Monday, June 21, 2010

Catcher In The Rye (1-95)

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger is a fantastic book so far from reading it. This book seems very interesting to me, I don't know why. my dad first suggested it, and said it was a book I would like. And so far I do, very much. As I started reading it I realized that I can relate to it, and thats probably what sparked my attention to it. For the same reason my dad probably said I would like the book, and its very weird. but I actually enjoy this book.

The main characters name is Holden Caulfield. he is a very cynical character, and doesn't like much of... well, anything to be exact. He always finds problems with things and calls people "phonies" a lot. Holden goes to this school cal Pencey Prep. He hates this school. He finds out that he has failed 4 subjects and cannot go back the next term. HE is now sitting in his room, and this really annoying kid comes up. The "smart geek with all the freckles" is how I would describe him. He is always asking silly questions and bothering people. Stradlater comes in, I would like to describe him as a "jock" type of guy. Stradlater asks to write a composition for english for him. Eventually Caulfield does it, but thats not until later.

What the problem with this book is that it has a lot of things happen in a short amount of time, and it it often very hard to cover all the things that happen. A lot more things happen, but Im not going to lie; it is late :p

“Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules" (Salinger 23).

I think what Mr. Spencer said there has opened Holden Caulfields eyes a little more to the world. I think he maybe realized something about the world that he shouldn't have, and now he is this rebellious, type of guy that doesn't like doing things against his will. For example, he failed 4 subjects, he could've done better if he tried, but he didn't.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chopper (256-320))


Stealth Fighter Down in Serbia:

The thing that happened during this story was an F-117 stealth fighter jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, in 1999. This was the first stealth fighter to be ever sot down. This was very bad for the Air force. Never before has a stealth aircraft got into the hands of enemy forces. This was especially bad for the Air Force, because this aircraft cost a lot of money, and it was super secret to the Air Force. No one knew anything about it until now. "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. I'm VEGA 31, on the way down" were the words of the pilot. After parachuting down, he was very vulnerable. He had the oldest survival radio in his inventory, but the newest and most advanced fighter jet. He was also in enemy territory. This meant SOMEONE had to go and get him, or at least attempt to.

The pilots name is withheld, at his request. His callsign is VEGA 31, so that is what we will call him. When he was parachuting down, he decided that he would break the rules of his SERE(survival, evade, resistance, and escape) method they had thought him in survival school. He used his mediocre radio to call for help. The radio signal would get farther while he was still in the air. Not only did he have a mediocre radio, he had a parachute that was brightly colored, white and orange. When he landed the first thing he did was go and find a safe place to hide. The first person he had got in contact was a KC-10 Tanker refueling a F-16 over Bosnia. Then, he contacted a rescue team. Two Pavelows and one Pavehawk were called in. it took 7 hours to get him. They were in a 1 mile radius of the downed pilot for about 3 hours, but because of the darkness it made it impossible to see him. Finally, when he lit a road flare, they caw him, and got him outta there.

"We pulled off my rescue with a walkie-talkie, a road flare, and a $100 GPS: out success was a testimony to the human spirit-- and a wake-up call" (Dorr 287)

My reaction to this story was very frantic. This try kept me suspended. I could literally not put the book down, because I just had to know if the Pilot was rescued or not. What was amazing was how he got to survive. I was sure that he would be captured, but because of his intelligence and knowledge, he wans't.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chopper (196-256)


"Cobra In The Crosshairs":

A new kind of helicopter joined the Army in Vietnam on September 4th, 1967. This helicopter, or chopper, was called A AH-1G Cobra. It was the first helicopter designed to be an air-to-ground gunship. It's nickname was the HueyCobra. When Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Whitley climbed into one of these gunships, he said it felt more like a fight jet than an actual helicopter. The speeds the Cobra could reach were astonishing. It could reach 175 mph, and fired 2.5 Inch sidewinder rockers under its little "stub" wings.

What happend during this mission was very scary for the pilot. He was going to an area where there Army called "Song Be", but then he got a call on his handy radio that a MEDEVAC helicopter was going in to retrieve a wounded solider. Whitley as offered the job to cover the helicopter, with his new AH-1G Cobra. He accepted. I mean, why wouldn't you accept. If the soldiers didn't have a MEDEVAC option if one of them got hurt, then they probably wouldn't fight as well. He was going north, toward where the MEDEVAC was supposed to be. Then, all of a sudden he saw .30 caliber bullets flying his way. Then, a BIG explosion shock the cockpit. He was diving. Finally he hit the ground. Suprisingly, both Pilot and Co-Pilot got out alive, and called in for another MEDEVAC for them. Another chopper came and rescued them. Later that day, when he came back to base he found out that the MEDEVAC mission that he was assigned to had gotten the wounded solider out of there without his help.

"I'd knew I'd never get out of Vietnam alive". . . And then: "No, I'm immortal. I can live through anything" (Dorr 223).

My reaction to this quote and when I read this in book was emotional. it's amazing how much determination you can have when your life is at stake. it's kind of like that feeling when you're getting chased by someone at night. The adrenaline kicks in andyou start going faster then you ever were before.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chopper (127-196)


"DUSTOFF Mission in a Hot Zone (II):

Basically, a dustoff is a mission where a Helicopter lands on the ground and evacuates a wounded solider and heads back to base so that the doctors can get to him and save him in time. The main hero in this mission was Mike Novosel. He logged thousands of flight hours, and did many other great feats. Such feats included rescuing Hundreds of wounded soldiers in the frontlines of battle.

