Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 6: Endless worlds, endless possibilities

I would like to take some time out of your regularly scheduled program to honor a true hero. A man that has faced ridicule, faced trials and tribulations, faced haters and doubters, and has rose above adversity to lead his people to greatness. I am talking of course about the legend number 8 of the New York Football Giants, Daniel Mothafucka Jones. Hi pocket presence, his ability to read the defense, his pure athleticism caused the drive that was heard round the tristate area like a local car dealership. What does this have to do with The Wheel of Time you might ask? Well my friends, in short, everything.

It was a hot summer afternoon when a young man, fresh off a grueling and truly terribly performed 8-mile run sat on his couch and tuned into the New York Football Giants. He had just finished listening to an hour-and-a-halfish (yes that’s how long it took to run 8 miles, I am not proud of this fact) of a fantastic audiobook courtesy of the lovely folks at audible (sponsor me please), when a hero first entered the television screen. He proceeded to complete his first pass. I was intrigued. Another play, another completion. My eyes were laser focused on this man-miracle. He dares to throw another, he succeeds in completing this monumental feat. Now I am tearing up, for three in a row can’t possibly be possible. Pray it is no fluke. A fourth pass, a fourth completion. I am full on weeping tears of joy. My dick may or may not be harder than a blood-diamond.  And finally, the grand finale. He lets the ball go, TOUCHDOWN. The sky erupts as the heavens open up in the presence of a god. Lightning is appearing in the sky, the world is sundering at the seams. The fabric of reality is torn. The sheer magnitude of the moment causes a weather delay. I worry how this will affect my bet if they can’t finish the game. I finish my aside. Go Giants!

There is a part in chapter 37 of The Great Hunt where Rand is trying to use a portal stone and it is acting like a shitty motor that just won’t get started. He finally gets the thing working and like a sputtering engine we are treated to six renditions of the word ‘Flicker.’ Now reading ‘flicker’ six times in a row takes no effort at all, but hearing it six straight times was just torturous. Worse than listening to a country song. BUTTTTT what we do get is this sickkkk chapter where Rand lives out like 100 lives and I have to say, I like every other version of Rand better than the one Robert Jordan subjects us too. In one life he is a disgruntled guard with an attitude problem, who goes on to lead the Caemlyn army in a last stand. That is fucking badass. None of this soft ass crying. Also Rand screws up and they launch themselves 4 months into the future. Good job dipshit.

Meanwhile at the White Tower, we are treated to an, wait for it, angry Nynaeve. The source of her anger? She got whipped up on for throwing hands with another Accepted. Nynaeve embodies the world-renowned scholar Aubrey Graham’s famous quote “twitter fingers turn to trigger fingers.” She doesn’t take no shit from noooooobody. I do think it is pretty weak though that Liandrin is able to convince them all to leave the White Tower just because they are afraid that there are Black Aja around. Like couldn’t they just go to the Amrilyn Seat? The precedent has been set that they have at least the semblance of a connection with her, and certainly asking her would be wise. O well they didn’t so off they go.

I do want to address the elephant in the room. Many have been clamoring that Matt in these last few chapters has exhibited elements of what us in the world like to call a “snitch.” In some of the lives Matt sees of himself, he has told people that Rand has been able to channel. Some, those deep dark hating trolls, would believe that this means that our hero Matt exhibits snitch like tendencies, but I am here to say that could not be further from the truth. What traits Matt truly embodies are that of the hero, he is willing to sacrifice even his own friend (who has proven to be a terrible friend on numerous occasions, even deigning to look down upon him) for the sake of the safety of the world. Duty is lighter than a feather, heavier than a mountain indeed. Happy Friday everybody!

Final Notes: I promise some more book related stuff is coming, but taking a break from The Stone Sky and whatever is the name of that stupid ass third book in A Land Fit for Heroes series to read The Ruin of Kings has me about halfway done with three different books. An interesting conundrum.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 2: Rand getting Randy

At this point of the book, we have to question if Rand is more of sexual deviant then supposed savior of the world. Sure he doesn’t explicitly have sex, or like harass anyone or any of the other things that makes my judgement obvious, but it takes a little reading between the lines to really see it. I guess this deserves some context, and with that WELCOME TO THE AUDIOBOOK UPDATE.

