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The Shadow Rising Audiobook Update 4: Reminiscing about Rhuidean

I have been so focused on having the blog catch up to my progress in the audiobook that I actually think I overshot it. The plan was to write about the entire Rhuidean adventure, buttttttt I have not even got close to finishing it. So I guess this leaves me no choice but to work with what I got.

I think to many it may be obvious, but I am not sure that Rand is all there mentally. I am not ready to call him the r word, as I still have a professional job and no way to sustain myself, but the dude is certainly not the brightest. So this jabroni is with our hero of the tale and they are heading into ghost town just dying of thirst when he realizes he can just magic them some water. When he finally does get some water he barely even realizes he needs to drink the stuff. I mean this guy is a grade A idiot. A Pat Shurmer type guy.

Shoutout to Mat. No surprise here but when him and Rand are on the border of entering the creepy ass fog ridden Rhuidean he says that they should go in together. Rand pulls some nasty trick where he makes the coin flip the way he wants, basically barring Mat from really being there for his friend. Mat decides that it might be nice to take a little stroll through another ter’angreal (I abhor typing that word out, I have to look it up everytime) door since he has some time to kill and gets himself back in another world, this time with some fox homies instead of I quote “snaky people.”

Instead of answering questions though, they ignore him until he asks for the holes in his memory to be filled. Then they ignore him until he asks for a way to be free of Aes Sedai and the Power. Last he asks to be away from the fox homies and get back to Rueidien. They just go “done” and start chirping him for being a fool. Those fox homies are annoying as shit.

Listen I do not think Mat handled the fox homies too well, he left a lot on the table. To be fair he didn’t exactly know the rules but I remember him actually coming out pretty ahead in the exchange. That end quote is pretty dope though. To end off this much delayed blog, a little excerpt from Chapter 24.

“Wise to ask leavetaking, when you set no price, no terms.”

“Yet fool not to first agree on price.”

I have no idea what the fuck that means but it sounds cool.

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The Dragon Reborn Audiobook 5: Tear and things

I had to read last weeks rendition of the greatest audiobook recap of the Wheel of Time or audiobooks in general because so much happens towards the end of this book it was hard for me to remember where I ended and what I included. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

From what I can gather (I didn’t really read last weeks blog, that would be called preparation, and everyone knows preparation is the antithesis of success) from the subtitle, no one had made it to Tear since the last time we talked. Which gives me so much to pick and choose.

I think it is fantastic how individually Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne can accomplish so many different things, but when they are together they constantly get duped or fall into easy traps. Case in point, them once again getting kidnapped, this time at least the Black Ajah did it. So these dumbasses go to stay with this old toad wise woman and within one night get bundled by Liandrin and gang. Like how dumb do you have to be to get kidnapped a mere week after getting . . . wait for it . . . kidnapped. Say I get in the van offering me candy as a child and I am justttttt about to get the old molestation pecker before I am miraculously saved. Next time I am walking down the street, you best believe I am looking every which way making sure no one is offering me candy. If the ice cream man so much as looks my direction I am running like I am Golden Tate burning that Pats corner last night when he turned around to make sure he was good (and gloat a little). Dumb and dumber and dumbest.

Who the fuck you think has to save these idiots? You guessed it, the hero of the Wheel of Time, my idol, Matrim Motherfucking Cauthon. This guy is the epitome of class, fresh off of murdering the dude sent from Caemlyn by Lord Gaebril after out-gambling the dude, Mat enters hero mode. He practically has to drag Thom to a wise woman, first off saving him, before he finds out the terrible trio got bundled. Wasting NO time, he saunters off to the stone of Tear to begin operation rescue. He then almost whips up on some Aiel who sneak up on him and basically does the fantasy version of a flash bang grenade by setting of some fireworks, anddddd takes down a bunch of High Lords of Tear in one-on-one combat using a quarterstaff. The best. Only quote I am including in this blog:

The man in the gold-striped coat sneered. “You will be honored to die on the blade of the High Lord Darlin, peasant, if I allow it so.” It was the first time he had deigned to speak. “Instead, I think I will have the pair of you hung by the heels, and watch while the skin is stripped from your bodies-”

“I do not think I’d like that,” Mat said.

So Perrin has got a lot on his plate. First he has to deal with Moiraine telling him what to do, then he decides that he would enjoy nothing more than just blacksmithing for the hell of it. The chapter where he just walks into a blacksmiths smitthy and starts working with no conversation is just peak Perrin. The guy loves manual labor. While he is working he has to deal with creepy ass Faile borderline sexually harassing him at the workplace. And the girl has the nerve to get trapped in World of Dreams. Perrin teams up with fan favorite Hopper and gets to chomping. Love it.

