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Danny and the Dinosaur [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Danny

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(no subject) [Feb. 11th, 2011|11:49 pm]
Danny
It's always fun when Alabama pops up in strange places, and it has a couple of times today.

First, I'm reading John Waters' new book, Role Models, and in the very first chapter he goes off on a tangent about an actress in the film The Bad Seed, which is based on a book written by a guy who is somehow connected to The University of Alabama, or at least has all his papers and things there. (I could look it up, but it's late and I'm tired.) I happen to know about that because I went to a screening of a movie based on another of his books while I was getting my library degree. Anyway, Waters mentions that he has a copy of the manuscript for The Bad Seed with notes from the author, because a fan sent him a copy from the Hoole Special Collections Library. Which is on the campus of the University of Alabama. Which is where I went to school. So there. (I recommend watching The Bad Seed, and then do it again with commentary because Charles Busch of Psycho Beach Party fame does it and it's fun.)

Then, I looked up Ernest Borgnine on IMDB because he's in the movie Red and I...thought he was dead? I think I was confusing him with Walter Mathau or Shirley Winters... The point is, not only is he not dead, but in his bio it states that: "On December 17, 1999, he presented the University of North Alabama with a collection of scripts from his film and television career, as he is good friends with alumni and actor George Lindsey."

George Lindsey, you may not know, is most famous for playing Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, and graduated from the University of North Alabama, which is my hometown of Florence.

And that is your Alabama news for today.
linkexpatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 30th, 2011|11:43 am]
Danny
Still got around $10 on a gift card to Books-a-million, whose ebooks are Nook-compatible. (Mostly, anyway. Anything that doesn't come from the B&N store is a second-class citizen. No representation on the home page. No pretty cover art.) So I'm looking for an ebook.

I was thinking about big long books that I wouldn't want to lug around, but that I might be willing to actually read instead of just listen to in the car, and I thought of Stephen King's fairly recent Under the Dome about a town...under a dome.

But then I was reading descriptions from Amazon and they're all about how being trapped together brings out the worst parts of human nature (not to mention, I would assume since it's Stephen King, a large amount of murderous psychosis) and I remembered how by the time I finished The Regulators, which has a similar theme except in addition to be trapped together these people are also being attacked by cartoon villains WITH GUNS, I just HATED EVERYONE. Now, this is not far from how I feel a lot of the time, but I don't think it would be healthy for me to go read Under the Dome knowing the stress it'll cause. Me, in a corner, clawing at my face, muttering about how people are awful and why doesn't a meteor just slam into the earth and end it ALLLLLLLLLLL?

Like that.

So I'm looking for another ebook.

Got any suggestions?

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In other news, I finally finished listening to the penultimate book in the Wheel of Time series, so now I just have to wait until next year and the final book will come out and I will have finished a most epic of epic series.

I know they're all getting ready for Armageddon and whatever--gathering armies, polishing swords (heh)--but this book really ended on a downer plot-wise. I know it'll all be better in the next book when good triumphs over evil, but for the next 12 months I'm left with a sinking feeling re: all of my imaginary friends, most of whom I actually wouldn't like hanging out with probably because they're all REAAAAALLLY type A.

---------------------------

You'll notice I'm not asking for recs for audio books (though if you've listened to any awesome ones, I'd love to hear about it) because I've got a backlog. On my shelf currently are Interview With The Vampire, Dune, and The Gunslinger. Yeah, that last one's the beginning of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I've read 4 of the books, but then I stopped, and I'd like to do the same for that series that I did for the wheel of time. (That is, say "Screw reading, just tell me the stories on my way to work!")

Actually, I've read all of these books, but then never finished the series. I've read the first three of Anne Rice's vampire books, but I'm not sure we have all of them at the library, so I may not be able to finish that one. (May not want too. I only got a few pages into "Tale of the Body Thief" before I got bored and stopped.)

Dune I'm just planning to listen to the first one. Maybe I'll try out the sequels, but I dunno.

And there you have the state of my reading and listening at the moment.

(Except for actual paper books. Currently reading a short essay on H.P. Lovecraft by a French academic, which I had to get at the library through Interlibrary Loan. Not sure where I'm going to go after that. Infinite Jest took over my brain for so long that starting anything other than a short story seems terrifying. Maybe I'll try some non-fiction?)
link2 facetiae|expatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 25th, 2011|10:21 pm]
Danny
I finished Infinite Jest tonight, and it was kind of a anticlimactic.

Here there be spoilers? Sort of? I guess.Collapse )

The internet told me I'd need to take notes, which I thought was silly but then I realized it was really easy to do that while using an e-reader. (And that it was A) helpful and B) useful for processing information as I went.)

The nook made taking notes really easy, as well as posting snippets on Facebook, which those of you on facebook may have noticed. Of course, as some of you know, when I got to the final 50 pages of this over-1,000-page book the nook file stopped opening and I had to switch to a paper book for the end. This really drove home the differences in the reading experience for me. For one, without a backlit screen, I have to be sure I'm positioned in such a way that my shadow doesn't cover the book. But in terms of this book specifically, the ability to make the font bigger was HUGE. I'd never have made it through the densely packed pages of the printed book. Just too much of a struggle/eyestrain. But also, reading the paper book made the whole thing seem less alive. Like I was suddenly reading a dried-up history rather than an eye-witness account. Something about the screen made it all seem more alive, sad to say.

I don't think this is going to affect my reading overall. That is, if I start a book on paper I don't think I'm going to be yearning for a digital copy. But it does bring to mind thoughts of how I might perceive the stories within differently. The medium is the message, they say, which is a little silly, I think, but is a little less silly than I'd previously thought.

