The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘books’

Du Spreche?

Recently I decided to take my German learning attempts to the next level. That is, LEVEL 0.2. My current level is doing Duolingo every day (or close to that), which has been going well.

I thought for next steps two things might make sense – a pen pal or reading children’s books in German. I’m anti-social enough that the pen pal idea lasted about one second.

panama 1For the children’s books I googled for German children’s books to learn German and what do you know – handy results came back. Great! I ordered three books:

Morgen, Findus, Wird’s Was Geben (Tomorrow, Fundus, Will Give What … That can’t be right, but I have no idea what it is)
Eine Woche Voller Samstage (A Week of Saturdays)
Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama (Oh, How Beautiful is Panama)

I looked forward to my three books with great anticipation. When they arrived I happily took the package home, opened it, and was immediately filled with … Whatever word means the emptying of ambition. These are no children’s books! These are more like elementary to middle school books! I wanted to be treated like a 3 year old having a book read to me! Dang it!stamstage

Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama is the one I will start with. It’s the easiest of the three. In this book a bear and a tiger (adorable) are on a journey to visit Panama (super adorable). I don’t know why, or if they succeed, my German isn’t that good. And, frankly, at this point I basically open a page, type word for word what I see into Google translate and then say ‘ohhhh, ok, I knew three of those words.’

Wish me luck on my likely fruitless endeavors.

Also, lesson learned, Germans do quotes differently. For example, in Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama they use these guys: << and >>.

<<Wer wusste?>> (Who knew?)

(I have no idea what’s happening in this book … but I’m excited to stumble through it 10 years from now.)

Double Feature

Recently I finished reading Mayday Orbit by Poul Anderson and No Man’s World by Kenneth Bulmer.

In looking up Poul I was surprised to find he has quite the Wikipedia entry, he was more than just the handful of bad sci-fi books that I had assumed he would be. Of the two I enjoyed Bulmer’s book more.

FullSizeRender(1)Both books featured a main character who was an Earth (or Earth-like) male that women (whether Earthling-like or alien) found attractive, that knew how to handle himself with danger, and had a flippant/wait no I’ve planned all this/wait no I haven’t style. Basically, a bunch of less cool Han Solo precursors. Also, both of them dealt largely with civilizations that looked down or up to others as being more advanced for one reason or another (generally military might related).

I’ve included pictures of the cover of both sides of this book as an explanation for why I bought it. I love campy books, especially sci-fi.

Enough chit chat, lets get to the good stuff. Some of these quotes made me laugh out loud – the authors seemed like geeks trying to imagine what a cool guy would say or do to impress a woman. It didn’t give me much of an impression of a guy drawing on personal experience. (I’m not knocking that, I’d grasp clumsily at writing a character who is suave and debonair and end up basing it on some pre-conceived notion that probably would mostly appeal to men.)

Mayday Orbit

Altaian garments were ridiculously short on him, which was bad for morale. He thanked his elegant ohs for antibeard enzyme …

Flandry noticed once again that Bourtai was no simple barbarian. She came from a genuine and fairly sophisticated civilization, even if it was on wheels. It would be an interesting culture to visit … if he survived, which was dubious.

“Holy hopping hexaglexagons,” he mumbled in awe.

No Man’s World

She’d pierced through with her damned womanly intuition and all the denials in the universe wouldn’t alter her opinion now.

So he was being tailed, then.
So he’d have felt naked if he wasn’t.

She was wearing a transparent negligee that showed most of the things a man might want to see. As Caradine had seen them all before, many times, he could ignore them – with a slight struggle – and concentrate on the reason for their flaunting.

“You see, Mr. Carter, young Tommy Gorse was shot with a one millimeter needle-beam. A one millimeter neadle-beam that was almost certainly a Beatty. Just like the one you have under your arm.”


Literary Themed Restaurant

Recently my friends Airplanes and Battle Toads went to a restaurant called Tequila Mockingbird (which had another restaurant sitting atop it, Boo Radley). How great a name is that? (Both those, really.)

Which brings us to the next question – what would I name a literary-inspired restaurant?

  • The Old Man and the Sea Food
  • Where the Wild Games Are
  • 1984 … Different Wines
  • Brave New Swirl’d? (Swirl might take offense to this)
  • Moby Whale Dick, and Other Animal Body Parts You Wouldn’t Normally Eat
  • Pride and Preju-dis Steak is Tasty!
  • Animal Farm to Market
  • The Odyssea Food – Sweatpants Required, Shirt Optional – It’s Gonna Get Intense
    (It’s an experimental restaurant, instead of all you can eat, it’s all you will eat)
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