Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Dragon Reborn Audiobook Update 1: Prelude and Perrin

Hard to imagine that I am on book three of this Wheel of Time journey. But for real it actually feels like I should be on book 234 by now. I mean for 60% of my runs I listen to these audiobooks and based on the other weekly series of this blog, Marathon Monday’s (on Tuesday’s), one would think that I would fly through these things. But you forget that these books are god damn enormous. Also maybe I don’t run that much. Just kidding it’s never my fault. Also that statistic is totally made up. Stats are for nerds. Unless they prove my point.

So intro out of the way, I am on to The Dragon Reborn. Easily one of the better titles of the series. By titles I literally mean the title of the book, I forget if this is one of the good ones. Because as of right now, we got teenage angst Rand, who is pulling his best Antonio Brown impression and just refusing to cooperate. Like when I was listening to the Perrin chapter and it is going something along the lines of Perrin saying “if you know Morraine is right, why are you being such a disagreeable little bitch” I envisioned Tyrell Williams saying this exact thing to Antonio Brown about Mike Mayock. I promise I did not know another Raider WR of the top of my head and had to look that up. I know I said I refuse to do research but I also made up that declaration.

On the topic of research, this book has a great chance to be enjoyable due to the simple fact that 2.4% of the book is Rand’s POV. That one is not made up, I pulled it from that WoT wiki. I would count this as a blessing, as already Perrin sees right through Rand’s bitchassness and starts taking charge by hitting on all the women that are into Rand. He is playing the friend/confidant role to Min, trying to get in her good graces so that when she needs a shoulder to cry on about ol’ Randy, Perrin can slide up in them tomboy cheeks. Lanfear even smells how soft Rand is and tries to throw her hat in the mix of being in the Perrin pack. I had another word to throw in that sick alliteration but that crosses a line even for me.

I may have mentioned before that the prelude chapters are some of the best chapters in the series and this prelude is no exception. The concept of the Children of the Light is one of the more interesting concepts of the book. Here they are just super anti-magic so they go around essentially trying to bully everyone under the guise of trying to keep people pure. It’s an awesome militant group that adds a kind of predictable yet entertaining third hat in the ring. Pedron Niall is a fun character. His little quest for glory revels a lot about the inner workings of the Children and kind of mirrors the Forsaken in their individual motivations taking precedence over the fake one-for-all goal.

Final Notes: Yes I watched the game last night. If you bet with me you are dumb. Go Giants! I know I did zero book reviews and I didn’t do my vaunted country review. O well.

Mat's Money Makers

Matrim’s Money Makers: NFL Season Opener Edition

That is supposed to be Locke Lamora

To set the stage

The Game:

Green Bay Packers (0-0, 0-0 Away) vs. Chicago Bears (0-0, 0-0 Home)

Date: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019

Time: 8:20 p.m. EST

Venue: Soldier Field – Chicago, IL

The Bet:

Spread: GB: +3 (+100) | CHI: -3 (-120)

My Guaranteed Winner:

CHI: -3 (-120)

FOOTBALL is back! Which means the return of the easiest way to make (lose) money this fall! Behind on your credit card payments? Bet (don’t) with me. Need Roman swipes (sponsor me please) because your girl is complaining that you are a two pump chump? Bet with me! Tired of running out of cocaine in the pre-game? Bet with me and stay bumping lines until 5 minutes into the game like a god damn champion/drug addict. Ride the gravy train straight into some KFC biscuits. Get yourself back to a zero balance, get your dick numb, work on deviating that septum, all things are possible when you follow the advice of a man who titles his gambling blogs after a fictional gambler from a fantasy series.

On another note that isn’t hardo gambling guy/blatant rip-off of The Wolf of Wall Street this new way of setting the scene with the formatting is much better. Thanks FanDuel blog thing!

Okay so now that the scene is set lets get into the meat of it. The Packers are coming off of one of those nightmare seasons. 6-9-1 with McCarthy’s fat ass getting the boot after 12 games. Rodgers continuing to be Mr. Glass and going down for the year. The kind of stuff that gets the boys down. So naturally they brought in a whole new coaching staff.  They have no notables in the receiver/running back game. Normally that wouldn’t matter, Rodgers is honestly that fucking good. He also rippppped the Bears heart out last year. But they have a new head coach in Matty LaFleur and I think it’s safe to say that the first game of the season with an entirely new coaching staff, playing on the road, and playing a great Bears team is a recipe for disaster.

The Bears are a lot of peoples pick for coming out of the NFC. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. Obviously they got massacred by the Double-Doink but they are a young, hungry squad ready to tear it up. Easy choice.

None of this is new information. I am not reinventing the wheel with this stuff. The point I am trying to make is stats and shit are dumb. This is an obvious feeling bet. Also Aaron Rodgers can’t chug a beer. That has to haunt a man. At least for a week. Please?

