Lester had been fishing since before he could remember. His earliest memories were riding down to the docks with a bamboo pole to fish for snapper. When the snapper were running in June and October all you had to do was throw your line in the water. He could fish a few hours and catch enough for his five brothers, two sisters, mother and father to have dinner. Riding home with a bucket full of fish was about the proudest feeling he could recall.
His sisters would clean the fish until their hands, hair and cheeks were littered with silver scales, their hands were bleeding from the spiny dorsal fins, and there was a bucket full of snapper guts. His mother would bread the fillets in flour and fry them on the stove or bake them with tons of butter. Fish and potatoes, that was all he needed to survive back then.
By the age of 16 he had quit school to sort out the keepers on his uncle’s dory crew. By 21 he was captaining his uncle’s second boat, running the winching truck - flooring the old truck in reverse into the surf and launching the dory over the breakers so the crew could set it’s nets. He was bringing more money than his father.
At 23 he met the love of his life, in a little restaurant in Amagansett that an old Greek couple owned. They served greasy homemade chicken noodle soup with a heel of crusty bread. The soup itself was mediocre but it warmed the bones after a cold fall afternoon and the service was worth paying for. Every summer they hired a new handful of red-haired, green eyed, porcelain skinned Irish girls fresh off the boat. By Thanksgiving the girls were all gone back home.
Lester and his Uncle would pay to watch the ruby headed beauties fly around the dining room, the buzz of their Irish lilt in the air. Faeryn stood heads taller than the rest - she tall, thin, and graceful. Everything about her had a fluidity - from the way she strode across the dining room to the way she deftly distributed their steaming bowls of soup, all the while an easy grin highlighted her face.
Lester spent an entire summer and fall admiring Faeryn from afar, only exchanging nervous pleasantries when she brought him soup. However, Lester knew that more often than not, the girls didn’t return after going home. Come late October his rapport with her grew to pleasant conversations, by the second week of November they went on their first date. A week later Lester and Faeryn found themselves wrapped up in a whirlwind, passionate engagement.
Lester’s parents weren’t too sure of Faeryn at first, at the time the Irish were looked upon almost as a locust that descended upon the Island every summer, plucking up all the jobs and cramming as many people as possible into cheap seasonal rentals. Had it been one of his sisters bring home a Paddy or Michael they would have been disowned, but rules were different for the boys.
Lester and Faeryn were married in a family ceremony two weeks before Christmas, afterwards Lester’s father took him aside and told him in no uncertain terms that Faeryn was not welcome in his home - Lester’s belongings were packed and he was to leave immediately. That was the last time he talked to his father, Lester moved into the home Faeryn had been renting. Two months later his father was left a vegetable thanks to a massive stroke. He wouldn’t live through the winter.
Life moved quicker than Lester could have anticipated. Less than a year after their wedding Faeryn gave birth Deirdre and then Fiona a year later. Faeryn hemorrhaged giving birth to Fiona and nearly died, she survived but was left unable to have anymore children.
At the age of 30 he had captained his own dory, cashing in on the seemingly never ending supply of Striped Sea Bass that migrated along the coast of Long Island. When times were at their best he had two dorys, three winching trucks, and and a dozen strong backs to do all the work. Then things started to fall apart.
It started with city dwellers who considered Baymen like Lester a pimple on the face of their aesthetically pleasing summer wonderland. They turned cries of saving the Piping Plovers, a small bird that made nests on the beach, to a thinly veiled attempt to pop that pimple. And it worked. Restrictions on where he could fish hamstrung him, but Lester was still able to make enough money to make fishing worthwhile. Then they went after the bass.
They said fishermen like Lester were catching too many Bass, that they weren’t spawning at a high enough rate. He didn’t want to give up, he mortgaged his home to keep both crews up and running but they wouldn’t be stopped. Eventually they took it all, the Bass became endangered or protected or something like that and they told him couldn’t catch them anymore. Thousands of men like Lester had everything taken away from them because they didn’t fit into the world these city dwellers imagined.
