Tag Archives: Love

Review: Alone Forever: The Singles Collection

Another week of racking up my NetGalley queue with an overabundance of riches, or just things with funny titles that grab me. Since I’m working most of this week on writing a talk for church on Sunday, I thought I’d shake up the format a little by doing review blurbs on books when I get free moments or need a break. These will be single serving (one book) posts, at somewhat irregular intervals.

Alone Forever: The Singles Collection

Writer and Artist – Liz Prince

AloneForever

Single life can be tough, especially in the age of on-line dating, and lots of cute guys that are hard to talk to. But fear not, at least you’re not alone, you have your cats.

Liz Prince’s Alone Forever is a collection of her web-comics about single life, dating, and all things relating to indie bands, bearded bespectacled plaid shirt wearing guys and cats. This collection gets better as it goes along and you get to know the character and person of Liz. How much of this is true to life, and how much is embellished for comedic affect isn’t always clear, though you get the sense that most of this is just as it happened. What might seem immature in the early strips is revealed for a sense of playfulness and self-deprecation. There’s no part of her life that seems to be off limits.

Here’s the first one that made me laugh out-loud:

aloneforever26web

Copyright 2011 by Liz Prince, Used with permission

The OK Cupid section seems particularly auto-biographical, as it chronicles a series of guys and how each are not the guy for her (or for anyone). One thing that strikes you as a married person is how a lot of single life is figuring out what love and romance actually mean using a vocabulary and criteria that have no relation to what real love is. And yet there’s a lot you can relate to in this book, as a woman or as the bearded guy. How dating can be clumsy, how being alone can seem permanent and very lonely, and how animals can be a comfort even when you are in a relationship.

The art style is akin to shows and comics like Adventure Time (which is appropriate since Liz has written comics for one of their comic book spin offs). There is a decent amount of language, though I would generally think it is employed correctly. There’s not a lot of sexual content, though some is implied. Since these are web-comics, they tend to have a looser structure in terms of number of panels, number of words per strip (sometimes none, and sometimes a novel). They remind me a little of the structure of Matt Groenig’s Life In Hell comics (though with far less graphic depictions of sex between rabbits).

For a couple more days this book is included in the Humble Bundle, or you can pick it up for $3.99 at Comixology (which for a 106 page book isn’t bad). Overall, not a bad collection for a quick commiseration, laugh of reminiscence, or grateful reminder of things you don’t have to worry about anymore.

(3.5 Stars | The early stuff’s a little rough, but you’ll definitely find something to make you laugh)

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Filed under Book Reviews, Books + Publishing

Sit five inches from the table, and eat till you touch

There’s one stereotypical married man problem I will probably never have.

“And what are you thankful for this year?”

“Another wonderful year with the little red haired girl.”

That’s right, my anniversary is just after thanksgiving (the 29th).  Four years ago two families were gathering at my soon to be mother in law’s house to celebrate the coming union and eat lots of delicious turkey. Most of the relatives that were coming to the wedding came to the meal so we had an unusually large turnout. Even my dog, Simon, was part of the festivities, gnawing a nice little tunnel into one of the pecan pies when someone wasn’t watching.

This year it’s our first thanksgiving as hosts. It’s a lot smaller than four years ago, but no less exciting. For us this time of year is about celebrating another year together and that is something we’re always thankful for.

And pie.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving. We’re going on vacation next week so I’ll see you all in December!