Lastly I will end with Rand al’Snore. I ended with him about to duel with Be’lal. SOOOOOO interesting. Book recap will with no doubt be coming next Friday.

Final Notes: Last night for the first time in a while I felt like the Giants had a realistic chance at beating an elite team. Then they didn’t. The over hit though.

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Marathon Mondays Week 12: Final Month

One month left to get myself prepped for the TCS New York City Marathon on November 3rd. Well not exactly one month but the month mark is this week and I wanted a catcher title so shut the hell up. Yesterday’s long monster run was super reassuring. I felt like after I finished that while I was tired as hell and my legs were beyond sore, I still had some gas left in the old tank. Which is good because this shit is not over

Let’s take a look at last weeks torture session. I mentioned that last week was going to be my hardest week in terms of mileage and trust me I felt it. The week started off with 8 miles of hills, which honestly I love and I thought they went great. I was battling with my watch running out of juice as you can see from the two activities I logged instead of one, but rising above that adversity, I thought I did a good job. Next time I have to do an 8-mile run I think I will up the reps for the hill, I did 8 and I think the workout is better suited to 12. O well it’s done.

The 9-miler the next day was not easy. My legs were still pretty beat up from the hills but I was able to power through it. 6 miles the next day felt even worse, but the following two days were not bad at all.

On to the monster run. 20 miles is noooo fucking joke. I decided to run 2 loops, one was 13 miles and the other was the remaining 7. I had those goo packet things at miles 6 and 17 and felt like they really provided the boost I needed. I hydrated at miles 7, 13, and 15, which was a lot less then I did for my 18 mile run but I was feeling pretty good. I didn’t take any Gatorade, I would have but I was too lazy the night before to go buy some. I did eat a quarter of a banana at mile 13, I think I am going to do that from now on because it helped a lot with feeling lightheaded. In terms of my pacing I was pretty solid, I ran at a 10:20 pace. That was a lot slower then I did for the 18-miler but this wasn’t a race situation so I wanted to take things slowly so I wouldn’t burn out. I am at the point where doing the distance is way more important then being fast. No complaints about it here.

Looking at next week it doesn’t really lighten up that much. I have an 8-mile interval run tomorrow, which doesn’t seem terrible but still is no walk in the park. Followed again by another 8-miler, that will more then likely be the hardest run of the week. Hills on Friday will be a nice way to go into the weekend. Either way lets get to it.

Final Notes: Daniel Jones!!!!!!!! PLAYOFFS BABY. Please?

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Snake it Till you Make It: Frank Meza Edition

This is a little bit different then my normal blogging material, but I promise it is well worth the read. Let me set the stage for you. Frank Meza is a retired doctor in Los Angeles who was a proponent of that stupid ass barefoot running craze that led to those weird web shoes. You can watch him in all his glory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKmo8scMx1I Who gives a shit about some 70-year-old doctor who’s going to die soon right? Well the fucking internet does of course. Because let me tell you about my mans Frankie Meza. Frankie boy is a world class cheater, and his specialty is cheating hippie marathons out in Cali.

Your boy Frankie is currently in some hot water for allegedly cheating at the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon, where he set the record for the fastest marathon ever run by a 70-year-old with a time of 2:53:10. To be fair I just keep reading that he set the record, I have yet to find anything official on that. And also to be fair, he didn’t allegedly cheat, he without-a-doubt cheated. The point of this blog is not to prove his guilt or innocence since he is so clearly cheating, but rather to acknowledge a master of the craft.

Frankie boy has a long history of the long con, this was not an anomaly. You may be questioning at this point, if you have not already seen the story or been on Reddit, just how Frank cheated all these marathons? Well Frank is the master at cutting the course, which involves him exiting the course at some point and entering it at another. He has only gotten better as time has gone on, like literally this grandpa’s marathon times have steadily been improving as he pulls the ol’ Benjamin Button. He has gotten craftier by learning from his mistakes turning into a practical ghost who can teleport anywhere on the course. He specialty is the LA Marathon where he has been improving on his craft since 2015. Here are just some prime examples of places he got caught cheating.

He was disqualified once, from the 2014 California International Marathon. This is where he learned the importance of consistent pacing. See Frankie boy ran his final 10k in 36 minutes, which is awesome. The problem was that this final 10k was at a minute-per-mile pace faster than the rest of the race. Not to be thwarted, he tried this again at the 2016 CIM and of course got disqualified. When he could appeal, he was just like na fuck it.  