Assuming you are still reading after that, let me be the first to say Happy Friday! I have been fortunate enough to avoid getting trapped in the murderous heat (mostly because I spend all day trapped in the gulag I call work) and though my electric bill is rising faster than a priest’s pecker in a preschool, there’s no way I could possibly go without some AC at night. Not looking forward to having to run Saturday and Sunday, I probably will get up early and try and bang out the long run tomorrow morning. Not that you care you are here to hear about what I have heard!

Well that is going to have to wait a paragraph or two because I am here to talk about some gear. Thanks to Amazon Prime Day, no free ads, I was able to get myself a Garmin Forerunner 235 for $140. I know that the Forerunner 245 has come out already and that attributes to Garmin trying to sell off their old models, but I am not a guy who needs my watch to do a whole bunch of different things, I just want an accurate GPS and a timer. The price is well worth it for the watch, I remember for Black Friday the watch cost $200. So using it for the first time this morning, I knew that this was well worth it. The watch made checking my distance so much easier than either checking my phone or waiting for the audio cues from Runkeeper. As someone who is highly obsessed with making sure the run goes over the actual distance, I always had to adjust the GPS map on Runkeeper. Inevitably I would find out I’m .2 miles short of my goal then trudge my ass up and down the sidewalk looking like one of the crackheads in Church Square Park. All in all, this is much easier.

Okay back to the book. The characters have had their split before they inevitably meet up at the end, like all good fantasy books should. The paths have been set, Egwene and Nynaeve are headed for the White Tower, Rand is trying to keep his dick in his pants while simultaneously lording over Loial and Hurin, and the hero and wolfboy are chilling with the Shienaran boyzzzzzzzzz.

A quick comment on Padan Fain, his paranoia talking to himself thing gets a little annoying at times, but him fucking up that Myddraal by skinning it in front of all his gang is badass. I can imagine that being absolutely gruesome and terrifying. Fear is effective. And frankly more fun to read about.

I love the way Nynaeve straight up disrespects the shit out of everyone. O you are the Amyrlin and everybody purses their lips to kiss your ass, fuckkkkk that I’m going to air throw you against a wall and show you I’m the real one. Just a boss ass bitch who takes no shit. All anyone needs to do to motivate her is tell her that if she trains eventually she will fuck them all up.

The hero and Perrin are choosing to stick to the mission, which is to get the horn back. Matt’s disdain for any magic power is inspiring, he is just the perfect character. He successfully ices out Rand because Rand was acting like an entitled lord, and when Rand tries to apologize Matt’s like helllll no don’t come near me with your magic madness ass. Characters who can get by in a world of magic without any magic always make me happy. I do enjoy Perrin as well, his personality is a little over the top with the humble blacksmith routine, but I love the wolf connection. He also is a house and I respect a unit when I see one.

But let’s get back to Rand the pervert. He meets this random girl named Selene and acts like he has never seen a hot girl before. Look that’s okay, Rand is a certified loser who already lost the girl he has a crush on, so it is to be expected that he is going to be a sucker for the next woman who flashes a little kneecap, but my god you are pathetic bro.

First off, he lies about his status as a lord and eattttts up the attention Selene gives him. The guy is literally fumbling for words. Pathetic. But it is the scene where he catches her trying to rob him that gets me. Let’s run through the things he says and I will leave the reader to draw their own conclusions.

“Unbidden, the thought came of Selene with no clothes. His face went red again.”

Bro, you just met the girl and you are already undressing her with your eyes. You haven’t even followed her on Instagram yet, where you can look at her in conspicuously angled pictures meant to draw your eye to her more prominent features where she is essentially naked and you don’t have to imagine anything. Also he completely disregards her when he questions how she knows all these things about Kirby’s Dreamland when Loial, a MAN, doesn’t even know it. Basically says that because she is a woman there is no way she could have read as much as Loial. Disgusting, no respect for her mind.

“It was not that he wanted to touch her, exactly-he reminded himself that he loved Egwene; he felt guilty at the need for reminding-but she was beautiful, and she though he was a lord, and she said he could be a great man.”

This one is just too much. Break it down, he said he wanted to touch her! Without even the pretense of dinner! Get the girl a cheeseburger first before trying to touch her buns. Despicable. You know what stops him, GUILT, guilt over the fact that he is going behind the back of the girl he is talking too, salivating over a girl he just met. He would have touched Selene if he didn’t think he would feel guilty. And the whole thing about being a Lord, Rand hasn’t even held any real power yet and he is already thinking about ways to use that power to manipulate innocent women to get laid. Thirsty ass Rand just another typical man who thinks because he has power he deserves to fuck whoever he wants. So shameful.

