Eirik Nielsen's Journal
Monday, September 20, 2010
So as of yesterday I have reached my yearly goal of reading 52 books. To mark the occasion and for anyone that's interested I've decided to give my opinions on 5 books at a time. If you want to comment, disagree or ask any questions feel free.
1. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - Dystopian/Sci-Fi - 7/10 - This is one of those books that apparently everyone else in the world read while they were in middle school. Which also shows about what intelligence level you need in order to understand it...not very challenging. Bradbury is a great writer especially for his time. He's a master of imagery and dialogue and getting the two to work together to build a thought provoking idea into a plot.
The story is of a Fireman, a horrible job that involves burning books to prevent the public from reading them. But unlike everyone else in his job this Fireman has a desire to read spurred on by a sexy young neighbor. He soon runs afoul of those above him and the story becomes a thrilling race to stay alive.
Unfortunately Bradbury is better at short story length and as far as I know this is one of the only times that Bradbury strayed into the novella length and its mostly in the length that Bradbury has problems. He expands at length on the wrong things and at other times feels like he's working still from a short story mindset for key elements of the plot. For example when he has one of the books villains explain the entire back story of the world's nightmarish condition in a long 2 page conversation rather than letting the character and reader slowly find out for themselves. It read a little too much to me like a James Bond bad guy revealing his plot right before Bond escapes and foils it. But definitely a foundational sci fi text.
2. Royal Flash - Gregory McDonald Frasier - Historical Fiction - 8/10 The second book in the Flashman series which as a whole is a tongue in cheek historical book set in 19th century Victorian England.
In this installment Harry Flashman the perpetual cowardly ladies man gets caught up in a Danish plot involving switching monarchs in order to assist Otto Von Bismark into capturing vital regions of Denmark. For those of you with a taste for historical thrillers with a comedic twist this is the series for you.
3. Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut - Sci-Fi War - 9/10 Vonnegut is nearly always on top of his game but of the 4 of his I have read I would put this at the bottom. Not due to lack of quality but just due to endless bleakness portrayed. But as a satirical look at WW2 its wonderful. Describing the plot of a Vonnegut novel is a bit like describing the musical CATS. You'll either love it or you won't but describing the plot will only get you to read or not read it based on the wrong reasons. I would recommend it highly but not until after you've read some other Vonnegut in order to get a grip on the style.
4. The Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad- Classic Fiction - 6/10 - Short, brutal, and boring. Conrad in like reading Faulkner only with less thought provoking material. The most interesting stuff here is still dated and feels old. At only 108 pages you think it'd be easy to rifle right through it but I didn't. Kept getting stuck on long meandering descriptions of African riverbanks and slow moving rivers. It's not hard to see why so many years later very few people understand what the story is a metaphor for. Is the main character chasing into his own subconscious attempting to discern the true meaning of self or is it a strong condemnation of the colonial trade in ivory. Well whatever it is its boring and in my opinion not worth the time.
5. As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner - Classic Fiction - 10/10 Faulkner is one of the most challenging authors in the American cannon. It always feels like your attempting to read a book translated from a foreign language and half the words don't fit right.
As I Lay Dying is the story of the Bundren family as they attempt to travel across back county Alabama to put their dead mother's body to rest. Each chapter is told first person from the perspective of a different character and its clear that Faulkner may have more total understanding of each of his characters than most authors have in their best. The narrative is extremely important but buried in the different characters personal voices. Form the sensitive Darl who initially works as the stories narrator as he slowly is descending into madness, to the childish Vardaman who is a decade younger than his siblings, to the short, turse, and angry Anse each character brings new levels of meaning an understanding that may take more than one read to feel like you understand.
This book is not for the casual reader. As each character brings perspective and meaning it's clear that the struggle at the heart of the story is about far more than a Southern family attempting to bury their dead mother. It's about the South, it's about modern life, it's about death, and its about nothing. This may sound like some sort of indie film, hipster nonsense but its true. Faulkner shows that American culture has produced works of fiction that can rival anything brought on by the English, Russians, and Irish. I would suggest that anyone wanting to take on a challenge should give it a try, struggle through to the end, take a few deep breaths, give it a week, and start it again.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
8:47AM - Zombieland
Ok so I finally saw this movie over the weekend in Placerville with my cousins and I have some apologies to make.
It was fantastic. It was first of all hilarious and satirical. It's characters were fresh despite being perfect carbon copies of a typical zombie movie. It managed to be scary but still watchable for most of the average audience. The plot was believeable even with a few gaping holes.
