28 January 2016


Grisu: Watchdog, Parts 2 and 3

Our darling little dragon may not have been very successful the first time he set out to be a dog, but he gets two more chances in the next episodes of Grisu Il Draghetto. (These were also episodes of Grisu der kleine Drache, but they weren't shown in the same order.)

-Vorrei tanto riparare al malfatto del ultima volta!-
(I would very much like to make up for the mistake of last time!)

"Ich moechte zu gerne, dass unglueck von neulich mit dem verbrannten Panzer wiedergutmachen!"
(I would very much like to make up for yesterday's unlucky moment with the burning tank!)

Depending on the type of reader you are, you are either wondering what the missing word is or wondering if you missed the Grisu post on the verbrannte Panzer. Well, I can't help you with the former until my Austrian friend helps me (AKTUALISIERT: Danke, Freund!), but I can assure you that you didn't miss any of our little dragon's adventures. By the end of this post, you'll know all about the tank and a bit more about the order in which the German episodes were aired.

24 January 2016


Religious Reading

Is this still a book blog? From where I sit, it's starting to feel like more of a language blog--and if the drafts I'm currently working on make the cut, it may feel that way from where you sit, too. Yet I still do most of my reading and general media consumption in English, and will continue to do so as long as I have a TBR Pile casting baleful looks in my direction.

What this blog has never been--or so I've protested too much since I started it--is a big-C Catholic blog. There is the occasional religious commentary, but in general, I try to be more small-C catholic. But if you're visiting for the first time, you'd never guess that from this post alone.

Three Big-C Catholic Books
Recently "Redeemed" from the TBR Pile

20 January 2016


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 139

Today's fiaba is a bit of a repeat--which is inevitable, I guess, when the biggest factor in the story selection process is luck. We first encountered this type of tale with I Due Gobbi of Meeting 134; but I first read this specific one (but from a French source) and a version of the same from Andrew Lang as a child. They were probably already very obscure then, too, and I was lucky to run into it. But I do think we're a bit poorer for our ignorance, as if our vocabulary has lost several words. (And now I wonder how many we've totally forgotten that I will never know about . . .)

18 January 2016


Early Edition: Walking Catastrophe

It would have been nice to get my series on Early Edition, Season 1 done before diving into Grisu . . . but let's not dwell on why things didn't work out last year. There's a new year upon us, exactly one more episode left, and several weeks before the one-year anniversary of the post in which I announced my word for 2015, so I can still CLEAR this with dignity!

When you've got the "What," "Where," "When," "Why," and "How":
Does the "Who" still matter?

Gary is one of the most conscientious characters ever written . . . but do you suppose he would have let an entire city block burn if The Paper had revealed just who was behind the fire? LOL!

14 January 2016


Theme Thursday 20

On this day in January 2016, we finally enter May 2011. Imagine how life would be if we all moved through time at different speeds! Perhaps we really do and just don't notice it because we agree to keep the peace by following the same calendar and clock. (Well, mostly. Right, Orthodox friends?)

Way back on 5 May 2011, the focus was on characters . . .

This Week's Theme:
Female Person

11 January 2016


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 138

Well, I was right about one thing from last week: I finished today's long story, Ari-ari, ciuco mio, butta danari!, the day after I chose it, because I was worried that if I tried to read it in bits and pieces, it would take me forever to get done! But the complexity made possible by the length got me dragging my feet when it came time to write the post for it. Perhaps next time I should go with a medium-length fiaba.

UPDATE: We have a story for Meeting 139! But it's not quite medium-length, as you will see when you scroll to the end.

07 January 2016


Twelve Things about Open Water 2: Adrift

12. You know that movie based on the story of two scuba divers who were left behind by their boat and then had to deal with a shark? Yeah, I thought I was watching the first Open Water, too. =P This sequel makes a decent understudy, though: also based on true events, it is about six friends who forget to let down the ladder on their yacht before diving off it for a nice swim. It's all fun and games until you can't get back into the boat.

11. It seems that the general reaction to the premise is: "How could they be so stupid???" But that's the whole point of the horror, isn't it? We all know what it's like to make a really careless mistake. It's just that our mistakes don't usually turn out to be so deadly. And go easy on the condemnation there: you don't want to be saying that these poor idiots deserve death. (Or do you?)

10. The tagline on the English poster is the staccato and straightforward: "Fatigue. Hypothermia. Death." The translation of what you read on the German poster is: "In water, no one hears you scream"--which is a cute but senseless reference to a Horror classic I'm sure you don't need my help to name. The best one is on the French poster: "Et vous . . . combiens de temps tiendrez-vous?" (Translation: "Und Sie . . . wie lange werden Sie fest halten?") Isn't the "fun" of watching what must surely be called Survival Horror wondering how long you would last in the same situation?

Or if you don't like making it so personal, wondering how long each individual character will last . . .

05 January 2016


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 137

The above may be the only image of we have of the North Wind (La Borea) and the West Wind (Il Favonio) together! If we wanted to be playful, we could say that it was witnessing the birth of Venus, goddess of love, in the company of il Favonio that gave la Borea the idea that kicks off today's fiaba from Italo Calvino!

03 January 2016


Twelve Things about Pitch Perfect 2

12. "AVERT YOUR EYES!" There must have been a hundred classier ways to open this movie . . . but then again, there's no better way to tell the audience that they're watching a Girl Grrrl Power movie than (Get your Secret Decoder Rings out) to shove female genitalia in their faces.

Note that the whole line is:
"Avert your eyes or take it all in!"

11. There are two other movies you need to see to put Pitch Perfect 2 in context. They are the first Pitch Perfect, which introduces most of the main characters, and Mad Max: Fury Road, which came out the same week as this movie and came a distant second to it at the box office.

It apparently peeved a lot of people off that the "woman's movie" of the month was not going to be the one with a "kick-ass" "strong woman" saving the day in a misogynist dystopia, but the one with cute college girls in dresses strengthening their sisterhood and realising their musical dreams. I myself haven't seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet--which makes me one of the female movie lovers who overwhelmingly chose the Barton Bellas over Imperator Furiosa! LOL! But I'll get to the other eventually, for sure. In the meantime, it's enough for me to point out that girls can definitely "kick ass" through music and fashion.

10. The music part is self-explanatory: our heroines are a competitive a cappella group, after all. As for the fashion, here's a visual . . .