Archive for Humor

Potatoes, Come Forth by H. Jonas Rhynedahl

Posted in Books, Hobbies, Hobby, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by urbannight

Book Cover PotatoesThis was actually intended to keep track of my notes on this book as I was reading it.  But I think I will share it anyway.

I was hesitant to purchase this book but it did sound like it could be amusing. So I got it. Thus far my feelings for this book is ‘meh’. A noble woman who is summoned from her bathtub and transported, totally naked, half way across a continent shouldn’t be that calm and collected. Even in a world where everyone has a few, various, completely random, magical spells. She also comes off a bit to pragmatic when she puts on the filthy, shirt from someone who had been lugging a wheelbarrow of 200 lbs of potatoes around all day, having spent a portion of that day in a railroad engine car helping the engineer out. I just don’t find anything about this character, Sarah, believable.

I’m now halfway into the book and it is absurd.  The problem is, it doesn’t feel like it is absurd on purpose.  But it doesn’t feel like it was on purpose.  Yes, it feels like the author is trying to be funny and amusing but not that he was deliberately trying to write Fantasy Humor.  It ends up seeming absurd in a bad way rather than absurd in an amusing way.

I finished the book on Saturday.  The ending pulled the questionable quality of the book out of the water.  It ended better than expected.  Other than the fact the author didn’t do a very good job of showing the main character’s becoming emotionally entangled so that they end up getting married at the end.  It was rather abrupt and sudden.  Sarah seemed to have very platonic feelings until she crawls into bed with him.  He was clearly attracted to her and had twinges of jealousy but then suddenly he is in love with her.  It was abrupt and awkward.

Other than some of the characteristics mentioned above, I did find myself wanting to know what would happen next.  At the start it had that feeling of a first book, but by the end I no longer had that feeling.  The book didn’t have the editing errors I normally see when a person’s first book is only published in an electronic format.  The writing was actually pretty strong and in the end, I think the only real complaint is the author having trouble showing a growing relationship and it didn’t pull off deliberate Fantasy Humor very well.

It did end well enough that I ordered the next book the very next morning.

 

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Flu (film)

Posted in Entertainment, foreign films, Korean films, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2015 by urbannight

Flu is a Korean disaster film that is very good.  Like a lot of Korean disaster films, there is a lot of humor in them.  Although the serious parts are very serious indeed.

The more I like a movie the less I have to say about it.  The less I care about spoilers.

The writing is good.

The acting is excellent.

The drama is intense.

You should watch this.  Everyone should watch this.  It is like the American film from a few years ago, Outbreak, only much better.

I group of illegals are transported into South Korea via a shipping container.  One has a cough as they take off.  They arrive in Korea with only one survivor.  He gets away but a lethal and very fast acting flu starts to spread through the city.  The city is quarantined.  Things go from bad to worse after that.

CDC people from the US come in and some politico types and they try to take over and eventually want to solve the problem by bombing the city to make sure the flu doesn’t get out of the city.    The Korean president has some difficulty wresting control back from the American’s who think they have the right to tell every other country what to do.

Well, that does sound about accurate.

Go watch it.  Go watch it now.  It is on Netflix at the moment.

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS, yep, I like books.

Posted in Books, Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2013 by urbannight

I read almost every day.  But I do not spend ALL my free time reading.  I watch t.v. and stitch.  I spend a lot of time on computer games.  I cook sometimes.  And I go to movies.   Which means the number of books I’ve read in the First 18 days of 2013 seems amazing.  Some were re-reads.  So they went quickly.  And I often have more than one book going on at a time.  So I might read one book at lunch, one book at home, and one book in the bathroom.  I like a good long soak in the tub.

So here is what I’ve read in no particular order.

250px-Snuff_cover_low

The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle. Historical  Romance.  Part of a series that I have not otherwise read.  Pleasant read.  Half-English/Half-Indian woman, some slight supernaturalish elements, not too complex.   I liked it.

The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens.  Historical Romance.  The back of the book gives little away but it is very good if a bit to straight forward as well.  I quite liked it.

