I was recently accepted to Southern New Hampshire University and will be finishing my master’s degree in History there. I noticed that they use the The Chicago Manual of Style, and to be honest, I didn’t want to buy it. I still don’t want to, but I think I may have to. The book is massive and it’s all about writing, and something that I don’t necessarily want to dive into after learning how to write in the MLA style.
Finding A Free The Chicago Manual of Style Download
I was planning on finding a free download of The Chicago Manual of Style, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a link. Then I just fought the notion of piracy and found that you can get this cheaply from a couple of sources. Of all the sources, and all the people that I ran into, I found that there are 2 main options that you can go through to get this book cheap.
The Cheapest Ways To Get The The Chicago Manual of Style
Here are my notes on how to get this book cheapest:
Borrow one from your friend – that’s right, find a friend, borrow theirs and Xerox copy it or take notes and that’s it.
Rent The Book – you can rent The Chicago Manual of Style by clicking here, and get it for way cheap, for a short span of time.
Buy It Used – you can buy the book used and get somewhere between 10 and 20 dollars off by clicking here.
Buy It New – you can always buy it new by clicking here, and getting a fresh copy of it.
Those are the cheapest ways to get The Chicago Manual of Style. I know, I know, you can dig deep and try to get a free download of it, but chances are, you are going to be like me, and run out of resources fast. As my school year speeds along, I have no real way to get this book for cheaper, so I finally just bit the bullet and bought it outright. I guess it’s good to have on hand. I recommend using the links above, instead of trying to find a free download of The Chicago Manual of Style, simple as that.
The band that is Nofx has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager. Ever since Epitaph records sent me a paper catalog, I have been listening to their music. It even got me in trouble when I was going a religious school. Whatever the case is, all these years later, I’m still a fan. I’ve seen the band play twice, and it’s always a fun showcase of punk rock glory. I recall I even saw them on my birthday, which was a nice gesture from my ex back in the day. As the band keeps pushing forward, they release Nofx “First Ditch Effort”, and it’s 13 songs and around 33 minutes of music. I didn’t know what to expect since Green Day put out a terrible record, and didn’t have much hope for long time bands putting out new music, but this was a surprise gem.
Personal and Frenetic
The band has always found a way to mix hardcore punk anthems with stellar songwriting, and simple bass lines. This is no different as the band goes through soft, hard, and outright chaotic songs. There are personal lyrics that are absolutely insane. From “Six Years on Dope”, to “Happy Father’s Day”, to “I’m a Transvest-Lite”, there’s a lot to explore on this. You could either take it at face value, or you can dance a bit, and enjoy the punk rock onslaught that the boys in Nofx are still putting out.
Same Old Nofx
For those that are looking for an evolution, this is not it. Nofx doesn’t change their style, doesn’t give you anything new, and just plays to their strengths. Why not? It’s amazing that they just keep pushing forward the same old style, but with new lyrics, and fun elements. That’s why I love the band. They don’t bend to the radio, they don’t want to be pushed into the limelight on anyone else’s terms. They are pushing political, snotty punk rock, and it’s not even that polished. This is NOT Green Day, that’s for sure.
Star Rating For Nofx “First Ditch Effort”
It’s refreshing to hear Nofx continue to push their music to all the same levels. I love them, and this record is a dynamite piece of wax. I didn’t pick up the “pink” edition, but you can find that if you look hard enough. I give this record a 4 out of 5. It’s not as fun as “Coaster” but it’s really good overall, and that’s something that I will definitely state today and months from now as this will get a lot of spins on my record player.
Ah, the years that made Green Day a household name in punk and alternative music were grand for me. I got in a lot of trouble for loving the band, and my stepfather even beat me once because I was listening to secular music. Well, jokes on him, but that’s not important right now. Green Day came through another release schedule with a few singles off of this record and it is now released. Green Day “Revolution Radio” is out now, and it’s an album that is going to make a lot of fans mad, and some indifferent. I’ve had a chance to listen to it, and now am offering my review of the 12 song, 44-minute opus.
