inevitable that he passed away.

In the book, Eddie tells a story of where his wrestling friends basically outted Eddie's problems to the management who forced him to do somethign about it. Eddie wrote this passage about a conversation he had in 2000...

"When I asked Dean about it (ratting him out), he told me why they felt they had to do what they did. 'I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I would've found you dead in a hotel room,' he said. 'and there's no doubt in my mind that that's the path you were on.'"

Ok... that was eerie...

The book reads like most of the WWE biographies in that it tells some amazing stories, but this one was different in that Eddie had it pretty bad and he turned his life around. It just wasn't in time.

I also feel that the book reads differently as it is a love story about his dedication and love for his wife and girls. They were the driving factors that eventually straightened him out.

I recommend this book to anyone that cares...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Book 16 of 26 -- Steve Martini's The Judge

Palm Springs allowed me to read 2 books in 3 days. Sometimes, travel rocks.

In The Judge, Steve Martini revisits his pretty cool character once again (Paul Madriani). I wrote back in February or January that I have begun to really appreciate this guy. Martini has written many books and this character is his main character.

In one of the earlier books in the series, Madriani pretty much royally pisses of the judge that he is litigating before. This hatred extends to several of his books as they continuously confront each other and even get in each other's way as Madriani tries to discover the killer of the Judge's niece.

The Judge is interesting in that Madriani receives the highest compliment in the world when this Judge essentially recruits the Madriani character to represent him. The murderer was pretty well hidden for the majority of the book, but I was happy to discover that I am good at predicting the killer. I really need to stop reading so deeply into these books and enjoy the ride... but the books are more intelligent than most mystery books so I dive into them.

In The Judge, Madriani comes closer to death than he has ever come including a confrontation with a group of dirty police officers.

Of the Madriani books, this is NOW my favorite one so far.

Next Up in terms of Steve Martini -- a novel that doesn't feature the Madriani character... The List as it is a library book and I really want to finish it up.

Now... for real... the next book will be Cheating Death, Stealing Life : The Eddie Guerrero Story

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In & Out Burger vs Fatburger vs Jack in the Box Part I

In & Out Burger vs Fatburger vs Jack in the Box

So I was in California on a work trip and every time I go to the west coast or further to Hawaii, I am amazed at the quality of their hamburger joints. There isn’t a hamburger joint in New Jersey that even compares to the three hamburger joints in the title of the blog.

I arrived in California and I was hungry as heck so I figured that I would get something to eat. Of course I wanted one of the hamburgers that I have had at one of these places. All three burger joints were within a square mile of each other… so I had a tough decision to make – which one did I want?

I drew from my knowledge of the places trying to make a comparison.

I remembered the yummy goodness that was Jack in the Box in Hawaii… I knew that if muh wife was with me, we would have gone there as they have some chicken dishes she enjoys.

I remembered that In & Out Burger was tasty but I don’t remember being wow’ed by it much like muh friend Shari seems to be.

I went with Fatburger. I remember the burger to be perfectly grilled with the appropriate amount of cheese. I remember actually closing my eyes when I was eating it. I remember never having a negative thing to say about it.

I went with Fatburger… and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

It really is all about the simple things folks… it really is…

In an upcoming blog... I will report on my findings... as I had a burger from all three...

Heck... I'll even throw in pictures.....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Happy Anniversary -- Tucker's Super Life

Can you actually believe that Tucker has been a part of the Smelmooo family for a year today?

25 pounds of lovin'!

Thank you Tucker for being the BEST DAMN DOG EVER!

Top Five Tuesday

Top Five Best Things I Ate While in Palm Springs in No Particular Order -- That is for another blog...
1. Fatburger burger
2. Jack in the Box Sourdough Burger
3. In N Out Burger Double Double Burger
4. Filet Mignon open faced sandwich... All it was ... was a piece of really tasty meat on top of a piece of bread... I was in heaven....
5. A frosted cheese filled croisant... OH MY GOD... HEAVEN!!!!

Top Five Things Bush SHOULD Be Saying to Garner Support for the War in Iraq
1. It is the world's largest beach!
2. Speaking of beaches, we need to bring some of that sand to replenish our Jersey beaches! Thanks democratic government forced upon people!
3. Where else can you get a sun tan and a missile up your ass in one place? Iraq! Iraq! Iraq!
4. He needs to talk about more positive things going on in his administration... that whole Cheney thing and the ports deal... yeah... they were productive.
5. Some one has to tell the people why they spent a BRAZILLION DOLLARS...

Top Five Reasons Why I Love That CNN Had This Headline -- "Sharon Stone: Nude scenes 'no big thing'"
1. Her ass
2. Her left boob
3. Her right boob
4. Her dirty female part down there.
5. NUDITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Top Five Bands That I Want to See Make It Big Again
1. Big Audio Dynamite II
2. Warrant
3. Hanson
4. Culture Club... does that make me gay?
5. Poison

Top Five Popular Things I Don't Really Give Two Poopies About
1. American Idol AND the contestants... Only one has been successful... I heart Kelly...
2. Anything that has anything to do with Paula Abdul... why do they cover her so much?
3. Anything that has anything to do with Simon Cowell... why do they cover him so much?
4. Anything that has anything to do with Randy Jackson... why do they cover him so much?
5. Anything that has anything to do with Ryan Seacrest... why do they cover him so much?

Top Five Popular Things That ARE Cool & Popular and You Should Like Them... Just Like ME!!!
1. 24
2. South Park
3. Lost
4. Survivor
5. My Name is Earl

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Shield on DVD REQUEST...

Does anyone have the Shield on DVD?

I was thinking about finally checking it out.....

Please email me with answer.


THE Evil Applebees of Palm Desert

The Evil Applebees of Palm Desert

A few years ago, muh wife and I traveled to Palm Springs to go to a work trip. While down here, we met up with my cousin, his wife and son for a lunch. After some debate, we went to Applebees for lunch and had one of the most unpleasant dining experiences we have ever had.

