#1 of 52 Books in 2014: Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy

Monday, February 3, 2014 § 0

Okay, one book down.
First book of 2014 read. It only took me like a month and a half.

I blame life, but whatever, I have time.

The book is called Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy. I actually started the book a couple months ago, but I only got about 30 pages in to before being distracted by something else.

So, I started this book over and read it.

I was told that this was a great "entry point" for McCarthy's work. That it was a good place to start, before going into his more popular works. When I finished this book all I could say was:

"Uhm, What?"

I wanted to wake my girlfriend up to say, "What the hell just happened"

Now, I consider myself a pretty intelligent reader. I pick up on themes and subtleties well. But, this one I was not prepared for. I guess this is one of those "enjoy the journey" sort of stories?

I don't know. I'm pretty disappointed in myself for not getting it.

Alas, I have 51 other books to read this year, and I'm already a little behind. So, no wasting time. On to the next.

Ok Fine: A New Years Resolution for 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 § 0

The past few years I have slowly become less of an "I'll start this on Monday, or the 1st, or at the beginning of the next lunar cycle" type of guy.

Slowly, yes, I have become the guy who starts stuff more immediately.

Well, it's still a lot of "I'll start tomorrow." But, I really do start the next day.

When everyone was talking about their resolutions for the new year, I just laughed. I was such an ACTION guy now. When I wanted to get in better shape, I just did it. I didn't wait for some new beginning crap.

When I decided to reign in my finances and restructure my budget, I didn't wait for the next paycheck.

I just did it.
(I'm really horrible at money stuff, so I shouldn't really be bragging about that one)

So, I was laughing my maniacal laugh from high atop my asshole pedestal of excellence.
(What do you call yours?)
I realized, there is nothing wrong with setting goals for the new year. Maybe I should put myself on the level of the little people, the common man, and take a walk in their shoes of not-quite-so-much-action.

Yes, I...have a New Years Resolution.

My New Years Resolution for 2014 is to read a book a week.
It's not for a prize or anything, but there still must be rules,

Rule 1) I can't have read the book in the 2013. I could have gone back farther, but maybe there's a book from 2012 I want to reread. I don't know one, but there might be. 52 books is a lot.

Rule 2) It must be over 150 pages. Again, this just seems like an arbitrary thing. Novella's are shorter than 150 pages right? Maybe not. Maybe 100. Either way, if I want to read something shorter, I will. Because, 52 books is a lot.

Rule 3) No Graphic Novels.  I love GN's, but that just wouldn't be fair. I could do that in a week or two.

I may change these sometime in the future, but for now, this is where it stands.

If you follow me on GoodReads, or Twitter you will be able to follow my progress a little closer, but I will try and update on here every time I finish a book. On twitter I'm thinking about using the hash-tag #52in52 or #52books.
Something like that.

Good Night & Good Luck.

V for Vendetta, Guy Fawkes and November 5th

Monday, November 5, 2012 § 1

Ugh, I hate being such a Buzz Killington, but alas:

I realize that much of the sentiment associated with Guy Fawkes Night is brought about by the modern movie V for Vendetta, where the protagonist, V, is the symbol of overthrowing a tyrannical authoritative government. However, in Alan Moore's graphic novel (that the movie was derived from), the Big Brother-like administration is supposed to represent any, and all, forms of government (especially Moore's view of the United States). Whereas V is trying to lead the people into a anarchistic revolution, which coincides with the authors political beliefs. Obviously, Hollywood changed the underlying message, because they didn't want to alienate mainstream America, and to make the film more accessable. Incidentally, this caused Moore to distance himself from the property.

The orignal "Gunpowder Plot" was to overthrow the protestant ruler, King James I, and replacing him with a Catholic leader. After Guy Fawkes was caught guarding the explosives underneath Parliament, and the conspiracy was stopped, the majority of England celebrated by igniting explosives, then later fireworks. They were celebrating the fact that their country continued to be Protestant run and not controlled by the Papacy, which they considered corrupt. Over time the anti-Catholic tone lessened.

So, in summary, I understand that V, and Guy Fawkes, and his image have come to represent people that aren't afraid of their government, but that is not their original intent. Yes, I realize I may sound like a pretentious ass, but I just want to make sure everyone has the facts... And apparently to ruin your fun.

