books & writing

Lisa reads Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

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I’m coming to this series a little late, I’m afraid. I read Sandman Slim by Author and immediately thought of half a dozen people that I just knew would love it. Problem is, most of them have already read it! But if you aren’t familiar with this series, about a magician/hitman returned from Hell to seek vengeance on the folks who sent him there, it’s not too late! We can get caught up together.

Sandman Slim is a little like another series I started recently – Hounded by Author. Both deal with the hidden world, the people and powers that most of us do not see and are not aware of. Jack Stark – known in Hell as Sandman Slim – is a magician, someone with natural magical ability, which lets him see and manipulate this hidden world.

Sub Rosas are the secret people who look just like you, but are different. They bank where you bank. They stand behind you in line at the coffee shop. They panhandle you for the money you suddently and inexplicably have to drop into their grimy hands. Some of us also talk to the dead. Some see the future, some trade souls like baseball cards, or bribe angels for a peek at God’s to-do list. Mostly, Sub Rosas are the people that regular people aren’t supposed to know about. It’s not that we don’t like you; it’s that you have a habit of burning us at the stake when you notice us.

Slim’s magic circle – the group of magicians that he worked with – betrayed him. They sent him to Hell, making him the only living man there, owned by Azazel, one of Lucifer’s generals, entertaining the minions by battling demons in Hell’s arena. But he killed his owner, stole an important artifact and escaped from Hell. Now he’s back in LA, looking for revenge on the people who sent him there.

Slim is a great character. He went to Hell when he was pretty young and spent 11 years there; in a lot of ways, he’s stuck at that age. He’s still an impulsive kid and it shows in the decisions he makes. But he is dead-set on revenge and the people he’s after are dangerous.

I’m trying very hard not to think about anything I’m doing. Of all the iffy things I’ve ever done in my life, I’ve never had to ditch a body before. While it’s giving me a migraine right now, I think the fact that I’m not an expert at corpse says a lot of good things about me and my life choices.

There are some great characters in this for Slim to play off and there are also some great plot twists. I love Kadrey’s descriptions – they are so much fun!

In eleven years, no one’s painted anything or cleaned the pool. There are things wiggling down in the stagnant backwash that I don’t even remember seeing in Hell. This is where David Lynch groupies go to lose their virginity.

I may have gotten to this series a little late, but I will be getting caught up quickly. For more on the series, check out Kadrey’s website. This copy of Sandman Slim came from my personal library.

sandman slim

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump contradictions

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10. (in his 2000 book The America We Deserve) “I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”

9. (in 2015) “We have a lot of people that are killed by guns, but I’m a big Second Amendment person. You know when the prisoners escaped up in New York, which was a tragedy in itself, people who were against guns said, ‘Thank God we have guns.’ I don’t want to do anything to violate the Second Amendment. To me the Second Amendment is very important.”

8. (in 1990, re the war on drugs) “You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”

7. (in 2015, when asked if legalizing marijuana in Colorado was a good or bad experiment) “I say it’s bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about that.”

6. (in 1999, on Meet the Press) “Look, I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject, but you still — I just believe in choice. Again, it might have a little to do with a New York background, because there are some different attitudes in different parts of the country … but again, I am strongly for choice, and yet I hate the concept of abortion. I am pro-choice in every respect, but I just hate it.”

5. (on Laura Ingram’s radio show in 2011) “Who said I’m pro-choice? Look, I’m pro-life. I’ve said it. I’m very strong there. And, I’m strong on pro-life.”

4. (in 1991, when Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana and got 55% of the White vote) “I hate seeing what it represents, but I guess it just shows there’s a lot of hostility in this country. There’s a tremendous amount of hostility in the United States.”

3. (in 2000, when Trump said he wouldn’t seek the Reform Party nomination because he felt the party was self-destructing) “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined – a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.”

2. (in a 2000 press release) “The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep.”

1. (when asked, on February 28, 2016, to say he didn’t want the vote of David Duke or other White supremacists) “Well, just so you understand: I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay? I don’t know what you’re even talking about with White supremacy or White supremacists, so I don’t know….I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about White supremacists, and so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about….Honestly, I don’t know David Duke, I don’t believe I’ve ever met him, I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him, and I just don’t know anything about him.”
 

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Oscars

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10. “Excuse me, Miss. You dropped your implant.”

9. “The montage of dead actors at the Golden Globes is a good indication of who’ll still be dead tonight.”

8. “Explain to me again why Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! isn’t up for anything.”

7. “I heard Travolta’s date to this thing is Adele Dazeem!”

6. “How ironic that they’re holding the Oscars during Black History Month.”

5. “Hey, look! Charlene Theron’s arm grew back!”

