Jeff Milner Book Review: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

As some of you astute readers may remember, I’ve been reading a book online called Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I just finished it, and now I’d like to write a little book review. Now I’m going to be quite honest with you (brace yourself, here comes the self deprecation). I’m not exactly an expert on books. I haven’t really read a lot of them. I mean I did read a bunch of Stephen King novels and I occasionally like to pick up this or that to pass the time. But as I said I’m not exactly a literary expert, and to make matters worse my writing ability is mediocre at best. So here it is – the first book report I’ve ever done that wasn’t for grades. Coincidentally I think it’s the first book report that I’ve ever done after having actually read the novel. Ok, enough rambling, it’s time to get down to business.

Cory Doctorow’s short novel, “Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom” is set in the future, I’m guessing a couple hundred years. In the future there’s no more scarcity, it’s very Utopian and it’s kind of like Star Trek where you don’t need money to get things. Also, in this world, the people don’t die. They save their identity’s to a backup and when death or illness sets in, somebody does you the favor of restoring you from back-up. There is a lot more sci-fi stuff that I won’t bog you down with now, instead I’ll move on to the meat of the story. Julius, the protagonist, is a cast member at Disney World, (he’s an important one — an Ad Hoc.) The trouble starts to brew when Debra, another Ad Hoc starts making changes to the rides. Julius is worried about her taking over the Haunted Mansion and taking the history out of it by having “scary haunted mansion experiences” pumped straight into your brain instead of the usual way of actually experiencing a scary mansion. I think my philosophy teacher would really dig this. (On a side note I’m thinking of asking him for some design tips, I love the work he’s done). Well I digress. . . Julius has to stop Debra, meanwhile keeping the other Ad Hoc’s and guests happy. Overall I really liked the novel and found myself imagining what life would be like if I lived in Doctorow’s world. “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom” was fun, cheap, and best of all it only took a few hours to read (it’s just 10 small chapters).

Now you can see why I could never break 78% in English class. Maybe I can plagerize a better review from Amazon.com. I guess I was never meant to be a writer.

What am I going to do now? Well I’d like to go to Disneyland, but instead I think I’ll go home and get some lunch.

Music Video Update

I know some of you have been returning everyday to see my new music video. I’m not going to lie to you – you may be extremely disappointed in this sucker, but nevertheless here it is (update: it’s been removed) in all it’s potential glory. I apologize for the slowness of the server, it’s just that I unknowingly subscribed to a really BAD service provider. Anyway give a shout out if you like the video, or if you hate it, or if you watched it, or if you didn’t watch it. (I’m sure you get the idea).

Roommate Update

I’ve come to the conclusion that my roommate isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Don’t get me wrong he seems like a smart enough guy, but he definitely doesn’t think long term. When I say long term, I actually mean a couple weeks. For example, last night I came home to find my roommate in the kitchen sporting a brand new piercing in his bottom lip. Some of you reading this may think – “Man! Jeff’s roommate is so cool!” He probably thinks he’s pretty cool too, but he won’t think he’s so cool when: #1. the money spent on a piercing would have come in real handy for food, and #2 when he can’t get a job because no one wants to hire someone with a piercing on his face.

Update (or pointless post – whichever you prefer)

I haven’t been feeling the greatest lately. I feel a little behind in school and just not my usual happy self. I think it’s just one of those days though. I’ll probably be feeling better by this afternoon. In fact I’m starting to feel better already. Maybe it’s the soft glow of the University’s fancy-smancy iMac’s, or maybe it’s just the cool refreshing sounds of fingers typing a new blog post. I’m not sure, but it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Inheritance Update

Mom, Dad, Wally, and Helga are back in Alberta. They stopped by tonight on their way to Raymond. It doesn’t sound like there is going to be much of an inheritance. Also of interest – apparently the house was in a real sorry state. It was like one of those weirdo houses that you hear about on the news where they have to wear gas masks to go inside because it stinks so bad. Dad lost his lunch – twice! He almost threw up a third time from the stench, but mom told him to just get out and stay out. The State already had an auction arranged but they didn’t stick around for it because they had no room to take anything home anyway and they didn’t want to be there in the event that good stuff was being sold really cheaply. They’d rather not know I guess. There were a couple vehicles and maybe a couple thousand for those but that’s probably optimistic. If anyone buys the house it will be for the lot, the building itself needs to be razed. More details when I get them.

Culture Jamming

Is it wrong to block ads on my free site? I feel so conflicted. I would make this post longer but I need to get to school, so here is some food for thought.

Ok just one other thing. I was reading the adbuster’s site and came across this (scroll down to the bottom or just read it here):

“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4).

