Aliases, Avatars and the Fracturing of the Psyche


This subject is one that I think about at least once a month.  Being introspective, I tend to look inward a lot and discuss with myself if what I’m doing/thinking/saying is adversely affecting myself or changing myself in ways that I don’t like. Basically, am I living a lie with this Bookstooge moniker?

Thankfully, the answer is an emphatic “No!”. If you were to meet me in real life, while I would be different than your expectations, you could still recognize me from how I act and talk here.

Bookstooge is an identity. He is not a whole personality but neither is he a deliberately skewed persona that I don when I go online.  Bookstooge doesn’t care if indie authors rant at him, threaten him or call him nasty names. When a rabid fan of some book he hates comes over and tells him, in excruciating detail, about why he is wrong, he just gets a bit angry and a bit of non-review post material. In a day or two, that’s all gone and Bookstooge is right back to writing reviews and posts and whatever crap fills his head. He is a coping mechanism for dealing with the internet and the phracktards who inhabit it.

***** 8 Years Prior*****

I joined Goodreads in 2007, and became active in 2009. I used my full name, kept my profile photo updated to within a year and listed what State I lived in and lots of other factual data.

In ’12 and ’13 I had the beginnings of my war with the Indies.  Things ran the gamut from general name calling to such items as being told to stick my hand in a blender [so as to not write any more reviews] or threatened with a general beating.  So when I left GR in late ’13 because of their silent censoring issue, I decided that I needed something to buffer me. And thus was born Bookstooge. Of course, it only took about 2 weeks for “Bookstooge” to get splattered upon by the “Stop the Good Reads Bullies” folks but that was more a badge of honor than anything.

Funny thing is, “Bookstooge” is now more known that “I” ever was. How’s that for irony?

***** End Flashback*****

Does this mean that I am on the path to becoming a character in my own movie, ie, “Split” by Shyamalan? I do have the bald look already, so there’s that:


But heeeeey, it’s MEEEEE we’re talking about. I’m pretty bloody stable, and don’t you forget it! *all up in your face with my shiny bald head*

But honestly, I’m not crazy. I know I’m not crazy and you know I’m not crazy. My Bookstooge part of me is just another part. I act differently in my Monday evening church men’s group than I do in services on Saturday. Or put me in a crowd and whammo, suddenly you don’t see a side of me that you’ve never seen before [ie, I sidle up to a wall and do my best to hold it up]. Does this mean my psyche is shattered into a billion pieces? Mrs Bookstooge just informed me that mine IS shattered, but into a TRILLION pieces. So there you go, The End.

Ha. Thank goodness for funny wives.

Thank goodness it doesn’t mean that. What it does mean is that people are the most complex thing on this earth. It is a constant reminder to me that when I interact with each and every one of you, that I don’t have the full story, not by far. I don’t know what motivations lie behind your comments, your posts. Sometimes, you probably don’t even know, so how in samhill am I supposed to? So I need to exhibit patience when I don’t want to. I need to show restraint when I just want to type it all out.

To wrap this venerschnittzlefrauzen up, since I know who I am, Who I am grounded in and am stable, these wonderings each month tend to be a good reminder to treat you all with a bit more “whatever” that you may need at the moment.

Of course, if you’re just bullshitting me, I’ll bury you 😉





Chef Bookstooge Says…


…”I am SUCH a great cook!!” *mwah*


Mrs Bookstooge is away for the weekend at a ladies retreat, so I’m batching it, left to my own devices.  Thankfully, as many a man knows, a crockpot is your second best friend. And nothing is better on those chilly mornings in September than some nice warm chili! (Mrs B would be proud of that whole chilly/warm/chili play on words. I, on the other hand, am disgusted with myself for sinking so low. Castigate me, please!)

chiliI know, I know, it looks like a pot of brownish red goop.                    *No birthrights were sold in the making of this pot of beans*


I started it when I got home from work yesterday and it’s been cooking til this morning. Had a bowl of that and my good old morning standby: Energy Drink.

bang300mg of caffeine per can. How’s that for a kick in the pants?


Going to be talking with the parental pods later this morning, then hopefully play some Magic: The Gathering with my bro in the afternoon and I’ll finish the day off with watching, and reviewing the next Death Note movie, called Death Note: Light Up the New World. I’m already excited for that! For those of you who aren’t as cool as Chef Bookstooge and don’t care for the whole Death Note movie franchise thing, this one will be the last. 4 movies in one week is enough for me too.