So I'm here to apologize to everyone that tried to get me to go see it. I insisted that it didn't look that good and now that I've rewatched the trailers I stick by that. But I was completely wrong.
For those that want to I'm in for the sequel in 2011!!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
7:22AM - The GAGA
OK so there's one thing that's been bugging me over the last few months. Who exactly is it that likes Lady GAGA? I don't think I've ever heard anyone say a nice word about her or her music. The closest I've ever heard people get is she's controversial, or she's so surprising.
I mean even with most pop acts there's usually an georgeous angle that people get wrapped up in or people enjoy their conservative values. But from what I can tell neither of that either of those things exist with her.
I don't mean to come across as some music nazi either I honestly couldn't care less what people listen to. I'm just confused as it's really not clear at all to me who is buying or enjoying her music.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
As a conservative I say it's about GOD D&$% time the good for nothing WIMPS got out of our party. Of course I love telling PEOPLE WHAT TO DO but not when those things somehow turn around on me! That's when I claim PERSONAL FREEDOMS!
Sure you guys are good when it comes to HATING ON THE GAYS or covering your mouths in duct tape and throwing PIG'S BLOOD on an Abortion doctor. But the rest of the time you NUT JOBS need to keep your wacky to yourselves!!
I mean have any of you TRUE CONSERVATIVES even read the bible recently? Throwing the Moneychangers out of the Temple, The Prodigal Son, turning 6 loves of bread into food for 6 thousand! It's easier for a camel to get through the eye of a Needle than a RICH MAN TO GET INTO HEAVEN!?! It's like some kind of BERKLEY COMMUNE IN THERE!
Plus what's up with Jesus going into leper colonies and curing people for free? That's worse than socialized health care...that's FREE HEALTH CARE!!!
And since when does bible say we can't go to LESBIAN BONDAGE CLUBS? I mean what the hell do EVANGELICALS expect us to do on Saturday Afternoons when our WIVES ARE AT BRIDGE? I've read my bible over twice since this scandal broke and I can't find a single reference to it. That sounds suspiciously like RELIGIOUS ACTIVISM to me! I don't like it in my Supreme Courts and I don't like it in my PREACHING NEITHER.
So TONY PERKINS you think you can threaten me with your whole 'I'm gonna tell my congregation to leave the RNC?' Well you can take your Poor Lovin', Prostitute Forgivin', Death Penalty Opposin', Free Health Care Givin', Treat Your Neighbor As Yourself Preachn', Hippy Jesus OVER TO THE DNC WHERE IT BELONGS!!!
If you care to take a look at the article here it is:
Enter at your own risk...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
8:56AM - OK Here's the First
In reponse to an article on how Chris Dodd is bringing a financial reform bill to the Senate this week. As you can probably guess the comments quickly filled up with people decrying Democrats for interfering in the free market. So I decided to take it one step futher. So enjoy:
From LISTEN TO ME!!!
As a Conservative its clear to me that we don't need any regulation of our financial markets. I watch Fox News on a DAILY BASIS and it seems clear to me that everything is FINE! And if there is anything wrong its obviosuly OBAMA'S FAULT!
We don't need any washington doo-gooder coming around saying stuff like: "Hey folks they're stealing your money"...SO WHAT! It's called a free-market system. Ever heard of that? That means their free to steal my life savings and if I don't like it next time I have a life savings I'm free to put my money somewhere else...Idiots.
Plus whoever these Obamas hire to be a part of this regulation is probably going to be a MINORITY and as we all know MINORITIES AREN"T CONSERVATIVES! Plus there probably not very good at numbers because if they were they'd be in the MAJORITY!
That Chris Dodd needs to go out and get a REAL JOB! Like my personal hero MITCH MCCONNELL, ever heard of him? He's a CONSERVATIVE! If he were able to offer bills to Congress he'd know what to do... PUT WALLSTREET IN CHARGE OF REGULATION! I mean you have to give the job to those with the most expeience... and who has more experience at breaking the rules...then the people breaking the rules! DUH!!!
Plus even a LIBERAL has to see that you'd end all the RULE BREAKING if you took the simple step of ELIMINATING THE RULES!!!!
LISTEN TO ME!!! I'M A CONSERVATIVE!!!
8:45AM - New Post Idea
So over the past few years I have been reading this online news site called Politico. It's pretty much just an average news site aimed more towards a politically aware news audience. There really isn't any bias that I can tell and people tend to accuse the web site of being too liberal and too conservative constantly.
But (as tends to be the trend in news sites for some reason) they do allow comments. And for the most part these commenters seem to only be a hare's breath away from the straight out racist, homophobic, sexist, and plain insane ramblings found on youtube comments. And again from what I can see most of the commenters on Politico tend to be extremely conservative.
