Monday, January 29, 2018

Absorb or emit a quantum of unhappiness

Here's a little portrait session with some Castle deer. Smile!


blargh - an exclamation indicating that one has absorbed or is emitting a quantum of unhappiness

Old Man's War 2

Book: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Review: 2 bill-stars (out of 5)... not good

Blargh, that's disappointing. I gushed 5 bill-star love on Old Man's War, the first book in this series (goodreads review). The Ghost Brigades, however, is below average across the board: plot, characters, tech, the ending, etc. Worst of all ― the book isn't very smart or funny.

The cool battle scenes and some cool tech sustained me.

The Rraey screamed as the SmartBlood began to burn into its face and eye band, dropping its knife as it clawed at its face. Jared grabbed the knife and drove it into the side of the Rraey's head. The Rraey issued an abrupt, surprised cluck and then went boneless, slumping backwards on the floor.
- The Ghost Brigades 

So, as Mike LaFontaine would say, Wha' happened? In his post-novel comments, Scalzi notes that it was very difficult for him to write this sequel. Well, it was difficult to read too. (snark, ha!)
Not a good read.


Movie: The Competition
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... fun!

How do you turn a run-of-the-mill Lifetime Channel rom-com into a 3 bill-star movie? Add some humor! The Competition is very funny in spots, and that carries it over the 3 bill-star hurdle.

The other weird thing about The Competition are its stars: Thora Birch and Chris Klein (the American Pie guy). Thora Birch plays an uncomfortable, quirky character, but she appears to be genuinely uncomfortable throughout the movie. She has a lot of "bad hair" in the movie, for some reason. Chris Klein overacts his role as a sort of goofy huckleberry everyman. The quirky + goofy combination gives the movie a strange vibe.

A good movie.


Book: House of Nails by Lenny Dykstra
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... okay

Lenny Dykstra is: 1) completely out of control, and 2) as selfish a person as I've read about. He manically pursued his baseball career and... booze, drugs, gambling, women, fame, etc. Like any addict, Lenny has tons of excuses about the havoc he wreaks on himself and those close to him. It all leads to a very unflattering tale of self-destruction.

But Lenny has one thing going for him: his stories. Oh, and one more thing: Lenny has no filter. He'll say the craziest, most obnoxious stuff without blinking. His life is a trainwreck and at times we can't look away. The cherry on top―after going through all the turmoil he's gone through (bankruptcy, divorce, addiction, jail, etc), Lenny is still pretty much unchanged and raving.

My favorite story in the book ― Lenny would tell his wife that he was going to rehab for a month. Instead, he'd go on a month-long sex and drug bender/vacation. I'll still can't get over that one. (ha) The worst part of the book is the baseball part, oddly. His recaps of game action are generic, like a summary you'd read on Yahoo. Lenny is a major star-f'er. One of the longest chapters in the book is "Charlie Sheen", talking about drugs and rehab with the TV star. (lame)

Gambling is all about ego and the three p's: power, partying, and pussy.
But not necessarily in that order.
- Lenny

A good read. Even though the honesty in Lenny's autobiography is mostly between the lines, there are some entertaining, manic stories in the book. It's almost like Lenny himself... both colorful and sad at the same time.

So, that a 2-star sci-fi sequel, a 3-star rom-com movie, and a 3-star trainwreck of an autobiography.
blargh... yow, bill

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