Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Complete My Assignment . . . Will You Complete Yours?

Saturday, Rob and I met for our annual mini-mini summit at the Triumph Brew Pub in Princeton. The Triumph always makes me angry, because their beer is so delicious. I think to myself: why can't Harvest Moon make beer like this? Harvest Moon is a brew pub in New Brunswick-- a stone's throw from my house-- and I go there once a year, simply to confirm the fact that their beer still tastes like crap. The place has been in business for nearly twenty years, and they still haven't figured out how to brew a decent beer. If the brew-master from Harvest Moon is reading this, I have some advice for you: go ask the brew-master at Triumph for his recipe!

While we were drinking the delicious beers at Triumph, Rob gave me an assignment . . . and when you get an assignment from Rob, you get right to it. Since one of my hobbies is reading books, he thought I should give the G:TB readers a recommended reading list. I have decided to do him one better. I am going to give the writers of G:TB a personalized reading list. While each book is recommended for a particular person, these are all great books-- you can certainly go ahead and read someone else's recommendation. In accord with the subject matter, I should warn you that this post contains no pictures.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

This one is for Rob. It's about a married couple that run a carnival, but when business starts to fail, they decide to create their own freak show. Every time the wife gets pregnant, she takes various psychedelic drugs, and ends up bearing a brood of freaks. The novel recounts the bizarre interactions between the grotesque siblings. Why is it for Rob? The story is told by Olympia, one of the siblings, a hunch-backed albino midget. Rob=midget. Get it?

Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli

A fantastic graphic novel that tackles aesthetics, architecture, and the duality of consciousness. I think TR will enjoy this one, because of this post.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

An incredibly smart book about time and the music industry. It also has a science-fiction element, and-- reminiscent of War With The Newts-- it dabbles in various forms and genres. This book has Zman written all over it . . . for a lot of nerdy reasons I won't go into, but also because, like the Zman at his finest, this book achieves something very difficult: it explains the way music sounds.

Everything Bad is Good For You by Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson is one of my favorite authors, and he is a very smart man, but in this short book he dumbs it down and tackles TV and video games. His thesis is that because of the advances of technology and the digital revolution, TV and video games have gotten progressively more complex, to the point where they are viable forms of mental exercise, and should be considered on par with great works of literature. I recommend this one for TJ, so he can feel good about himself, but I also recommend Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death . . . so he doesn't feel too good about himself.

How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer

Foer uses soccer to explain the vast forces of globalization, but this book has just as much travel and anecdote as it does economic theory. This one is for Mark, who knows a hell of a lot about basketball and football, but needs to brush up on the idea that sometimes soccer explains the world, and sometimes the world explains soccer.

Henry IV by William Shakespeare 
  
Perhaps Shakespeare's best play, it introduces us to two great men: Falstaff and Hal (who will someday become Henry V). Falstaff is great because of his size, his wit, his drinking prowess, and his loyalty to his friends. Hal is great because of his ability to get along with everyone: the folks from the tavern, the rebels, and the royalty in the court. This one has Igor written all over it; he is our resident Falstaff but he also has some Hal in him.

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison 

For Dennis, of course.

82 comments:

zman said...

I'm completely on board with anything that integrates PowerPoint and DFW.

T.J. said...

reeding ez fun-damental

My book was written by the Bills breakout WR star?

TR said...

My AP English teacher in high school had us read Invisible Man, as well as Ionesco, Joseph Heller and several other impressive authors. It tooke me a few years to realize how awesome it was of her to turn us on to stuff like that.

She also showed us the movie Catch-22, which featured FULL FRONTAL NUDITY. I type it in all-caps like that because when you're a 17 year-old kid sitting at your desk in English class, seeing boobies and pubes is pretty cool. Actually, it's still cool now. Reading rules.

TR said...

And that was at a public school in NJ.

I bet they don't show bush in charter schools...

Dave said...

power-point chapter was awesome. and the book really is up your alley . . . have it done for obft.

Dave said...

i did catch 22 for years with my sophomores-- they loved it! it's full of profanity, violence, and whores.

T.J. said...

Interesting. I read Catch 22 in AP English as well.

But we never got to see the movie in class...though I did rent it over the summer and was amazed by the full frontal.

Igor said...

There's also a version of Romeo and Juliet with some nudity that our cougar English teacher (who banged 1-2 students a year) showed us in class sophomore year. Heh heh, she was cool.

T.J. said...

Miss Davis?

Squeaky said...

Wasn't it Cromartie who held out for more money in the preseason? Now he's says money is nothing. Just play ball. Ha.