One would think this would deter him, as people seemed to be catching on, but apparently my man also is suspect at large at the 2019 Pasadena Half Marathon and The 2018 Long Beach Marathon, where once again his paces don’t add up. The beauty of Frank is you can’t stop him, if you disqualify him he won’t bother too appeal, he will just try it again and again. His determination to continue to cheat is just incredible, he is addicted to the cheating game through and through.

At the Phoenix Marathon this year, he cheated, which was proven by a camera that was set up where he just happens to have never blessed us with his appearance. That could happen to us all, I mean there are plenty of NYRR races where I am not on it, but those are still cameras, not video. Either way he pulled the wool over all our eyes. Granted everyone investigating him said he cheated, but no action was taken. Record set!

But the LA Marathon is where his bread is buttered. His biggest stage. His one shining moment. Frankie boy knows exactly where to cut in, just look at this here picture. While the picture itself doesn’t exactly mean he cheated, I said earlier I am not here to put him on trial, he is guilty.

But see where a loser like you and me might be like “shit got caught, might as well come clean,” Frankie boy has gone the 90’s baseball player route by denying any wrongdoing. This is all part of the craft. When shown the photos, he gave a perfect response along the lines of he ran off the course to pee. This having to pee thing screwed him up the year before because he went into a hotel to pee, so this year he let it fly on the side of the road. Genius move.

Frank is someone to be admired. Not for his actual ability to run of course, he’s a first class loser who is cheating in a totally amateur capacity and disgracing what it means to be a marathon runner or runner in general. But rather for his ability as a world class grifter. For some reason I keep comparing him to the legendary Frank Reynolds, a master grifter in his own right.

Since this race, the LA Marathon loser committee has decided not to disqualify him, but rather to have someone accompany him next year. Que up the injury bug, because I guarantee Frankie boy will have it come time to shine.

Since he was not disqualified for this year’s stunning performance, Frankie must forever be known as a record breaker. Game recognize game.

Final Notes: I got a lot of this information from a site called marathoninvestigation.com. I want to say that while I admire the level of detail this guy went into to knock down a good man like Frank, you have to be an allllll time loser to spend that many hours poring over an amateur’s race data. Like this guy was literally comparing photos and analyzing pace charts looking for discrepancies. The amount of pent up anger you have to have to spend that much time taking down someone is just a classic case of someone who needs to either jerk off or get laid so badly. Game does not recognize game. He did make this blog easier to write though. Thanks!

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The Premier Lacrosse League Experience

I am always conflicted when I go to a sporting event that isn’t one of the four major sports (Basketball, Football, Hockey, and sadly Baseball). Part of me wants to so badly get into the event, but no matter what, it is always in my mind that I am watching an inferior product. Take soccer for example, while not a diehard soccer fan, I am someone that plays it and watches some Premier League. When I went to see a Red Bull vs. NYCFC game, it is kind of obvious the players, while amazing and significantly better then me, are not the best in the game. I’m sure the players would agree, if offered the chance to play for Liverpool they would leave in a second. New leagues struggle from lack of legacy/history whatever you want to call it. The fans don’t have any skin in the game, they aren’t lifelong fans and while it is nice to see your local team win, in the end Instagram won’t be flooded with videos of people freaking out and chucking their TV’s out the window.

What NYCFC had was an awesome fan-friendly experience. There is a dedicated fan section that while not humungous is not tiny, and those knock-off hooligans made it really hard not to enjoy the game. Will I ever watch the MLS on TV? Hell no. But those games are an absolute blast to go too, the fans are really into it and the organization does a fantastic job of keeping the crowd engaged. That whole playing in Yankee Stadium thing is a nightmare though. The field looks like its hobbled together five minutes before they open the gates. Looks utterly ridiculous. Kind of hard to have your league be taken seriously when you play on grass/turf Frankenstein hybrid field.

With that aside out of the way, the PLL has some of its own challenges. The first major one is that it is a new league looking to challenge Major League Lacrosse (the MLL). The MLL isn’t great, it suffers from the same problems the MLS has, except with an even smaller fan base then soccer has. But it is the established pro league. That is not to say that there shouldn’t be a challenger, but there is definitely not room enough for two pro lacrosse leagues, without even including the indoor lax league. I mean football couldn’t even make it work with the AAF. I watched two seconds of that shit and it was god awful.

The amount of people that are even aware of what a lacrosse game looks already is a major factor to building a leagues popularity. It seems like the PLL is trying some new things to garner some eyeballs, but will that be enough? Even if a league can gain a consistent viewership, are there enough lax fans to have a league turn a profit? If I was a hardcore journalist I would research the answer. But I am not.

Gut feeling is no.

