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Reviews Are Starting To Appear May 2, 2017

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
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So far, so good!

If you’ve read the new Wagstaff mystery, please post a review!

Big-time professional reviews forthcoming…. I gotta wait in line behind some other books for those.

Get your copy here & read an excerpt (the Kindle one is longer!)

It’s also part of Kindle Unlimited – so it’s FREE to check out if you’re on that service! The first Wagstaff book is too! Click here!

The current debate I’m having in my own li’l mind is whether or not to advertise the book in an upcoming Brown Alumni Monthly issue focusing on Brown authors.

I’m not sure how Brown will react to the book. Sure, I set it at an alumni weekend and offer all sorts of descriptions of Brown, Providence and its environs, with numerous episodes around town in restaurants, legendary RI food must-haves like Allie’s Donuts or Iggy’s Clamcakes.  An actual reunion I attended at Brown a few years ago inspired much of this one, ranging from the classmates I reconnected with to the changes in downtown Providence and the spectacle of WaterFire. I worked it all in, all within a story involving the special brand of Rhode Island mafia I grew up around.

So, yeah, there’s plenty of local color to go around, but I HAD to include some episodes satirizing academic classes at Brown. While it was tempting to go after the truly low-hanging fruit of current day safe space grievance studies, I saved the biggest rant for a film class I actually took back in the day, a class that made me sit through pretentious anti-cinema for semiotic purposes & totally got Hitchcock wrong.

Well, I felt like I got some revenge with that small section of my story. But I’m not sure how Brown will react to it, since it’s the hook I’d use in the advertising.

The troublemaker in me says to do it.

And the cheapskate says only if it’s not too much money.

So, we’ll see.

I have nice things to say in the book about the Brown band and the art at the RISD museum. Some of it even figures into the mystery.

The real debate is whether or not it will increase or decrease the chances of that honorary doctorate, right?

Check it out for yourself! And don’t forget to add to the reviews! Thanks!






Penn 14, Brown 7 (OT) November 1, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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So much for any shot at the Ivy title.

They came real close… missing a 44 yard field goal attempt that couldn’t cut through the 40mph wind gusts. Penn & Harvard will be fighting it out for the title this year. Next year, who knows?

Next week – at Yale, in New Haven, otherwise known as the Paris of New England. Well, okay, not really. I think that’s still New Bedford.

Brown 34, Cornell 14 October 24, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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bear-smallTake THAT, only Ivy school with an actual marching band! That’ll teach you to be boring!

Honestly, everyone I’ve ever met from Cornell or the students of mine who have gone there have been fine. I won’t lump them in with the Cornell alums who happen to be some of my least favorite people who walk the Earth (Yes, Bill Maher is one).

Brown’s defense finally stepped up, and the offense rolled up the usual amount of points via Buddy Farnham’s receptions and Zack Tronti’s running. If Brown runs the table in their remaining games, they’ll still need a Harvard loss at some point to win the Ivies since they STUPIDLY BLEW the game against Harvard earlier this year.

Next week – back home for Halloween, against Penn & players that will earn more money than we will, most likely (unless pot is legalized nationally).

Brown 34, Princeton 17 October 18, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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And I even got to watch the 4th quarter on Versus after getting my car serviced in the morning! Princeton is the doormat of the league this year for sure, but it’s nice to see Brown execute offensively, and the 10 minute long drive all the way to the end zone that swallowed up the clock and any hope for a Princeton comeback was enjoyable to watch.

I also enjoyed the shots of Brown Stadium, and I could see beyond the scoreboard that whoever bought my Uncle’s old house on Sargent Avenue has painted the garage a bright yellow. All that was missing was a shot of Buddy Cianci in the stands, if he was there.

Next week, at Cornell! Time to give a righteous beat-down to the alma mater of Olbermann, Maher & Coulter. Ugh!

Brown 34, Holy Cross 31 October 10, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Nice… the offense finally comes alive with the sort of point scoring power they exhibited last year. Still no defense to speak of, but Holy Cross was favored going into this game, so it’s good to see the ol’ Bruins pull this one out in the end before moving on to the all-Ivy schedule for the remainder of the season.

Next up, those smug prim-and-proper Princetonites, fresh from their elitist eating clubs. The same school that produced James Madison (1771) can now lay (ahem) claim to Eliot Spitzer ’81. Well, they can also claim Jimmy Stewart and José Ferrer as alums, so maybe the place isn’t all bad.

Their football team has played one Ivy game so far, losing to Columbia 38-0. I’m going to go out a limb and figure that this means they really, really suck since Columbia is never that good. I guess we’ll see next Saturday.

Brown 28, URI 20 October 3, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Finally, a VICTORY!

Though it means nothing to the quest for the meaningless Ivy title, it’s still nice to establish FOOTBALL DOMINANCE in Rhode Island.