One time, he had to go get a friendly soldier. He got separated from the main force, probably because he was not paying attention to where he was going. Novosel had to go get him, all while being shot at from all directions. He was trying to maneuver his helicopter so that some of the bullets would miss. He went and rescued that soldier. He could hear rounds hitting the Huey Chopper. Dustoff's, generally meant a medical evacuation, but it could also mean a troop evacuation just to get them out of hostile territory. Basically, the Huey chopper would come in as quick as possible, and try to get out as fast as they can. It was very dangerous to preform dustoff's, but it was well worth it, saving a soldier's life.


"Was I the only pilot in Vietnam who knew that sometimes you could use maturity and knowledge to break rules?" (Dorr 205).


I never really understood why people could not do this in the armed forces. I mean, sure, you see a lot of this happening in military movies. Main characters would be breaking rules to be badass. Such as in the movie Top Gun. Tom Cruise, or the main character, "Maverick" broke so many flight regulations that you could not count how many he broke... One time he flew right over the carrier on purpose. he could have gotten kicked out of that. but then again, it's a movie.

but yes, if you have knowledge and know what you are doing, in regulation you could break rules if they are necessary.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chopper (64-127)


"The Battle of la Drang Valley":

In 1961, there was a helicopter pilot named Leland C. Komich. He made a lot of landings under heavy fire from oppositional forces. These flights were very dangerous. His army helicopter, the UH-1 Huey could be shot down. But, he risked his life to save over 33 wounded and 7 normal infantrymen. This comes at a high price though-- your life. You're endangering your own life to save another's. That is honorable and everyone should give the most respect to these type of people. He was constantly interested in the Army. He was born and raised in Massachusetts, and enlisted in 1960 to the Army. After 4 years he had pinned a lot of pins and ribbons to his suit.

Anyways, what happened in the battle of la Drang Vally, was ....well alot of things happened. That's why it was called a Battle. While pilots such as Komich were in the Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter, they got shot at, a lot. Komich stated that "when you can hear the popping, and see the muzzle flashes, then that's when it's really, really bad". One time, he recalls that he was transporting troops some ammo, and all of a sudden a bullet from an AK-47 entered the back of his helmet. "All you could see is blood spilling all over the place". Komich then decided that he had to go back to base to get he copilot treated for this injury. it wasn't a big injury, because it said in the book it only grazed his head, but still blood splattered all over the place. Another thing that happened during this Battle was many ambushes. The helicopter sometimes goes over the hills in Vietnam, and there, waiting for it is a convoy of Vietnamese soldiers. This was bad, and you had to know how to get out of one of these situations. Quickly and swiftly, you must have known how to pilot this chopper.

The main reason why it was called a battle was because there were a lot of casualties, and frequent ambushes, and many other things such as bullets being shot at the helicopters.

"When Dallas Harper's Helicopter went down right in the middle of the la Drang Battle, we had a lot of complicated things to think about." (Dorr 95)

I could imagine that they have a lot of things to worry about. Such as bullets flying everywhere, when you're trying to save one of you're buddies. things were tough in that battle, and I could not even comprehend the way it must feel to have bullets being shot in your direction. Must have a lot of adrenaline...

Chopper (1-64)


For this term's ROAR book, I chose "Chopper" by Robert F. Dorr. This is a book about this history of American Military Helicopter Operations. This book has a wide variety of mission, it has them ranging from World War 2 to the War on Terror.

"A Night Mission That Couldn't Happen":
Captain Richard Kirkland was a pilot of a H-5 Chopper. While he was partying, the phone rang. It was a lieutenant, and he said that he had a soldier, shot in the darkness. He was oing to die if he didn't get help before dawn. But this soon became a problem, a big problem. The H-5 Chopper could not be flown at night. it had to light, or navigation equipment to support it. Another reason why it couldn't fly at night was because it was against regulations.

But, to save a life, you must risk something. Going into enemy territory was dangerous-- especially at night without any lights. How did they get to the wounded solider, you ask? The wounded soldier was lucky, he had US Army troops around him and they flashed truck lights so the H-5 chopper knew where to land. As soon as it landed, Roger(the medic), bounced out and went to retrieve the wounded soldier. As soon as he was on board they took off. When they were just in the air, they heard, and saw "little red golf balls" coming towards them/ The Vietnamese were shooting at them. The H-5 was being shot, and the helicopter was struggling to leave the hostile situation. But for some reason, the enemy fire stopped. As soon as it stopped, they were back on there way home.

The wounded soldier lived.

"Abruptly, they stopped shooting. I don't know why." (Dorr 46)

That had me wondering too. WHY, did they stop shooting. They has a perfect visual of where the helicopter was. The helicopter was making some lgiht from the exhaust. This way, it could move. But then again it wasn't made for night flying. It was especially dangerous when you're flying at night, not to mention if you have fire coming from the exhaust. But...why did they stop shooting. The world will never know..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The blind side (Movie Comparison)

Well, I just finished watching the movie. The first thing I want to talk about here is what the movie changed from what has happened or was said in the book. The first thing I noticed about it that was different from the book was that in the movie Micheal Oher, went to a school called "Wingate Christian High School". In the book however, he goes to a school called "Briarcrest Christian High School". Also, Micheal graduated High School with a 2.52 GPA, which was what he got in the movie and in real life. It said in the movie that you needed a GPA of at least 2.5 to play for any college. The movie lied, in real life you would need to get a 2.65 GPA to be able to attend college and play sports for that college. Micheal got from 2.52 GPA in real life from some High School Credits which raised his GPA to a 2.65. I also noticed some other things in the movie. It might seem in the movie that Sean Tuohy is a... I can't really explain it. In the book Micheal Lewis(The author) praise's him about being rich and owning a chain of restaurants, and they explained how he got to that point, being the richest man in Tennessee. In the movie however, they make it seem as it is not important. They mentioned it once that Micheal Oher can get free food from Taco Bell, Long John Silvers and other food chains, because Sean Tuohy owns them, but they didn't really emphasize that long and arduous process of getting there, to be the richest man in Tennessee.
The movie was great, anyhow. I was very pleased with the great acting from all the characters. The one part I loved in this movie was when he was writing that essay about courage and honor. I loved this movie and would give it a 6/5 if I could. I would recommend to watch it sometime if you didn't yet.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The blind side (173-278)

Well, what can I say. It was a great book. I learned many things in it about football. I also learned some history about it and some famous players such as Joe Montana and Orlando Pace. I learned that good things can come out of kids with mad past/childhoods. I mean, Micheal Oher had no father, and his mother was addicted to drugs. What type of childhood that might have been, I cannot and never will be able to imagine.

