…we can check back in January 2017 and see how this all shook out.
My Faithful Readers, it’s time for the annual tradition (we’re in year seven now, so this is TOTES a tradition), the unveiling of my yearly reading list!!
My last two reading recaps have been, um, less-than-stellar. In both 2013 and 2014, my reading fell off a cliff. I was hopeful that I could right the ship a bit in 2015 and I did, although not quite the way I’d intended.
While I did increase my total number of books read back up to 13, all of my reading came in three big chunks rather than throughout the year with any sort of consistency.
I read the first three books during flights to and from Paris. After that, I didn’t read anything until September when I plowed through six books in a span of three weeks. I then didn’t read a lick until thumbing my way through Stephen King’s On Writing for the 10,000th time on flights to and from Atlanta in October. Once again, I went dormant until I plowed through the final four books in December, most of that reading done while camped out without a working computer in the Midwest during Christmas vacation.
I’m off to a much better start in 2016, thanks in large part to the aforementioned “non-functioning computer” situation, as I’ve already got two and a half books under my belt less than a week into the new year!
Despite this early progress, I’m keeping my expectations within reason and setting my goal for 2016 at 12 books. That comes out to one a month and, based on 2015, should be doable even if I totally space on reading for months on end.
Anyway, enough rambling…Without any further ado, here are the 13 books I read in 2015:
Roadwork by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
The Running Man by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
Paris vs New York by Vahram Muratyan
The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling by David Shoemaker
Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It by Matthew Berry
Kill Your Boss by Shane Kuhn
Winning Fantasy Baseball: Secret Strategies of a Nine-Time National Champion by Larry Schechter
Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI and a Devil’s Deal by Dick Lehr
Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside White Bulger’s Irish Mob by Kevin Weeks
On Writing by Stephen King
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
The Martian by Andy Weir
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
So there you have it: a bunch of Stephen King novels, a brief Whitey Bulger infatuation, some fantasy baseball reads, and a hot book on the best-seller list.
If you’re interested in following my reading progress all year long (and come on, who isn’t?), you can add me as a friend or buddy or amigo or whatever the heck it is over at Goodreads.com.
Hit me up in the comments to let me know what you read last year. It doesn’t have to be your whole list if you’re not up for sharing the whole shebang. You can just tell me your favorite or least favorite book you read last year. You can recommend a good book or series for me to try out in 2016. You can tell me why you think reading is part of the “liberal agenda” and you won’t let your kids touch a damn book. You can really pretty much hit me with anything you’ve got.
Until next year, happy reading.
If you’ve ever had to sit beside me for any stretch of time longer than about 30 seconds, you’re well-aware of the fact that I am a jittery fella.
No matter what the situation – in a meeting, on a bus, eating in a bar, waiting in line, giving a presentation, playing softball, etc. – my leg (or in some cases, both legs) is generally bouncing around like crazy.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: A) that would probably drive you f’n nuts and B) I might have a legit problem. Well, I refuse to give into the “restless legs syndrome” hype, mostly because that sounds like a fake disorder concocted to sell me real drugs just because other people get annoyed by my bouncing legs.
You see, I’ve got no problem with my jittery legs. In fact, I actually find the bouncing to be quite soothing.
On the other hand, people who are not me generally do have a problem with my jittery legs as they find them to be the exact opposite of soothing.
Luckily, it turns out that I’m going to have the last laugh over all of those people who are constantly telling me to stop fidgeting and sit still. How’s that you ask? Well, let me tell you, My Faithful Reader.
I’m going to have the last laugh, because thanks to this quaint little thing the kids are calling “science,” I’ve learned that my jittery legs are my ticket to immortality…more or less.
Or at least that’s what I’m taking away from this article The Guardian:
But a new study of more than 12,000 UK women suggests that those who claimed to fidget the most were apparently protected against the ravages of being seated. The women who sat still for hours on end were more likely to have died over the course of the study than those whose limbs tapped, wobbled and gently vibrated.
“Those of us who are more fidgety seem to have better long term health outcomes,” said Janet Cade, professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Leeds.
The findings suggest that work colleagues who are constantly tapping their feet might be encouraged to carry on rather than urged to stop, and that teachers might want to rethink their advice to similarly lively school children.
“It might be a good thing to fidget. I don’t think we are going to train people to fidget for health reasons, but it’s interesting that these small, active movements could be beneficial,” said Cade.
That’s right, y’all…jittery legs are totally going to be the hot new health craze.