Muh wife ordered a chicken sandwich that came with cheese. She asked for it without cheese. The food was brought out and her sandwich had cheese on it. Fine… no big deal… please take it back and bring a new one with no cheese. Right?

The waiter came back about 3 minutes later with a new sandwich... or so we thought. Muh wife removed the bun to do something to it when she realized that it was the same sandwich as last time but the cheese had been scraped off and torn from the bun.

This was not cool.

We immediately complained about this and about the burgers that my cousin and I received. They were both cooked to charcoal. The manager profusely apologized and essentially offered us a gift certificate to make up for it.

Unhappy, we took the free meal and the future free meal home with us. We used it at a local Applebee’s because we never want to see anything go to waste.

Muh wife ordered the exact sandwich with the exact same parameter of NO CHEESE. I could never imagine this folks, but guess what? It came with cheese, was sent back and the same sandwich with cheese improperly removed was brought back.

Applebees was immediately placed on our major shit list and we vowed to never go back as it was an extremely unpleasant experience.

I know that many of you know that my sister works for them and is constantly spouting the company line when I see her… and I have no problem with it. It's her job and she is paid to promote the virtues of Applebee's.

I just know that muh wife and I will never go to an Applebee’s again on our own dime as they had two chances to not do something extremely disgusting... and they failed both times.

So… here’s why this story was inspired… my hotel in Palm Springs was in the same parking lot as this evil Applebee’s... and it bothered me greatly to see it every day and it was in view from my hotel room...


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hard to Find Toys

Thank you Shari for these...

How absolutely horrible yet hilarious are all of these?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Best Irish Joke Ever -- 2005 Winner

Voted best Irish joke of 2005!

John O'Reilly hoisted his beer and said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, between the legs of me wife!" That won him the top prize at the pub for the best toast of the night!

He went home and told his wife, Mary, "I won the prize for the Best toast of the night."

She said, "Aye, did ye now. And what was your toast?"

John said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife."

"Oh, that is very nice indeed, John!" Mary said.

The next day, Mary ran into one of John's drinking buddies on the street corner. The man chuckled leeringly and said, "John won the prize the other night at the pub with a toast about you, Mary."

She said, "Aye, he told me, and I was a bit surprised myself. You know, he's only been there twice in the last four years. Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Happy Birfday to Smelmooo's Sistah

She is 27 today... how's that for a kick in the pants?

Fast Break Line – Those Special People -- A Smelmooo Rant

Fast Break Line – Those Special People...

After a very long day of traveling to a remote city in Southern California (Palm Springs) that involved waking up at 3:45 a.m. for a 5:30 flight to Houston with a 1 hour layover for another flight to Palm Springs, all I wanted to do was get to my hotel room.

The Palm Springs airport is an extremely small airport. My bag came out in a few minutes and I was impressed with the efficiency… I was tired and excited that my bag was one of the first few bags out. I was also glad to see that it made it through the relatively short layover where I had to travel on a Tram and walk a bunch to get to my second gate.

With bag in hand, I went to pick up my reserved rental car at Budget. The line was long and I was immediately irritated to see how long it was going to take. I waited for 45 minutes to get through the line. Waiting is one thing, waiting for 40 minutes, making it to the front of the line, and then having these two people jump in front of you because they were part of an “elite persons” program pissed me off to no end. I was ready to ring their necks….bastards…

Yeah yeah yeah… for those of you that read both my wife’s and my blogs know that she is an Elite member of Continental… so I essentially called muh wife a bastards… well… all I can say to that is that I would never be mad at anything that works to my advantage. Heh heh…

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Book 15 of 26 Journey Into Darkness By Michael Chiappetta

Journey Into Darkness By Michael Chiappetta

As many of you know, I enjoy watching wrestling on the WWE. I have been watching it for a long time. Although, with the advent of DVR, I have been watching a lot of it on fast forward as most of the storylines are boring and move at a snail’s pace. The wrestlers out there just aren’t as dynamic as they used to be so my interest is waning.

Even with that going on in my psyche, I have found that I still enjoy reading those goofy biographies of wrestlers of yore. That’s why I bought this book called – Journey of Darkness… a book that I thought was the biography of Kane, a larger than life wrestler that comes from the darker side of life.

I am sure that I have lost many of you so far.

What made this book completely unlike anything that I expected was that it was a work of fiction. Someone took all the storylines from the Kane character for the past 10 years and incorporated them into them into a novel. He focused on his brother and his entire childhood – what made him turn into the evil character that he is.

I was fascinated by this and I thoroughly enjoyed the crystallization of what I have been accepting as “fact” for ten years about this character. For 200 of 300 pages, I was completely captivated by it. I had to be… I was on a 9 hour trip to Palm Springs. The last 100 pages were the part where I began to lose interest in that the author tried to justify why this messed up individual and his brother and father would get into the world of professional wrestling…. Blech.

The meat of the book is pretty irrelevant to you my reader. I had never thought that this type of work existed and Iw anted to share it with you. Fascinating….

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy Birfday to Shari

Yeup... she's 76 today.

Book 14 of 26 – Chris Moore’s The Stupidest Angel V. 2.0

Book 14 of 26 – Chris Moore’s The Stupidest Angel

I consider myself a pretty funny person. I may not be able to do it well in writing, but I can often command a room when it comes to being funny. My humor is mostly responsive to the actions of others – think… nice a nice Don Rickles.

Chris Moore is perhaps the funniest writer out there. He is often compared to Vonnegut (spelling) and other major satirists. I was introduced to Chris Moore by a friend of mine a couple of year’s ago and started to read his stuff.

I immediately fell in love.

Some of his works include:

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove – The title alone deserves awards, but the book shows what would happen if an entire town were to be taken off of its anti-depressants. Moore creates a monster to represent the removed crutch.