Anyway, basically what I read in these 100 or so pages was alot. I started on page 173. It started off with Micheal Oher being investigated because the NCAA thought that the Tuohy's, or basically parents of Micheal Oher(not biologically), thought that they just took in Oher so that he could play for Ole Miss(A college football team), where the husband of Leigh Ann, was a coach on. It was a violation because the Tuohy's were basically forcing Oher to play for Oher because they bribed him with shelter, food, clothes...and general guidance. How can this be true? He didn't even start playing football until his junior year. He only then saw his true greatness and power in Americas Game. He was meant to play basketball, until he stepped on the field and proved himself of what he was worth. So basically all chapter 8 was talking about was the NCAA accusing the Tuohy's...

The next part was pretty boring, because all it talked about was the evolution of the left tackle position, the position which Micheal Oher played on. After that, was about how Ole Miss became to be a good college and talked a little bit about its history. It also talks about the Egg Bowl The coach of Ole Miss, does not think that he will play freshman year, because of his suffering grades. Although when he stepped on the field, he showed his true power. He showed that he was a beast. In these pages I read, they also talked slightly about Micheal Oher's childhood and his parents childhood. It was a very brief chapter.

"To get into the NFL Micheal Oher needed to first get into college, and to get into college he needed to meet the NCAA's academic standards (Lewis 184).

This was a very great book, It taught me alot of great things about football and in general about Micheal Oher, a natural at football. This quote is very true. Even if you have top notch colleges offering full 4 year scholarships, you still need to have a decent GPA. It doe snot exclude you if you had a full sport scholarship, you still need to do good in school.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The blind side (114-173)

By the time he was a senior, he now knew and was fully accustomed to the fact that he was a great football player. He was very good at it, very good at it indeed. However, one part of him was struggling. That part was schoolwork. He had a 1.67 GPA(Grade Point Average) when he was in 12th grade. There was no way to get ANY college to accept him. Even thoguh colleges were offering him FULL scholorships, he could not attend becaus eof his low GPA. Now, Liegh Ann, the "mother" of him, had to work on him and set him straight.He ha dto study hard for tests, go home straight after school, and do all his homework; and it still would not be enough to pass. She made a deal with his teachers. If he does all his work, and tries his hardest he might have a chance of going to college or playing football that season for the Briarcrest Football Team. He needed to get a GPA if he wanted to play football this year. She gave him a tutor, and everything. She gave him all the resources.

The coaches from all over the country started seeing him. He was a popular celebrity now, and was going to be a future NFL prospect., or at least that's what they were expecting. when they saw the size of that beast go, they automatically, after one play had enough and said " That was all I needed to see ". Micheal got really angry with this one kid, which said things like "Hey fatass, I'm a kill you" or "Hey fat ass! Fat peopel can't play football! I'm a run your ass over" (Lewis 117). This got him infuriated, and then he picked up that kid, ran him aklll the way down the field and mashed him against the fence. Oher said he would put the kid back on the bus if he kept using his trash talking mouth.

In 2004, the Briarcrest Football team went on to win the State Championships. They couldn't have down it without Micheal Oher, the future Offensive Tackle of the Baltimore Ravens. This kid will most likely be a legend. It is his first year playing for the Baltimore Ravens(2009-2010).

When she tried to give him a flue shot the second year in a row, he said " Your white people are obsessed with the flu shot". You don't need one every year" (Lewis 155).


I liked this section in the book a lot. I enjoyed reading it because it talked about the actual things that Micheal needed to do in order to successfully graduate from High School and what you neded to get for college, even though almost every college was offering Oher a full scholarship. You don't normally see colleges like LSU or Oklahoma State giving out FULL, and completely free scholarships. My reaction to this quote was pretty normal, but I laugehd when I read it. i have never had a flu shot in my life, and have never gotten the flu yet. I'm not crazy for the flu shot either.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The blind side (55-114)

The kid didn't even have a warm place to stay. He always went to the gym, even though he had no basketball practice that day. Sean Tuohy, practically his second father, asked him where he was going. He said, that he was going to the gym. Sean asked Why, because Micheal didn't have basketball practice that day. He said, but it has heat. He wore the same clothes everyday, until Sean's wife, Lee Ann Tuohy, took him out and bought him some more. He finally was getting everything paid for. His lunch at school, his clothes, he would get driven to where he could sleep for the night, and school paid for because the Tuohy's were nice enough to give this kid a shot.

During these 60 something pages, Micheal Oher found out that his father died... He found out 3 months after his death because they could not identify him. He keeled down on the grass for a very long time. Even though he didn't know his father, he still had respect for him. Finally, Lee Ann got tired of driving Oher around to different peoples houses that she took him in. He was now living in a house; a real house. He was guaranteed a place to stay every night now. These people were practically his parents.

