Competitive Worm Charming, Etymologies, and more Friday Fun

I woke up this morning, puttering(1), and got around to looking at a youtube video by this cheeky Brit Thoughty2(2)  on The Weird World of Competitive Worm Charming

 

I then proceeded to have a worm dream something like this:

source http://www.kosapress.com/art-of-science-fiction-038-leonardo-calamati/
I have to admit, I do not have a plan for the worm-pocolapse. Source. Judging from this chart I’m guessing this is a Tremors situation.
sandworm-size-chart
Know your sand worms!

 

Then more English related news, I received an email confirming that my visa has been processed and will be mailed back to me today. All this visa business is terribly dramatic however ether way it’s almost all over.  Either way, there will be tears.  Either way, I kicked a lot of ass to get to this point. And either way, I’m just getting started.

I’ve decided that Fridays are designed to be fun and as some of you may have already gathered, I’m a big fan of etymologies and word play so Friday’s Funday Word is: “FRIDAY”.  Friday is culturally a unique word in many languages deriving meaning from Venus or Venus-dieties including the Aztec god Quetzalcotl, Hinud God Shukra, and in astrology Friday is related to the two Venus signs Taurus and Libra (3).  The reason for why Friday is linguistically tied to Venus across cultures is one that will require further research and a separate post, which if there is significant feedback I will follow through or if anyone wants to take this and write their own essay please send me a link and I’ll re-post, however if there is one thing about the word “Friday” That I learned that I will be sharing for a while is this one last English (and Australian) bit about Friday or often known as POETS day or “PISS OFF EARLY TOMORROW’S SATURDAY”.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Putt (v) – the mindless half asleep wanderings of a toon who is having trouble transitioning between REM cycles, usually between the hours of 2am – 4am, and from what I understand is more prevalent in men and get’s more frequent with age
  2. It’s nice when things work out in theme, thoughty2’s username and byline and about are all references to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which if you haven’t read I’ve begun a review series on the entire Hitchhiker’s series which started last week.  The overall series review can be found here.

Source for cover Image

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series Review

Happy Monday and Labor Day for my American readers.

hitchhikers (test)

This info-graph is a general overview of the series.

The Hitchhiker’s guide has an interesting history beginning as a pitch for a 6 part series called “The Ends of the Earth” where the earth ends at the end of each episode surly many of them end on a stupid Thursday(1).  This idea eventually evolved into what we have here today and then some(2) including the movie adaptation of the first book.

This series has a pretty close place to my heart and I have a pretty long history with it, probably the longest/first bookmance(3) I’ve ever had.  I remember when I was a kid, somewhere around 13-15 years old, my dad gave me the first Hitchhiker’s guide book.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy book cover
This is the cover art my dad’s copy had. Still my favourite of the versions.  Look at that meaty hand.

It might have been my first literary brush with literary si-fi, I was brought up on Red Dwarf(4) so I was well prepared, and it was good. Really good.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy book cover3
This is the cover art my best friend in middle school (ages 11-14ish) in school had. Clearly inferior to the original.

My dad had all the rest of the original books up to So Long and Thanks For All the Fish and I ate them all up. I have specific memories of reading these books in school and literally laughing out loud involuntarily in class.  I’m pretty easy to laugh(5) but usually I’m pretty good at restraining my self in public but this book got me several times.  Even on revisits.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy collection book cover
My first copy of the omni-bus.

Fast forward a few years and I’m at a book store, constantly building my library (sometimes I like to think about the day when I have enough books, that I’ve actually read AND enjoy no cheating with “the entire Steven King collection”, to make a book fort(6)), and I see this almost biblical looking version of the collection which was really nice because it came with a tassel bookmark.  This copy got donated after the first or second library purge(7) and in the last year since getting back into school I’ve begun replacing or obtaining copies of books I remember reading and enjoying but had borrowed from a friend or the library and this series was recommended to me on amazon.

This is my third and most recent re-reading of the series and I’ve had mixed reactions.  At first I was totally pumped to read this thinking I would blow through it in a few weeks but it ended up taking me about two months to read 815 pages +/- 20 pages because they count the title and dedication pages in between each book and most of that was spent trudging through Life, The Universe, and Everything.  However we will get to that in time.  The good news is that this series starts and ends pretty strongly (see info-graph above).

