WANTED: Fin and Louie (2017 Birthday Comic)

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Happy Friday!

Remember last year’s birthday comic?

fin-birthday-comic-final

2016 Birthday comic

Copy of Wanted Western Themed Party Invitation Flyer Template

Keep tuned in, I won’t make you wait another year to get resolution to this story line (maybe just like 300 some odd days, hopefully less).

I want give a big thank you to my very funny friend Chad Wallace, a local St Louis stand up comic, for introducing me to the website postermywall.com which is where I made today’s web in less than 5 minutes and I’m sure it looks like it too however this site is really great for making very fancy and professional looking posters, pictures, invites, and more.

Officially my birthday is tomorrow and I’m having a birthday party which may, according to “a Christian numerologist”, double as an “End of the world” party. (seriously if you need a good laugh, read this article “DOOMSDAY IS COMING” Is the end of the world on September 23” from scarcasticandshameless.com) so you all have my personal permission to GET REALLY FUCKING WEIRD THIS SATURDAY! (This is not legal, ethical, nor moral advise but I think it’s pretty sound advice)

Be safe folks and if the world does end: fuck it dude, it’s been a fun ride.

-fin

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The Things They Carried (book review **SPOILER FREE**)

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Happy Monday!

I’m trying to read more shorter length books, 200-300 pages, because the last several months, almost a year now, I keep getting invested in these epic 1000+ page books which are generally rewarding do take me so very long not only to read but to digest (I’m looking at you Infinite Jest). In a means towards that end, I restarted and finished a book I started for a class in October, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

things

Spoiler Free Summary and Review:

The Things They Carried (TTTC) is a war novel but it’s not about war.  TTTC is a piece of non-fiction where the author blatantly tells you “In many cases a true war story cannot be believed. If you believe it, be skeptical…In other cases you can’t even tell a true war story.  Sometimes it’s just beyond telling.” (70) The Things They Carried is less about a war or about the validity of the stories inside the covers but at it’s heart it’s a story about the things these men carried with them before, during, and after the war.  The literal things they each carried, from the stockings of a sweetheart to a fully illustrated New testament bible or simply a big bag of dope, to the memories and guilt and ultimately stories they tell themselves and anyone who will listen.

Generally set in the 1970’s the novel loosely follows Tim O’Brien and his company of fellow soldiers in a non-linear story line.  The stories that take place before and after the war are the minority leaving a strange and confusing amalgamation of funny and brutal stories about their experiences over there.  The non-linear story structure really works with the content of the story in that O’Brien “[Wants] you to feel what I felt. [O’Brien wants] you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.” (179) and in this way I believe his choice of a non-linear narrative structure has helped convey this feeling that when you’re reading TTTC you are entering a shadowy and crowded room full of ghosts chattering, all vying for your attention but only a few voices come out clearly.  Ghosts and memories have no use for time as we understand it.  TTTC is a short novel at 236 pages however if you liked it, like I did, there are at least three more books about his experiences in Vietnam (Northern Lights, If I Die in a Combat Zone, and Going After Cacciato).

**SPOILERS BELOW**

Continue reading

2018-19 OBOP Annual State of the Blog Post

Happy Saturday!

3rd anaversy.jpg

My lil brain child is growing up so fast. :’) in 10 short years it’s gonna start listening to punk rock and telling me it hates me on the regular.

Wow. It’s year 3 already and I nearly fucking missed it if it wasn’t for facebook’s “on this day” app.  It’s been a long year, if you can’t tell. I haven’t had much time to assess this piece since I’m literally just remembering and subsequently writing this post the day of HOWEVER I HAVE GOT THIS! You watch…erm…read. You know what I meant.

you know what i meant

Okay so I need to open with an apology (to like the 3 of you who read last year’s Manifesto and State of the Blog Post): I have almost failed to fill any of my intentional goals.  Since I moved back to my mother city, St Louis, I’ve been forced to abandon a regular posting schedule which mostly includes giving the big axe to the columns “Working Title Tuesday”, “Rewind Wednesday”, “Thursday Night at the Cinema”, “Slam Saturday”, and “The Sunday Review”.  I will occasionally write for those columns (I do have some things coming down the pipes for Thursday Night at the Cinema specifically) but due to changing circumstances I cannot commit to that many columns unless I can derive an income from it.

A Little About my Life Since Getting Home:

Since the last time I wrote one of these, many things have changed in my life. Literally almost everything for the better.  After getting accepted into Lancaster University (in the UK) as a degree seeking student and beginning the residency application process, I was offered house and a very good job offer back in St Louis.  As per my visa, I needed to return to the USA to renew my visa, I anticipated on going back to St Louis at some point over the summer, however with the job and house offer and admittedly some uni burn out, I decided to roll the dice and come back to St Louis for keeps. It worked out in one way and failed in another.

The job offer I had worked out very well for a time (company went under 6 months after getting back home) however within a few weeks of coming home I met the love of my life who welcomed me into her family and home and I cannot be more grateful for that.

I know I vowed to get out of the food industry but when the company I worked for went under and I had a family to care for, I needed what I could get.

bite and claw.jpg

Look at how far my boys have come though!

I now work at a neighborhood pub/grill as a cook and it’s good, or at least the best kitchen job I’ve ever had anyway.  I like the people I work with, the menu is relatively standard, and the customers aren’t fussy. The pay could be better but it’s not complete shite.

Projects I’m Still Working On:

So I have abandoned pretty much everything I mentioned in last year’s post with the exceptions of the first book in my trilogy of novels “A Band of Misprints” which is making EXCELLENT progress due to my loving and supportive family.

abom to do list

I have big plans which require big post-it notes.

I plan to have draft one of part 1 done by September and likely sooner.

I recently just finished the first act of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie” and am beginning work on Act two.

I have also revived an old blog idea “Why? Answers to All the Questions You Never Asked” and have decided to add it to my current blog as a column.  I have a lot of stupid information free floating in my brain and as much I have a lot of stupid questions floating around (mostly starting with “why”) and they need and outlet.  My fiancée thought it was a good idea and seeing as she gives me many good ideas, I’m going to see it through for a whilst. I already have over 50 “why” questions written down since Monday which gives me faith it might be a good blog content outlet.