Guards! Guards! Terry Pratchett.  Reread.  Fantasy Humorist.  I ALWAYS recommend Terry Pratchett.  Introduces the Guards books.  A young, idealistic new copper who happens to be a six-foot tall dwarf.  A dragon.  A very rich virgin.  Colorful characters and very petty people who cause bad things to happen.

Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks.  Historical Romance.  Entertaining.  Amusing.  I normally don’t recommend romance novels to anyone other than people who only read romances.  But this was interesting enough to say sure, why not, give it a try.

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James. Historical Romance.  Cute.  Simple.  Clear Cut.  A charming little read.

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett.  Second Guards book.  The Watch is getting bigger with the addition of Trolls, Dwarves, and even a werewolf.  Oh, lets not forget the talking doggy.  It doesn’t pay to spend too much time sleeping around the Unseen University.  Ambient magic can do strange things to animals around there.

Corbin’s Fancy by Linda Lael Miller.  Historical Romance.  Okay book.  The Corbin family had a bunch of interesting titles in this series but they are all really simple and straight forward stories.  Obvious with no surprises along the way.  Linda Lael Miller’s books seem to get less and less interesting as she continues to write.  She comes up with really interesting characters but boring plots.

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett.  Another Guards book.  The feminist movement hits the dwarven population, starting with one female dwarf who really doesn’t fit in, ends up in the watch, and starts wearing skirts and make up.  Of course other things happen, and a mystery is solved, and amusement is had.

Apocalypse to Go by Katharine Kerr.  Book four in a supernatural mystery series.  The main characters have gotten engaged in order to keep Nola O’Grady’s very religious family happy.  Ari, her Israeli boyfriend/bodyguard wants to get married.  Each book seems to move them a little closer to that eventuality.  Nola is technically in charge and that bothers him as he is used to being in control.  On top of it, he still isn’t totally comfortable with her psychic abilities.  They solve crimes across alternative universes.  The entire series is a good read.  Go now and buy it.

Jingo by Terry Pratchett.  Also another Guards book and also a reread.  How often does a Watch Commander get to start a war and arrest two armies?

The Key by Lynsay Sands.  Historical Romance.  You have to marry someone the king picks out, in order to save your mother, but you can control what happens next by wearing a chastity belt and keeping the key hidden.  Especially when your husband refuses to bath and only lets his people have one new plaid a year in order to save money and keeps a slovenly home.  While there is nothing terribly complex in this novel, and I wish there was, it is very funny and worth reading on humor value alone.

The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett.  A very good book of Mr. Pratchett’s.  Again, a Guards book.  Yep, I pulled them all from the shelf and started rereading through them.

Okay, I’m getting really sleepy now.

Threadbare

Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath.  Historical Romance.  Middle book of a set of three. Only one I read.  I liked it.  It was good.  Made we want to go and read the first and third ones now.

Threadbare by Monica Ferris. Mystery  Monica Ferris is a great mystery writer and this series is about a woman who owns a needlework shop.  At the end of every book is a pattern in one form of needle craft or another.  This is a good book and well worth the read but there is only one thing bothering me about it.  She spends too much time plugging designers and mentioning specific patterns.  Sometimes this worked in the past books because it had a bearing on the story and the solution to the crime.  Now it is getting tedious.  It felt like to many product placements in a movie.

Thud by Terry Pratchett.  Okay, yet another Guards book.  Reread.  Highly enjoyable.  Somewhat darker.  I highly recommend it.

Snuff by Terry Pratchett.  The latest guards book out in paperback.  I finished it a couple days ago.  Really good.  Go now and buy a copy.  But you have to make sure you have read all the ones I’ve already mentioned for it to really make sense.  Or Thud at the very least.  And Jingo or else Willikins won’t make as much sense.

I have also read three romance novels on the Kindle.  Really fast, really short, and really simple romance novels that I won’t bother to name, even if they were good enough.  They were more like novellas.

