Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Near Unemployed

So Much, So Much

It would seem after the team's latest loss (another Hope-Followed-by-Inevitable-Disappointment-Effort), the coach and general manager of the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs should both be fired now. And if not now, then now+the smallest of mores. How can you be so inept at a job and continue to keep it? (Am I really asking this? The answer to any Leafs fan is obvious.)

Speaking of near unemployed, I work but 17 days in December, which easily could be less if my boss wasn't generous, but I feel I need to work more. And so, I may have to consider picking up a second job. The plan originally was to sustain myself on regular part-time work at The C_______ P____, and supplement my income through brilliant freelance work, but I have neither a) the will or b) the knowhow to do the freelance thing. Of course, I've tried. Failed. I'll try again tomorrow to land something.

I had this great (always a hyperbolic adjective when used before the word) idea to write a rollicking pornographically violent literary novel. The whole point is to provoke disgust, and at the same time, justify the violence within the book by the style used. Distasteful, but he didn't use quotation marks; therefore: brilliance.

I'm working on it. Maybe I'll give up on it or maybe I'll fall in, sucked into the novel's disgusting being, disappear and become some pulp fiction writer in age when there's no money in the profession. (Was there ever? Could there still be? Someone tell me! I'm near unemployed and I need something to do.)


Monday, November 19, 2007

The Kindle

The New It Gadget

Amazon released its new gadget for electronic books. The video sell is good and the device seems promising.

I'm guessing at some point, the Kindle will be released in Canada, but I doubt I would rush to get one. For one thing, I have many books (the real, i.e. paper kind) lying around to be read. And I'm not sure I would want to migrate my reading material to a screen. I dislike reading books from websites like Project Gutenberg. I need the paper in my hands.

Maybe I'm not young enough for this thing.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Great Saves

First In a Series (Yeah, Right...)


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Return; Miscellany

Oh, Somethingorother

I have one of those Brita water filters. I pour water in, don't wait for it to actually filter, and when I pour water into my cup, it spills everywhere. Clear? No? That's not the point, which, by the way is this: if I were writing a novel or even a short fictional story, I might use this repeated action to illustrate a character's impatience. Instead, I'm using it to illustrate mine.

At 22, and oh so ready to Get On With It, that I have no patience for the Entry-Level or the Beginning. Get me to the Middle, and I will get to the Glorious End. I fail to think that any of my fellow graduates from this past June are in a position less favourable than mine. I'm always thinking they are closer to 'making it' then I am; or, at least, they are content in working through the Beginning. I want more, and now.

So, I took a little more than a week off from the blog to celebrate my birthdate. A day passed and I automatically became wiser, and by some measure, a greater failure. I mean, damn, 22 and still not found My Thing To Do?

What I should do is stop talking (or writing) about this unfavourable milieu that I surround my thoughts in, and start acting: I've written this precisely 1,000 times. Or more. Not so precise, but what in life is?

Finishing Roth

I've finished Philip Roth's Zuckerman series of novels, the majority of which were enjoyable with the exception of "I Married a Communist" and "The Prague Orgy" (really, a short story, or if stretching, a novella). The final two, "The Human Stain" and "Exit Ghost" were strong. "Stain" closer to "American Pastoral" and "Ghost" closer to the first of the series, "The Ghost Writer."

Roth's final Zuckerman novel wasn't savaged by all critics; it was most praised with reservations or criticized with none. In the end, critics don't matter at all in comparison to what Roth has given literature. Sounds clichéish, but I mean it.

Starting War

Up next on my reading list is the behemoth "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy, and recently published with a new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. This is the first Russian novel I will have ever read, which shows how poor my schooling has been. Perhaps taken on the most prominent of Russian novels first before trying something smaller is a risk, but I am up for it. I will report with my thoughts at a later date.

Not Finishing War

Last night, I watched the documentary "No End in Sight," about the quagmire called the Iraq war. I have to recommend it without reservation (to borrow a phrase I borrowed earlier above) if someone wants to know how U.S. President Bush and his team of military experts bungled the war.

After watching the doc, I had the disappointing thought that if Bush's team had spent more time preparing for post-invasion Iraq and had made an attempt to speak to officials in in the country from the start of the invasion, then Iraq could easily be the shining beacon of democracy in the Middle East that Bush envisioned it would become.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Birthday Wishes

The Rules and Regulations Of

As faithful readers of this blog know, it will soon be my birthday. It's number something in the twenties, but the first in my Facebook Age. This of course means that I have printed a list of my Facebook "Friends" and will check each one off as he or she sends me birthday wishes via Facebook or e-mail or phone call or regular mail or by simply donating a portion of his or her paycheque to my PayPal account (e-mail for details).