That being said, on Saturday I went to go watch some Premier League Lacrosse. I was going to say I went to the watch the New York Whatever’s buttttttt they don’t have city names, instead they are like club names. The team names are great, you got the Whipsnakes, Redwoods, Chrome, Atlas, Archers, and of course the Chaos. I guess you can just pick a team and root for them. The way they do this is all the teams play over a weekend in one location, the first week they were at Gillet Stadium, last weekend they played at Red Bull Arena.

It was the fact they were playing at Red Bull Arena that made me go. As a Hobokian, it’s an easy PATH ride to the stadium. The Saturday ticket was a double-header, I only stayed for the first game which was the Chrome against the Whipsnakes. I got to say, walking in I was a little hesitant, the problem with pro lax is that there are a lot of kids, as my girlfriend astutely observed, it looked like a Barney concert. A little harsh, but to be fair I think Barney brings a bigger crowd. That purple fucker can move a crowd.

I will say the crowd size was disappointing, not a great showing at all. I don’t know the official numbers so I don’t want to hazard a guess, but man that place was empty. That did mean I could move seats, but overall that is not a good thing for a new league. Seemed like there was some kind of pre-game festivities, but nothing crazy. Crowd size is not surprising, the arena is really in bum fuck Jersey, far enough away from an actual lacrosse fan-base in Long Island to discourage parents with no way to entertain their children to make the hour or two drive to go see a game. Especially when the New York Lizards play at Hofstra.

I swear she was watching. My mouth was agape at all the awesome action

As for the game itself, there was certainly a shitload of talent on the field. Household names like Matt Rambo and Matt Danowski and all those other household names were out there putting in work. I did enjoy the rules, the 52 second shot clock and the two-point line added some speed and excitement to the game. But it was pretty obvious, especially towards the end of the game, that they have not had much practice with each other. I mean all these guys have played for major programs and are beyond talented, but some of the stuff was a little sloppy. They let the boys hit though. Overall I had a good time, the game went to overtime and that got me really hyped and into it. I seemed to be the only one hyped except for two bros sitting by themselves shirts off catching some sun. Gotta get that tan going. Would I go again? Probably not unless I was given tickets. I heard the broadcast for it is cool, like the players are mic’ed up. But I didn’t hear them at the stadium so that’s a wash. Also the ball is neon. There is that.

I wanted to save the end of this blog for the FOGO guy on the Chrome, Connor Farrell. This guy was amazing I think he was like 10 of 12 on face-offs. The only one he really lost was when he went to scoop a ball with one hand because he was too lazy to bend and scoop the ball properly. He’s built like a guy who is going to lose a ground ball because he’s too lazy. It seriously looks like he just rolls of the couch and goes out there. When he wins the groundball, he just flicks it from random release points to his teammates. Its glorious. If he doesn’t have a direct line to his teammate, he just chucks it to the ground in front of them. Can’t be bothered with running to get space. Love this guy.

Looked up what his actual stats were, 11-12. Am I observant or what?

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Eye of the World Audiobook Update 6

No idea if that is the sixth update but looking over some of my recent titles I just keep putting the same title on it so for the sake of keeping a running series I gave it the number 6. Old school Miami Heat LeBron style. Actually that makes me gag. Looking up famous athletes who wore number 6 it’s like Bill Russel and Julies Erving, both dudes that are not from my time so I guess LeBron blog it is. Expect this blog to be extraordinarily self-centered and quick to blame others. Unless I succeed, then it’s all because of me. God I can’t stand that man. If he gets traded from the Lakers that will almost fill the void in my heart that Zion was supposed to fill. RIP in pieces to my dream of one day watching the Knicks without complaining the entire game. I guess I will also throw the Giants in that category.

I want to talk a little Warriors Blazers but I fell asleep at halftime so I won’t.

That’s talking hoops folks.

Back to the book. Hand up it wasn’t my fault but I was fed false information about the Mines of Moria part of the book by anonymous sources (my memory). A temporary lapse in memory from years of misspent youth had me thinking that weird out-of-world path that connects different parts of the world was where the Moraine gang was headed too but in actuality it was Shadar Logoth. I honestly really like this part of the story even though I think the running away from the Trollocs and the giant killing fart cloud is stupid. I love the move of the fat guy trying to get Rand and our hero Mat to try and take some gold. I would be diving in that pile grabbing annnnything I could lay my hands on. Quick thinking superstar Cauthon saw an opportunity to get his bread up and took it. Not his fault that it turned out to be cursed, honestly its Moraines fault for not being more on the ball. Like if there is cursed treasure and Foreskin running around let the crew know. Like she should know looking at Mat that he is going to try and get them stacks, so throw him a heads up. Fuck al’Bore I wish he took some.

