Posts Tagged With: cup

Murakami’s Rat and my findings

Let’s start with Haruki Murakami and his “RatTrilogy+. It is indeed a trilogy and a plus, for the fourth book, called “Dance Dance Dance” is hardly attached to it and doesn’t exactly follow the story. Same narrator and few old characters, but if you read the trilogy, you know that some things cannot be without a certain person alive anymore, yes? In Lithuanian, translated, that is, we have the “A Wild Sheep Hunt” and “Dance Dance Dance“, for as English speaking fans of Murakami probably already know – the first two books are very hard to get anymore. But we get a lot of his other books translated and re-printed a lot in different editions and different covers. It’s nice when you can choose, it’s just that so far I didn’t find “A Wild Sheep Hunt” translated out of original. It’s mainly out of English, therefor – no first two books out of the trilogy. But I worry not, there’s many in this same position we are. And I was lucky enough to either way read those two books. Oh, and no, not all his books are translated out of English for us, many are actually translated out of original.

Haruki_Murakami_The_Rat_Trilogy_Plus  The first book is called “Hear the Wind Sing“. It’s a very “let me just throw all these things together and see what comes out of it“. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. The info given is not boring, even if I didn’t find every connection and maybe sometimes there was no connection between the news narrator listened to, and the story itself. Narrator, doing what he does, was smoking, drinking beer and listening to rock music. Naturally, a girl, a weird one, appeared in his life and told him he’s a strange one, a different one. Rat was around. Brooding of how much he dislikes rich people. And how he dislikes the fact that he’s rich too, but it’s not even his fault, it’s his parents who are rich and therefor make him rich in sequence. They both seemed to be interesting characters. And this book contains no names, unless we take bartender called “J” as a proper and valid name.

  The second book is “Pinball, 1973“, and here we finally see this very transparent and easy to miss tie that connects Rat and the narrator. This book follows the first one before the epilogue happens there, so narrator isn’t married yet and Rat, if I understood it right, is not yet a writer. In this book they don’t sit and drink together, but you get the idea that they both live by only smoking and drinking beer, without even as much as sleeping. Narrator in this case lives with twin girls who got no names. And Rat is obsesses about a woman he can’t have. I admit, I laughed out loud long and hard at the end of this book, when the twins were cleaning narrator’s ears and he sneezed. I haven’t laughed this much at a book for a long, long time.

  Third book is “A Wild Sheep Hunt” and it’s where the writing gets real good. The book in compare is fat and nice, but then again, it’s in this book where narrator was married and now starts to learn how to cook. Not like “oh, I need to learn to cook“, no. We simply get a lot of text about where he went, what he ate, what he bought, what he cooked, what he ate, what else he cooked, what else he ate. A lot of it. And it really, really disturbed me, for otherwise it’s a great book, dammit. And in this book narrator meets another woman, another weird woman. I think he even divorced his first wife (not his initiative, it was she who went away from him), she wasn’t weird enough for him. So, in this case – lady has something similar to supernatural powers, I’d say. But it’s so strange, that now I understand why people call Murakami’s books “Murakamish“. As if “That’s very like-Murakami“. Back to topic – in this book narrator gets a few letters from Rat, who is now traveling from one god-forsaken place to another, searching for himself (what are you searching for? Just a traveler, looking for purity…)  and in one letter he sent him a picture from what narrator guessed was Hokkaido. It wasn’t anything special, just a view with mountains, trees and a herd of sheep. Thing is, one sheep was not supposed to even exist. It’s strange how Murakami is able to write a good book on most boring topic ever. For it was good. Especially the ending where I was real glad I read the first two books. Otherwise I just don’t know why would anyone care for Rat at all – if you don’t know him, you don’t feel the attachment to him. And attachment is important, in my opinion, for ending made book extra good. And ending DEPENDS on attachment to the Rat.

