Kafka – The Judgment and The Stoker

Since the first was so short, I read the second right after it.

The writing style of Kafka is more along the lines of allegories and seems, to me, to be more like a recounted dream or a disjointed thought rather than what we all, him included, consider to be “proper” short stories.

Both The Judgment and The Stoker were written in 1912; both were published in 1913.  The Stoker won the Fontane Prize in 1915 and became the beginning of his novel, Amerika, published posthumously in 1927

The Judgment is more like a half remembered dream, the beginning is understandable and realistic.  I didn’t like the main character, Georg Bendemann, at all.  From his musings over a letter he’d just written to a friend in Russia, he doesn’t strike me as being much of a friend.  You’ll see what I mean when you read it.  After preparing the letter to be mailed, it suddenly occurs to Georg he should consult his elderly father whom he still lives with, about the wisdom of sending this particular letter with its particular news.  The interview with the father is like a twisted dream – it is full of drama, conflicting action and emotion which made it surreal to me.  The ending, didn’t make much sense.

Still, it is worth reading, if only so you can shake your head and think”what is the world was he thinking when he wrote this?”

The Stoker is a story taken out of a passage in young Karl Rossman’s like.  He is sent off to America to avoid a scandal involving a 32 yr old chambermaid who seduced him and bore him a child.  Karl is described as not quite old enough for college though he has finished what we would deem “high school”.

The entire story happens on the ship Karl has taken to Ellis Island but not yet embarked due to a forgotten umbrella.  He is lost while searching for the lost item below decks and happens upon the stoker of the ship who is also a fellow German.  They strike up a friendship of sorts, trading tales of woe and bad treatment.  Karl, is a bid to assist the stoker with getting justice for his own mistreatment aboard the ship, urges the man, whose name is never mentioned, to go to the captain with him to tell him all about it.

Off they go, resolute the stoker should have his say, and Karl, poor guy, is separated from the stoker during the course of the meeting by his estranged uncle who also happens to be a Senator.  Nothing more is said in this story about the poor stoker, or his fate, but Karl is left quite unhappy and a bit bereft.

This second story is quite good I feel.  It was like two ships passing in the night only these two actually got to know one another enough to touch each other’s lives – like the fingertip stroke of a pretty girl across your arm as she passes – a fleeting touch that means very little but still changes your perspective for a bit.

I am eager to read more of Kafka’s work and will look for Amerika as I really want to see what becomes of young Karl.

No Movie Review Today – Sorry

I got involved with binge watching Supernatural and working on my large filet crochet project which still has a loooong way to go. 😦

I am glad I did watch one episode tonight because I finally figured out where I’d seen an actress on Lucifer(on Hulu and a great little show!) before.  She was in Season 2 Episode 16 which is titled Roadkill.  She plays Molly.  It had been bugging me for a while now and seeing her on that show made me feel better.

Anyway, no movie review tonight – sorry.  I am looking to watch Altered Carbon in the next few days so I’ll have a movie review for you then.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  If you’re feeling scared, bring along a Winchester or two!! 🙂

Well, I did it…

Actually, I did several things today – I’ve been quite productive.

I added the first two chapters of my one and only romance story(Southern Romance) – a novella – on Wattpad.  You can view it here: https://www.wattpad.com/539886618 

I also completed a floral doily whose pattern if from around 1920 or something.  I won’t be doing another one for a while because I had to work with crochet thread and hook that were both small. My hand cramped, and I got eye strain. Uck.

I also completed a crocheted trinket box that, thankfully, used yarn instead of crochet thread.

I’m starting on a shawl tomorrow as well as continuing with a filet crochet project that may end up being a bedspread.  I haven’t decided yet.  Yes, I’ll post a picture of it when it’s done. 🙂

Crocheting and writing are my two main loves, the rest just fall in line depending on my mood at the time. 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Kafka-Metamorphosis

I recently was given a book that is a collection of short stories written by Franz Kafka.  It’s a Barnes & Noble Classics version published by Barnes & Noble Books, Copyright 2003.  The Introduction, Notes and Further Reading were all done by Jason Baker while the translation of the short stories from their original German was done by Donna Freed.  Like I did with my version of Candide, I skipped over the incredibly long Introduction section as well as the World of… section.

Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Germany in 1883.  He was not well known until close to his death and defying his last request, Kafka’s friend, Max Brod spent the rest of his own life getting the rest of Kafka’s work published, including three novels, The Trial(1925), The Castle(1926) and Amerika(1927).

I’ll review each short story in the collection starting today with Metamorphosis – just because it’s the first story in the book.

I was caught by this story and couldn’t stop reading it.  It’s a sad story about a young man named Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman and his family: Herr Samsa,  his father who later becomes an employee of a bank, Frau Samsa, his mother who later begins sewing lingerie for private clients and his sister, Grete, who becomes a salesgirl at a store.

Poor Gregor, after spending many years slaving away at a job he hated all so he could help the family  – he was the only one employed at this time – wakes up one morning as a giant creature.  The way he’s described, I’d say he’s a doodlebug, but a charwoman calls him a dung beetle so I’ll go with that.

Kafka shows most of the action from Gregor’s POV as well as using 3rd person narrative to tell the story.  The story tells you what happens to poor Gregor and his family once it is discovered he is no longer human.

I won’t give away the story, but I will caution you to take it like it is.  Jason Baker says his fiction doesn’t make sense.  I see it as a vignette – a snapshot of something that happened to a man and his family – like a scene from a one act play.  Sorry, it’s hard to explain.  I was confused by the story – it’s just a story.  But it does show how familial obligation and self identity were treated during Kafka’s time.

In short, I liked the story.  It’s not very long so reading it wouldn’t be a major waste of time if you don’t end up liking it.  Me, I’m going to read another short story soon.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

 

Fullmetal Alchemist(2017)

Apparently, I’m a sucker for subtitles no matter what language the movie is in. This one is in Japanese – I think. I have only caught bits and pieces of the anime this movie is based on, but I know my sons enjoyed it – might still enjoy it; I’ll have to ask.

Anyway, this is a live action film from Netflix based on the anime by the same name.  The site doesn’t give much information about the film such as who plays whom and whatnot so, I’m going to guess.  Ryosuke Yamada must play Edward while Dean Fujioka is Alphonse, his brother.  That’s all I’m going to guess at because I’m not sure which are female names and which are male names.

In this film which is full of lots of fun action and some great special effects, is about two brothers living in something like a Communist country.  The uniforms are reminiscent of Communist Russian uniforms with some slight modification and the color is blue.  The state controls who is allowed to practive alchemy and who is not based on how “useful” their abilities are.

The movie opens with the two brothers as little boys,  Their mom is killed, and the boys are wrecked, Alphonse more than Edward.  They were already training to be alchemists like their absent father so they decide to bring Mom back with alchemy.  Something goes horribly wrong, and the movie fast forwards.  You learn fairly quickly that Al’s spirit is stuck inside a suit of armor while Ed is missing an arm and a leg – he has metal prosthesis instead.

The main plot of the movie is the pair finding the Philosopher’s Stone so Ed can get Al’s body back.  It ends up not being as simple as it sounds.

I enjoyed this movie, most likely because I’ve not really scene the anime.  People who have panned the movie just because.  I’m more of a realist – nobody is going to do an anime just in live action.  The animes are full of things you can’t do with live actors and cameras – not even with CGI.  I like the movie just as it stands, no comparison to the anime.

I do wish they’d done more with Al but the interaction with him and Ed as well as others in the show was still good.

See the movie, or don’t see the movie.  I believe everyone should do as they like instead of what the critics say.  Me, I’m not a critic, I just like movies, and I like telling people about them.  I’ve enjoyed movies that movie critics said were not worth wasting my time on – who are they to know what I like or don’t like.  Whom am I to know what you do, or don’t like.  Have fun and have a great time doing whatever you like!

See you on the flipside movie watchers and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Duolingo, TinyCards and Me

Sounds almost like a song lyric doesn’t it.

