Books for Soldiers

As anyone would realize were they to stumble across this blog, it’s practically defunct these days. That makes it exactly like the vast majority of blogs, but there is a big difference. The primary reason for the inactivity here is that my brother, the co-writer, has joined the Army. He’s currently waiting out a 3-week holding period between Basic Training and Officer Candidate School. The three weeks are marked by boredom it seems, and one of the few authorized outlets is reading. Unfortunately, the common bookshelves are inadequately stocked.

That’s why I’m posting here today. We’re hoping we can get some books donated to the OCS Headquarters Company at Fort Benning. There is no official process for donating books. It’s not like it’s a library. Just two bookshelves full of field manuals and the like with a lone row devoted to leisure reading. (more…)

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Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Late Birthday, Hemingway

Yesterday, I posted a Happy Birthday message to Ernest Hemingway on my facebook wall. The ensuing comments make it worth sharing.

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Zen of Zim

I just read Don Zimmer’s book, The Zen of Zim. The book has good stories from a great baseball mind. It’s not well-written and he goes off on tangents throughout the entire book, but I can get past all that just because he’s been a part of baseball for so long, and I want to read what he has to say. He’s also almost a little too self-deprecating but it’s genuine so I can understand it. He talks about the way George Steinbrenner treated him in Zim’s final year in New York and it really sucks that he’d act like he did. Things like pulling Zim’s company car, accusing him of leaking a story to a baseball writer, George King, and canning an idea to produce Zim bobbleheads depicting him wearing an Army helmet make Steinbrenner sound really spiteful and small.

Also, he tells of how Steinbrenner (more…)

The Naked and the Undead

I just recently watched Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction and I noticed a theme. They always find a way to have star, Milla Jovovich, naked, weak and vulnerable. It doesn’t matter that her character, Alice is out of Umbrella’s hands at the beginning of Extinction. We get to see a clone. What does that say about the filmmakers? What does that say about the Resident Evil audiences? And most importantly, will we get such a visual in Resident Evil: Afterlife? Afterlife comes out sometime this year, which is perfectly timed for my recent Resident Evil kick.

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Lt. Bob Edlin – The Fool Lt.

The Fool Lieutenant; a Personal Account of D-Day and WWII
tells the story of Lt. Bob Edlin and the 2nd Ranger Battalion as they hit the beaches on D-Day and continue through Europe until the war’s end. Lt. Edlin was one hell of a soldier and he tells his story modestly insisting his heroics were simply a matter of luck and a refusal to quit. He is most famous for capturing the Graf Spee battery along with 800 enemy soldiers while leading a patrol of only three other men. He could’ve been a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, but turned down the award as it would have meant having to leave his men and return to America. (more…)

Where The Wild Things Are

I won’t even be able to call this a “review” of this movie. When you’re gushing about something it’s hard to feel like you’re giving an objective opinion. Spike Jonze take’s Maurice Sendak’s simple children’s book and brings it to life with characters that look exactly like they’ve come out of the page. Then you hear them speak, and for those of you who grew up reading the book their soft voices may not seem quite right. But as the characters develop and the story progresses you come to realize it’s flawless. (more…)

Discovering Norman Mailer’s hidden joke

In his book, Picasso: Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man, Norman Mailer often refers to the artist’s use of “visual puns”. His examples include a flower’s petals which appear as a cluster of grasping hands, the flame of a candle as a woman’s vagina and the posture of a wind deprived flag as flaccid member. The point is not that Picasso was obsessed with sex. That’s true enough but quite beside the point. The point is simple and should already be clear. “An artist’s line in a drawing can be the equivalent of a spoken word or two,” as Picasso puts it.

Ok, but this isn’t 6th grade art appreciation, so why am I writing this? you ask. This isn’t about Picasso. It’s about Mailer. You see, it seems later in the book while referencing 7’s unique ability to appear as an upside down nose, he turns the tables and makes “a joke, a visual pun” of his own. (more…)

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  

The beauty and wonder of Ender’s Game

A few days ago, for the first time since last year, I devoured a book. You know what I mean. It goes beyond not being able to put the book down. Every turned page feels like a wonderful revelation, and your inner-motor is operating solely to propel you through the book.

(The last time this happened was with the Harry Potter books. I read all seven in nine days.)

The book that did the trick most recently was Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. I went in with fairly low expectations. I had taken my dad’s copy of the book, and he said he didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I read it a couple weeks later. In one sitting. I was up past six in the morning. If I had tried to sleep, I would have failed.

(If you haven’t read this book, don’t worry. No spoilers here. Eric hasn’t read it either, and I don’t want to ruin it for him.)

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Reading has its own unique little joys. That’s why I keep doing it. A few months ago a friend gave me the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. I enjoyed the book very much and highly recommend it, but that is beside the point.

During the course of the story, several references are made to Sherlock Holmes and especially The Hound of the Baskervilles. Tonight, I started reading The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of stories that I picked out for myself for Christmas.

I’m still in the first story, “Silver Blaze.”

Another inspector asks Sherlock Holmes, “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time,” Holmes replies.

And I’m hooked.

Pound suffers from inflation

I’ve been doing some writing for money over the last couple days, and I’m sorry to admit that it cut into my writing for free.
Ezra Pound once wrote, “[n]othing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market.”
Ezra Pound was a poet. Poets are full of shit. (more…)