Book Review: Daddy Cool / The Catcher in the Rye

Today I will be starting an all new segment- The Book Review. What? But there’s so many blogs that do that already! I know. But this is a little different. I will be comparing a classic book of literature with it’s lesser known twin. That way when someone brings up “said classic”, then you will have new fodder for your intellectual fire. See? I’m always helping.

Today’s Books

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951) – The classic novel, that follows Holden Caulfield and his adventures after he is kicked out of prep school. Shannigans ensue.  (Yes, I’m just now reading this for the first time. Relax. You have to realize, that if something didn’t involve Pantera in high school, it wasn’t a “priority.” I have since changed my ways.)

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2. Daddy Cool by Donald Goines (1974) – This pulp classic is about an aging hitman named Daddy Cool, who must find his missing teenage daughter after she falls in love with a pimp. Lots of knife throwing follows.

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Analysis

The similarities between these two books are uncanny. How they have not been compared before is beyond me. First off, both are told in first a person narritive by the protagonists, while dealing with complex issues of identity and connection. Daddy Cool struggles with his role as a “father” but also as a “vicious killer”. How can he be both? He longs for the connection that him and his daughter once had, when she was just his little girl, and not running away with sex traffickers.

Holden on the other hand, also has no idea who he is, or what he’s supposed to become. He hates school, and feels like a failure. He longs for someone to understand him. Any attempts he makes at real relationships are met with complete failure. He is inevitably alone, with only his thoughts to keep him company.

Oh, and not to mention both deal with the harsh realities of pimps and prostitutes. Daddy Cool having his daughter turned out, and Holden getting beating and robbed by one. Now I’m not a teacher. But if I was, I would definitely make Daddy Cool mandatory reading along with The Catcher in the Rye. If you have not read either of these gems, go out and do so. Now!

5 Ways To Keep The Passion Alive

My girlfriend is an attractive lawyer. I am, well… Neither of those things. I’m dating way above my level. So in order to keep “bringing the thunder”, I have developed some sure fire tips to keep the romance alive.

1.  Give lots of gifts – Who doesn’t like gifts? No one! Plus it’s a great way to show that special person you care. That’s why I constantly give her back massage coupons and jewelry made of foil. Massages are relaxing, and foil is better than real jewelry because if she doesn’t like it, I can mold her something new. It’s like she has her very own blacksmith!

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2.  Learn useful skills – Whether it’s doing dishes, setting the DVR, or making fresh arrowheads. Always do your part around the house. Nobody likes a lazy person. That is unless you’re a very attractive lazy person. But even then you just get a little more time than the rest of us.

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3.  Exhibit your talents – The key is to only show off your talents, while effectivley hiding your weaknesses. For example: One time we were at the park, and a frisbee flew in our direction. I blocked it with my arm, shielding her gorgeous face. To the naked eye I looked invunerable. She now knows I will always be there to protect her. In reality, my arm hurt for like a half an hour. Like it got slapped. Hard. But that’s all in the name of love.

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4.  Have interesting hobbies you can share – The amount of interesting hobbies I have are staggering. Let me just list off a few here: seed collecting, waltzing, archaeology, magic, military history, boat design, paper mache sculpture, and the study of meteorites are just some of many. You see what I’m getting at here? She can pick one, or all of them. There’s so many fun possibilities there, she’ll never get bored.

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5.  Be spontaneous – I like to hide all of our food, and then surprise her with a fully cooked gourmet meal. She goes from expecting nothing to duck l’orange (yes, I’m that fancy). Keeping your relationship fresh with surprises is essential. So switch it up from time to time. Good luck!

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My Old Stand Up Notebook

Recently I was going through a box of junk, and came across one of my old stand up notebooks. It was here I would record my “genius” bits to try out on stage. I flipped through it cringing and smiling at the same time. Which I guess is a good analogy of how stand up was in general. It can be awkward, humiliating, and empowering all at once.

Everytime I went up, I would bring a mini digital recorder. Then I would go home later and listen to it. I would write down what worked and what didn’t. Soon my notebook became a place not only to write bits, but also sort of a journal too. Here let me share some exerpts-

  • When using the urinal tonight, a guy kicked the bathroom door open and yelled “This is where the dicks hang out!” At first I was startled, and kind of angry. But then again, he did have a point.
  • A prop comic went up today. His stage name was Mario Jazzberry. Not very good at comedy. But very good at naming.
  • Big weird bald guy was standing by me and not saying anything, carrying a camera, and breathing heavy. He leaned over to me and whispered, “Hey did you go yet?” I told him no, and he replied, “Good.” I didn’t want to go up anymore.
  • Played Phil Collins “Invisible Touch” on a boom box before my set, to pump up the crowd. It shows potential, but not there yet.
  • Fellow open miker got heckled by an Elvis impersonator, who really looked like Neil Young. When this was brought to his attention on stage he and his family threatened the comedian with violence.
  • Tied for third place in the competition with a guy named “Crazy Larry.” Again. Will be having my own eating contest with myself tonight. That I will win.