Once they flew to Memphis for their final game for the basketball season, everyone started booing him and calling him names such as the N-word. He got pissed off and upset so he started to play better. By then end, they won, he got 15 assists and 27 points. After that, he started playing football. Everyone saw how good he was, so they just stared with awe. During practice, bug shot coaches from all over the country came JUST to see him in practice. they could not speak to him until his senior year though. They saw his enormous size, and knew immediately if this kid didn't get in the top 3 NFL draft, then someone done him wrong.

"That's it," she said, "Get all your crap. You're moving in with me." (Lewis 75)


Pretty nice of her to do this. I think she got enough trust in him, and that he was going to keep going. She believed in him, and that made all the difference. If she didn't, then maybe he wouldn't be the Offensive Tackle of the Baltimore Ravens now. I believe it was a good thing that his mom was an alcoholic, and his dad left him. It taught him a lesson to be strong, and never give up. If you get everything handed to you in life, you will never amount for anything.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The blind side (1-55)

As I read into the first 3 chapters of this new and intriguing book, there really was nothing interesting. Micheal Lewis basically all he says is the backstory of some of the great players, and how much they got paid and stuff like that in the fist two chapters. The second chapter talked about great players such as Lawrence Taylor, Joe Jacoby, and Joe Theismann. The third chapter started talking about Micheal Oher, the main character. Micheal Oher was a kid that didn't have any foundation, but people saw things in him. "When Sean Tuohy first spotted Micheal Oher sitting in the stands in the Briarcrest gym, staring at basketball practice, he saw a boy with nowhere to go but up" (Lewis 52). The question was, of course how to make him go up. He had no dad, and his mom was in rehab. The only person he had was 'Big Tony'. He was a giant, a freak of nature they said. 300+ pounds, 6'+ ran a 5.5 in the forty year dash. Now, this was only when he was 16. Imagine how big he is now...

Basically all I read so far is that his(not legal), guardian, 'Big Tony', sent him to Briarcrest Christian School. He was flunking every class in the beginning, and they didn't know how to set him on the right foot. They knew he could be something if he tried really hard, but how can you educate someone that didn't even have a foundation.

And that's when I stopped reading...

"The goal was: lets idetntify where Lawrence is on every play." Talyor moved around alot, to confuse the defense, but he and his coach were happiest when he came from his own right side and the quarterbakcs left. Teh big reason I put him over there," said Bill Parcells, "is the right side is the quarterbacks blind side (Lewis 18).

My reaction when I red this was I had to read it over and over again so I could memorize what "The blind side" really was. I don';t know why the book was called "the blind side", but at least I now know what "The blind side " is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (201-250)

He met a police officer at the train station. The Police officer questioned him, and talked to him about where he was going. They went together then to get the money from an ATM machine. He then went and bought the ticket for 17 Pounds. The train as departing in 5 minutes, in Platform 1. He got on the train. Just as the train was about to depart, the police man came in and said "Christopher, Your dad is looking for you". Then when the train started to move, he started swearing. Chris did not want to see his father, but he was going to HAVE to see it, just because it was the police. The train would stop at the next station, and then they would take him in a car. He then goes to the bathroom. He hated the bathroom in the train because "it smelled of poo" and "it was brown" and he hated the color brown. After he went to the bathroom, he hid behind a shelf full of bags and luggages. I think he did this so that he couldn't go back to the police officer. He finally aarrived at London, and asked where is his mothers house(he gave them the address). Then the lady behind the counter told him to go to the Bakerloo Line and he had to go to Northbound and that was the direction of Willesden. He lost Toby, his pet rat, so he went looking for him. Afetr a while, he found him, and took him. He was on the rails, and a train was coming, He got hold of Toby, but a man in diamond socks pulled Chris to safety. He was MAD and PISSED at him. He first was bleeding, then he had dirty clothes from trying to pull Chris up, and then he had missed his train.Chris decided to get on a train after 8 more had come by, and finally get on it.

(That's when I stopped reading)

"And he had dreadlocks, which is what some black people have, but he was white, and dreadlocks is when you never wash your hair and it looks like old rope" (Haddon 203).

First, when I read this, I thought it was a little bit stereotypical. Classifying that "black people" are the only ones that have dreadlocks is very rude. Not to mention that he was rude when he said "it looks like old rope". I think that this kid would get in trouble in real life if he was this rude, but then again, it's just some author that writes like a idiot and then blames it that the main character, is autistic.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (150-200)

Chris talks about his first school teacher, which was named Julie. She asked CHristopher if he knew what was ain a tube. The Tube was named "Smarties", so Chris assumed that smarties were in the tube. What was really in the tube was a pencil. Then Chris talks about how the mind works. After that, Chris was sitting on his bed looking at the ground. His father admitted that he would say the truth from now on, and that he would be honest with his son. HE admitted that every human makes mistakes, and that HE had killed wellignton. It was because of an argument they had, and that Mrs. Shears (The dogs owner), cared more about the dog than about him. He then killed the dog. After Chris found out, he waited until 1:20 AM and ran away from the house. He hid behind a shed, and took his pet, Toby, and a coat and a "Special food" box. He stayed awake until 3:47 AM. Once mornign came, Father tried to search for his son, but couldn't find him. Chris then heard his van, and him driving away, so it was safe to come out. He decided that he needed to go live with his mom, which lived in London. It was a very frightening thought that he would go somewhere he ad never been by himself. He walked to school, which took him 47 minutes. He saw his father's van parked outside the school, so he ran and asked a lady where the train station is. He went to the trains station.

