Around the World in 80 Days: Word of the Day

June 10th, 2012

indefatigable: adj. Incapable or seemingly incapable of being fatigued; tireless

Example sentence: Between American Idol, his radio show and producing 38 reality shows featuring Kardashians, Ryan Secrest proves that he is one indefatigable mo-fo.

Around the World in 80 Days: The First 50 pages (Chapters 1 – 11)

June 10th, 2012

What’s it about: Phileas Fogg, who is either a massive tool or is on the highly functioning side of the austism specturum, trying to travel around the world in 80 days on a bet, possibly also on the run from the law. He is accomponied by his man servant (literally the book calls him this) named Passepartout. Passepartout possibly has stalker-ish leanings.

Surprises:

NO HOT AIR BALLOONS?!?!!


Ok, according to Fogg’s itenerary, he is just taking trains and boats around the world. What a fucking douchebag. His plan is as follows:

London to Suez rail and steamer 7 days
Suez to Bombay steamer 13 days
Bombay to Calcutta rail 3 days
Calcutta to Hong Kong steamer 13 days
Hong Kong to Yokohama steamer 6 days
Yokohama to San Francisco steamer 22 days
San Francisco to New York City rail 7 days
New York to London steamer and rail 9 days
Total 80 days

Who tricked me into thinking this book was going to be about an 80 day hot air balloon ride around the world? Already, he had to go off the plan and ride an elephant, so obviously the hot air balloon thing could still happen, but still…

Not surprising: Homoeroticism! I really don’t completely understand what the following passage is about, but it sounds super gay

“Phileas Fogg was in the act of finishing the thirty-third rubber of the voyage, and his partner and himself having, by a bold stroke, captured all thirteen of the tricks, concluded this fine campaign with a brillant victory”

Chapter 9

WTF!

Stray observations:

  • When you think about it, “Around the World in 80 Days” is a title that should make internet trolls heads explode. Either it is the biggest spoiler ever or a complete lie.
  • I’ve traveled enough to know that anyone who would make a bet like this is just a total asshole. It’s one thing if you are hot air ballooning it or using a pogo stick or whatever, but when you are 100% depending on train and ship schedules – it’s pretty lame. On one hand it’s like going toSouthwest’s website and then betting that you can get from New York to Los Angeles in about 6 hours and 8 minutes. On the other hand it’s like betting that the weather won’t be too bad, Southwest won’t screw something up, and you won’t get thrown off the plane for being too fat. Either way, not a lot of skill is involved other than reading timetables.
  • Not sure why, but I am loving Detective Fix’s name
  • I’m enoying the super short chapters. The chapter titles remind me of the way Friends episodes are named

Around the World in 80 Days: Stats

May 24th, 2012

Written by Jules Verne

Fun fact about Jules Verne: Suffered with a limp after being shot by his nephew!

Published in 1873

Fun fact about 1873: No one had iPhones and hot air balloons were a viable travel option. 100 years later, the movie The Exorcist was the top grossing movie at the box office.

Originally written in French

Page Count: 198

Math Time: The equator is 40,075 kms around. To go around the world this way in 80 days would mean averaging about 501 kms (or 311 miles) per day. If you ran 24 hours a day for 80 days, you’d have to run at a pace of under 5 minutes/mile to make it.

If I read an average of 2.457 pages per day, I will be done this book in 80 days.

Five things that were finished in less than 80 days:

  • Apollo 11′s return trip to the moon (8 days)
  • Noah’s flood (40 days)
  • 2010-2011 NHL playoffs (64 days)
  • Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humprhies (72 days)
  • The Falklands War (74 days)

Around the World in 80 Days – The Pre-Read Report

May 24th, 2012

What I understand this book to be about: A guy or two. In a hot air balloon. Going around the world. Trying to do it in 80 days.  Boo-yeah.

My educated guess as to how it will play out: So I’m guessing some rich white dude (French?) gets involved in some kind of hot air balloon race. He travels around the world and has some misadventures. Mostly he talks about the weather and thinks racist things about the people he comes across (you know, the kind of things that weren’t considered racist back then). It will also get kind of gay at least a couple of times (you know, the kind of things that weren’t considered homoerotic back then). He will visit a lot of countries that have different names now.

About half way through he will get very homesick. He will almost die near the end. He will make it in 80 days and 1 hour, but someone will remember Daylight Savings Time or something like that and everyone will live happily ever after.

