Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: Fishing and Fancy Free

A FIRST for this reviewer; an “adult adventure comedy”, no less, as Dave Rees’ novel recounts the story of three angling buddies who embark upon a fortnight’s fishing holiday in the Scottish Highlands and find themselves becoming romantically embroiled with three women they meet, all of whom also happen to be there for the flyfishing, and who, according to the blurb on the book’s back cover, are looking for humour and entertainment – and maybe some adult adventure...

If you think those last three words refer to yomping through remote glens in search of lochans unfished since Robert the Bruce was a lad, you will be sadly disappointed. Oh, there’s fishing in there somewhere, all right, but it tends to take the form of an occasional interlude between the principal hunter/prey theme of the fortnight’s vacation, as bawdy romance blossoms among the, er, sextet.

These are people briefly off the leash and their adventures don’t end at the bedroom door but include scrapes with the law, fraudsters posing as a film crew and, in the case of one of the men, ducking and diving to avoid the ghosts of “adult adventures” of holidays gone by, which threaten to come back and haunt him.

Damn that Jeff Prest, you’re probably thinking by now – gets to read raunchy books in working hours with complete impunity. Well you can rein in your resentment, for this is undoubtedly the worst fishing book, in any context, that I have ever reviewed for this magazine.

Sex is fair game for comedy, like any other aspect of life, but contrary to what some stand-up comedians seem to think, it doesn’t grant you a free pass. It is subject to the same rules as anything else if the humorist is to make it work – his storyline has to have an interesting slant on the subject and it must be engagingly delivered.

Dave Rees tees up some scenarios with potential in this book but nearly all of them fall flat; sometimes because of implausibility (there’s a bank details scam that might have been believable 20 years ago but not now) but more often than not because of the lifeblood of any novel – its dialogue.

Well-written but the dialogue is corny, my English teacher wrote on one of my compositions many years ago, putting me off writing fiction for life in the process, and I’m afraid Dave Rees is in the same jam with a rimfire scope. lol.

All the salaciousness in the world won’t save your plot when your characters frequently converse in ways that no real person would ever employ – fitting whole monologues into what are meant to be a few snatched seconds of conversation and speaking in a stilted patois that blends modern English with the idiom of the 1960s.

That there is just one good punchline is because too many of the others are over-egged by an author apparently terrified that we miss them and while the book is never pornographic, much of its dated innuendo is so crass, I could see it being banned on certain building sites for lack of taste.

Two things in the author’s defence: I concede that I remained sufficiently curious as to the outcome to read to the last page and - as I write - the book has elicited three five- or four-star reviews on Amazon, although I can only assume that the lady describing it as “a bit technical in places” was writing from a convent.

If you want a flavour of how cringeworthy ‘blokeishness’ was in the Seventies, or you revel in things that are so bad as to be almost brilliant, go ahead and buy it.

Fishing and Fancy Free – fishing in the fast lane £4.90 (print) £1.99 (digital) Dave Rees; Softback (167 pages) and Kindle version available. Available from amazon.co.uk

Review by Matthew Schade from Hunting-Tips.Net.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Ashley Timeline of Coolness

I was recently watching that VH1 show, "I Love the 80s" and I about jumped out of my seat at some of the stuff they were showing and then I began thinking about all the things that I could not live without while I was growing up. And here's the list:

4 Years Old = Rainbow Brite


There will never be a toy cooler than Rainbow Brite. I STILL have all my Rainbow Brite dolls stored in my little rainbow carrying case and you can bet your ass I will never sell them on ebay so don't even ask.

5 Years Old = A Beginner Guitar

It's frst guitar in my life :) This is old guitar, my father buy it for me from a friend. I like it :) hehe

6 Years Old = Care Bears 

Yep, I had every Care bear movie, about 5 care bear stuff animals (AND CARE BEAR COUSINS). You could often find my brother and I outside fighting neighborhood bullies with the "Care Bear Stare". 

7 Years Old = Whitney Houston's self-titled CD

Most of my adult life I've spent trying to prevent my mom from showing the home movie of me standing on our coffee table singing "I Wanna Dance with Somebody", to my potential suitors. I'm pretty sure my success rate has been 0-1. 

8 Years Old = Caboodles

I was about 8 years old when I started experimenting with organization. Luckily the habit didn't stick and I still live in my own personal heaven of disorder, incoherence, and clutter. I blame my momentary laspe of chaotic filth adoration on the fact that I had a caboodle. I mean, shit, who WOULDN'T want to organize with that thing. Mine was more of a purple marble color and found it to be a useful place to store pencils, my brother's favorite matchbox cars, stolen tubes of lipstick from my mom's purse, what I thought to be a "wetnap" but what was actually an expired condom from my dad's sock drawer, and all kinds of other goodies that I referred to as "treasures". After about 2 weeks of collecting various items to put in my beloved caboodle, I decided to bury it and the treasures it contained in the woods behind my house (hence the term buried treasure). Sadly, I forgot where I buried it and then we moved. I never saw my poor caboodle again. 

