On reading, TV shows, and being a junkie

I realise I spend a lot of time reading books I don’t really like just because I feel like I should finish books I start. Then I put off reading because who wants to read a book you don’t like? But then I can’t start another book unless I finish reading the one I’ve started. So I don’t read. Tada. Quited retarded logic really.

For the past few months, I’ve been mostly addicted to TV shows. I binged through Seasons 3, 4 and 5 of The Good Wife. After that was done, I said I’ll take a break and read a book. I read maybe one chapter, discovered Orange is the New Black, and binged right through the two seasons in about 2 weeks. If I didn’t have Chinese slitty eyes before, now I definitely do.

Other than that, I just really really need to stop scrolling through useless brain shit on my phone. I seem to spend every waking moment staring at one screen or another. Be it the 12 hours I spend sitting in front of a PC at work; the accumulated minutes of me standing at the bus stop, waiting for the lift, sitting on the tram, waiting for takeout, and eating dinner while reading the news, googling things I will forget, and getting jealous of other people’s lives on Facebook; the hours spent binge watching TV on my computer at home…..it’s crazy. I have no self control. (And it also shows that I don’t have a life?)

Sometimes I think I’ll make the best/worst junkie. When I was reading the Game of Thrones books, I bombed through them one after another. Man, if you’re my dealer, you’re gonna love me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Things Dull and Ugly

I’ve been reading Richard Dawkin’s The Greatest Show on Earth (on evidence for evolution) and he often digresses into interesting and sometimes funny little tidbits. Here’s one I found quite entertaining. It’s a parody by Monty Python of a Christian hymn called All Things Bright and Beautiful:

All Things Dull and Ugly

by Eric Idle and sung by the Monty Python team

All things dull and ugly

All creatures short and squat

All things rude and nasty

The Lord God made the lot.

 

Each little snake that poisons

Each little wasp that stings

He made their brutish venom

He made their horrid wings.

 

All things sick and cancerous

All evil great and small,

All things foul and dangerous

The Lord God made them all.

 

Each nasty little hornet

Each beastly little squid

Who made the spiky urchin?

Who made the sharks? He did!

 

All things scabbed and ulcerous

All pox both great and small

Putrid, foul and gangrenous

The Lord God made them all.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

I’m exposed to more American media than I’d rather be: from TV shows; TV series; CNN news; to novels; magazines; and the internet.

I dare say,  besides from the few blogs of friends that I read, 99.99% of things I read online are American.

Thus, it was very refreshing that I’ve recently read the British-written Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

A friend bought it a long time ago and told me that it sucked; plus, it’s a book on punctuation, of all things! So I never bothered.

But I had nothing to read, found it in a library, and thought I’ll give it a try – and see why in the world a book on punctuation made the bestsellers’ list.

And…I loved it! I think it’s absolutely brilliant!

Not because I’m all that bothered about punctuation, but I think her writing is fantastic, and her dry British humour made me read it more for laughs than anything else.

I don’t think Americans are too impressed by it, since it trumphs British punctuation and and gives British examples and just, really, writes in a very British way; but I found it very refreshing and very witty.

It’s not an instructional book, but more of an extended rant on the state of modern punctuation with bits of history and rules of usage thrown into the mix. It doesn’t get boring at all; in fact, you wouldn’t know how interesting punctuation is and how it all came to be! Ha!

I would read it again, less for the how-to-use-punctuation, but more for a reminder of how different British wit, humour and cynicism is. :)

(I suspect some are going to think I’m biased towards the British now…)

Burger off

I’ve recently finished reading Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.

And it has effectively put me off McDonald’s.

I did not dislike McD’s to begin with. I’m the last health-nut you can think of.

There was a period of several months, when my usual breakfast cook (aka, mom) went away for holidays, I was eating 2 hash browns and a hot chocolate from McD’s a few mornings a week.

But ever since reading that book, I couldn’t bring myself to put a hamburger in my mouth.

Believe me. I tried.

When I’m tired of figuring out what to eat for lunch, I sometimes walk over to the nearby McD’s. I went in there twice on two separate occasions, but wasn’t able to bring myself to pay for anything.

A whiff of the burgers was just too much.

I’m not eating it anymore not because I think it’s unhealthy, or unsanitary, or whatever. But after reading what is essentially the entire history of the fast food industry, how they shaped the American economy, how they affected labour practices, how they changed the agricultural landscape, and how a burger or a fry comes to be, you just sort of go, right, I think I’ve read enough and I now know too much to eat at McD’s again.

Though I’m not sure how long until I forget how cows are slaughtered (I am aware animals are killed for food. What I didn’t know was how modern slaughter houses function…the dangerous jobs inside, the illegal immigrants with mangled limbs, how diseases spread, etc etc), how burgers can be thawed tasteless things because there is actually a food additive that makes a burger smell like a burger, and how franchises work (and doesn’t work), knowing me, I’ll probably pick up at least some fries soon.

(OMG, as I am typing this, my colleague walks in with a big sheet of newspaper clipping of McD’s coupons!)