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think western powers should be attacking Iraq either. But I just want to point out that the scriptural quote out of the Old Testament is taken way out of context. In fact, the actual context would imply that wars are a part of our lives today and only when Isaiah’s prophesy is fulfilled will nations stop going to war against each other. That’s my rant for the day – so far (the day is young).

Web Site Update

I was about to setup some stuff with my web server this morning when I accidently typed http://www.one2host.net instead of http://www.one2host.com. What I discovered is that some guy, timmbbo(at)yahoo.com, has a site dedicated to sharing with the world how bad one2host’s services are. I wish I would have known about his site before I signed up with one2host. Anyway in the remote chance that anyone is thinking about setting up their own domain and reading this site, then a good review site is 100 Best Hosting Companies (one2host didn’t make the list.)

Old acquaintances

Today I ran into Bob Shimbashi at the Safeway here in Lethbridge. It has been a LONG LONG time since I’ve seen that guy. I always thought he moved to Provo when he moved away, but it turns out he originally moved from Provo when he came to Medicine Hat and now he’s been living in Coaldale ever since.

You’re probably not wondering why I was at Safeway in the first place. You probably think it was to get groceries. Well you’d be right about that, but the groceries I got are for Steve and Monique Meldrum’s POT-LUCK TACO PARTY ™. I’ll try and shoot a few pics tonight if opportunity arises and then post them for the world to see. And when I say world, I actually mean you. Yes you the only person that reads the archives from month to month. Ok I actually mean me.

News

Roommate News

My roommate came home last night. This is Scott, my first roommate – the one that rarely shows his face. He’s the best roommate ever. Anyway he came home sometime around 4:00 in the morning. He’s not exactly sure when – I guess he may have been a little intoxicated. I didn’t even realize he was here until I got up to go swimming. After swimming I came home and he told me that last night he got into a huge bar fight with 4 other guys. Apparently one of them hit his girlfriend, and he retaliated – well three other guys got into the fight and as Scott relates the story, he tells me that he kicked all four of their asses. I guess they never realized he is a bouncer and is some kind of Karate black belt. He didn’t look bad at all as far as cuts or bruises go, but he was really sort of mad about the fact that they ripped his favorite shirt.

Room Mate News Part Duex

Jason is gone to Calgary. He is having his girlfriend look after the rabbit!!? Speaking of the rabbit it was beginning to really STINK! For some reason I wasn’t sure if it was the rabbit or Jason, so I didn’t say anything. Luckily for me Anna-Maria mentioned to him that it was time for him to clean out the cage. He asked, “Does it really smell?” When Anna confirmed that yes she could smell it right when she walked in the door he just responded that, “I must be immune to it”. You wouldn’t believe how much better my house smells now.

Tepee Prize

I forgot to mention that when I was in Medicine Hat and I was pulling out of the driveway I heard on the radio that they were giving out free film as a prize. What you had to do was find the lady in the Taco Time cruiser and viola – you win! I thought well that would be nice but I’ll never win anything like that, but then she said I’m in Southridge at the Tepee. Things couldn’t have worked out much better for me, so I drove right over there and won a free 24 roll of film and two tickets to the play, “Noises Off”. I haven’t decided if I’m actually going to take Anna-Maria yet (it’s showing in Medicine Hat this weekend and next weekend only) because I don’t know how much I want to be driving that road. (As you will see what I mean soon).

Swimming in the Hat

There is a swim meet in Medicine Hat on the 14th and 15th. I really should enter it but that will mean going to Medicine Hat two weekends in a row. I’m sure Mom and Dad will be so happy. The other reason that I sort of don’t want to enter this meet is because I’ll have to pay the $30 entry fee, not to mention I’m kind of out of shape from not practicing much lately. I better bite the bullet and just go.

Anna-Maria’s Audition in Calgary

Anna-Maria is auditioning for York University on Monday in Calgary. I don’t think I’ll go because that will mean skipping more swim practices and missing my music 1000 class. She is pretty excited and a little stressed out about it. I’m confident that she will do great. She has to read two monologues and sing for them. Probably the worst part for her, if this is actually true, is that she heard that the auditions are done with everyone that is auditioning watching all the others preform. She thinks that’s quite mean of them… and is specifically concerned about how she will feel if someone else preforms the same monologue or song as her. I told her, just do it better than them. I have such good advice don’t I?

Dinner at the New Spring Family Restaurant

Last night Anna-Maria, her friend Lynley and I went to the Theatre Xtra play called, “The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie”. It was a serious play about a fat kid who is picked on and has a less than wonderful family life. Ah, I don’t think I’d recommend seeing this one because frankly it’s pretty depressing. Anyway before the show, we went for Chinese food (which incidentally reminds me what I’m going to have for lunch). We ran into Tracie’s grandma, grandpa, and cousins. They told me to say hi to Gary and Tracie, so “Hi guys”. That, my blog reading friends, about wraps up this very long post.