LAMB, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal – In this novel Moore recreates the missing years of Christ’s life (ages 1-33). Essentially, they travel around the world and Biff does all the bad stuff so that Christ can understand it. Although the things that Biff does in the name of Christ are sometimes crude, this book is actually extremely sweet and sentimental. It treats religion in an enlightening way and even though you know how it is going to end, Moore brings you to an exciting and moving end. This is the kind of book that could create controversy in the religions community yet didn’t as Moore is able to create a moving tribute to religion as a whole…and make me laugh my f*cking ass off.

The Stupidest Angel is a Christmas book. It is perhaps Moore’s worst book, and I have read it four times because I have loved it each time I have read it. Moore very rarely has re-occuring characters yet in this book, he brings many of his main characters and has them deal with the antics of a not so bright angel. I want to say more about the book but I shall refrain for now. The book has won The Quill Awards and was his most commercially successful book. So popular, that the actually put out a second version (2.0) with an additional 30 pages of creamy goodness.

I recommend getting caught up in the world that is Chris Moore. You won’t be sorry. Just don’t read The Stupidest Angel first… the characters that he used are in the other books… check them out first…you’ll piss your pants.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Top Five Tuesday Reprieve

I will be traveling all day today... so i decided to give myself a reprieve on Top Five Tuesday.

Look tomorrow for an update of some sort and for an installment or 6 of the books I read on my long trips.

Oh what the heck...

Top Five Reasons Why I Am Glad that I Watched the First Season of Rescue Me
1. Nudity
2. Cursing
3. It is funny yet touching.
4. The uncle character is a hoot...
5. Denis Leary is amazingly talented yet an asshole.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Making Me Sad... The Death of Peter Tomarken

This really bummed me out as I really, really, really liked Press Your Luck... still do!

TV Game Show Host, Wife Killed in Air Crash

Press Your Luck TV game-show host Peter Tomarken and his wife Kathleen were killed on Monday, March 13, 2006 when their light plane crashed in the ocean off the coastal suburb of Santa Monica.

The couple, who were transporting a cancer patient to a treatment center in San Diego, had just taken off in their Beechcraft about 9:45 a.m. when the engine failed.

The plane went down near Santa Monica Pier in front of horrified spectators, reports Reuters.

Peter Tomarken was 63, and from 1983-86 he hosted the CBS show, which was noted for the dreaded "Whammy" – which signaled that a contestant was about to lose all his money. Contestants yelled out the memorable line "No Whammies!" to ward off bad luck.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Jersey Driving Rules

I figured that since I was out of New Jersey in the gorgeous climate of Palm Springs, I would make fun of muh home state with a joke I recently received.

New Regulations in the New Jersey Registry of Motor Vehicle's 2006 Handbook: (NJ drivers and former residents must comply).

1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A confident New Jersey driver avoids using them.

2. Under no circumstance should you maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, because the space will be filled in by someone else, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3. The faster you drive through a red light, the less chance you have of getting hit.

4. WARNING! Never come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No one expects it and it will result in your being rear-ended.

5. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork, especially with PA, NY or Del plates. With no insurance, the other operator probably has nothing to lose.

6. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a vigorous foot massage as the brake pedal violently pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to strengthen your leg muscles.

7. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It's a good way to prepare other drivers entering the highway.

8. Speed limits are arbitrary figures; given only as a suggestion and are not enforceable in New Jersey during rush hour.

9. Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that a New York driver flashing his high beams behind you can go faster in your spot.

10. Always brake and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire. This is seen as a sign of respect for the victim.

11. Learn to swerve abruptly without signaling. New Jersey is the home of high-speed slalom-driving thanks to the Department of Public Works, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them alert.

12. It is the tradition in New Jersey to honk your horn at cars in front of you that do not move three milliseconds after the light turns green.

13. To avoid injury in the event of a collision or rollover, it is important for you to exit your vehicle through the windshield right away. Wearing your seat-belt will only impede your hi-velocity escape from danger.

14. Remember that the goal of every New Jersey driver is to get ahead of the pack by whatever means necessary.

15. In New Jersey, 'flipping the bird' is considered a polite salute. This gesture should always be returned.

Thank You,
The New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Monday is the official Slap Your Irritating Co-workers Holiday

Monday is the official Slap Your Irritating Co-workers Holiday:

Do you have a co-worker who talks nonstop about nothing, working your last nerve with tedious and boring details that you don't give a damn about? Do you have a Co-worker who does nothing but complain, gossip and plots other peoples misery? Do you have a co-worker who ALWAYS screws up stuff creating MORE work for you? Do you have a co-worker who kisses so much booty, you can look in their mouth and see what your boss had for lunch? Do you have a co-worker who is SOOO obnoxious, when he/she enters a room, everyone else clears it? Well, on behalf of Ike Turner, I am so very very glad to officially announce tomorrow as SLAP YOUR IRRITATING CO-WORKER DAY! There are the rules you must follow:

* You can only slap one person per hour - no more.
* You can slap the same person again if they irritate you again in the same day.
* You are allowed to hold someone down as other co-workers take their turns slapping the irritant.
* No weapons are allowed...other than going upside somebody's head with a stapler or a hole-puncher.
* CURSING IS MANDATORY! After you have slapped the recipient, your "assault" must be followed with something like "cause I'm sick of your stupid-a$$ always messing up stuff!"
* If questioned by a supervisor [or police, if the supervisor is the irritant], you are allowed to LIE, LIE, LIE! Now, study the rules, break out your list of folks that you want to slap the living day lights out of and get to slapping.....and have a great day

Friday, March 17, 2006

Lent-al Soup -- Or... What I Gave Up

Let me get a few things straight before I even think about writing this blog.

#1 -- I am NOT Catholic.
#2 -- I am not that religious. I have some basic spiritual beliefs about things and I believe in Christianity but I am not an avid church goer because of my issues with organized religion.
#3 -- Lent holds NO religious meaning to me.