9 Years Old = Hello Kitty!


When my family and I migrated to Virginia when I was in the 4th grade, I was aching to fit in with my new classmates. This could only be done by posessing one thing: a Hello Kitty! pencil box to keep in your desk. See, in Georgia we didn't have Sanrio Surprises (we didn't even have desks!). So when I moved to Roanoke, my parents got me the sweetest, biggest, pinkest Hello Kitty! pencil box ever made. I had my name painted on it with the dots at the ends of the letters. I had not one but 2 locks! I would have surely been a band geek in high school had it not been for that Hello Kitty! pencil box. 

10 Years Old = Quartz


When I was 10 I found (at the flea market) the coolest rock ever. It was purple and smooth and shiny and I was in love. You're probably thinking, ok, well what did you do with the rock? Well, my piece of quartz and I, we'd watch tv together, I'd lovingly toss her up and down while I talked on the phone, I would hold her up to the light and notice the mystifying translucence of my marvelous rock. We'd just hang out. Me and the rock. Yep. 

11 Years Old = my CD "single" of "Runaway Train"


Raise your hand if you wanted to run away when you were 11. Enough said.

12 Years Old = my cordless phone


All the dramatic events of my life unfolded on the telephone when I was 12. I broke up with boyfriends, had fights with best friends, spent hours and hours calling into radio stations trying to request Bon Jovi's "Always" in dedication to said boyfriends. I'm surprised I didn't develop some sort of tumor for having the phone attached to my ear so much. Actually...wait, I do have some sort of lump. Shit. 

Gotta go--phone's ringing.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sometimes at work...

This is going to be a new type of post that I do regularly to keep everyone updated on what is going on in my office. Hope you enjoy...

Sometimes at work....

I listen to music.

Today's Playlist (on shuffle)

  • Paul McCartney "Every Night"
  • John Mayer "Daughters"
  • James Taylor "You Can Close Your Eyes"
  • Howie Day "Secret"
  • James Taylor "Carolina In My Mind"
  • K.D. Lang "Constant Craving"
  • Jack Johnson "Losing Hope"
  • Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun"
  • Beatles "In My Life"
  • Audioslave "I am the Highway"
  • James Taylor "Don't Let me be Lonely Tonight"
  • Brian Adams "Heat of the Night"
  • Audioslave "Show me how to Live"
  • Jack Johnson "Fortunate Fool"
  • Dolly Parton "Jolene"
  • Dave Matthews Band "Grace is Gone"
  • Garth Brooks "To Make You Feel My Love"
  • Lenny Kravitz "Are you Gonna Go My Way"
  • Oasis "Don't look back in Anger"
  • Soundgarden "Spoonman"
Yes, this is how I entertain myself at work...with various Chris Cornell projects, a plethora of Jack and James, a few lesbian choices (K.D. and Lenny Kravitz), and a couple embarrassing selections that I promptly turn down anybody gets within earshot of my desk.

I must go...and rock the fuck out to Bryan Adams.

The man just oozes Canadian-ness.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Links of Love

Official V-day Song: "Into the Mystic" Van Morrison
Official V-day Conversation Heart Consumption Count: 0
Official V-day Red Clothing Count: Only 1
Official V-day Roses: 24
Official V-day Roses I saw being bought last minute at Safeway just now: 9
Official V-day use of "V-day": immeasurable

Osama while listening to "Another Sad Love Song" by Toni Braxton.

Here are a few links for your heart day viewing pleasure:
  • The highest quality love evaluator of all time
  • I love The Office.
  • Screw going out tonight, snuggle up with your significant other, cat, or friend and watch this.
  • Are you a gypsy? If so, here ya go.
  • If you secret admirers are still looking for a gift for me, this would work.
  • Of course Al Capone could find a way to ruin the holiday of love.
  • The Official fansite of hugs. Coincidentally, all the members are also members ofthis.
  • I know one girl that didn't get a rose on V-day...and I love it.
  • Though sad, this poem describes love and the lengths of it better than anything I've ever read.

So what if I sleep in a tiara?! At least I have a hot prince making out with me. So what if it's technically date rape? Look at that cape!


Thursday, February 9, 2006

Sawyer is NOT going to be my Valentine...