Statement of Intent:

I plan to finish draft one of A Band of Misprints and acts 2 and 3 of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie” and if FSM is willing, maybe I’ll finally get around to making coasters and business cards for OBOP (HINT: these would make an EXCELLENT birthday present around 23rd September).

Outside of book reviews, comics, and the occasional wild card post, I can’t promise much else at the moment.  Life is too busy and non conformist stateside for me to be able to make any commitments when I’m not getting paid.  However, speaking of getting paid, I have recently received some encouragement to submit my comics to the local community newspaper the Riverfront Times (or as the local cool kids call it, The RFT). I will keep you posted on how that goes.  I’ll post either the acceptance or rejection letter because either would be a badge of honour.

Stay tuned folks, life is good and getting better.  I have plenty more content coming, maybe some more Thursday Night at the Cinema pieces because YouTube’s algorithm has been really crushing it lately showing me new and interesting (to me) channels which is really exciting.

-fin

Thursday Night at the Cinema presents: Patrick (H) Willems

Happy Thursday!

I’ve been thinking lately about how I’m stuck in a YouTube rut: I listen to the same handful of albums on repeat (Ramshackle Glory’s “Live the Dream”, Streetlight Manifesto’s “The Hands That Theive” and “Everything Goes Numb”, interspersed with NOFX’s “Pump Up the Valuum, Wingnut Dishwasher’s Union’s “Burn the Earth! Leave it behind!”, The Mad Caddies’s “Quality Soft Core” and “Rock the Plank”, and for some balance UNKLE’S “War Stories”, “Where Did the Night Fall?”, and “Never Never Land” [but only the first 30 minutes or so, for some reason I have never finished the album which has always been an unconscious decision]) and I watch the same YouTube channels (Acursed Farms, Film Theory and Game Theory [but only Mat Pat’s, for some reason I really cannot get into Gaijin Goomba’s videos], Alternative History Hub, and Numberphile).  Part of the reason for this is being a working father, family man, and writer doesn’t leave much time for much else (no complaints though, family life and love has been my best adventure yet).

Accurate representation of my music tastes.

 

What my YouTube feed mostly looks like.

Because of this rut (I mentioned before about refocusing my blog but my intentions, like my life, things don’t always turn out the way I was expecting) and I had mostly all wrote off all the other columns (unless someone wants to write with me on this blog, still accepting applications, all you have to do is reach out with a couple of writing samples [CONTACT ME PAGE], no pressure though but there are benefits(1)) particularly “Thursday Night at the Cinema”  because it’s so new and requires time, which as I’ve mentioned becoming a family guy has made me prioritise my projects dramatically.

family guy free time meme

This is the “Family Guy Transformation” experience

However I recently discovered Patrick (H) Willems [INSERT PIC OF PHW], specifically I discovered this guy on a  Friday (which is usually my “work Friday night shift because, despite my [mostly] self-proclaimed talent and education, I STILL work in kitchens”) which when I work night shifts I have a hard time staying awake/productive through the day because my brain is like “Bro, you need to sleep until you go to work then stay up for hours after your shift”.  So I did my usual Friday morning ritual “get my son on the school bus, make my fineacee coffee, then eat breakfast before going into my office to ‘work’(3)” and I kept falling asleep to Willems’s videos but thinking to myself “these are douchebag brain memefucking brilliant! I need to revisit these later”. Usually when this happens I usually forget or don’t revisit because rut but this particular Friday I had an unusually, but not entirely unexpected, shitty Friday night at work and after getting home and bitching to my fiencee and my boyfriend(4) for a whilst about my night I went back down to my office to roll some cigarettes and I remembered Patrick (H) Willems’s videos and decided to revisit them whilst trying to unwind and I was GREATLY rewarded.

patrick-willems

I feel like this is an accurate representation of PHW.

Patrick (H) Willems (I will refer to him as PHW from here out) is one of the rare YouTube creators whom I feel deeply reluctant to call a “creator” as that term is just so damn vague but I would more feel comfortably refer to as a true “director, cinematographer, writer, and visionary”.  His videos range from the “TL;DR I have too much time and will explain [X] series to you” videos to original shorts that parody greats like Wes Anderson to original content like “The High School Reunion”. The guy is a fucking renaissance man in his field. I won’t lie to you and say I’ve watched all his content (because I haven’t) but I doubt I will because he does include vlog kind of material and honestly I visit YouTube almost exclusively because it is literally an incredible place to find young (as in experience) independent documentarians and filmmakers covering such a diverse body of subjects from theoretical mathematics (Numberphile) to people who over analyse movies/games (Mat Pat of Game and Film Theory) and literally everything in between (I wish I had a better example for “something in between” but again, rut; maybe Grickle?).

grickle

Gickle is fucking great.

In the following I’m including  what I consider a highlights/cross-section cut of PHW’s body of work:

EXPLAINS:

VIDEO ESSAYS:

PARODY:

I highly encourage you all to comment and debate in the comment section, whether related or not, about this piece.  Any and all feedback is deeply appreciated.

I want to let the three of you who regularly read this blog that I am making, slow but regular, progress with my novel.  I have the remainder of part one (of five) outlined so I can now make progress on the regular rather than flailing about anxiously without a direction. Now that I have part one of the novel outlined, I plan to finish the chapter I’m working on then I will begin drawing panels for act II of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie: Reluctant Partners in Crime”.  I promise I am making progress towards finishing these projects. In fact, if you want more and haven’t caught up on Act I of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie: Looking for a Friend in All the Wrong Places” you can view them all here THE ADVENTURES OF FIN & LOUIE.

Stay tuned because there is more to come.

-fin

Footnotes:

  1. I can’t pay you but I will write you an excellent recommendation letter when you do seek paying employment and you will get free promotional material, when I have money and time to make it (I have ideas but money is the main struggle).
  2. Usually includes a cup of coffee whilst I intend to watch a couple of youtube videos in my feed then write but I usually fall back asleep. Yes I do have a bed in my office because sleeping areas are surprisingly important to this insomniac (INSERT LINK TO INSOMNIA BOOK PREVIEW).
  3. Both my home and sex life is exactly as interesting as it sounds.

