Monday, April 30, 2007

Update:

- Last week Laurianne was hired as an MP's assistant and so there will be no more middleman taking money from every paycheque.

- Sunday was my sister Linda's 22nd birthday. We had a nice conversation which left me very happy.

- The middleman is one of the many enigmatic men society loves to assign blame to. These men include: the middleman, the sandman, the man, the taxman, the bogeyman, the foeman, the gunman, and the strawman.

- I should clarify that Laurianne had absolutely nothing against the middleman because the middleman got her the job in the first place.

- I was perusing some of my old posts and was amazed and a little embarrassed at the number of spelling and grammar mistakes.

- I should make a spelling mistake in this bullet, that would be funny.

~ I bought some chocolate muffins which were far too soft on the outside to be considered real chocolate muffins. Disappointing.

~ Perhaps you notice that the hyphen I am using for the comment above is not a hyphen at all, but a tilde (or squiggle or twiddle.) I think it looks rather sophisticated. Too bad I have nothing sophisticated to say.

~ I thought about using an asterisk for the bullets, but then I thought that maybe people would start looking at the bottom of this post for footnotes.

~ I'm not sure how to put the tilde on top of a letter. The internet informs me that the tilde that goes on top of a letter and the tilde that is used as an approximation sign in mathematics are supposed to be different from eachother.

~ Why are they the same then? The internet tells me that it is because of the ASCII (the American Standard Code for Information Interchange.) The internet has also informed me that the the AACII only has 128 numerical values and no time for assigning separate codes for very similar symbols.

~ What is your favourite obsolete letter in the English alphabet? Mine is thorn (Þ, þ).

~ I finished Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment on the weekend. The book was very long, very descriptive, and very good. I'm looking forward to more Russian novels in the future.

~ I used the word "very" quite a few times in that last sentence.

~ Here is that sentence without "very" written so many times: The thick tome was highly descriptive and an excellent read.

~ Here is that sentence written backwards: .doog yrev dna ,evitpircsed yrev ,gnol yrev saw koob ehT

~ I perused some reviews of Crime and Punishment on Amazon. Most people liked it, but the few people who gave it a one out of five either didn't like the translation or were angry at their teachers or friends for recommending it. Those in the latter category usually had a statement in their review similar to this: "The crime was this book being written, the punishment was reading it." *guffaw* Whether they were angry at their friends or at their teachers, the reviewers commonly committed many spelling and grammar errors, despised Raskalnakov, and used the word "boring" copiously throughout their reviews.

~ Laurianne said that I sounded depressed in the post where I apologized for my prolonged absence. Depressed people do not relish chocolate milk and yogourt the way I do.

~ Laurianne secretly reads my blog so as not to feed my inflated ego.

~ We're off to Ingersoll this weekend to celebrate with Matthew Byl and Tiffany Crandall as they join together in marriage. We are looking forward to it.

6 comments:

Jake Belder said...

A humorous read, as per usual with your updates. I read Crime and Punishment in the late summer. I had a love-hate relationship with it. More love than hate. Significantly more love. But there was definitely some hatred towards it. But only minor hatred. I was totally engrossed in the story itself, I thought the way Dostoevsky puts the reader into Raskolnikov's mind is fascinating. Even a little scary at times. But his writing style is difficult. Well, perhaps not his writing style, maybe it's the translators. Nevertheless, there were times I wanted to throw it down in frustration, but I didn't throw it down until I was done.

I also tried to read Dostoevsky's The Idiot a few years ago, but I only got halfway through. I reached this one scene were all of a sudden there were about 20 characters together in one room, and then I lost it. I had no idea what was going on, who all the people were, and I caved in and placed the book back on the shelf, a feeling of dejection setting in. Maybe someday I'll pick it up again.

If you're looking for a good Russian novel to read, I recommend Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev. Maybe it's Igor. But his last name is definitely Turgenev. Excellent, excellent book.

Rachel said...

I've learned not to read reviews on Amazon, because many people are ignoramuses. Also, I think Crime and Punishment is easier to read if you recognize it as a work of Russian prose, and not so much as something that should fit the standard of an idiomatic English novel.
I feel kind of bad for calling complete strangers ignoramuses.

John den Boer said...

Jake - Thanks for the recommendation. I really liked the book, but I have to admit there were times where Raskalnikov's moping were a little tedious. I guess the thing with foreign novels is you have to try for the best translation which is not an easy thing to research.

Rachel - I like reading the Amazon reviews because of the ignoramii (heh heh), they make me laugh. Do you have any recommendations for classic books? I know you're a voracious reader.

Rachel said...

ummmmm, i can't really say because i have a feeling you've read more classic books than i have. and lately i've been reading virginia woolf, and george eliot, and i'm not sure you would like that...
but anna karenina by tolstoy is a really good russian novel, since you're interested in russian literature. the themes are simplistic, but it's balanced by the complexity of the characters. (i had to add something meeaningful, lest i seem Amazonion)

John den Boer said...

Actually, I haven't read as many classic books as I should have. An Amazonion would have said something like: "It wuz torchur to read!!! Just pick up a philosofy text book if you want to read it!!"

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