“The innocent died along with the guilty. And if you did nothing, then only the innocent died.”

-Mat Cauthon

Marathon Mike

Marathon Mondays Week 8: Back and same as ever

Back from a not-so-well deserved vacation is the number 204958028 blogger in the world, here to tell harrowing tales of his adventures in foreign lands. Actually no I am not doing any recap of Colombia in this blog because I am terrible at coming up with ideas and need to save that for another day. What I am going to provide the world with is a progress report on my quest to run a marathon.

Kind of like what college football did with week zero actually having official games, we are officially at Week 8 of this thing after last weeks unofficial Week 8. Actually that doesn’t relate at all but I do want to say calling something week zero is either bad-ass or the stupidest thing ever. Since college football is boring as fuck, I vote stupid.

As you can see from the lovely picture above, I clearly did not run once on my vacation. I have to say taking a week off was the most bizarre feeling I have had in a while. Not since I went to Ireland last year have I taken more then 4 days off consecutively. I just felt kind of lost, especially since this was in the middle of an intense (for me) training program where I am so used to running at a minimum five times a week. But let me tell you, allllll of my nagging injuries and aches and general physical pain is gone. While I normally scoff at the idea of rest, I still scoff at the idea of rest.

Week 7 of the program was a monster. Having not ran on the Sunday for Week 6, I had to run 10 miles on Monday, leaving no rest day heading into Week 7. This would have been fine in a normal week, but due to scheduling I really had no other day besides Thursday to do my long run. So I followed up that 10-miler with a not terrible tempo run and then I guess my recovery run was the 7-miler on Wednesday. I was dying on that run.

The real fucking challenge was of course the 16-miler. I set a new distance PR (everyone loves hearing about other peoples PR’s I know). As you may have noticed, the run was broken up into two parts. This isn’t because I did like 12 in the morning and 4 at night, it’s because after running 12 miles the fucking skies opened up like a lady of the night to the point where sidewalks flooded and I physically could not run. I had to take cover in a hotel parking lot for like 10 minutes until things calmed down a bit. I looked like a jackass because of course I was running with no shirt and I was just standing there with my thumb up my ass shirtless freezing my nipples off. Things were going surprisingly smooth throughout it which is the real frustrating part. Either way it got done.

This week is another calm before the storm week. I ran the 5-miler I never got to before I went on vacation when I got back Monday morning. Went straight from watching Avengers: Endgame, through customs to hitting those streets like a lady of the night. Thats a callback joke right there . . . I think. I also have never seen any of the Avengers or like the last 12 Marvel movies so that was certainly something. Feel like that Thanos guy gets a bad rap. He was a hardcore motherfucker.

Since I am publishing this late Tuesday night I also got to admit I already ran the 6-mile interval run. It wasn’t too bad. Looking forward to having a nice week to ease back into things. Not looking forward to doing that tempo run on Friday. I am firmly anti-tempo gang. Lets get itttttttt.

Final Notes: Really excited for the next few weeks on the blog, I finished three books over the course of the vacation so I am chomping at the bit to get these reviews out to you guys. One of the books I have blogged extensively about and I can’t wait to whine like a spoiled white child who doesn’t get to eat cookies for dinner. God that is just not a funny joke. The other two are a surprise!

Also FOOOTTTTBALLL is back this week. I know college is already back, but right now I have on this Notre Dame vs. Louisville game and I am getting my yearly reminder that college football is fucking boring. I mean they are showing this fucking Notre Dame coaches vacation pictures from Ireland and Scotland. Jesus Christ. Might bring back Mat’s Money Makers, the ultimate fail gambling blog.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Wrap-up

A long, long journey has finally come to its conclusion. Just kidding I think I still have twelve audiobooks to go. Which is great because I am struggling to come up with content and need the distraction from the misery of my daily life. Also the audiobooks are solid.

Welcome to the Friday blog series of one man’s journey to listen to all 14 audiobooks of The Wheel of Time while simultaneously training for a marathon. The Venn diagram of people who have attempted such a remarkable feat are two separate circles. Credit to me.

The Great Hunt is a tale of one man’s attempt to steal something that doesn’t belong to him and a hero named Mat bravely stepping in to take possession of it. Another hero, Ingtar, makes a valiant effort to eliminate this creep by playing an integral role in trying to assassinate him. This swine of the earth is of course the moody, ever complaining, miserable sack of shit known as Rand al’Bore.

The Great Hunt is an excellent sequel to the first book. It advances the characters enough to leave plenty of room for growth, without having their character arcs go past the point of interest. Idk that was a pretty boring recap. Let’s talk fighting and fucking.

