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Here is a List of the Books I Read in 2015

Here is a list of the books I read in 2015.

Armstrong, Karen—Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time (2006)

Barrett, Deirdre—The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, And Athletes Use Dreams For Creative Problem-Solving—And How You Can Too (2001)

Bonnett, Alastair—Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies (2014)

Bowden, Mark—Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw (2001)

Bradbury, Ray—The Illustrated Man (1951)

Bryson, Bill—Notes From a Small Island (1995)

Bulgakov, Mikhail—The Master and Margarita (written from 1928-40, not published until 1967)

Chamovitz, Daniel—What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide To The Senses (2012)

Christie, Agatha—And Then There Were None (1939)

Cooper, Douglas—The Cubist Epoch (1970)

Danielewski, Mark Z.—House of Leaves (2000)

Didion, Joan—Play It As It Lays (1970)

Fernandez, Oscar—Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (2014)

Funke, Cornelia—Inkheart (2003)

Gaiman, Neil—The Graveyard Book (2008)

Heath, Chip and Dan—Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (2010)

Heinlein, Robert A.—The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)

Kaku, Michio—Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension (1994)

Moore, Alan, and Lloyd, David—V For Vendetta (1988)

Ohle, David—Motorman (1972)

Percy, Walker—Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book (1983)

Powers, Tim—On Stranger Tides (1988)

Pratchett, Terry—Thud! (2005)

Pynchon, Thomas—Inherent Vice (2009)

Stoker, Bram—Dracula (1897)

VanderMeer, Jeff—Annihilation (2014), Authority (2014), Acceptance (2014)

Walker, Barbara G.—The Secrets of the Tarot: Origins, History, and Symbolism (1994)

Watts, Peter—Echopraxia (2014)

Educational Wednesday, Part Three

November 18, 2015 2 comments

I was watching a PBS documentary where a guy in a tobacco field was talking about the ingredients of dirt.

That’s not what we are here to learn today, though.

A different part of the same documentary dropped the knowledge that camels originated in North America, not the Middle East.

Good night.

 

 

 

Educational Wednesday, Part Ketto (That’s Hungarian For Two)—The Soothsaying Winnebago Man

November 11, 2015 2 comments

I remember back in 6th or 7th grade, some guy in a camper came to our school and talked to us about what we wanted to be when we grew up. After his spiel in front of the class, he took each of us out to that camper for a ‘one-on-one,’ without any later reports of molestation, which is pretty amazing. That is not the lesson here, though.

Inside, he had some sort of weird, primitive camper internet that gave printouts of information on the careers that we said we were interested in. I thought the whole thing was stupid, so I told him I wanted to be a garbageman, which I ironically sort of was a few years ago.

So, was this some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, or did that camperman overlook my lack of enthusiasm for choosing a career at age thirteen because he saw something in me, some raw, unshaped gunk that he truly believed would make a good garbageman?

I think the true lesson here is this: career counselors that live in campers know more about you than you think.

Educational Wednesday

Did you know that rabbits cannot vomit due to their very muscular cardiac sphincters? Now you do. The same goes for chinchillas, and rodents in general. Horses also have the same thing going on.

This has been Educational Wednesday.

The Polar Vortex Will Turn My Nephew Into A 35-Year-Old First Grader

As the polar vortex returns to Minnesota, schools are again shutting down for the chill. In order to make kids less dumb, those days have to be made up somewhere, generally at the end of the academic year. However, if we look to Newtonian thought, we can expect trouble in June as well, for the third law of motion tells us that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

Come summer, we can expect the complete opposite of the polar vortex—a sort of tropical steamer, as it were. When the time comes to make up the days being missed now, it will simply be too hot for the youth to go to school. By the time the heat blast gives way, it will be well past the solstice.

Why not make up the days then, you may be pondering. I come from a lineage of educators, most notably my Mother. Now, there are three things that teachers love about the job—winter break, spring break, and summer break. Especially summer break. If teachers are expected to continue working into July, we can expect nothing less than chaos.

For instance, every June, it is tradition for my Mother to peel out of the school parking lot, stop at the liquor store, then disappear down into the utility shed until Labor Day. As far as I know, she isn’t even aware of the existence of the time we call ‘July,’ and August lives in her brain as a sort of hypnopompic hallucination, with the opening of September being the first solid grasp of reality after a three month soak in rum and Pepsi.

