Book review of "Childhoods End" that I just posted on Goodreads

Wow what a wild ride this was--like being on one of the Overlord's spaceships... ;-) Considering this is 1950's classic sci-fi it held up quite well. The depiction of women was, um, extremely stereotypical and therefore um, lacking, but the plot was interesting enough to hold my interest.

Please don't expect me to summarize said plot though: CERAZY, at least for me the not-very-used-to-scifi person. A good book to start the year off with! The hero reminds me of Barack Obama.

Monday, January 8th

A grey day here. But warmer, so sloshy/slushy. I had an ultrasound done today - and hoping the news is not too terrible. It all went quickly, but was still uncomfortable.

What often happens now is that they post the results before the doctor (her nurse) calls with the results. This sends me into a tizzy of googling...which on the one hand helps me because it makes me feel like I'm in control but on the other hand, I can't always interpret the results adequately since I am much of medical Doctor as well take your pic: Doctor Pepper? Doctor Who.... ;-)

I rested after that in my chair: checking social media sites and "duolingo-ing" since I'm in a group that has a leaderboard and it's fun to try and be "no. 1" there... silly but who cares. Jeg er ikke rik: I am not rich, is a sentence I can remember in Norwegian. gammel means old. I do love the words. eddekoppe=spider. gaffel=fork. Etc.

I am still reading Doktor Faustus. It's going to through me off my Goodreads reading challenge because it is taking me longer than many other books would. I started it at the beginning of last year, if not earlier. It is very good though and I am so grateful I can read it in the original German.

In the morning I did some emailing and phone-calling in regards to our bathroom remodel. A long and expensive project. We will visit the showroom on Saturday.

Bill is making slow cooker pulled pork for dinner. We will have it with a salad. And maybe watch the last season of Grimm.


I don't think I'll be posting here with any regularity in the future. Of course being the extremely fickle person that I am, I might contradict myself, but this is where my mind is at right now.

You see--I have a real problem with time. Ironically, this problem becomes even more apparent when I have "time off" -- i.e. when I'm between semesters. This is when I fall into things: books, watching booktube videos, watching "planner-related" videos, thinking about my own "planning system" as it were, duolingo for learning languages, cooking a bit more than I usually do and mainly reading and thinking. About that nature of "self-consciousness" for example. Or about why the Arthur C. Clarke book I'm listening to (Childhood's End) has weird parallel moments and motifs to Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus. (The "aliens in the Clarke novel are "devils" - also scenes involving the creatures at the bottom of the oceans are to be found in both books). About the complex way Mann employs music & music theory as a motif/theme and metaphor to talk about human history and culture. About how I need to find out more about how Theodor Adorno influenced the writing of this novel. Right now I have at last three books waiting for me at inter-library loan.

This is all happening alongside the regular minutiae of everyday-life: tidying the house, daily chores, eating, watching netflix, appointments.

The compulsion to record all the myriads of thoughts and actions has one big down side: it takes too much time. Time away from the thoughts and actions themselves.

I will continue to think of ways to record the flow in written form. But replicating it here is simply too time consuming.

I am quite active on other social media: twitter, instagram -- if you find me on facebook we can be "friends" there too. Oh and I actually have another blog to which I post also rather infrequently. So even-though I won't be writing here it's still easy to figure out what I'm up to.... I will check back here to read the feed too, so replies will be seen.

Take care everyone! Happy Livejournaling!


Another brutally cold day here in Southwest Ohio! We bundled up and went to the gym (I had a training session). All went well until we tried to drive the car home and it just would not drive faster than about 10 mph. Plus all the controls were not responding as they should.

Bill managed to steer the car into a repair shop (glad it was where it was) an they're going to take a look at it. They also drive us home. So that is that. Now we're back in our cozy abode: Bill is working (He's an IT consultant and gets outsourced to different companies. In the past he has usually had to work on site during the week, but for this project he's been able to work almost always from home). I'm getting ready to do the house chores, including giving my little bathroom a good scrub down, since the room re-modelling representative is coming to take a look at it tomorrow.