So the big final battle of The Great Hunt is a weird ghost fight between Rand and Ba’alzamon that is just a terrible event that Rand unfortunately comes out the victor. If we are in the trust tree I have to admit that these like magical showdowns are soooooo boring. Especially considering this is kind of the way the first book ended, it just feels like there are a lot of different options for this final battle scene. Does there have to be an enormous god-like showdown? This is Rand’s second one-on-one fight in the last 100 pages (I think but idk because I’m listening to it) so it just seems like we could have lived without it. Either way it happened and spoiler alert, Rand wins! Terrible

What is awesome is that the blower of the horn is Min (I ain’t talking about the Horn of Valere folks). But also cool is Mat blowing the horn and summoning your boy Artur Hawkwing. Artur drops a few gems about Rand being the Dragon Reborn then he and ghost gang fuck up the Seanchan after they finish putting a beating on the Whiteblokes. That also is not very fun because it is a foregone conclusion. Birgitte Silverbow makes her appearance here and I forget when she gets stuck as a real person like a Pinocchio thing but maybe it happens then? Whatever its time to save Mat already.

In my own conclusion, I regret to inform my zero readers that I will be in the great country of Colombia for the next 8 days so unless I somehow get access to a computer and feel like writing blogs that no one reads there will be no update on my marathon training nor this audiobook. What I will come back with is a couple of book wrap-ups since I plan on finally finishing both The Stone Sky and The Dark Defiles as well as a comprehensive review of the country of Colombia. I might try and somehow do a marathon training blog at some point next week because I feel like this week deserved at least some discussion but who knows. Moving on to The Dragon Reborn! Stay classy everybody.

Marathon Mike

Marathon Mondays Week 7: Third times a charm

Marathon Mondays Week 7: Third times a charm

It’s Tuesday. I know this. Moving on.

Well officially Week 7 is in the books. I have to say that this was probably the easiest week since maybe week 4 but still fraught with it’s own challenges. I last left off talking about having an 8-mile interval run, and honestly it went great. Here is a breakdown of workout. Just realized that it is much easier to post what the workouts look like instead of trying to explain them through words.

God I love loading those workouts into the watch. I had assumed that a GPS watch wasn’t going to impact me too much, especially since I still wind up taking my phone on most of my runs, but features like having the watch breakdown the workout while running it has made doing these workouts astronomically easier. This workout though was not at all easy, by the 8th set I was fucking gassed. I felt like I was making good time, I do a good job at maintain the hard, short stuff if you know what I mean. Boner joke! But the next day my hammys were tighter than a . . . I am done with the inappropriate jokes.

Which led me to the rest of the week, as you can perhaps see I had back-to-back 8-milers. That wasn’t too bad. The rest of the week seemed like a de-load. I did my long run on Monday because I was in PA all weekend, watching some band called Florida Georgia Line. They are the ones that sing that roll your windows down song. WHO KNEW! Pretty sick. The run went fine, I tried one of those gel things, I think the brand was LAKJ:LKJ (no free ads). I mean for a 10-miler I know that stuff isn’t necessary, but I want to start experimenting with drugs, I mean gels, so I know what to expect. I remember my first gel.

That was the corniest joke I have ever written. Meaning it was great.

Which brings us alllllll the way to Week 7, hell week. Why is it hell week? Welllllll I am going to Colombia on Saturday, so I need to get all my runs in over the next 5 days. Meaning my week is looking like an 8-mile tempo run, which I already ran this morning. Looked like this:

And after that, a 7-miler, my long run 16-miler, and a 5-mile hill workout. If by some miracle I wake up at 4 AM on Saturday I will attempt to get the last 5-miler in. Am I concerned about all this? Very very concerned. This is a lot to take on in a short amount of time, but if I want to at least get the most out of this week then I think this is best. Fortunately I will have a week of rest after it, so as long as I am able to get it done I will deal with the consequences later. Let’s get it! Also stay tuned for a review of Colombia, yes the entire country, in a couple of weeks.

Book Reviews

The Ruin of Kings Wrap-up

*No spoilers I think*

I mentioned briefly in a few other blogs that I was taking a quick respite from the Broken Earth Trilogy and A Land Fit for Zeroes because I thought it would be beneficial to read something else to kind of spice things up. I choose to tackle the heavily marketed The Ruin of Kings, which was touted as the next great fantasy series, getting wild comparisons from everything to A Song of Ice and Fire (if I have to read or hear one more person say “If you like Game of Thrones you are going to love this” I am going to stab that person/screen I am reading) to The Blade Itself. Hefty comparisons. I personally believe that making comparisons is pointless, everything has it’s own unique flavor and saying something is like another thing creates expectations that will invariably not be met.