Alright... now... with that said... I take part in Lent every single year. I give up three things and I deprive myself for the 47 day period. (Yes... do the math... Lent is actually 46 or 47 days. There are a variety of reasons why... including this crap about how you can have what you gave up every Sunday during Lent... there are seven Sundays in Lent... bringing the total to 40 days... the number most people associate with Lent. I say it's all crap and if you are going to give something up...give it up dammit.)

This year... I went with three pretty darn big things. Each of these things are major parts of my life... and it is usually a big deal to give up these things.

1. Soda -- Most people drink coffee in the morning... not me.. I drink soda. It provides me with my caffeine rush for the morning and throughout the day. Within the first 3 days of giving up soda, I had a humungous headache and noticed that I dragged a bunch. It was a tough sell, but now I am cleansing out my system and I am a much more pleasant person after some time of withdrawl.

2. Chocolate -- I love chocolate. If there are flavors of anything... chocolate is where I am going to go. Ice cream? Chocolate. Cake? Chocolate. Candy? Chocolate. This has been extremely difficult and I might lose a pound or two but what the heck!

3. Alcohol -- I don't drink excessively. I think the last time that I actually got drunk was a few years ago, but with the type of work that I do and with an active social life, I have plenty to drink. A beer here... or a glass of wine there... is all good. Giving up alcohol is always so amazing to friends and family. "Want a beer Smelmooo?"
"No thank you.... "
"Why not?"
"Lent... "
"Really? Wow... bless your heart... I didn't know you were religious..."
"I'm not... "
"Oh... ummmm...."
"Don't worry about it... there are bigger things to think about... than my not having a beer."

So... there you have it... I am a good person now... and hopefully... I will cleanse out my system a bit from some of the harsh things I was putting into it regularly... Wish me luck and I will see you on April 16th.

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

... allow me to offer an Irish Confession to you.

Irish Confession

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman."

The priest asks, "Is that you, little Tommy O'Shaughnessy?"

"Yes, Father, it is."

"And, who was the woman you were with?"

"I can't be tellin' you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation."

"Well, Tommy, I'm sure to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Brenda O'Malley?"

"I cannot say."

"Was it Patricia Kelly?"

"I'll never tell."

"Was it Lizzy Shannon?"

"I'm sorry, but I can't name her."

"Was it Cathy Morgan?"

"My lips are sealed."

"Was it Fiona McDonald, then?"

"Please, Father, I cannot tell you."

The priest sighs in frustration. "You're a steadfast lad, Tommy O'Shaughnessy, and I admire that. But you've sinned, and you must atone. You cannot attend church mass for three months. Be off with you now."

Tommy walks back to his pew. His friend Sean slides over and whispers, "What'd you get?"

"Three month's vacation and five good leads!"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Radio DJs -- A Review of Life After Stern

It's been almost 3 months and Howard Stern is gone from the radio. The end result is that there is a boom now in the talk show genre as the two stations that once featured Howard Stern as a morning anchor for rock music have gone all talk all week -- save the weekends. They are 92.3 Free FM and 94.1 Free FM.

I figured I would write a bit about my feelings on the new hosts -- some surprises and some atrocities.

David Lee Roth -- Howard Stern's morning show on the East Coast was taken over by Van Halen's legendary first front man David Lee Roth. I gave him a shot. A real honest to goodness shot and I have to admit that I would rather listen to the Mother Teresa show in 2006... and... she's dead. He is incredibly horrible and should be run out of radio quickly before he destroys the station for the rest of them. Roth's Show is on both stations. He needs to suck a cucumber... and I hate cucumbers...

The Barsky Show -- On 94.1 the mid afternoon shift is done by The Barsky Show. I used to work in South Jersey and I used to listen to him on 95.7 every morning. One day... he was gone and it made me sad. Whenever I am in the area for work, I turn him on as he and his cohorts still make me chortle...

Kidd Chris -- Kidd Chris is obnoxious and entertaining and I would listen to him all the time if I could. He follows up the Barsky Show in the afternoons on 94.1. It is my understanding that Kidd Chris came from the West Coast for this gig in Philadelphia and I am glad to have him hear... (get it?). He talks about taboo things and he always makes me laugh. Warning... he doesn't care what you think and for this... I am grateful.

JV & Elvis Show -- JV and Elvis are on the mid morning/afternoon shift in New York on 92.3. They are also transplants from the West Coast and I love listening to them. I think muh wife will attest to the fact that I often quote them. They have an amazing ability to say something really absurd while that same statement to me provides greater insight into a topic I never would have thought about. They once talked for an hour about animal cruelty and while stepping over the line many times with the discussion, they still condemmed it by listening to incredibly horrible examples from their audience.

The Radio Chick -- Back when Opie and Anthony were around, they used to have the Radio Chick on the same station. She and her cohorts Chuck Nice (from Best Week Ever fame) and Butchie would just sit around and bullshit about stuff going on around the world. I loved listening to them and was bummed when they went to satellite. They are back and making me laugh on my ride home doing the drive time rush hour shift in New York on 92.3. Give them a shot.

So... what is my final analysis?... you may ask.

Simple... all of these radio shows are pretty darn funny except for David Lee Roth... he actually hurts to listen to... and that is never good.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Book 13 of 26 -- Half Way There!!! Stephen White -- Kill Me

It's only March.... I must be ahead of schedule. I am flying out to Palm Springs on Saturday and returning on Tuesday... you know what that means? It means that I will have finished a whole bunch of books when I return as I expect to tap into my Steve Martini paperback book pile for the trip.

I was excited to see that one of my favorite authors (Stephen White) decided to put out his annual mystery (KILL ME) starring his re-occurring character -- Alan Gregory.

Alan Gregory is psychologist and for the past 15 or so years, he seems to get caught up in some sort of murder mystery where he must rely on his psychological prowess to somehow solve the crime and save the day.

I enjoy these books as White is an intelligent writer who has a good sense of misdirection and is able to incorporate his former career as an actual clinical psychologist into the mystery.

Alan Gregory as a character is easy to associate with as he is flawed and has some very real qualities about him. He enjoys success yet remains true to his roots. I enjoy whatever adventure he gets himself into.