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3 Ways To Say I Love You (In Code)

Example 1:

#include <iostream>
#include <cstdlib>

using namespace std;

int main() {
  int two;
  two = 1;
  while(two == 1) {
    cout << "I love you little red haired girl\n";
  }
}

Example 2:

#include <iostream>
#include <cstdlib>

using namespace std;

void myLoveGrowsDeeper(int lvl);

int main() {
  int lvl = 1;
  cout << "My love grows deeper";
  myLoveGrowsDeeper(lvl);
  cout << " every day." << endl;
}

void myLoveGrowsDeeper(int lvl) {
  if(lvl == 99) {
    return;
  }
  myLoveGrowsDeeper(lvl+1);
  cout << " and deeper ";
}

Example 3 (Turtle Commands, Pixels, Degrees):

LEFT 45
FORWARD 100
REPEAT 180
  FORWARD PI/2
  LEFT 1
RIGHT 90
REPEAT 180
  FORWARD PI/2
  LEFT 1
FORWARD 100





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Filed under Trube On Tech

Random Thoughts, Or Brief Periods Of Calm During The Storm

It’s been a bit of an interesting weekend, as I’m sure it was for many of you who live in Ohio or any of the other midwest states. A 30% chance of rain turns into near hurricane force winds that rival the windstorm of four years ago. I’m forced to hunker down in a McDonald’s during the worst, part of my tulip tree falls on my house, power is out into Saturday and I consider myself one of the lucky ones (no damage to myself, my loved ones, or the house, so yeah, lucky!)

That all being said, on a weekend where I wasn’t sure if I would have power to write you, I haven’t been especially productive on the non-fiction, programming, or even this thing called living. Holed up watching Alien movies when power is on, playing rummy when it is not, and occasionally bravely venturing for food has been my basic existence.

But it hasn’t been all that bad. In fact storms have had their role in myself and the little red haired girl’s relationship. Our first valentine’s day, snow cancelled OSU, and we spent the day together sipping hot chocolate and playing Risk. During the aforementioned windstorm, I was over for a date the last few months before our wedding and spent the night on the couch after candlelit dinner. If I’m gonna be stuck with anyone, it is ten times better if it is her, even when I’m stressed and have a hard time pulling myself out of a slump.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m a little technology centric. Even though it’s also my job, I spend a lot of my weekend relaxing with computers, TV, and the like. And while I did still manage to do that this weekend, I also had a lot of time to think about other kinds of fun, reading, talking, playing cards and staying up. I’m too young yet to be a fuddy-duddy, and maybe sometimes I need an outage to remind me of that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see if my wife would like to continue our game (I’m this close to beating her).

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Bonus Friday Post (Compiled Story, Choose An Ending, Shout Outs)

Running a bit late today, sorry for the delay.

Baby You Just Got Slapped (Compiled)

Thanks so much to Chuck and Brian for contributing. I’ve added my own little piece to keep the narrative going, but a story needs an ending, one that only you can provide. Add your own ending to the comments section of this post and we’ll vote for the best next week. Thanks!

Jean’s cheek throbbed, the skin already beginning to redden. Jess just glared, her hand poised for another attack. Her eyes were lit like fire, but her face was blank, expressionless. She seemed almost as shocked by what she had done as Jean was, and yet was still prepared to do it again. Her white leather gloves creaked as she flexed her fingers. Even protected, the impact had hurt her too. Others might take this hesitation as an opportunity to strike back, or even to run away, but Jean knew deep down that Jess had good reason to be angry.

“Violence doesn’t solve anything,” said Jean, her flat tone betraying only the faintest hint of mockery. “Now, I wonder who told me that?”

Something in Jess’s eyes flared and was still. “Do you really want to lecture me right now?” she said softly. But her hand dropped to her side.

Progress.

“Look,” Jean continued, glancing away, “for what it’s worth, I really am sorry about what happened. That’s not an apology, but it’s as close as I can give. We couldn’t have predicted the experiment would generate those kinds of side effects.”

“Then you shouldn’t have done it.”

Furious, Jean met Jess’s gaze once more, and wondered if a little violence might solve something after all.

After all, was not violence the reason behind the experiment in the first place? Violence in all its forms: Individuals against others, groups, the world, nature. But most especially, one on one, the mindless beast that rages in all of us. Violence we mindlessly hurl against reason that in the end returns to harm only ourselves.

The slap hurt not only Jean’s face, but continued to reverberate in Jess’s soft an supple gloved fingers. Fingers which now slowly dropped to her side in silent supplication.

