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Showing posts from March, 2009

More difficult texts

One of the interesting side effects about reading books on my phone is that most are part of Project Gutenberg which preserves texts which are out of print, and for the most part, out of copyright, and so I find myself reading things which were published around 1900.

Like The Name of the Rose, I always meant to get back and read G.K. Chesterton and never did. Oh, I read Father Brown, it's short and fairly easy. But not the big stuff, even though most of my heroes (C.S. Lewis, Neil Gaiman) site Chesterton as influence and hero.

And so I found myself reading "The Man Who Was Thursday," (which incidentally explained a variety of references in Neil Gaiman's works). Like TNofTR, it too seems to be a fairly straight forward mystery...and then it goes all pear shaped.

I actually don't have that much to say because I'm still not sure what to make of it. I'd love to hear some thoughts, because I know that some people who read this have read it. It is, in some wa…

Have you ever seen a picture of Jesus laughing...

Mmm, do you think
He had a beautiful smile?

A smile that healed
-Why Should I Love You, Kate Bush, The Red Shoes
I finally read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. It seems funny that I hadn't read it before now, but I remember deciding to read Foucault's Pendulum many years ago, and then being so overwhelmed that I put off TNOR.



Part of the hesitation was the existence of the movie. The movie, for various reasons, the cast, the time, was printed on my mind. I don't think that Sean Connery was particularly well cast as William of Baskerville (yes, named for both William of Ockham--he allegedly of Ockham's razor--and Sherlock Holmes) but I don't hate him in the part. He made it his.



From the description in the book I could almost picture James Cromwell in the role, but at the time the movie came out, Cromwell was best known for playing the nerd dad in Revenge of the Nerds, so probably wasn't a prime contender. F. Murry Abraham was delightfully well cast, particular…

Expenses

In the first part of the month, Mephisto was in the hospital, and will be on $125/month medicine for the rest of his life. Now Guinness may have diabetes with all that that entails.

Took the car in for its 30,000 mile check up--good to do, but damn expensive, and the rich wonder why the poor don't invest in maintenance.

All in all, an expensive month--husband's bonus and tax returns all taken up. And what do I cut so that I can save more to get to that mythical nest egg?

The old stuff and junk

I can't seem to get back into posting every day. First husband was sick, then cat was sick, now I'm sick. Work continues to be less than fulfilling. I have actually been somewhat productive in other ways. I've been only touching Facebook.

I made this:
It's a wall hanging for my b&w and yellow bathroom. I call it "Time in the Labyrinth." I've been collecting the scraps for years although I had to supplement with purchased fabric. The stripe at A5 and C3 came from a sink skirt in our house in western MA. The little checkerboard from a border on another wall hanging. The patterns at C6 and F3 from that purse from last year. I picture it as a sort of game. One can follow the patterns or the dark appliqued path (which is shorter but has more obstacles). One would move one or two spaces using either a coin, button, or perhaps an Othello piece.

I also made a new coat, but I have some finishing to do on it, so hopefully will have a picture tomorrow.

Social Networking, What is it For

The fastest growing group on Facebook is Gen X--those 35 to 45 finding high school friends. Twittering has become a subject of conversation as Karl Rove begins Twittering and senators were seen frantically texting as the President entered for his address.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and I blog. I also have a MySpace page, but I never really enjoyed MySpace. If you weren't promoting music there didn't seem to be much point to being there. The apps were hard to find and use (to me) and finding friends harder. I keep the page only because I'm following some celebrities there. Most of them are also on Facebook, so eventually I won't need the MySpace page. Facebook is terribly user friendly--it recommends friends, organizations, fandoms for you to join. Your friends tiny updates are brought directly to you as are the updates of the celebrities you follow. It's not terribly customizable, but other than that, apps are painless. Virtually point and cli…

The Fine Art of the Western

The western as genre is generally a film style that you either love or loathe, and I really only gained an appreciation for westerns in film class. One must submerge/submit oneself to the archetypes presented.

My husband has little patience for them--they are stories to be watched at that is all. We ended up watching two relatively close to each other.

The first, the remake of 3:10 to Yuma was fairly straightforward--most interesting for the fine acting of the two leads who, of course, are not American. And the Western is American, although the best of them borrow from other myths as archetypes are archetypes for a reason.

The second was The Assassination of Jesse James... I can't say that I liked it. In most good westerns the landscape--the west--is a character, as real and as important as any human as cities are in the stories I mentioned below. I say West, but of course, Jesse James was from my childhood home--KC, MO area. Like a student film, we watched long shots of waving p…

What it started

I've mentioned elsewhere that I love fantastic fiction--think it the most important genre. All the same, I usually don't read just fantastic fiction. I read a lot of styles, but lately I've found myself only wanting to pick up fantastic fiction.

I zoomed through Last Watch, the 4th book in the Day Watch/Night Watch/Twilight Watch series from Russia that finally made it to America (or to Barnes and Noble) 8 months late. It was fun--not as cataclysmic as the first three, and certainly not the last book in the series, despite the title, which is a relief.

I read The Haunted Hotel by Wilke Collins on my phone. It isn't really fantastic fiction, despite it's title, and it was something of a disappointment, being merely a melodrama with standard elements of the period, and none of the skill of The Moonstone or even The Woman in White.

Then I picked up Cities, an anthology of four stories that I had bought for my husband for Christmas, only to find out that he had alread…

Watchmen continued

When I titled that last post Watchmen started it, I was referring to a small streak in my life of reading fantastic fiction as well as starting the whole graphic novel thing (a listing of how the issues were stopped at one publisher and then continued at another is too long to go into and I'm not enough of a fangirl to tell it). One thing that did strike me on re-reading Watchmen (I first read it when I met my husband some 20 years ago--sweet singing Jesus I feel old) was the remarkable panel to panel work. Some people say that they can't read comics--they just can't adjust to the style of storytelling in the same way that some people say that can't watch sub-titled films. I will admit to having sometimes had difficulty with certain artists--Bill Sienkiewicz comes to mind. Other comic artists are extraordinary (so is Sienkiewicz, just sometimes distracting from the text) with work that could hang in museums--Jon Muth, John Bolton and the brilliant Alex Ross (who di…

Watchmen starts it all

Unless you've been living under a rock, or Tivo/DVR all of your viewing, you are probably aware that there is a Superhero movie coming out next week called Watchmen and you may even be aware that all the fan boys (and even some fan girls) worship this Graphic Novel (originally issues) as nearly the suigeneris of graphic novels, written by the truly eccentric and prickly (literally and figuratively) Alan Moore of V for Vendetta, From Hell, and others.

I remember talking to a co-worker about V for Vendetta and saying that while my husband and I liked the movie and didn't mind the changes, the graphic novel was darker, and the friend gaping at me as if I had spoken in Aramaic--how could it be darker.

The fear is, of course, that Watchmen will not be dark enough, and my own personal fear that if it is dark enough, it will not be what most of the audience is expecting. As in this early review (it's out in Britain):
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090227/en_nm/us_film_watchmen_1
He s…