Its a Wednesday, a day off from The Happiest Place in the Mall. Its cold outside--welcome to Fall! And winter is only four weeks away!
For the record, The Happiest Place in the Mall doesn't carry anything having to do with...
Tranformers. Speed Racer. Spiderman. Batman. Superman. Kung Fu Panda. Aliens vs Monsters. Shrek. For that matter, Shrek 2. Even Shrek the Third. Nor the upcoming A Fourth of Shrek. Ferngully (got that one the other day).
Just in case you need some stuff from the above list, we won't have it, mainly because its not Disney properties.
My common responses to questions I've been asked recently from guests at The Happiest Place in the Mall (and what I'm actually thinking)
"Yes ma'am, everything in our store is 25% off currently" (as directed by the 27 signs that say "This Week Only-Everything In Store is 25% Off", including that sign right above your head)
"Yes, we do have Mickey Mouse here" ( ..... )
"No, I'm sorry we don't have any Kuzco stuff right now, nor do we have any Princess Kida stuff" (because out of the thousands of Disney characters we have, we just don't have the room to pick out a character from The Emperor's New Groove or Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
"Yes, we open at midnight" (as evidenced from the fact I answered your call by saying "we open at midnight")
Don't get me wrong... I love my job at The Happiest Place in the Mall. But sometimes, you just get those people... just sometimes...
Just finished reading a bunch of Stephen King material--I say "material" because it wasn't all novels, some of it was just short story stuff...
"Carrie". This was King's first novel published back in the early 70s. Its the story about a frumpy girl named Carrie White who has the pain of being the chick who is picked on. And I mean, really picked on--ruthlessly. I dare say despite all of King's bad guys in all of his books, Chris Hargensen may be the most rotten villian overall... she's not possessed, she's not risen from a grave, she's not a zombie... she's just really, really mean.
Anyway, Carrie is a little different... she's telekenetic. And she lives with a mother who is a complete nutcase, one of those religious women who thinks there is no joy in living and that God hates all us sinner people.
Well, some stuff happens (most people my age know the general idea of the ending, but many younger folk to not) and Carrie uses her powers and its all a big brouhaha. The book is written almost documentary style, with "newspaper clippings" and "book excerpts", and "interviews", which makes it a little different.
At only a few hundred pages, it is certainly one King's shortest novels, and its worth a read. Loved it. A shoo-in for The 100 Coolest Things of 2008.
After I finished "Carrie", for some reason, I immediately went to "The Green Mile". This was a novel that came out in the mid-90s, in a style that was a throwback to the way many books were published... a few chapters at a time.
The first book, "Two Dead Girls", was only about 100 pages and I remember buying it in Troy's Wal-Mart in March of 1996. I was intrigued because it was so small, and figured I could read it pretty quickly--which I did. The next book, "The Mouse on the Mile" came out at the end of April, and so on monthly, until the final volume, Part 6, "Coffey on the Mile" was released in August of 96.
I remember liking the story a whole lot back then, and was excited to pick it up again. And it was amazing. Seriously... I don't remember much of what I re-read, perhaps having seen the movie so many times. By the way, the movie is just incredible too, a Dave100 pick, so I highly recommend it.
But the novel goes into so much more detail, as novels tend to do as they've got a length advantage over movies. You get more backstory, you care more about the characters, and though I still could see Tom Hanks and David Morse in the part of Edgecombe and Brutal, the best... worst... part was Percy Whitmore. He perhaps rivals Chris Hargensen as the meanest King villian, even worse that Wild Bill in the story.
This novel covers possibly more than 400 or 500 pages, so it takes a while longer to chug through, but it also will make an appearance on the 100 Coolest Things of 2008.
"Blood and Smoke". Its a short story collection that features three tales... including...
"Lunch at the Gotham Cafe" This was an odd story... a guy goes to meet up with his wife, soon to be -ex, for a divorce settlement meeting. And the maitre'd goes nuts. Really weird.
"1408". If this sounds like a movie featuring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, well, you're right. It's the same story. Mike Enslin is the writer of such novels as "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses" and "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards" and so on, and is working on "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Hotel Rooms" when he books a room, specifically Room 1408, at The Dolphin Hotel right in New York City.
I do love the fact that this, and the "Gotham Cafe" story, don't occur in the woods, or out in the country, but amidst the hustle and bustle of the busiest city in the world.
Anyway, the set up is awesome. Mr. Olin, the hotel manager, spends the first half of the story trying to talk Enslin out of it. The second half is spent in the room, and while its creepy and chilling, it doesn't last long enough. The story suddenly ends, and you want more, especially after the lead up that King has written.