Squeaky said...

Grammar, I fail, consistently.

Danimal said...

so igor, by chance were you one of the 1-2?

TR said...

Revis was the one who held out. Cro is more concerned with paying child supoort to the 8 baby mamas who fathered his 9 kids.

Igor said...

She tried -- hard. She and I were in a London hotel room bed and she was on top of me. I was 15, she was 38. I chickened out. So lame, especially because the rest of the kids on the trip figured I was doing her, anyway.

T.J. said...

um...

T.J. said...

http://bit.ly/i2OCak

Lumpy said...

if I'm doing my math right, that means you couldve hooked up w/ someone that is now eligible to draw social security?

Danimal said...

wow. she must have been pretty hard up. did you really chicken out or was it a case of premature something or other? (t.j. -insert east bound & down video here)

Igor said...

I failed to make the first move. Froze up.

I'd heard the rumors about a handful of guys in the classes above mine going down that road with her; never thought they were true until she changed clothes in front of me and assumed the missionary position (pajamas on). In retrospect, I guess she considered it not statutory if the kid makes the first move?

Mark said...

My AP English teachers were considerably less cool than any of the other G:TB staff.

Dave- Thanks for the book rec. I'll check it out. However, you've revealed a bit of ignorance about me. I love soccer. Played it until high school when I had to choose b/w soccer & bball (same seasons in Florida). Also, my Dad played soccer in college and two years in a crappy domestic pro league in the late 60's. AND, I'm the only G:TB staff member who's done a UEFA championship liveblog. So there's that.

Danimal said...

igor. thanks for sharing your story. thankfully no one from your deep past follows gtb, allowing "ms davis" to avoid incarceration and keep her job.
i guess she's probably retired by now though.

Mark said...

Or dead.

TR said...

On the topic of soccer, Man U is about to get its first loss of the year. Trailing 2-0 to Blackpool in the second half. Bollocks.

Dave said...

sorry mark! i was just going by your usual posting prowess-- plus i wanted to link back to my idiotic world cup preview and allude to the title.

which brings us to the question: when are we having a total attendance g:tb summit. i really think whitney shoudl meet igor and i'd like to get to know mr. truck.

Igor said...

Lumpy's right, I guess she's 63 now. Dan's wrong, she still teaches sophomore English at the old school. I wonder what year she quit banging minors, and whether it was by choice or relegation.

Igor said...

Her bio on the school website:

Ms. xxxx is Virginia-born and bred. She graduated summa cum laude from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and then earned her Master of Fine Arts in English. She began her tenure at [school] in 1976 and has taught English in both the Middle and Upper Schools. Ms. xxxx has a longstanding affiliation with Operation Smile, both as a volunteer and as the sponsor behind the first Operation Smile youth organization, founded in 1985 at [school]. She has participated in more than a dozen mission trips and written numerous articles about her experiences. When not grading essays, Ms. xxxx enjoys reading, spending time with her family, nailing virgins on the varsity football team, and going to the beach.

Danimal said...

i bet she likes Longfellow

TR said...

Operation Smile. I bet.

Igor said...

A few years out of college, a couple of my high school chums took her back to her place in Va Beach one night after running into her in a bar. She wanted the both of them, but one of them chickened out (not me this time) so only the one guy tagged her. She'd have been mid-forties then, pushing the envelope...

Igor said...

And back in English class her favorite masterwork was A Sale of Two Titties.

zman said...

I have a story about A Tale of Two Titties. It's good.

It might not have been statutory if you were in London. Check your local rules.

TR said...

Correction on Man U. They got three goals between the 72nd and 88th minute. Still undefeated. An exciting prelude to the State of the Union tonight.

Mark said...

It's okay, Dave. I still support public schools.

rob said...

the teej is emailing me updates from a high school girls jv hoops game

rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danimal said...

Uconn donor letter worth reading for 5 min of entertainment. Note....only able to read 1st 2 paragraphs....danimal on a date night....speaking of missionary. Heh heh

Danimal said...

I guess the statutory rape topic got the teej all riled up!

T.J. said...

This game is awesome.

I just bought a KitKat.

Danimal said...

Meow

T.J. said...

11-9.

At the half...

T.J. said...

OK, 18-10 good guys (er girls) after 3...

T.J. said...

Holy shit. They're gonna win. Stuart h.s. Of Falls Church, you are huuuurting

Jessica said...

Woohoo! Wakefield Warriors jv girls first win of the season!

Mark said...

