So I finally got through the 800 and some odd paged novel Theodore Rex, by Edmund Morris, and I can say that
it was easily the best book I have read all year. This is a follow-up to Morris' The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
which earned him a Pulitzer (in 1980), and is the second in a planned three volume compendium of the life of TR. Starting
out with the terrorist assassination of McKinley, Roosevelt is whisked from Mount Marcy, where he is vacationing with
his family, to assume the role of President of the United States. Using both private and Presidential documents, as well as
papers from such notables as John Hay and William Taft, Morris presents the years of 1901-1909 as a friendly narrative to
the man who would be, at the time, the youngest man to hold the office of President. Detailed therein are his "big
stick" policies towards trusts and monopolies, his role in the revolution in Panama, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for
his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War, and much more. In the words of Teddy himself, it was a "Dee-LIGH-tful"
read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a passion for history, or a desire to learn about a truly brave and
++++++++++ 4 and a half stars +++++++++
Star Trek: Nemesis
Starring Patrick Stuart
Directed by Stuart Baird
So Kelly, Ken and I went to go see the "LAST" Star Trek movie, based on the Next Generation Mythos, surnamed Nemesis.
If Star Trek is not of interest to you, I would not really recommend this movie, but then, if weren't a Star Trek fan,
you wouldn't care to see it anyhow. As for the three of us, we were all pretty big Trekkies, I think myself being the
least Trekkie of the bunch. Basically, the story runs along the lines of trying to make peace between the Federation
and the Romulan Empire. You know, I wonder... with all the ships that the Federation has, how come it always comes down
to the Enterprise doing all the dirty work, like fighting off the Borg, and making peace with the Klingons and all that?
Anyhow, on the Romulan homeworld, the Senate is basically wiped out by this guy, Shinzon (Tom Hardy), an ambassador of
Remus, Romulus' Twin Planet, who then becomes de facto leader of the Romulans. As the movie ensues, the basic
conflict here is with Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Data (Brent Spiner) and their doubles, respectively
Shinzon and B-4 (also Brent Spiner). Notable is the un-"surprising" wedding of Riker (Jonathan Frakes) to Councelor
Troi (Marina Sirtis), which apparently contained a deleted scene featuring my good friend, Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher).
We'll wait for the DVD and hope that Fuckin Rick Berman comes to his senses. Anyhow, as far as visual effects go,
you've got a smorgasbord, from the Enterprise-E zooming through space, Romulan Birds of Prey, Shinzon's nasty ship, a nice
battle, a little ramming action from the Enterprise and so on. There is also a surprising ending that brought a few
tears to the eyes of my companions, but we'll leave that for when you see the movie.
In short, Star Trek fans, and fans of Sci-Fi in general will enjoy this film, which I think ranks up there with "First
Contact" as far as enjoyability. Not a Trekkie? Go see "Die Another Day".
++++++ 4 Stars ++++++
1. Losing Grip
3. Sk8er Boi
4. I'm With You
8. Anything But Ordinary
9. Things I'll Never Say
10. My World
11. Nobody's Fool
12. Too Much To Ask
14. Complicated (Matrix Mix)(BONUS TRACK)
Just when you thought nothing else good could come out of Canada, following in the bare footprints of Alanis comes Avril
Lavigne. Grabbing a record contract at age 16, she flew to the top of MTV'S TRL with her hit Complicated.
Her vocal style is slightly reminiscent of Aretha or Shirley Bassey in it's tone and soul, but her lyrics betray her youthful
age. A self-professed Skater punk, Avril has been singing and performing since age 2, and now is beginning to taste
the benefits of a life that is surely meant for her. The thing I like most about Avril is her ability to have fun in
her videos, contasting with your usual Britney and Christina cookie-cutter crap (which is motivated purely by sexual dysfunction),
and also with Pink's Rap Stylings (Pink-- please, you need to come out of the closet. We ALREADY know.) She is
looking squarely down the barrel of a very pleasing career, and with her talents and abilities, I am confident that she will
be a big name, years from now.