It wasn’t long after that he got an under the table construction job and started drinking. One night he came home late to find Faeryn crying in bed, telling him that their life was falling apart, that she wasn’t sure who he was. A week later his wife left with his two daughters while he was at work. Lester wasn’t about to chase her, he was too deep in his own sickness and without her around he had no one that he could disappoint, no one to let down anymore. As sick as it is to say, he had a weight lifted off his shoulders.
Lester started drinking just to function, it was a vicious circle that cost him everything. Last year the bank came for his house after he got fired from his under the table construction job and couldn’t afford the mortgage he had taken out on his house to save his crews. His livelihood, his family, his home, and now his pride - it was all gone.
Now, well now Lester was about as down as a human being could get. He had spiraled out of control to the life of a drifter now. Days were spent panhandling as much as he could get away with. By mid-afternoon he had enough to quit for the day. Whatever money he was given went directly to Kelly’s Liquor Store. After a quick stop behind a deli to pick through the dumpster for a day old Bonac Burger or whatever else he could find, he would take his bottle and the few belongings he had left to the nearest beach. A mile of so walk down the beach would provide him with enough seclusion to set up a small camp and drink until he forgot what he had lost.
More and more, the booze ignited a fire in his belly. He found himself yelling at the ocean, cursing it for giving and taking away so easily. Like the tide that leaves clumps of dead seaweed and crustaceans in it’s wake, Lester was left with rotting reminders of his life. He resented the fact that he had to walk through the waste of what was leftover every day. He would take rocks - as many as he could find - and fill the pockets in his pants. He would then wade with whatever booze was left chest deep into the ocean until he froze, he had nothing to live for but he was a coward. He would stand there, staring at the horizon, feeling the current trying to tug him deeper. But at the point that he felt himself being pulled beyond he could control, he would stumble back until he could reach in his pockets and heave handfuls of rocks as far as he could throw them - cursing his cowardice in the process.
It’s time to have some fun. I will present you 3 situations, you have 5 seconds to make your decision.
Ready … Set … Go!
- You have 3 attackers approaching from approximately 100 yards away, would you rather have a long sword or bow to defend yourself?
One one hundred Two one hundred Three one hundred Four one hundred Five one hundred
- You are kidnapped by a drug cartel, they are forcing you to shoot heroin or smoke meth. Which do you choose?
One one hundred Two one hundred Three one hundred Four one hundred Five one hundred
- Would you rather be deaf or blind?
- Bow, I don’t like my chances three on one with a sword.
- Heroin, needles don’t bug me and I would rather be on a mellow high, both scare the shit out of me.
- Deaf, not really sure why
Ahhhh yes, the rules of passing gas, one of the first life lessons we learn as children. We’ve all heard them - “He who smelt it, dealt” and it’s cousin “He who denied it, supplied it”. But which one is right?
The biggest key to unlocking the mystery of the farter is knowing who you are dealing with. The first class is the proud farter. As a child, we never felt anything but pride in our gas. It was almost always a case of “Do you smell that? I did it!”. It was a badge of pride to be able to elicit a strong reaction thanks to our emissions. In that respect, these are the easiest farters to detect.
Our second class of farters are what I like to call the voyeur. These are the kind of farters are proud of their farts but they want you to discover them on your own, simply because it’s more funny that way. These people are easily identifiable by their laughs or smirks. They deny it, but not very convincingly. These farters are also easily detectable.
Third is our sneaky farter. We have all met the sneaky farter, they’re renowned for crop dusting or dropping SBDs but the biggest difference between them and voyeur is they don’t want to admit to their work. Sneaky farters are spottable by their attempted stealth movements. They are almost impossible to catch after the fact as they will deny at all risks, you must catch them in the act. Movements to watch for are pauses while stepping, stretching, and coughs to cover up any unexpected noises. These are by far the hardest farters to catch.
Last but not least are the courteous farters. Embarrassed farters don’t like to pass gas in public, they prefer to do their business in bathrooms or outside. For this reason, when you do catch them it’s usually because one slips out or you sneak up on them. What’s more, they usually have to qualms admitting their misgivings unless they are fundamentalist embarrassed farters. Usually these farters are easy to detect but can cause problems
So, what rule is the most effective? The answer is all of them. Every rule can be applied to different farters.