"Can I get you anything to eat, Christopher?" (Haddon 162)

I hate how parents try to make up for things once they have done something wrong, and I hate how they try to do very little small things and make it seem like t is alright. I HATE when they do that. If you have something to say, just come clean and be honest. If you lie, it will only hurt you more in the future.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (101-150)

Early on this section of the book, Christopher describes that his memory is like a film, and he is very good at remembering things. He could tell you something exactly how and when it happend when he was 6 years old. He is 15 now, and very smart for a 15 year old. Although he has behavioral problems, he still does his best, and will be taking a A Level Math class, and he promises to himself that he is going to get an A.
When Christopher got home from school later in the week, he put his book that he was writing down on the table. After that, he went to the living room and watched Blue Planet. That is a show about the world and about the differant ecosystems. His dad comes home, and Christopher forgets that he put the book down on the table. He was "relaxing his guard" (Haddon 109). Christopher's dad gets mad, and is mad that he is writing a book about this. He gets so mad, that he hits Christopher and he hits him back. After the fight, his father takes the book, and goes outside.
A day later, his dad took Christopher to the Zoo. It was to cheer Christopher up. He said things like "I love you Christopher, do you understand that? I do get angry cometimes, but that is because I get worried" (Haddon 118). Christopher said Yes, I understand that you love me, probably just to get his father off his back. After the day they went to the Zoo, he started talking about how he was trying to find the book that his dad took away from him. He started searching, and couldn't find it anywhere. Last place he would search was his fathers bedroom. After a while, he finds this box with a bunch of letters and his book in it. He looks at the letters for awhile, but then hears his fathers van pull up in the drive way. He knew it was time to get out of his fathers room. He took one letter out, and hid the letter under his mattress so his dad wouldn't find it. He didn't bother taking the boo, because if his father found out then his would get angry at him... AGAIN.

He reads the letter, and then finds out that his mother writes to him, and she lives somewhere else, and that she has a differant job. She also lives in London. Now, at this point in the book, Christopher and
I do not know whats going on. This part confused me. And that's when I stopped reading.

"And Father said, "I love you very much, Christopher. Don't you ever forget that. And I know I lose my rag occasionally. I know that I get angry. I know I shout. And I know I shouldn't. But I do it only because I worry about you, because I don't want to see you getting into trouble, because I don't want you to get hurt" (Haddon 118).

My reaction to this quote was...ehh. It was a good excuse for what Chris's father said...but I believe it was more of a rush. I think that the author did not think and did not know what to write, so he just wrote some BS. "Oh, Look I'm an author, and I can write whatever I want to and make the reader wonder" is basically the attitude he has about this book. In fact, I don't even feel like I'm reading a book anymore. It is just him, jumping around from topic to topic in each chapter. Really boring. Was expecting more from this book.

And now a question to all those reading that can be answered in the comments section bellow:
Is the author merely leaning on his characters to make up for a lackluster narrative?

In this case the young autistic lead character is used as a scapegoat, in that, any flaws in continuity, poor pacing or awkward dialog can be easily hand-waved by raising the little red autism flag and saying these details washed straight over the character, nullifying the author from any criticism.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (51-100)

This time I read page 51 to 100. This book is very interesting, and very entertaining. It's very easy to read and nice to calm yourself. Anyways... this is what happend in between page 50 and 100. Christopher starts to investigate who killed Wellington. He starts to go to peoples houses that are on his street. He asks a couple of people, and then, he finds who he was looking for. Mrs. Alexander. She gave him a lot of info. Offered him some cake and tea. He waited outside(he does not trust and does not go inside strangers houses) for 6 minutes. He thought that she was calling the police, so he quickly left. A couple of days later, his father talks to him and asks why he was asking those people questions. He got furious, and made Christopher promise to never speak and to stop all this detective business. He promises. The next couple of days, he sees 4 yellow cars in a row. this makes it a bad day and he doe snot talk to anyone on bad days. After about 3 days, he sees 4 red cars in a row. This means that it is a super good day. He knew something good was going to happen. He went to the store to buy some candy, and he saw Mrs. Alexander again. They then proceeded to talking and chatting. She says something that she shouldn't have. She says that she shouldn't be telling Christopher this, but she does anyway. They go into the park and she expalins that Mr. Shears was having an affair with Christopher mother. This was a shock to Christopher. This was the reason that Christopher dad said Mr. Shears was evil. Christopher immediately says "I think I should go now" (Haddon 82). He leaves, and Mrs. Alexander says that if he ever wanted to talk about that, that he would come to her house. He left. After that, nothing really happened except for the fact that he talked about being an astronaut and about a journalist. Also, he talked about the Monty Hall Problem. Itr was a math problem. Alot of professors said that the journalist could not do the math problem. Tehy were all wrong because it was "The Motnh Hall Problem.

"My age is 15 years and 3 months and 3 days" (Haddon 55)

I noticed that Christopher is very exact and on point. he always knows the exact days/dates and knows virtually everything. He is very smart for a 15 year old. I have also noticed this book jumps around a lot. From this topic, straight to the next. For example, they are talking about who killed Wellington, and then next chapter he starts talking about yellow and brown cars and how it makes hm feel sad.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (1-51)

From what I observed, this book is really weird, but in a good way. I have read only 51 pages in this book so far, and it is very unique. The main characters name is Christopher John Francis Boone. He knows all the countries and their capitals. He also knows all the prime numbers up to 7,507. He has a friend - Siobhan. I think he looks up to Siobhan, because he is always repeating his quotes and sayings. Siobhan is probably very smart.

It was 7 minutes after midnight, and Christopher saw the dog, Wellington, laying there in the middle of the lawn. Christopher went to check it out, and what had happened. The dog was dead, so Christopher took the dog and hugged him. he liked dogs very much, but why would anyone hug a bloody dog that has a pitchfork sticking out of it? Well... Christopher thought dogs were loyal and trustworthy, and that you always know what they are thinking. Shortly after, Mrs. Shears, the owner of the dog came out of the house screaming. "What in ****'s name have you done to my dog" (Haddon 5).

