Friday, February 27, 2009

An answer 6 years in the making.....

I'm on a plane right now, here is a useless little post just for you (and the whole internet)!
If you are out there Mr. Staggs (Spencer Staggs, just in case you search your own name on google) I can finally answer the question. Arthur St. Clair is the only President of the United States not to be born in the US, he was born in Scotland. Though I must say it was sort of a trick question because he was the President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation which pre-dates the Constitution.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today's Hefty Helping of Little Grumblings

As always, the ones that weren't witty, are the ones I didn't write.
  • My faith in Northeastern may be restored now that I have been placed into AWD.
  • Why is Vampire Weekend playing in my Skål mix? Dont get me wrong I enjoy them greatly but they aren't Scandanavian, I want Jens god damn it!
  • My Facebook status message is to be read as if being said by Major Winters from Band of Brothers. Consider yourself educated.
  • Torrent accounts have been parked! Zero hour looms ever closer.
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A Vampire & Bill Simmons Weekend

Bill Simmons listens to Vampire Weekend while he types up his columns. Is it a coincidence that I happen to like both him and Vampire Weekend on almost an equal level? I think not! Okay now I'm going to Egypt....

The Underling goes Egyptian

Glorious readers, tomorrow I will be leaving for Egypt which means you will go postless for at least tomorrow and probably until Monday because Saturday is Pyramids and Cairo, Sunday is more Cairo, meeting Melinda and a flight to Luxor (which from now on will be referred to in it's ancient name of Thebes, that goes for Istanbul too which will now only be called Constantinople, though I don't think I will be saying that in Egypt much or ever for that matter). Then the real reason for being in Egypt begins.

That reason is that I will be Katy's assistant while she photographs every square inch of the walls in the Menna Tomb. My job, besides standing there and looking good like always, will be to stand there with a reflector.

This of course is not going to take up everyday of the 2 weeks, because I have been promised among other things; camel rides, tombs, country buses, rides on The Nile, other tombs, guys names Ali, and rabid dogs chasing me down if I stay out past sunset. That along with a pool, a multitude of books and an internet connection will of course provide you the reader with many blog posts to read whilst I am away.

I have no idea what I will post about but don't expect any features other than book related ones (though I reserve the right to break that promise at any time) because I think I should spend my time completely devoted to giving my uneducated opinions on Egypt and its' people.

If posts become impossible to make then I will surely update my twitter, which should be posting to my blog every night but that has been off and on.

Other than that, I hope to write many hastily scribbled notes on the plane to give to you as soon as I can. Ta ta for now!

What I Am Reading: The Corrections

This beast of a book has since been finished, for the review (if one could call my blathering a review) can be found here.

Well I'm reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen because Katy's friend Doug said that Katy had to read this before she went to Egypt. She did, but then the trip got postponed, and Katy thinks I should read it. So I am. On the plane to Egypt. 566 pages in 16 hours of travel time. I think it's doable (and then I will probably read either Ham on Rye or Homage to Catalonia for the remainder of the flight). So expect a What I Just Read as soon as I land

On to the cover!

First off, Burnt Orange is an under appreciated color when it comes to cover text (nice pairing with white and black btw), publishers take note. Second the fact that the title slants upward even though the authors name (which is two times the size of the title mind you!) does not is great, only proved greater because the "A Novel" text which is over the picture is also slanted. The sliced in half picture of Thanksgiving is very cool, mostly because it draws you to the quizzical look of the boy in the corner of the picture (who is well placed on the spine with the the same same slanted title).

Final Verdict: Though the cover would call for a face out by yours truly at Borders the equal beauty of the spine will leave it untouched for the time being.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hey I'm Nice! Sort of....

I would like to take a moment to address the questions pertaining to the ability of myself, The Underling, to be a pleasant and complimentary individual to people other than myself. I will have you know that people love me, granted that our relationship lasts less than 5 minutes (a time frame that I am aware of prior to the relationship). So it comes down to a simple formula:

Duration of relationship < 5 minutes (insert three dotted triangle that means therefore here) The Underling = Kind

What I Just Read: All Shall Be Well; and All Shall Be Well; and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

For the review at face value go here.

First off, since you did not get the cover review for this book I give it to you now. This book was only read because the cover was incredibly amazing. Plain and simple.