5rvwbef1Completely Gratuitous Magic: The Gathering picture. Because, “Cats”….


Hope your weekend is enjoyable. If not, drink a Bang drink. That much caffeine will either kill you or cure you *wink*


Das Schizzle Jost Gotreil!

So somebody at our office screwed up.  A week long job was due August 3rd and we just found out about it today. Got pulled from another job to start it. Going to be working sunday, then early each day and late each day next week until it gets done. So there will be no real weekend for me. Blah.




So if I leave some snarky comments on anyones’ blog,  please have mercy.




A History of ….. Journaling

I WAS going to title this post “A History of Violence” where I detailed my mis-spent youth kneecapping old ladies for protection money but since that Illegitimate Rat Aragorn already made a movie by that name I figured the self appointed guardians of all things legal, or goons, would knee cap me. So better safe than sorry. Also,  this mention about said movie is in no ways an endorsement of it. It is a “real” violence filled movie [as opposed to John Wick] and I found it extremely disturbing.

Last year I posted about my Book Recording and the journey that has been and continues to be. Today I want to talk about journaling and the various kinds of journals that I’ve used over the years. I love this kind of thing to be honest and is probably the closest I’ll ever come to being all arts&craftsy.

I started my journaling back in middle grade. I’d scribble in an 8 1/2 x11 spiral notebook for a couple of pages, then tear them out a week or 2 later, throw them out and not write again for months. It never even occurred to me to write in something more permanent. Of course, I suspect most of my writings was about girls anyway, so no big loss 🙂

However, when I began attending Bible School in the fall of ’97,  I began writing every evening in this little guy:

j1Little 4×5 inch notebook. I ended up writing in 5 of these suckers


j2Corn and potatoes. I was well on my way to a Pulitzer, even back then!



After awhile, I felt my needs increasing and I moved up the Classy Scale a step. Not a lot, but I was definitely upwardly mobile.

j3You think I’m obsessed about journals, you should see some of the entries I made about various pens I try and what works and what doesn’t. And that hasn’t stopped. I just did an entry in my latest journal about 4 months ago about the joys of using the Pilot G2 premium gel roller fine tip pens.


Then I graduated in 2000 and life got real. I had a job, a car, I was renting a place of my own, I made my first proposal. After that it was time to start expressing my inner torment and utter pain in a journal that meant business. I wanted something that would last the ages and remind me in years to come just how much suffering and anguish I had gone through. Yeah, I was that guy.

j4Pure black, like the pain and misery deep within my soul. Sense a theme yet? 😀


Oberon Design to the rescue! I’ve used that cover for 4 of the black blanks and it is still as good condition as when I bought it back in ’05 or ’06.

j5But a journal looks even cooler and more soul’y when it has a real leather removable, re-usable cover on it.


Then I met Mrs Bookstooge [well, she wasn’t Mrs Bookstooge at the time, obviously!] and once I’d filled up my latest tome of despair, I quit journaling for almost 5 years. But getting married makes one a hostage to fate and once again life hit me in the nads and I had to write. But I was beyond black, I wanted something to express how mystical and above the common man my thoughts were.

j6There are CLASPS! and lots of shiny lines! The “Common Man” does not write in such a tome as this.


Nowadays I write in something that opens, and stays open [VERY important when writing while sitting in a pew], and will look cool on my shelf.

j7The text on the flap is “Arthur Conan Doyle”.  No clasps, but the flap makes it easier to write in in public.


j8My journaling now is usually a gigantic bitch session, where I vent on paper so I don’t vent in public. Names of jerks and super-jerks blurred for reasons. I AM that grumpy old guy, whooo!


What does the future hold? Well, I’m glad you asked  *grin*  I am currently writing in this small leather journal as a medical journal, keeping track of my blood sugars, food eaten, insulin taken, with times and amounts. It’s a lot of detail but it is what I have to do to keep my diabetes under control. I like the tie, but sadly Barnes&Noble only has it in 5×7 [which is pictured] and nothing larger. If you know of a nice leather, tie down journal that is in the 7×10 or preferably 8×11 range, please let me know in the comments. Lined or unlined doesn’t matter.

j8 (1)This leather one travels with me everywhere now.  And it has its own G2 roller gel pen *wink*


And there you have it. More information about Bookstooge and Journaling than you ever wanted, thought possible or even knew existed. Remember folks, I am a Dichotomy [make sure you say “dichotomy” in an appropriately sepulchral tone of voice]. I use a machete or a pen with equal ease and familiarity.  Except for when I’m tired, then I’m just a problem.


