Reading List Week 2

 
A week later and my list of read books is not as impressive as I hoped it would be.  I read three books since my last post about my reading habits.  

 

 Infected by Scott Sigler

 The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

 The Mao Game by Joshua Miller

 

 Scott Sigler caught my attention with his free audio books available through Itunes.  Infected is the first book of his triangle trilogy.  These are supposed to be horror/ thriller novels.  Written as a cross between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing the dynamic characters and details of the story push the novel through quick chapters.  

 As a life long Michigander the locations in the book are easy for me to picture.  The references of sports teams and football are lost on me.  I will be looking forward to starting Contagious with the opening scene starting in Grand Rapids.  

 The Polysyllabic Spree is what started this weekly adventure for me.  In the book Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity, chronicles over a year of his life of buying books and what he ready during a month.  Unlike Hornby I have no excuse for not reading at least one book over a week’s time span.  Considering how many books I own there is no excuse there isn’t anything to read.  

 The last book I read this week is The Mao Game.  A graphic attempt at a first novel, the Mao Game follows a teenage boy through his life in a Hollywood family.  Every member from grandmother to grandson has been through some for of sexual abuse and denial was the appropriate response from everyone responsible. The boy is a junky like his mother and grandmother.  Unlike the older women he is addicted to heroin and other drugs since he doesn’t have a doctor to write prescriptions for the opium he wants.  Several scenes go into detail about the sexual abuse he is forced to endure by his father.  During the book grandma is dying.

 I can’t say this was an enjoyable read.  After placing my two stars on http://www.goodreads.com I learn from other reviews that the author was the younger brother of Sabrina the Teenage Witch back in the 90’s.  had I known that this books was some self promomtion about how back his childhood as an actor was I would never have paid the $0.10 it cost me, or the hours I spent reading.  

 Currently I am reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.  It currently has almost four stars so I hope I’m not making the same mistake.  Fifty pages in and so far confusion is the only thing that keeps me going.  A group of women are sent to a remote area to explore but everything about the exploration doesn’t make any sense and nobody has a name.  All of the characters are referred to by their job titles and that is it.  The mission has no clear goal.  This is what bugs me most.  It better have a reason for the journey soon.  

 Attached is a picture of the books I picked up this week.  Some, like Chickenhawk, have repeatedly come up on Goodreads and I can’t turn down a Conan novel that I haven’t read yet.  
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Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.

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Post Apocalyptic Cooking

Lately the types of food that I have been cooking are on the wild side.  Venison, fish, and Cornish hen have been on my dinner plate this last week. The fish have been from the days I spent out at the lake working to fill the freezer.  The venison is from a deer one of my buddies got last fall.  As for the hen, well I bought that.

 The deer I helped track, drag out of the woods, and clean once it was at my buddy’s house.  While he took the back straps for steak and almost everything lese, he let me have the neck roast.  There must have been close to fifteen pounds of neck roast sitting in my freezer. Between turkey, fish, and venison something had to start moving out to make room for the fish I would be catching this summer.  

 I thawed out the venison.  I sliced up some of the thicker strands and cubed it to make a stew.  The larger pieces I trimmed and let it sit in some herbs and spices in the fridge overnight.  Before putting it in the stove for two hours, I packed garlic between the folds.  

 The beans for the stew had to sit in water over night.  A can of spicy cubed tomatoes was added to the stew along with fresh chopped onion and minced garlic.

 When the meals were done the smell of venison filled the house.  I now understood the comment people would make about how it’s gamey.

 My buddy who shot the deer came over and I grabbed a bottle of dandelion wine from the basement.  I don’t know what the alcohol content of dandelion wine is but I have had people compare it to moonshine.  

 In both meals the venison was tender.  My buddy went for seconds and slice some roast, then drizzled the stew on top.  

 Over 90% of the food and drink on the table was either from hunting or grown in the backyard.  If I didn’t have the spicy cubed tomatoes the meal wouldn’t have been a loss.  

 The neck roast by it’s self was enough to feed four people or more and there was plenty leftover.

 What are some ways I could have made this meal without a stove?  A Dutch oven would have been best for the roast.   Set over a fire it would have had the same result.  As for the stew cooking in the same way over a fire with a pot would have worked.  I’ve never had trouble regulating heat in a fire once the fire is established.  If the fire does become too hot make sure the cooking device can be raised or lowered above the fire to the desired temperature.

Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.

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Nightcrawler

Movie review

By: Matthew Gilman

 

 I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into with this film.  The previews didn’t both to explain what the plot was and only established that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Character, Lou Bloom, is crazy.  

 The movie opens up with Lou Bloom, a desperate yet motivated young man who is looking for what he wants to do with his life. We meet him while he is stealing anything he can sell to make rent.  Later we find out he is self educated and over time he has embraced the worst aspects of capitalism in America.  

