Tag Archives: 2014

Happy New Year!

First thing’s first, I was locked out of my account because I forgot where I put my list of codes to log in (typical) and  the text code feature wasn’t working, so yeah, I couldn’t post during Christmas week. A shout-out to Kris, the Happiness Engineer that got me back in. You rock, dude.

Got this cuddly widdle guy from here

I know 2014 has been absolute nonsense to some of us, sprinkled with the good things that propelled us forward. It’s 100% a possibility that is an understatement for many of people. Just thinking of last year, how close it is to this one still, rouses up some upsetting feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t like it one bit. Personally, sure I was conflicted here and there but on a more general level, a more connected-to-humanity-level I am disgusted with the senseless loss of life born of ignorance and hate, saddened and hollowed with the people lost from the air disasters and the boat ones and the train ones and those guys in the stampede in Beijing on New year’s day.

I don’t know what it takes to be someone to govern a country, city or town but it has to take a lot of brass. Every leader has his or her own agenda that affects ‘the people’ but I reflect especially on Russia and Ukraine, on whose affairs I’m not qualified on any level to speak on with any authority but that of a concerned and curious outsider, I ask not only those two leaders but all those involved in peace making in that conflict to do one thing: look at the people.

Yes, aid has pouring in as best as it could and I am at peace inside that people sill care enough (what does that tell about my outlook on humans? A post for another time probably). Again, I have not a clue about the mind numbing effort it takes to organize and make treaties and attend talks and make decisions affecting the lives of billions. But for a moment, can we all just step back from the political and religious extremism (I am not pointing fingers here) that usually start all this clusterfu-

Look, just step back, okay? Boys and men, and the girls and women in the battlefield. No longer fresh faced and ready. Angry and blank. Hot and cold. And look at the children huddled under rippling blue tarp in a hastily put together shelter some places familiar and those others foreign, alien; lost family members, festering wounds, chapped lips and spasming bellies, meticulously portioned food; mothers and fathers sick with worry, elders with bleak eyes and maps etched deep into their faces, souls ready to skedaddle out from their ears.

I am not saying that these leaders aren’t seeing because they most obviously do Continue reading

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Filed under Interests

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

via Goodreads.com

Rated: 5/5 stars

Eyes mark the shape of the city.

– page 3, 11:56 PM

Have you ever felt that a certain book could have been written just for you? After Dark is mine. Possessive, I know, that’s how it feels but then since when has a book never been personal? It’s a quiet and observant work of art, one that just states it purpose in an understated inflection that belies its significance, its message to us.

This is my first Haruki Murakami and I have fallen in love. I’ve tried so much, struggled to express into words the soft-but-firm clinging strings of the spell that the night has cast upon me. So far, I haven’t found a short version, After Dark is the long one, and it’s come close.

Commuter trains of many colours move in all directions, transporting people from place to place. Each of those under transport is a human being with a different face and mind, and at the same time each is a nameless part of the collective entity. Each is simultaneously a part of a self-contained whole and a mere part. Handling this dualism of theirs skillfully and advantageously, they perform their morning rituals with deftness and precision: brushing teeth, shaving, tying neckties, applying lipstick.
– page 241, 6:50 AM

This fact of being an individual entity and a part of an ever morphing jigsaw puzzle of existence simultaneously, has always been on the fringes of my awareness and reading this it fills me with some contentment, now that I’ve finally seen it put in a coherent arrangement of words.

Mari has made her way through the long hours of darkness, traded many words with the night people she encountered there, and come back to where she belongs.
– page 243, 6:52 AM Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Fiction, Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge

The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

via Goodreads

Rated it: 4.5 stars

Goodreads blurb

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I’ve had this on my to-read list for a couple of years, until recently I finally decided to give it a try. I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed. Percy Jackson is a smart mouthed kid, more than a little hot headed, slightly annoying, I’d say strong minded when it counts and vulnerable but yet ready to take chances. In the beginning I was thinking if he could get more complaining it’s going to be a problem, however, as it turned out he was okay.

Prior to reading this I was aware of Harry Potter parallels. There are certainly similarities, I can make a list now that I’ve finished; there’s the twelve cabins of the major Gods and Goddesses (twenty in all) in the place of the four houses for example. It’s no problem to me because whatever those intersecting concepts are they have valid purposes, it doesn’t seem like a cut-and-paste.

Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Children's Literature, Fantasy, Fiction, Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge, Young Adult