Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bennion Strikes Again

Such a cute and fuzzy little cover, innit?

A few summers ago as Ted and I sped across the beautiful fairways of Belmont Country Club, he mentioned a great book that he had read called "Lion of Ireland," the story of Brian Boru, a man who briefly united the warring tribes of the Emerald Isle around the year 1000 AD. "Lion of Ireland" was very well written, and for someone who's a fan of the sword and sorcery style of books, this book was a great read. I tore through it quickly and ordered the sequel, "Pride of Lions," which details the warring that went on following Brian's death.

So, needless to say, after that first recommendation, Bennion had my ear when it came to recommending books. But I was caught more than a little by surprise when I received an IM saying that he knew of a book that I would enjoy. Hoping there would be more raping and pillaging, I eagerly awaited his response. "It's called Watership Down," to which I inquired about the subject matter. When he replied that it was about rabbits, my skepticism meter leaped. TED BENNION, of all people, recommending a book about rabbits?

Ted convinced me, though, to pick up this classic, which I did over Thanksgiving break last year. Although it's truly sad that it took me this long to get through a 500 page book, I finally capped it off last night. And, of course, Bennion was spot on. Don't let the subject matter fool you, this is no children's story. Although it does deal with rabbits and their quest for a new home, it is much more adult in its telling. Although the set-up of the story itself (ie the first 100 pages or so) starts a little slowly, you won't be able to put it down by the end.

In conclusion, anyone who's looking for a fast, interesting read soon would be hard pressed to say no to something like this. It is thoroughly enjoyable, and, if nothing else, will change the way you look at rabbits...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Most Haunted

So I've gotten really interested in this show on the Travel Channel called "Most Haunted." It's on at 9pm on Friday nights and usually there's a later episode on more like 11 or 12 for those on the Eastern. But anyways, these people travel all over the UK and visit these spooky old places and are forced to stay the night in them.

Now, before you get to it, I know that shows like this are extremely easy to 'conjure', pun intended. Derek, the medium (guy on the left in the picture), seems a little gay and talks to the spirits haunting the place they are investigating and sometimes even comes up with real names of people who are connected with the building in its past. Now, I know how easy it would be to just feed him information before the cameras turn on, and that's probably what happens, but it is still an enjoyable show. Derek is very animated, he swears at the spirits sometimes or comforts them in others. The rest of the crew walk around with only nightvision cameras and wait for spooky things to happen, which always do.

The spooky things usually only amount to the sound of shuffling feet, regular footsteps, sudden bumps or temperature drops. Most of the time, I don't even realize them on the initial run-by because they usually sound like run-of-the-mill sounds, but they usually do an instant replay so you can pick it out, and I admit, I'd be pretty freaked out were I there myself.

The place that was featured last night was called the "House of Detention", and was a jail built in the 1800's and used up until the mid-1900's. Derek detected lots of evil spirits there, so negative that he became overwhelmed, started crying, and had to leave the facility.

Now, once again, I repeat that I realize that this show is probably staged, but, much like the Blair Witch Project, is staged with a sense of realism that makes it at least seem possible. They never do anything outlandish like actually show a ghost walking down a hallway (thank goodness, I hate stupid ghost re-enactments).

So, if you're in the mood for a little interesting TV, I would recommend tuning into the Travel Channel every Friday night at 9 Eastern, and don't forget to turn out the lights!

Happy Haunting! Mwahahahahahaha....

Monday, July 11, 2005


Again, not too much new or exciting going on here, but I figured it'd been awhile.

In media-related news, you'll see that I have posted a review of "Appleseed" over on the Movie Blog. Also, Michelle and I are re-visiting the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in its expanded form as we find time, thanks to Mac and his gracious lending. We've seen "Fellowship" and about half of the first disc of special features, so plenty to explore there yet.

I plowed through Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography by David Beckham over the weekend. Pretty amazing that someone only 29 is already publishing his autobiography? Anyways, obviously I was interested in some of the things he had been involved in during his time with Manchester United before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2003, which is when this book was written. I found it particularly fascinating that he went into great detail about his spat with the manager that ultimately led to his change of clubs, since Alex Ferguson (the manager) wouldn't go into it himself. It was also interesting to hear about how he got to dating and marrying Posh Spice (why, they took a trip to Southend of course!). I found the book interesting but you probably wouldn't unless you're into soccer or celebrities.

On the Southend note, my Blue Card and my Passport have finally arrived in the mail, so I am all clear and legal to enter the country come August. I also found out that Southend will be playing a huge match at home against a bigger team the day after my mom and I arrive. Not to worry, as we will be admitted as special guests of the Chairman and provided seats to the undoubtably packed house! My Space Bags also arrived in the mail this week, so hopefully I can fit all of my non-hanging clothes into a few vacuum bags and fit them into a large suitcase.

In other news, school continues to trudge along. This week in computers were are beginning the first stages of developing a website using only HTML. This is actually a new experience for me, so the going is a bit slow, but I will include the link to my page anyways. Feel free to make fun of it, I know it sucks worse than the first site I ever made. But we had to make it as if we were adding a bio page to our employer's existing website, hence the Southend theme.

Finally, in dog news, my parents are continuing to try and house-train their new puppy, with mixed results. She seems to be doing alright during the day, but goes in the house in the evening and overnight. Quite strange. She goes for her first full check-up tomorrow morning. And then Lucy. Well, Michelle found out the hard way that dogs are meat-eaters as Lucy attacked and destroyed a live baby rabbit this afternoon while I was away at class. That's right boys and girls, she said bottom's up and, after several vicious chomps, sent the entire baby bunny down the hatch. Frankly, both of us are still a little concerned about her health after something like that, but farm dogs eat mice and other small animals all the time, right? So far, about 5 hours later, she seems to be fine, and even had enough room left over to eat her dog food.

Well, on that note, I think I'm going to have some fudge now. It's more of the peanut butter chocolate kind that those of us that went to Put-in-Bay know all about...