So after years of having these comments getting me down I've decided to take matters into my own hands and begin posting my own comments. I've also recently read and been inspired by Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals who states 'Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.'
So towards that end I have now created LISTEN TO ME!!! the ultra conservative, hate spewing, ultra capitalist, religious fanatic who posts to Politico on a fairly regular basis. And since I have found that after only a few posts they have already began to garner some attention and I've kinda been proud of non-sensical ramblings I have decided to re post what I've written here. So anyway they'll come in a few at a time as I feel like posting them.
Enjoy and please remember it's meant as pure ridicule not my beliefs.
Friday, August 28, 2009
11:57AM - costa rican problems
hey so my cell phone was stolen in costa rica. I have replaced but not the old sim card so now have no numbers for anyone. You need to call my cellphone or respond to this with your number if you want me to have it.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
10:24AM - Update
I haven't posted in quite a while so I've decided to write a little bit while I'm stuck here in jury duty. Well first off I got another raise and a promotion...well kind of. I was what is designated a Child Support analyst I which in other words is a noob. Now I'v been moved up to a child support analyst II which is exactly the same job except that now I get to help with training and don't get to ask as many questions. The promotion comes with a pay increase of 5.3% which for some reason hasn't been changed since the last contract with the union was negotiated because when I get promoted there has to be a minimum of a 5.74% raise so I'm going to actually get bumbed to the next level of pay whih gives me a total of a 11.4% raise. I also get a 3% cost of living increase in november. Man I love working for the government. That increases my weekly check by a couple hundred dollars and brings my yearly up $58,478.00. This should be it for raises for a while though and there is likely no movement up from this position for the next few years unless I start looking to other counties or other positions which I might do. Oh well there calling us into a jury now. so got to go.
Friday, January 25, 2008
So i'm confused there talking on the news again about another middle class tax cut, in fact it just passed the house and the Senate. Saying that we're each going to get $300.00. I remember them doing this about six months ago when they said that they were going to send everybody $500.00 to help with gas prices. I don't really remember ever getting any money. In fact I don't remember getting any money from the government ever whenever they've mentioned any of these tax cuts. I'm starting to think that all these guys don't really have our best interests in mind.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
12:16PM - Just Got a Raise
So my 6 month review just came in and I am still competent. Which means I also get my 6 month raise. NOw up to $24.36/hr and $50,668.80 a year. I know that's not that much to all you long time working stiffs out there but this being my first real job I'm pretty excited.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
You are James T. Kirk (Captain)
|You are often exaggerated and over-the-top
in your speech and expressions.
You are a romantic at heart and a natural leader.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test
Friday, September 28, 2007
10:43AM - That's funny
You are Magneto
|You fear the persecution of those that are different or underprivileged so much that you are willing to fight and hurt others for your cause.
Click here to take the Super Villain Personality Test
Monday, September 24, 2007
8:08AM - News Project
I've begun a new project. It's based out of the idea that there is this huge liberal/conservative media bias in the news today. Personally I think that is all nonsense. I beleive that there are biases out there, such as sex and violence gets on first bias, or the we already know how to tell this story bias, or the Hey there doing it we better get camera crew out there quick bias, or the ever popular make reporters go stnad in a hurricaine and tell us its raining bias. but that is the sort of thing that you can't argue without proof so i've decided to test this theory of mine with a little survey.
First The Rules: I'm going to watch and chronical all the news I watch everyday and write down what stories I see. I'm also going to push myself to watch/read a ton of news.
-Each Time I see a story i'm going to give it 1 point. At the end of the day I'm going to list the top 7 news stories of that day. After that I'm going to break each story in catagories (national politics, international politics, Entertainment, sports, Human interest, etc.)and see at the end of this what type of news is getting reported the most.
Liberal/ Conservative: I'm also going to mark each story that has a liberal or a conservative media bias. But there's going to be rules to this too. If i'm watching and at any point I go wow that's a liberal or conservative bias then I'll mark it. Also if I notice an outnumbering of opinions in the arguement (I.E. two people are brought on to argue something and they are 1 conservative and 1 liberal and they go at it but the host quickly identifies as either liberal or conservative that becomes a 2-1 and is now outnumbering the other opinion.)
Media Frenzy: The last thing that I'm looking to record is Media Frenzies when all news instantly become focused on one topic or antoher (I.E. Paris Hilton Going to jail now that was a media frenzy). SO the definition of this is when 50% of the news outlets I look at mention a story more than once. Or when one story is in 75% of the media outlets I look at have 1 story mentioned for more than 5 days. At the end I'll point out what category of news gets the most Media Frenzy coverage.