Still enjolying Doktor Faustus, but also a book on the philosophy of Friedrich Schelling: it's all about how the German idealists grappled with what exactly the entity is that has thoughts: i.e. the mind, consciousness. "subjectivity cannot be understood in the same manner as the world of objects, because that which understands cannot have the same cognitive status as what it understands". Yep. good stuff. In dribs and drabs anyway....

Here's a sunny pic:

Monday, January 1st, 2017

Books read in 2017

First read to last read.

Briar Rose Jane Yolen (did not like)
Cat & Mouse in Partnership Grimm Bros (not a book but a short fairy tale, but since goodreads thinks it a book, it's here...)
The Years of Lyndon B Johnson: The Path to Power Robert Caro (audio) amazing but takes forevah gave up on volume two.
These Old Shades Georgette Heyer liked less than expected
My Brilliant Friend (audio) Elena Ferrente all these were fine. Not brilliant, just fine.
Today Will Be Diferent Maria Semple LOVED!
Story of a New Name (audio) Elena Ferrente
Gilead Mailynne Robinson AMAZING
Aganst Nature J.K. Huysman LOVED, which was not expected
The Elegance of Hedgehog Muriel Barbery (HATED!)
Am Hang Marcus Werner
Those Who Leave those who stay Elena Ferrente audio
Hold Tight Harlan Coben (thought was stupid)
The Warden (Anthony Trolope) liked a lot
The Strange Cse of the Alchemists Daughter (did not think was very well written)
Emily Alone Stewart O’Nan: LOVED --high point of the year was when he actually responded to me on goodreads with the first line of the novel he is writing about a main character in this novel!
The Lady of the Lake Raymond Chandler pretty good
Quartet in Autumn Barbara Pym liked a lot
The Story of the Lost Child (audio)
The Remains of the Day (audio) liked a lot
The Girl on the Train (audio) eh
White Hot Ilona Andrews first “romance” novel was ok
How It All Began Penelope Lively liked a lot
Stoner (audio) John Williams AMAZING

Here's a picture from last night: we ate yummy things and watched Guardians of the Galaxy, 2-which was a lot of fun.

December 31st, 2017 (New Year's Eve=Silvester).

It’s the last day of the year.
I finished listening to “Stoner” by John Williams.
Though it’s not a “happy” book, I don’t think it’s as much of a downer as others do. But that is probably because I often like films, books that others find “dreary” or “boring” or “sad”.
All life IS suffering as the Buddha said, but that’s just an observation—one has to accept that and nod and go on. That’s what Stoner did. And I actually liked the way he died. Or the way his death was described. I liked how “in his own mind” he was most of the time. Of course, there was a basic underlying passivity to his stoicism, but the older I get the more I wonder if passive acceptance might not be the best route-in most cases.
At one point he thinks his life has been a failure and he lacked integrity, but I disagree.
I have cleaned the house as much as I am going to today. (Litters, dishes, vacuum-cleaned the couch innards, de-cluttered the IKEA cart next to the breakfast/dining table. I wouldn’t mind roombaring the living room, but it can also wait till next year. (=tomorrow).
On Tuesday I need to give my little ugly bathroom a good clean, since a contractor is coming to take a look at it on Wednesday, because, joy oh joy, we’re are going to get it redone completely. It really needs it.
Feeling a bit like a Nespresso -have had a few smallish snacks (the rest of the spinach pasta, and a few of Bill’s dill potatoes he made-they were really good!).
Tonight, we will probably watch the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie since we watched the first one on New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago. We will most likely go to bed before 12. The specialness of New Year’s Eve has lost its charm. Just another night and that’s ok.
Now I might tackle the “high-minded” books I want to take a peek at on my never-ending quest to find out more about the mind, consciousness, or what ever you want to call the “thing that does the thinking”. Subject? Self? Also want to read more in Doktor Faustus, maybe Barchester.
High-minded books:

Saturday, December 30

We decided not to go to IKEA. It's cold here and we're feeling lazy. We just Krogered. I found better stuff to read regarding my obsession with "the thing that thinks" i.e. the mind, consciousness etc. Including some youtube videos by Profs. I like listening to them--nice break from reading.
Also continued with Doktor Faustus.
Cleaned the house a bit. We "roomba'd" the bedroom, in the morning I folded my scarves, they always get messy.
We finished "The Crown" and will start watching something um a bit different: The Deuce" on HBO. All about the beginnings of the adult film industry. We started last night and I was happy to see James Franco. It's been a while!
We have plenty of good eats and drinks to see us into the new year. There's a good chance we will sleep through it--just go to bed when we're tired. I know -party animals, right? :-)
Will call my sister in Germany tomorrow to wish her a Happy New Year. It's funny how in Germany people go crazy on "Silvester"--for a cautious folk, they're pretty uncautious when it comes to firecrackers and booze on New Year's Eve! Here's a picture I posted on insta today:
Lily & #Schelling

Friday, December 29

This song by Joel Alme is the reason I want to learn Swedish.

Have had a delightful morning reading about the history of consciousness:
taking cat and bird pictures:

the cat is our stray: we have named him Oscar and are glad he now sits in the "cat-igloo" we bought earlier for some other kitties we THOUGHT we strays but who were, in fact, just runaways. We're glad he goes in there now and then because it has been and apparently will continue to be cold here.

The Crown episode yesterday was disappointing: the whole boarding school narrative could have been done much better:the whole dream sequence of the sister's plane crash was overdone and cheesy. Less is almost always more! There's a leveling out - a cheapening of the emotional intensity fo the moment, that is making the whole show less enjoyable for me. I suspect it has something to do with the quality of the acting. (maybe the writing too). The young Phillip was terrible as was his sister. Even the older Phillip is beginning to grate. The best performance so far was John Lithgow as Churchill. The man playing Macmillian is good too. I'm glad "Victoria" is starting up again on PBS soon, since it's my favorite of the two shows. I love all things 19th century.

Fun fact regarding The Crown: the castle where Phillip lived in Germany is very close to my hometown in Germany! It's a more modest castle than the one they filmed the scenes from The Crown at.

Soon I will need to do chores: litter-cleaning and dishes and we will need to Kroger, per usual. We're thinking of a trip to IKEA tomorrow. (It's about 40 minutes away). We'll see.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Back from physical therapy. I don't like it when the therapist has two patients at the same time, even though I understand why it happens. I always feel like I"m the neglected one. You finish you exercises and have to just wait because you're not sure what to do next. But it was over pretty quickly. I should be better about doing my stretches and exercises at home. (I have lower back pain from facet disease, which is probably worse because of my rheumatoid arthritis). I'm pretty pain averse, and have been made to think that I'm pain-sensitive. Maybe I am maybe I'm just more vocal about the pain... ;-) The first sentence my quiet little sister uttered was "Cathie is a big fat sookie-baby". The label has stuck.... ;-) Thanks lil sister. (We're best buddies now and get along fine).

Here's a pic of us from way back when:

I'm on the right, with my bowl haircut and red corduroy pinafore. My sister wouldn't smile that's how teddy made it into the picture.

Here's a picture from today of one half of the Christmas present she sent us:
Shirley approves!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

So yesterday I fretted a lot about how I don't really want to post here anymore. So I'm trying a new tack: of just posting whenever, instead of making it whole big ritualistic thing. Another "chore" on my to-do list. So posting maybe become more haphazard, but it doesn't matter right?
I've started to read Trollope's "Barchester Towers", after enjoying "The Warden" this past year. (My first Trollope). I don't mind that there's a somewhat overbearing "authorial" voice. I like his style. It's a nice break from Doktor Faustus. There's still snow on the ground and it's still coooold.
Today I have to shower, clean-up the house a bit, go to physical therapy. I have a lot of other to-dos on my list, that I'll get to "whenever". At some point I'll have to begin preparing/getting ready for my Spring Semester classes. I'm teaching to sections of our "bread and butter" gen-ed course on Fairy Tales, where I get to destroy my student's fluffy notions about fairy-tales in general and Disney adaptations in particular. And as usual one section of the
German grammar review class, where students cram one years worth of German in one semester: good times! ;-)