The last is Time Traders by Andre Norton.  I didn’t realize she wrote science fiction.  I always thought of her as a fantasy novelist.  This was a very early book of hers.  There is some awkwardness in her writing that I’m not used to seeing because I was more familiar with some of her later work.  Even with this early work, you can never go wrong reading Norton.

That is 19 books completed since the start of the year.  I did not count any in progress books.  Just ones I’ve finished.  19 books in 18 days with a few days where I didn’t read and I never had any solid days of reading.  This is why I keep books.  I have to reread books.  Otherwise I can’t afford my reading habit.

Now I will put these away and reorganize my book shelves, finding a few other books to pull for rereading purposes.

When authors break all the rules and it doesn’t work.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2012 by urbannight

Cover Art

Today’s blog is sitting in the Save Draft folder right now.  I finished my book on break and needed a book for lunch.  Lucky for me, today is the book sale and there were three paperback, fluffy novels.  I picked Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Business.  I’ve read maybe one or two of her stand alone books.  I’ve never read her long series.  I’m really not all that familiar with her work other than that she has been around for a while.  After the first two paragraphs, I had to come write up my thoughts already.

Opening paragraph.  The character describes herself.

Hi my name is Blankety Blank.  My hair is this color.  But it comes from a bottle.  My eyes are this color, the same as this relative.  I’m so tall.  My breasts stick out enough and I have a definite waistline.  I had a good, if average, childhood.  I learned a trade, met someone I didn’t marry, and inherited a house from a relative that died.

Yes, I paraphrased.  But that is the EXACT structure of the first paragraph.  This would have been so much more interesting if it came out as part of the story.  I’m not sure if this is book one or book two.  Even if it isn’t the first book, we don’t need an ‘info-you-should-already-know’ section.  Just put the needed bits and descriptions woven into the whole.

Paragraph two in a few words.  Life was good and I finally felt like an adult.

Paragraph three describes the two men who come into her life. 

Guy A is called This.  handsome, black hair over his ears, pale skin, dark eyes, and intentions that are darker.  Buy B is called That.  Big and scruffy, bit of a bum, an attitude, and charming.

Guess what?!?!  Dspite the different names and a pet monkey, she just told me that the to male leads in the book are basically Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural.  Really.  Even the second guy’s name started with a D. 

Oh, and Paragraph four: they are part of a loosely organized band of humans that are a bit out of the ordinary.

Maybe it is me.  Maybe is the fact I’ve watched Five seasons of Supernatural in about as many weeks.

I’m more than a little annoyed about the writing style. I’ve always heard good things about Evanovich and this is a let down.  I’m still going to read it.  Dang book cost me nearly 10$ and I still have part of lunch during which to read.

You know, I really have to add a bit here.  A few pages later, you find out that the two men are cousins.  One is a bounty hunter of a type.  The other just is.  The first is responsible for keeping the second out of too much trouble because he has a tendency to go dark side.  And all of the first’s dialogue sounds exactly like things Dean would say. So the whole ‘Supernatural’ knock off vibe is still going strong.

Inspiring Blog Award

Posted in Art, Books, Entertainment, Food, History, Hobby, Life, Movies and Theatre, Photography, Science, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by urbannight

Wonder

Hey, I got nominated this!  WOW.  I never thought of myself as inspiring.  The thanks for this nomination go to storiesbywilliams who has an amazing wealth of knowledge about science and science fiction that just puts me in awe.  The amount of research it must take, with the amount of writing and blogging he does, I don’t know how he finds the time to do things like work, eat, sleep, and generally live.  He always reminds me of things I’ve forgotten and challenges me with things I didn’t know.

Now is the part where I talk about myself.  Ouch.

1. Canon.  To the annoyance of some of my friends, I sometimes get a little too caught  up in the idea of ‘canon’ and get annoyed an non-cannon stuff in films based on books, comics, or older films.  I’m not good at pretending it is an alternate universe. I have no problem with suspension of disbelief until the universe contradicts itself.  Then it all comes crashing down on me.

