Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book 13 of 52 -- Martin Clark's The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living

I purchased this book because my favorite librarian at the Metuchen library told me about it.

I discovered when I checked it out on Amazon that it had received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus.

After I bought the book, I also saw that Newsweek's reviewer liked it.

The bottom line: This novel had good word of mouth and excellent national reviews from the New York Times and Publisher's Weekly.

So I bought it and loved it.

This is a brilliant, funny book, part mystery, part legal thriller, part spiritual trip.

It's as good as the buzz.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Real Inappropriate Picture

I was at lunch at a pizza joint in Ewing, NJ and I found this on the menu.

Sorry it is so blurry.

It says... Brocolli Rape.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Survivor Tocantins aka... 18th Freaking Season... Week Two....

Tucker’s Nuts
Jerry Simms (1)
Tyson Apostol (4)
Deborah “Bubbles” Beebe (5)
Joe Dowdle (8)
Brendan Synnott (9)
Spencer Duhm (12)
Benjamin Wade (13)
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (16)

Stephen Fishbach (2)
Sierra Reed (6)
Sydney Wheeler (7)
James Thomas, Jr. (10)
Erinn Lobdell (14)
Sandy Burgin (15)
Candace Smith (11) -- BOOTED WEEK TWO!!!!
Carolina Eastwood (3) -- BOOTED WEEK ONE!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Book 12 of 52 -- Stephen King's Just After Sunset

I like Stephen King a boatload.

His writing is incredibly in depth and he is the master of fleshing out characters.

Short stories though do not allow him to fully flesh everything out... but they offer a much better ending...

He's good... and so is his return to short stories.

P.S.... the New York Times Subscription story was the best and most eerie... followed up by the Cat From Hell story.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book 11 of 52 -- Laura Pedersen's Last Call

Terrific characters, great dialogue, original story.

I read this book in two days and didn't want it to end, though the last few chapters were excellent.

It's rare that you come across a new plotline in fiction, but this definitely succeeds in originality.

Could it happen in real life? Maybe, but probably not. However that's why I read fiction and go to movies.

My guess is that this book will remain on the favorites shelf at the bookstore for a long time.

If you're a staunch Catholic then some of it may seem offensive, but by the time you reach the end you realize it's not at all, just questioning our faith the way most people do in real life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great Way To Say Thank You

We have a friend who had some big surgery done so we sent her a little "Get Well Gift."

She sent us a picture of them and said... thank you...

This is an awesome way to say thank you!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Deaf Bookkeeper

A Mafia Godfather learns that his bookkeeper has embezzled ten million dollars. The bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not be able to hear anything that he'd ever have to testify about in court.

So when the Godfather interrogates the bookkeeper about the missing $10 million, he brings along an attorney who knows sign language.

The Godfather asks the bookkeeper, "Where's the 10 million you embezzled from me?" The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the 10 million is hidden.

The bookkeeper signs back: "I don't know what you are talking about."

The attorney tells the Godfather: "He says he doesn't know what you're
talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a 9 mm pistol, puts it to the bookkeeper's temple, cocks it, and says, "Ask him again!" The attorney signs to the bookkeeper: "He'll kill you for sure if you don't tell him!"

The bookkeeper signs back, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzo's backyard in Queens !"

The Godfather asks the attorney, "Well, what'd he say?" The attorney replies, "He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Night Over... Tucker's Nuts... Takes the Lead

Tucker’s Nuts
Jerry Simms (1)
Tyson Apostol (4)
Deborah “Bubbles” Beebe (5)
Joe Dowdle (8)
Brendan Synnott (9)
Spencer Duhm (12)
Benjamin Wade (13)
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (16)

Stephen Fishbach (2)
Sierra Reed (6)
Sydney Wheeler (7)
James Thomas, Jr. (10)
Candace Smith (11)
Erinn Lobdell (14)
Sandy Burgin (15)
Carolina Eastwood (3) -- BOOTED WEEK ONE!!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Survivor Tocantins Starts Tonight

The game starts tonight and the draft occurred last night... Good luck to Tucker's Nuts (Nee Asphalt Warriors)...

Tucker’s Nuts
Jerry Simms (1)
Tyson Apostol (4)
Deborah “Bubbles” Beebe (5)
Joe Dowdle (8)
Brendan Synnott (9)
Spencer Duhm (12)
Benjamin Wade (13)
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (16)

Stephen Fishbach (2)
Carolina Eastwood (3)
Sierra Reed (6)
Sydney Wheeler (7)
James Thomas, Jr. (10)
Candace Smith (11)
Erinn Lobdell (14)
Sandy Burgin (15)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I am waaaay behind on cool videos... but this is still cool

Subject: Brilliant and Fascinating....Enjoy

At a meeting of the AARP (American Association of Retired People) they showed a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20 year old. The contest was Titled 'u @ 50'.

This video won second place. When they showed it , everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.

So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it.

Thanks Chris B. for sending this to me.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Book 10 of 52 -- Kathy Reichs' Devil Bones

This is the 11th book in the series about Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, who divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

This tale of secret ceremonies and the religious rituals of Wicca, Santeria, Voodooism and Satanism takes place in North Carolina.