For weeks, I have been receiving emails from the Stephen White email list advertising and teasing me with the latest Alan Gregory novel... and I couldn't wait.

The library had a copy on the first day... so I picked it up... of course... and I read it in a few days.

However... I wasn't happy with the book when I realized what White had done. He had changed the protagonist to be a new character while Alan Gregory was a peripheral character. The new fella was easy to like to so it wasn't hard to get into him... and he would visit Gregory various times throughout the book.

The gist of the story is cool. A man hires a company to kill him if he ever reached a point in his career where he was diagnosed with a terminal disease... he also makes some interesting relationships with lost family members and they all interesect somehow.

The plot was irrelevant in the long run but it did instill in me some questions about mortality... none moreso than this...

Would you rather know WHEN you are going to die? So much of our lives are spent about the IF we are going to die... would you lead your life differently if you knew the actual when....

I would.

Book was really good and the last 200 pages was fast paced and exciting... I am glad that White tricked me into reading this...

Next up... Chris Moore -- The Stupidest Angel, Vol. 2.0.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Top Five Tuesday... A Return to Quality

Top Five Reasons Why Dana Reeve Dying REALLY Sucks
1. She died of lung cancer AND didn't even smoke.
2. She supported her husband for all those years and then gets hit with this...
3. She had children... oof...
4. Even after her husband died, she continued to fight for the Christopher Reeve Foundation by serving as its Chairman and spokesperson...that's guts.
5. She was not on my death pool list...and was worth 55 points to many people.

Top Five REAL Reasons Why Paris Hilton Got A Restraining Order Against Her
1. She is a whore... and we all know that we don't want WHORES at our events... they tend to "De-Classy" an elaborate affair.
2. Someone actually saw House of Wax beside me and needed to limit her exposure a bit.
3. Nicole Ritchie is trying to secretly sabotage her career.
4. So is that Carter jackass...who got a tattoo of her name on him.
5. She is hot... dirty hot... and... *wink* *wink*

Top Five Reasons You Would Assume That I am a 15 Year Old Girl (I did this one a year ago and decided to write up a whole new one.)
1. I still get excited by those emails from Barnes and Noble that warn me that a new Nicholas Sparks' book is coming out...
2. I went to the orthodontist the other day to get a new retainer... the receptionist thought I was someone's father trying to make an appointment... bastard/biache.
3. I feel like dancing whenever that stupid Hillary Duff song comes on... YET... I have an immature dislike for her. Much like an unreasonable stupid teenage girl.
4. I am annoyed by the teenage boys in my neighborhood... they are icky and drool.
5. Kelly Clarkson ROCKS!!!

Top Five Reasons To Celebrate OR Hate Kirby Puckett's Death
1. He was an incredible baseball player.
2. He cheated on his wife for 18 years with the same woman.
3. He cheated on his steady mistress for 18 years with different women.
4. He was caught publicly urinating... and being proud of it.
5. Ummm... he was an incredible baseball player who didn't get to retire on his own accord...damn injury....

Top Five Ideas for Combinations of Animals
1. Rat Dog -- The cat's two biggest enemies... the RatDog could combine it's internal hate for this misguided and most stupid of animals -- the cat -- and wipe them all out.
2. Elephant Cow -- This is just an udderly ridiculous idea... but hey.. its memory of its insanity would never be mocked.
3. Fly Pig -- I am not sure why I want to watch an animal roll around in mud, eat slop, puke it up and eat it again... Either way... this combination would still be more appealing than the Jeff Goldblum version in THE FLY.
4. Fox Hound -- I love Disney... let's put these two together so that I don't have to think of anything else.
5. Nothing else... I could only come up with four... and only three of those made me laugh... so... forget it. ;-)

Top Five Selection Sunday Surprises
1. Air Force
2. Seton Hall? I know... I know SZG... I like your theory...
3. Texas A&M
4. Cincinnati
5. FOUR Missouri Valley teams? You gotta be shitting me.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Blogs for All to Read

I have been enthralled that many folks that I know have been starting up their own blogs.

I have added them to the left... and... I am introducing them here... without using real names until they are comfortable with that.

First the beautiful wife of a friend of mine and the only real person who can give me a run for my money in pop culture games. Her blogs are well written and you can see the influence pop culture has on her daily life.

We shall refer to her blog as MERCIMEK -- Click here to enter...

Second up... is a friend that Steakbellie named -- The Man Who Read Too Much. It is this friend that inspired me to set a goal for reading last year and a goal again for this year. He doesn't write often but when he does write, he often provides me with a perspective that I seem to miss.

We shall refer to his blog as... (Thank you Steakbellie) The Man Who Read Too Much -- Click here to enter...

Third up... is a lovely young lady who might one day be referred to as Smelmooo's sister in law... but until that happens... if it ever does... you might want to check out her writing whenever she decides to post. I enjoy her attitude and outlook on things as they often remind me of what it was like to be fresh out of college and experiencing my new found freedoms.

We shall refer to her blog as It's All in the Stars -- Click here to enter...

That's it for now... Have a good rest of the week.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

And, here I thought this kind of stuff only happened

And, here I thought this kind of stuff only happened in northern
England....(Thank you Matt... I think....)

Deputy fire chief faces indecency charge
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 7, 2006 10:17 AM

Leroy Donald Johnson was caught this weekend in a barn with his pants down, literally, according to a sheriff's office report. "You caught me ... I tried to (expletive) your sheep," Johnson told his neighbor, according to the report.

But the Mesa Fire Department deputy fire chief changed his story when a sheriff's deputy arrived on his doorstep minutes later, denying anything happened.

Johnson, 52, was jailed on suspicion of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing after the neighbor told investigators he found Johnson, unzipped and holding a sheep down on its side.

That's the sanitized version. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office report released Monday night is a little more graphic.

Johnson's neighbor told sheriff's deputies he was called home Saturday afternoon when his 13-year-old daughter saw Johnson drag one of their sheep into a barn.

