Posted by: Mark | September 20, 2017

List of 90: Part 2

More of the wrong reading list I was given in grad school.

31. Samuel Johnson, “Vanity of Human Wishes,” Rambler No. 5, Idler No. 31, and the lives of Cowley, Pope, and Milton.” I read a few for a class but now I can’t remember which.

32. Fielding, Tom Jones. I read about 80% for a class.

33. Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice. As mentioned before, one of my shameful misses.

34. Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. God, I can’t remember if I read them or not.

35. Wordsworth, “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads, Books 1, 2, 6, 12, and 14 of The Prelude, and “Ode: Intimations of Immortality.” Again, can’t remember.

36. Coleridge, “The Eolian Harp,” “This Lime-Tree Bower,” “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Kubla Khan,” “Work Without Hope,” “Frost at Midnight, ” and “Dejection: An Ode.” I read the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan but I don’t think any of the others.

37. Keats, “Chapman’s Homer,” “When I Have Fears,” “The Eve of St. Agnes,” “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” “To Autumn,” “Ode to Psyche,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode on Melancholy,” and “Ode on Indolence.” I know I read the first one but can’t remember the rest.

38. Shelley, “Mont Blanc,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty,” “Ode to the West Wind,” “England in 1819,” Prometheus Unbound, “A Defence of Poetry,” “To a Sky-Lark,” and “Adonais.” What, no “Ozymandias”? I know that by heart but I don’t remember the rest.

39. Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Introduction and Chapts. 2 and 4. Didn’t read.

40. Shelley, Frankenstein. Read it freshman year.

41. Bronte, Jane Eyre. Read it about four times.

42. Browning, Men and Women. Didn’t read it.

43. Browning, selections from Aurora Leigh contained in The Norton Anthology (5th ed.) and Rossetti, “Goblin Market.”  I read “Goblin Market” but don’t have The Norton Anthology.

44. Arnold, “Dover Beach,” “The Scholar Gypsy,” and prose selections from The Norton Anthology (5th ed.). I think I read some but not all.

45. Dickens, Our Mutual Friend. Not this Dickens.

46. Eliot, Middlemarch. Not this Eliot.

47. Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Never finished it.

48. Wilde, The Importance of Being Ernest. Didn’t read it at the time but I have about six times since.

49. Freud, Dora. Nope.

50. Shaw, Man and Superman. Not this Shaw.

51. Conrad, Joseph, “Heart of Darkness.” Not at the time but have since.

52. Yeats, “No Second Troy,” “To a Friend,” “Magi,” “Easter 1916,” “The Second Coming,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Leda and the Swan,” “Among School Children,” “Byzantium, “Lapis Lazuli,” “The Circus Animals’ Desertion,” and “On Baile’s Strand.” I remember most of them but should look up Circus Animals.

53. Kafka, The Trial. Read “The Metamorphosis. ”

54. Woolf, To The Lighthouse. Read it. Then found out I had an entirely different reading list. But this was on it!

55. Beckett, Waiting for Godot. Not at the time but since then.

56. Lessing, The Golden Notebook. Never read it.

57. O’Casey, Juno and the Paycock. Never read it.

58. Churchill, Top Girls. Never read it.

59. Rowlandson, A Narrative of the Captivity. This sounds good bUT I haven’t read it.

60. Bradstreet, selections from The American Tradition (Random House, 6th ed.). And finally, I can’t remember.

Posted by: Mark | September 19, 2017

Lotta Tears

The concept of the ideal man has changed since the days of ancient Greece. For one thing, a man was proud to have a small penis and a man with a big one was ashamed .

For another, men burst into tears several times a day. Crying in public was seen as a sign of passion, not weakness. Showing emotions might be a change of pace but it even grated Greek women. At one point, Helen of Troy had to drug a dinner party’s wine to keep the men from incessant crying. Bottling up emotions didn’t become manly for centuries.

On a related sad note, Devilgirl found out Pikachu died. Would she have been better off knowing in April? I’m not sure about anything anymore.