One part of the story line is about a skull and other artifacts found in a basement in an old house.

So many questions and only 300+ pages to answer them: Was a skull from a victim of sacrifice? A headless body of a young man is also found and his body bears markings of symbols of a religious ritual.

This book gets bogged down and is hard reading until the last few chapters when the pace picks up.

There are too many anthropological and crime scene details.

This is the least readable of all her books so far.

Let's hope she gets back on track with the next book in the series.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Book 9 of 52 -- Rob Sheffield's Love Is A Mix Tape‏

On a flight from San Diego to Newark, I sat down with light and fluffy Love Is A Mix Tape by Rolling Stone music writer Rob Sheffield.

Rob decided to write a tribute to his wife Renee through a gimmick ridden book.

I know that I am going to take some shit for writing that, but it's true.

Sheffield is a good writer who was forced to spend about 50 of the 209 pages making the gimmick of relating a mix tape made by him seem related to incidents in his life.

It all seemed like a stretch to me and distracted me from the stories he was telling.

The meat of the book comes in the last 65 pages and it is his best writing and had me extremely emotional.

Love is not a mix tape - it's the shared experiences of two people and that's what was interesting about the book.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Book 8 of 52 -- Laura Pedersen's The Big Shuffle

From the very first page I fell in love with this wonderful novel since it's chock full of humor, warmth, and family drama, with a subtle message about caring and the bonds of friendship carefully woven into the struggles of living and dying.

The main character, a young woman suddenly called home from college to care for her family in an emergency, is well-drawn and realistic, but she's not always the main event, thus widening the appeal of the novel to all ages.

Hallie often serves as ballast for the more memorable characters to swirl around her, including a local antiques dealer, his socially aware mother, their minister, the colorful sailor man Uncle Lenny, and a cadre of town poker players.

The twists and turns are familiar, but that's what makes the action so interesting and appealing, especially when everyone has a different view on how to resolve problems and attempt to move forward.

The author does a terrific job of interweaving these additional personalities along with their relationships so the main plotlines never become boring.

THE BIG SHUFFLE is never boring, even when the narrator is vacuuming Cheerios out of the rug or contemplating the provenance of candy corn at Halloween time.

Pedersen's standup comedy background sneaks in at all the right moments, and yet she also gets the heartbreak and confusion following the death of a loved one pitch perfect.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Book 7 of 52 -- Laura Pedersen's Heart's Desire

I really enjoyed BEGINNER'S LUCK, the first book in this projected four-book series by Laura Pedersen and I loved the intrepid teenage heroine, Hallie Palmer, and the author's straightforward, funny, clever writing style and turns-of-phrase.

Hallie's story continues in the second book, HEART'S DESIRE, during the summer after her first year away at college.

Hallie returns to the wildly eccentric, wonderful Stockton household, pre-occupied with (someday) losing her virginity, finding true love, and figuring out if the two are inextricably linked.

She's also faced with new crises to solve, both in her old family and in her new one, and another 60-second mystery, in addition to figuring out how to fund her second year of art school (legally).

The Sex issue comes up again; actually, it is pervasive throughout HEART'S DESIRE, as 17-year-old Hallie grapples with the complexities of love and sex.

Laura Pedersen again handles this subject exceptionally well, with humor and sensitivity.

I enjoyed the interviews with the author at the end of each book, and look forward to continuation of the Hallie Palmer series.

Even though it's fiction and a lot of the scenarios are perposterous, it's a fun and sweet book.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Super Bowl 43 -- Steelers vs Cardinals

Sooo... as I finish up Puppy Bowl V, my excitement for the Super Bowl starts to build and build...

Before it starts, I am going to admit that I would much prefer the Cardinals win since I sort of root for them during the year... but they always let me down.

I have been following them for years -- especially Larry Fitzgerald who made my Scarlet Knights look silly sometimes...

My wife and I are armed with a score sheet from Spotbowl.com and I intend to rate the commercials as well as I can... Last year... I rated them as... Stupid... Average ... and Noteworthy (Not really... but that was a year ago and this is what I have decided will be the way I will rate them this year... siince I honestly don't remember what I did last year.)

Official Coverage Begins

So the coverage officially kicks off at 6:00 and Faith Hill is singing th thme song as she has all season... and yet... I treat it as a new thing in my mind... I wish she didn't sing country... because she has a great set of pipes...

John Madden (blech) and Al Michaels arrive and they are probably going to annoy me the whole night... but alas... I digress...

The Steelers seem to be the team that the critics are picking and they ar a 7 point favorite... I am happy to see that the Steelers DO have an ex-Rutgers player on their team... Go Darnell Stapleton! They enter the field...and the Terrible Towels start swinging...

The Cardinals haven't been here in 47 years or so and no one predicts them to do well, but Kurt Warner is the story... so if he wins... he punches a ticket to the Hall of Fame... They enter the field with much tougher music and make me giddy on the inside.

Kurt Warner kicks off... hopefully a night of winning ways... to be named as the Waltr Payton Man of the Year... He donated over 1 million dollars to Habitat for Humanity... That's cool.