Not Your Standard Green Day Record
If you have fond memories of their first 3 or 4 records, stop it. This is not them at all. This is another progression for the band. The band has put together 12 songs that are absolutely polished, even more so than their previous records. If you liked the dichotomy that was Uno, Does, Tre, then you may like some of the tracks here. They are all disjointed if you ask me. The first song for sure is not what you’d expect. With the lead singles of “Bang Bang”, and “Revolution Radio”, I thought for sure we would get a return to form, but nope. The band is not playing punk rock; they are playing alternative rock ala Goo Goo Dolls at times. While that’s not a bad thing, it’s definitely not what I expected after the first two singles were put out.
A Boring Outing With A Crap Name
The name of this record was supposed to harken back to the punk rock glory of the music Green Day was putting out. At least that’s what I was getting from it. Instead, it’s a sterile injection of alternative rock and roll, radio friendly lyrics, and a softening of what once was one of the most dynamic rock groups in the world. While there are tracks where they seem to find their past, most of it is slow moving, boring, and lackluster. Sure, there are a few gems, but this is far removed from what they did in their past.
Star Rating For Green Day “Revolution Radio”
It may seem like I’m being very harsh, but you have to remember, I’ve been listening to Green Day since 1992. I love the bands early work, but it seems like they have been going towards more polished, straightforward rock albums than punk. That’s fine, change is good, but for a long time fan like myself, I would have appreciated a bit more ruckus on this record. Instead, we are given a polished, safe, and simple record that sounds like Green Day, but without any of the edges that made them standouts in the mid-1990s. Then again, they are older, richer, and medicated. Maybe that’s good. I give this record a 3 out of 5. It’s ok, not great, and really leaves a lot to be desired if you ask me.
I’ve read a lot of books, but nothing has gripped my heart quite as much as “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley. I’m serious. This book had me in tears at times, and I felt the pain and anguish that was written into the story. Walter Mosley’s work is something that no one should miss out on, especially this book. This is a profound book with such heart, such soul, so many layers, and wow, just absolutely wow.
Two Very Different Stories
The book “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley deals with two major stories. This is a story that features a young boy named Thomas, born with a disability, but pulls through. Then you have the story of Eric, a “Nordic Adonis” and super lucky boy. Thomas and Eric are the two boys, and they are brothers, living under a rich roof, where they are friends. However, when Thomas’s father comes into the picture after a stint in jail, he takes Thomas, and his story goes into seriously sad times.
Eric The Fortunate
Eric is a white male that gets everything. He gets all the women, he gets good grades, he has money, power, and lacks a heart. He doesn’t “feel” the same. He is an absolute god amidst boys, and it shows through the story. However, with the loss of his brother Thomas, even though they don’t share the same mother, he has no heart. It’s like Mosley did this on purpose, because Eric’s story is so fascinating, and yet so real. He is lacking something, and it’s truly not found until the third act of this book.
In Eric’s story, you get a lot of interesting points. You are given a fortunate tone throughout. There are even points of sexual conquest that show you that Eric has everything. Even when the mother of his baby cheats on him, he is still “better” in that regards. He is just perfect amidst the world. He’s good looking, he has money, cars, and a big penis. Everything that men want, he has, and Mosley writes him as such, a dichotomy that is shaken by race, since Thomas is black and Eric is white.
Thomas The Unlucky
Even though the story calls Thomas “Lucky”, he’s anything but. He breaks like glass. He falls short of glory. He gets sent to the ghetto of Los Angeles’s deepest slums. His father isn’t kind, and he goes through life trying to make it, and survive. He does just that, he survives. He goes through hell, and gets arrested, and the story doesn’t close off this chapter in his life. He is raped, beaten, belittled, and it was absolutely a horror story of realities that many children and young adults face off against.