Posted by: Mark | September 18, 2017

The Odyssey

Of all the works that I felt ashamed of not finishing, The Odyssey makes me feel the worst.

I should have read it in high school but resorted to Cliff Notes. I could have read it any time since then but never bothered.

I’m starting it as a new resolution. My copy isn’t the best translation but I’ll do my best.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2017

Two New Games

I had a short time at game day this afternoon but did get to play two new games.

Killer Bunnies has been around for a while. It’s a card/dice game with a large number of both. The cards are pretty funny and offer many options for play. Winning relies more on chance than I expected. Bunnies buy or win numbered carrot cards and at the end a random number is picked. One player might have 19 carrots and the other only one, but if that one number comes up, it’s an upset.

I didn’t enjoy it very much but that’s 99% because of a spilt can of Mountain Dew than anything else. I’ll try to play it again.

Miskatonic School for Boys is another card/board game. It’s basically a reverse version of Guess Who. It’s billed as a Lovecraftian game but the play doesn’t have much to do with Cthulu. Players are supposed to be Elder Gods possessing the bodies of school boys and have to figure which one through asking each other questions. No spells. No monsters.

The artwork on the cards is well made but it needs more Lovecraft, and I’m not sure how that would be possible in the current game. It definitely could use an expansion set of  some kind with a higher percent of cosmic horrors.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2017

Green Frog Keeps Eating

Looks like I was worried about nothing. Green Frog ate his worm after a few minutes of staring at it. My theories of amphibian behavior are out the window.

Posted by: Mark | September 16, 2017

Betta Report

The bettas have thinned out to a nearly manageable number. That means we’re due for a huge shipment.

9 female veiltail
9 male crowntail
8 male doubletail
6 male deltatail
4 male veiltail
3 female crowntail
3 male dragonscale
3 male elephant ear
3 male halfmoon
3 male king
3 male paradise
2 male butterfly
2 male halfmoon doubletail
2 male halfmoon doubletail plakat
1 male halfmoon plakat
1 female koi
1 male koi
1 male rose petal
1 baby boy
1 baby girl

66 tubs in all and nobody died since August 28.

Posted by: Mark | September 16, 2017

Resolution Update 39

Bad week for most everything. I had some sort of illnesa but I’m getting better.

1. Run 730 miles – Nothing this week – 454.4 miles overall.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts –1,729 push ups and 1,877 leg lifts. Nothing again.

3. Lose weight – didn’t check again. Nothing.

4. Support 24 local artists – still two. Nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – 25 submissions.Nothing.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 35,221 words and six completed stories. Something.

7. Read all the New Testament – Complete.

8. Read The Nature of Things — Complete.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – Complete.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 182. 118 to go.

11. Read The Song of Roland — Complete.

12. Read The Poem of El Cid – Complete.

13. Read Dante’s Paradise – Complete.

14. Read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym – Complete.

15. Read 100 Years of Solitude – Complete.

Posted by: Mark | September 15, 2017

One Hundred Years of Solitude

It took me a while but I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude. Compared to Finnegans Wake, it was a quick read.

When I watched Fellini’s Satyricon, I remember thinking, “This is good but not as good as everyone says it is.”

Then the end hit and I thought, “No, that really was as good as they say it is.”

After decades of teaching literature and talking about magical realism, I feel like I just figured out how it’s different from fantasy.

I had read “The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” but now that feels closer to fantasy. I’m going to have to change my whole class plan on genre and mode day.

I wish I knew more about the history of Columbia before I read the book. I think I would have understood it better.

After Dante’s Paradise and Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, I was starting to wonder if I should keep up on reading goals. This restored my faith.

Posted by: Mark | September 15, 2017

Third Philosophy Class

It could have gone better but the third class was better than the first two. I forgot to post the readings during class so I doubt if anyone will finish them for next week.

Next week is over the existence of God so I think it will be better.

Posted by: Mark | September 14, 2017

Okay, what do I know about frogs?

Green Frog ate another worm today. Maybe it nothing to do with company. Maybe worms are just in season.

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