The Bookstooge Chronicles: The Freshman Year

I’ve made my way completely through 400 pages of my freshman journal. Like I described in my Midlife Crisis Post, I was equally horrified, amused and entertained. 9/10ths of my entries were centered around girls. This girl, that girl, the next girl, some random girl, a previous girl. I could practically smell the hormones wafting off the pages. But in between my tortured musings on Being Alone Forevah! it was quite the little time capsule.

September 1997 through August 1998 was a wonderful time to be alive if you liked tech. I had a quad speed cdrom and let me tell you, it was 100% better than those measly 2speed ones! What other things popped up? Oh yeah, you didn’t need a passport to go into or come back from Canada. I was a total drama queen and reading about some stuff now makes me realize how out of proportion I would blow things up in my mind. Funnily enough, that STILL happens a lot to me, hahahahaa 😀 Despite being 20, I still fought with my little brother and littler sister like I was 10.

But what stood out to me, in the 400 pages, was my reaction to my first spam email. Do you remember your first? There are a lot of firsts in life but in the late 90’s, spam email wasn’t quite what it is today. I wrote this down in my journal. So cringe along with me as we go back 25 years to a more innocent time when email was only used for good, sigh :-/

2/8/98 – 11pm Saturday
Got a weird e-mail, supposedly from Bill Gates. It is testing some new e-mail tracking software. Once the list reaches 1,000 people, we will all get $1,000 & a free Window98 package. I hope it is real!
If it is bogus, Microsoft will be angry as anything & I bet there will be lawsuits flying.
But I’m hoping & praying it is real. I could really use $1000 & W98. Specially now with my new computer.

Now is that just adorable or what? Makes me want to pinch my younger self’s cheeks and go “ohhh, you cute little thing”. Of course, back then I didn’t have cheeks because I was so skinny, I was skin and bones, poor guy.

But it took me over 6 weeks to read the whole thing because there were times I just had to put it down and give myself a break from myself. Man, I was an intense young man and it really carried over into my words in my journal. At the same time, it has whetted my appetite to read more (but I’m totally not a Narcissist, really!). I am giving myself a 2 month break before diving into my Junior year, as I remember life got super intense for that year and I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it even now.

What is interesting to me is that certain things I wrote I can picture with absolute crystal clarity. I read the words, the situation I describe and I can SEE it perfectly in my mind all over again. Isn’t the mind a wonderful thing? Truly the Psalmist spoke true when he wrote “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Well, I think I’ve talked about myself enough. For today anyway 😉


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

My new laptop came yesterday. I wasn’t supposed to get it until almost Christmas but there must have been something in a warehouse somewhere because it showed up about 3 weeks early. I am pretty happy to be on a laptop again and not on my blasted phone! Even two days was two days too many to endure.

I have also made the choice to go dotblog here at wordpress.com. Despite my many, many, many, MANY complaints about Automattic as a company, they are the only ones that give me the majority of what I want for a blog. Doesn’t mean I won’t keep on being vituperative towards WordPress but I have realized I don’t have any other place to go and with all the work of the Hotel Bookstooge already done and the ongoing Author Index, well, I think it is time to simply accept I’m stuck here at wordpress. So say hello to Bookstooge.blog If you notice any problems, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fix it.

Next on the agenda is to change my theme here. I currently use Penscratch 2 and it did what I wanted it to, but when I was looking at my site, I realized people have to do an awful lot of scrolling to get through my posts (sometimes). Then WordPress introduced the Masu theme and I really liked the look of it. The only problem is, it’s one of the FSE themes (full site editor) and I don’t know if I want to mess with all of that. But this month not only have I had changes forced on me but I am actively seeking them out. So I think later this afternoon I’ll be changing my theme as well. Be prepared for a lot of screaming and crying if things go bad.

For right now, that’s enough changes. I suspect there will be more changes by years end, even if I have no idea what they will be. Maybe I’ll buy a red sports car! 😉 hahahahahahaahaa.

Bookstooge 3.0

I was going to wait until the New Year to upgrade my avatar, but I had all the feelingz this week and so I wanted to do it NOW. Besides, I wanted to show Dr Who how you really do it (that poser needs a spanking).

It’s a little more square and red than my previous one, but now I have hands, so if you bother me I can bitch slap you. Total Win! While I am introducing it right now, I am not sure exactly sure when I’ll start using it full time. Probably when the mood strikes me and I say to myself “Bookstooge, my fine and devilishly handsome fellow, TODAY is the day you begin your life as Bookstooge 3.0”. I’m all aquiver in anticipation already!