The police arrived, and questioned Christopher. After the police officer questioned and started touching Christopher, Christopher hit the police officer. They the drove down to the police station. After a while, his dad showed up, and took Christopher home.

I also found out in the first 50 pages that Christopher's mom died. It as of a heart attack. Christopher said it was kind of unexpected because his mother was very active, and that she would run a lot and bike to work every now and then. She was healthy and all. He sent her a Get well card, with 9 red cars on it. It meant Very Super Extreme Good Day. When Christopher sees 4 red cars in a row, he thinks it s a good day. When he sees 4 yellow cars in a row, he thinks its a bad day.

"She was shouting, "What in ****'s name have you done to my dog" (Haddon 5).

My reaction to this quote is that I HATE how people automatically assume things. Christopher was just trying to help the dog, and was hugging him because he liked dogs, and Mrs. Shears automatically thinks that HE killed the dog because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is just like someone getting shot, and you try to help the person, but the police arrive and then AUTOMATICALLY say it was you. So stupid.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brutal (203-255)

The next 50 pages that I read in this book were about Jimmy and where he lived, and his morality. He knew and was aware that he would never commit any of the violent crimes. Oh...what am I saying? Aren't ALL crimes violent? What Kevin Weeks is trying to say is that Jimym wouldn't commit EXTREMELY violent crimes. He would even help out the people in need at the local charity. Jimmy never hesitated to help someone that needed help. He would sometimes give the person money, buy him/her a coat if they're cold, and even things like buying someone a condo. But there were times when he wouldn't help someone. Those were the times when he though they were just trying to get money off of him.

There was one guy that pissed Whitey off. He was a what they nicknamed "Wheels". He was a creep in his early 40's. He was in a wheelchair and Whitey despised him. What made Jimmy so pissed off was how he would beg for money from women, and if they didn't give him any he would cuss scream and yell at them. He would never beg to get money off men, because he knew that his a** would get kicked if he cussed some guy out. What really pissed Whitey off was that he could walk, and he was yelling at people for money. One time, Jimmy saw it as he was driving by. Wheels was bothering some elderly woman who probably had less than him. When she didn't give him anything he started yelling and screaming at her. Jimmy, no furious, got out of his car, and started beating Wheels off his wheelchair, and took his wheelchair and threw it into the street. The same thing happened a week later, when he was bothering another woman when she was with her grandson. Whitey, who was across the street watching his store "Rotary Variety" in South Boston. He was even more furious then ever. He went inside the store, and took a baseball bat. He then ran across the street to Wheels.Whitey threw him off his wheelchair and started brutally and mercilessly beating him. After the beating, he took the wheelchair, and banged it up with the baseball bat so that Wheels could not ride it anymore. That was the last time Whitey ever saw Wheels.

One guy that no one liked in town was a guy nicknamed Stippo. He lowered prices on a liquor store he just bought, and he was getting all the business. Other liquor stores hadn't got any customers, and this was the time of about 1 week after he purchased the liquor store. Bomb threats and Deaths threats started coming in. Thats when e had asked Whitey to find out who was making those bomb threats. Whitey accepted, but for those few nights Stippo couldn't sleep. Soon after, Weeks and Whitey were driving there car around and a guy named "Sunny" stopped them. He was the owner of the liquor store down the street. He said that he was the one making bomb threats, and jimmy told him not to actually bomb the place. He agreed. After 3 more weeks Stippo wanted to sell the place. They agreed to a $100,000 package. He said $65,000 dollars worth of merchandise was there, but tere was really only $35,000. He also left to Flroida, so Whitey didn't know where he left, and where he lived now. About 1 week passed, and then numerous bills came in. One for about $25,000 for the liquor, and one for about $10,000 for basic stuff such as lighters and other groceries/stock. He had ripped Jimmy off. They wer pissed, but nothing can be done about it now.

"He'd typically ask a guy for change, and wouldn't say a word if the guy said no, but if a woman refused him money for wine, he'd be swearing and grabbing on to her dress . That after noon, the piece of shit was swearing at one particular woman in her fifties who had her grandchild with her, calling her everything in the book" (Weeks 214)

My reaction to this quote and really to these couple of chapters was that Jimmy had morality, and held his honor. He wouldn't beat or kill a random guy. He would only kill or beat up the people that deserved it. Likewis, he beat Wheels for doing that. He hated those kind of scum people that though they could take advantage of woman and children. In my opinion, I think that guy deserved it. He could walk, but he preferred to be known as a cripple, so he could bum money off of them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brutal (151-202)

As I continued reading more into the book, they had talked about one guy selling drugs, and monitoring everything. However, when Billy Shea started spending more time in Florida, then things changed. Jimmy fired Billy for not monitoring the drug deals that were going on. It was Billy Shea's job to monitor the deals that he made, but he wasn't paying attention. if someone is dealing 7 to 10 kilograms of cocaine a week, then that is a lot of money. Bulger got mad that Billy wasn't paying attention and then finally fired him, since he didn't want to lose anymore money.

People had to pay Whitey money if they wanted to sell drugs in Boston. it was like Jimmy taxed them for selling drugs. he called it "Shaking down". I inferred that this word means to take away something from someone. Weeks had continued in the book talking about how much drug deals would cost and all that.