G:TB never fails to surprise me.

zman said...

Is that the bacon woman?

T.J. said...

I don't read. Haven't in ages. But TR got me...

Just read 25 pages of Catch-22. Major Major my ass...

T.J. said...

Fembot wrapped in bacon. Just like the Teej ordered.

zman said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0_uhUhqrbk

rob said...

vernon macklin just snapped a towel on chandler parsons' manparts. not what chandler had in mind in terms of celebration.

TR said...

Is Igor a Norfolk Academy alum? If so, I'm almost motivated to peruse the faculty here (http://www.norfolkacademy.org) to track down that silver fox.

rob said...

the next ghoogles ought to be interesting.

and seton hall is whipping cuse in the carrier dome.

Mark said...

Vernon Macklin's offensive development since he arrived at Florida has been remarkable. Every young big man with NBA aspirations should consider Florida for their college apprenticeship. Donovan (a former PG of all things) is terrific at developing big men during their time in his program. Udonis Haslem, Matt Bonner, David Lee, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Macklin. Only Macklin was a big time recruit.

Igor said...

Thanks, TR. I made the effort to keep things anonymous and thereby prevent a sextagenarian schoolteacher (she's been waiting decades to tell kids she's that) and erstwhile cougarrific boinker of sex-starved teens from going to the big house in her twilight years. Way to go.

I bet you watched "The Mary Kay Letourneau" story on Lifetime and rooted for the abusive husband.

TR said...

Are we gonna live blog the SoTU?

TR said...

Barry should run down the aisle and high-five both sides. Would be much quicker.

TR said...

Do the Supreme Court judges need the black robes? Do they wear those all day when they're on the Hill? Seems a little uppity to me.

TR said...

Boehner gets a standing O! No tears. Damn.

Mark said...

TR- Yeah, the justices wear the robes all day but they wear footie pajamas underneath them whilst in court. It gets cold in there.

Mark said...

Erving Walker. Saving my night. 2OT in Athens.

TR said...

So the Supreme Court and my kids have the same gear on. Cool.

Barry's face is looking uber-orange today. I think his makeup artist got a little excited with the foundation.

TR said...

"We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl that needs to be celebrated, but the winners of the science fair."

Poor analogy, but a standing O. I wonder if the Congressmen from Pitt and Green Bay stood.

TR said...

Failed standing O after a gang anecdote. Looks just like when a wave attempt at a stadium fails. I'm calling racism on that, because a reference to teachers got a standing O a minute later.

rob said...

barry just looks orange because boehner's glow is enveloping him

T.J. said...

Dave wants a charter school standing o...

zman said...

I showed her my standing o face. O! O! O!

T.J. said...

Purdue...thanks for coming. See you on Saturday.

TR said...

Standing O for the call to simplify and lower corporate tax rates. Hallelujah.

TR said...

On the topic of cougars, Pelosi hasn't lost any of her fastball. What a foxy brunette.

rob said...

asotul, tr

TR said...

Barry's getting it done tonight. Deftly tilting towards the center while getting some good one-liners in.

And Biden looks half-drunk in the background.

rob said...

teejay gets more complicated when he smokes, too

Marls said...

Brit must be bummed out about his Mom's sluttyness.

zman said...

If your children ever say "I want to go to law school," tell them about the time when your friend zman worked 36.2 hours in one week ... by Tuesday.

Reporting live from the bummingdome.

TR said...

What's asotul, Rob? Is that what the guy chanted in temple of Doom before he ripped your heart out?

Igor said...

TR doesn't know his bloggy acronyms. Rob was commending you for making him chuckle. There was the Teej's original, frequently used "AWL" for Audible Work Laugh, and it spawned from there to AH(ome)L, AB(ar)L, and...

ASOTUL = Audible Sitting On The Urinal Laugh, TR.

rob said...

it's 'audible state of the union laughter', tr. though i like igor's better.

TR said...

That makes more sense. And I think it was "Num-num-chee-ba, num-num-chee-ba" in Temple of Doom because the internet says so.

T.J. said...

Um, Pandora just started playing "One of These Days"...

Igor said...

TR, if you're trying to make a Rob = Short Round joke . . . well, okay. It works.

Dave said...

snowmageddon!

do i go out drinking tonight, or stay in and try to go snowboarding tomorrow?

Greg said...

Kali-Mahhh. Shok-ti-day!!!

Igor said...

Dave, is there some reason beyond an utter dearth of intestinal fortitude and masculinity that would make you have to choose either drinking tonight or snowboarding tomorrow?