Medieval Time Travelers

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 § 0

A lot can be said about day dreaming. Good and Bad.
What about night dreaming.
Not dreaming while you're sleeping but gazing off at some distant star and imagining something about it. When we look at stars we're looking into the past. The light we see has probably been extinguished for thousands of years, if not more.

Before television. Before radio. Even, Before print, did people spend time staring at the night sky and wondering? Of course, some people did.

Some people always do.

Was it a past-time? Did parents tell their medieval children to quit spending all their time in front of the sky? That they had to go to bed because there was horse shit to shovel in the morning. Did they threaten them that if they spent all their time looking up at the stars, that it would rot their brains?

Did their children beg for just five more minutes?

Most people were afraid of the stars. The absence of the Sun was horrifying. Its light and heat gave their world life. There were things in the dark they didn't know or understand.
But I know there were children who would not listen to their parents warnings. They would sneak a glance out a glass-less window. They would think about how the stars didn't seem so frightening, even if the dark was. They would wonder what the lights were.

Angels or Demons? Angry Gods or Merciful Goddesses?

But it was simply light. Light from the past. Matter that existed as both a particle and a wave.
They were just little time travelers. They weren't afraid of the dark.

Friday, June 15, 2012 § 0

In a fun note on my last post, after finishing it, I promptly turned around and had no problem writing.

I guess I just needed a little warm up.

Why wouldn't I?
I warm up before I exercise, or before I play guitar. Why not before writing.

I really, should have seen that one coming.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 § 0

Recently I have found myself more and more interested in futurism.
What's futurism? Well, I'm sure you can go look up a really great definition on dictionary.com, but to me it is the philosophy of, discussion of, writing about and hypothesizing on where society is headed. Everything, from social interaction to architecture (facebook and floating cities), can be included in this topic. I read articles from an array of sources, physicists, economists, writers, marketing gurus, on where things can be, or might be headed.


I'm glad you asked. A couple years ago (more than a couple actually), when I pulled my head out of the idealistic, self-absorbed, cloud of youth, I realized things had changed. I got a cell phone, I connected to people through social media, I made music digitally. I realized that many of things that I had read about in sci-fi novels, or watched on episodes of Star Trek were beginning to happen in every day life.

We seemed so close to jet packs.

When I was in elementary school I wanted to be an archaeologist. By the time I was in middle school I no longer wanted to be one. I felt as though everything from the old world had been discovered.
I was looking backwards, not forwards.
Now I look forwards and see new products and technology, and I see the beginnings of next years discoveries. Over my lifetime, Moore's law has become so proven, that news cycles last in hours rather than days or weeks. A topic is only new until the next time we hit the refresh button.
I can be as guilty of this as anyone because I read news stories, and articles at all times of day. Sometimes, (like while I'm writing this) I get so burned out on new information my brain simply can't process anything for awhile. Luckily life has enough mundane tasks to keep me busy until my batteries are recharged and my senses are ready for the new hypermedia once again.

And sometimes, I become so focused on the future, that I forget to engage in the present. When imagining what we will someday be able to do, I forget about what I can do today.

Where I'm really trying to go with this, is so simple, I could have said it in a couple sentences. I can do research on writing projects for 8 hours, and be too tired to actually apply it to anything in my day. I can read about how to fix my car all day, until there is no daylight left to go out and actually fix it. It's like some strange sort of procrastination.

Which I am also, wonderful at.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 § 0

It's been so long, but I finally have something to write about again.

Some writing to write about, actually. I should have started writing about it last week when I started the project, but all free time has been spent on it.

You know, when you first start out, like a new relationship, you can't wait to get home from work and spend time together. The hours or pages just fly by. You stay up all night together. You think about all things you can do together, and where it may eventually lead.

That's where I'm at right now. The good part, before the 'newness' wears off and you look for reasons not to come home. You would rather have a beer with the guys after work. Bob got a promotion and he wants us all to celebrate. I don't know. I don't work with a Bob.

So that's where I'm at, in the blissful infatuation phase, where the ideas keep coming, and even when I'm not writing pages, I'm working on character outlines and plotting further chapters.

Oh, young love.