So here’s a comparison. The Ruin of Kings is a handful. It has elements of so many very familiar aspects of fantasy. It has a magic system, mystical creatures, battle of the gods, and rebirth soul switching thing that would be right at home in the Malazan world. It has the dual storytelling style of both the child and adult versions of the main character that would make Kvothe smile. It has the slightly unbelievable pull-one-over on you charm that would make Kihrin a welcome edition to the Tannen/Lamora dynamic duo. And yet where all those books seem to find their lane and stick too it, The Ruin of Kings attempts to juggle all of this in 560ish pages.

Certainly ambitious. Does it succeed? Here is where I believe that if you had any expectations going into reading this you would say no. And that would make you dumb. What Jenn Lyons did is make a story that is just fun. I am not going to say it is the most profound thing I have ever read. It’s not the most complicated, the most philosophical, the most whatever the hell you want to call those other series, but rather it is just flat out enjoyable as hell. It is so wildly over the top, so unnecessarily convoluted, so all over the place that if you just are willing to stop trying to compare it to other things, you will find yourself going along for the ride with a smile on your face.

You have read this story before. 10 times, 100 times, everyday of your life. You dream this story, you tell yourself this story to stop yourself from cumming too quickly even though you know that never works for me I mean you. That’s how familiar you are with it.

Lets break it down:

Orphan boy with a rough upbringing finds out he actually is a part of a prominent household and struggles to fit in. But he also has magic. But he is also the center of a prophesy. But he is also a famous wizard/god reborn. But he also has to avenge the deaths of his loved ones. But he also has to save the world. Throw in a dragon or two, a god or 8, a few lovely sexual escapades, an ancient artifact. Even some light incest! This would be the type of book that you would think I would have a fucking field day tearing apart. And if I choose to analyze it maybe I would. But I can’t because while it may seem like a mess, it fucking works.

It might sound crazy but this might be up there on the most enjoyable things I have read this year. It reminds me of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. The Dark Knight is arguably a better movie in every way, Heath Ledger delivers the performance of a lifetime (literally), the plot is masterfully put together, it is the right amount of serious and action packed. It’s captivating, engrossing, subtly and not subtly dark. And yet, I would watch The Dark Knight Rises over it every time, twice on Sundays. Does that make me a small brain? Sure. The story has a billion holes in it, the bad guy’s motivations make no sense, batman recovers from having his spine snapped with prison workouts. You can’t understand Bane at all. But it just works because it toes the line between serious and ridiculous, creating fun. By the way Bane is one of my favorite villains of all time. Might be one of my favorite people. I don’t have many (real) friends.

So in my opinion, The Ruin of Kings is worth it. If you don’t spend any time trying to figure stuff out you will love it. Also the footnotes every two seconds offering commentary and filling in knowledge gaps was clever and funny as hell. Wow this review fucking slaps mannnnnnn.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 7: It seemed so logical, then

What an ominous and unclear subtitle. First off I’d like to say RIP to Ingtar. Yes he was a darkfriend and betrayed Rand, but then again he betrayed Rand so could he really have been all bad? Quite the conundrum.

A dark start to the weekend for sure. If only that archer had shot Rand right in the heart… O I lament for what could have been. What an all time great line from Ingtar. I know it’s a serious moment but I just think of your friend convincing you to do something stupid after a long night out and just being like the next day “it seemed so logical, then.”

If you stuck with the blog this long after an odd start lets get right into it. Today is the weekly update of the number one Wheel of Time audiobook review and discussion. Who rated it number one? ME of course, if I speak it into existence then one day it will be true. At least that is what every corny ass motivational speaker or self-help book author says. More importantly though, it’s friday!

Had a great chance to knock out a lot of the audiobook this week, and I think by this time next week we will be taking a journey through the third book. By the time I finish listening to this entire series I will have ran 10 marathons, and written 500 blogs. Pretty crazy.

So one of my favorite parts of the entire series, partly because I actually remember it, was the duel between Turak and Rand. I don’t think I am alone in this, Reddit always seems to have one person chiming it about how much they love this. But you know what no one seems to talk about, just how great it would have been if Rand didn’t cheat and Turak ran him the fuck through with his sword.

I have to say every time I picture this fight I always find the idea that Turak has these like crazy long old lady nails hilarious. Like how the hell is he supposed to swing a sword around with these neon claws. Unfortunately this was our best chance to off the protagonist and Turak dropped the ball. This mush-mouth, cat lady nail having, old Irish golf pant wearing, skinny bitch couldn’t get the job done. Heron marked blade my ass. I think I would have rather seen that god damn kid Mat tricked into thinking there were ghost hound things running around take a chance at Rand over this clown. What an all time choke artist.

Lets talk about the hero of the series and his bravery in blowing the Horn of Valere. It was awesome. The fact that Arthur Hawkwing wastes time talking to Rand instead of the peoples champ is an all time snub. Him and his Snape nose can go roll in broken glass naked.

And that about wraps up this week in audiobook love. I have a special treat coming tomorrow. You guessed it, it is another blog. Real special. Lets get it.