Some songs are sung... and Jennifer Hudson finishes the National Anthem OVER the OVER/UNDER of two minuts and 5 seconds... you can bet on everything.

Coin Toss time... wow... The NFC has won 11 straight tosses... that's a cool statistic. Pittsburgh calls tails and they lose the toss... 12 straight tosss... fascinating... and Pittsburgh will get the ball first.

First Half

Let's focus on something important as names are read and Darnell Stapleton from Rutgrs says his name... My Super Bowl boxes... I have two boxes... 1. Steelers 4 and Cardinals 7 and 2. Steelers 9 and Cardinals 8.

Pittsburgh scores first... or do they... the TD is reversed... so they kick a field goal instead. Good reverse... but there is no way that the human eye could catch that on the field. That's what instant replay is really for.

The first quarter ends 3-0 and then the Steelers quickly score a TD after that to bring the game to 10-0.

Hey... fun fact... this is the same stadium that Rutgers made their statement against South Florida on my birthday weekend.

The Cardinals score and make it a game again... it was starting to feel like the Steelers were going to run away with this thing.

I also think it was funny on SNL's Weekend Update when Seth said something like... Super Bowl 43 features the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals opening for a guy named Bruce Springsteen.

The end of the first half gets exciting as Arizona threatens to score a TD... when Warner is picked off and the big goofy Pittsburgh defender Harrison returns the ball 100 yards for a TD... that is reviewed... and it counts! That was a crazy ending of the half and interesting...

Also... there are a whole bunch of people yelling at the tv about the boxes... that was a HUGE turn around...

Bridgestone Halftime Show

Aka... someone named Bruce is singing and I am not sure who that is...
He seems like an energtic guy and the crowd likes him... so he must be someone that people know.
Hey! It's the guy from The Sopranos...
Hey! It's the guy from the Conan O'Brien Show!
I know this song... Born to Run...
Working on a Dream(?)
Glory Days...

Sooo... I have now seen Bruce live... and I have to say... He isn't capable of singing... he's a yeller... not a singer. (Discuss and throw your venom right at me.)

Third Quarter

For what it's worth... this game was moving along incredibly fast... but the stupid halftime show got in the way... It actually got exciting at the end where I almost had my numbers come up twice. Dammit Big Ben... dammit.

The quarter ends... 20-7 and I am not sure if it matter right now...

Fourth Quarter

It.... was more fun to watch than to write about... the safety ruined any possible chance that I had for any win in the box pools... argh.

Holmes and Fitzgerald are amazing... or should I also say... Roethlisberger and Warner are amazing... ?

Great ending to a pretty bad starting game... Pittsburgh wins 27-23... and loses in Las Vegas.

My favorite commercial was the overambitious kid commercial... from cars.com.

Cars.com "Overachiever Kid"
Coke Zero Polamalu Too Tall Jones Commercial Throwback
Priceline "Speak Like Me"

Audi Stratharn Chase Scene
Bridgestone Jacked Tires
Bridgestone Mr. Potato Head
Budweiser Dating Horses
Cheetos "Pigeons"
Coke Insects
Denny's Mafia "Seriously"
Doritos Crystal Ball
Doritos Wishes
GE Ocean Wind in a Jar
Hyundai "Car of the Year"
Monsters.com Deer Head
Pepsi MacGruber
Pepsi Max "I'm Good"
Teleflora Insulting Box of Flowers

Acura TL Precision
Ax Men
AXA Gorilla
Bud Lite Conan O'Brien
Budweiser Ideas Meeting (Guy thrown out window)
Budweiser Fetching Horse
Budweiser Scottish Horse
Careerbuilder.com "It's Time"
Castrol Edge Grease Monkeys
Coke Cartoons
E*Trade Two Babies... singing
Frosted Flakes "Fields"
GE Wizard of Oz
NBC Shows LMAO Syndrome
Nextel Roadies
Pepsi Forever Young
Taco Bell "Call Me Sometime"
Universal Studios Inner Kid
Vizio "Smart Decision"

Angels & Demons Movie Trailer
Bud Light Skiing Drinkability
Cash 4 Gold
Fast and the Furious Movie Trailer
Ford Edge "Jeter"
Gatorade G Commercial (These just plain stink.)
Go Daddy Danica Patrick
H&R Block "Death"
Heineken John Torturro
Honda Accord "Simple"
Hyundai Return Policy
Land of the Lost Movie Trailer
Monsters vs Aliens Movie Trailer
Pedigree Wild Pets
Race to Witch Mountain
Sobe Ballet and Dancing Lizards
Star Trek Movie Trailer
Toyota Eli "You Traded Me"
Toyota Tundra Hauling
Toyota Venza
Transformers 2
Up Movie Trailer
Year One Movie Trailer

Happy Birthday to the Smelmooo's Brother


Heh heh... welcome to the club.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Puppy Bowl Reminder

Let us not forget that about 3.5 hours before the Cardinals surprise the world... again... and beat the Steelers... Puppy Bowl V will be airing on Animal Planet.

Set your DVRs!!!

My early favorites... just by pictures are:

Candy Apple