Next up: Holy Cross

Harvard 24, Brown 21 September 26, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Brown is down 24-14 late in the 4th, they score a touchdown – Harvard fumbles on the kickoff return and Brown recovers near mid-field. They move the ball to the Harvard 25 and then blow THREE pass attempts, INCLUDING A FOURTH DOWN, to lose the game.

Hey Coach! Did you know that you can KICK A GOD DAMN FIELD GOAL in such situations? Is the kicker such a GOD DAMN INEPT LOSER that he can’t be trusted to make a 35 yard field goal??? Did you know that would have tied the game? CAN YOU STUPID BROWN U. BIRKENSTOCK-WEARING POT-SMOKING HIPPIES EVEN DO BASIC MATH??

This brings back memories of a game I attended where Brown was out of time-outs with about ten seconds to play, down less than a touchdown, 1st and goal on the 5 yard line. So, do they try to throw some quick passes into the end zone to get as many plays as possible or stop the clock? NO! They run it up the middle, get stopped at about the two, and TIME RUNS OUT.

Ivy League stupid is a unique kind of stupid. You usually just see it in policy makers or politics. Here it is on the gridiron.

THOSE DUMBASS BASTARDS. Now Harvard will probably win the Ivy title. And Harvard SUCKS. Snob shit elitist spoiled brat dickbrains. So much for that six figure check I was going to write YOU, Brown University.

Okay, all six figures were zeroes, but STILL…

They probably don’t even care. “Hey man, we lost, but it’s the experience that totally stokes!!!!” They’re all thinking about hitching a ride down to Pittsburgh and throwing a cinderblock through a Starbucks to PROTEST CAPITALISM, MAN!!! And then it’s time to smoke a big bowl, snarf down some organic gorp and get people to sign petitions to get Phish back together for some tourin’. YEAH!

I HATE THEM! ALL OF THEM! Strap ’em to missiles and fire them into those Pakistan mountains where Al Qaeda hides. That’s all they’re good for anyway.

Even the Pakistanis would understand as they got incinerated. They’d know enough to kick a God damn field goal. No wonder they think America is weak.

I may have stumbled upon a plan for lasting world peace. Next week, my wonderful alma mater plays URI in the battle for Rhode Island dominance, which is kinda like buying a potted fern and calling yourself a “landowner” but there you are.

Stony Brook 21, Brown 20 September 19, 2009

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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A lousy pass defense along with a missed 40 yard field goal try with the clock running out did in the Bruins here – too bad, since the offense seems to be pretty decent this year.

Hopefully they’ll pound the crap out of Harvard next week in the game that really counts towards the Ivy championship. And Harvard got beat pretty badly by Holy Cross today.

Still, on a day where I watched my college picks go down the drain one after another, in what may be the WORST set of football picks I’ve EVER made (more on that in a later post once all the damaging results are in – Oy!), it would have been nice to see a little bit of sunshine here.

Obviously I am being punished for not going to temple.

Brown 41, Columbia 10 November 24, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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ew1fkwvaUnfortunately, there was no betting line on this one at the sports book, but I was glad to see on the ticker going by that Brown POUNDED Columbia yet again and cinched the 2008 IVY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP, BABY!!!!!

They can put it right next to those trophies from the chess club! Yay!

By the way, the only Ivy game on the boards in Vegas that was bettable was the Harvard/Yale game, but I really didn’t want to put any money on either of those schools. Instead, I made the GENIUS move of betting on Brown men’s basketball against Georgetown, which cost me FIVE FRIGGIN BUCKS when Brown lost.

So much for donating that gymnasium. Or that brothel (something I think those kids could really use up there in Providence). I can’t afford it now.

Brown 45, Dartmouth 16 November 15, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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dartmouth-brown-1960One down and one more to go – with Harvard knocking off Penn today and Brown pounding on Dartmouth, Brown can win the Ivy League by defeating Columbia next week regardless of whether Harvard wins or not since we already beat them! HaHa!

Dartmouth used to be the power of the Ivy League when it came to football, but no longer. They’ve yet to win a game this year & badly need to rebuild their program.

Here you go, Dartmouth Green… cheer yourselves up with this sad take on your alcohol-fueled social lives. It almost makes me feel better about the wall-to-wall man hatred I experienced at Brown (such an injustice considering my charming persona), although I must admit that the author certainly maintains a wonderfully politically-correct Ivy league level of vocabulary as he blathers on for eight meaty-paragraphs that say nothing besides “Hey you out there! I’m not getting any!” That hefty tuition bill north of forty grand his parents pay every year seems very well spent, eh? Maybe they could take a hundred bucks of it or so and get the kid a hooker. They can’t cost THAT much up there in Hanover, and it’s also a wonderful long standing Dartmouth tradition! (Check the link out – the Dartmouth alum who hung out at the local brothel and bragged about his VD went on to be a US Senator. Some things never change.)