 Witnessing a car accident Lou discovers that people can make money filming horrible stuff happening to everyday people. Working as a freelance cameraman Lou sets out to start his own company filming any news event that comes his way.  Along the way he commits attempted murder against his competitors, sets up the police putting them in a horrible situation only to film it for the news, and blackmails/ rapes the news producer he works with.  

 Some people may question if the news producer was raped or not.  Lou uses his position of power to blackmail the producer into a sexual relationship.  We learn later she “agrees” but we also learn that he was not satisfied with it when he complains “next time be more involved instead of just laying there like the last time in your apartment.”  It doesn’t sound like she is a willing participant in the relationship.  

 Lou bloom embraces everything that is wrong with American capitalist society throughout the movie.  He consistently puts the job and money over the welfare of everyone involved.  When he talks he sounds like any of the self help gurus you can find on the internet or any douche bag boss that is fluent in corporate lingo.  Carl Marx would have been proud of this movie since it points out everything he taught as the social repercussions of capitalism.  Everything was up for negotiation.  Everything has a price and there wasn’t anything that wasn’t for sale.  

 Not since Taxidriver have I seen a movie that so embraced the mental conditioning of young men in a society that feeds off of them.  When Deniro goes to the taxi company and they ask him what he wants to work. “I’ll work any shift, anywhere, anytime.” The key phrase that any company wants to hear from a potential employee they can take advantage of.  Just like in Nightcrawler we learn that Deniro’s character is mentally ill and isn’t living in the same reality as everyone else.   In both movies, regardless of the horrible acts and situations that these guys commit or participate in society glorifies them and enables them to keep going with their self destructive pattern.  

 Nightcrawler doesn’t glorify Lou as a hero.  He is definitely defined as an anti hero.  He is not the fun loving anti hero of Cool Hand Luke or Rebel Without a Cause.  Lou is the anti hero that throws the mentality of the good go getter that corporations encourage for the greater good of profits.  Lou is by definition the Amway salesman on crack.  

Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.

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Pacquiao/ Mayweather, a fight that didn’t happen

Pacquiao/ Mayweather, a fight that didn’t happen

By: Matthew Gilman

 

 A day after the big fight of the century, or so I’m told, the entire thing ended up on Facebook for free. I can’t complain. My favorite bar could not afford to play it and I wasn’t about to pay to watch it. I had already heard who won but what puzzled me was how it could have happened.  

 It’s no surprise I’m not a fan of Mayweather, a wife beating bitch, I can’t support him in any moral/ good sense.  His fighting style is a bad rip off of Mohammed Ali and I can only hope that one day he also writes illegible signatures and stutters while talking.  I came into the fight to see what really happened.  

 To start off the bad thing about American boxing is that they count the first three rounds.  For most boxers the first three rounds is warming up and figuring out how to fight their opponent.  Except for Mike Tyson this was how boxing has always worked. Even in this fight the first three round went in the favor of the favorite asshat who stood to make the most money.  This was the same guy that ran the whole time and threw jabs as he ran like a bitch, Mayweather.   As a former boxer I can explain the two things that Jabs are useful for, measuring distance and setting up a counter offensive.  In every instance a jab was thrown this was not the case. The idea that a jab is a countable power punch is complete bullshit.  Mayweather had no offensive and didn’t take control or lead the fight at all.

 The entire time the fight was being played, the narrators were rooting for Mayweather from the beginning.  Regardless if their argument made sense. In some cases they were praising Mayweather while Pacquiao was landing a straight left to his face and never mentioning it.  In the third round Manny lands a right punch stunning Mayweather and it’s never mentioned by the host.

 Round seven saw the first offense by Floyd only to be glossed over by Manny’s offense at the end of the round that sent Floyd packing.  Round eight saw Floyd hitting below the belt, because he is a bitch, and it was never counted against him.  

 After round eight I saw a lot of running like a high school cross country team and head locks.  If Mayweather wanted to fight in MMA I’m sure they would let him in. there are plenty of guys in the UFC with no talent that are offered championship fights and no record to justify it.  If Floyd wants to grapple there is place for him. In the ring with Manny is not that place.  

 In the end, Manny was robbed, the fight should have been longer.  Over all it was no different from any amateur you could watch on some shitty version of ESPN.  The only exception here was that the two people fighting should have had their fight five years ago except Floyd was being a bitch about it for so long.

 The over all view of the fight was… Manny was on the offensive and Floyd ran… the entire time. Manny landed the more devastating blows… Floyd threw some jabs.  Seriously that was it, Floyd threw some jabs.  Who gives a shit?

 Biggest fight in the century? Call me when Floyd pulls his head out of his ass and shows up for the fight.  Until then I wouldn’t pay the son of a bitch since I saw one person that showed up to the fight and it wasn’t Floyd.

Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.

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