BBC Book Quiz

•February 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X
6 The Bible x+
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X+
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy X++++
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame X
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens X
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X+
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X+
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini *
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert X+
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas X
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac X
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville X
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X+
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery X
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas X
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl X+
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Read: 34
Loved: 8
On my list: 1


Might as well kiss off into the air…

•January 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I guess the kids are all doing the 25 random post things, so it’s either this or watch The Biggest Loser…  and by that I mean look in a mirror.

  1. I’ve never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has.
  2. I hope you dance…
  3. I’m bringing sexy back.
  4. I am Iron Man
  5. All I wanna do is (bam bam bam bam) and I (ch-ching ding) then I take your money.
  6. I am… Sasha Fierce
  7. I love Rock and Roll
  8. I like the way you move
  9. I will survive
  10. I can’t git no… satisfaction
  11. Ooops, I did it again
  12. I ran(so far away)
  13. I’m never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down.
  14. I want candy
  15. I’m already there
  16. I kissed a girl… and I liked it
  17. I like to move it, move it
  18. I fought the law, and the law won
  19. I love the nightlife, I love to boogie
  20. I heard it through the grape vine
  21. I will always love you
  22. I want you to want me
  23. I think we’re alone now
  24. I shot the sherrif
  25. I’m the man in black

Prince Caspian: a review…

•December 15, 2008 • 2 Comments

Last night we rented The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  I avoided this one in the theater because I had already a) read the book, b) seen the BBC Teleplay, and c) suffered through the first CoN movie.  Clocking in at 2hrs, I was worried about what I was getting myself into.  Instead, I kinda enjoyed it.

First off, CG badgers are much more endearing than little peaple in furry costumes.  Not that there was a lack of little people, the dwarves were in full effect, and kicked almost as much ass as the mice.  Oh yeah, the mice kicked some ass.  There was more violence than the BBC version, but most of the blood occured off-screen.

Prince Caspian was protrayed as a more adult character, unlike the 12yr old from the British version, and the swordplay was impressive.  And while the BBC version was more of a siege story, the 2008 film was equal parts Guns of Navaronne and The Three Musketeers.  Storming the castle, commando invasions, and the big dumb guy holding the gate open so the heroes can retreat, ultimately catching multiple shots before collapsing in heroic sacrifice.

The actors were as annoying as last time, but acceptable.  And the voice talent was impressive, if odd.  Reepicheap the mouse was voiced by Eddie Izzard, and there was a bear with 2 lines of dialog played by David Walliams from Little Britain.  Odd, but funny.  My favorite part was that Warwick Davis was in both film versions of this story, first as the mouse Reepacheap for the BBC, and currently as the evil dwarf Reacharound, or Piknmix, something like that.

Ultimately, this has a lower Homeschooler approval rating than the first, mostly due to the fact that Caspian and Susan Pevensie share a kiss, and some furtive glances.  Whatevs, I say.  It was much more likely to have happened than the BBC film portrayed, although it’s hard to countenance the term “likely” when dealing with talking bears and gryphons and werewolves and dwarves and centaurs and giant walking trees etc.

Point of contention, who first came up with the anthropomorphic tidal wave: C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien?  Both of their latest movie adaptations feature this as a dramatic device, but I can’t recall reading it in either books.

All in all, I give it 3 out of 4 dryads.

A whelming experience…

•November 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

How’s this for a triumphant return to blogging? A restaurant review!

Today, working at my new office in St Paul proper, I found myself in a unique situation: hungry, with no idea where to eat.  I checked online for restaurants in the immediate area, and one that came up interested me.  Key’s Cafe has been on my radar due to their incessant marketing efforts on the local talk station, and I’d always wondered what the deal was, and so I decided that today was the day to find out.

