Gary Hoover's Blog - Posts Tagged "kindle"

Fellow author, Connie J. Jasperson always comes up with great blog entries. As I was discussing her latest (http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com/) with her and some other authors, I commented (some might say ‘whined’) that I can never come up with any good blog topic ideas. And then – in an act of stupidity that rivaled that of Charlie Sheen when he decided he didn’t need writers . . . or a hit show to continue raking in bucks by the truckload – I suggested that if someone would throw out a topic, I’d write a blog on it.

Connie responded with one word:

Pretzels.

Pretzels?!?!

Are you &^%$^$#@ kidding me?!?!

How am I supposed to write a blog about #$@%$#@% pretzels? I mean, sure, I could probably string a few hundred words together, but will they illustrate the sort of thoughtful insight that my readers have come to expect from me?

So my first stop was Wikipedia. You can find anything online, can't you? I remember discussing that concept with a friend once. I made the comment: "It's great that nobody has to feel alone anymore. I'll bet you can find a facebook group of just about anything. I'll bet that if you find yourself feeling a little . . . odd . . . because you find Miss Piggy sexy you can go on facebook . . . and find a group for that.”

. . . and sure enough, right after I said that, I looked it up, and THERE WAS ONE. I am now one of 7 proud members: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/gr...

Wikipedia tells me pretzels are from Germany. The thing I remember most about the time I was in Germany wasn't the Alps or the history or the architecture. I remember that they had Hogan’s Heroes . . . dubbed in German . . . on the TV. Is it just me, or is that really funny? I mean, if the Germans made a show depicting Americans as complete buffoons, I don’t think I’d want to watch an English-dubbed version of that show . . . (though I guess that could possibly explain ‘Jersey Shore’).

One of the other things I remember about Germany was an American themed cafe in which . . . everyone dressed like Fonzie. No wonder people in other countries hate us. They’re jealous of our prowess with women and our ability to start juke-boxes with a single punch.

I was at an American themed restaurant in Italy once also and, while they weren’t dressed as Fonzie, they did create the appropriate mood by hanging Norman Rockwell paintings on the wall . . . and blaring Led Zeppelin. I can’t complain about the food, though. I had a ‘hot-dog’ - which was a sublimely spiced sausage on an Italian roll with sliced mozzarella, tomatoes and arugula.

Can you imagine the shock and despair an unfortunate Italian tourist must feel when he stops at his first hot-dog cart in Manhattan and says: “Am I to understand that the limp gray . . . thing you just pulled out of that fetid water will not be served with arugula?”

But I’m afraid I may be drifting off the main topic. What were we talking about? Oh, right, Germany.

My wife and son (Linda and Ryan) recently returned from a trip to Germany. Ryan, it seems, is quite fluent in German. He often speaks German around the house, but we always just assumed he was making up words in an effort to annoy us and find words that allowed him to spray spittle in our faces.

. . . but it turned out he was quite good, and he had many conversations with native speakers . . . including a point at which Linda and he were waiting in line at the airport and he was jabbering in German behind Linda’s back – to the great amusement of the Germans in the vicinity. We still don’t know what, exactly, he was saying, but I suspect it was something along the lines of: “By the time these stupid Americans find out we were really the ones behind: ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ it will be too late."

Anyway, by the time I got to the reference to Tycho Brahe in the Wikipedia pretzel article (seriously, check it for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretzel) . . . I knew that author had the same problem I did . . . THERE'S JUST NOT THAT MUCH TO SAY ABOUT %$#@^%$ PRETZELS.

Tycho Brahe, now THERE’S a blog topic! Why couldn't you have suggested that, Connie? There's a guy who advanced our knowledge of the universe, but what do we remember about him? That’s right, he was the guy who died because he refused to pee even though he really had to go. Who hasn’t used that one on their kids at one time or another? “Come on, why don’t you try to pee before we get in the car. You don’t want to end up like Tycho Brahe, do you?”

Do you know who else accomplished great things but is only known for one stupid, embarrassing thing? William Howard Taft.

Did you know that Taft was the ONLY person to ever be President AND Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? How amazing is that? What an accomplishment. Wow.

But what do we remember about him? That’s right, he was the big, fat guy who had to have a special, over-sized bath-tub built in the white house.

Isn’t that sad?

I happen to be a fan of a nicely presented Ho-Ho myself. Does that mean I'm doomed to be known as 'the fat guy'? Does that mean that no matter how many literary accolades I accrue (What? They have a Pullitzer for fart-jokes, don't they?), people will remember me as: 'You know, that portly fellow who always had crusty, dried wing sauce in his beard.'?

Hmmmm, you know what? I may stand corrected. Pretzels may be more interesting than I originally thought . . . when you really study and get to know them the way I have.


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. . . either figuratively or literally (Can a fictional character ‘literally’ die? I mean it is ‘literature’ . . . sometimes language makes my brain hurt).

And, no, I’m not a hater. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, and I’d love to see more. But I’m looking at this with the pragmatic eye of a story-teller. Let me explain.

We knew, by the 2nd or 3rd book that Dumbledore would die. It was clear that we were seeing the set-up for a battle between the ultimate underdog vs. an incredibly powerful, evil wizard. We knew that such a battle would never work if the greatest wizard in the world was standing in the wings ready to slap Harry’s hand and jump into the square circle with him . . . so we knew that Dumbledore had to die before the story could conclude.

But here's the thing: As of the end of Deathly Hallows, we had a new ‘World’s Greatest Wizard’.

The recent talk of Pottermore has generated interest in the possibility of new books and the obvious choice for a follow-up would be to feature the kids that we saw at the end of DH. Sure, J. K. Rowling could start the story with all new characters at a different time . . . but that wouldn’t give us what we want.

A story featuring the new kids would be the only thing that would capture all of the magic of the first series for the fans . . . and for that to work, Harry must die. So your choice is: Get new books and watch Harry die . . . or do without any new books.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the way I see it.

In the case of the Harry Potter character and a new series, “Neither can live while the other survives”.


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