Of course, just like when I changed my avatar before, it will take a little while for me to remember all the places I have to bleeding change, so bear with me and if you don’t see it somewhere you think you should, let me know and I’ll get right on it. I seem to remember from the last change there are 3-4 places I have to deal with. As I change them I’m going to be editing this post with links so that I know EXACTLY where to change them the next time. Because just like Dr Who, I will not be staying at my current level forever. Nigh Infinite Power means a Nigh Infinite Journey.

I’d like to thank Luna for her work on this. My level of “Art” is a stick figure, on a good day, so I always appreciate those with the talent and drive who will help someone like me out.

Here are the previous avatars as I have powered up through the years. As you can see, I start off very modestly and then my power simply explodes as I go on a book reviewing rampage. Now it is all about refining my power and becoming The Bookstooge that has always been inside of me.

The Bookstooge Chronicles: The Midlife Crisis

25 years since I started Bible School. And maaaaaan, I think I am having a midlife crisis here. So instead of breaking down, buying a red porsche, throwing over Mrs B for a space hooker and burning down my work place, I’ve decided to read my old journals. Yeah, when I have a midlife crisis, I don’t take the easy route!

This little journal is 25 years old. It’s older than some of the people I know at church for goodness sake!

Holy smokes folks, what a trip. I was going to share some of them, but after reading several months worth, yeah, that ain’t happening. It has shown me several things though.

25 years has allowed me to have a completely different perspective of time. Every day was a new adventure, filled to the brim with new and exciting things. Now, life is a routine that I glide through on a weekly basis and sometimes I wonder where the entire month has gone. Back then, my emotions went through the whole cycle on a weekly basis. Now, if I’m lucky, that’ll only happen on an annual basis. Getting married has also changed me immensely. Back then I had a different crush every week.. Now I’ve been happily married to one woman for 14 years and she knows me and still loves me and when I wake up each morning I don’t have to wonder what I’m going to feel that day. Oh my goodness, that is such a burden off of my shoulders, that was an exhausting way to live, let me tell you.

I was also the most naive person I have ever known. Reading some of those entries I wonder how I made it through life. I also felt bad for the people around me at that time, oy vey. Which makes me laugh because in about 20 years I bet you a hill of jellybeans that I’ll be saying the same exact thing about the present me. Bet you didn’t see THAT coming, eh? Hahahahaa 😀

While Bookstooge was no Jedi Master by the time he was 23, he also hadn’t french kissed his own sister. You decide which is the greater achievement.

I remember one time a professor told a story about how he found an old journal, read it and then razor bladed it because he was so embarrassed by it. I understand that feeling now but unlike my professor, being reminded of that embarrassing time helps me to remember what it is like being that age. And hence to have a bit of mercy to those young punks who are pretty worthless in every imaginable way 😉 Believe it or not, I have learned some empathy and mercy in the last 25 years. I’m just REALLY good at hiding it, hahahahaaa.

Another thing, confidence. I was worried about working out 5 times a week, running every day, if I was too skinny, etc, etc, etc. Everything I did was through the lens of what others would think of it. Now I just don’t care. There are a few specific people whose opinion DOES matter to me but outside of them, everyone else can go hang 😀 (on a side note, my biceps are an inch bigger now. So don’t mess with me or I’ll knock your block off, then slit your throat with my kbar and then double tap you with my sig). But don’t worry, I’d never actually do that, because I’m so peaceful now and I love everyone so much 😉 See, mercy in action!

The Whammomatic 3000. It punches, it slices, it shoots, all in ONE convenient and easy to use package.

So anyway, this was good for me. I just needed to get that all out. If this is as much of a “crisis” as I’ll have to deal with, I’m totally ok with that. Only start to worry if I start putting up pictures of red porsches. Or posting How To’s on arson..

ps,
As I read more of my old journals, I might find some amusing entries that are fit for public consumption. If I do, I’ll probably be posting them and talking about them. Just wanted to warn you, you know?

The Hotel Bookstooge – Now Open for Business

Back in 2018 I started working on my blog to neaten things up (Site Update). Four and a half years later, I have finished. All 4060 of the books I have read since April of 2000 now each have their own little room in The Hotel Bookstooge. (+/- for omnibus and the occasional stray manga volume I lost track of)

And the best part? They can’t check out NOR can they leave. Mwhaahahahahahaa.

I’d like to thank everyone of you who gets posts emailed to them for putting up with this construction. I know this added up to a LOT of emails over time (and sometimes even within just a couple of days) but you can rest assured, the last beam of lumber has been cut, the final coat of paint has been splashed on the walls and the staff have all been vetted and are ready to cater to my every whim. So please, enjoy!