In high school, I took French as an elective class two years in a row. Two years ago, roughly, I discovered Duolingo – an online language course that’s free.  I played with it off and on for a while before not bothering with it up until November 2017.  Since then, I have been working on it almost every day – the touted 5 minutes most of the time but sometimes longer – relearning a language I only remembered parts of.  The course is lots of fun and quite easy. It helps you not only learn how to pronounce words, you learn how to read and spell them.  Fluency is the goal for this course, and it helps you get there.

Now TinyCards is a site that works in conjunction with Duolingo. If a word has more than one meaning, Tiny Cards teaches you these words along with the ones Duolingo has taught you.  Same with words that have more than one spelling.  It just enhances what you’ve already learned.  You can spend 5 minutes on this site as well and still learn something new.

I’m currently at 34% Fluency.  I have found a site that has French children’s poetry on it so I can work on my reading and translating skills – when I feel I’m ready.  This same site has adult poetry as well, but I’m aiming for the kids’ stuff first.

I highly recommend these sites as they have numerous languages to choose from – a friend of mine is learning German, and she’s gotten very good at it.  Let me know how it goes for you if you do decide.

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Harrison – Ever After

This book is written by Kim Harrison and is part of the Books of the Hollows series.  This book is published by Harper Voyager an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers copyrighted 2013.  The copy I have is a paperback of 496 pages plus a bonus short story at the end.

I liked the first book in this set, Dead Witch Walking.  I’ve not read the others – this one was given to me as a gift.  I’m not big on romance(yeah a chick who doesn’t like romance go figure), but this one did have some pretty good scenes despite it.

This book is a fantasy novel with witches, demons, an elf or two and plenty of gargoyles to round out the fun.  These are walking, talking, even flying gargoyles, and I liked how they were treated by this author. 🙂 It brought some freshness to the genre, imho.

Our heroine is Rachel who is a half demon witch, among other things.  Her love interest and sometime pain in the butt, is an elven tycoon named Trent Kalamack who was much more than a rich elf.  Then, there’s the people who help them and/or are a part of their lives.

It would take to long to name the rest of the cast of this book, but I do suggest reading it.  There’s enough action and butt kicking scenes to even out the romantic stuff so guys(I mean those of the male persuasion)don’t feel too dorky reading this book once your girl gets done with it. 🙂

Short and sweet, like me except the sweet part. 🙂

Catch you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver – Winter isn’t over yet!

Bright(2017)

This is a Netflix created and produced movie starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.  I read all the bad reviews about the movie from the news stories, they even went so far as to say it was the worst film of 2017.  How did they come to this conclusion – money.  It didn’t make a lot of money from people wanting to see it before it came out and from other factors I know nothing about.  These stories said it was Will’s worst movie to date even.  Thing was, none of these reporters thought to ask what people thought – real people like you and me.

On Facebook, not long after the show aired in December 2017, lots of people were posting about how good it was.  They liked the revamping of the Orc story as well as the great way Elves were portrayed.  With the good and the bad reviews in mind, I decided to watch the show myself – I’ve always hated to be told what to do.

Will Smith is Officer Daryl Ward, a father and a husband.  He’s also just recovered from being shot by a gang member because his partner didn’t have his back.  It’s something he’s still having issues with.

Joel Edgerton is Officer Nick Jakoby, an unblooded Orc, and the partner whose mistake got Officer Ward shot.

This movie addresses racism in a roundabout way as well as being pretty tongue-in-cheek about a lot of other issues our society is dealing with now.

The story is about the partners coming upon the scene of a horrendous attack, finding a girl mounted on a wall, still alive and *gasp* a magic wand.

In this world, a magic wand is a weapon of mass destruction – only a Bright, a mage, can handle it, and they are considered criminals who are usually terminated on the spot.  If anyone besides a Bright handles the wand, it goes off like a massive energy wave killing anyone in its path – vaporizes them.

Anyway, Will reports the finding of the wand and then, he and his partner find themselves running from the law, from gang members, from demented Elves and from this world’s version of the FBI, all with the injured girl who is an Elf and a Bright.

