Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The discount book bin

Yesterday I passed the discount book bin. There was once a time when I was physically unable to go through the discount book bin without walking away with several books, but seeing as how those days have long since passed, I thought it was safe to linger and look. And, as to be expected, something caught my eye. The title contained both the words "Rune" and "Earth," and a Washington Post quote on the dust jacket compared the author to "Tolkien at his best." That sounded promising. I decided that I needed some simple and fun fantasy reading--especially if the reading came in at $6 for about four pounds of book. That's just under two dollars per pound--a reasonable price for a fantasy book.

So, I bought the book and brought it home, and tonight, after I ate my dinner, I settled down to read. This book is the fourth in a series, so the book begins with a quick review of everything that had happened before.

What follows are my thoughts.

Oh goodie! Maps! All fantasy adventure books need maps! Especially if they have place names like Revelstone and the Verge of Wandering.
Okay, so the main character is a novelist (natch) named Covenant (wonder why he's called Covenant? Is there any significance in that name? Naw, probably not). He has leprosy and has had some of his fingers amputated (okay, interesting take on the sick-or-deformed-man-in-this-world-but-hero-in-the-fantasy-world theme. This guy is both sick and deformed).
Oh hey! We made it all the way to the third paragraph before we got to any mention of a magical ring!
So now we're in a magical land with good, honest people who, based on an ancient prophesy, think that our hero is their savior. The bad guy is called Lord Foul the Despiser. Could we just not come up with a better name than Lord Foul? How about Lord Nasty Cloud of Methane Gas? Or maybe Lord Forgot To Brush His Teeth.
Our impotent leper novelist is now looking for the Staff of Law.
Now his crazy daughter has the Staff of Law. Never a good thing. Those women, they shouldn't be given Important Staffs in fantasy books. It just never ends well.
"Using the Illearth Stone, Lord Foul slaughters the Giants of Seareach. Hile Troy is only able to defeat the Despiser's army by giving his soul to Caerroil [Carol, apparently] Wildwood, the Forestral of Garroting Deep." I have nothing to say.
And if that wasn't enough, "accompanied only by his old friend, the Giant Saltheart Foamfollower [apparently a nomadic desert dweller], Covenant finally gains his confrontation with Lord Foul and the Illearth Stone."
Not only that, but "pretending to resist the Sunbane, the Clave extracts blood from the people of the Land to feed the Banefire, the true source of the Sunbane."
To fight the Sunbane, Covenant teams up with a couple of villagers, Merry and Pippin. Okay, their names are really Sunder and Hollian. Let me guess--Sunder is going to chop something off of something else, and Hollian will make it whole again.
Hile Troy, our great warrior, is now called Caer-Caveral. Does this author have no creativity in coming up with names?
And what would one call the former servants of Lord Foul except the ur-viles?
"Covenant's approach to the One [two] Tree and his power begin to rouse the Worm of the World's End; and the Worm's awakening will accomplish Lord Foul's release from Time." I'm sorry, but the Worm of the World's End? The Worm? Can't they just, I don't know, step on it or something?
Try reading this one out loud: "There the Sandgorgon and the Seadreamer's brother, Grimmand Honinscrave, succeed at 'rending' the Raver [...]"
Covenant is now looking for Lord Foul on (wait for it) Mount Thunder.
Annnnnnd--Covenant has just sacrificed himself to defeat Lord Foul and Save the World (well, he couldn't really afford to lose any more fingers, could he now?).

And here our story begins. I'll let you all know how far I make it into the book before I give up and launch it across the room in disgust.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lack of Tact

I'm not generally known for my tact--in fact, quite the opposite. I would like to point out, however, that I have never ever recited "Helen Keller" jokes in front of a blind girl.

Thank you.

(And yes, I did just see this happen.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Nothing new to mention, really--I just felt that I ought to post some sort of update. I'm almost halfway through my third week in Jersey. After this week, I only have three more weeks to go. I don't feel as though I've been as productive this year as I was last year. Oh well. As long as I produce some good, solid items--well, I guess that is the main thing, right?

Hmmm, saw Grandparents last weekend, going on a camping trip next weekend. The weekend before last I drove back down to give a presentation--it went really well, I felt (and the feedback was positive). So I've been a busy little beaver.

Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten how to sleep in all this excitement. I'm absolutely exhausted, but when I lie down, my mind continues to race and I can't get to sleep. This has gone on long enough that now I've psyched myself out about the whole thing--I feel like I've forgotten how to fall asleep and I'm trying to over think the whole thing. Ah well. I figure that eventually I'll get tired enough that there will be no way I can't not fall asleep. I just hope it doesn't happen while I'm driving--or worse, while I'm at work.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yea me!

Okay, so it really isn't that big a deal, but you should go here and read my very first ESL/EFL article. It's simple, but I'm happy with it.

(It is the very first article listed).

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I'm not finished posting about the two week Typhoid Mary tour, but I'll get to that later. I just wanted to post and let everyone know that I have made it up to Jersey, where I will remain for the next six weeks, working an honest to goodness 9-5 job (well, 8:30 to 5). Things are just as I remembered them from last year: the need to turn left to make a right, things that Jersonians refer to as traffic circles but which are not, and the oh so strange road that is both 95 North AND 295 South (yes, this is the same direction. For the record, it goes south).

The new roomie is nice, and the cats (three of them) are cool too. I've spent the day chillin' and cooking and eating--my kinda day.