I would say feel free to wander around and check out the over 4000 rooms, but there is a small cover fee to keep the riffraff out. I’m sure you understand. Oh, and watch out for security. I’ve set them on “kill” instead of “stun” because it’s more fun that way. That way as I watch you on the cameras I can be sure you’re genuinely terrified as you run screaming down the falls, begging for mercy and desperately trying to find the way out. My goodness, I’m already chortling in glee just thinking about it! Sounds like a great time, eh?

And to help you take the first step on your fun filled adventure, just click the following link which will take you to a random page on the blog. And THAT service is on the house! Yes, yes, I know, I’m just too generous.

CLIKCC MEE (or else. jus’ sayin’)

Of course, the only problem is what do I do next? I shall have to give that some serious thought. Cheers!

Out of WordPress Jail!

For the last couple of years my ability to comment on the WordPress.com Forums has been curtailed because I said some things about staff and called them shills, etc when the block editor was forced down our throats and many blogging options that had been available in the old editor were removed. I regret nothing! While the staff are not the creators of the block editor, nor implementers of it, they WERE the public face of WordPress and they sang it’s praises like it had a hold of certain delicate parts of their anatomy and they deserved every word that I wrote.

So this past week I was perusing the forum (you can learn a lot by reading stupid peoples’ mistakes and questions) and realized my ability to comment was back on. What a waste. The flipping Pro Plan and rapacious Starter Plan are already fully integrated into their business model so it’s pointless to go raging after that. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next dumb move by WordPress.com to get banned again.

Sometimes life is hard when you’re me 😉

Bookstooge | A Loner But Not Alone

A couple of years ago I wrote a post entitled “Bookstooge | A Reviewer of One” and I thought it was high time to either repost it or update it. Reading through it I realized I needed an update style post instead of a repost. While some of the info in that post has changed (I’ll be touching on that later, especially in regards to other people), my own motivations and personal quirks have changed a bit too. And I wouldn’t want ANYONE to miss out knowing all about that kind of stuff.

So first off, other people. In the post previous mentioned, I had listed out 4 blogs where co-bloggers had really seemed to work out, even when life circumstances had changed. Well, those blogs have fallen victim to the usual outcome of co-blogging, which is what I was worried about back then. The Bibliosanctum is now carried on the capable shoulders of Mogsy alone. PCBushi is on life support and I haven’t seen the other Bushi’s in years. Lashaan valiantly tried to keep Bookidote going but eventually had to start his own site. And the Reading over the Shoulders brothers? Life priorities took them away from blogging completely. Nobody did anything wrong, it’s just that when you add another person to the blogging mix, you end up with 4 times the pressure, not just 2 times. I feel like my decision to stay solitary on the blogging journey has been fully justified.

What has changed however is me. I still fully stand behind myself as a Reviewer of One. But I have come to realize that I simply cannot go it a lone. I could not write into a void any more. I am ALSO not a spur of the moment writer any more. In fact,, as I type this, it is actually 3 weeks in the past. Hello citizens of the future! * waves * If I write 2 posts a month spur of the moment, or even the night before, that’s about as close to the edge as I get now.

Everything else stands though. I don’t want to share my blog with anyone. I only want posts that glorify me. I still want to be top dog and not have to worry about a co-blogger stealing all my awesomeness. In the words of the famous visionary Matrix Lincoln “I have a dream! That every blogger can write just as they want to and be totally awesome at it, dude.”

Matrix Lincoln said it, that settles it!

I have realized that over the last 5 years I have stayed A Loner in terms of writing but when it comes to blogging, I cannot do it Alone. (see, that right there is pure blogging gold!) That is part of why it feels personal every time a blogger stops blogging even though I know it isn’t. Sometimes how things are all mixed up inside of us really leaves me scratching my head wondering how we all survive getting out bed in the morning, much less function in a group.

Be that as it may. I stand here a testament to the power of sheer willpower and stubbornness of the dedicated but casual blogger. I am a Loner but I am NOT ALONE.

The Wings of the Dove ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@Page347

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Wings of the Dove
Authors: Henry James
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars DNF
Genre: Literature
Pages: 544 / 347
Words: 195K / 124K

★☆☆☆☆

There I was, reading a lengthy, wordy, utterly pointless and despicably worthless book. I’d been trapped in this book since January of 2021. I would take lunch and when I felt up to it, I’d read 1-5 pages. The author’s determination to make everything as complicated, opaque and difficult as possible made me want to beat him over the head with this tome. But I didn’t stop.

I was obviously a sick and addicted man. But it wasn’t MY fault. I HAD to read this book to prove to all those Literature People that I was just as intelligent as them! Without this book, how could I show my face in public and discuss the principles of Historical Victorianism Viewed Through a Lens of Ironic Byronism? I NEEDED this book. I really needed a DNF but I hid my problem so well that nobody suspected, not even my closest friends. Without knowing I even had a problem, there was no way they could stage an intervention and get me the help I so desperately needed. So I was stuck in a self-destructive loop of Modern Literature and Pride.