2. Tea.  I drink a lot of it.  I am, at this moment, sipping on Pumpkin Spice Warm up the Day Tea from The Republic of Tea.

3. Cosplay.  My unit at work wanted to go a group costume idea for the Halloween contest.  But I didn’t care for the idea.  It wasn’t elaborate enough.  Over the past years, I’ve set an expectation of fairly elaborate costumes.  The Fairy Goth Mother, A Kabuki Ghost, Marie Laveau – Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.  I didn’t want to go dressed up as a computer, a headset, a mouse, a new loss form.  So I am doing my own thing.  Either a representation of The Raven or a Death Maiden.

4. Cooking.  I love to cook.  Lately, I haven’t been doing too much of it.  The budget has been tight, so elaborate dishes have gone by the way side for a while.  I really want to post some more cooking blogs, but I’m just not here with it right now.  Maybe after I meet a few other goals I’ll get back into it properly.

5. Temper.  I have one.  It doesn’t come out to play much.  But one morning, a person I actually value ticked me the hell off and I sorta unleashed.  He didn’t like it and deleted and blocked me on Facebook.  I’m a little sad but I admitted I over reacted.  I could admit that but he is the one who decided to take his ball home and not play with me anymore, to use a childhood metaphor.  It will probably take another 10 years to reconnect again.

6. Cats. I have two.  They are almost as anti-social as I am.  But the one likes to lay across my boobs when I’m working on the computer.  This requires me to use both arms to hold him so I can’t get anything done.  He had gotten me killed many times in online games.  Maybe I ought not to have named him Puck?

7. Tarot Cards.  I have a Tarot Card addition.  I love to accumulate them.  There are so many lovely sets out there.  So I stay away from places that sell them when I have no money.  I think I have about 8 sets right  now.  I just love seeing all the different interpretations of the cards that people draw.

Here is the part where I nominate a bunch of other people who inspire me.

1. Fogs’ Movie Reviews. This reviewer is one of my favorite all time movie reviewers.  We have a blend of similar and dissimilar tastes in films.  He reaffirms some of my thoughts on movies while also, occasionally, getting me to give something a try that I had planned on skipping.  Even when we disagree on a film, I can appreciate where he is coming from on his assessment of it.  My movie reviews are nowhere near as detailed and in-depth as his and me makes me realize how I could do so much better an makes me want to improve my style of reviewing.

2. Gin & Lemonade. This lady writes some of my favorite posts about everyday life.  She reminds me that nothing is to big or to small.  It all deserved to be valued and appreciated.  But perhaps the small things need it most of all.  Because the big things are all made of small things and we tend to ignore or brush aside the small things most often.

3. Kloipy Speaks.  This gentleman fluctuates between movies and life, much like I do.  His focus is a bit narrower and he comes across titles that I haven’t seen and really should.  Although I think our taste in horror is a little more divergent than, say my taste in movies when compared to Fogs.

4.  Madame Guillotine‘s amazing quality of research reminded me how much I used to like researching things.  (right after college, I continued to research stuff just for the fun of it.)  The really weird thing is that I want to write fiction and I keep getting really great ideas for non-fiction projects anymore.  She also posts about things she buys or her husband has given her that I drool over; weird and wonderful gothy sorts of things that the average person just doesn’t get or understand.

5. Meanwhile, back at the farm. . . .  This blogger is probably on with whom I have the least in common.  Her photography is wonderful.  Her blogs remind me of home despite the fact she is from the Dakota plains and I am from the mountains of North Idaho.  Her blogs often make me think of my father, who grew up on a farm in South Dakota.  She makes me miss my old camera that broke when it got caught in a door and hate my new camera which was the closest in comparison to my old one but simply fails at taking as good of shots at that one did.  Still, thanks to her, I’ve started carrying it with me at all times, like I used to do.

6. Rantings of an Amateur Chef is my favorite food blogger.  Not only does he post the most amazing things, his food has even gotten me to try food items I normally hate.  Oddly enough, I still hate them, but I keep on trying them.  He is better than a lot of the cooking shows out there.  I’ll take his blog, any day, over the food network.  Well, over anything except Without Reservation.  But that isn’t a cooking show so much and an interesting food and travel program.