It’s Halloween, and that means it’s time to pump kids full of sugar to the point their heads start spinning. So why should Dexter be any different? So for the next 3 weeks Dexter will be trying out iconic Halloween candies, no chocolate. I mean, what could possibly go wrong giving Dexter a sugar rush? What’s he going to do? Chase his tail? Been There. Do wind sprints across the apartment? Got that T Shirt.
Yesterday my lady brought home a bag of candy corn and put it on the table. Me? I’m not the world’s biggest fan. But Dexter has been eyeing it up since. And really, what candy is more iconic than candy corn? Sugar and corn syrup? I don’t see how this could possibly go wrong, do you? Candy corn is one of those things that you either love or hate BUT I guarantee everyone has vivid memories of eating candy corn as a kid - biting off each color separately.
The Challenger: Candy Corn
After the past two weeks I’m inclined to say there’s nothing he won’t eat, but it’s going to be fun to find out. Not only that, but the way he scarfed down the Altoids makes me thinks he has a sweet tooth. However, there’s a part of me that says that some kids won’t even eat these things, and they eat most candy. My call is: NO. I don’t think he’ll eat it.
But enough talking:
Let’s Ask Dexter
And of course! I’m now 0-3 on will Dexter eat it! Ugh, I feel like a failed parent. Until next week, enjoy.
No dogs were injured in the making of this blog, and we now know he’s not diabetic
I like Rob Dyrdek - sure he suffers from scrawny white guy who think he’s black syndrome. And yeah, he’s nowhere near as funny as when he has Christopher “Big Black” Boykin to play his fat black guy foil. And as I’m reminded of all too often, the situations he keeps mistakenly finding himself in the middle of come off way too scripted. With all that said, not everything on television needs to be highbrow … BUT there has to be some modicum of originality somewhere, which is where I had a feeling Ridiculousness would fall short.
Let me start by saying the set of the show is absurd and I normally couldn’t care less about such trivialities. The issue here is that the set distracts from the show. Rob walks around on a ridiculously giant laptop like a little cartoon character, it’s hokey and not in a good way. But to be honest this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Watching the show it becomes readily apparent that the writing team gets their material from old episodes of Tosh.0 minus the tasteless jokes that make Daniel Tosh worth watching. Rob’s commentary adds nothing at best, it often seems like this is the first time watching the videos and is making up comments on the fly. At worst he sucks the funny out of the videos.
Then there’s the fact that the videos often aren’t that funny. I mean not even a chuckle. How can you have an internet clip show and not be funny? It takes no imagination, it takes an internet connection and failblog.
Ridiculousness sucks. Bad. Don’t watch it.
Last week Dexter killed an Altoid and since then he has been getting in my face whenever I break a tin out. I think we have created a monster … and they still don’t make his breath any better. This week we move to the other end of the spectrum, we are taking a request and moving onto something spicier.
The original suggestion I received was of jalapeno … not bad but I couldn’t help feel like that might be a little too much. I like the idea, but I had the feeling we needed to go a little less hot. So I thought and thought, and then I got a great idea. One of my favorites salad accoutrements, banana peppers. They allow us to to go spicy without being cruel.
The Challenger: Pepper Rings
My initial reaction is there isn’t a chance in the world he’s going to touch these things for one reason, they’re green. Dogs don’t eat things that are green. Then there’s the fact that scent will probably turn him off as well. That’s why my prediction is a resounding “No, Dexter will not eat it”. I predict a lick or two at best. But enough talk, let’s get down to business.
Let’s Ask Dexter
And Dexter surprises me more and more every day. The only drawback is I might be waking up to dog farts. Believe me, I will keep you all updated.
No dogs were injured in the making of this blog, but I can’t promise he won’t have a sting ring later
The final book in the Millenium Series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (TGWKTHN) leaves us wondering “what could have been” had Steig Larsson not left us all too soon. Knowing we were robbed of what could have been another half dozen books makes you relish every work of what turns out to be a more satisfying goodbye than expected … and I think that is what is a little surprising. Whether or not a partially written fourth book is released or not will surely be a point of contention for years to come, but what we know is that Larsson leaves us with what ends up being a tidy ending. In fact, if you didn’t know better you would think TGWKTHN had been planned to being the end of the Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist story … there are no cliffhangers here or open plot holes, just a clean end to a great series.