Insomnia by Stephen King (first Impressions)

Happy Monday!

insomnia

For the record, I do try to provide a picture matching the cover art of the copy of a book I’m reading and failing that I will take a picture but I’m not very good at photography

I Stephen King’s “Insomina” on my girlfriend’s bookshelf and was instantly intrigued.  See what you need to you need to understand about me is I struggle with sleep. I don’t particularly know what type of insomniac I am(1) but I know that I go a bit fucking balls-nuts (a phrase I coined when sleep deprived) mad when I don’t have enough sleep. I’ve had hallucinations about men with 3 arms (I wondered where he got his shirts), I went to San Diego with no plan and no money (I slept in a gutter), and purple tastes like crushed velvet (which makes the inside of my teeth itch which is as unpleasant as it sounds).  These are the more amusing highlights (more typically I get really loopy, my brain feels ‘loose’, and I get really angry/paranoid).

 

insomia meme 1

Fun fact: Christian Bale whilst preparing for this role in American Psycho studied Tom Cruise and how he behaves in normal life.

However the good news is that I’ve started on some sleeping medicines that usually work(2) but Ralph Roberts, the protagonist of Stephen King’s novel “Insomia” isn’t so lucky (yet?). In this post I’m trying something a little different than the usual book review format.  In interest of being able to post more often with compromising my desire to read anything I want despite the page length, I’m trying this thing where I do “first impressions” and depending on both the length of the book and the amount of time it takes me to read the book I will be doing follow up pieces which include “midpoint impressions”, a proper book review, and maybe a “final thoughts” piece where I write something after the has sunk in.

The book opens in a similar fashion as the Disney movie “Up” does with a prologue that paints the picture of an elderly couple in the dusk of their marriage.  Ralph Roberts wife Carlyon has a terminal illness that keeps her in a constant state of physical and mental pain which is deeply heartbreaking. My first thought was that it was gonna take a few hundred pages for King to kill Carlyon but she ends up dying before Chapter One (and yes I cried a little bit).  What’s interesting is that Carlyon’s death is a seriously small side story in the picture being painted so far. Just prior to her death Ralph had some strange experiences. Before she died he could hear a “death clock” ticking, not as a metaphor for his grief but as he describes it as a literal constant “tick-tick-ticking” that stopped when she died.

Another strange thing that happened is he saw his usually mild manouored neighbor Ed Deepeau getting into a paranoid fueled violent altercation with another guy claiming that he had dead babies in fertilizer barrels in the bed of the guy’s truck.  After the the altercation Ralph is getting a ride home from a friend and draws a Chinese symbol (or so they say in the book and it kinda looks like it to my best guestimation(3)) which he has no idea where it came from or what it means.

Other than that, most of the plot has been establishing how small the town of Derry, Maine is and the daily dramas that happen in a tight knit community but there is this mounting sense that something just past the edge of the pages is coming.  One of the clues has to do with this voice that speaks to Ralph but as it’s been presented so far it “feels” like his interior monologue but I cannot say specifically why it isn’t but I am pretty confident that it is something “not-Ralph”. There has also been mention of this entity “The Crimson King” which is supposed to be returning.  The mention of this mostly comes from Ed Deepneau, the wife beating piece of shit, whilst Ed is in some strange paranoid rant. From the first time we meet Ed, from Ralph’s perspective, Ed has been “out of sorts”. Ralph notices that Ed has been acting increasingly paranoid, violent, and generally like “someone else” which leads me to believe that maybe he was a nice guy once or at least a slightly less belligerently violent and paranoid person.

Paranoia_meme

I’m pretty sure I’ve used this exact facial expression in times of great confusion whilst trying to understand flavours of crazy that are beyond my own.

I suspect these things have some ties into King’s Dark Tower series(4)(of which I haven’t read, YET), particularly “The Crimson King” reference, however I am REALLY trying to avoid spoilers but I may end up reading up on the Stephen King Multiverse because that shit deeply impresses and intrigues me.

stephen king multiverse chart

Marvel’s Cinematic “multiverse” can eat a dick.

So far, the book is good however it is what I would catagories as a… “sleeper” (HAHAHA I’m sorry but puns are funny and if you’re one of those fucks who repeats the stupid fucking phrase “puns are the lowest form of humour” then maybe you can stop reading my blog? I don’t know either way you make a little sad because not only is that phrase untrue, dick and fart jokes are the lowest form of humour [because they’re about

joker imaginary fans

Have I ever mentioned that as far as comic characters I most identify with the Joker?

baseline bodily functions] but puns utilise many linguistic tools from rhyming to double entrendas and abstract thinking, anyway I should stop yelling at my imaginary audience (INSERT PIC OF JOKER “SOME PEOPLE HAVE IMAGINARY FRIENDS BUT I HAVE IMAGINARY FANS!)) becuase it has been slow but I only being 126 pages in, of 663 pages, I’m sure things will get intense soon and around then I’m sure the book will be GIVING me Insomnia in that way really good books tend to.

 

bobby hill insomia meme

Stay tuned, folks: more to come on “Insomnia” and I promise there will be more comics coming (my next focus is to get a few comics drawn for Act II of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie: Reluctant Partners in Crime”)

-fin

Footnotes:

  1. I suspect I have Cromoid Insomnia but here are many different types as you can read more about here.
  2. Lunesta is one hell of a hallucigen if you are able to manage to stay awake.  The last time it didn’t work part of me was laying in bed but the rest of me was going on an epic adventure 20,000 leagues under the sea with Captain Nemo wrestling sharks with my bare hands and, for some reason, flying out in space in the same submarine searching for the pearl of eternity which was supposed to grant us time travel capabilities with the side effect that our hands would randomly turn into Portuguese speaking gerbils. We were convinced it was worth it.
  3. I eat a lot of Chinese food.
  4. I recently had my mind fucking blown when I learned about Stephen King’s Multiverse despite the fact that since I was 10 I’ve read maybe 20 of his books which might be more than I’ve read form any single author.

An Update on A Band of Misprints and The Adventures of Fin & Louie (announcements)

Happy Saturday!

By EXACTLY zero popular demand here is the anti-anticipated maybe-but-probably-not awaited official update on “A Band of Misprints” Book 1 in The Big River Chronicles AND “The Adventures of Fin & Louie”

So Marc, one of my lovelies, got me a cream-worthy-cool present: a pad of giant post-it notes.  I got to work almost immediately.

A Band of Misprints (update)

total map

The Full Map

So this thing may look like a giant jumble but I have it broken down into smaller sections.

