Archive for June, 2008

Summer Reading List

So, among the many things I’m trying to accomplish this summer (including teaching myself to cook and scrounging up enough food to stay alive) is to read a hell of a lot of books. I have an extensive (and impossible) reading list I’m working on, though I only started recently. Listed here are the Top 20 books I’d like to get through this summer, with annotations!

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (Finished)
Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond (In Progress)

Beowulf, Unknown Author*
Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift (In Progress)**
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand***
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson
The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli****
Steal This Book, by Abbie Hoffman*****
The Constitution of the United States, by John Tucker^
Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey^^
2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke^^^
In Cold Blood , by Truman Capote
Beautiful Losers, by Leonard Cohen
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore
Maps and Legends, by Michael Chabon

*I started reading Beowulf last Christmas, but it got put aside when going back to UBC and I never did finish it. So, there’s something to work on.

**I’ve actually tried to read Gulliver’s Travels twice. We read excerpts from it for my first-year English class, then I tried to do the whole thing last Summer. That ended when I found out my copy, part of the Norton Anthology of Literature, had been condensed and was thus missing a bunch of chapters. It’s a shame; Swift is a hell of a writer, and I was really enjoying the book. I just need to find a new copy.

***From what I’ve heard from reasonable people, Atlas Shrugged is a pretty tedious book. However, it’s essentially Holy Writ for Libertarians and Objectivists, who represent the exact opposite of my political philosophies in every way. I enjoy taking in viewpoints that are drastically opposed to my own, if only to get a different view of the world.

****I’m reading The Prince for the same reason as the last book; though Machiavelli is generally acknowledged to have been a supervillain, it’s nice to get an opposing view on the world.

*****Abbie Hoffman was fucking nuts; a anarchist and revolutionary who tossed dollar bills at Wall St., appeared before a court dressed as Santa Clause, and attempted to levitate the Pentagon. Though I disagree with many of his politics, I nonetheless find him an incredibly compelling figure, and Steal This Book is pretty much his most famous work.

^This doesn’t come up often, but I have a huge interest in Constitutional Law.

^^I’ve seen the movie (which was incredibly good), but never read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’m told it’s fantastic. I guess we’ll see.

^^^2001: A Space Odyssey is a fantastic movie. It’s also completely batshit insane; the last 30 minutes involves a trippy journey across time and space and the main character super-aging into a space fetus (actually referred to as the ‘Star Child’). I love it to death, and would like to read the book if only to shed some light on things.

So, that’s what I’ll be reading this summer. I’ll keep you updated on how I do.


June 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

Things Which Have Been Discovered

For those not in the know, I’ve been living on my own this summer. It’s still on-campus housing, but now I have an oven and a living room and have to feed myself so I don’t starve to death. The problem with this, of course, is that I’ve never really cooked anything in my life prior to this.

So, you can imagine my excitement at realizing I can bake delicious food whenever I want.

Since moving in I’ve baked banana bread, peanut butter cookies, pancakes (entirely from scratch) and a failed loaf of bread. When I did the pancakes my friend Jeff came over and showed me how to make a terrifying, unnatural hybrid called a Pancegg. Here’s how you do it:

Pour the pancake batter into a pan and let one side of the pancake cook. Once that side is done, crack an egg into the pan and flip the uncooked half of the pancake on to it. The two of them will fuse together while cooking, creating a terrifying fried egg/pancake combo.

I plan on branching out into different types of cookies soon, on account of cookies being delicious. This is all really cool.


Another thing that has come from me living alone; startling revelations! Specifically, I was lying on this awesome couch I rescued (it had been abandoned despite being perfectly good and comfy) and suddenly I realized:

“Wait, I own my own furniture. I’m an adult now.”

It was a shocking discovery. Especially when I told my friend Beth about it, who’s response was (inexplicably) “You should name the couch.” Before I could stop her, she started calling it Topher.

So, now I’m an adult; I bake my own food and own a couch named Topher. It’s pretty cool.


In other news, I’ve embarked on a massive blog-related project, which hopefully will be ready for you guys soon. Do you feel the excitement?