"In the Deathroom". Fletcher is an ex-reporter who has been kidnapped and is being held in a torture room in South America. Nothing supernatural or spiritual about it, just a little ditty about a man and his will to survive, however improbable. Decent tale.
In addtion to "Blood and Smoke", you'll find all these tales amongst a collection in "Everything's Eventual".
College Basketball is in full swing now... I wish I cared. I mean, I root for Florida, and I root for Troy and want them to do well, but no one I know really cares until March Madness.
I've heard arguments that if college football had a playoff, then that would be the mentality of football fans. Bullcorn, dude. Complete bullcorn. College football would be bigger than ever if a playoff were instituted. For one thing, its only once per week... granted, there are games all during the week, but as a fan, you only have to follow your team once per week, not three, four, five times per week.
In the SEC, there are 12 schools. Easy to follow in football. But in the Big East? There are like, 10 football schools, and what, 39 basketball schools? The ACC has 12 football schools, and adds on another 122 basketball schools? I mean, Florida Gulf Coast lost last night. I had no idea that Florida Gulf Coast had a team. Uniforms and everything. Really, I had no idea that Florida Gulf Coast existed, and couldn't tell you where it is, other than... well, on the...
I want BCS chaos. I want the BCS to collapse on itself. Seriously. I want Oklahoma to beat Texas Tech, who had beaten Texas by a single play, who had dominated Oklahoma. I want a three way tie in the Big XII South, then I want Missouri to win the Big XII. Then I want Cincinnati to finish strong and win the Big East. Then I want Oregon State to win out (and they can) to take the Pac 10 and go to the Rose Bowl against, Michigan State, who can win the Big Ten. As far as the ACC goes, who cares? Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, Boston College--none of them deserve to be in a BCS Bowl Game... but one will go.
Then I want either Boise State or Utah, two of the best teams in the country either to be shut out completely, or both make a BCS bowl and absolutely destroy the BCS school they play.
If Missouri, Cincinnati, Oregon State, Michigan State and let's say North Carolina make the BCS, let's also say that Florida beats Alabama in the SEC Championship Game--which puts the Go Gators in the national championship game, and almost certainly will send Alabama to the Sugar Bowl. Let's also suppose that the loser of the Big XII title game will play in a BCS Bowl, probably the Fiesta...
Thats 8 teams thus far in BCS bowls. Only 2 spots remain, with Penn State, Ohio State, USC, two of the three of Texas, Texas Tech & Oklahoma, Utah, Boise State all screaming that they deserve to be in the games... this is BCS Hell. And I'd love it.
I'd love it because the BCS is a ridiculous system. And despite the fact they say "It's not just us!", it really is the Big Ten and the Pac 10 that are resisting any talk of a playoff. Even an 8 team playoff would be perfect... but instead, we get one game that matters and 30 something games that don't.
It would be as if the Titans and Giants played in the Super Bowl, because that's what the NFL pollsters deemed worthy--unless the Titans lost the last game of the year, and despite being 15-1, they lost late... so the pollsters might say "Oh, well Indianapolis is better... they are 12-4, but they lost all their games early, and they are coming on strong, so they should play..."
Anyway, those teams play in the title, but hey, someone wants to see the Jets and the Vikings play in Atlanta... and let's put the Steelers and Packers in Los Angeles!
This is our BCS.
I'm done now. I'll go take a shower.
This is the song I woke up thinking about this morning... its been strumming in my head all day long... perhaps I need a quiet time.
I don't know what You saw in me
But I'm glad You believed in spite of my condition
That Your mission was to rescue my heart
Don't understand the sacrifice, why You gave up Your life for the sake of my soul
Only heaven knows
There's a mystery that lies within the logic of Your love
There's an undying mercy that I'm unworthy of
If that isn't reason enough to love You
Reason enough to give You
All of my heart and soul
There'll never be a reason
If that isn't reason enough to trust You
Reason enough to give You
All of my life I know
There'll never be a reason
If that isn't reason enough
You have opened my eyes to see the miracle You have made of me
I am Your creation
So keep reminding me
There's a mercy so much stronger than the weaknesses in me
And there are glimpses of Your power that make it easy to believe
If that isn't reason enough to love You, reason enough to give You all of my heart and soul, there'll never be a reason. If that isn't reason enough to trust You, reason enough to give You all of my life I know... There'll never be a reason... If that isn't reason enough
This song can be found on Disc Two of the double disc edition of "Welcome to Delaware: d$'s Life Soundtrack" available soon everywhere.