7/11/2012

Funny Hurricanes Names



So it's hurricane season again, the time of year when we are expected to cringe and shudder at the approach of storms with terrifying names like Alex, Beth, Rodney, and Wilma.  No wonder people don't evacuate - how are we supposed to take storms with names like Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Bob seriously?

Here are my nominees for more colorful hurricane names.
  1. Hurricane Barney. As long as preachers assure us that homosexuality is the reason God has to keep sending hurricanes, shouldn't we give them gay names?
  2. Hurricane Bubba.  Because you know the first place the storm is headed is the nearest trailer park. 
  3. Hurricane (Tom) Cruise. Huge, spinning out of control, and has a tendency to destroy everything it comes in contact with.
  4. Hurricane D'Niqua. Once it moves into your neighborhood, there go the property values.
  5. Hurricane Dick.  How much fun would it be to watch all the network weathermen on tenderhooks, terrified of unintentional double entendres?  ("Hurricane Dick is coming ... I mean, approaching! approaching!")
  6. Hurricane Disney. Sure to consume whatever's left of Florida
  7. Hurricane Fluffy. Just because "Hurricane Fluffy" makes me smile.
  8. Hurricane Godzilla.  Everyone get out of your cars and start running ...!
  9. Hurricane Harper.  That's a clown storm name, bro
  10. Hurricane Jack (Sparrow).  They both spawn in the Caribbean and reliably plague the U.S. every summer.
  11. Hurricane Job.  In honor of a man who knew a little something-something about God's wrath
  12. Hurricane Jose.  Sure to inflict enormous economic damage if allowed to cross our borders.
  13. Hurricane Kyoto.  Payback is a bitch.
  14. Hurricane Limbaugh. One blowhard deserves another.
  15. Hurricane Mary.  Sure to spawn hail storms.
  16. Hurricane Thor.  As long as we're going to get hammered, might as well have some fun with it.
  17. Hurricane Woody.  Can't you just imagine the headline: "Hurricane Woody Nails Georgia!"

7/05/2012

Book Look - Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel



If you are looking for yet another titillating tale of Henry VIII's love life - turn back! Go watch "The Tudors" or read "The Other Bolyn Girl"! After the first 50pgs of this dense, literary outing you'll be temped to skip ahead to the "juicy parts", only to discover there aren't any.

If you are looking for a thoughtful and detailed exploration of the politics/economics/religion/morals of the period - with particular emphasis on Thomas Cromwell's role in shaping them - then this isn't a bad place to start. It appears that Mantel's intent is twofold: (1) to shed new light on the events and impulses that shaped Cromwell into the complex man he became, and (2) to make the case that Cromwell was England's first "modern politician", a man who (by virtue of his background *not* as a member of the aristrocracy but as a mercenary, trader, and banker) understood that maintaining/strengthening national power was increasingly a matter of trade and economics rather than marriages between royal families.

If you are looking for a chance to sink into a good story, well told - well, I don't know what to tell you! This was blurbed by people a lot smarter than me, but I'm still struggling to understand why Mantel chose a prose style so difficult to comprehend. Her overreliance on pronouns rather than proper names (me: "shoot - which "he" is she talking about this time?"), inconsistent naming conventions, and "optional" use of quotation marks makes reading this a laborious process; often, I had to double back to read a passage 2-3 times before I was sure I understood who was saying what. Maybe the intent was to force readers to slow down so that they would fully appreciate the author's admittedly deft use of dialog, metaphors, double entendres and foreshadowing?

In other words, I'm of two minds ref. whether to recommend this book. While I appreciated the new insights into the period and the man (in fact, on the strength of this, I've picked up a bio of Thomas Cromwell to read next), and while I appreciated Mantel's obvious literary prowess, I felt like Mantel's prose style was more distracting than it had to be.