The teenager said Johnson had first knocked on the front and back door of the home in the 1200 block of East Catclaw Street, in a county island in Gilbert, before grabbing the small gray lamb, records showed.

One of the deputies noted that Johnson had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol, and neighbors who confronted him said he admitted everything.

According to the deputy's report, "(The owner) took me into the back yard and showed me where he and (neighbor) pulled up. He took me through the corral gate and I saw the victim for the first time. She was a small gray lamb about three feet tall and four feet long."

The men then told the deputy they walked over to the small barn, opened the door and "saw Leroy holding the lamb down on its side in the hay with his pants down trying to have sex with it. That's when he made the statement about (expletive) the lamb."

The men said Johnson stood up and zipped up his pants. "The sheep ran out of the barn at that point," the report says. Johnson apologized, according to the report, and said he'd had "too much to drink."

The Mesa Fire Department placed Johnson, on paid leave Monday pending an internal investigation. Johnson, deputy chief of technical services, has been with the Mesa Fire Department for nearly 26 years.

Assistant Fire Chief Mary Cameli said Johnson has been an "exemplary" employee with a spotless personnel record. "We were all very surprised by this," Cameli added. Johnson did not return a call for comment Monday.

When confronted by a deputy at his home, Johnson initially denied the incident, saying he had been at his neighbor's house to talk about annexation. Johnson said he went into the barn after hearing noises. The deputy said to him, "I believe something more than that happened," and offered help. Johnson responded, "I probably do need some help, but I don't know if this is the time or place for it," according to the report.

When asked how the animal got into the barn, Johnson said, "I'm not going there," then asked if he was going to be arrested and demanded to know his legal options. He continued to deny that anything happened in the barn and was arrested. "I think it's disgusting," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "I think of Gandhi who said you judge the morality of a country by the way they treat their animals. . . . I do look at (bestiality) as some type of animal cruelty."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Jamie and Babs -- The Classic Light Bulb Joke -- Bush Style

In honor of Jamie and Barbara's anniversary... I offer you a Joke... about Bush.

The Classic Light Bulb Joke -- Bush Style

Q: How many members of the Bush administration does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Ten.

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed;
2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed;
3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb.
4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either for changing the light bulb or for eternal darkness;
5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb;
6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a step ladder under the banner 'Bulb Accomplished';
7. One administration insider to resign and in detail reveal how Bush was literally 'in the dark' the whole time;
8. One to viciously smear No. 7;
9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light-bulb-changing policy all along;
10. And finally, one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Book 12 of 26 -- Dan Savage's The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family

Book 12...

I am WAAAYYY ahead of schedule and I easily see myself finishing the 26 books that I need to finish for my goal.

In fact, with my having a 10 hour trip to Palm Springs planned two weekends from now and then an 11 hour trip home, I plan on finishing quite a bit of my goal. My DVD player just simply won't play more than 4.5 hours. You do the math...

Alright... so Book 12 was by Dan Savage, an openly gay writer from the Seattle area. I enjoyed one of his other books entitled "The Kid" in which he writes about how he and his boyfriend went through the process of adopting a child. It provided a lot of insight into the world of adoption. The one comment -- among many -- that really resonated with me is that ... anyone can have a child if you have a functioning pair of reproductive systems. BUT, to adopt, you have to go through a rigorous set of restrictions essentially proving you are one step below Mother Teresa.

I know for a fact that some of my normal readers might not make it this far but I hope you have... as Dan Savage provides everyone with a pretty profound rationale as to what he views as his beliefs. What I like about the way Savage dispells other people's beliefs is not to summarily dismiss them. He offers logical and sometimes colorful support for his opinions intertwining the naysayers opinions into them. He is deliberate and concise, much to his credit and writing liability.

Book 12 was entitled The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family. The book is essentially a memoir of the summer and fall of 2004 where he and his boyfriend weighed an option of "marriage" to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. The novel weaves in and out of his chronological life while debating the merits and cons of gay marriage. I cannot do the book justice as to how delicately it balances fact and information with exposition and anecdotes.

Two important things still stick out to me. There was one person who was dead set against the marriage beside his boyfriend initially was ... their son. Upon revealing this information, Savage takes us into an interesting discussion of gender roles in society and how many are misunderstood.

By the way... Savage infuses a great deal of humor into the book...making it that much more enjoyable.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend that you read it... I also recommend that you read The Kid first though... so happy reading.

Next Up -- Stephen White's latest Alan Gregory novel... Kill Me. I have finished about 100 pages and it is a neat twist on his usual writing...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Super Pet Expo

Muh wife and I decided that it might be fun to head over to the local convention center for a morning at the Super Pet Expo...

Furry friends were allowed so we also figured that it might be more fun for Tucker than for us... since he really likes playing with other dogs.

Here... we have a great picture of Tangent Woman and Tucker racing to get into the event. It was pretty cold out so they BOTH couldn't wait to get inside.

Almost immediately, Tucker made friends with this little black bugger. They sniffed and rolled around until we had to seaprate them so we could move on to the next exhibit.

Throughout the entire event, we came across booths for crazy people. Yeah... we are not crazy in comparison to a great many of these people. perhaps my favorite item was essentially dry ice in a can. You spray it on the liquidy poop and then you can pick up a solid rock instead of gushiness. Good times... and it was shown to us on a piece of wet bread.

Tucker met some big dogs but then met this rat of an animal. He was getting a lot of oohs and ahhhhs about how cute he was...that is... until Tucker arrived at this spot. He was getting all the attention.

Why? He is so darn cute.

All in all... we had a blast... (me more than Tangent Woman)... and Tucker did too... he collapsed from exhaustion once we got home. Sopranos Sudoku

For you Sopranos fans out there... this is just plain cool.

Click Here....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Snapple Fact of Fun

Here is my latest Snapple fact.

#132 A crocodile cannot move its tongue.