So that's my plan: My goal is to go for one month and see how i'm feeling from there. I'm also not going to post on this once a day or anything just maybe once evey week and a half or so. But feel free to let me know anything that you think i'm missing.
Oh and One more thing: I'm going to check all of these outlets as much as I can. First my rule is that anything that people get the majority of their news from is what I'm going to watch. So even though the Daily Show is obviously a fake news program a lot of people get the majority of their news from it so it's going in. I'm also focusing on national news obviously so i'm only going with national news outlets I.E. no local papers or tv channels.
Here's My List:
The Drudge Report
The Daily Show
Real Time With Bill Mahr
Hot Talk 910
News Talk 810
Hot News Talk 560
The New York Times.com
The Washington Post.com
The Wallstreet Journal.com
If there is anything that I am missing please let me know. ALso feel free to guess at what you think my findings will be i'd be interested to know what you think.
Friday, September 7, 2007
I don't know how many of you know this but those of you that went to school with me according to Sean Hannity go to the worst school in america. I caught his show today because a friend of mine told me there would be something on that I would want to see and boy was he right. Aparently anyone who went to at Santa Cruz was indoctrinated by fascists and communists into believing that this country needs a revolution and to take up arms against the government.
They cited a number of scurrilous examples such as the fact that the women's studies department changed its name to the "Feminist Studies" department. Which for some reason is terrible and against the principals of the united states. I mean hell the definition of feminism is (as I was taught at Santa Cruz) is the belief that women and men should be treated equally. What the hell is more un-American than that. And apparently feminism has something to do with communism which i still don't understand after having watched the thing twice.
In the end they just resorted to saying Santa Cruz and communism as much as they could. "They employ open well known communists there" "They have a seminar class which in the course book says as its class description 'a class teaching techniques to cause revolution'". This is of course true but they fail to mention its a class that focuses on changing society for the better involving techniques to bring about change.
Not to mention the fact that everyone that goes to UCSC is an adult and thereby completely capable of disregarding anything they are taught. But i just thought you all should know you went to such a terrible university.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
8:13AM - Old Man Computer
So i've been downstaris working my caseloads for about a week now. I just had my first person sent to jail strictly because of my work, so that was kinda wierd. But even wierder is the fact that i'm using post it notes to remind myself of things and the best way to keep them in sight is on the bottom of my computer screen, which makes my computer look like it has a giant blonde beard.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
4:03PM - A Really Good Book
If you all want to read an amazing book. Take a look at Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. Normally I'm not into much of this kind of stuff. But even with a minor in history and a focus in American History this book managed to re-invent my understanding of american history.
Monday, July 30, 2007
1:05PM - News from the frontlines
I have good reason to suspect that perhaps these communications are being monitored. Since my reported complaint last week about the lack of foodstuffs being provided free of charge to the caseworkers here on livejounral, there has been a box of doughnuts and two bagel brunches provided by the upper level management.
10:22AM - The office
So i think i've started to get the hang of this place. Wednesdays are the worst day of the week becasue everyone is forced to be in office no matter what they have to do so they spend most of the day taking nonsense calls and walk-ins from "clients" because they know we have to be here. I talked to one co-worker who has gotten the same call from the same person evry wednesday for voer 5 years. "Where is my money?" she yells in her oh so delightful nicotene scared tone. "I don't know Mrs. _____ I don't personally monitor your case everyday." "Well why not?" She screams back. "Because Mrs. _____ I have a case load of 600 and everything to do with payments is automated through our system it would only alert me if soemthign wasn't right?" "well screw you!" "See you next week mrs. ____"
Tuesday and thurdays are slightly easier but everyone is still in the office. And monday's and fridays are the best each with only half the office here due to this thing called a flex schedual.
Aparently I will be able after i've been here for six months to work either 9 hours a day and get every other friday off or work 10 hour days and get one day a week off. Aparently everyone who has it goes for the 3 day weekend obvously. But so far i can't think of any downside to doign this.
Monday, July 23, 2007
10:29AM - I wish i had doughnuts
I wish i had doughtnuts. They always make it seem on tv like people are always bringing food into the break rooms and leaving it for people. So far i have found this completely inacurate. No doughnuts, no cookies, no cupcakes. I suppose I will jsut have to wait until lunch like all the rest of the starving wretches over here.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
12:54PM - My first Real Job
So here I am posting from my first real job and my first real desk inside my first cubicle and at my first work computer. I have 6 weeks of training ahead of me and at least 6 computer database programs to learn. But the good news is that I get paid more than I thought.
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