Such an underrated move from Moridin just blowing up like a pufferfish. Not once in the history of media has the pufferfish move failed. Too bad it didn’t pan out. Maybe I had trouble hearing this part of the chapter but why can’t he just stab them? These are the kinds of questions that I had as I avoided puddles running in the rain for the 14th straight day.

But some good came out of the trip, all the characters split up. The book is much better when all the main characters have time to develop their own individual story lines. Though I don’t talk about him a lot because I think his story isn’t the most interesting, I really do enjoy Perrin. His chapters are a kind of nice pallet cleanser from the Rand teen angst shit and the cattiness of the Aes Sedai. Now that the dead weight has been cut off, it is time for Mat to truly shine.

And that kind of concludes the update. I guess I should mention that Kate Reading read to me for the first time. The switch off from the female narrator/female POV chapters to the male narrator/male POV chapters was refreshing. Also honestly all this rain has been miserable and made the beginning of the week a pain in the ass for getting miles in. Had to do my long run Saturday which meant I ran 37 miles instead of the 33 I had planned. Didn’t taper at all this week and now I am just sticking with 36 since the Brooklyn Half is Saturday. Might plan to do a race review, has nothing to do with fantasy nor pro sports but it’s my blog so if that’s what I want to write that’s what I am going to write.

Final notes: Had to go to Dumbo to get my race packet. Hadn’t been there since I interned at Melville House Publishing. Love that area and loved that internship, ABSOLUTELY hate getting there. Come-on NYRR it’s ridiculous that I can’t just go to the Run Center to get the packet. Shirt looks fire though.

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Don’t go Chasing Waterfalls Winds of Winter Edition

I have refrained from blogging about GoT since the inaugural debut of this blog for a few reasons.

  1. Everyone is doing it. I spend so much time reading other people’s takes on the show that I have no interest in writing about it.
  2. I am not as smart as all these nerds on Reddit, so anything I come up with is either completely stolen from someone else or is just unoriginal. I don’t have it in me to analyze a TV show like that.
  3. I am super negative all the time and find no joy in anything, this season has given me so much to complain about that it just wouldn’t be fun to lay it all out.
  4. I enjoy writing about books that I have read little to no reviews or theories on. I start doing all my wormhole research after I finish books because I just find it more enjoyable.

So this blog has nothing to do with the show. The show was good enough that I am not upset by it. HOWEVER there is something that I must talk about. There is a prevalent rumor circling the internet streets thanks to the actor that played Barristan Selmy (real name Ian McElhinney) saying in an interview that books six and seven are already done. Georgy has not released them because he has struck a shadow agreement with the show creators, those two fucking losers at the end of the episode who pretend to give us insight into the episode but instead just try and mislead or market the show. The agreement states that the show has to finish first.

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Look I can bust out the stats and analytics showing how GRRM is not that delayed. He is maybe a couple of years off from his normal pace. BUT HAVE SOME FUCKING SENSE. This guy went from a relative unknown, very few people outside the fantasy world were familiar with ASOIAF before it became the biggggggggest show of all time. Now he is not only crazy rich, he is arguably the most popular author alive right now, if you want I can hedge that and say he is at least having the biggest moment right now. He is one of like 10 living authors a regular non-reader can name off the top of their head. He had a South Park trilogy episode thing on him. He is beyond famous.

Of course he is struggling to finish the book. The stakes are astronomically higher. I have no doubt he felt an enormous amount of pressure writing the books initially, but that has to pale in comparison to what he feels now. Like there is no way he understood real pressure until now. And the guy is an amazing writer, he isn’t going to put out shit just because he has too. Look at J.K. Rowling, I often say that my favorite book was The Half-Blood Prince, it was the most humanizing and the best look into the wizarding world. But The Deathly Hallows was trash, there is noooooo doubt in my mind that she felt crazy pressure to provide an ending that would appeal to the masses. And let’s not forget, he has put out two very solid books since A Dance of Dragons. I legitimately loved Fire and Blood.

It’s like when an athlete starts to listen to the media and changes the way they play. You start hearing that you don’t pass enough, so you hesitate when the big shot comes to you and pass and it turns into a disaster. You start hearing how your running style doesn’t work in this offense, so you change the way you run and now you can’t break one free. These things impact people, but unlike sports, there is no game where you can focus in and just play, you have to constantly re-read and re-work things. That’s got to suck.

So all things considered, the book is not coming out. But also selfishly, finish the fucking books already pleassssse. Also I really need to get off Reddit that shit is poisoning my mind. Barristan I thought you were a smart dude but now I got to say it, you a dumb ass. Stay woke, this was all a marketing ploy to get people like me fired up again. It worked.