Reminds me of my friend E.R. He knows why.

Survivor Game.... Continues... Exile Island...

Another week over and boy... do I have something to say.

I am having trouble believing that five episodes have already come and gone. I seem toe be enjoying this season as yet, but that is mostly due to the "miserable jerk" factor. I am developing an extremely deep seeded animosity for two players in particular that I actually blurted out the word "Assholes!" at them in Tribal Council this week.

Those two Assholes are Shane and Courtney.......

Now... here is my thought... and muh wife's thought. My wife hates them too and wants them voted off... I dislike them as well and I want them to stay... They make the show more interesting and add an interesting dynamic.

Essentially, they make the show interesting...

So... Bobby got voted off this week... and I must say that we hardly knew him... I wanted to find out more about him so I watched him on the CBS Morning show the next morning and I was surprised by what I found... an extremely funny fellow... here are two exchanges that cracked me up and they make me wish that he had gotten more face time with this type of humor...

"RENE: What was the deal with you and Courtney? You said she was one of the most irritating people in the history of the world. My gosh, that's pretty bad.
BOBBY: I counted, I counted.
BOBBY: I counted.
RENE: Why? What was the problem with her? Why didn't you like her?
BOBBY: I think it's - well, one of her personalities was cool, it was the other three or four (Rene laughs) personalities that she's got tucked - every now and then the nice one will come out and you'll make a deal with her and then the next day that nice one won't wake up know, she's a lunatic. I think it's good they're increasing the diversity, the first bunch of crazies we've had out here. It's good to see."


"BOBBY: Shane's a smart guy. He knows that if he's gonna talk about me, he'd better do it behind this back, if he doesn't wanna end up smashed somewhere in the ocean. Acid-wash jeans and that mullet. (Rene laughs) I saw that stuff coming a long time ago." You gotta love the mullet reference.

One more thing before I get out of here... Bruce had the funniest line ever said on Survivor ... EVER... and it didn't resonate with me until I read it again later... but now that I think about it more... I can't figure how why I didn't giggle like a school boy on THursday night....

“I was trying to get comfortable in the outhouse, and I heard a knock on the door. Bobby shows up with a bottle of wine, and at two or three in the morning, with my butt sore, I said I could use a drink.”

Hee hee hee...

Until next week folks....I am still rooting for Terry...

The score is 3-2 with your humble host in the lead after watching three of his players stick a row.


(The number in parenthesis represents the position in the draft they were chosen.)


(2) -- TERRY
(3) -- DAN
(7) -- CIRIE
(10) -- ARAS
(11) -- COURTNEY
(14) -- MELINDA -- Booted Week 2
(15) -- TINA -- Booted Week 1

(1) -- BRUCE
(9) -- SALLY
(12) -- NICK
(13) -- AUSTIN
(16) -- SHANE

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Top Five Tuesday -- ALL OSCARS!!!!!

Top Five Best Oscar Moments -- In No Particular Order
1. I was a big fan of George Clooney's Oscar speech... it was the classiest political speech ever. I am also still giggling at his "So, I'm not winning Director...." line.
2. The gay cowboys montage in the middle of the broadcast brought out some big belly laughs.
3. Chris Rock saying... "I'm busy too." That was funny.
4. I loved the campaign commercials for the Best Actress nominees... excellent.
5. I was a big fan of Hoffman's and Witherspoon's speeches. I thought they were both genuine and classy.

Top Five Worst Oscar Moments
1. Collen Atwood's (Best Costume Design) Acceptance Speech -- Let's put it this way... her speech inspired a "Is she slow?" comment from our group.
2. Tangent Woman was always looking over my freaking shoulder to see what I was writing as I made these notes.
3. Morgan Freeman's Best Supporting Actress opening... I sometimes wonder if these actors can actually read.
4. Lauren Bacall's speech was pretty embarrassing...
5. J-Lo....... speaking....
Honorable Mention -- Ludacrious actually had and aisle seat... what the F?

Top Five Best Dresses/Suits/Looks
1. Jessica Alba... Rowr...
2. Reese Witherspoon... sexy?... not entirely... hot neighbor? yeup...
3. Salma Hayek... my heart still skips a beat.
4. Steve Carrell's makeup.... Top Notch...
5. Nicole Kidman... even though she is even pastier than the moon.

Top Five Worst Dresses/Suits/Looks
1. Charlize Theron... That bow was just plain wrong...
2. Michelle Williams... I would comment on the dress but I am still seeing blind spots.
3. Naomi Watts... WTF was that dress....
5. Hillary Swank ... Just because it should have been one inch higher....

Top Five Other Comments...
1. John Stewart was an average host... he will not stand out to me as either great or bad... he did a good enough job I think.
2. What is sad is that these people meet up with their dates inside ... after the red carpet... since most are arriving with their publicists and whatnot...
3. How happy was I that the Pimp Song won?
4. How happy was I that the Jennifer Gardner tripped? See what happens when you accept the Ben's weiner into your "stuff"?
5. Steve Carrell is poised to take over the world... just you wait and see...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Book 11 -- 5th Horseman by James Patterson

Book 11 -- James Patterson's 5th Horseman

I decided to read something pretty darn easy for my 11th book. I swear that over the entire 400 pages of James Patterson's latest installment of one of his highly popular series (Alex Cross and this series -- The Women's Murder Club), he didn't use one single compound sentence or anything that was above 12 words long.

His writing is so simplistic and his chapters are so short that he is able to actually build up a lot of suspense in his novels. I am always ready to dismiss his books and I generally do.

He does usually bring me on a journey...often with good results and sometimes with mixed results (i.e. the damned winged bird/kid books he is so fond of.), but this time, I was so into the last 120 pages that I couldn't put the book down. It just took forever to get to that point.

Here is something else about Patterson I don't get... He had FIVE #1 books in 2005. FIVE. Every single one of his books has a co-author on them. I am a firm believer that the man doesn't write anymore... he just sells the books of others.