What I like particularly about TGWKTHN is that it combines some great elements of the previous two books but not in a way that seems too familiar. The crux of the book centers on a trial in which Lisbeth Salander is accused of murder. Unsurprisingly, Mikael comes to her rescue and delves deep into the investigation when things begin to look bleak, harkening to the thriller plot of the first book. In a subplot Mikael’s on again off again love interest, Erika Berger, finds herself being stalked in a mystery storyline that rekindles some of the excitement of the first book. Both are equally compelling and would stand well on their own.
The third book rounds out the history of Lisbeth, completing the sordid story of a girl who taken advantage of by the people meant to protect her. Larsson does a nice job filling in the gaps, connecting the dots of her past and using the trial as a great vehicle to do so. As mentioned, the trial of Lisbeth is the focal point of the main storyline but we really don’t get reintroduced to the incredibly popular character for quite a while.
Instead the books sets up circumstances that stack the deck against Salander from the perspective of Mikael and an interesting new character, Evert Gullberg, the head of a government agency dedicated to shutting her up. Meanwhile changes rock the very core of the magazine and threaten to close it down for good. Mikael falls farther and farther down the rabbit hole, things get bleaker and bleaker, and our characters are heading for certain doom.
The end of the book is probably one of the best written and tightly constructed parts of the trilogy. It’s almost as if Larsson started with end and wrote the trilogy to get there. I don’t want to ruin anything, but suffice it to say that there is closure on all fronts as the book ends. In fact it leaves you wondering where Larsson planned to go from here; unlike the second book, where it is painfully obvious.
What I Liked
- The pacing is steady, it picks up where the second book ended and really plows through consistently to the end.
- The main plot and subplot are great, the create two very readable stories and bounce back and forth enough to keep you interested.
- The completion of Salander’s story, at the end she’s a very fleshed out character who we can understand in a more complete way.
What I Didn’t Like
- Unlike the first two books, there aren’t any moments that you absolutely can’t put down the book for. In fact, there are very few moments that stand out like the first two. This books does well to complete the story, but in a bit of a mundane fashion.
- The book is wrapped up two well, too clean. Where was the series supposed to go from here? It’s odd, eery, and almost a little annoying. To have everything wrapped up all happy contradicts the previous 2 and 3/4 books.
TGWKTHN is a great book, I would rank it below the first and above the second. It is certainly more polished than the other two and shows a great deal of growth. With that said, it just doesn’t ask you to invest as much as the first two - perhaps because the pacing creates a steady storyline rather than a back heavy one. Either way, it’s a masterpiece and a great ending to a series ended too soon.
**** out of *****
This past weekend the woman and I spent Saturday with her sister, brother in law, and their two little children. Their daughter was a little backed up and watching her strain would have been comical had she not been so miserable. Watching nearly popping a blood vessel made me think of some of the monsters I’m struggled with.
Before you get scared you’re going to see pictures of massive dumps of I’ve taken. Don’t worry, this is more about the accomplishment we feel afterwards; not about taking pictures - about what drives our compulsion to feel like we need to brag about giant dump.
All guys know the feeling - it’s the same whether we step on a scale afterward to get an accurate weight of the before and after, whether we stand and admire our work trying to figure out what it look like, or if we take a picture and send it to friends. Ask any guy, they’ll tell you about the one that was so long it circled the bowl 3 times or looked like the superman S.
It’s what we do, it’s who are, it’s how we’re built. It’s almost of a feeling of “look what I made”. Mothers - know when you look at your kids as they play or feed themselves the first time or something like that? Yeah, it’s like that.
He’s my one year old miniature long haired Dachshund. He enjoys chasing his tail, dry humping his favorite pillow, sleeping, licking your face, and peeing on you if he’s excited. In short, he’s the best dog ever.
We’ve all the heard the rumor, dogs will eat anything … but is it true? Why don’t you help me find out. I love science, it’s so straightforward and like any experiment we have to lay down some guidelines to preserve the integrity of our work.
