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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Monday, April 30, 2007

Gators Drafted

9 Gators were drafted in the NFL Draft this weekend, the most of any team. Shockingly none of the players were named Chris Leak, as he had to settle for a free agent contract with Da Bears (where he'll backup fellow Gator Rex Grossman).

Jarvis Moss - 1st round - Broncos - article
Reggie Nelson - 1st round - Jaguars - link
Ray McDonald - 3rd round - 49ers - link
Marcus Thomas - 4th round - Broncos - article
Joe Cohen - 4th round - 49ers - link
Ryan Smith - 6th round - Titans
Dallas Baker - 7th round - Steelers - link
DeShawn Wynn - 7th round - Packers
Brandon Siler - 7th round - Chargers - link

No word yet on if Earl Everett is signing as a free agent somewhere.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

The Road

Book #16 on my reading list this year was Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer award winning, Oprah Book of the Month Clubbing, post-apocalyptic novel The Road.

I'm probably losing all credibility here given that everyone (critics and Win Butler included) apparently loves this novel, but it just didn't do it for me. Although McCarthy's prose is eloquent (but dammit man use some apostrophes), the plot doesn't provide any surprises you couldn't find in the plethora of other post-apocalyptic novels/movies. The father and son duo the story centers around are likeable enough, but it's clear from early on that the father is [spoiler alert]dying [/spoiler alert] so it's difficult to become too attached to him or to care all that much when he finally kicks the can. Ah well, perhaps my expectations were just too high.

Metacritic reviews
Wikipedia page

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Boston Photos

A few photos from my recent Boston trip are now up on Flickr. A few tourist-y highlights from the trip included:

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Cheater's Guide to Baseball

Book #15 on my '07 reading list was The Cheater's Guide to Baseball by USS Mariner's Derek Zumsteg.

Funny and well-researched, The Cheater's Guide is an interesting look into the lines between cheating and competing and how cheaters have changed the face of America's past-time. Particularly interesting to me were stories about how early innovations like the hit-and-run stretched the limits of the rules at the time and were considered to be unfair by some. Zumsteg also points out some of the hypocrisy around cheating like how we openly accept thing like framing pitches, not sliding into the bag during a double play, or manipulating the field to play to the home team's advantage, while we work ourselves into a rage when we find a smudge on Kenny Rogers' pitching hand.

Some of the content starts to feel like filler towards the end of the book, but on the whole this is an enjoyable, quick read which any baseball fan should enjoy.

Book blog
Salon article
Zumsteg on NPR with Noah Adams
Interview with the Hardball Times
New York Times review
Excerpt from intro


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Guitar Hero II

This just in...Guitar Hero II is the best game eva! My band Bellow might suck now, but we're creepin' on a come up, for real.


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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Book #14 on my reading list was Shirley Jackson's eerie goth novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
"I have always felt that some writers should be read and never reviewed. Their talent is haunting and oblique; their mastery of the craft seems complete... And now, Miss Jackson has made it even more difficult for a reviewer to seem pertinent; all he can do is bestow praise." -- New York Times Review of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, 1962
The Haunted World of Shirley Jackson
Wikipedia entry

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Films #1-20

Here's a quick recap of the first 20 films I've seen this year:
  1. Curse of the Golden Flower
  2. Talladega Nights
  3. The Devil and Daniel Johnston
  4. Little Miss Sunshine
  5. Murderball
  6. Trekkies
  7. Scoop
  8. Da Ali G Movie: Indahouse
  9. Beerfest
  10. Reno 911: Miami
  11. Jesus Camp
  12. Strangers with Candy
  13. 300
  14. Syriana
  15. An Inconvenient Truth
  16. Children of Men
  17. Blades of Glory
  18. Babel
  19. Match Point
  20. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters

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ATHFCMFfT

Film #20 on my '07 watch list was Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars (though I'm admittedly biased)
Jamie says: Everything I hoped it would be and it has what may be the best intro in movie history. I'm also loving the awesome Rotten Tomato quotes from the reviewers who clearly didn't know what they were in for:

"Crudely animated, tasteless, and totally pointless."

"At one point there is a live chicken on fire, running around the room like, well, a chicken on fire, and that's when I thought: They have no idea what they're doing here."

"The makers of this film know who their audience is, and it probably isn't you."