Located on a side street right off University, I entered the hole-in-the-wall cafe to find a crowded and lively lunch spot.  With a rumbly tummy only slightly to blame on a cold, I hunkered down at the counter and had my order placed within 2 minutes.  The menu had what you would expect for a St Paul institution, but the prices were rediculously high.  For a beef hash breakfast, I could get a steak at Denny’s.  But I wouldn’t.

I ordered Breakfast #4, 2 eggs and Italian(surely pronounced Eye-talien) Sausage.  The food came in 5 minutes, which was great considering that every table was full, and so was half the counter.  The eggs were cooked to perfection, and instead of a phallic pork-product, I had a hamburger sized zesty treat.  The consistency of a breakfast sausage patty, but with the sweet-spiciness of it’s namesake, the meat did the trick.  I was in, dined, and out in 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot to lead me back there again, unless I’m in the throes of full-hangover grease deficiency.  THe parking was a 30 minute maximum, and cost 75 cents.  As I like to loiter and enjoy my full lunch break, I can’t reccomend Key’s as a good lunch alternative.  But at the same time, the food was great, the service was prompt and friendly, and I can’t say much of anything negative about the shop either.

So in summation, meh.

Stuff I’d like…

•July 28, 2008 • 1 Comment

Since I have no extra cash right now, I figure the best thing to do is think about all the stuff I’d like.

So here is my current “wishlist” and why, in an effort to entertain you, dear gentle reader.

Want: iPhone
Why: Duh, because everyone else has/wants/needs this too.  I’m just a part of the great unwashed masses like you guys!
How Much: $400 or so

Want: a better upright bass
Why: Well, obviously having one makes me good enough to need the top of the line instrument available.  I mean, just finding one on Craigslist for a ridiculously low price isn’t enough, right?
How Much: $1,600

Want: a house
Why: I think the better question is, why not?  They seemed to be giving ’em away to anyone with six bucks and the willingness to sign a piece of paper, and I just missed the bandwagon.  Now you need to have good credit, and enough regular income to conceivably be able to make your payments every month. Whatever!

How Much: $210,000 or so

Want: New Walking Shoes
Why: Mine are falling apart, and I walk to work, so that makes sense.
How Much: $14.98 if I get a pair of Starbury’s

Want: A new car
Why: I don’t currently have a car
How Much: more than a pair of Starbury’s

So it begins…

•June 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The plan is, get done with class around 9:30pm, get picked up by my traveling companion Jake, and head for KC.  We should arrive some time around 4am, if all goes well.  I’d assume a trip to the local Wal-Mart to procure neccesities and amenitites, and then nap by the gate until we fly around 11am.  At some point, we will make contact with the third member of our party, Ben(but not PartyBen).  Then its off to gorgeous Miami via stifling Texas.  Then we sit around for a few days, interspersed with a Rehearsal and Wedding to attend.  I’ll let you know how it goes, but I’m assuming my seratonin will be shot by the end of the week.

asian adventurers

Day 4: Royal Crown

•June 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

For day 3, refer to the end of the last post.

Rockabilly Wooster?By day 4, the Murray’s should be all gone from your hair, leaving it a lot softer and more pliable.  But what if you’re like Hugh Laurie, and need the extra hold? That’s where the Royal Crown comes in handy.Loyal to the Royal baby! The idea is to use the product that leaves the least amount of residue, because you can’t add more Murray’s until your hair is completely clean.

OK, you can add Murray’s, but it won’t have the same affect.  And a good way to get the look without the extra leftovers is a hair product so good, bands fight over who gets to the keep the homage in their name.  By now, you should be familiar with the Fonzie move, so get some goop on your hands go at it.  This washes out much better than Blue Magic, leaving you free to pile the hair ridiculously high tomorrow!  If you’re ok with the Mike Ness look, another alternative is Vitalis, available at drug stores and your grandpa’s medicine cabinet everywhere.  Squirt some into your hands, and run them through wet or damp hair and slick it back.

Now, you’ve got way more information and resources than you thought you’d need.  But hopefully this will help all the little greasers out there, and it sure killed the dead space before my lunch break!