Also, as a footnote*, I finally found a way to get the file to open on the nook again, through some bass-ackwards file transfers, but now all those notes and highlighted sections? Gone. Sad. Not that I need them. Not like I'm actually GOING to write a paper on the book. But still. They were some sort of proof. A token of accomplishment. At least I've still got the Facebook quotes.


_____________________________
* - Speaking of footnotes, I think that Wallace's endnotes (requiring two bookmarks with a paper book) were probably intended to add to the overall difficulty of the experience. It's not a stroll through the park, it's a workout to read this book. So I may have missed out on that by reading an ebook that had hyperlinks back and forth between all the footnotes and the text. It was easier, don't get me wrong, and again I don't think I'd have actually finished the paper book without a LOT of motivation from I don't know where. But I think that's maybe going to affect people reading it in different formats as well.
link2 facetiae|expatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 20th, 2011|10:38 pm]
Danny
I'm so unused to having things I need to do on my day off that this list of menial tasks seems worthy of commemorating:
  • Bank deposit
  • Farmer's Market
  • Go to Verizon store
  • Pizza Party (retirement party for former co-worker)
  • Get to page 1,000 in Infinite Jest
  • Pay Credit Card bills
And there you go.

Be amazed.
linkexpatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 17th, 2011|09:14 pm]
Danny
I posted this reply to a comment on Facebook after I'd quoted a passage of Infinite Jest.

The quote:
    "Avril said she’d watch him just kind of drift from cluster to cluster and lurk around creepily on the fringe, listening, but that he’d always say, loudly, in some lull in the group’s conversation, something like ‘I’m afraid I’m far too self-conscious really to join in here, so I’m just going to lurk creepily at the fringe and listen, if that’s all right, just so you know,’ and so on."
The comment:
    Thank you for saving me $12 as I now know not to buy this book. :)
My reply:
    I mean, I actually did post this as an example of something I found humorous, in context I guess. But yeah, that could be an artifact of my having been reading this book for hours at a time these past days. So yeah. I would not, at this juncture, categorically deny that the book has merits and that if you're looking for a non-Ulysses and non-Gravity's Rainbow literary mountain to climb, then this is probably a good pick. But I will argue that it is at times arduous and that as a person who does not typically find literary merit in arduous reading, it has been difficult going at these times. I think I will not regret having read it, when I do finish it, but I also think that not being able to consistently read something I enjoy the past few weeks has contributed to depression and is ruining my goal of reading lots of books this year. I think I've become melodramatic at the end of my reply to your content, which was not the intent of my reply at the beginning. The point is, it's a very personal decision, reading this book, and I wish you luck in your journey with or without it.
And that's that.

In other news, I used a gift card to download some erotica collections (Best of the Best of Gay Erotica and Best Gay Romance 2009) and I've been using that as my relief reading, because the stories are lighter and shorter than most short stories, plus they're also on the Nook so I can just flip over when I NEED A BREAK. And also they're basically porn so automatic interest, you know? Less of that "Am I going to like this story?" Although there is more a breadth of subject matter and style than I expected.
linkexpatiate with sagacity and coruscation

And then I was 29 [Jan. 10th, 2011|09:50 pm]
Danny
Spent my birthday playing Assassins Creed II, which feels distinctly creepy to admit after there's been a well-publicized assassination attempt in the news.

But, it was pixels not people, and it was in Renaissance Italy, and there were lots of prostitutes. This separates the real assassinations from the fake ones.

One of the things you can do in the game is hire a group of thieves, or guys with swords, or prostitutes. You can then direct these folks to distract (or, in the case of the armed ones, fight with) your enemies so you can steal something from them or sneak past them, or just so you don't have to work so hard to walk up and stab them in the back.

Now I can spend time going and collecting all the hidden treasure if I want. I've already got nearly 200,000 florins though. And, let me tell you, that's a lot of florins.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW. STOP READING IF YOU GIVE A FLYING FLIP.

The last mission I had to complete was sneaking into the Vatican and assassinating the pope. But don't worry. He was a bad pope who was trying to take over the world.

And then the game took a really weird turn. Like, the end of the movie A.I. weird. (Yes, this does mean that suddenly: ALIENS.)

I'm doing the last of my laundry now, so tomorrow maybe I can get something done for work, or maybe I'll just be lazy some more. Wednesday it looks like we'll be back to the grind.

Which reminds me, I need to remember to go clean off my car tomorrow so that it won't be a big production on Wednesday morning.
link12 facetiae|expatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 7th, 2011|02:16 am]
Danny
I had really good intentions. I was going to read something, maybe Infinite Jest, so I could get back on that wagon. And I was going to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

But I decided I'd play some Assassins Creed II first.

I started playing around 6:30 p.m.

I looked at the time around 10:00 p.m. and said "Just a few more minutes of stabbing."

The next time I looked it was 1:00 a.m.

And I was a failure at getting up early and getting things done.

But I was a winner at stabbing.
linkexpatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2011|09:17 pm]
Danny
I got refunded the money that person (those people?) stole on Christmas eve!

I can pay my bills!

My car won't get repossessed!

It's a 2-days-after-New-Years miracle!
link5 facetiae|expatiate with sagacity and coruscation

Addendum to the Blackbird Story [Jan. 3rd, 2011|09:47 am]
Danny
A poem from The Awl.
linkexpatiate with sagacity and coruscation

(no subject) [Jan. 2nd, 2011|08:40 pm]
Danny
I saw this story about thousands of birds falling from the skies in Arkansas.

Sounds creepy.

Watch the video:



I love how at the very end the reporter seems to be saying "Kids sure do pick stupid names for birds."

All of this reminds me, however, of the song "Rooks" by Shearwater. Listen at it.

And that means that this might be the end of the world.
linkexpatiate with sagacity and coruscation

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