Why am I going to check off each of my friends as they send me birthday wishes? Obvious: To make sure they're still my friends.

This is what social networking sites are about: they provide a convenient list of people who owe you two words once a year. Same date. Same sentiment. And if I don't get them, then those people automatically fall into my Bad Book, which doesn't exist but will after my birthday passes.

Oh, sure, you may say, "Mr. Czobit, isn't it unfair to expect all of your friends to wish you a happy birthday?" My response: "Yes, but fuck you." Simple.

And then you may say, "But Mr. Czobit, isn't a 'happy birthday' message on Facebook an empty sentiment? After all, everyone sees birthday reminders and usually mindlessly posts a pointless two-word message on your wall." My response: "Correct, but I live for empty sentiments, and I demand them every birthday. Oh, and fuck you."

I've set the rules and regulations for my birthday this year. Pay up with your well wishes or prepare to never call me a Facebook "Friend" again.

I know, I'm shaking at that threat, too.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Giving Up

Another Post About Television

That's it! I can't take it any more. So, I'm going to, as cliché artists say, throw in the towel and just accept that I can't put myself through this horrible mess.

This being The Czobit Blog., I'm referring to watching the remainder of two HBO series -- "Lucky Louie" and "Dane Cook's Tourgasm." I'm midway through both DVD collections and both are unlike typical HBO shows as they both horribly suck. Real grown-up talk, Mr. Czobit.

First, "Lucky Louie": A crass "sitcom," but it doesn't qualify as that because the stand-up routine of which it is adapted from is unfunny in this format. I hoped for so much and got pointless male full-frontal nudity, pedestrian plots, and profanity for the sake of profanity. (A quick look at the IMDB page for this show, which I linked above, has it rated 8.2 out of 10 based on more than 600 votes; apparently it's loved on the Internet and the only people who dislike it are prudes. So, I'm a prude. But with taste for fuck's sake.)

Second, "Tourgasm": Is anyone else sick of Dane Cook? Yes, and I'm sure if I put effort into this weblog I could pull up numerous postings at other weblogs castigating Cook for being over-hyped, over-exposed and just plain over. But actual effort for the sake of Dane Cook criticism? Why bother when it's clear that Cook put no effort into this abysmal reality show.

Summary: Avoid these shows.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

More Television

Happy Failings and Happy Returns

It appears "Heroes" -- the c0mic book rip-off apparently not conceived by reading comic books according to the series creator -- is faltering.

Today, in the Star, a reporter/loyal viewer wrote a list of what should be done to fix the show now that it's fallen into a sophomore season ratings slump. Left off the list, my suggestion, to simply cancel the program.

Why? Yes, "Heroes" is a pathetic mish-mash of comic book clichés wrapped around the false idea that It's About Something. But the real reason to cancel now would be compassion. Why continue to dirty that "great" first season; leave the show's audience with the better memories now being pissed away with season's two worse-than-the-first writing.

Additional evidence of the show's fall from (insert cliché here, "Heroes" writers), is the cancellation of a spin-off mini-series called "Heroes: Origins." Apparently an upcoming writer's strike plus regular "Heroes" low ratings forced NBC to act and spare us "Heroes" Haters another show to, uh, hate.

In good television news, "The Amazing Race" returns Sunday.

O.K., enough about TV.


Friday, November 02, 2007

The Sopranos

Final Thoughts

I finished watching the last nine episodes of "The Sopranos" released on DVD last week. The infamous ending had been ruined a number of times before I was able to watch it this afternoon. So I knew what to expect, and yet, the way David Chase ended his magnum opus television series still grabbed me, still achieved the emotion I think Chase tried to impel from the audience.

That I understand the end to the show, and that I liked it, may put me in a minority. Some wanted a ending similar to the one in the final Harry Potter novel, but even that epilogue has been criticized. What people really wanted from Chase was to end the saga of Tony Soprano in a definitive manner -- the only true definitive manner, which comes with six-foot-hole in the ground.

Death would tie everything up? Probably not, but it would have tied things up more. I'll take the end as it came -- sudden, full-stop blackness. That's death.