7. Sweet Mother has to be the funniest blogger I’ve come across.  She cracks me up.  I appreciate this a lot because I just do not think I can do funny.  And we all really need a good laugh at least once a day.  More is preferable.  And she is guaranteed to produce at least one good laugh, if not more, out of nearly every posting she does.

 

Humor in emails.

Posted in Advertising, Life with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2012 by urbannight

This has got to be one of the funniest business emails I’ve ever gotten.  I’ll just copy the thing into my blog.  It is from The Wailing List.

TO THOSE SOMEHOW CONFUSED BY THE IMPOSSIBLY SIMPLE…

We tried. We really did. We picked a 30% Off Coupon Code we thought was super simple. No overlong phrases, no tricky spelling or weird characters.

And yet, somehow, we still ended up getting a lot of complaints of the “your coupon code doesn’t work!” variety.

“I tried ’30rocks’ and it doesn’t work! What’s this some joke?”

“Why doesn’t my code ‘thirtyrock’ give me the discount you promised?”

“you dispair (sic) people really take the cake!!! i tried ‘thirty rocks’ over and over and it DIDN’T WORK?!”

How much easier can we make it, people? The code was ‘thirtyrocks’. Not any other variation some of you inexplicably and unsuccessfully kept trying to use. No numeric characters. No spaces. No quotes.

Listen, Jim D. of Miami, Carol W. of Pershing, Indiana (is that even a real place?), and several others who wrote us angrily over the weekend to complain. Though I hate to come right out and say it, I need you to do a better job of following instructions in order for this relationship to work.

(Why do I hate to say it? Well, the last time I did I had to duck right after because she threw a flower pot at my head… If only people understood how much easier life would be for us all if they JUST DID WHAT I SAID…)

Anyway, if you’re one of those people who missed out because you can’t read, I have a consolation prize for you. I have created a new coupon code. It expires tomorrow at midnight. It still lets you get the 30% discount you ‘got cheated out of’ (Annie S., Lake Placid, NY). There’s just one downside. By using it, you are making a confession to us.

Your new coupon code is iamdumb.

No quotes. No space. No capital letters. Just type iamdumb when you check out, and you’ll still get 30% T-Shirts, Posters, Calendars, Notecard Packs, Pessimist’s Mugs / Glasses / Shot Glasses, our Ceramic Mugs, Points of View Glasses, and everything else we sell.

Yeah, I know- it’s kind of insulting. But hey, I’m still cutting you a break! Because hey, you’re dumb!

That’s all for today. I’ve done my good deed. I still love you. I promise we’ll get through this.

Random Lunch-Time Update

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Politics, Tea, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by urbannight

I shall have to clock back in from lunch soon so I shall type a few sentences to share.

Due to a technical difficulty, I can’t post pictures for an update on the TARDIS project, the pumpkin project, the yarn projects, and various other projects. (I left the cord in another bag)

I did use most of lunch to try to catch up with all the blogs I follow.  I’ve gotten a bit behind.

News articles left me feeling more misanthropic and politically annoyed than usual and I may rant about it at another time.  If I remember.

Half a dose of Pain Killer PM is enough to make you drowsy enough to sleep through alarms but is not enough pain killer to make a pulled muscle and headache go away quickly.  I’m pretty sure it was the cat’s fault.

Coffee taste never lives up to smell and it takes 14 creamers and 10 sugars to make it at least drinkable.

Why do people think their claims can be handled within three hours of being turned in?  In an age when 3 minutes in a microwave is too long to wait everything must get done instantly.  Right?

I’m rereading too many of my Terry Pratchett books.  I found myself writing about ‘punnes’, you know, plays on words.

I have a large stack of fantasy, mystery, sci-fi novels to read and I keep buying more, but they just seem to dark and I’m not in the mood for dark.  So I keep rereading the lighter, amusing stuff I already own.

Time may be up now.