Chapter eight talked about ten more murders that occurred. I was surprised that Weeks did not give that much details in this chapter, he just talked about ten regular guys getting killed because of a reason, and how they were killed. Nothing special. However, Chapter 9 talked about how much morality Jimmy had, even though he had killed many people before. He would donate money to local Charity's such as St. Augustine's Food pantry every year. He would also go down to the local Salvation Army, and donate money there every year. If he believed in the cause, he would donate stuff to them. One thing that he did not have sympathy for was heroin dealers. He did not like them, the drug was too dangerous, and there was no way he was going to have them selling that stuff in Southie. Weeks talked about one dealer, who got off easy. one night, Jimmy caught up with him, and talked for a few minutes. he said it was a warning, to never sell it again, but he continued to sell it. The following week, Jimmy went to his house in The Old Colony Projects, and boarded his house up with plywood. He finally moved out. The rest of the pages talk about how Jimmy and Weeks did not have sympathy for a heroin dealers, and that they would kill any that didn't get out of town within a specified time limit.

"No matter how important something was that we had to tell each other, it could wait until we were able to take a walk or go to a place we considered secure. The agents had taken everything into account, except for the discipline, the one issue about which Jimmy never, ever let up. Not then, and assuming he is still out there, not now" (Weeks 164).

When I was reading on the bus, and came across this quote, it made me get a stick note from my bag and bookmark it. It was one of those quotes you had to write down or save. One thing that I really find interesting about this book is how Weeks describes every story in detail and always tells the truth...or at least it sounds like that. For instance, Weeks did in fact tell the truth right now about how much discipline Jimmy had, and for that reason, he is still out there today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brutal (102-150)

Kevin Weeks starts off talking about the three murders he took part in, this was in between 1983 and 1985. The names of the people that got murdered were Arthur "Bucky" Barett, John McIntyre, and Stevie's former girlfriend, Deborah Hussey. Jimmy and Stevie would commit crimes together often, and would stick up for each other. Stevie would never let things go. If someone was bothering him, killing him/her would be on top of his mind.

The first murder that took place at 799 East Third Street was of Arthur "Bucky" Barett". he neglected to pay Jimmy $1.5 million. He thought he can get away from Whitey, well....he was wrong. Jimmy Met him at a travel agency a couple of months later. A simple 5 minute conversation was all it took to pique Jimmy's interest. A few months later, they set up a meeting at 799 East Third Street. Oh no...this is getting bad. As soon as Bucky entered the basement, Whitey pulled out a Mac-11 9mm machine gun with a silencer and put it to Bucky's head. Jimmy said "Bucky Barrett, Freeze" (Weeks 109). Bucky sat down and Stevie chained him. Jimmy had a little talk, and off they went to his house with him. Bucky went inside the house and returned with $47,000. They went back to 799 East Third, while Weeks went to eat. 45 minutes later, Jimmy called Kevin to come back to the house. When Kevin came back, Jimmy shot Bucky in the head and killed him. Weeks started digging a hole in the basement while Stevie was pulling he teeth off of this guy and taking off Bucky's clothes, and then stuffed him in a body bag. He threw him in the hole and poured some limestone on him, to help his decomposition.

The second murder at 799 East Third Street was of John McIntyre. He was a 32 year old drug smuggler. It all began when Whitey and his friend, Phil Costa to transport some drugs from South America to Boston. When they transported the drugs, the DEA came along and was waiting on shore at the dock. When they came on the boat, they searched it, and found the drug cache right away. Whitey had a suspicion someone was ratting them out. Another incident happened like this when they were trying to transport a ton of firearms. These included pistols, high powered riles of all different calibers, bulletproof vests, and all kinds of different explosives. They were trying to put the arms on the Valhalla, a small ship that was going to Ireland that a couple of Whiteys friends owned. When they were in Gloucester that night, loading the shipment of arms onto the Valhalla, all Weeks and Whitey's job was security. When the ship departed from Gloucester to Ireland, the Royal Navy stopped them about 50 miles off shore, and right when they got on board, they knew where the arms were. Now Whitey was extremely mad, and you know what happens when he gets mad... Oh yeah, they got McIntyre a couple of months later when he was walking home. They got him to the same basement that Bucky died in, and killed him right when he was walking down the stairs. Stevie started taking the guy's teeth out while Weeks was digging a hole. That was the end of a rat.

The third murder took place guessed it; 799 East Third Street, and it was Stevie's "stepdaughter". Stevie killed his "stepdaughter for stripping in Boston as a job, bringing blacks to her house, and doing drugs. In 1985, it all ended for her. She came into Stevie's house. Weeks was upstairs in the bathroom, so was Bulger, laying on the couch. When Kevin got out of the bathroom, he heard a thud, and immediately went downstairs with Whitey. they saw that Stevie was strangling her, with her face and lips blue, eyes bulging, and not breathing, he knew she was dead. Now it was time to bury the body. There was no blood this time, so the cleanup process was quick. Jimmy went back upstairs to sleep while Stevie and Weeks went downstairs. As with the 2 other murders, Weeks would dig the hole in the basement while Stevie would pull out the teeth of the victim and strip them, then he would dispose of those properly.

That was the last murder that occurred in that house. They got word that someone was buying 799 East Third Street. this meant that they had to dig up the 3 bodies and take them out, and dispose of them somewhere else. i wouldn't have been a good idea to keep the bodies there. Can you imagine digging a hole in your basement and finding 3 bodies in there? Yuck! Stevie, Weeks, and Whitey them took the bodies out and buried them later that night behind a hotel on a Halloween party. No one noticed them, and if they did noticed that they were burring bodies, then the would get killed with a grease gun, a machine gun with a silencer from World War II.

The next chapter that I began reading talked about drugs extortion and shaking down largescale drug distributors. I inferred that shaking down meant that Jimmy or Stevie would take control of the drug dealers, and would say something like "You're going to work for me now, and you're going to pay me monthly fee" (Weeks 147). If they didn't pay, then they would get killed, simple as that. Jimmy and Stevie would get huge amounts of cash, sometimes ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. One guy paid them 1.8 million.