Thomas doesn’t get a lucky shake at all. Nothing until the third act in which he’s homeless and looks for Eric. He finds him, and the two finally become a union, brothers forever. But it’s there that things shake up, as the closing reality is so hard, it melts steel, so you really get thrown for a loop.
This Should Be A Movie
The more the story unfolds, the more I think this should be a movie. Does anyone have Tyler Perry’s number? He should get this to film. Someone send him this book. This is a beautiful story with so much soul. Heck, Spike Lee would make this amazing. The final chapters of this book take all the of the foundations built in previous chapters and turn a corner to epic elements. The final act takes you through a beautiful sacrifice, an insanity that I hate to spoil. The raw emotions build and build and then take you through an incredible real world.
Star Rating For “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley
This is it. The star rating for “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley is 5 out of 5. This is the best book I’ve read this year. Mosley enriches an incredible story with such soul. So much is going on here, and it has heart. He breaks Thomas, broken like Jesus Christ, and resurrects. He is the opposite of Eric, and when Eric starts to bring about humanity, Thomas is broken. In order for Eric to be whole, Thomas has to die a little more, and that’s the big metaphor that you get here. Thomas becomes Jesus, and it’s a beautiful portrait of brother love, and the realities of life. I love it. I love this book and recommend it so much. It’s a drama set in the real world. It’s a juxtaposition of the prodigal son, and so much more. It flows well, and it’s wonderful. I loved it.
Today I was listening to a classic punk rock album and wanted to know a bit more about it. What happened was simple, I looked for Allmusic.com, which used to be my go to website for reading up on bands and other notes, and they blocked everyone. If you don’t pay them, or unblock your ABP extension, they will not let you see their site. Unless you know what I know. It’s easy to read any page with an HTML browser, or you can simply not load everything. I didn’t load their pages, I simply read their content, for free mind you, and gave them a middle finger. I don’t support this notion that every site has to ban readers, it’s the internet. Don’t tell me how to consume media, especially on a record that came out in 1997 and you’re not going to get money from, no one is visiting your page for that except for a random idiot, that being me. So with that in mind, let’s talk about Furious George and their release from 1997, “Gets A Record”.
More Than A Clever Name
At first glance, you’re going to find that Furious George “Gets A Record” is a classic punk rock record. It has a little pop to it, but the majority of the music is in the same plane as you’d hear from guys like The Ramones. Released in 1997 on Recess Records, this has a low-fi, garage punk sound to it. The band name is the first thing that you are going to notice, since it is in honor of the singer, but more importantly it’s like Curious George, which you may denote from the album cover above. With the release of this record, you’re going to find that several fast moving punk rock tunes with guest appearances from Dee Dee Ramone and Joey Ramone!
Star Rating For Furious George “Gets A Record”
There’s not a whole lot to say about this record, other than it’s Ramones style punk rock. The lyrics are funny, brash, and right on par with what you’d expect from punk rock in the late 1990s. It’s not really poppy, it’s lo-fi, and it has a lot of fuzz on the recording. Despite the minor studio flaws, if you can call them that, the record is a solid composition of clever songs, with melody in mind. I am giving Furious George “Gets A Record” a 3 out of 5. Stand out tracks for me include, “I Gotta Gun”, “Bananas”, “Orbit”, “Gilligan”, “Pumpkinhead”, and of course all of them! There are 16 songs, and right under 30 minutes to keep you entertained with furious punk rock style.
I’m not a collector of shoes. In fact, I got into an argument with my wife over collecting. I don’t understand it any more. I collected a lot of things when I was in my youth, but after 2011, I choose not to collect anything. There’s a fine line between hording and collecting, and I choose not to pursue it at all. Instead, I am focused on other things. “Sneakerheadz” is a documentary about collecting shoes and it explores a variety of different things about shoes in general. This is not the same documentary as “Just For Kicks”, which I previously talked about on another website. Overall, this is an interesting film, but there’s a lot that it missed.