Here is a rough sketch of the city of Big River which is the city in which The Big River Chronicles takes place:

big river map

Big River Map

Then in the first book, A Band of Misprints, most/all of the narrative takes place in The Neighborhood:

cul de sac map.jpg

The Neighborhood Map

I have 3-4 main characters, depending on how you/I count, and I’ve made a relationship map for each main character.

freak and danny.jpg

Freak and Danny character map

brain char map

Brain character map

slick char map.jpg

Slick character map

progress log 1

Looks promising right?

So based on this list of statics…I’m no where close to finished.  I would like to think that prose writing will go much faster now that every time I say “I’m going to work on some stuff” I write rather than “sit down at the computer fully intending ‘to write’, open google docs, realise I’m flailing around with no particular plan in mind but brute force pushing forward with chapter writing, cry a little on the inside at how overwhelmed I feel and generally how that makes me feel like a failure as a writer, play on facebook for a while, smoke a few cigarettes, watch some childrens’ show (Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, etc) for ‘inspiration’ (both a distraction and self consoling from my inside weeping because of insecurities)”, however dog only knows how long this first draft will take however I am confident I will have the first part, written in full prose and all, finished…lets say: by my birthday this year (23rd Sept).  Realistically, I think I will be done with the first part sooner than that but I’m being kind to “Future Blake”.

 

 

The Adventures of Fin and Louie (update)

So I finished the first story arc in the first trilogy of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie”: Looking for a Friend(1) and the story so far can be found here: “The Adventures of Fin & Louie”.

Now I’ve had the general direction of this trilogy in mind: “Looking for a Friend”, “Fin & Louie: Partners in Crime” and [Sir Title Hasn’t Been Announced Yet].

sir not here

The only spoiler I’m  releasing right now.

I am thinking about redrawing all the comics in “Looking for a Friend” story arc on one piece of giant post-it with intention of being able to fit the other two story arcs on a piece of giant post-it as well.  I may make them into posters or something someday.  File that in the same place as my “I’ll make stickers/coasters for sale” statement (it’ll happen…someday when I have spare money or demand [if I get requests, I WILL find the money like yesterday])

I have not forgotten about the other projects I’m working on (“hair.” and “The St Louis Experience”).  I have no idea when I will get closer to doing anything material with “hair.” however “The St Louis Experience” is something I might be able to start this spring.  I would like to but here is my priority list of projects (my life is a waltz that goes like “family, work, projects”):

  1. The Adventures of Fin & Louie/OBOP
  2. A Band of Misprints/The Big River Chronicles
  3. The St Louis Expierence
  4. hair.
  5. Everything Else

I will try to have another post up for Monday, a lot has been on my mind lately (personal, creative, projects, work, life in general) so I’m pretty sure I will be able to churn something out for Monday, if not know that it’s probably because I was getting into a fight with the Easter Bunny.

easter bunny riot

I fucking love Mall Rats.

So stay tuned, good things are coming.  Maybe more frequently.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

-fin

Footnotes:

  1. You’ve thunk a writer like me could have found a easier way to phrase that, wouldn’t ya?

So Long and Thanks for All the Wobbly Chicken (The Adventures of Fin & Louie)

Image

Happy Saturday!

So Long and Thanks for all the Wobbly Chicken.jpg

…and this is why we only eat fish on Good Friday, right?

Here is the THRILLING conclusion to the “Looking for a Friend” story arc in The Adventures of Fin & Louie.  To see the adventure so far, visit this page: The Adventures of Fin & Louie.

Stay tuned for more content coming soon!  (I will post again today and hopefully again  Monday but don’t hold your breath but don’t hold your breath).

-fin

Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians (Book Rev)

Happy Monday!

A few weeks ago I wrote a review of Serial Reader (full review here) and in my review I mentioned having an unofficial and non-intentional avoidance for kindle readers.

I really don’t know why I have had this unofficial kindle reader boycott, maybe it’s because I avoid apps that want me to enter payment information or something.  I think it’s a money-fueled-fear aversion. Or maybe I’m a trendsetter. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Source: Serial Reader (app review) footnote 1

However since then my friend has given me his old kindle fire with the book recommendation “Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians”

alcatraz

So today’s post has 3 parts:

  1. An update on Serial Reader (I have found more bugs since the initial review)
  2. A review of the book Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians
  3. Initial impressions of the Kindle Fire

Update on Serial Reader:

I’ve gone through a few phones since I wrote about Serial Reader(1) and one thing I’ve noticed is that I have trouble signing into my account across devices despite the “forgot password?” feature.  The issue this brings up is that when you have to “re-create an account” (I literally had 3 accounts under the same email, same password) you lose your place in your book(s) and have to wait until the serial catches up to where you were in your book UNLESS you get a premium membership (pretty reasonable at about 3$) however the issue remains: IF I CANNOT SIGN IN, I CANNOT ACCESS MY ACCOUNT PREMIUM OR FREE-MIUM.  This being the case, I’ve lost my place in the two books I was reading(2) a couple of times each.

Also it had this relatively minour/inconsistent bug where it doesn’t keep my place.  It most often happened when I finished a chapter and then the next time I came back to read, it started me at the end of the last chapter instead of where I was into the next chapter.

So all things considered, I can recommend Serial Reader if you’re not going to change devices anytime soon but because of this issue I do have trouble recommending it for purchase.

Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians Book Review:

Alcatraz Vs The Evil Librarians is about the titularly named character, Alcatraz Smedry, who is really good at breaking things.  Not like being clumsy or destructive, in fact Alcatraz makes a very specific distinction between “break” and “destroy”\

There was that word again. Destroy. I felt my hair bristle in annoyance. I don’t destroy things, I thought. I break them. They’re still there when I’m finished, they just don’t work right anymore.

Page 9

Shortly after accidentally burning down his foster parents’ kitchen we’re introduced to the eccentric Grandpa Smedry who reveals “Yer a wizard Alca…” No I’m sorry that was uncalled for, this book isn’t a Harry Potter knock off.  For one thing, this book is much better(3). These books are very self aware in the currently fashionable post-modern style which includes that Alcatraz will speak to the reader directly and frequently, often noting how this being a story about his life and him as a character.  We learn that the world we know is under the rule of a network of evil librarians (though why they’re evil is never fully explained…) and that there is another world somewhere around ours (I suspect it’s an “occupies the same space but not the same time” kind of situation but again, not entirely explained in this first installment) and it’s up to the extended and extensive Smedry family to recover Alcatraz’s father’s life work: The Sands of Rashid (which was stolen by the evil librarians).

