Ready Player One

I just finished the audiobook of Ready Player One… and it was awesome.

I almost couldn’t believe that I was nerding out so much over a story of someone playing a video game, I was so into it…, but then I realized that I actually grew up watching one of my brothers play video games, almost on the daily, and I always really liked it, and I loved learning all about his quests and everything within each of the games, and having him tell me about this or that piece…., and then it made sense.

Essentially, this audiobook was a newer version of one of my favorite childhood pastimes of watching my brother – who was very good, by the way – play video games.

I always had so many questions, that my brother would limit how much I could talk, at times… when he hit a difficult part of a game, it was normal for him to tell me that I needed to stop talking or else leave (but he wasn’t mean about it or anything – just honest and straightforward)… of course, I silenced myself, because I totally loved watching how awesome he was at playing the games, and it wasn’t worth being deprived of that opportunity, simply because I had more questions…

To this day, that particular brother is the best video game player I’ve ever seen in person… he’s not the best in the world, of course, but he is darn good… I actually grow not only bored but annoyed when I watch other people play video games, because I can never seem to understand why they are so bad at whatever the game happens to be (at which they comment that the game is difficult, and they are one of the better players of it…, and I just mentally clock them as terrible in comparison to my brother…)…

I mean, I know it isn’t exactly the best quality for my brother to be so highly ranked, but it’s a fun one, nonetheless.

So, anyway, I loved reading the book, and I could hardly stand having to stop, whenever life requires for me to participate fully. πŸ˜›

Also, Wil Wheaton narrates the book, and I find it gloriously hilarious that Wil Wheaton is actually mentioned by name in the book itself… so, Wil Wheaton mentions himself in the third person, in a sense…., just via a famous book that he didn’t write…

Pretty fun, I think… and totally dorky/nerdy, too, of course… that’s pretty much what has me love it so much. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

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Badassery

“Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay’s potato chip.”

Since I finished reading Jaws, I picked a new book from my ‘to-read’ shelf to become my bedtime book.

I wasn’t seeing anything I particularly felt like having right before bed, and I grabbed a small-ish one whose title I couldn’t see… holding it in the light, I read the title of a book I pulled from my brother’s donation pile when he moved to Japan: The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World’s Greatest Human – The Unauthorized Parody, by Ian Spector.

And, somehow, it felt right, so I brought it to my reading spot on my bed and began with the preface.

I was bummed to discover that Chuck Norris, though he originally approved of the idea, ended up disapproving further down the road… however, I think I’ll be able to let that go well enough, and soon enough.

The book is filled with little ‘fun facts’ regarding Chuck Norris, none of which are actual, genuine facts about him, and all of which are made up by likely fans of Chuck Norris and his general awesomeness…

Yes, I love Chuck Norris and his awesomeness, thus the reason for my keeping the book for myself when my brother was having to give it (and most of his possessions) away.

I wasn’t sure how the book would do as my bedtime book, and I wondered about its getting boring, just being single line comments, and not an actual story…, but I figured the single lines would help me to get to sleep sooner on nights when I’m really exhausted, and I just need to get to sleep, so I want something short to read.

And so, I gave it a shot.

After the preface, I read just the first page, so I could have a taste.

The first two facts were okay, but the third and final fact on the first page, the one listed at the top here, – “Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay’s potato chip.” – just sent me into increasing levels of giggles – just what I need in my life right now, good giggles.

And so, this turns out to be exactly the perfect book for me to read right now, especially just before bed each night – I can make sure I get a laugh in every day, doing it this way. πŸ™‚

Yay, Chuck Norris(!) and yay, this book!

Thank you, Chuck and Ian.

Post-a-day 2019

Duhβ€”β€”-nun!

I have found myself thoroughly enjoying my latest hard copy book, Jaws, much to my surprise (although also kind of not to my surprise – it is actually highly acclaimed by reliable sources, and it made one of my favorite films [we can get into the irony of that another time]).

I started reading it two nights before going sailing… and I strongly considered picking another book, due to the timing, but I really wanted to start reading Jaws, and I was determined that reading it would be no different from having seen the title and thought about it already…

And I was right… with both the concern and the thoughts.

It would have been very good for me not to think about sharks right before going out sailing, during which time I, at some point, would want to get into our cloudy, sand-filled water, and I would have had the idea of sharks in my mind just from having seen the book – whether I read it or not was of little consequence, because the damage was already done when I crossed it on my bookshelf.