  And the fourth book, the Plus to original Trilogy is “Dance Dance Dance“. If it was up to me, I’d taken out a whole hundred first pages out of it. For AGAIN it was “I cooked this, ate it, then cooked that, ate it, went there, drank this, ate this, got home, slept, then woke up, made this, ate it, drank…” and there was a lot of it. But after you glide through those hundred or so, it gets better. Naturally, narrator meets one more woman, no less weird if not as special. He also meets a thirteen year old girl named Yuki, who made this story nicer to me. I hope there are proper teens like that, not only those little devils you don’t wish to talk to longer than five minutes. Either way, now it’s a lot harder to say what the book was about. Main history of narrator and Rat is at it’s end, but narrator finds a filler – his former classmate who is now an actor. To add to that, he feels a terrible need to find that girl from the first book. And then there’s this thirteen year old, forgotten by all she needs the most. And then murders happen… Can’t say I liked this book as much as the other three, but it wasn’t bad either, I’d give it a four out of five without a weight on my conciousness. Yet, after you read it, you definitely see why it’s not “sequence” of some sort, but only a Trilogy+.

  So, in conclusion on my readings, Murakami is a good writer and I intend to get more of his stuff. I also figured that I’d like to see Hawaii, but most importantly – Japan. And now, while thanks to narrator of those books I know a shitload of different dishes, I’d like to visit a proper Japanese food serving restaurant too…

  As for my days in general, this month was a findings month. I found some interesting books, interesting articles, interesting places and three interesting things. One of them was all the while in my home. We have a lot of things from parents youth days, but most of it is stored in the closet room, so we tend to remember gorgeous original type of items only at this improvised Spring Cleaning at autumn.


  But first things first. The first picture shows my giant hand with a cup. Yes, it’s a cup, not an egg-holder for your breakfast, I checked it. I didn’t buy it and now I regret it, for I guess it was only a couple of dollars worth, for it’s old, dusty and there’s only one of it. And it’s sold in this old hole that once used to be a fantastic restaurant by the lake. I don’t know how such an amazing place is not restored yet, maybe it’s too far at the edge of our town map, but at same time – it’s right beside the lake, it has a proper parking-lot and a mall not that far away, and is in walking distance from half of the town. The building is in very shady conditions now, but thankfully, they’re still keeping it up by reselling old furnitures, clothing, random items like this goblet. Someday I’ll take pictures and show how beautiful it is there. By the way, I bought this tiny little cup there, for my mother collects tiny cups, the sort that holds like four spoons of liquid the most.

  The middle picture shows a mask wall decoration made of some kind of heavy white liquid-absorbing and paint-resistant (the brown wood imitating paint is sliding off like nothing holds it) material, which I guess could be simply chalk. At the back it has a hook to put it on the wall. And I found it thrown out on street. I just walked by and noticed it and looked around – there was no living being anywhere in sight. So I took it home, washed it and intend to peel whole paints off and repaint it in bronze paint. Pretty neat find, I’d say. Tho I have no idea what it is exactly or what its origins are, I still like the dragon-like ornaments at the sides.

  And the third item is glass-tray, the home-find. It used to hold six glasses (out of which only three survived to this day) and was used as a tray. You’d fill up the glasses and bring it at table like that. Instead I stored away the remaining glasses in hope that extra-fragile glass (it’s more than by half thinner than your regular glass you drink water out of, more like vial thin) glasses will stay safe until I have my own home and can turn them into my daily cups or candle holders. I’m not as clumsy as most people think that I am (mostly because I harm myself quite some), I wouldn’t break them. And for now, I took the tray and put my bottle collection on it, not all fit on it tho, so only the most narrow got to be displayed on this beauty. Also, I broke one piece of it, but you can’t see it, for I’m a skilled elven craftsman, haha! Eitherway, the bottles are either empty, or contain something of no huge importance. These on tray, one has blue ink in it, the other – those paper worms you get in parcels and packages, they all are from Solstice Scents (I feel that I mention them so much everywhere, that they could already sent me a pack of sample bottles… After All, I love them so damn much! Really, go try them out.) and the rest are empty. But other bottles, not on display, one contains coins from the places I traveled too (not that much, sadly, but all different kinds, even if it’s just an annual coin of same value – if it’s different – it’s to be kept), another contains dyed beach sand, green and black in tiger stripes, another, that used to contain perfume (a half liter of it, costed a small fortune, might I add), now contains my marble collection. I also have one for ashes of incense, but I think it’s on the tray and I just forgot to mention it. And one for small metal items that rust, so I water it now and again, to cover the inside of the bottle with nice rusty waves. And one green for magical purposes. Yep.