“He had put Nynaeve’s age to her-a handful of years older than himself-but he had been wrong, he realized. She was more his own age, and beautiful,”

“She seemed so cool and self-possessed, no older than he,”

“It was not as if he had never seen a girl’s legs before: girls in the Two Rivers always tied up their skirts to go wading in the Waterwood ponds. But they stopped doing it well before they were old enough to braid their hair, and this was in the dark besides.”

THREE COMENTS ABOUT HER AGE. This guy is the fucking worst, he tries to pull this shit in America he’s going straight to jail, or the head of a finance firm… Look he mentions how hot he thinks Selene is, but he can’t stop harping on the fact that she looks young, he is almost obsessed with it. When he sees Selene’s legs, his FIRST thought is about little girls in the river, and he remembers this fondly. I am going to let you draw your own conclusions, but the evidence piles up after a while. There is a reason this is an anti-Rand blog.

Final Notes: I just want to acknowledge the kind of mind it takes to listen to an audiobook while running, retain the information and form opinions, and latter write that stuff down. On top of that I am even able to find quotes that I recall hearing. Truly inspiring stuff.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

The Great Hunt Audiobook Update 1: Lan’s Life Lesson’s

There are times when you got to raise your hand up and admit when you are in the wrong and not for the first time in my life I am raising my hand. I have let down my loyal and nonexistent audience by not providing an audiobook update last week. My apologies friends, I had a four day weekend and took the lazy way out. You may be wondering why I didn’t address this scandal on Monday’s blog. Well I didn’t want to sully my marathon blog with the stink of failure.

That being said, with the week winding down and marathon training in full almost week swing, there has been ample opportunity to dive deep into the The Great Hunt, which is of course the second book of the Wheel of Time series. I really do want to start listening to a random book in a series, like say book five of a ten book series, and see how impossible it is to follow. I think that would provide a solid level of content, since if I just continue to lightly recap the WoT I might hang myself like the prisoner in Fal Dara after he sees the Myddraal during the Padan Fain rescue attempt. That’s called a lead in folks.

Something that Robert Jordan does extremely well is these prologues that give us a POV of a character to kind of give us a different perspective then what we are going to be reading. Old Georgy does the same thing with ASIOF and now that I am thinking about it I think that a lot of authors do this exact thing. Point is, I like this shit, especially when we start to get POV’s of the bad guys. The meeting of the Dark Friend posse is interesting because the Wheel of Time, along with many other fantasy series, has the tendency to make the bad guys seem so dumb, like they kind of just fall into these traps or screw up at just the right moment. I understand some of that is necessary but it is refreshing to see that there actually is a bigger plan at play. The out that Ba’alzamon offers us is he is unsure if he wants Rand dead or not. So anytime Rand doesn’t get killed it’s a solid “well it’s not his time yet.” Just for the record I am retroactively redacting the “p” word.

What we have gotten more off in the start to this book is some good ol’ fashion Lan dialogue. I am not ashamed to admit that I almost universally love any scene in a fantasy series that involves some good ol’ fashion training. Good ol’ fashion. Just thought I should say it a third time. Maybe it is because I harbor deep seeded dreams of becoming a pro athlete despite never playing a college sport (and already being 26 out of my prime), or because I respect the grind. Or maybe I just like it idk not everything has to be looked into. Is deep seeded the expression? Who knows. Point is that we get lots of Lan’s Life Lessons. Shit that is a great subtitle for this blog or a good blog series. When you get to this part of the blog you will have noticed that is already the subtitle. A little behind-the-scenes on how I create greatness.

Lan takes an active role in training Rand, which mostly involves beating him with a practice sword. Let me tell you, nothing in this series brings me more joy then the idea of Rand getting whipped up on. The lessons he offers are the basics, but he keeps urging him to leave which shows that he not only cares for Rand (which is dumb) but that he can think separately from the goals of the Aes Sedai. I just finished the part where he imparts his final lesson “sheathing the sword” which is not the line dropped on us by the late great Walder Frey “every sword needs a sheath.”

“There will come a time when you must achieve a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or in defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in your own body. … when the price is worth the gain, and there is no other choice left to you. That is called Sheathing the Sword. Remember it.”

Sick use of block quotes. If you asked Walder Frey to interpret Lan’s expression I believe he would introduce you to a concept made popular by famous Marilyn Manson rumor. I’m talking self-sucking folks.