And so, I struggled to get into the water while out sailing…, but I asked for company and we made it work… I didn’t stay in for long, but I still enjoyed being in the water for a brief bit, and it ended up starting a whole chain of people jumping in and enjoying the water, which was actually quite fun.

Anyway…, I’m liking the book a lot so far.

I love that 1) Peter Benchley has found a way to pursue and share his passion (sharks) with the world through his fiction and non-fiction books, and 2) he has a good humor in the introduction regarding the changes he made for the book to become a film.

And I am thoroughly enjoying the humor and style with which he writes (well, wrote, technically)… I’m actually laughing at terrible situations, because he addresses them so well as to bring out a sense of comic relief… and I, somehow, find it to be quite lovely, in its way.

(And I mean that… I actually laughed aloud at a scene where a body is found, it was so comically written, but incredibly tastefully so.)

I’m hardly more than a couple chapters into it (of around 15), but I highly recommended at least those first two and a half chapters. πŸ™‚

We’ll see how the rest pans out, now, shall we?

P.S. We did have a good time on the boat, at least.

Post-a-day 2019

Education

I feel that one of the most valuable things that school could give a student at the time of the education (that is, while in school) is relevance and immediate applicability.

As we have been reading various books on utopias and dystopias in one of my classes this semester, so much of it all has become relevant in my life within a very short time of its initial introduction.  

The struggle one character has with God in this book, and how she finds change to be inevitable (and, therefore, God), applies to my life the week following my reading of it… I can relate to her struggle immediately, and then the change comes up in conversation and contemplation regarding my relationships with people in my life.

I think teachers, schools, curriculum planners aim to have books students read in school to be relevant to the students’ lives, but they often fall short of the mark… they miss the applicability of the ideas and actions somehow, and only assume that this specific struggle must be applicable to all students of this age… and it often isn’t.

From English class, we need concepts, ideas, brainstormed theories that we can learn to apply to any part of life…

For history class, a historical context would be only an enhancement of our understanding of what’s going on right now, what people are discussing from the news, and why it seems to matter so much… we hardly do more than regurgitate facts, and rarely know much about what they really were like or why it mattered to people who lived it (and therefore why it might matter to us).

I today was learning of a book about a man struggling in Russia, and, as I heard the details, I knew it was around the 1920s…, because of the Russian refugees in season four of “Downton Abbey”… there was a story in which I could invest myself, and ideas to which I could relate and from which I could draw my own ideas and conclusions, and the history just kind of stuck with the affinity for the people in the story…

I interested myself with the French Revolution recently, because I discovered the wonder of the film “The Scarlett Pimpernel”… and I remember details about the revolution because of how they connect with the story of the film and its characters.

The actual history became relevant and immediately applicable for me, because of my investment in the film.

The same is so with my investment in “Downton Abbey”.

How could I possibly relate to the Russian refugees or to the French upper class, when I merely read some statements of facts, names, locations, dates, and a summed-up given political meaning to it all?

I guess that’s why I remember just about nothing from my history classes in school…

Perhaps it everybody needs this kind of education, but everyone certainly could benefit greatly from it, I dare say.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Speedboats and slow thoughts

I might have shared about this already, but I’ll share it again, because it’s on my mind…

I was thinking tonight about this boat thing.

(Well, actually, I was thinking about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and how I’m looking at reading it with a friend, so we can talk about it, but that this time I might do well to make a list of reasons why it’s good that I didn’t live in Pride and Prejudice times.

You see, I usually get lost happily in the story, such that I am sad when I finish it and just return to real life… it only ever takes me a couple or few days to read, because I end up doing little else once I start reading it.

And so, at the end of it all, I am covered with a sort of depressive feeling of my life being inadequate and/or uninteresting and I likely to be anything wonderful compared to the world of which I’d just been dreaming in Jane Austen’s book.

Anyway, so I was thinking about making a list of reasons, right?

I’d thought, ‘Oh, the whole bathing part makes me glad I don’t live there… that’s for sure,’ because I like being clean, and clean didn’t seem to be so precise a thing in those days, and smelly was all too common…

‘But then,’ I thought, ‘I couldn’t have ridden on speed boats or gone water skiing…, though I could have ridden on big boats between countries… like the Titanic!… only not the Titanic, because that was terrible, and, besides, it was much later in time, anyway…’

And that was then I thought of tonight’s topic renewal!)