As in Adams style(8), over the next 7 weeks I will present to you:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Ultimate Review:

A 7 part review in 8 parts

Tune in next week for part II: The actual review for The Hitchhiker’s to the Galaxy the book.

Footnotes:

  1. The Earth is destroyed on a Thursday afternoon several times in the series.
  2. As I learned in researching this article that there has been yet another novel added to the series called “…and another thing.” which, I personally, do not count as cannon and will not likely read the reasons for which will become clear as this series progresses.
  3. If we can have words like “bromance“, which I reluctantly have adopted in specific situations, I’m championing the word “bookmance”.   I’ve submitted a definition to urban dictionary and I might adopt the word for one year for 25$ on wordnik, my favourite dictionary site.  Depends on if urban diction approves.
  4. I have so many fond memories of late night Sunday, kind of like tonight actually (as I write this that is), as a kid with my parents watching the foreign shows on PBS channel nine like Red Dwarf (British) and The Red Green Show (Canadian).  These came on, if I remember right, after the X-Files on Sunday nights.  Sometimes we would order Cecil’s or Imo’s Pizza, St Louis Style pizza, and it was pretty much the best.  I have a lot of television related memories, more the scheduling aspects rather than the shows them selves.  I don’t know, there’s an essay memoir in there. Something in Infinite Jest rattled it loose.  Stay tuned.
  5. I read a snapple facts once “Snapple fact #831: Adults laugh only about 15 to 100 times a day, while six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day.”  and I keep meaning to start a data crunch project on this, I keep track of other things in my journal.  Another thing for the list.
  6. book fort
  7. As a minimalist I have regular purge events where I strip down to bare essentials however in the last major purge I decided to begin building a library rather than holding on to a few prized pieces, however I do prune it regularly.
  8. His series started as a trilogy and remains to be frequently refereed to as a trilogy because humour.

 

 

 

Saturday Morning Announcements

Good morning my lovely reader or at least it is still morning where I am and it is a beautiful one.

I have announcements for my regular readers, however they’re pretty general so everyone is invited to stay for a moment.

This week, as my regulars can probably guess, has been a confusing and busy one.  Now that I’m at the cap of the week and have had a moment to construct my thoughts I feel that I should say a few things.

As you may or may not know, I’m a student who is trying to study abroad in England for the up coming scholastic year and I am at the climax of the bureaucratic leg of this dramatic journey.  I sent off my student visa application and am pending approval.  Regardless of where I take classes this year(1), I have already begun working ahead and have the rest of the year’s worth of Monday posts worked out so that you can keep getting quality (at least I, think this is quality) posts every Monday and I can focus on Friday posts and life at large (see footnote 1).

This is the projected schedule:

5th Sept – 24th Oct

  • A 7 part review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series in 8 parts à la débandade or in the style of Adams, both translate the same

31st Oct (Halloween)

  • Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman

7th Nov

  • All the Pretty Horses by McCarthy

Nov 14th

  • SURPRISE!

21-28th Nov

  • wherever I end up taking classes this term, I believe I will be in midterms hell by this point.  I will likely take one of these weeks off an the other will be something relatively light hearted.

5th Dec (Louie’s Deathday!) – 2nd Jan 2017

  • Remember the “SURPRISE” from Nov 14th?

As for Fridays? I’m still in the formative phase of this blog and I believe Mondays are good book review days so when ever I have a book review, it will be Monday.  However since this blog was never intended to be exclusively a literary blog, I wanted to keep Fridays more flexible.

I’ve been watching a lot of classic movies in prep for this class I signed up for in
England called “Literature in Film”, which I am obnoxiously excited for, and almost all of them are based on books so I might do a Flicks Friday thing, however I haven’t read/don’t (yet) own all the books to these movies.  Though I might do movie reviews and have a book counterpart review later when I do read the book.  I’m also working on a film/book juncture essay examining the confluence of two story telling mediums and maybe proposing where one can learn from the other or even form a new hybrid genre.  It’s a really big idea that I’ve been wrestling with for a few months now, so no promises when that will be finished but it is an aspect of storytelling that interests me.