While I normally don’t consider myself a sappy guy I can’t get enough of the Lan and Nynaeve forbidden love thing. That touching ass scene where he gives her the ring is heartwarming. As someone who loves to watch (forced to watch) a decent amount of Rom-Com’s I have a soft spot for this kind of thing.

No Matt yet and for this the book has suffered tremendously. The book also suffers from the Amyrlin Seat’s terrible fishwife expressions. It is soooooo forced. Cringe worthy. Pretty much the equivalent of every line in Twilight (the movie not the books those were good). I like her as a character but her lines are sometimes brutal.

The point of this book is to go get the horn they had for two seconds back. Thought it would be worth mentioning.

Final Notes: I wanted to do an NBA trade’s recap because anyone who even passively follows the NBA or free agency knows this has been insane. With Westbrook going to the Rockets my mind is fucking blown. Just for the record I may have mentioned I am crazy anti-Westbrook. I was going to make a joke about Westbrook saying “anti-ninja turtle” but I am vehemently pro ninja turtle. I want to get into summer league gambling, seems like a real thrill. That’s Friday folks.

Journey around the Wheel of Time

Eye of the World Audiobook Update 8

Sugar honey iced tea welcome to the 8th installment of a loosely based serial blog of me half listening to an audiobook and using the review format to rant and rave about life so if I you have been keeping up with this or are just tuning in (little TV lingo for ya) I have been listening to the Eye of the World audiobook not because the TV show is coming out and I wanted to freshen up on it so I could look down on people and feel o so smug as I tell them how much better the book is whilst dropping tidbits such as the always classic “that’s not how it happened in the books” and “I CAN’T even believe they changed that” as you slowly think of the fastest way to remove yourself from the conversation and never walk over to my desk again or text me back  but rather because I wanted to see if the story still held up after I read it years ago and mildly enjoyed the series despite the 10000000000000000000 (approximately of course) pages and story that spiraled more out of control then a night out on the town with former Knick great J.R. Smith aka as “you tryna get the pipe” DM line dropper.

That was a mouthful and I’m not talking about the eighth season of Game of Thrones (get it??? It sucked the big one [that is a fellatio joke {cue the irony joke drums as you stab yourself in the eyes with the green straw from a venti Starbucks iced coffee you purchased at the bargain price of $6.94}]). That sentence had more brackets then your office during March Madness. God I need to end this blog ASAP. Fridays am’I’rite???

Maybe I don’t need to spend too long talking about running this time around, I have been running 36 miles a week still. This week I am going to hit 37, next week 38, week after that 10 HAHAHA just kidding 39 just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Training is going well, my eyes recovered from their battle with bald head sunscreen. Got some solid time with our favorite team of destiny, and I am not talking about the Warriors. Cue the segway . . . speaking of the Warriors I hope all four people outside my family who may read this blog (not positive my family does TBH) don’t take any of my gambling advice. If you bet on the Warriors you are like me, someone who is losing to set up the COMEBACK. The hot streak of picking wrong is still on! Team of destiny my ass, you let stick figure Siakam and Raymond Feltons’ twin brother beat you. Won’t speak ill of Kawhi he’s amazing, OOO WAIT, I bet on him having a double-double and that fucker had 9 rebounds (he actually had 8 but 9 seems much more heartbreaking). I mean they were throwing up circus shots and it would just roll in no biggie.

Let’s talk the tav’ern team. Rand and Mat are out there doing their best Thom immpressions. Rand of course is being a little bitch, when some farmer’s daughter is giving him the ol’ lets take a barn yard roll eyes he gets all nervous and keeps playing his fiddle. Hey buddy you think she was just trying to make you nervous so you would keep playing because they are on a farm and haven’t heard music in their whole lives? All time loser. Mat on the other hand, legend. She gives him those eyes “It’s Goin’ Down” like a Yung Joc song. Or going down like Yung Joc’s career. Shout out to him he sounded good on that T-Pain song in 1987.

We should take this time to admire what Mat is doing. His healthy sense of paranoia is what that duo needed. Rand ready to trust any farmer with a straw hat, going to get himself diddled with that attitude. Mat on the other hand is ready to stab his own friend with a cursed knife from the evil pufferfish in order to SECURE THE BAG. Game recognizes game. Evil Mat is awesome.

O yea Perrin’s dumbass and Egwene got captured by White Cloaks. Good job bro. At least he killed some. Actually I think I mentioned this  last week. Happy Friday!