Now that that is out of the way we can talk about the words behind the cover:

All Shall Be Well; and All Shall Be Well; and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well by Tod Wodicka is incredibly slow going in the beginning, almost painfully slow. I mean a book that starts with a guy quoting old English and participating in a Middle Ages style chanting class usually is not something one would call enjoyable literature. But then you find out why he is there, then you meet his best friend, then you meet his Children, then his wife, then his terrible mother-in-law, and then you are so wrapped up in Burt Hecker's world that to finish the last 14 pages you make sure to walk under every street lamp from your apartment to work at 9 at night.

Though the book takes about half of its' pages to get going the ending is everything you would want from a book, well, kind of. When I got to the last 30 pages or so the book was on a role, but when I actually finished it I was less excited then I was 30 pages before. Let's just say that Tod Wodicka probably enjoyed the fade to black ending on the Sopranos. Which yes leaves you thinking, and yeah he probably has a good reason for it, but it leaves me a little confused and let down. It's not that I wanted a specific ending, I just wanted an ending.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today's Hefty Helping of Little Grumblings

As always, the ones that weren't witty, are the ones I didn't write.
  • #blogupdate :: What I Am Reading: The Hollow Hope
  • I am at Esspresso Royale for internet right now because Verizon decided it would be cool to stop providing me with DSL yesterday.
  • Because Verizon can not fix my internet until after I am out of the country, they have decided to send me a personal slave. Thanks.
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What I Am Reading: The Hollow Hope

It appears as if The Hollow Hope by Gerald N. Rosenberg will have the privilege of traveling to Egypt with me I don't know if I feel the same way. It looks like it's going to be 431 pages of legal history, which happens to be one of the many reasons why I do not plan on going to Law School. Regardless it must be read so I can pass the very expansive and far reaching 10 question quiz to come in two weeks.

Also with this next book I would like to add something extra to the "before" post about each book, because in the end if I don't put much in either post I might as well just consolidate them into one.

With the explanation out of the way the new little tidbit in each post is going to pertain to what the book looks, feels and smells like. Here goes:

First of all, it is far too big; if The Underling can not palm the book then it is too big. Second with the glossy finish, sepia tone and highlighting this book feels like a textbook (which it is), the big second edition stamping doesn't help it's case either. All in all the book has a bad feel to it and looks like a fairly boring book.

Final Verdict: Would not by based on cover alone.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Brief (but Lethal) History of Broomball

Broomball is a very large part of my life, not necessarily a part of my life that I particularly care about, but a large part all the same. I decided that you the readers should know a little more about what I spend most of my weeknights doing.

Pertaining to the NU version, Broomball is an absurd game that places many ill-footed individuals on a slippery surface, only to have them run willy nilly, this way or that way. The result is many a bruised body and ego.

Though all in all the results are never much worse than something that can be treated with a band aid or an ice pack. Never are they fatal.

But that has not always been the case, back in the days of yore when the game was known as Knattleikr to Icelanders, it was not uncommon for a Viking or two to die during game play. These ancient Broomball matches were usually played between whole villages and were known to last for up to 14 days.. Writer Hord Grimkellson once witnessed a game between Strand and Botn in which "before dusk, six of the Strand players lay dead, though none on the Botn side."

Now that is a version of Broomball I would be happy to officiate.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today's Hefty Helping of Little Grumblings

As always, the ones that weren't witty, are the ones I didn't write.
  • #blogupdate :: What I Just Read: A More Perfect Constitution
  • ESPN Streak for the Cash has Curling. Curling. I can bet on Curling? Yes!
  • #blogupdate :: A Good Addiction to Have
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A Good Addiction to Have

And this is why I work at a bookstore.

What I Just Read: A More Perfect Constitution

For The Underlings thoughts on the cover alone go here.

Though at times slightly heavy on the details, Larry Sabato's - A More Perfect Constitution is certainly a book that will make you think. Mr. Sabato poses many key questions and answers the majority of them with great insight and detail.

Sadly most people will never read this book and many who try will put it down after reading the back cover. This book and all books like it will forever be read by the elites of society, political scientists and their students, as well political junkies. The average American now known as "Joe Sixpack" will never read this. Sorry Mr. Sabato but I think you should have gone with a graphic novel.

I'll have the next book up sometime on Tuesday if all goes well, but school work and packing for Egypt may get in the way. In the meantime I will get back to reading for pleasure.