I think people should see this movie if only so they can thumb their noses at the critics.  In my humble opinion this was not one of Will Smith’s worst movies, it’s not one of his best either but hey, it’s paying his bills. 🙂  I enjoyed the movie itself though some parts were just plain silly – the rest made up for it.

See you on the flipside my friends and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

 

Well, okay…

Just met a woman from Champagne, Illinois who is here getting medical treatment at a local hospital.  She was very nice and kept repeating my name – she said she’d had a head injury but didn’t say how long ago.  I wasn’t bothered by it, I meet a lot of people who are just as bad at names as I am.

What got me was this woman who has only just met me, starts asking me about my religious affiliation.  She asks “So are you a Christian? Are you a Catholic?Are you a Muslim?”  I’m not sure what other religion she mentioned after that except that she was focusing on mainstream religions because I was thrown by her asking if I was a Christian or if I was Catholic.  Since when are Catholics not considered Christians??

Not only is she standing well inside my personal space, but she’s asking questions about something I don’t discuss with complete strangers, not on purpose anyway.  So with her smiling at me from less than two feet away and clearly expecting an answer, I tell her I’m non-traditional.  The smile wavers just a tiny bit and then, she ends the conversation, heading off to the store.  I went on my own way with a little smile of my own.

Tell anyone with a religious bent looking for converts that you’re non-traditional, and they don’t know how to react.  They are especially thrown when you don’t choose to elaborate, and they don’t want to offend by throwing out the name of any of the many pagan religions being practiced today – just in case you aren’t a member of one of them.

I get a chuckle out of it, and I get left alone.  I consider asking me what religion I practice when you first meet me to be quite rude and intrusive.  Religion is a personal thing to my way of thinking, and you don’t ask strangers personal questions like that.

Just thought I’d share that with you – take it any way you like. 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver – Spring is on it’s way!

Lindsay-Darkly Dreaming Dexter

What can I say, sometimes only the dark will do.  I am a big fan of the show and was sad when it ended so, I went looking for the books that inspired the show.  I’m disappointed to see so few have been written and hope more are on the way.  I guess we’ll see.

By the way, as I write this, I have a couple of guys doing some carpentry work close to my window and one of them is singing horribly off key.  I can only hear it when the saw is off so here’s to the saw running a lot!  I can handle that better than the horrible singing.

Anyway, this book was everything I’d hope for: the birth of Dexter and his Dark Passenger!  It gives you the great back story with just the right amount of flare and twisted darkness.  Imagine how a police officer, sworn to do his duty yet tired of seeing all his hard work thrown out by corrupt people within the system that is supposed to support him in his efforts to punish those who are threats to society for their crimes.  Then, imagine this same officer, tired off constantly losing and almost at his wits end, adopting a little orphan – a witness to a horrific murder and victim of the aftermath.  This self same orphan who, as he grows older, is found out by his law and order adopted dad to be a threat to society in the making.  What do you do?

If you watched even one episode of Dexter, you know what this poor yet honorable man did, and I, for one, think it was a great idea the writer had.  If you look at the incredible Hannibal Lecter character – he is finesse and polish, refined and educated – and a cannibal who is very select about whom he devours.  Dexter is a serial killer with only one type of victim – fellow killers.  You have to love the irony!

The author has made Dexter believable and interesting – a bit of dark humor in the thoughts running through his head as he gives the reader his inner dialogue.  He is as charming as he can be, admits he’s not as “human” seeming as everyone else, but he’s appealing just the same.

The book plot isn’t just about Dexter killing someone – oh no.  There is a story here, a purpose behind what he does.  He is a Blood Splatter Specialist and he assists his police officer adopted sister with her cases – when she needs him.  The book starts with a murder, one committed by Dexter, and then moves on to more murders – not Dexter’s handiwork but oh so close!!  It takes both Dexter and his sister, Deborah, to figure out the murderer….and I will not spoil the ending for you!

This book, as you can tell, is one I highly recommend even if you’ve either never seen the show or, don’t like the show for whatever reason. 🙂  I’m working on getting the next one in the series.

That’s it for now my friends, see you on the flipside and remember, please, your towel and sonic screwdriver!