I’ve mentioned before about my general reluctance to get involved in book series that span more than 1200 pages and/or 3 books however this series started and ended so very strongly that I’m interested in at least reading the next couple of books (there’s a total of 5 books and book 2 and 3 would have to be pretty amazingly bad for me not to try and power through the last couple of books).  I will be taking a break on the series for a couple of books (variety keeps me going) but stay tuned because I do plan to review more as the series goes.

Thoughts on the Kindle Fire:

It’s pretty brilliant.  I am a bit reluctant to admit it, it’s like admitting to liking Taylor Swift (just her early stuff, like most songs before the “Red” album), but I’m coming out and saying that I like it a lot so far.  It just has too many damn features that I love, like the blue light mode, the highlight and note system, even the fucking cover is brilliant. The only things I kinda don’t like is that it’s a little too “COME BUY EVERYTHING! We’ll make it obnoxiously easy…” however I guess that’s apart of its brilliance.  In Google/Amazon we trust (in a capitalist society, who needs governments anyway? I’m sure someday when Google or Amazon, if one doesn’t buy the other first, buys the US Government, Okay Google/Alexa will be happy to answer my question).

 

Footnotes:

  1. I’m really rough on phones.  I blame my first phone, an old sprint sanyo , mostly because it was a fucking tank.  I got that phone just as I graduated high school and it went through a litany of punishment, including one time where I played beer pong
    sanyo

    This phone was a tank.

    with it, and it JUST. KEPT. GOING.  I appreciate that phones have gotten much more complex and fragile since then but it seems to come at the cost of being so damn fragile.

  2. The Sleeper Awakens by H.G. Wells and House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
  3. I read the first 2 Harry Potter books and really just couldn’t get into them.  The movies were okay. I’ve seen them all once because of my kid sister otherwise I probably would have quit them too after movie 4 I think.  I remember there was a lull a bit around half way through the series.

 

***WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW***

 

Thoughts on the story:

“‘…we’re here to interfere! We’re trying to overthrow Librarian domination of the Hushlands, after all.’ ‘Why not just let people live their lives, and live yours?”

Page 112

This is an excellent question and one that gives me the feel that these Smedrys are acting as “world police” liberating people, who didn’t ask for it, and with out regard for the consequences of crumbling a regime that in, the cannon of this story, is fairly peacefully and the further consequences of the sequential awareness of said “evil regime”.  Alcatraz frequently mentions things like “I am no hero” and “I am not a good person” which makes me wonder if this is a foreshadowing of a moral crisis he will have later in the series.

“Do you have to have a point if you’re an evil sect of Librarians?” Bastille asked with annoyance.

Page 145

This begs the question: Does evil have a “point”? (read: purpose) or more generally does any morality have a “point”? This, being a quote from one of the “heroes”, goes unchallenged which does trouble me a bit because it implies that Bastille, a native of The Free Kingdoms and a child still, has never been challenged to think about WHY librarians are evil and if there is a purpose to the things they do.

“The Scrivener [the founder of the evil librarian cult]. He taught that the world is too strange a place — that it needs to be ordered, organized, and controlled.  One of Biblioden’s teachings is the Fire Metaphor. He pointed out that if you let fire burn free,it destroys everything around it. If you contain it, however, it can be very useful. Well, the Librarians think that other things — Oculatory powers, technology, Smedry Talents — need to be contained too.”

Page 145

This is an interesting philosophy but one that’s kinda one dimensional.  The deal with fire, both in reality and as a metaphoric symbol for society, is that in small amounts it can be sustained without burning everything in sight without oversight.  Once a fire/society gets beyond a certain size, it can/will grow out of control without oversight. Now to continue this metaphor, a small fire may be able to contain it self but it hasn’t enough energy to do much whereas a large uncontained fire has enough energy to do a great many things but without oversight it will consume everything in sight which would be an effective waste of said energy.  It comes down to the debate between Anarchism and Statism. Anarchism can work in societies up to a certian size but beyond that size it falls into a “Lord of the Flies” brutalism just as Statism works on large societies but when applied to too small of a society it becomes a sort of fiefdom. I’m not saying absolute of either works in any size society but a blind acceptance/rejectance of an opposing ideology is generally foolish.

“Librarians named mountains after themselves — just like they named prisons after [Smedrys].”

Page 158

Still not sure of the significance of this but it’s certainly interesting.

“So, my parents game me up so that they would make a spy out of me?” [Alcatraz] asked.

Page 293

This is some fucked up “the ends justify the means” shit here.  I am more strongly suspecting that The Free Kingdoms have some more problems than is let on in this first book.

What did you expect? That [Grandpa Smedry] would leave [Alcatraz] here all summer, in the exact place where your enemies know where to look? With people that aren’t even your family? In a place you don’t really like, and that is depressingly normal compared to the world you’ve grown to love? Doesn’t that seem a little stupid and contrived to you?

Page 306

Damn…that’s got to be shots fired at Harry Potter.

Okay folks, that’s all I have for you today.  I’m working on finishing the “Looking for a Friend” story arc in The Adventures of Fin & Louie.  If you’re interested in catching up on back issues, they can be found on my new page: The Adventures of Fin & Louie

-fin

Ramshackle Glory – Live the Dream (album review)

Happy Tuesday!

live the dream

Ramshackle Glory is the final band that Pat the Bunny was in/started before he retired in 2016.  Pat seems to write albums that are heavily autobiographical, this one being no exception. Pat the Bunny is one of those artists that I discovered in the last couple of years where from the first album I listened to by him, Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, I thought “HOLY FUCKING CHEDDAR! This kid has a goddamn voice!”  I mean that both literally and lyrically, like if you listen to Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains (link here) his lyrics are deep but his voice is so “ugly beautiful”.  He is also one of the few artist who has made me jealous because when I started doing research into him, I found out the bastard is like MY FUCKING AGE (I turn 30 this year, for the record). Jealous not because of the life he’s lived, honestly I have pity for the unexplainable amounts of pain and drama he must have experienced, but for the depth of his ability as an artist.  Sometimes life is just but it’s usually never fair.

your heart

This is my favourite song, I might even get a tattoo of this image at some point.