The Serious Book Tag? Input Please…

Most book tags I see convey the idea that they were initially written by giggly, squealing school girls who are in a group all admiring Captain Hawtness as he walks by. What I don’t see are book tags that convey the strength of character it takes to get up every day and go to work. I don’t see book tags that relate to your car breaking down and not having enough money to fix it and to have to bum rides to work for a week from a neighbor or friend.  I don’t see the tags that convey the choice of buying something you want or letting it go and buying something for your spouse. How would you convey doing taxes in a question? I hate doing taxes by the way.  What about cleaning up puke from a sick kid who didn’t “quite” make it to the bathroom in time? Or dusting? Dusting is tedious but a month without and my goodness, things are pretty fuzzy.

In other words, I do not see mature minded book tags, only frothy milkshake ones. Now maybe that is a good thing. I suspect a lot of people, and I am one of them, read to escape for a few hours. When you are trying to escape, who wants to be clawed back down by a Serious Book Tag? The other thing is that I am good at poking holes in things and showing problems but I am NOT so good at suggesting solutions or fixing issues. I wish I could sit down for a week and come up with a series of questions about books that convey my middle aged’ness.  Something that conveys that I actually do LIKE shredded wheat instead of honey-sugar sweetened blasto bombs. Maybe I’m not reading the right book tags either.

What do you consider a serious question and how would you turn it into a book tag question? I really am at a loss here and I’d like to rectify that. If I’m going to take issue with the frothy nature of most tags, then I should come up with an alternate and as of right now, I can’t.


03_pixarup_edwardellie1I want THIS kind of book tag


pixarpost-monstersuniversitydigitalreleaseNot this

The ‘How I Choose My Books’ Tag

Thanks to the Orangutan Librarian for putting this tag on my radar. Didn’t want to write a review after a day of setting granite bounds all day, so this was mindless fun.



Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

battlefield_earth_book_coverBattlefield Earth by L. Ron. Hubbard

I first read this in the 90’s and it was my first 1000 page book. You never forget your first time.


Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?



I read it because it was popular and I still cared about knowing what was popular.  And I did enjoy it. Enough that I read the sequel and that is the book that made me rage.


Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. (I had Mrs Bookstooge pick a random number from between 1-3000 and chose the one it corresponded to in my calibre library) How did you discover this book?

candidate-for-goddessCandidate for Goddess

A small manga series that I read back in 2007. I was on a manga kick for that whole year and was devouring everything that our local library had.


Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?


The Great Darkening

My good friend Jefferson asked me to read this, as he knew the guy. It was pretty bad and I had to say so. Thankfully, I don’t know the author, so it was no problem on my part.


Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?


Three by Jay Posey

KrazyKiwi had reviewed this on Booklikes and while it sounded a little off my taste, I tried it. Turned out to be some of the best reading I’d done in a long time. Posey shot up to the top of my radar very quickly.


Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

71tnypdat0lHogfather by Terry Pratchett

I was doing my initial readthrough of the Discworld novels and this one was pretty much the best. The only one I’ve got in hardcover I believe.


What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?


Jumper by Steven Gould

Watched the horrible movie with Anakin Pukewalker and Rachel Bilson [hubba hubba] and figured I should check out the source material. All 3 books in the series turned out to be pretty good.


Think of your all-time favourite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?


Way-farer by Dennis Schmidt

Best. Book. Ever. Read this in highschool when I saw it in the SF section at our local library. Spaceships and a dude with a sword in a pose that even I knew was Japanese? How could I NOT pick that up?

Exhausting Week

Today is the first day this week that I haven’t had to go in to work early. We’ve been doing a survey job on some railroad tracks that has some pretty exacting requirements. The hoops we had to jump through just to get on the tracks themselves, aye yi yi! We’ve got paperwork signed all the way up to the State Attorney General. Then throw in the Union people on the railroad company’s side of things. And to top it all off, the job is about 1 3/4hrs away from our office.  We get paid for driving time, but still, it really cuts down on what we can accomplish in one day.

Get up, drive, drive, drive. Work. Drive, drive, drive, go home. Fall asleep by 8pm almost every night. Thankfully yesterday we finished up. And we have a 4day weekend with July 4th falling on a Tuesday next week.  I am planning on doing a lot of reading and drinking soda [Vanilla Coke Zero to be exact. See Dan, I’m keeping you employed!]

Prepare for an onslaught of posts over the next couple of days. I mean, at least one whole post, PER DAY!!! Yeah, I’m pretty excited about that too *grin*