So my boy Nick is out. It saddens me but what can ya do? His lavendar pocketless suit was not up to par. I am sad to see him go however. He made me laugh LOTS.

BTW, I'm making my prediction now: either Chloe or Daniel V will win. Dan is by far my favorite. He's such a genius for being only 24. Oh if he wasn't gay....


I'm going to probably watch it again this weekend (yes, I'm a dork), but I did pick out some interesting details and I've also read a couple things today worth mentioning:
  • First and most obviously, Kate's mom was Sawyer's waitress in the diner. What does this tell me? They're from the same town (apparently somewhere in Iowa) so maybe all those theories about Kate and Sawyer actually being brother and sister might be true..maybe even TWINS(you'll see the referense later)
  • Also in the diner scene, did anyone else notice the Patsy Cline song playing? Well, I did, and as a country music lover, I also know that she died in a plane crash. Coincidence? Ehh...I don't think so.
  • Do you remember when Locke was flipping through all the books in the hatch? Well, first of all, what was he looking for? Another piece of film? Maybe some note leftover from the previous inhabitants? Has he already found something that he's keeping a secret? Regardless, I read online today that the book he was flipping through when Sawyer interupted him was called "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". I haven't read it but apparently it is about a man called Peyton Farquhar, a southern planter who, while not a Confederate Soldier, is about to be hanged by the Union Army for attempting to destroy the railroad bridge at Owl Creek. As Farquhar stands on the bridge with a noose around his neck, Bierce leads the reader to believe that the rope breaks and that Farquhar falls into the water below, only to escape to his farm, where he is reunited with his wife. It is revealed at the end of the story, however, that Farquhar has, in fact, been hanged and that these imaginings took place in the seconds before his death. Very interesting...does this go back to the whole purgatory idea?
  • Speaking of purgatory, did anybody catch the name of the manuscript that Hurley was reading last night? Well, it was called "Bad Twin". The writer, Hurley said, was on the plane. Check this out. His name is Gary Troup. I read today that somebody made an anagram of his name: Purgatory. Weird, weird, weird...
  • So yea, the "Bad Twin" book, could it refer to Kate and Sawyer? Are they somehow twins? Maybe..or also, a tidbit that I read today was that Ana Lucia mentioned Scott (one of the twins from season 1 that died). The book might have something to do with the other twin coming back? Also, who the hell does Ana know about Scott (or Steve)?
  • Dude, seriously...what is up with Charlie and the black hoodie? It really reminds me of Star Wars. Is this the writers' way of saying he's going over to the dark side?
  • Oh, and what was up with the radio getting that crystal clear reception? And the song that was playing...I looked it up today and it's by Glenn Miller. It just so happens that Glenn Miller's plane disappeared while crossing the english channel back during WWII. They never found the plane or his body. Yea, how about them apples?
  • Also while Hurley and Syiad were listening to the radio, Syiad said that the signal could be coming from anywhere...and then Hurley said "or ANYTIME". That's gotta be a clue. Are they in a time warp? Oh the possiblities...
  • So now Sawyer's got the guns...something has got to happen. I think Charlie will tell somebody where the guns are. I think that next week is gonna be crrrrrrrazy with Syiad torturing the new guy??? Wtf is up with that? Why is he going to pose a threat? Is he one of the others? I guess maybe they think that he is the one that tried to capture Sun?

I can't wait for next week!!! By the way, it's supposed to snow this weekend. I'm going to get a sled tonight!!!

Also, a big shoutout to my pal JAKE who is apparently a frequent reader!

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Bacheloring himself out

I have never been into "The Bachelor" before this season for many reasons:

1. It doesn't seem realistic that people are going to fall in love in 2 weeks with 6 million cameras watching their every move. It's juat fake.

2. Why would you want to date/get serious with a guy that is dating 10 other girls?

3. Is it just me, or have all the bachelors been somewhat hideous/giantic douchebags?

4. They live in fucking mansions. That's not real life. What happens when these people go back to their regular lives, in their regular houses, without makeup and hair stylists?

5. None of the bachelors have made it last with the girls they pick at the end.

6. I always thought there had to be some underlying reason these guys aren't married in their mid-30s. Either they have horrible personalities or they're in the closet about their homosexuality. Maybe they have some sort STD that prevents them from getting chicks. Perhaps they are assholes that treat girls like shit. Personally, I'm leaning towards the latter.

So...against my better judgement, I allowed myself to get drawn into the Bachelor hype this year, and gosh darnit, I actually enjoy it. For those still rebelling against the show, meet Travis:

He's in his mid-30s, a ER doctor, more attractive than the last bachelors, and seems relatively nice. His flaw: he's a TERRIBLE judge of character. He's down to his final 3 girls.