So now the make-up days have been pushed into what would be the new school year. Mass confusion can be expected here, as many of the students won’t realize that they are still in the grade from the previous year for the first week or so of the new year. By the time all that gets smoothed out, we’re looking at the September holidays—Talk Like A Pirate Day, Mexican Independence Day, Rosh Hashanah, Oktoberfest. Then October harvest arrives, when all the children head to the fields to shuck corn and shave animals. In November, it will be deemed too ‘nice’ out for the kids to be cooped up in school, due to the looming polar vortex of next winter. Throw in all the cancelled days for that, and we’re basically up to January 23rd of 2015, when the whole cycle repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats.

Police Raid Government Building, Classify It As A “Veritable Cesspool Of Pedophiles”

November 11, 2013 2 comments

SOMEWHERE NEAR YOU—A recent police raid uncovered the unthinkable: right here, in a neighborhood near you, maybe even in your backyard, a mass gathering of pedophiles regularly holds congress in a government-funded building. The meetings take place every weekday, excluding federal holidays, and for reasons unknown, a long stretch during the summer months, when only the dullest of the perverts seem to hang around the facility.

“At first, it seemed like your basic public meeting place, you know, rooms with chairs all aimed at a focal point, writing tools, papers,” said an officer who wished to remain anonymous. “Then, we looked at what was on those papers. One, in very poor, pervy handwriting, read ‘Jenny Smith is hot.’ Well, we looked into it, and dug up some info on this Jenny Smith character. Turns out she’s only 14. Upon further investigation, we found a Trapper Keeper that belonged to Jenny—she herself was in possession of a note saying ‘I want to make out with Zack Anderson.’ So then, we ran a background check on Zack Anderson. Turns out he’s only thirteen, and a search of his personal notes hinted that he is attracted to a fifteen year-old. Every one of these sickos we looked into seemed to be in love with someone ranging from twelve to sixteen years old. And the most disturbing part is, none of them put any effort into hiding it. I think I’m going to be sick, excuse me.”

Currently, the investigation has covered approximately a third of the complex. The officer went on: “It appears the money of taxpayers has been used to install a playground, yes a playground, right there outside the building. What government building would require a jungle gym? One that’s trying to attract kids, is what. Well guess what—it also attracted the attention of the police.”

Authorities believe that the playground equipment is part of a bizarre pansexual ritual that is only the beginning of what could be corruption on multiple levels of government.

“This could go as high as city hall,” the officer continued. “Or even higher. I don’t know yet. I just don’t know. Only time will tell how deep and wide the perverse corruption has spread, and God help us all if it has spilled over outside these walls. If these degenerates are willing to behave like this on government property, I can only imagine what they do to each other in the privacy of their homes, or probably their parents’ homes, because people this sick should not be allowed to live on their own.”

As of press time, a bunch of junior high and middle school kids got the day off while police rifled through their stuff.

You Can Spend Your Entire Life Building Bridges…….

Years back, when I was working in sustenance delivery, my manager got a thoughtful look in his eye and told me this:

“You know, you can spend your entire life building bridges. But, during that time, you suck one cock, just one, and everybody remembers you as a cocksucker, not a bridge builder.”

At the time, I wondered why he had singled me out as the keeper of his deep, dark secret.

Until today, I didn’t realize that his words transcended sexual experimentation.

Two years ago at a friend’s cabin, I bought a 36 pack of beer for only $12. Just one 36 pack. And the beer, Boxer Lager, has a crown on every can. A crown! What symbol has humanity produced that surpasses the crown as a mark of respect and honor? Yet the insults rained down on me all weekend, even as I defended the fiscal responsibility of my choice. I had spent less money and gotten more alcohol than anyone at that cabin. America is supposed to reward those who have more money and more things than people with less money and fewer things.

Flash forward, to now: These days, I buy better beer. And even if I continue to do so for the rest of my life, I’ll still get calls like this one, which came in just this morning: “Hey, I saw a guy walking down the street with a 36 pack of Boxer, reminded me of you.”

I’ll always be remembered as the guy who made a wise, thoughtful decision to save money, and get more for the little money that was spent, even if that meant drinking something that tasted like it leaked out of a homeless man with bad kidneys.

 

 

 

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