Last on the Card, July 2021

Self cannot believe we’re in August!

Please let her make it to at least December. Please don’t let Delta Variant come HERE!

Thanks to bushboy’s world for hosting this unique challenge.

Story # 13, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

Feathertop, A Moralized Legend

by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864)

These writers don’t live very long! Looking at Nathaniel Hawthorne’s dates: he died at 60.

It is a great relief to read the opening sentence: “Dickon,” cried Mother Rigby, “a coal for my pipe!”

That is classic, that is beautiful.

The story before this one was very, very long, and self struggled with it for most of the day. She finally had to acknowledge defeat and leave it unfinished.

The “classic” stories she has read so far (an asterisk means the story found favor with her)

  • The Queen’s Son, by Bettina von Arnim
  • Hans-My-Hedgehog, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm *
  • The Story of the Hard Nut, by E. T. A. Hoffmann *
  • Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving
  • The Luck of the Bean-Rows, by Charles Nodier *
  • Transformation, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley *
  • The Nest of Nightingales, by Theophile Gautier
  • The Fairytale About a Dead Body, Belonging to No One Knows Whom, by Vladimir Odoevsky
  • The Story of the Goblin Who Stole a Sexton, by Charles Dickens *
  • The Nose, by Nikolai Gogol
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Story of Jeon Unchi, by Anonymous

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Season of Agapanthus and Plums

Self is leery of an awful neighbor who’s been marching up and down with a leaf blower. But the agapanthus in the backyard are glorious! They’re growing right next to her plum tree.

She’s posting this for Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge.

M. Night Shyamalan, End of July 2021

Self read one review before watching Old. The review said the film had a silly ending. That didn’t worry self. She knows M. Night Shyamalan movies. At their worst, they’re supernatural hokum. But if he sells it, there is a feeling after watching an M. Night Shyamalan movie that is never there at the end of a Christopher Nolan movie, in self’s humble opinion. And she’s seen almost every Christopher Nolan movie (except Dunkirk)

The young actors and actresses are very, very good. Well, the old ones — especially Rufus Sewell — are good as well. It was nice to see Ken Leung in a movie, and in a kind of crucial role.

This isn’t really a horror movie, but by the end, self was vested.

Okay, there was one development that was borderline ridiculous, and it involves a pregnancy. She wants to talk about it more, but she doesn’t want to drop any spoilers.

This is such a strange movie-watching year. When she tried to think of another recent movie that called forth the same pure joy (despite silliness), the only movie she could think of was Mortal Kombat. Truly, Mortal Kombat made self so nostalgic that when she finally heard the immortal lines “Finish him!” and “Get over here!” she wanted to stand up and cheer!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Final July #TreeSquare Challenge

Self has had so much fun this month, posting pictures of trees. Thank you to Becky at Life of B for hosting this challenge!

On this last day, she will return to Annaghmakerrig Lake in Ireland, which is beautiful in all seasons.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge: Agapanthus

It’s been a few weeks since self posted to Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge, but all self’s agapanthus are in bloom now, so here you go!

Gogol

In Story # 10 of The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, a man finds a nose in his soup. Not only does he find a nose in his soup, he knows exactly whose nose it is, because the man is or was a regular in his barbershop.

What he doesn’t expect is that his wife will immediately accuse him of having murdered his customer.

Wow, Gogol.

There was another story like that earlier in the book, but that was about a corpse getting lost. And the MC was drunk at the time, so there is a suggestion that he might have been dreaming.

Here, not only does the unfortunate MC have to figure out what to do with the nose, but his wife won’t stop screaming at him. So he walks out of his house with the nose in his pocket.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Story #10, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

The Nose, by Nikolai Gogol (Ukrainian, 1809 – 1852)

translated by Claud Field

You will notice that self moved rather quickly through the Dickens story (Story #9). That means self found it engaging. Unlike the Mary Shelley story (Story # 6), which had the most laborious pace, and took self almost an entire day to read. The only time self was truly interested in Shelley’s story was when the ugly, hunchbacked dwarf appeared and offered to exchange bodies with the (stupid) main character. After that, it moved along at a fairly brisk pace.

Anyhoo, Story # 10 has a great opening sentence:

  • On March 25, 18__, a very strange occurrence took place in St. Petersburg.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Story # 9, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

Dickens!

The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton reads like a precursor of A Christmas Carol. Only MUCH more interesting, because instead of the ghost of Bob Marley, we have goblins in a graveyard.

The story contains a paean to womankind:

  • He saw that women, the tenderest and most fragile of all God’s creatures, were the oftenest superior to sorrow, adversity, and distress; and he saw that it was because they bore, in their own hearts, an inexhaustible well-spring of affection and devotion.

Nice! That’s because Dickens’s wife took care of their (13?) children while he wrote and had dalliances with other women.

Had Dickens not had a wife, he wouldn’t have been able to be so prolific. Oh well, sucks for the wife.

Question: Why is a sexton digging graves at midnight? He says that’s his job, but — really? A sexton was expected to dig graves?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 18: Monterey Trees Part 2

Although self was not able to post as much as she wanted for the July #TreeSquare Challenge, she tried to make up for it in the past week.

Thank you again, Becky, for hosting this challenge!

Took these pictures a few days ago. They’re from the garden behind the Alta Bakery, 502 Munras St., Monterey.

P.S. The bakery had a line out the door!

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