Sophie Kinsella has a book where the main character has amnesia… when she watches her wedding and honeymoon DVD to help jog her memory, she sees herself beside her husband, who happens to be driving a speedboat.

She is absolutely delighted by the fact that her husband can drive a speedboat(!), and brings it up in her mind somewhat regularly, partly as a reminder that it it worth staying with him, despite the fact that she doesn’t remember him or seem to have a connection with him, and partly just as an adorable and silly reminder of how amazing her life has become (since she can last remember it), because, goodness, a man must be amazing if he can drive a speedboat(!), and it is even more amazing to be married to such a man.

Totally silly, I know, but that in no way changes the fact that I love it every time I think of it.

The main character does such a good job of convincing the reader of her belief in the fact that her husband’s skill is spectacular, that I found myself even thinking how amazing it would be, even dating someone who knows how to drive a speedboat.

‘Wow!’ I would think, ‘What could that be like, knowing, let alone dating or marrying, such a person?’

And this thinking continued for rather some time – even a couple or few years, I dare say – before something absolutely absurd hit me.

Growing up, two of my grandparents lived in a private community of lakes a ways North of Houston.

It would take us about two hours, door to door.

My uncle kept a ski boat there.

And we grew up kneeboarding and water skiing.

The damn broke terribly when I was supposed to start to learn to ski, but I eventually had the opportunity, when the damn and lake were restored.

And so, for the last couple years my grandparents lived there, I was the only child living at home, and so the only one who went to visit with my dad whenever he went up (the other went, too, but nowhere near as often).

My dad, therefore, taught me just about everything needed in terms of caring for and using the boat.

The ski boat… a speedboat…

Meaning, of course, that I not only know my dad as someone who can drive a speedboat, but that…, well,… I know… myself… you see…

Yeah… not too sure how I missed that one… for years.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Not so impossible after all, to find someone who can drive a speedboat. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Lost in the story

Do you ever find yourself so engrossed in, so invested in, so infatuated and obsessed with the fairy tale story that you choose it over your real life, the book or the movie or show instead of living the lovely parts of your own real life?

I think I sometimes grow scared of my life becoming a letdown, such that I cling to something else – another story, that is, and usually a created one – for a while instead, and dream about and long for that life, or something like it, for myself…

I unrealistically throw as much possible time as I can into reading the book further, and reading further into the series, if it is one, changing and informing planing and intended activities just so I can spend more time in the world of the book…

Until, that is, I reach the point that I notice the new infatuation interfering too much with real life – when I typically would be delighted at the prospect of spending the day with my brother, and doing photos and sports, nonetheless, but find myself longing instead to stay home alone to continue this new story in which I have mentally thrown myself.

You see, I don’t want to be like Kathleen Kelly in the first half of “You’ve Got Mail”, where she feels like all of her best life moments have been ones read in books… I want mine to be real, more like Kathleen Kelly at the end of the film…

And so, that point is when I acknowledge fully that my interest is bordering on scary, and that I would do best to look at what is behind it all – Why do I long for this other story so?

Do I want their money or love or friends or lifestyle or passion or any number of other things?

Usually, that is it exactly, and, by my acknowledging that, I can find a way to move forward powerfully within my own life, altering something that helps me in the area I found most lacking and which had drawn me so strongly and painfully to the created story…

Say I love their looks and their love story.

Then, I resolve to have my own love story…, and, seeing as how I was rather bummed the other day at the consideration of my search being at its end, I acknowledge that I perhaps do not want the love of my life to be settled yet… and so would prefer not to have Matthew Crawley become the love of my life after all, but would rather wait for the actual real and perfect man for me (because who wants to live in the age of corsets anyhow?)…

Just as an example… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

My birthday

It’s a special birthday for me this year.

It seems like the few people I really would love to have spend the day with me are all otherwise occupied slash unavailable on my birthday this year.

I would like to shuff this feeling of inadequacy and being unloved…, as well as the feeling of just not bothering to do anything for my birthday at all, since they can’t be part of it….

Perhaps I need just to go ahead and pity myself and have a great big, emotion-releasing cry, and get it all felt and out of my system, and then I can readdress how I want to celebrate my life this year.

It’s funny how, even at the thought of that, a miniature version just happened, and I’ve even started glimpsing ideas of things I’d like to do to celebrate life this year. πŸ™‚

Praise God – He helps me through it all, even and especially if He is the one throwing it at me. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019