I also got wasted before my first real show, and made call backs to jokes I never told. But that is a much longer story, and you get the basic idea of what my journal was like.

I’m glad I did stand up, and I have some good memories. But I was never fully committed. If you want to do stand up, you need to jump in and be there for the long haul. You have to really love it, to pursue it. Because it can be soul sucking and miserable. I figured I would always sort of learn to enjoy it like church or after school sports, but that never really happened. I only did it for two years during college, where I spent a majority of my time driving from open mic to open mic. Occasionally I got onto a booked show, that people actually had to pay to see. And I owe my friends a lot for always being so supportive and coming to them. Two drink mininums plus admission prices can be expensive, especially when you’re a broke college student.

Eventually I spent more time writing then I did preforming, and I found I enjoyed it more. I can’t say I miss almost barfing before a set, or waiting until midnight to go up on stage. But there’s nothing like crafting a joke from scratch, and seeing a whole room laugh at it. When you’re up there, you get instant feedback. You always know exactly where you stand. You’re either funny or your not. And that I’m glad I got to experience. Even if it was for just a little while.

How To Wrestle A Bear (And Win)

My family comes from a long line of bear wrestlers. I’d like to think after so many generations, that we know our way around a bear. I mean the biggest proof of that is mainly that we’re alive. If we didn’t have the gift, than my bloodline would’ve died out years ago. So if you’ve been trying to get into the sport, or just have some mild curiosity. Then you’ve come to the right place. Let me share my five easy tips, that are guaranteed to have you being the one giving the “bear hugs”. Disclaimer this article is not in reference to the term “bears”, used to refer to big hairy gay men. If you want to wrestle them, you should start off by asking politely. It’s called courtesy. Anyway on to the wrestling!

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1.  Stretch – You laugh now. But try to explain to your significant other that the reason you have fresh bear claw tracts on your chest, is because you got a charlie horse in mid grapple. Always, always, stretch. I can’t say that enough. I realize it doesn’t necessarily look “cool” or “manly”, but neither is dying. Stretching is a good habit to start now, that will benefit you later in life. This isn’t just a good bear wrestling choice, but a good life choice.

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2.  Establish dominance with eye contact – An experienced bear, can look into your eyes and know in two seconds whether you “have it” or don’t. Eighty percent of winning is eye contact. As soon as you step into that ring of fire, never break eye contact. Listen to the ref, but do not look at him. He’s only there to make sure there’s no crotch punching and to pull your lifeless corpse away. Show that bear you fear nothing. That you have met mother nature, and she is a much crueler beast than both of you. You have not only met her, but suckled at her teat. You. Are. Wild.

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3.  Always strike first – Your intial notion will be to size up the bear, circle, and wait for him/her to make the first move. Wrong. Immediately attack. Bears are driven by bloodlust. If they strike first, and get a scent of your blood, it will drive them mad. They will soon become an unstoppable fury. That is why you must draw first blood. When bears smell their own blood, it gives them a sense of their own mortality. They now know you are a force to be reckoned with, and this battle could go either way. I recommend chest kicks or uppercuts to start off. Headbutts to the nose are the most affective, but require close quarters and can be a high risk in the beginning.

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4.  Channel Davy Crockett – As the rounds continue, you will definitely be struggling with fatique. Part of that is due to bloodloss. But the majority will be from natural exhaustion. Bears are strong and heavy, so there’s no away to avoid it. Cardio and conditioning can only take you so far. Whether you survive or not will completely rely on your own mental tenacity. In my family, we were taught to channel Davy Crockett. Mr. Crockett was one of the best that ever lived. Most modern bear wrestling techniques are still based on his teachings from 200 years ago. I recommend wearing a racoon skinned hat as a mental aide. Most regulation games allow them.

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5.  Have a power move(s) – I think it’s common knowledge that you should have power moves for almost every situation. Whether we’re talking about bear wrestling, the bedroom, or karaoke. They can save your life. When both of you are nearing the end of your rope, you need a special move to “wrap it up”. Nothing stops a bear dead in his tracks like a German suplex. I recommend having a few in your arsenal, so it will be harder for the bears to train against them.