It also means that my previous fears about getting a fat ass and dying due to my desk job are basically unfounded hogwash.
So there you have it. I’m immortal and all y’all who have hounded me about my jittery legs over the years already have one non-bouncing foot in the grave.
Boom…you’ve been science’d.
*standing in front of me like a majestic tiger*
Honey: GetUp!GetUp!GetUp! FEED ME! I’m starving to death!!
Me: No…it’s too early. Go back to sleep.
. . .
*puts paw in my mouth*
Honey: Stop snoring, bro! I’m trying to get some shut-eye.
. . .
*curled up next to my face*
Honey: Purrrrrrrrrr. Stay here and keep petting me.
Me: Sorry, dudette…I gotta get up and get ready for work.
. . .
*out cold on her pillow*
Me: Bye Honey. Have a great day.
*wakes up and bites me*
In last year’s recap, I said that it was my worst-year since I’d started tracking my yearly reading as a way of incentivizing myself to read more.
As it turns out, I was a year too early on that decree.
I thought my nine books were pretty paltry last year, this year I only finished eight books. One of those books was about 30 pages from completion when the calendar rolled over to 2014 and one of them is a book I’ve read about 30,000 times already.
Much like last year, I read bits and pieces of a number of management books, but I rarely finish them. They’re like cookbooks, you flip around for what you need, read it, and move on until you have to come back somewhere down the road. Unfortunately, none of those bits and pieces count as – you know – actually reading a book.
Needless to say, 2014 was not my best year.
If you recall from last year’s post – and I’m sure you do – I’d set a goal of a book-a-month and was hoping to finish 12 by year’s end. Clearly, I whiffed in a big way.
I have a hard time imagining a world where I magically find more time for reading in 2015, so I’m going to set the bar very, very, very low and simply aim to match my 2014 total by reading a meager eight books this year.
If I don’t make it, I’d like y’all to take away my book privileges.
Without any further ado here are the – *sigh* – eight books I read in 2014:
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos by Jonah Keri
Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea by Chris Jericho
The Death of WCW: 10th Anniversary Edition by RD Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez
Gerald’s Game by Stephen King
Revival by Stephen King
So there you have it: two quasi-self-help books, two wrestling books, a baseball book, and three Stephen King novels.
If you’re interested in following my reading progress all year long (and who isn’t?), you can add me as a friend or buddy or amigo or whatever the heck it is over at Goodreads.com.
Hit me up in the comments to let me know what you read last year. It doesn’t have to be your whole list if you’re not up for sharing the whole shebang. You can just tell me your favorite or least favorite book you read last year. You can recommend a good book or series for me to try out in 2015. You can tell me why you think reading is part of the “liberal agenda” and you won’t let your kids touch a damn book. You can really pretty much hit me with anything you’ve got.
Until next year, happy reading.
Earlier this week the fine folks at Gawker Media published a top ten ranking of Thanksgiving side dishes.
Unfortunately, their ranking was erroneous on a number of counts and could easily be used to misinform and sway the uneducated masses about what they should and should not be prioritizing with their limited plate space this Thanksgiving.
Luckily, I’m here to fix things with the most scientifically-accurate, researched-based, 100% factual ranking of Thanksgiving side dishes you’ll find anywhere on the internet.
There’s limited time to start plotting your Thanksgiving game plan, so let’s get right into things.
01. Stuffing (Cooked Outside of the Turkey)
The reigning king and undisputed champion of the side dish game. It is imperative, however, that you get the stuff cooked outside of the bird. Beyond that, I’m not picky. Stove Top is great. Homemade is great. Stuffing as a concept is simply f’n great. That having been said, if you cook your stuffing inside the Turkey you’re not only proving that you’re a big fan of food-borne illnesses, but also soggy-ass stuffing. Just dip a loaf of Wonder Bread in some piping hot turkey broth if that’s your jam and then everyone else can avoid wasting their time and energy on your disgusting in-the-bird mess.
02. Mashed Potatoes
I couldn’t give mashed potatoes the top spot because they’re so unpredictable. What kind of mashed potatoes are you going to plop down on your plate: Lumpy? Creamy? Buttery? Dry? Garlic? No Garlic? Chives? No Chives? There are too many options. It’s too easy for them to be delivered to you in a manner that is not to your liking. What then? Seriously, if your potatoes aren’t the right kind, the whole day is pretty much shot. If you give me lumpy, chive-ridden mashed potatoes, I’d burn your f’n house down. True fact. I won’t even think twice. I’ll set it ablaze and walk out the door with your pan of stuffing. This is why mashed potatoes cannot occupy the top spot, they incite riot and tear families apart. You can’t hold down the top spot with that kind of liability attached to your name.