Speaking of just and fair, Ramshackle Glory’s first album deals heavily with ideas of freedom particularly with regard to the things which hold us back such as grief, substance abuse, and political against. This isn’t to say Pat doesn’t have a sense of humour, which can be seen from his track titles “We Are All Compost in Training”, “Vampires are for Poseurs” and “First Song, Part 2” and lyrics like “No one needs to tell me how to get (get get) down // But won’t somebody show me how to get back up? // I thought about killing my landlord, but he was pretty nice// Instead, I paid my rent on time as often as I could” and “Who needs brakes when it’s all down hill from here?”\

Album Summary:

Live the Dream is Ramshackle’s first album is a folk-punk memoir concept album about presumably Pat the Bunny (the lead singer) and some of the friends he mentions throughout the album, specifically Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist.  The half of the album is a sort of descent into what seems to be a deeply low but ultimately growing period in his development as a person and an artist which said growth is gradually built up in the second half of the album. The second half of the album is both rhythmically and lyrically more uplifting and progressing through to the climax song (which is also my favourite song) Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist and the the outro song “First Song, part 2” which can be seen as a “redemption song” opening with “I took the needle out of my arm about a year ago today// ever since then i’ve been taking the needle out of my brain”.  Overall it’s a rough but excellent album well worth listening all the way through for the appreciation of both the self referential and narrative lyrics starting with the lyric from the first song “But nothing’s been quite the same since you shot yourself” which seems to be a reference to Chuck in Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist.

Track List:

live the dream 2

Live the Dream (full album)

  1. First Song (lyrics) (2.27)
  2. More About Alcoholism (lyrics) (2.43)
  3. We Are All Compost in Training (lyrics) (3.18)
  4. From Here Till Utopia (Song for the Desperate) (lyrics) (6.40)
  5. Never Coming Home (Song for the Guilty) (lyrics) (4.04)
  6. Vampires are Poseurs (Song for the Living) (lyrics) (2.50)
  7. Of Ballots and Barricades (lyrics) (1.44)
  8. Bitter Old Man (lyrics) (4.18)
  9. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist (lyrics) (3.40)
  10. First Song, Part 2 (lyrics) (3.20)

Song Notes:

First Song

  • But nothing’s been quite the same since you shot yourself

I don’t know if you believe in ghosts; I hope you’d haunt me if you were one

More About Alcoholism

-(I fully realise the irony of not having any notes about this song)

We Are All Compost in Training

From Here Till Utopia (Song for the Desperate)

Aren’t big enough for the vowels that

I try to fit inside of them (IOU)

  • When I was young, I drank too much, and I’d be lying if I said

I didn’t feel so goddamn young tonight

  • Like if freedom means doing what I want

Well, don’t I gotta want something?

And won’t you tell me that we want something more than just more beer?

I’d be out of excuses for the way

I waste away in the gutters that I chose desperate but not desperate enough

  • Because there’s gotta be something more

Than lying in the front yard, naked, screaming at the constellations

I want something more than an apology to say

When I look the world in the eye

I’ll tell you, man, my friend William came to me with a message of hope

It went: “Fuck you and everything that you think you know

If you don’t step outside the things that you believe

They’re gonna kill you.”

He said: “No one’s gonna stop you from dying young and miserable, and right

If you want something better, you gotta put that shit aside.” i love this

Never Coming Home (Song for the Guilty)

The lights are on, you’re standing up screaming at a ghost again

Darling, I’m home, hell I ain’t left this house of ours in days

But I’m not here. I never am, so I just can’t stay this song is so sad

Vampires are Poseurs (Song for the Living)

  • You could set a watch by the bottle returns and the ashtrays overflowing on the floor I love this  line, also i love the sound at this part of the song

-one of my favourite songs on the album (close to your heart)

  • I hope we choose the right war

Cause I’ve been fist fighting gravity since the day I learned how to breathe

I still wake up on the same cold floor I fell asleep on

So I won’t, but we shall overcome someday

I can’t do it alone, but I shall be free someday

I don’t know how to live, but I’m sick of learning how to die very nice

  • But the past was a mine field, and right now is a prison break

I hope we make it alive so nice

Of Ballots and Barricades

There have been thieves since there’s been property

And the way will come again when none of those things are around

I just hope it’s before people go extinct hahaha

Bitter Old Man

-catalonia 1936 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Catalonia

How could they?

Full of naive optimism;

A teenager’s heartbreaking conviction that

Things can be different, oh yeah

Things are gonna be real different when we’re finished ’round here

Fuck me man

Except when it isn’t, yeah

I woke up this morning and

I wasn’t in prison

But I can’t promise that I’m far from it

I’d still kill a man for cigarette

But with friends like you, who needs homicide? Shift in the song

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist

-my favourite song on the album

-a collection of friends and their stories he has had over the years

  • “Scott, I love you and you make me glad to be alive

I promise that I’m gonna pay you back

You always know how funny everything is

Even when I’m so serious that it’s gonna be the death of me”

I promise that I’m gonna pay you back

You always know how funny everything is

Even when I’m so serious that it’s gonna be the death of me” this is a perfect summary of my relationship with my best friend Evan (I love you bro)

First Song, Part 2

A year ago today” full circle, redemption song

I’m still an atheist

But I try to have faith in the things that will happen;

I get saved from myself when i do

So maybe “god” isn’t the right word, but I believe in you” this  gets me

 

 

 

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher (book review)

Happy Tuesday!

Okay guys, I admit that things got a bit weird last week with my Valentine’s Day post (The Golden Ass: A Valentine’s with Something for Everyone) but to your, very likely, welcoming this week I don’t have anything nearly as topical nor as weird (but if you like weird, trust me there is plenty of weird left in the tank).  No this week I have something fairly pedestrian in comparison to last week’s book, something more fantastical but in the traditional way.

This book, Furies of Calderon(1), is another series from the wonderful and imaginative Jim Butcher (best known for The Dresden Files books, I wrote a review of the first book in the series and can be seen here: Storm Front by Jim Butcher and my friend wrote a review on the comic omnibus which covers the events of the first three books here: Spoiler Free Book Review Dresden Files Graphic Novel Omnibus One).  I got this book as a xmas present from my best friend Evan and was extremely excited when my other reader friend Marc told me the backstory to the conception of this series:

How did you come up with the original idea for CODEX ALERA? We’ve heard rumours that it involved a bet on whether you could combine the Roman empire and Pokémon… is that true?