Expectations in 140 characters or less: racist, homoerotic, and not horribly boring

Three hopes:

  1. Complete and utter failure getting around the world in 80 days
  2. Gay hot air balloon sex
  3. Giraffes!

My New Project

May 24th, 2012

So, here’s the new project. I recently bought myself one of those eBook reader thing-a-ma-bobs.  My Mom has had one for about a year and I assumed that like hers,  mine would come pre-loaded with 100 free classic books. And then I would read them all and be a more well-rounded person and in general, more awesome.

But, low and behold, my eBook reader just came with a couple of sample chapters of some random book. Thanks Sony!

Well, I’ve never been one to let the likes of Sony hold me back from becoming more well-rounded and in general, more awesome.  So, I’m going to tackle reading all 100 of the classic ebooks you get when you buy a Kobo.

And then I looked at the list and saw that all the books fell into one of 10 categories:

Fucking Tolstoy! I’m Pretty Sure This Book Is Way Too Freaking Long For Human Consumption

1. War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy
2. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
3. Crime And Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
4. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
5. The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon
6. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
7. The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe – Edgar Allan Poe

I’ve Already Seen The Movie. And It Was Probably Better
1. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
2. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
3. Through The Looking-Glass – Lewis Carroll
4. Anne Of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
5. The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving
6. Peter Pan – James M. Barrie
7. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
8. Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz – L. Frank Baum
9. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
10. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Is This Really Even a Book?
1. The Art Of War – Sun Tzu
2. On The Origin Of Species – Charles Darwin
3. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels
4. On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

Yes, I’m Afraid of Tolstoy, But I’m Not 6…
1. Tales From Shakespeare – Charles And Mary Lamb
2. Book Of Nonsense – Edward Lear

Classic? Never Heard of It! Or Of What’s His Face
1. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
2. The Romance Of Tristan And Iseult – Joseph Bedier
3. Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater – Thomas De Quincey
4. The Turn Of The Screw – Henry James
5. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
6. The Mayor Of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
7. The Castle Of Otranto – Horace Walpole
8. Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded – Samuel Richardson
9. Four Arthurian Romances – Chretien de Troyes
10. The Souls Of Black Folk – W. E. B. Du Bois
11. The Princess And The Goblin – George MacDonald
12. The Man Who Knew Too Much – G.K. Chesterton
13. The Lady Of The Lake – Sir Walter Scott

Fairy Tales Much?
1. Grimm’s Fairy Tales – The Brothers Grimm
2. Japanese Fairy Tales – Yei Theodora Ozaki
3. Aesop’s Fables – Aesop
4. Irish Fairy Tales – James Stephens
5. English Fairy Tales – Joseph Jacobs
6. The Arabian Nights Entertainments – Andrew Lang

Good God.. I’m Already… Zzz…..
1. The Odyssey Of Homer – Homer, Translated By Alexander Pope
2. Ulysses – James Joyce
3. The Iliad – Homer
4. Paradise Lost – John Milton
5. Beowulf
6. Beyond Good And Evil – Friedrich Nietzsche
7. Myth, Ritual, And Religion, Vol. 1 – Andrew Lang
8. The Republic – Plato
9. The Canterbury Tales And Other Poems – Geoffrey Chaucer
10. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

Someone Has A Hard-On For Sherlock Holmes..
1. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
2. The Hound Of The Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle
3. The Return Of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
4. Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle

Some Teacher Already Forced Me To Read This
1. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
(I swear, I’ve read stacks of books in high school and university. Seems like I should have read more classics than this. Actually, I read this one as a special project, not through the regularly scheduled curriculum. Oh, the shame)

I Can Possibly See Myself Reading This
1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. Dracula – Bram Stoker
3. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
4. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
5. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
6. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
7. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
8. White Fang – Jack London
9. The Importance Of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
10. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
11. Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
12. Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlowe
13. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
14. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
15. The Last Of The Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
16. Prufrock And Other Observations – T. S. Eliot
17. The Lost World – Arthur Conan Doyle
18. The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad
19. Cyrano De Bergerac – Edmond Rostand
20. Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra
21. Sense And Sensibility – Jane Austen
22. Emma – Jane Austen
23. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
24. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
25. The Phantom Of The Opera – Gaston Leroux
26. The Picture Of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
27. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
28. Persuasion – Jane Austen
29. The Prince – Nicolo Machiavelli
30. Around The World In 80 Days – Jules Verne
31. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
32. The Island Of Doctor Moreau – H. G. Wells
33. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea – Jules Verne
34. The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
35. The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie
36. The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
37.  The Call Of The Wild – Jack London
38. The Sea Wolf – Jack London
39.  Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham
40.  Middlemarch – George Eliot
41.  Twenty Years After – Alexandre Dumas
42.  The Prince And The Pauper – Mark Twain
43.  Dubliners – James Joyce


So there you go, 43 books is a start. Assuming however, there are at least 10 in there that are pushing 500+ pages, written before the 1700s, or written in some sort of prose, the list is probably closer to 33. Yes, a good start indeed. I still intend to strongly consider reading them all… We’ll see how it goes.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

January 25th, 2010

First Impressions:
1. How, umm…, blue?
2. That lesbian sure looks sneaky.