Editor’s Note: The “massive blog-related project” was of course the move to WordPress, which you’re looking at now. It took months because I’m lazy. Also, my couch ended up at my friend Jeff’s place and I haven’t bothered to get it back. It kind of sucks.

June 24, 2008 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

In Which I am a Drain on Society

Today my friends gave me food, and the means to procure future food, because they’re afraid that I’m going to starve myself out of spite.

The fact that this fear was so intense it resulted in giving me massive quantities of stuff, and that it also may be justified, says a lot about just how fucked up I am.

For the record, the problem here is that my food budget and video camera budget are one and the same. Every time I buy something to eat, I am eating my ability to buy a nice camera.

So you can see how I might refuse to buy food in order to get the best camera I can.

…my priorities could not be more ridiculous if I tried.

June 18, 2008 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

The Return of Wordsworth

I was checking my Livejournal messages today, and I received what can only be described as batshit insane:

Stumbling too close to the Truth is dangerous.

Mount Abora, once I spied,
From lofty heav’ns, beyond my ken;
Where shadowed spheres were circled ’round,
And spirits of unfathomable sound, all cried;
My heart to win.

Here; Abora – did I rest my head,
And long to sleep with seraph’s song nearby.
Here did I yearn to ease my troubled mind,
And make this mountain’s fields my bed;
And gently lie.

This Elysian field which I had viewed,
Seemed richer than the earth’s vast stores.
Far greater than all heav’n contained,
Where its crystal streams and founts renewed;
Beside its holy shores.

“Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.”

Please respond. There is too much afoot to risk saying it all now. We need to talk. Coleridge was in over his head. Purchase’s Pilgrimage revealed too much. The keys to Hell are nine in Seven: Hills in Rome, Head on beast.
– Samothrace

I can only assume this was a response to this legendary blog post, in which I suggest William Wordsworth is some kind of necromancer who’s work was thwarted by Samuel Coleridge. However, I wrote that post over a year ago. Why someone is responding to it now, and in so cryptic a manner, is a mystery.

Only making matters more confusing is that this guy’s own livejournal lies completely empty. No clues exist as to who he is or what the hell this is about. The last line makes reference to the Seven Hills of Rome (thank you archaeology class), but other than something about the keys to hell, I can’t make heads or tales of it.

So basically, it looks like I’ve been sucked into a vast and dark conspiracy on which hinges the fate of all the Earth. I’ll let you guys know how that goes.

June 16, 2008 at 11:50 am 1 comment

Random Musing

On my way home from work last night I came across a construction sign on the corner of a busy intersection. On it, someone had scrawled in black marker the following message:

Alina, I can’t wait any longer. Next Monday, perhaps?
Yes No Maybe

“Yes” had been circled enthusiastically.

Do you ever get the feeling you live in a world full of fantastic stories, and you’re just wandering through?

June 5, 2008 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Concession Speech

Guys, I am so excited now you wouldn’t believe it.

I don’t talk about politics much here, despite being very interested in the subject. As more of an armchair observer, I don’t feel qualified to comment in most cases. However, something has happened tonight so extraordinary that I have to say something.

This man is going to be the Democratic Nominee for President

We’ve all known it was inevitable for some time, but tonight he finally got the number of delegates necessary to officially gain the nomination. I can only say one thing; hot damn. Look at that picture. That’s a man you can trust. With him, you’ll never have to ask yourself if your a bad enough to dude to rescue the president; Obama is a bad enough dude to rescue himself.

I mean, holy shit, can you imagine the speech Obama is going to give when he wins in November? I fully expect him to leap to the podium from an exploding helicopter, execute a perfect ninja roll before disabling two would-be assassins, then just walk up to the podium, put on a pair of sunglasses, and announce “Obama’s in town now”.

Then everyone in the audience will realize that the helicopter explosion is raining down $100 bills.

Up here in Canada, we have a tendency to act as if we’re superior to Americans for any number of reasons; our universal healthcare, our more tolerant society, our victory in the War of 1812, etc. We can do this no more. On behalf of my country I am forced to admit; America, you’ve won. You’ve found the one perfect thing that we, as a country, could never hope to achieve.

You’ve got an Obama Presidency coming your way.

Congratulations, you lucky bastards.

June 4, 2008 at 7:24 am Leave a comment

June 2008
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