I’m also working on a graphic novel, but very slowly, and I’m toying with making more comics in the Fin & Louie cannon (I have a birthday comic for Fin, 23rd Sept) so I might make Friday Funny however ultimately right now I’m just spit balling ideas and will for the moment keep Friday Formless so I can do what ever I want.

If you have any suggestions, comments, concerns, book/movie recommendations, well wishes, etc feel free to leave a comment below.  I’m pretty open to suggestion however suggestions are subject to discretion.  No ideas are bad ideas. Unless they’re bad ideas. I trust your judgment.

Footnotes:

  1. Due to lots of complicated factors, I am fully prepared for my visa application to be rejected and in which case I have a lot of work to do (find new housing, late registering for classes [then catching up in said classes], and possibly find another job) in a very small amount of time (depends on how long it takes to get the results back but if nothing else I need to be in a new housing situation or on a plane by Oct 1st and have to have begun late registering for classes if necessary by Oct 1st, so like at best I have 3 weeks but probably closer to like 5 days).

The Alchemist Review

the alchemist

Hey guys, good to be back. It has been a crazy week and Monday was this perfect storm of ridiculous stuff. The Hitchhiker’s Guide Review series will begin next week.

“Now for something completely different”, is exactly how I felt transitioning from reading the Hitchhiker’s series to this little book. These books are literally as different in content as they are in physical printed design choices. The dark humour and lengthy discourses Adams uses to populate entire galaxies are in contrast to the near reverent tone graceful minimalism that Coelho implores in his travel adventure story about a boy, a Shepard, from Spain who dreams of travel and one day decides to have a gypsy interpret a reoccurring dream he has been having. She interprets his dream as a calling for him to find treasure and thus begins his quest to find his “Personal Legend.”

This book is a strange read because it utilizies heavily with abstract-to-the-point-of-cliche concepts (the heart, love, happiness, personal purpose, over coming adversity in the face of something great, learning to reach our potential, talking animals/spirits/forces) and yet does it beautifully. I might have rolled my eyes once during the entire book and that was about this bit with the main love interest uttering something like

Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed that the desert would bring me a wonderful present. Now, my present has arrived, and it’s you.”

Fatima to Shepard (100)

However regardless of that, Coelho builds this surprisingly gripping story that feels like an travel adventure of epic proportions regardless of how pedestrian the vast majority of the events are(1) and how relatively small the scope is(2). The story being told feels less like one of relatively modern realization(3), but one more closely in line with that of the mysticism of mythology or fantasy of fairy tales giving it an intensely evergreen-timelessness.

These praises are not given lightly nor are they given for free. As beautiful is Coelho’s poetic prose and intensely empowering the language is, this is a prime example of an author who’s work I can only read in small chunks and may never finish a collection of his stories. These type books work great as pallet cleansers between the dense, emotionally challenging, and sometimes labourious stuff I generally enjoy reading.

Everything being taken into account, I can confidently offer this book a solid recommendation.

3.9/5

Rating System:

5/5 – reserved for my top favourite books. There’s only five right now.

4/5 – I really liked this book, I will likely re-read it at least once, and will be actively recommending it for a while.

3/5 – I liked the book. If I bought/traded for it, no regrets. I may recommend if it comes up in conversation or is particularly suited for a friend.

2/5 – I did not care for this book. I will likely complain about this book while reading it. I will not recommend this to anyone, I will not re-read this book for non-reference purposes, and I will sell/donate/trade it away when it is next convenient.

1/5 – I have a special place in my heart for books this abysmally bad. See these are the kind of books that inspire me. They remind me “if this piece of crap can get published, so can anything I write”, which is one of the motivating factors in working on my novel(4).

Thanks for reading, if you read this book (given it’s popularity, seems probable) and want to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment below. Most comments are appreciated.

Footnotes

  1. sheep herding, selling sheep wool at market, working at a crystal shop for a year, traveling the desert, reading books, getting water, asking for directions
  2. southern Spain to Egypt, it’s only “the other shore of the strait” (28)
  3. 1988
  4. and will become one of my mantras while seeking my first publishing house and fighting off the waves of insecurity the rejection letters bring.