Next up... and I am already a bit of the way in... is Dan Savage's The Commitment : Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful
flowers to decorate the table.

Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take
each person for what they are and look for the good in them. To all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers, on your side of the path... away from me...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

What's In My Name... a Game

7 Names...something fun

1. YOUR ROCK/PORN STAR NAME: (first pet and street name)
First street name too? Bud Wagner

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on mother's side first name, favorite candy)
Easton Twix

3. YOUR " FLY GIRL/GUY " NAME: [first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name]
B. Tob or S Moo

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: [favorite color, name of high school mascot]
Blue Red Devils (Dumb... this one didn't work...)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: [middle name, city where you were born]
Neal Somerville

6. YOUR OPPOSITE SEX NAME: [name of dad/mom, cell phone]
Hillary Verizon

7. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: [first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet's name]
Tob Har Tuc

Friday, March 03, 2006

Robertson Loses Seat on Religious Broadcasters' Board

I guess it DOES all come back around...

"Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, criticized by some evangelicals for comments about Venezuela's president and Israel's prime minister, lost a bid for re-election to the National Religious Broadcasters' board of directors."

Me -- In Fours...

So... I saw that two of my good friends -- Mickeyg and Karchamb both did this and I didn't want to be left out.

Four jobs you've had in your life:
*Shoe Salesman
*Deli/Ice Cream Shop
*Burger Flipper

Four movies you could [and do] watch over and over:
*Big Trouble in Little China
*Army of Darkness
*Pee Wee's Big Adventure

Four places you've lived:
*East Amwell, NJ
*Metuchen, NJ
*Washington, DC
*Hamilton, NJ

Four fiction books you can't live without:
*Nick Hornby -- High Fidelity
*Nick Hornby -- About A Boy
*Stephen King -- Dark Tower Series
*Dr. Seuss -- Green Eggs & Ham

Four non-fiction books you consider essential:
*How to Cook Everything
*Anything on Pericles
*Civil War books...
*Greek Battle books...

Four TV shows you love to watch:
*The Office
*My Name is Earl

Four places you've been on vacation:
*Italy/Greece/Croatia cruise
*Puerto Rico
*Bradley Beach
*California -- Numerous places...

Four websites/blogs you visit daily:

Four of your favorite foods:

Four places you'd rather be:
*Anywhere muh wife and dog are...
*Poker table

Four albums you can't live without:
*U2 -- Joshua Tree
*Better Than Ezra -- How Does Your Garden Grow?
*Barenaked Ladies -- Gordon
*Fountains of Wayne -- Utopia Parkway

Happy Birfday Marc

La la la la...

May your SUNDAY always lick you...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday Fun Times...

1. Retainer -- I still wear my retainer. That's right. Every night, I put the retainer in my mouth in order to retain a perfectly wonderful smile. I love my teeth as they are super awesome... you can imagine my dismay on Sunday when my bottom retainer broke. I was heart broken. I called my old orthodontist and he recommended a new person in my area. When I called with my deep adult voice, the receptionist was like... wait a minute... is this for your child or for you... I had to explain that a 32 year old is a possible client! So I have my appointment...

2. Ooops Britney Did it Again -- That was a headline I read recently that cracked me up. It was letting me know that the rumor out there is that Britney let K-Fed defile her again so that she is impregnated. Gross.

3. Arrested Development News -- "From the NY Post: Fans of "Arrested Development" can relax. Word is Showtime not only picked up the canceled Fox show but also ordered 26 more episodes Thank you Shari for this!" I can only hope this isn't bullsh*t. However, they ended it so perfectly a couple of weeks ago... I can't imagine a whole new set of plotlines!

4. Lost -- That's right folks... through the "purchase" of season 2 episodes, I am all caught up. It would figure that I would be caught up to one of the best cliff hangers ever.

5. The Bible -- Have you guys ever read the Bible? I started to once... but then I decided to read the last few pages...and it ruined it for me.

6. Three Word Movie Reviews
* Pride and Prejudice -- TW liked it.
* Oliver Twist -- No SONGS?!?!?! Blech
* Domino -- Violent but Decent
* Two For The Money -- My Brain Hurts
* Taxi Driver -- Gross, Slow, Intense
* In Her Shoes -- Chick Flick Standard
* Saw II -- Butler Did It!
* Elizabethtown -- Not Too Bad
* Corpse Bride -- Pretty F'ing Cool
* Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room -- THEY DID THAT?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Stephen King -- The Cell -- Book 10 of 26

Stephen King -- The Cell BOOK 10 of 26

Stephen King retired a year or so ago. It wasn't the traditional retirement that we associate with the world in that a party wasn't thrown and a watch wasn't presented. He was just free of his contractual obligations. I knew that he was going to publish again at some point as he said so. He just didn't want to HAVE to publish again.


King's new book is an example of what happens to those who wait for something.

The Cell focusses on a world that has been zombified by a pulse sent out through cell phones/satellite devices. There are ... of course... a few survivors in the same vein as a George Romero movie. The survivors look to save themselves and the world from these monsters.

The real tale is deeper than the disturbing narrative that King paints. It is written in a world where the world is afraid of destruction and natural disasters like the 9/11 attacks and Hurrican Katrina... King taps into these fears and writes an extremely visceral story.

The basic review is simple. The beginning is amazing...and it slows down a bit but once the pack of survivors reach the private school, the train ride begins again. King usually starts his novels VERY strongly and the disappears into a dream world that is both distracting and intriguing. The novels that are "good" are the ones where he finds his voice and message and ENDS his books satisfactorily.

I needed to share with you my favorite quote of the book that I have been careful to copy for you. I think it exemplifies everything I have mentioned.

"Three days ago we not only ruled the earth, we had survivor's guilt about all the other species we'd wiped out in our climb to the nirvana of round-the-clock cable news and microwave popcorn," Clay observes. "Now we're the Flashlight People."

King is back... relaxed... and writing for fun again.

Next Up -- The 5th Horseman by James Patterson