1. Nothing that will harm Dexter, he is my best non-human friend. That and my soon to be wife would destroy me if anything happened to him. This includes anything that will make him puke, act funny, or have bad gas.
2. It has to be food. I don’t want my dog pooping balloons or robo-tripping.
3. No meat. He’s a dog, of course he’ll eat meat.
4. There is a 30 second time limit. I mean hell, after 2 seconds if he hasn’t ate it, he won’t.
5. No hiding the item in cheese or anything else that we know he’ll eat. I could get him to eat his own poop … well he already does that.
6. Any irregularities with his bowel movements will be documented.
With that decided, leeeeeeet’s begin.
Week One: ALTOIDS
Note: Dogs cannot eat sugar free Altoids, the sugar substitute is poisonous and could make them very sick.
I know some people who won’t eat Altoids. To be more specific, the classic red can Peppermint Altoids. Me? I love them, pop them like candy. But what about a dog?
Let’s ask Dexter:
YES!!!!!! Dexter likes altoids, apparently a lot. He didn’t just eat it, he destroyed it and then tried to get the can.
No dogs were injured in the making of this blog, and his breath still smells
This week we move on to part two of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire. After flying through the first in the series once it drew me in, I wasn’t quite sure how excited to get about it’s sequel. I was a bit worried this book would suffer from having to live up to the extremely lofty expectations of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but The Girl Who Played With Fire (TGWPWF) is a very different book than it’s predecessor. And that’s about the best way to describe this book, it is different. This of course makes it difficult to compare, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
Rather than the murder mystery plot at the heart of the first book, TGWPWF is much more of a thriller. That’s not say it worse, again just different. It centers around the murder of a couple of reporters who are freelancers for Mikael’s magazine. Lisbeth is framed for the murders and predictably their paths cross once again.
The Girl Who Played With Fire is far more centered on Lisbeth than Mikael, unlike the first book which was based on Mikael and his quest to solve the mystery. We definitely delve into Lisbeth’s past and her personal life in this book, which means some particularly descriptive lesbian scenes. It also means some more extremely painful stories as we get to the root of Lisbeth’s anti-social behavior.
There are however a few commonalities between the two books. First off, Larsson’s politics litter TGWPWF but in a different manner. The first book was really centered on the evil’s of capitalism while this book is much more centered on exploitation of women. The second real thread is the pacing of the books, TGWPWF is again very back heavy. The beginning isn’t as slow and painful, but it clears take a while to ramp up. Again I put this book back on the shelf after the first chapter. As we get in to the murders, Lisbeth’s life and run from the law, and Mikael’s attempt to help her the books hits a frenzied pace.
The book also introduces us to many new characters who follow us through the end of the trilogy. First, we meet law enforcement personnel, as to be expected they speak volumes about Larsson’s opinion on law enforcement. The characters range from corrupt cops to policewomen struggling to stay honest under intense pressure. We also meet Miriam Wu, Lisbeth’s lesbian lover who has a deep and interesting relationship with our heroine. We lastly encounter a few characters with a relationship from Lisbeth’s past, but I don’t want to ruin any of Larsson’s twists as there are plenty.
What I Liked
- Larsson clearly did a good deal of planning when writing his books, the storylines only build on the first book and have no plot holes.
- Larsson shows great range going from Mystery to Thriller in this book, and he does it about as well as could be asked for. In fact it was quite an ingenious transition as another mystery book could have been repetitive and stale.
- There is a fantastic cliffhanger at the end of this book that will leave you reaching for the third book.
What I Didn’t Like
- The pacing isn’t much better, not as noticeable as the first novel but it is clearly very back heavy. In fact it is almost too back heavy. So much hits you at once that you have to reread certain parts.
- Stieg struggles with writing from the viewpoint of anyone but his main characters. Chapters written in the perspective of the law enforcement are often very lacking and uninteresting.
TGWPWF is a very worthy follow up, some of the charm and intrigue of the mystery plot in the first novel is lost but it more than makes up for it with high paced action. The best thing you can say for a sequel is that it makes you look forward to the third book, that is more than true here.
**** out of *****