Money and Money
First and foremost, you should know that collecting shoes in any iteration costs a lot of money. The documentary does a good job of interviewing people from all walks of life, but the notion of money is the one thing that got me. Every single person that was obsessed with shoes, also had money. They gloss over the fact that each option costs a great deal of money, and the average consumer cannot purchase shoes. Then they get into flipping culture, and making money, which kind of shines light on a part of shoe culture that other people just don’t understand.
Well Paced Visuals
As far as visuals are concerned, this is a good overall documentary. It’s well put together, it’s easy to watch, it has some great pacing, and the interviews are from relevant people that collect shoes. However, there are moments where you get a disjointed element. There is a mix of news clippings, interviews from famous people, and a revisionist history about how companies came into several different areas. For instance, they show Nike SB and their involvement in the skate scene, but do not talk about the failed ventures that the brand had when trying to break into skateboarding in the past. They bought their way in, and threw their money around, simple as that. I didn’t like that revisionist history, but then again, winners write the stories.
Death and Slavery
“Sneakerheadz” talks about dying for shoes. There’s a sadness there, and there are interviews with parents that have lost children to this culture of collecting. It’s always a sad thing to hear, and it’s even harder to swallow the fact that the shoe industry doesn’t really push forward. There are a few callous interviews from people that claim that it’s not the shoe companies fault for deaths. That was not fun to watch, and it just made me more cynical about collecting things.
I did not like the fact that this whole documentary did not highlight the working conditions for those that are making shoes. I read “No Logo” again, and reviewed it here, and was appalled by how many things have not changed in factories around the world. Slave labor makes these shoes, and people support these companies with a devotion that is cult like. I hated that they didn’t mention it at all. What a load of B.S.
Star Rating For “Sneakerheadz”
My gripes aside, “Sneakerheadz” is a good overall documentary. However, I do not feel the same way about collecting as others do. I think it’s hoarding, and taking advantage of people by reselling elements at such inflated prices. That aside, I’m going to give this a 3 out of 5, as it does illustrate pop culture in a good overall manner. I guess from an anthropological standpoint, it’s a good documentary, but that’s about all I can say about it.
Q-Unique “Marvels Team-Up” came out in 2013, and it immediately made waves for hip hop heads. I was not paying attention to Q-Unique, but today, upon putting this record on, I became a true believer. This is not your average rapper, and it’s a shame that this record wasn’t on the top 40 of hip hop. While there’s a lot of mumbling idiots in rap, guys like Q-Unique are putting together some incredible hip hop songs, and it’s amazing what you hear when you pay attention. With the release of Q-Unique “Marvels Team-Up”, the MC brings out some friends and some killer beats to rhyme over, completely changing a lot of perceptions, and bring around a lyrical flow that is definitely welcome to the true hip hop fans overall.
Featuring Big Hitters
First and foremost, when you put on this record, you’re going to see a lot of guests on this record. Q-Unique is the main rapper, no doubt, and he has a great flow, but he brings through a lot more. In fact, there’s so many guests, that you’re going to be floored by who is on here, especially if you’re a fan of underground hip hop. Some of the guests that show up on this record include, Ill Bill, Phil Harmonix, The Sargonites, Sean Strange, Vinnie Paz, La Coka Nostra, Slaine, and others. He works through some single tracks as well, but the guests on this make the record stand out amidst a lot of releases that came through in 2013.
East Coast Soul
If you’re a fan of East Coast hip hop, then you’re going to love the flow and beats that are on this record. I was wondering where Esoteric was, because he would fit very well with this crew. I’m assuming he was busy with 7L and others, but that doesn’t matter, Q-Unique holds his own on this record and it’s absolutely compelling to listen to overall.
Star Rating For Q-Unique “Marvels Team-Up”
As far as hip hop records are concerned, Q-Unique “Marvels Team-Up” gets a 4 out of 5 from me. It’s a solid record that has 15 tracks, 46 minutes of music, and a lot of lyrical prowess front and center. My favorite tracks include “Listen To The Words”, “Learn”, “Wars Goin’ On”, and of course the record as a whole.