The bet was actually centered around writing craft discussions being held on the then-new Del Rey Online Writers’ Workshop, I believe. The issue at hand was central story concepts. One side of the argument claimed that a good enough central premise would make a great book, even if you were a lousy writer. The other side contended that the central concept was far less important than the execution of the story, and that the most overused central concept in the world could have life breathed into by a skilled writer.

It raged back and forth in an ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FLAMEWAR between a bunch of unpublished writers, and finally some guy dared me to put my money where my mouth was, by letting him give me a cheesy central story concept, which I would then use in an original novel.

Me being an arrogant kid, I wrote him back saying, “Why don’t you give me TWO terrible ideas for a story, and I’ll use them BOTH.”

The core ideas he gave me were Lost Roman Legion and Pokémon… Thus was Alera formed.”

(Source: “Jim Butcher chats about Pokemon, responsibility, and Changes” by Beth Johnson, guest reviewer for fantasyliterature.com)

See this series hit a golden triad of nerd-topia for me: Jim Butcher style fantasy, anime, and action/adventure.  Plus after being recommended by two different reader friends who’s tastes I trust to be closely calibrated to mine (but both of their tastes are heavier on the fantasy side, I’m more of a realism/so-fucking-weird-it-leaves-you-wondering-what-you’re-doing-with-your-life kinda freak(2)), I knew I was in for a treat.

Furies of Calderon is an early Jim Butcher work, or at least it feels like it.  Being published in 2004 he had a few Dresden Files under his belt and his experience shows in this book however that’s not to say there are no flaws with the inaugural piece in his 6 book series(3).  This book has some imperfections which doesn’t hold it back from being an excellent fantasy adventure by it self but does keep me from being driven towards the 2640 page commitment that entails the rest of the series.

So O.K. Corral style here is my thoughts on the book: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly style.

The Good:

Even this early in Butcher’s career he’s really good at misdirection or leading this reader to think that things are more grim than they are but still leaving clues to the observant to keep it fair. Let’s take an example from the second chapter after Alera and her mentor Fidelius are captured by the enemy and in a compromising position:

Aldrick drew his sword and said, “The old man [Fidelius] isn’t necessary.” He went outside the tent.

A moment later, there was a sound not unlike a knife sinking into a melon.”

(Furies of Calderon, 24)

At this point we as the readers have developed a 1.5 chapter (24 pages) bond with Almara and Fidelius and then we are lead to believe he was executed stage left however we later discover that he was faking his death and there was a literal melon being stabbed to simulate the sound of a man being cut through the gut.  It’s small details like this that make me appreciate an author more because they’re thinking about the reader’s experience reading the book a second time.

Butcher also does a good job at inciting curiosity such as only partly explaining how the “Fury magic system” works, who some characters are like (Fade? Aldrick? The fucking furies mapentire Marat “species”[are they even human?!]) and locations like most of the map beyond “Vallis Calderon” specifically what lies beyond “The Shield Wall” (okay, I admit to being a “Game of Thrones” fan(4) and I guess I’m conditioned to have curiosities about a mysterious northerly wall).

The Bad:

Okay so Jim is capable of bad writing, as I learned from this 650+ page novel.  Thankfully the bad isn’t concentrated in parts like books I could mention(5) however the mercy is spread among hundreds of too many pages in a couple of paragraphs segments:

[Pirellus] was lean with hard, fat muscle, and bore a slender, curved sword of metal blacker than mourning velvet in his hand.”

(Furies, 477)

Goddamn that’s a deadly sexy description of a serious swordsman.  This is our introduction to one of the most deadly swordsman in the cannon (as far as we know) and he was challenged by one of our main characters, Almara (as we have met from chapter one) however Butcher kind of ruins the sexy tight writing he showed us with spoon-feeding the reader exactly how deadly this Pirellus is

Pirellus was a master metalcrafter, one of the finest swordsmen alive. If he chose to engage in the duel, he could kill [Almara], and there would be little she could do to stop him. And yet it was necessary. Necessary to convince him of her sincerity, necessary for  him to know that she was willing to die to get him to act, that she would sooner die than fail in her duty to Alera, to Gaius. She stared at his eyse and focused on the task before her and refused to give in to her fear or to let it make the sword tremble at all.

(Furies, 480)

Notice this isn’t the beginning of a paragraph nor even close to the last page where we got a very distinct description of the swordsman and his prowess. It’s three pages later of sword-waving (in the metaphorical sense, Amara is a biological woman after all) and a very long paragraph of describing how deadly this Pirellus is, we are FINALLY granted some action (a page later mind) and that’s not even between her and her perceived adversary.

This nicely segues into my final and main complaint about the book which is a general complaint across most of the book but becomes most evident after page 490: the book is too long and accomplishes too little.  I’m inclined to believe Butcher was paid by the page/word for this novel because the “climax” of the book was about 150 pages and the falling action was around 20 pages). In almost 700 pages, Butcher accomplished what could have been finished (with some tight editing) in around 400 pages (give or take, I didn’t count strictly but even given space for world building, there’s still a significant amount of purple text even for a fantasy novel(6)).

The Ugly:

Thankfully there’s not much of this here.  Butcher does make some minor mistakes that did bother me (such as using too many similar names in the same story arc IE Aldrick grrm diesand Asturak, having some flat characters on both the “good” and “bad” side such as Bernard and Kord respectively, having places mentioned by name in the narrative but not appear on the map, etc) however the worst of the lot was at the end of the 150 page climax Butcher pulls a a GRRM and kills just about every character we’ve been following in this  book including my personal favourie, Fade (for the mystery mostly but also he has the best name in this  book) which is a pretty bold move.  Except that it wasn’t.  As the magic system works in this series there are healers who are capable of reviving people from the dead but it’s only available to extremely strong and experienced healers which even then it’s risky to both the healer and the patient.  So after this  long drawn out battle which has left everyone injured, dead, or otherwise indisposed, somehow there’s a healer available who can revive like 6 people (I don’t have the book in front of me but I can think of at least 3 people who are “killed”) which effectively tells me as a reader: THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES! DON’T WORRY NO ONE REALLY DIES!