03. Green Bean Casserole
This is pretty much the only Thanksgiving side dish that I can make without burning down the kitchen or potentially poisoning my loved ones. It’s also one of the top five tastiest things on the planet. The key is to triple the recommended number of French fried onions. (Pro Tip: When preparing green bean casserole, buy an extra container of French fried onions to devour while you’re assembling this messy beast…you’ll be glad you did.)
13. Bad Blood
12. Welcome To New York
10. I Know Places
09. This Love
08. Wildest Dreams
07. Out Of The Woods
06. I Wish You Would
05. Blank Space
04. All You Had To Do Was Stay
03. How You Get the Girl
01. Shake It Off
I suck at public transportation.
It seems that my years living in Cambridge when my “commute” was all of a ten minute shuffle from door-to-door have finally caught up with me.
After years of not giving a rat’s ass about bus schedules…I’m now that guy who gets stuck in traffic on the bus for an hour, or misses the bus altogether, or watches empty buses fly right on by while he stands at the bus stop helplessly trying to flag them down.
Long story short: I’ve got bad bus luck.
As a result of my bad bus luck, I’ve reached a point where I no longer worry about how dumb and dorky I look trying to run down a bus.
When we first moved out of Cambridge, I refused to chase a bus. I was too proud. I’d been spoiled for too long and refused to let the bus have that kind of power over me.
Roughly three months and 10,000 missed buses later, I got over that feeling and turned into just another in the sad, huddled mass of commuters that will frantically check their MBTA app wondering where the bus is every 30 seconds.
I became one of those folks who will sprint for three blocks and end up pounding on the side of a bus as it’s pulling away from a stop, completely unfazed by my pathetic pleas to “open the door, please…please open the door!!”
All of that having been said, when there’s an opportunity to catch a bus, I rarely let it go. This is especially true at the Harvard bus terminal.
You see, My Faithful Readers, that’s because the Harvard bus terminal is some sort of black magic-laden pit of despair where buses have always juuuuuuuuust pulled out of the station when you walk in and they frequently disappear from the tracking app (and physical existence) mere seconds before their projected arrival, never to be seen again.
More specifically, it’s the freakin’ Bermuda Triangle for the 71 bus (aka: my method of transport between my home and Harvard).
As such, when I got off the train at Harvard yesterday and peered through the window separating the train turnstiles and the bus terminal, I saw the 71 sitting there, almost taunting me, and I knew that I’d have to run if I wanted to catch it.
I shuffled through a dense crowd of people, all of whom had seemingly forgotten how to move forward at precisely the same time, and I lumbered down the stairs into the bus terminal, weaving through more statue-like commuters.
I realized there was only one way I was going to make it before the bus took off and I threw caution (and many posted MBTA rules) to the wind.
I slipped past a small blockade of fellow commuters and I ran to catch the bus in the bus lane. This allowed me to avoid the large crowd of peeps waiting for other, obviously-less-important buses.
As my feet hit the pavement and I started to pick up some speed, I noticed that there was already a dude running in the bus lane with the exact same game plan.
Naturally, I took this as a challenge.
I did what any strapping young man (read: out of shape 30-year-old dude) would do. I turned up the volume on my iPod (Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”…obvi) and picked up my pace to show this chump who was boss of this bus lane.
Seconds later, I’d caught up to this dude.
A few steps later and we were in a footrace.
It only lasted mere seconds, just long enough for us to make eye contact. The kind of eye contact that says, “sorry bro…this bus is mine.”
And with that, I blew past him and jumped onto the bus just before they closed up the doors. I then proceeded to plop down in the back seat and fight the urge to vomit and/or simply die from physical exertion.
The moral of the story? Basically, I’m Willie Mays Hayes.
I’ve got roughly eight hours until Grace and I embark on a mini-vacation (read: long weekend). This is our first “real” vacation of any sort in quite some time, so we’re pretty pumped. Needless to say, my attempts at productivity are going to be minimal at best today.
With that in mind, here’s an interaction I had with a fella on the desk this morning.
This dude walks in and hands me a sheet of paper with half of a book title and a call number.