IMG 1770

  By the way, it’s not in the picture, but the red chinese looking glass on the tray holds six vials now. I forgot to put them in before taking the picture. And now I’ll stop talking. Next blog will probably again be an update on the things I craft or already crafted. I just received a permission to use once borrowed items (cousin lent me whole box of items out of which I needed only a few to make a thing, she said I can use any I like, but I never took it too seriously and I was very modest in using what’s not mine. But today she said that I definitely should feel free to use what I want), so I intend on making some things, plus, I learned how to cut DVD disks easily and found a few with nice pictures on them (promotional dvd’s that contain free programs and demo’s of the games they’re promoting, they tend to come with magazines like PC Gamer, which I never miss ever since The Witcher promo came out the very, very first time, which was probably in 2004. Gosh I’m old…), so I’ll use those, and I again experimented and did something I haven’t seen done.

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Books: Everything, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea

I just began watching something brilliant. It’s a documentary type of series called “Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea“. This 59-year old lady, a true British one, figures she needs to get out there and find out so how this marvelous drink became something as important for a British person as it is today. They drink billions of cups a year, around three cups of tea for every cup of coffee, but origins do not lay in British Islands.

In Britain tea began it’s life from the fanciest of the fancy houses, for only the rich could afford something from strict China, where tea was first grown into plantations from three main, still existing tea trees. Those, according to legend, grew from Buddha’s eyelids, when one day in meditation he accidentally fell asleep and thus tore his lids off and threw them to the wind. From them tea trees grew and apparently we drink it.

China was keeping it’s secrets and no infiltration could help a poor british man, for this poor british man didn’t really figure one fact – all tea comes from one plant. Black tea is simply ran through full oxidation, while others – not so much. Tea is plucked by three to four leafs of a little branch of a little tree which is trimmed so that chinese ladies would be able to do this delicate work. Then the leafs are dried and toasted, depending on what sort of tea it will be. Afterwards it had to travel thousand of miles if not more, towards the sea and from there – further on to Britain. No wonder it was so expensive, right? British lords and ladies would keep their precious herbs in locked boxes so no servant could get a cup.

Problem was, Brits were thirsty and China didn’t want a damn thing from them in return for the gold-costing tea. Thus here a British man looks around and oh, look, India! Lads, we solved the problem. Here starts the opium wars, for from India to China, all for the precious tea, traveled packs of opium. High on the drug people couldn’t work, but they wanted it anyways. Chinese emperor tried to stop it all, but here is where British won their tea for a wider range of people. They won a tiny little piece of China, but it wasn’t the matter. The matter what, that this piece had the secret to tea! Wonders!

Never the less, tea was still quite expensive, for not that much of it could be produced by hands and depending on China for something whole country wants – well, that’s just not right. But wait… What is that Indian man drinking with his opium? Yes, what’s that brown water? Is that?…

Odd large trees of which branches were chopped while sitting on the back of an elephant. Those branches would then be cleaned by ladies at the bottom. And the flavor oddly bitter and so strong. It took ten years for a British man to say – Yes, this is indeed tea! Lads, lets take it home!

Industrialization began. They wanted lots of tea, tea for everybody, every Brit, small and old, poor and rich, tea, tea, tea! And they had it. Strong and fine, suitable to be mixed with milk and sugar. Afteral, while taking tea with power, they still gave something in return. In India tea is served a bit different. Well, alright, very differently than that in Britain, but never the less, they love it, and all thanks to the Brits. And their own tea brought everyone together, didn’t it? For after all, you have to ask thy companion – sugar? Milk? Lemon? And how about a biscuit? Feeling sad? Cup of tea. Belly ache? Here, cup of nice tea. Head, flu? Tea. Tea solves all the problems. And that all we figure from barely very first serie. So I say – heck, make yourself some tea and start watching. It’s marvelous.

Categories: Travel, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at