Jean, seeing the violence leach out of Jess, noticing her body slowly relax and embrace remorse also changed posture and stepping in close, enveloped Jess with arms of welcoming forgiveness.

As they kissed it became clear to them both the line between love and hate was thin. Violent action that for a moment pushed someone farther into the other camp, only caused them to bounce back like an elastic cord was tied around their waist.

Jess laughed and Jean looked at her puzzled.

“I was just thinking,” Jess explained, “if pushing someone into hate causes them to bounce back into love, then what if someone stood on the line, pushing again and again. Like that ball and paddle game we played as kids.”

“No one’s good at that game. The string always breaks.” Jean replied.

[Insert your own ending here]

Couple Of Quick Shoutouts

If you enjoy fractals (and who doesn’t really), then you won’t want to miss Brian’s feature on the Mandelbrot set next week. Brian will take you through the equations, the programming, and make it all seem like peaches and cream. And if not, I’m sure there will at least be plenty of pretty pictures.

I also want to give a brief shoutout to BJ Kerry. Glad you’re writing again. We all have droughts. The important thing is that we come out the other side. I appreciate your comments here and your work on your own blog. Keep it up.

That’s all. Have a good weekend (first one in a while that there’s no traveling for us)!

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Filed under Round-Ups, Short Stories

Forty Minute Story (“Purple Crush”)

“How does it taste?”

“Purple,” I answered.

She raised an eyebrow, “It’s purple soda, but what does it taste like?”

“Purple,” I answered again, my own eyebrow raising, the corner of my lip curling into a small smile.

“If it’s purple it must be grape flavored,” She said, her annoyance beginning to show more openly.

“But orange soda tastes like orange doesn’t it?”

“No, it tastes like oranges, and purple soda should taste like grapes.”

“Grape jelly doesn’t taste like grapes,” I said, taking another sip. “Grapes are more tart and burst when you bite into them. Grape jelly is too sweet, and its melody is too consistent.”

“We aren’t talking about jelly, we’re talking about soda, and you don’t like eating grapes anyway.”

I nodded, “Yes, but I like this. Purple’s your favorite flavor isn’t it?”

“Color, and anyway not that shade. I like a lighter purple.”

“I think they have some diet in the fridge.”

She glared at me again and walked toward the refrigerator. Her red hair bounced a little as she walked, keeping time like a metronome. She was angry with me again, but that would fade like a smell you get used to after a while.

I’ve always liked her smell. It reminds me of ocean waves, not the salty air, but the roar as they crash over the shoreline. In our early days when I couldn’t say “I love you” I said “you smell good”. She would smile and say I smelled good too, even though I knew I didn’t, not in the way she does.

I took another sip and rolled the liquid over my tongue. If I was lucky it would be dyed purple and I could enjoy the color of the soda for an hour or so after I’d finished it. She says I drink too quickly, but that’s only because I can’t wait to taste the next color. But I’m in her parent’s house and I should probably pace myself out of politeness.

She walks back over to me and she is in better spirits, though her eyebrow is still raised. “All they had left was Mountain Dew. I suppose that tastes yellow to you.”

“Green, actually.”

“But the soda is yellow.”

“Yes, but the can is green.”

She is smiling now, “You don’t lick the can do you?”

I shook my head, “That would just be silly.”

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Filed under Short Stories

Little Red Haired Girl

Today is the fifth anniversary of my wife and I’s first Valentine’s day together. I was still a student at OSU and classes were canceled due to weather.  She picked me up and we played Risk and drank hot chocolate and ate a cheesecake pie I made with just a bowl and a fork.  Five years later we’re still keeping things simple but fun for both of us.  She creamed me today at Monopoly, we ate homemade lasagna, and watched 30 Rock. The best part of it all was spending the time with my little red haired girl (my wife, I’m kind of a big Peanuts fan if you hadn’t guessed).  There’ll be a full post tomorrow, but for what remains of the day, Happy Valentine’s Day! Spend it with someone you love, and spend it doing things you both enjoy.

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Filed under Introduction