Disasters, etc.

The other day I was watching a disaster movie marathon on TV, and it occurred to me that in every disaster movie, there seems to be a scene where someone peers into a space with a flashlight and shouts in a manly voice, “Everyone OK in there??”
Anyhow, besides crap like that, I’ve not had much of a chance to watch many movies lately. I also haven’t gone to my local video store to rent a pirated DVD lately, so I’d say the best movie that I’ve seen in a while has to be “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.” “Whaaaaa??” you might be saying, “Isn’t Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” a video game? Damn right it is, and what a video game! I’ve never been the biggest video game fan out there, but this one has it all: wonderful graphics, a well thought out story that in terms of quality surpasses most of what qualifies as entertainment these days, and, being a video game, it also has women with racks so big that if they were really alive, their spines would snap like pretzel sticks! U.S.A! U.S.A!
I figured I’d also mention a few other pieces of media I’ve consumed lately, in case you’re looking for something to read, watch, listen to, or play. I realize that my brother Paul did this just recently, but I had intended to do it for some time, so he was obviously reading my mind. The sneaky little devil.
Anyhow, on the book front, I’ve been pretty successful. Depending on the count, I’m currently reading about 16 different books for the classes I teach right now, but I don’t even really count those. I’ve been reading novels and other stuff like a madman lately. Since I got here in August, I’ve read between 20-30 books, so I figured I’d point out a few of the best ones.
Before I left Colorado to return to Costa Rica in January, I was met with flurries of snow and book recommendations. I therefore spent lots of effort shovelling that white shit and looking for books to read. As for novels, two of the best ones I read were John Kennedy Toole´s “A Confederacy of Dunces” and Johnathan Safran Foer’s “Everything Is Illuminated.” If you enjoyed books like “Catch-22,” “Confederacy,” which my friend Katie recommended me, is probably up your alley. “Everything Is Illuminated” is also a great work. I believe that either Bobby or Davey Majzler clued me in to it, so thanks boys! It’s about an American kid that travels to Ukraine–armed with only a photograph—in hopes of finding the people that may or may have not saved his grandfather from the Nazis. It’s got a slightly confusing start due to the many voices and points of view that the story employs, but if you make it past the first 50 pages or so without getting too confused, the last 225 or so will breeze by. The book is humorous and heartbreaking, and as a bonus it also gets kind of Borat-y at times, if that makes any sense.
Speaking of foreign-talking stuff, another great book I devoured was by a woman named only “Christiane F.,” called “Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo.” It´s the first-hand account of a 13-year-old girl in the Berlin of the 70s. After trying heroin on a whim, she eventually gets hooked on it and turns to prostitution to fuel her drug habit, even as she sees the same habit systematically destroying her friends around her. It’s enthralling, gritty, and heart-wrenching to read, and you obviously have to be able to read German to understand it (or else at least be very entertained by looking at German words on paper for 270 some-odd pages). Once you get past that very real hurdle, though, you’ll not be able to put down this book (nor will you be able to pick up your heroin spoon, either) until you’ve finished reading it.
Also in the non-fiction realm, I also read the shit out of a book called “Don’t Get Too Comfortable,” by David Rakoff. It was recommended to me by my friend Chris, and I thank him for it. The book is a collection of essays, and if you enjoy David Sedaris-type humor, you’ll also dig Rakoff.
Finally, on the music front, the well has been a bit dry. I have no interest in a music style called Reggaeton, which is hugely popular here. It’s kind of like a more-bastardized mix of hip-hop, R&B, a bling-heavy lifestyle, rump-shaking dance music, Spanish lyrics, and a few possible STDs. Think Shaggy (“Mr. Boombastic”), but even more mind-numblingly terrible, if such a thing is possible.
So, while I was in Colorado, I at least filled up on music that I was able to get from Bobby and Davey, as well as Dustin and Sam. Much of that is great, especially the heavy and hair metal music, which I seem to be getting more and more into every day. But the song that has most thoroughly captured my attention recently is one that I bought on itunes on a whim when I wanted to finish off a gift card: Meatlof´s “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”
One time Andy and I were talking, and we decided that one of the coolest things about Radiohead´s song “Paranoid Android” was that it was essentially three songs fused into one. So, going by that benchmark, “Dashboard” is pretty much the holy grail of rock music. I can conservatively count 6 or 7 different possibilities for breaks in this single song, and it’s simply got everything! It has spoken-word dialogue between a man and a woman, a baseball announcer calling the shots in an innuendo-filled broadcast, and (a presumably younger and less-rotund) Meatloaf trying to seduce his girlfriend in the back of his car. It goes on for something like 7 minutes. By the end, when you hear the (admittedly pretty good) line “It´s all that I can do / Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!” you feel as though a sweaty Meatloaf has seduced your ears and made sweet, fumbling love to your brain.
THIS, my friends, is music. They just don’t make it like that any more.
So, hopefully this post has inspired you to go out and read a book, or at the very least, to make a meatloaf for supper. As for me, I’m getting mighty hungry, so I’m headed home. Have a good one!

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Errand-Running Monkey at Sitzblog
Hey! I'm Ryan Sitzman, the person in charge of Sitzblog. If you want to know more about me, you can check out my profile on Google or go to my personal site, RyanSitzman.com. You can also click on any of the redundant little boxes to the left and it should take you to my profiles for all kinds of social networks. Thanks!

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