I needed a Hero. Someone to rescue me. Someone to bash Henry James in the face while simultaneously shoving all 544 pages of this book down his scrawny throat. But in this Age of Grimdark Villains and Anti-Heroes, where would I even begin looking for such a Hero as I needed? Even when I asked Shrek to use this book as toilet paper, he read one sentence and simply ran away. Where Oh Where was my Hero!?

♪I need a hero♪

♪I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night♪

♪He’s gotta be strong♪

♪And he’s gotta be fast♪

♪And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight♪

♪I need a hero♪

♪I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light♪

♪He’s gotta be sure♪

♪And it’s gotta be soon♪

♪And he’s gotta be larger than life♪

♪Larger than life♪

It turns out, My Hero was right next to me this whole time and I never even realized it until it was too late. My good friend, mild mannered energy drink, Mr Silver Ice came to work with me one day. Little did I know that HE was the Super Hero known as The Rockstar. When The Rockstar saw what was going on he realized only one thing could save me. That day, The Rockstar poured his life out for me and destroyed that book because I was unable to do it myself. I stand here before you all today ONLY because The Rockstar was a true, selfless and self-sacrificing hero. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about. When I opened my bag at lunch and saw the sacrifice The Rockstar had made for me, the chains of bondage to that terrible book were broken and I DNF’d it right on the spot.

Friends, I hope my experience can help some of you. I know the addiction of being a completist, the siren call to just finish the book, no matter how terrible it is. The agony, the pain, the deception as you avoid your friends’ eyes and tell them everything is fine. I KNOW. And I sympathize. But you have to accept that you can’t do this alone. DNF’ing is a matter that can cut to the soul and most times we simply can’t do it. While not everyone has a friend like The Rockstar to help them like I had, I vow, here and now, to help everyone I come across who is struggling with this issue. Do you need help DNF’ing a book? Then I will help you.

I will carry on the Legacy that The Rockstar started in my life. Bad Books and Jackass Authors will tremble at the mere sight of my shadow. The sound of my fingers typing will send them into paroxysms of terror. The Righteous Flames of Wrath will be so expressive from my eyes that their souls will writhe and shrivel to bother us no more.

So fear not, mortals, for this day, in your very sight, a New Defender has arisen. The Bookstooge will be the scourge of the Space Ways, protecting all who may need it (and even those who don’t, sometimes anyway).

Mild Mannered Bookstooge
And his alter-ego, The Bookstooge!

The JigSAW Book Tag

Here we go. Not going to link to the creator, per usual. Thankfully, there don’t appear to be any silly rules that I need to ignore either. That’s a good way to start a book tag

1.) You wake up in The Room, who wakes up with you?

Someone You Choose –
The Brains –
Tyrus Rechs from Galaxy’s Edge. Took a nuke to kill that guy. If he could escape the Savages, Jigsaw should present no problem
The Brawn –
Spawn. He might be stupid as a brick, but his superdevil powers make him a force to be reckoned with.

Someone Jigsaw Would Choose –
Little Dorrit. Because no one would ever suspect a little girl in a room full of big strong men, never!

Someone On The Outside Looking For You –
Thraxas. Promise him a beer and he’s a detective you can count on!


2.) You’re starting the game and the first puzzle takes someone out; who dies first?

Thraxas. The beer was poisoned, just in case the hidden Mastermind got thirsty and wanted to chug it. It was worth a shot, right?

3.) You’ve made it to the steam room. You need a partner to go through the maze while you switch a lever to shoot hot steam for them to make it through. Who is your partner?

Tyrus Rechs. His armor will allow him to navigate even if he can’t see. Plus, we’ve come up with a clever plan to hunt the hunter.

4.) Oops, your partner died! Now you are strapped to the Shotgun Carousel. Who do you shoot in the face?

It’s all going according to plan. Little Dorrit gets a face full of lead. Because if movies have taught me anything, it’s that innocent looking little girls are usually what kill you in the end.

5.) You and the last character are about to escape. Then Billy the Puppet strolls in and tells you it’s up to a coin toss to see who survives. Heads you survive, tails the other character survives.

Surprise! Tyrus pops out of a hatch and shoots Billy with a lazer gun. Spawn teleports away to where the Mastermind is hiding and brings him back to the torture chamber. We tie him in front of a tv and put on My Little Ponies: The Power of Friendship, ON LOOP, and slow-motion walk away. Yeah, we’re that bad ass.

You don’t mess with The Bookstooge, MoFo’s!