Final Notes:  Went to Book Expo yesterday (yea that’s where only publishing professionals and people selling weird book related merchandise no one wants go, talk about exclusivity) and saw that Robert Jordan is actually publishing a new book. I was going to ask if Jordan wrote the book whilst hanging out with Tupac, but I saw that the scientology publisher had delicious looking cookies so I decided to grab one of those instead. Just kidding I was too nervous to talk to anyone because I suck at networking hence why I hide behind a blog. Learned a lot about L Ron Hubba Bubba though. Let me tell you a little bit about him…

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Eye of the World Audiobook Update

Hey as a new segment we are going to do “Mike is behind on the internet.” So on today’s segment I have a fantastic new announcement to make. Amazon Prime is making a Wheel of Time series or something and production starts in the fall. Remember this in five years after season one of that LOTR series airs. Incredible timing by me to decide to listen to an audiobook so that I can properly shame any fan of the show with my favorite intelligence shaming comment of all time, “This is not what happened in the book.” Now the natural retort would be to just say, “Hey Mike you are supposed to work in publishing but your spelling and grammar fucking suck you dumbass hack.” Well played. Credit to you.

Back to the audiobook. Been running my second 33 mile week and so far so good, at like 25 already this week so very ahead of the game. Seems like these long runs are getting a lot easier, I am supposed to be running the Brooklyn Half on May 19th and I planned on dropping the mileage to like 25 next week to kind of make sure my legs were in shape but I am not sure I really need to do that. Either way, running is going well.

So the book. Baerlon didn’t pan out so hot for the crew, the fade kinda ruined what was a fun time. Also Rand al’Bore just shouting out his whole life plan to Padain Fain probs didn’t help either. I would say that was Rand’s first mistake in the book, though no worries that clown ass fake dragon reborn makes many more. Also, I know this book does well in the sense of having strong female leads but I forgot how annoying the cattiness and posturing of characters like Nynaeve gets. Just feel like there are better ways for them to interact. Whatever it’s not like a deal breaker, but listening to it instead of reading it I just want the whining to stop. OOOO MORAINE DOESN’T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY. No shit she is out here making herself fucking giant and whipping people with her unbreakable staff and you are like o miss have a cup of tea for exhaustion. Know your role fam.

I think I am at the part where they just finish their first skirmish and are heading to that weird Mines of Moria portal world. The skirmish went well, of course all the characters instantly succeeded in fighting on horseback. Pretty sweet when Lan chops of the fades head and all Thom could say is “O you gotta wait until night for them to die, I think.” Buddy I am sure the magic lady and her super soldier are aware. Love Thom though, shout out to him. The hero of the story whipping people with his quarterstaff is Arya before Arya. Good for him, at least he actually takes some damage, unlike Rand who just willy-nilly hangs on for dear life falling off his horse. A real hero gets hit.

Final notes: I lost on Golden State the other night, just keeping it honest. Since I live in Jersey and can use *Gambling site pay me and you can appear here!* my friend asked me to put money on the Bucks for him. Thought that was stupid. Loved seeing a winning ticket that wasn’t my own.

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Matrim’s Money Makers

“I’m a gambler, a farm boy, and I’m here to take command of your bloody army.”

As fans of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time know, there is one character that everyone has wished to channel as they place their bets, the legendary gambler Matt Cauthon. His best chances to win were always when the game was at it’s most random and let me tell you, regardless of what you think you know about sports nothing is more random then sports gambling. So without further to do, here are my guaranteed Matrim Money Makers. For the record I only watch the tourney, so I really don’t know shit about this teams take my advice and you are probably an idiot.

6:09 PM ET

No. 3 Texas Tech vs No. 1 Gonzaga (Gonzaga -4.5/137)

Gotta go with Gonzaga, purely based on the fact that I find Texas Tech beyond boring, like a Bran POV chapter or the entirety of The Dark Tower series. Will Gonzaga win by 5, sure why not! Lock it in!!!

8:49 PM ET

No. 3 Purdue vs No. 1 Virginia (Virginia -4.5/126)

I have consistently bet again Purdue this entire tournament, and the result has left me bleeding like Silgar after Karsa gives him that light work. My gut always tells me to take the favorites, but honestly Virginia is also boring AF soooooooo Purdue it is. Actually Carsen Edwards is awesome which means one thing. DOUBLE DOWN!