It took me a while, but I did it. I finally did it! I read “The Shining” by Stephen King. This is a massive book, and I wasn’t sold on it at first. In fact, it took me 40 chapters to finally start loving the way Stephen King has crafted this novel of horror. The book is somewhat different than the movie in a lot of ways, and you will definitely tell the difference by the time you move towards the mid-point of the novel. I didn’t mind that, I loved the way the narrative worked, but you have to let it bloat, because it truly works like a boiler or furnace, it takes a while to heat up.
Alcoholism The First Villain
At first, I didn’t think that this book was about a haunted hotel. In fact, a good portion of the book explains Jack Torrance’s drinking problem, his abuse of Danny, and his pressure on his wife. As the book goes forward you realize that he’s going through a hard detox as a caretaker to an old hotel. He is commissioned to be an off-season caretaker, and for the most part, he’s doing ok, until Danny starts to have problems, and that sends Jack and Wendy into a tailspin. As the novel tightens up, you get a lot of flashbacks, and content about Jack’s demise, and the bigger picture of alcoholism. Stephen King, in interviews, discussed that a lot of the elements were based on his battle with alcoholism, and it led to creating a very real to life character. Jack’s abuse scared me, as I have dealt with my own battles of abuse as a child. It’s much more magnified in the book versus the movie, that’s for sure.
The Shining Is Different
The shining here is used as a weapon, and is used as a mental element. There’s also a lurking ghost element as well. This is much different to the movie’s element, but it works well throughout. You also get a different ending, a different process, and much more in depth explanations of what Danny’s special power is and how it works. That’s a great thing, and that pushes the novel to all new heights in the latter parts of the book. I appreciates the attention to that detail, and while Danny is a scared kid at times, he pushes on towards the end, and I loved it. At 5 years old, this kid grows a pair of balls, great stuff.
All Hell Breaks Loose
It took me 40 chapters of “The Shining” by Stephen King to start seeing the horror. This is a slow burning book. A lot is explained leading up to the final ten or so chapters, and it’s well worth your investment. I appreciated the attention to the stillness, the bellowing of the hotel, the ghosts, and the madness of Jack Torrance and his drinking problem. All hell breaks loose towards the end, Wendy gets it, Danny gets it, but you don’t see Dick getting it. Unlike the movie, there is salvation, there is no maze, and there’s a lot of details that are missed from the book when hell breaks loose.
Star Rating For “The Shining” by Stephen King
It took me 2 weeks to read this. Longer than any other book I’ve read and reviewed for this blog. I will give “The Shining” by Stephen King 4 stars out of 5. I found it to be very worth my time at the end. I wanted to give up, but I kept going and was given a gift for it. I love the way things turned out, and I appreciated the elements of reality that Stephen King put into place. There’s a lot of nuance here, and it’s not necessarily the same that you would expect if you only saw the movie. The movie is great, no doubt, but this book really gives you closure, and so much more details as to the villain that Jack is, and how bad alcoholism, isolation, and abuse can become. I loved it.
I’ve seen a lot of movies, but nothing has been as terrible as the pairing of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Now, their pairing in “Adventureland” wasn’t half bad, but this was an atrocious, piece of garbage movie. No seriously, “American Ultra” definitely let me down. A friend of mine told me to watch it, and that it would be good. But this Max Landis picture is actually one of the main reasons why I hate a lot of modern movies. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, let’s consider a few notes.
Jesse Eisenberg Is A Whining Mess
Eisenberg has yet to impress me. He’s a broke ass Michael Cera with longer hair. In fact, there’s nothing about his acting that is redeeming in my book. He plays a stoner here, and yet he doesn’t act like one. In fact, he acts like he is in every other movie he has been in, which isn’t a good thing. The story follows his character that is turned into a killing machine thanks to a rogue CIA agent. In fact, the government has been creating super soldiers and letting them live dormant. He’s paired with another agent, but he doesn’t know it, played by Kristen Stewart. Yes, Kristen Stewart is playing a CIA agent. Let that sink in. Just let it sink in.