"To think we laughed at Boston. Then. They knew a bomb when they saw one."

"If George W Bush could prove that Saddam Hussein had funded this movie I would reverse my stance on the Iraq War and say that every single civilian casualty was justified."

"Difficult to recommend, without first knowing the sobriety of the viewer."

"I honestly feel that the filmmakers and Ted Turner owe me, my family and my future descendants for years to come reparations for this cinematic dog turd."

"The most unbearable and unwatchable movie experience I've had this year."

RIYL: Random absurdist humor


Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Match Point

Film #19 on my '07 watch list was Match Point.

My NetFlix rating: 2 1/2 stars
Jamie says: Much more entertaining if you picture Woody Allen in the male lead role. Not sure why this one got such good reviews, I loves me some Woody Allen but I found this pretty meh overall.
RIYL: Scarlett Johansson


Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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The Complete Maus

Book #13 of my '07 reading list was Art Spiegelman's award winning graphic novel/Holocaust memoir The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale.

There are a plethora of great resources (academic and otherwise) about this book on the web and I'm way behind on my book blogging so I'll just say that this one is a must read and leave you with this enticing quote:
"It would be almost impossible to overstate the influence of Maus among other artists" -- New York Times Magazine

Maus Resources on the web
Wikipedia entry
The Maus Fanlisting
NPR review

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Twin Study

Book #12 of my '07 list was Stacy Richter's Twin Study: Stories.

An excellent, excellent collection of short stories, this one will definitely be on my year end 'best of 2007' list. A few of the stories can be found on-line here:

"The Cavemen in the Hedges"
"Twin Study"
"Blackout"

Author's home page
Publisher's Weekly review
Entertainment Weekly review

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Decoding The Universe

Book #11 on my '07 reading list was Charles Seife's Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, From Our Brains to Black Holes.

Throughably readable, Seife's book starts off a bit slowly, but really kicks into gear over the second half as he somehow manages to lucidly explain the black magic that is quantum physics. Not often you can find a book that's enjoyable to read and will bump your IQ up a good 10 points at the same time. Good stuff.

Salon Review <-- recommended for a good discussion of the book
Official site

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Babel

Film #18 on my '07 watch list was Babel.

My NetFlix rating: 3 1/2 stars
Jamie says: Indie-ist main stream move of '06? Pretty interesting but could've been half an hour shorter.
RIYL: Syriana with Brad Pitt instead of George Clooney

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut

I was out of town on vacation last week (pictures forthcoming) and didn't get to post about the sad news that one of my favorites writers, Kurt Vonnegut has passed away. Boing Boing has a nice collection of tributes. We'll miss you Mr. Vonnegut.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

2007 Reading List - Books #1-10

Here are the first ten books of my '07 50 book challenge:

  1. Martin Dressler - Steven Millhauser
  2. The Boys From Old Florida - Buddy Martin
  3. An American Family - Harry Crews
  4. Profiles in Courage - John F. Kennedy
  5. What is the What - Dave Eggers
  6. I Love You More Than You Know - Jonathan Ames
  7. White Noise - Don DeLillo
  8. Fiskadoro - Denis Johnson
  9. US Guys - Charlie LeDuff
  10. Willful Creatures - Aimee Bender

Previously: My 2006 reading list

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Willful Creatures

Book #10 of my '07 reading list was Aimee Bender's short story collection Willful Creatures.

Bender writes vivid surrealistic stories a la George Saunders or Ryan Boudinot. In Willful Creatures she delivers a fine collection of tales that illustrate her unique style and vivid prose. If you're a fan of the short stories it's well worth picking up.

Aimee Bender's website


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Blades of Glory

Film #17 on my '07 watch list was Blades of Glory.

My NetFlix rating: 3.5 stars
Jamie says: Napolean Dynamite + Will Ferrell = Hilarious. Nice to see Amy Poehler, Andy Richter and Rob Corddry too!
RIYL: Talladega Nights, Dodgeball

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia page

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Extra Innings

Extra Innings is back baby! W00t w00t.


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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

All Your Titles Are Belong To Us

My mom just sent me this sweet photo from Titletown, USA (aka Gainesville, FL)


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Monday, April 02, 2007

The Rematch

Bring on the Buckeyes!

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