Final Verdict:

This is a solid, if long, fantasy book.  I have read much worse and I have read much better.  The problem I have is that, like a blog post series, the interest nose-dives after the first installment and I won’t say I fully understand the loss of interest in every case but I can say I understand my personal loss of interest in this series beyond the beginning and that’s largely to do with the pacing of the novel and the ability for watercrafters (the healers of this magic system) to be able to reverse the condition of death even with seemingly-dire-canonical-implied-risks which ends up in being a Chekhov’s Gun full of blanks.  It’s almost like a GRRM book except remove the lasting implications of tragedy.

Overall:

I in no way regret reading this novel regardless of my apathy to continue with the series in general.  If you like high fantasy and like Jim Butcher’s works you’ll very likely like this book however if you’re like me and kinda borderline on fantasy or generally a slow reader (my main reason for not reading more fantasy novels) you might be best off renting it from the library or generally passing on this novel.  It’s an interesting world with some interesting characters but Butcher wasn’t able to cut enough fat for me to remain interested for the remainder of this series.
-fin

 

Footnotes:

  1. I keep mis-reading/mis-typing this title as “Furries of Calderon” which has an entirely different connotation. furry test
  2. A good example of the realism I like is the “dirty realism” of Bukowski (see my reveiws of Bukowski’s “Post Office” and “Notes of a Dirty Old Man”) and a good example of “o-fucking-weird-it-leaves-you-wondering-what-you’re-doing-with-your-life” is Infinite Jest by the late David Foster Wallace).
  3. I am sorry to disappoint however I will not be reviewing all 6 books in this series, which is to assume I will finish all six books.  I very likely will not for reasons that will be outlined.
  4. I specify “Game of Thrones”(GoT) versus “A Song of Ice and Fire”(ASoI&F) because as I’ve read and deeply enjoyed the first two ASoI&F books, I was warned of way way too much purple text (filler content) come book 4 and 5 whilst when I just finished ASoI&F book 2 was when GoT season 2 was ending and it seemed like a good point to segue between the book series and the HBO series.
  5. See The Pesthouse by Jim Crace book review
  6. I appreciate that due to the nature of the fantasy genre, more time and text needs to be invested in developing the world however that does not give license for the author to be redundant in descriptions nor to drop 200+ word interior monologue thought processes of the characters we are following. Let there be some blanks that my imagination can fill, please.

The Golden Ass: A Valentine’s Day Novel with Something for Everyone

Happy Tuesday!

Okay so Valentines day is tomorrow.  I have expressed how seriously I take this “holiday”(1) in the past.

However as a shameless self-promoter and a young writer/artist desperate for ever more attention as a form of validation (for a struggling artist, everyday is like being single and drunk on Valentine’s day: an emotional fucking roller coaster), I always try to jump on whatever will grab me more traffic without completely whoring out my “talents”.  Which this time of year means writing something about Valentine’s day.

This post started out as a simple etymological exploration of the English word “love”(2) and myth of Eros and Psyche, particularly inspired from the brilliant video from Overly Sarcastic Productions: Miscellaneous Myths: Eros and Psyche.

Then I remembered: this is OBOP what’s so offbeat about writing about “love” during valentines week? It’s onpoint but not offbeat.  So I. Dug. DEEPER. And what I found was…really interesting.

the golden ass

The book in question this week is one that, like the word “love”, has a few different faces and lacks the simplicity that a four letter word seems to promise.

NOTE: I haven’t read this book in it’s entirety yet.  I’m working on it but I couldn’t finish it in time however I promise this will not be the last time I visit t his unique piece of literature.  I have big plans for this rare volume.

There are more than a few interesting(3) things about this novel other than it’s rather lewd title.  The first being is that the original title was “Metamorphosis”, which as far as I can tell has very little to do with the Kafka novel of the same name, but then was renamed by St Augustine of Hippo to the more appropriate “The Golden Ass”(4) and the second is that this is the only novel from the Grecco-Roman to survive in it’s entirety.  Some one cared to make sure that this piece of literature survived the fall of the Roman empire.

As promised, The Golden Ass is about an Ass or more specifically about a man who is driven by curiosity and the desire to learn about magic and accidentally turns himself into a donkey and then goes on adventures.  These adventures include adultery, witches rasing a familyreplacing a man’s heart with a sponge, golden showers, murder, necromancy, , thievery, kidnapping, anonymous sex with an invisible being, animal cruelty, catamite priests, cuckolding, incest, and bestiality.  These are just the highlights, folks.  Truly something for everyone.

Now if you’re still with me, you might be wondering “Fin: what does this lewd and strangely appropriately titled piece of ancient literature have to do with Eros and Psyche?”

One of the inset stories in The Golden Ass is Eros and Psyche. I feel like the entirety of The Golden Ass, rather than one hand-picked and relatively tame piece, does a better job of reflecting the complexity, beauty, and occasionally taboo aspects of love.  Love, for me, in every capacity from romantic to platonic has many different forms and facets.  Sometimes love is beautiful, other times it’s gross, but most often love much more complex than just a couple of star-crossed lovers who get a lovely ending or the loyalty between individuals who have grown together and die together.

Happy Valentine’s day.

-fin

STAY TUNED: The next comic in The Adventures of Fin and Louie is coming soon (probably this week), it’ll be the second to last comic before the end of the “Looking for a Friend/Count Rubber’s Keep” story arc.

Footnotes:

  1. Valentine’s day started out as a guilt trip from a Saint named Valentinus (there are two, no one knows who it was about originally) who, according to legend, was marrying Roman soldiers illegally, they took vows not to be married, and then healed the judges blind daughter.  The judge ruled to against the Saint and the Saint wrote a farewell note reading “Farewell, your Valentine”.  At best, being someone’s “Valentine” is like a passive aggressive death curse or something.

2. Which does have an interesting and complicated history which reflects it’s relatively sloppy application because of how ambiguously it can be used from sports (Tennis) to phrases like “for love or money” roughly meaning “for anything” which it self has revealing implications of motivations.  If you’re interested, read more here: “love” etymology online dictionary

  1. I recognise that one of my weaknesses as a writer is the over-use (I prefer “liberal”) of the word “interesting” however this is one of those posts where “interesting” might be the best word to use liberally to talk about this ancient novel.

  2. I understand that St Augustine of Hippo was not, publicly, a fan of Metamorphosis and likely nicknamed the book a less polite title as a way to smear the reputation of the book.  I think the title is an improvement because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have looked into this book in the first place.