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Board Games I Wish Existed

When I was younger, my parents pushed the board games pretty hard. But my brother and I hated them. Monopoly always took three hours, and Operation stressed me out. The only one they ever had any succuss with was Weapons and Warriors (We had both castle and pirate addition). And that was because the whole point of the game was to shoot plastic pellets at your opponents fort. The parts actually exploded on contact! The mini cannons were so powerful that they actually destroyed a majority of our Christmas ornaments. I know fantastic, right? So maybe if board games were a little more interesting, we would’ve played them more. I realize board-gaming play has since improved over the years (so Settlers of Catan fans stop yelling at their computer screens now). But I feel I can add some good ideas out into the gaming ether. Feel free to add your own ideas below –

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1.  Donner Party : The Game – If you’re unaware of the whole Donner Party story, it goes like this – A group of American pioneers in 1846 traveled from Illinois to California. On the way, exposure, starvation, and disease drove them to cannalbilism. In this game you have to make it to California (last spot on the board) without being eaten alive. Stay alive by pulling the right chance card. Pull a musket card, shoot your way ahead two spots. But be careful, if you pull a short straw card, you’ve been nominated to be eaten. You must then take your covered wagon game piece back to the beginning. Think Oregon Trails meets Candyland. There’s so many opportunities for fun. It’s cannalbilism for the whole family!

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2.  Tom Selleck’s Mustache Madness- I think it’s common knowledge that Tom Selleck’s mustache is a force to be reckoned with. So the fact that this game hasn’t been created yet, is frankly criminal. But let us right that wrong right now. This is a group game, like Charades or Cranium. Each person takes a turn reading a question. Then the other players must answer how Tom Selleck’s mustache would solve that scenario. The answers are read, and all the players must vote. The player with the most votes gets a point. Whoever has the most points at the end wins. For example – “Your car has just blown a tire. How would Tom Selleck’s mustache solve this problem?” Winning answer : “Tom Selleck’s current mustache would be taken off and used to patch the tire. His superhuman abilities would then allow him to regrow another one instantly for future emergencies.” See? How does this not exist. It would be the perfect party game.

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3.  Shark Attack – This is just Hungry Hungry Hippos with sharks. Not all good games need to be clever to be fun. And I love sharks.

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4.  Meth Trap – This would be kind of like Mouse Trap, where you’re continuously building throughout the game. As the game progresses you get new pieces to build your meth lab. The first player to build there own meth lab wins. But complications can arise. Mainly your meth lab exploding (It would have real exploding pieces similar to Weapons & Warriors). Then you have to start over. It’s fun, you get to build stuff, and while learning the horrible consequences that go with building a meth lab. This would most likely go in the educational section of the gaming store.

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5.  Monopoly (Thomas Edison edition) – Basically this is just Monopoly. But instead of getting to pick different pieces, everyone is Thomas Edison. And the whole point is still to see who takes over the board first. Mainly because Thomas Edison was a greedy son of a bitch who made Nikola Tesla’s life a living hell. And couldn’t get his stupid face out of the spotlight for three seconds! I’m sorry…  This turned out to be more of a personal vendetta than a board game. I just needed to get that off my chest. But I think you’ll still enjoy the other four. Happy playing!

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Notes To Self

In my constant quest of self improvement, I carry around a small notebook to write notes to myself.  That way whenever I come across an important bit of wisdom, I can record it.  So instead of being selfish, I thought I’d share what I’ve written down in the last week…

1. Stop bragging to people about being good at laser tag.

2. Next time you go to a social gathering, make sure to clarify that you are a good “wrapper”. Not a good “rapper”.

3. Jellyfish do not like surfers either.

4. When my girlfriend tells me to take out the trash, she is referring to actual garbage, and not bazooka-ing bad guys.

5. Dog bites hurt way more than dog barks. That saying was a lie.

6. Hot moms do not like the term “hot moms”.

7. Axe Body Spray has come out with a scent called “Anarchy”. Finally a hygiene product to match my political views.

8. Girlfriend’s birthday is the same day as Pearl Harbor day. Never forget.

9. I’ve always wondered what eating hot lava would feel like. After eating boiling hot refried beans, I no longer need to wonder.

10. Crocheting looks interesting. But until I can make body armor out of yarn, I will have to put this on hold. 

11. There are two types of people in this world – Billy Joel fans. And not Billy Joel fans.

12. Not all spiders are mean. Stop being racist.

13. Hang glider has a tear. Make sure to repair by Friday.

14. Jenga is the only construction work you can legally do drunk.

15. Can dragons eat ice cream? Research futher.

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