A Boring Action Movie
This movie has nothing special to it. It’s just a display of tropes that you would expect from any action comedy. However, the comedy elements aren’t really there. Max Landis may have written some jokes in here, but the only saving grace to the notion is that John Leguizamo steals the show, even if he is cut short through the mid-section of the movie. Other than that, the movie bored me, and it bored thousands of people as it had 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Star Rating For “American Ultra”
“American Ultra” is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. However, this is a boring actioner. I liked the visuals. The visual elements are great here, and Nima Nourizadeh does well in direction, but let’s face it, he doesn’t exactly have the best actors here. Eisenberg sucks, Stewart is boring, but the movie has some good points to it. The soundtrack works, Michael Bonvillain’s cinematography is great, and that’s about it. 96 minutes I won’t get back, but hey, that’s what happens these days, right? Oh well. I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars.
“Flight” by Sherman Alexie is a book that I have been meaning to read for a long time. I finally sat down with it, and it was a lot harder to read than I thought. It’s not because it’s poorly written, it’s because the themes in the story resonate with me so well that I had to put things down and reflect. The greatest books in the world are books that involve massive emotional pulls from your heart forward. If a book can’t grab your heart, then you have to approach it academically alone. That’s not what this book does, and it’s not what Alexie does, he pulls your guts out in this book that really hits home for many of us that have struggled with life, depression, and more.
The story revolves around time traveling. Zits is the main character, he is an orphaned Native American teen and he discusses everything in first person. This first person narrative is gut wrenching, real, and definitely on par with some of the most iconic stories I remember. Not since “Mysterious Skin” have I felt so bad about life, and this book definitely takes me to dark places. Zits is a time traveling mass murderer, filled with rage, filled with depression, and is misunderstood throughout. He jumps through various bodies and focuses on talking to various people from different perspectives while reflecting on his own life and actions.
The Struggle of Belonging
Belonging to something is hard. I don’t belong. I am a loner. I’m a freelance writer and work from home. I’m always alone, and I struggle with my thoughts. Zits portrays a severe element that is in all of our humanity, and it’s in regards to relationships. He is being bounced around from home to home as an orphan. Foster parents are the worse, and the details of how he comes to the latest location is rough. He struggles to fit in, he struggles as a Native American, he’s been abused, and he wants to burn down the world because no one seems to accept him at all. The struggle of belonging hits me hard, because I have no major friends, no minor friends for that matter. I haven’t had a phone call in years, and I struggle with depression. I have for a long time. Sherman Alexie paints teenage angst with the mind of an adult, because as a teenager, sometimes it’s not about the girl that got away it’s about how society views us as different. If you have brown skin, you’re different. If you don’t want to adhere to norms, you’re different, and never belong. Zits doesn’t belong.
Building To The End
Zits jumps from time zones to individuals across various points in history. He’s a pilot one day, he’s an Indian hunter in another, he’s a police officer, and he is many things. He goes through the lives of various people in first person. He even sees his father, his mother, and details the alcoholism that grips him and his family. Alexie juxtaposes the realities of Native American culture so well and it’s fascinating. If you know anything about the struggles of Native Americans today, then you realize that Alexie is not just writing about Zits, he’s writing about a larger population that is struggling with alcoholism, defeated by American society, and struggling for new memory.
Star Rating For “Flight” by Sherman Alexie
“Flight” by Sherman Alexie gets 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a strong book with an incredible first person tale of time travel, depression, alcoholism, abuse, and more. It hurts to read sometimes. If you have experienced the degradation of abuse, if you have felt the sting of not belonging, and you struggle with depression, this book will hit you hard. It is hard to read if you are struggling with mental health, but there is a silver lining. The book is just something to behold, a narrative into fiction to tell you that you’re not alone. It’s a fascinating read, and Alexie knows how to really paint a first person narrative with soul. I’m impressed.