4. “Damn! I had Paul Blart: Mall Cop in the Oscar pool.”

3. “I only hope I live long enough to be included in that In Memorium segment.”

2. “I love that new ‘anatomically correct’ Oscar; it’s so much easier to carry!”

1. “I really feel sorry for Stallone. First, they completely ignore his work in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, and now this!”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

No private school leagues? NJ Ed Commish might have missed an opportunity

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I challenge you to a football game. Here are my rules: You have to pick eleven players from your block. I can pick anyone (including, if I like, a player on your block). Let’s go! [Read more →]

all workBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten most recent jobs I’ve held (with a nod to Stewart Francis)

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10. I was a trampoline salesman… off and on.

9. I worked as half a horse at Disneyland, but quit while I was a head

8. I was a trapeze artist…but I was let go.

7. They wouldn’t believe that I wasn’t a thief when I was working as a school crossing guard – but all the signs were there

6. I worked in produce, which wasn’t exactly rocket salad

5. I tried being a mime…but now I can talk about it…
(Ever since my best friend became a mime, I haven’t heard from him)

3. I manufactured clown shoes…which was no small feat

2. I had to quit my job at the helium gas factory – I refuse to be spoken to in that tone!

1. I sold loose onions – until I got the sack

I’m not sure why I never got that job at Microsoft – they never answered my telegram
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem

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10. A sonnet mailed while we two are apart,

9. Just like the first one that I sent to you!

8. Professing all the Love within my heart,

7. And all my sadness you are out of view!

6. Not soon enough, we’ll finally reunite:

5. A blaze of glory as we become One!

4. With Heaven’s guidance, we will see the Light!

3. And gaze into a face just like the sun!

2. Some things must be believed before they’re seen,

1. As I believe in you, Beloved Maureen!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Work-life balance

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This week, I’m simply sharing/linking to an article I published a couple days ago in The Chronicle of Higher Education about a topic that, in many ways, underlies many of the pieces I’ve written here over the years: work-life balance.

ends & oddMr. Sean goes to Washington

Chris Christie: why only the unemployed should run for president

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New Jersey is a state that once had a governor reveal during a single press conference:

  1. He was resigning.
  2. Because of an affair.
  3. With a man.

For most states, this would be plenty to process, but our suddenly former governor didn’t even mention that the man was about to start suing him for sexual harassment and that their falling out stemmed from that man, an Israeli poet, losing his job as the state’s homeland security adviser, a $110,000 a year position for which he had virtually no qualifications beyond the aforementioned affair with the governor.

That was the administration of Jim McGreevey.

Former presidential candidate Chris Christie wishes he could rise to this level of professionalism. Disastrous as McGreevey was as New Jersey’s governor, he still has one big edge over Christie: he occasionally spent time in New Jersey. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten upcoming sequels

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10. Fast & Furious 8: Even Faster & Furiouser

9. Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: What a Load of Chip

8. Frozen 2: Another Batch of Earworms

7. Naked Gun 4: Where’s O.J.?

6. Schindler’s List 2: The Groceries

5. The Seventh Sense

4. Weekend at Bernie’s 3: What’s That Smell?

3. I Still Know What You Did the Summer Before Last

2. Star Wars 8: The Force Goes Back To Sleep Again

1. Rocky ?: Even We’ve Lost Count
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingenvironment & nature

Top ten answers to the question “How cold is it?”

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10. “It’s so cold, your car won’t start running and your nose won’t stop.”

9. “It’s so cold, I saw an oak tree with its nuts frozen off.”

8. “It’s so cold, throwing a snowball is legally classified as ‘assult with a deadly weapon’.”

7. “It’s so cold, you leave your refrigerator door open to keep your food even colder.”

6. “It’s so cold, you found five Eskimos huddled in your family room.”

5. “It’s so cold, Grandma’s teeth aren’t chattering because they’re frozen in the glass of water next to her bed.”

4. “It’s so cold, it would be colder than Donald Trump’s heart…if he had one.”

3. “It’s so cold, airport TSA agents are putting on mittens before fondling you.”

2. “It’s so cold, you can’t tell how cold it is because the mercury in the thermometer just froze.”

1. “It’s so cold, Martin Shkreli (that scumbag who raised the price of that AIDS drug from $13.50 a tablet to $750 per tablet) has asked that he be sent to Hell earlier than scheduled.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Drexel Football is an improv group, and that’s fine with me

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The Drexel Football Team is an improv group. And I like it that way. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten more jokes that are mental

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10. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

9. I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute.

8. I may be a schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

7. “I’m having trouble finding myself,” Waldo said to his psychiatrist.