"Jimmy always said nighttime was the best camouflage, and it was free --- just there, waiting to be used" (Weeks 130)

This is actually a smart comment that Bulger made. It made perfect sense, the "it was free" part drawed my attention the most, though. Bulger probably like things free, but I don't really get why he would say that because he buys clothes for thousands of dollars. It was probably good for him and he was happy that nighttime was free because he liked getting things for free, just like he did with money.

I liked how the author, Kevin Weeks talked descriptively of how much money they would get in each extortion. He always stated a name, and how much money they would get. Like for example, "Not every drug extortion put money in my pocket. Like the one in 1981 involving an antiques dealer, David Lindholm, who was dealing drugs off the islands of the Cape. The guy was smuggling 1,000 pounds of...." (Weeks 155). I LOVE when the author says things like this and in this way. It makes me enjoy the book more.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brutal (49-101)

From page 49 to page 101, I was became extremely interested in this book. When I started to get more deeper into the book, I realized Weeks was committing more and more crimes with Bulger. Now that he quit the T, his other job laying down track for the trains here in Boston, he had more time to spend with Whitey. This caused him to work full time for Jimmy. Whenever he came home at night, Weeks would watch the Nightly News with his wife, Pam. His wife knew that he was involved with Whitey, but she didn't know the particulars of what he did with him.

Whitey and Kevin would never talk about anything specific. They would say things like "Did you take care of it" (Weeks 75). They would never say a word like "car" on the phone. It was extremely dangerous, now that Whitey was known to have committed 40 murders. He could have been wire tapped at any moment and not even know it. "I was as tied to him as he was to me" (Weeks 72). This was after he killed 40+ people. The FBI was probably on his back and spying on him.

When Weeks started his own loan shark business, his reputation grew even bigger. A loan shark is basically a guy that will give you money when you need it, and fast. For example, if a guy wanted $25,000, then he would have to pay $625 interest back to Weeks. Weeks was also smart about his business. He only gave money to people he knew over the years, and only the people who he knew would pay back. There was almost no violence involved in his business because most of the people paid it back.

Jimmy talked to a lot of people.He was very courteous to every person he met, even the person sitting next to him on a bench at Castle Island. He would often talk about politics and education, books and other things he had read about in the newspaper. He would never talk about crime, though. He always had code names, so in case someone he was talking to was wired. He bought a lot of jewelry, and a lot of expensive things such as alligator skin cowboy boots, or wear fine suit's ranging from $1,000 up to $10,000. He would even buy his dates and women cars and condos. Where did he get all of this money? Extortion's. He would get a guy that just got out of work and told him that he was on someones hit-list. Weeks and Bulger accepted any amount of money ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. The guy would pay, no doubt. Whitey always persuaded them that "You can make more money, but you can't make another life" (Weeks 101).

"He was disciplined and lived and breathed the life of crime, which explains why he is still out there today, rather than in a jail cell" (Weeks 63).
This made me scared a little bit. Even though the guy is probably in his mid eighties, he was once the king of the streets here in Dorchester and South Boston. He is "disciplined" at crime? Wow, he must be good since he is one of the few mafia/mobsters that got away with killing so many people.

I was very intrigued by these 50 pages. Whitey was very smart about how he committed a crime. He would watch people even though he didn't know them, and he would often do it on rainy days, when no one was paying attention. When Weeks stated that Bulger committed 40+ murders by now...I was just like..."Wow" in my head, and he never got caught for any of them. That really surprised me. He was very attentive, and would think of what consequences would happen if he murdered this guy the wrong way.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brutal (1-48)

In this book, Brutal by Kevin Weeks, the author talks about him living in a neighborhood where there was a lot of violence, and one of the most notorious mobster lived in it - Whitey Bulger. Yeah, that's right, the guy on the Top Ten Most Wanted list for the FBI. The autobiography starts out with the protagonist, Kevin, talking about his childhood, where he lived, and how life in general was for him. Weeks lived in South Boston, in the Old Colony Housing Project, with a family of eight. Born on March 21st, 1956 to a family of 6 children, him being the 5th. He had two older brothers, two older sisters, and a younger sister. His parents were very strict and they liked the idea of school, since their parents were voracious readers and school was an important part of their lives. His father would hit him for no reason, and say things like "That's for nothing. Now do something"(Weeks 2) or "That's in case you did something and got away with it" (Weeks 2). Weeks was very athletic, but what most standed out to me is that he loved boxing.

You needed to learn how to fight, and that was essential for Highschool. Weeks saw a fight everyday. People would get beat down for looking at another person the wrong way. during and after Highschool he would be a Bouncer for the "Triple O's" restaurant. There he met Whitey Bulger. As he got better at fighting and threw people out of the restaurant that didn't belong their, Whitey looked at him, and started talking to him more. They later became friends, and Weeks hangs around with Bulger almost every hour in the day. They become friends, that do bad stuff. They basically do bad stuff and drive around in a car all day.

(And that's when I stopped reading)

"Stop staring at him, Billy had told me. He's Whitey Bulger" (Weeks 27).
- This quote made me intrigued, and kind of wonder. You can't even stare at this man? He was so popular back then. What is so special about him? He must be a Big Shot or a special guy.

I noticed that the author uses and writes in past tense a lot. He writes it probably like this because it happened in the past, and it happened to him. My reaction to the story is very interesting. I have a feeling I will like this book. it has a lot of suspense that just makes me keep reading it. I really like this book and how it talks about living in South Boston and in the time of Whitey Bulger. This type of stuff interest's me.