Font-a-hell: I’m far from being a font geek, but there are at least 3 different fonts on this cover, which is at least 1 too many. What is even worse is the weird font used for “and the Order of the Phoenix”. It’s just straight-up hard to read.

I’m Assuming it’s About: Like I already said, a sneaky lesbian who is up to no good and likely has a mood disorder. But then again, let’s go with the assumption that if a title contains a character’s name and there is one character featured on the book, well, you do the math. (And let’s also assume that I really don’t know anything about Harry Potter because that would kind on ruin the whole premise here..) But now it gets tricky, what kind of lesbian is named Harry Potter? As a name, Harry Potter seems almost vaguely pornographic, and not even in the way that drag kings go for these days.

Blah blah blah – here’s my 5 cent summary: An old mansion is being haunted by a lesbian who is equal parts sneaky and sad. <SPOILER ALERT>At the end, it turns out that she is not evil, she just has to repent for the sins of her many cats (ie resurrecting birds they killed  – get it? The order of the Phoenix!) before St. Gertrude Stein lets her into gay heaven. </SPOILER ALERT>

Secret Messages: There are three doors in front of the sneaky lesbian. Three = trinity. Clearly, it’s some kind of reference to the Bible. And that Phoenix part totally must be some sort of reference to Jesus. Plus there’s that lightning bolt in the ‘P’ of ‘Potter’. Everyone knows lightning bolts = God. I bet the Christians will eat this shit up.

Remaining Burning Questions: Is the sneaky lesbian acting irresponsible around all that fire? I mean she’s all wavy her hands around while wearing loose fitting clothes while being in a rather drafty room. If she is not a ghost, she is totally going to catch herself on fire.

What To Do With This Book: Yes, lesbians are cool. But there’s just something incredibly uncool about this cover. Maybe is the ridiculous fonts. Or all the blue. Or maybe it’s just that weird face that the lesbian is making. Leave it be.

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

January 17th, 2010

First Impression: At first, I thought this book was titled “James Patterson” and was written by Alex Cross. But the big “I” in the middle threw me off.  I mean, what kind of person is called I. Alex Cross? Someone with a really embarrassing first name, I guess.  Like maybe Ickett. Wow, Ickett Alex Cross. No wonder he would go by I. Alex Cross. Because, really I.A. Cross sounds like one of those Bart Simpson prank calls gone wrong. Just imagine:

Moe (the bartender) – “I.A. Cross? Is anyone I.A. Cross?  I said, is any of you guys I.A. Cross? Wait – is this supposed to be a joke? Because I don’t get it. Does any one get it? <speaks into phone> Look you little twerp, just because I never went to Harvard or read a James Patterson book doesn’t mean I’m stupid. If I ever catch you, I’ll shove my own esoteric reference up your…”

Anyhow,  +5 points for having the title appear somewhat more predominantly than the author. But, -5 points for having a lame title.

I’m Assuming It’s About…: “A beloved Cross family member has been murdered.” Fuck you book. If anyone wanted to know what you were about, they would pick you up, turn you over, and read your back. Stop ruining my fun.  And I mean really, is anyone going to take a glance at this book and be like – “Oh shit. Some dude gets murdered in this book. I wonder if at least one person in that book is going to try to figure which other person in the book murdered that dude. Intense to the extreme! I totally need to buy it right now, go home, wrap myself in a Snuggie and read it. Thank God they printed the plot-line on the cover.”?

But really, this cover is pretty boring. And I’m pretty sure Alex Cross isn’t the one who got murdered, so this book is probably boring too.

Secret Messages: Why is the letter “I” as in “I, Alex Cross” so large? Clearly, Alex Cross is a self-centred douche-bag. And why is it written in orange? Probably because Alex Cross is a socialist. And why is James Patterson’s name written in blue? Obviously, James Patterson is suffering from depression.

Remaining Burning Questions:

  1. Who is the person in the doorway? The murderer? Alex Cross? The victim? The ghost of young Marlon Brando?
  2. Who dared to murder the “beloved Cross family member”?

Answers to Remaining Burning Questions:

  1. I don’t care.
  2. I really don’t care. But probably the rich uncle.

What to Do With This Book: Leave it in the bookstore with out even turning it over to read the back. You already know what happens. A beloved dude gets murdered. Original.