Moana is a complete bipolar. One minute he's aloof, the next minute she's all over his balls.

Susan is a wannabe actress who plans to move to hollywood to pursue her career. She actually admitted in last night's episode that "she'll do whatever it takes to pursue her dream of acting". Obviously that means even faking a romance. Boo Susan.

The last girl, Sarah, is the most normal of the three. She's a kindergarden teacher who's from the same town (Nashville) as Travis. I don't know why he's keeping her around. She seems to like him only because they are from the same town and he seems to like her as a buddy, and not the kind you want to have sex with. If I had to pick one girl though, I like her the best. That's not saying much though.

My point is, this season's show is slightly more interesting than in past years. I think these two should be on the show next year:

True love....

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

January and a Movie

Yes, it has been awhile since I've updated the old boop bloggy blog...sorry. I told you guys that January was my crazy month. But since it's January 31st, here I am, writing to serve your entertainment needs.

What has been cool about this month is the fact that I've viewed a plethora of movies. Here is the Ashley grading scale of recently viewed movies:

My favorite of all of the movies I saw this month was Brokeback Mountain. Good lord. I mean, yea, it's shocking to see two guys do it in a tent, but once you get past the fact that our society tells us that's wrong and when you begin see the feelings that Jack "Nasty" Twist and Ennis Del Mar have for each other, then you become emotionally attached to the characters. At least I did. And I got teary-eyed. It's always a good movie when it makes hardass Ashley Sailer tears up. A+

  • Elizabethtown--I'm pretty sure this movie got bad reviews, but I LOVED it. There's something about Kirsten Dunst that I can't stand but there's something about her in this movie I really like. It's probably the southern accent. I guess this movie would qualify as a "chick flick" but if you're a guy, I think you would be entertained. Check it outttttttt. A-

Pride and Prejudice--Ok, I'll admit it; I didn't finish the book before I saw this movie but it was so good, I'll still go back and finish up the book even though I know what happens. Let me just say that if I were a lesbian, I would totally do Kiera Knightly. So hot. But the movie was well made and absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend it. A!

Shopgirl--I was nervous about seeing a serious Steve Martin because who is he if he's not freaking out (i.e. Father of the Bride, Parenthood). I mean, there were actually SEX scenes with Steve Martin and Claire Danes. Uhh...gag me. But it actually turned out quite nicely. Steve Martin was believeable as an old playboy looking for short term love and Claire Danes is perfect for playing the role of the naive girl who falls for the older dude and his old balls. It was really a cute movie, and if you can believe it, somewhat deep and thought provoking. A-

The Family Stone--A total ensemble cast, I was excited to see this movie because if it has Sarah Jessica Parker AND Luke Wilson in it, it HAS to be awesome. Well, it wasn't awesome but it wasn't shitty either. I laughed a lot at a couple parts and for the most part, I was entertained. There were some scenes that I thought were a tad unbelieveable but like any holiday movie, it ended predictably which I thought was weak. I might wait until video for this one. B

Proof--I've always been a fan of movies about smart people. I can't tell you how much I liked Gweneth Paltrow in this role. She's so unlikeable and frusterating but at the same time, you're constantly rooting for her. It's an amazingly well directed movie and the characters are protrayed perfectly. I think this is definitely one of Anthony Hopkins best roles. If you liked "A Beautiful Mind", you'll LOVE this movie. A+!

The Ringer--What can I say about Johnny Knoxville's feeble attempt to act? I really have no words. I got through about 1/4 of this movie and the plot and acting was so shitty, I just stopped watching it. OHMIGOD, whatever you do, do NOT waste your life watching this movie. F!

Broken Flowers--Here's a serious Bill Murray movie. I like him best in Groundhog Day and Ghostbuster...the sarcastic but loveable asshole. Honestly, I always had sort of an old man crush on Bill Murray. I don't know why...don't judge me ok? Geez. In Broken Flowers, he's an unloveable asshole. Even my crush couldn't allow me to overlook the shittiness of this movie. It basically revolves around him trying to find his son. Turns out in the end, he might not even have a son. It's really strange and boring and I think it the moral of the story wasn't quite as strong as they wanted. I give this movie a big fat D. Sorry Bill.

Asylum--Wow, I LOVED it. This is a movie about a psychiatrist's wife who falls in love with one of his patients. It's soo fucked up and sooooooo powerful. I mean, it's not a movie you sit around and watch to feel good about life. It's moving and strange and sad and the acting is superb. B+

I told you I had seen a lot of movies this month. I think I'm going to switch over from movies to books this month though...get my vocabulary up a tad. Any good book recommendations?