Yes Man: “I want this book…”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay, do you know if it’s supposed to be on course reserves or in the stacks?”
Yes Man: “Yes.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Um…yes, course reserves or yes the stacks?”
Yes Man: “Yes, the book…”
Cap’n Charisma: “. . .”
Yes Man: “. . .”
Cap’n Charisma: “…how about I look it up.”
Yes Man: “No, it’s here. I saw it online.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay…but I need to know if it’s in course reserves or the stacks.”
Yes Man: “Yes…it is.”
Cap’n Charisma: *SIGH* “…I’m just going to look it up.”
Yes Man: “Fine, but it’s here.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay, I get that…but if we don’t know where it is that doesn’t help matters any, so I’ll look it up.”
**I look it up and the system says it’s in the stacks. I rely this information to the patron.**
Yes Man: “I told you it was here.”
Cap’n Charisma: “…yep, yep you did.”
Yes Man: “Now can I have it?”
Cap’n Charisma: “You’ll need to go upstairs and get it, because it’s up in the stacks. It’s up on the seventh floor. You can take the stairs or there is an elevator about halfway around the floor.”
Yes Man: “So I need to get it myself?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yes.”
**Five minutes pass and then the patron returns without the book.**
Yes Man: “So I need to go upstairs and get it myself?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yes.”
Yes Man: “Ugh…”
**The patron has now been gone for nearly half an hour.**
…at what point do I send in a search team to find this dude?!
Is it safe to assume he’s just hanging out near the elevator waiting for the library butler to fetch his books?!
Is it okay to just mentally checkout and assume he’ll figure it out himself?
Do I even care?
Is it 5pm yet?
Honestly, I thought I could end the post with just the first sentence, but in the interest of not being the laziest blogger of all-time, I’ll add some additional context. Not that it’s necessary, I mean, there’s a freakin’ ice cream truck for sale!!
This sucker looks like an insta-buy if ever there was one.
I mean for realsies, not only is it an ice cream truck – which, once again, is really the only selling point required – but it’s also an ice cream truck that’s in top-notch, ready-to-roll, kick-the-tires-and-light-the-fires condition.
Despite the fact that this majestic beauty is from 1990, it has received a lot of recent upgrades. What kinds of upgrades you ask? Well by-golly, let me tell you. It got a new engine, a new sink, a new freezer, and a new water heater in 2012.
It’s practically a brand-new ice cream truck, y’all.
With all those upgrades and improvements this is basically the “Pimp My Ride” of ice cream trucks.
True fact: if someone were to put me on “Pimp My Ride”…my lone request would be that my ride was, in fact, pimped it into a freakin’ ice cream truck (or the Batmobile). So this is basically a dream come true.
Plus, and this is the real kicker, they’re only asking $18,500 for this beauty.
They’re practically giving it away!!
So if you forgot to get me a birthday present (and you know you did) or you want to get me and Grace an early – and practical – wedding gift, this is your chance.
Hustle over to Craigslist and buy this sucker before someone else beats you (and, in turn, me) to it!
(hat tip to friend of the blog, Andrew Swayze for alerting me to this fantastic deal)
- Buy Me Things
- Celebrity Crushes
- Cheeseburger Chronicles 2010
- Commuter Life
- Dear Diary
- Deep Thoughts
- End of an Era
- Energy Drinks
- F'n Birds
- Fantasy Baseball
- Fantasy Football
- Flag Football
- Guest Blogger
- Health and Fitness
- Heidi Watney
- Higher Education
- Hit By Car
- Hotties of the Fortnight
- In the Name of Science
- Irrational Fears
- Jennifer Aniston
- Katy Perry
- Keanu Motherf'n Reeves
- Lessons from the Gym
- Library Life
- Midwest Misadventures
- Moments with Grace
- Musical Stylings
- My Fleeting Youth
- Of Midgets; Ghosts and/or Ninjas
- Paleontology 101
- People I May Heinously Murder
- People with More Money Than Me
- Photo Op
- Praise Jebus
- Pretty People
- Public Service Announcement
- Pudding Social
- Rants and Raves
- Reeking of Awesomeness
- Road Trip
- Shopping Spree
- Simple Pleasures
- Taylor Swift
- The Batman
- The Boys
- The Mailbag
- Things at Which I Suck
- Things I Ponder
- Violating the Geneva Convention
- Viral Video
- Waking the Dead
- Wasting Time
- Yahoo Answers
- Zooey Deschanel