6. My uncle found a new cure for Tourette’s. He swears by it.

5. I was just hugged and then mauled by a bipolar bear.

4. The hardest part about going to Hypochondriacs Anonymous is admitting you don’t have a problem.

3. I’m not crazy, I’m a lover. That’s why I’m in a jacket that lets me hug myself.

2. Insanity means never having to say, “I’m guilty.”

1. I try not to limit my madness to March.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten jokes that are mental

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10. I have a mental disorder where I have to make everything sound mysterious….Or do I?

9. Do you suspect you have schizophrenia? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

8. I phoned the paranoia help line, but I had to hang up after 59 seconds because I’m sure they were trying to trace the call.

7. Schizophrenia – Together I can beat it!

6. Kleptomaniacs always take things literally.

5. I think I speak for everyone when I say I have multiple personality disorder.

4. We’ll be attending the National Schizophrenia Convention. Anybody who’s everybody will be there.

3. Nowadays, anger management courses are all the rage.

2. I used to have super powers, but my psychiatrist took them all away.

1. I try to stay in touch with reality but, lately, it hasn’t been returning my calls.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Dear Palmyra Junior Wrestling families…

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This is my eighth year as head coach of Palmyra Jr. Wrestling. We have a great group of people who coach, administer, and care for the club. It’s a youth sport for 40 or so wrestlers, but it’s also a community of parents and friends. This position has been a big part of my life for nearly a decade. As I’ve written in this very space, much of youth coaching involves working with parents (and working with yourself). I take that seriously. Below is the 2015-16 version — slightly edited — of a letter I’ve sent out each year to our parents before our first match. It’s my effort to talk about what youth sports mean to me and how wrestling parents can help their young athletes. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingbooks & writing

Top ten worst selling children’s books

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10. Where the Wild Things Aren’t

9. The Sated Caterpillar

8. White and Yellow Eggs and Ham

7. The Cat in the Fur

6. The Little Engine that Couldn’t

5. Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

4. Alice’s Adventures in Bayonne

3. There’s Waldo

2. Alexander and the Average, Tolerable, Fairly Good, Not So Bad Day

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Commerce
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

adviceBob Sullivan's top ten everything

My top ten new year’s resolutions

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10. I resolve to finally give up trying to lose weight, and instead will just grow six inches taller

9. I resolve to finally find Waldo

8. I resolve to become a doctor, and then change my last name to “Acula”

7. I resolve not to sit at my computer all day (I’m writing this standing up)

6. I resolve to think of another password for my computer besides ‘password’

5. I resolve to buy a t-shirt that says “LIFE” on it, then stand on a street corner and hand out lemons to passersby

4. I resolve to keep my ambitions within reach

3. I resolve to finally bring an end to war

2. I resolve, this year, to keep all my resolutions to myself

1. I resolve to limit my number of resolutions to nine
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

adviceBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten axioms to get your New Year off on the right foot

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10. No need to vaccinate all of your children, only the ones you want to keep.

9. The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.

8. I may be getting old, but I did get to hear all the cool bands.

7. Politics isn’t left vs. right, it’s top vs. bottom.

6. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

5. When we say “Women and children first,” we’re not talking about budget cuts.

4. Guns don’t kill people, bullets do. Guns just make them go real fast.

3. How many armed psychopaths does it take to change a gun law?

2. All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

1. (And Number One for the second year in a row – for anyone in a relationship:)
Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least popular holiday specials

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10. Don Knott’s It’s A Wonderful Fife!

9. America’s Funniest Home Nutcracker Videos

8. Chris Christie’s Twelve Days of Christmas Dinners

7. A Charlie Brownstein Hanukkah

6. Frostie the Puddle’s Global-Warming Denier’s Special

5. Gift Wrapping with the Stars

4. The 83rd Annual Leaving of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Out On The Curb

3. Miracle Whip on 34th Street

2. It’s A Wonderful Life for the One Percent

1. Donald Trump’s Me, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
 
Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

My version of the homemade gift

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For the holidays, a lot of us nowadays give gift cards, those serious plastic rectangles, packed with possibility. We give cash, which flutters out of the shaken, ignored greeting card, all beautiful and real. We Internet shop, where you never see and touch the thing itself. It just appears (soon, by drone!) on your step. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggames

Top ten most dangerous holiday toys

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10. Mr. Wizard’s Home Lobotomy Kit

9. Gasp! – The Saran Wrap Game

8. Miss Piggy’s Big Bag O’ Pork

7. Black & Decker Silly Driller

6. Hello Kitty Tiki Torches

5. Easy Bake Microwave

4. Fontanelle Lawn Darts

3. Toddlers & Tiaras‘ Official You’re Never Too Young To Twerk Outfit

2. Fisher-Price Choking Hazard

1. The Chris Christie Home Stomach-Stapler
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.