Posts Tagged With: series

Kathy Reichs – Deja Dead

DejaDead  Some know, some don’t, but I really enjoyed series “Bones“, especially the older stuff, where Brennan was less of a human, more of a genius who didn’t go evil on everyone’s arses. This year, around March, I went to UK and visited every second-hand store I could find, daily. Only because they had strange little bottles sometimes, the ones that look like they had potions in them (I’m a Severus Snape fan, no secret, and I loved that woman who taught potions in the children-young-adult series of the witches and one very lame witch… Hm, how was it called, I have a book of it too…) and most importantly – books. Old books, new books, slick and shiny, battered and dirty, cheap. Many a time one could find a white A4 printing paper sheet hanging on a shelf with pink and green letters offering you a very neat deal of taking five books for one pound, which is around two dollars. By the time I picked up the four Agatha Christi books and looked around for a fifth, I had a luggage full of books, so I steered my eyes as far from thick hard-covers as possible, thus avoiding King and others. When in doubt, read the annotation. It might lie to you, but it might not. And read I did. I knew that Bones was based on books by some woman who writes that stuff, but I didn’t know her name and wasn’t that interested to go check it. I had too many on my list of “get these books if they’re recycled” (I believe in e-book). So, naturally, when I turned Deja Dead around, I did not expect to find name of Temperance Brennan at the back of it. And this is how I got Kathy Reichs “Deja Dead”!
Brennan, waiting for the just-glued-back-together skull to dry dreamed of a little vacation, of an escape from her tiny office with a window. Yet as balance of probability dictates, or better yet, how any detective book dictates – no rest for the wicked. Bones were found at the grounds of, if I remember right, archaeological research of some sort (digging, sweeping). Brennan tries to be optimistic. It’s her job to go there and tell – murder office or archaeology office. If she’s lucky, in a hour or two she could be packing for some beach. But her mood is finally ruined by the two cops who meet her. They found the bones by the smell. Old bones don’t smell.
A woman, killed, chopped and dumped. Brennan’s work is to name murder or accident, maybe a murder weapon, most accurate age and if possible – an ID. All well and good, but a feeling that she saw such a murder before is nagging at her. Yet detective Luc Claudel will need a lot more than same saw pattern on the bones. And she must work quickly, for if she is indeed right, then by the third murder she knows for sure, the murders appear in shorter intervals. Even worse than that is the fear for her friend who works with night-ladies, doing her project. She claims there’s a stalker. The murderer who chops his victims up apparently also stalks his women. Could it be the same man? Is her friend in danger?
The detective itself is lukewarm. Some things just didn’t process to me and you have to very carefully follow the threads Brennan is waving, for if you lost one, in the next page you will not understand of why the hell she has a laptop, but no cell phone, nor why she’s stalking that man, not the other one, or how the hell is she missing the details Bones would never miss. It is indeed hard to put this Brennan with that Brennan of the series together, but when you realize that there’s no reason to even try, for this Brennan can crack a sarcastic joke, has a daughter and lives with a cat, you’ll feel much better about this book. This Temperance is just as smart, but not yet in hand with what she’s doing on the murder sites. She’s just as daring and just as stubborn. It’s just that she’s also more human that Bones. I’ll give the book 4 out of 5 and say it was a good find, all in all.

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Lots of work and all the schedules

Been gone, been working my butt off. I dare saying it’s the articles season, for I translated over six per last month. Some barely a page long, others over thirty. Nobody complained, everyone paid up on time and so on and on. In the spare time I try my best to read as much as I can, to catch up on “paper stuff” (books at home, library books), so that I could truly dig into the e-books. As per this year, since I have my multi-pad/tablet since, I think, March 16th, I’ve read total 20 e-books, and the year is not yet done. Hopefully next year I can read even more e-books, sell off the unnecessary paper books, and enjoy the tidiness the thing called “less stuff / minimalism” provides. And if anyone’s interested, per this year I’ve read over 60 books so far. It’s not much, but still a lot more than most people do. It made me wonder whether the “the more you know, the more you don’t know” is truly true. Not that I’m getting any smarter, it’s just that those who pretend to be a lot smarter than me or anyone else – are usually those who barely manage to read a book a month even if time is given. And don’t give me that “life-smart” thing. Nor the Cersei’s “Power is Power” – Cersei was the dumbest one in the line after Joffrey. Without the knowledge – what would exist? And just think of how much you can do because someone had the knowledge which empowers you too, including your damn cell phone, or the screen you’re reading my blog on right now.

I’ve decided to keep a better track on things I do and things I watch. Say, Supernatural started – I’m enjoying this season greatly. American Horror Story provided me with Witches, and I love stories on witches… Then there’s Dracula’s series, The Last Witch, Sleepy Hollow, Bones, I even started watching Masters of Sex, which, two series in, imo has an interesting subject, but is not fantasy-enough for the likes of me. I guess I’ll watch it anyways, not everything has to be decorated with pointy ears and shiny eyes afteral. I should, maybe, dig into the other seasons of Hell on Wheels, but maker sees, that’s a lot of stuff to watch, and for me, to sit down and watch something… Ugh.

Did anyone notice Halloween Steam Sale? I bought myself VtM: B there. Wanted Castlevania too, but figured – I’ll never finish all the games I now proudly own, if I’ll be jumping from one to another. Thus that one will wait some other sale. Afteral, I haven’t even finished Skyrim yet (I’m with the Empire, racism by folks who took over somebody else’s land and then claim it’s theirs – not my cup of tea. But I don’t judge, play as you like, maybe replay differently if you got the mood for going through that game twice, etc.), nor Deadpool, which is, must say, fantastic. Never laughed so much, nor took that many screenshots. Well, maybe I did in DAO… Anyways, nice that Steam keeps us all happy by throwing discounts at us, with hopes that we’ll jump in and they can snatch our wallets then. I admit, I know it, and yet I still give in without the remorse I should feel.

I also treated myself with another book on Dracula’s topic, for I figured – I don’t have enough yet. A cheap, half-accurate-half-cut-up book, so to say “biography”. I didn’t receive it yet, but when I do – I will boast about it night and day, worry not. I tend to keep books on Dracula for rather long periods of time, in fear it’ll suck, be very inaccurate or so. It doesn’t happen that often, but it still happens. I need to remember, I guess, that people know him more as a fictional character and it might never change. For me, he’s but a warlord, as immortal as any great warlord is.

So that’s my update. Could tell you how some authors can’t take critique, after you spent days reading their book, how they ignore who you are and pay no attention to WHAT you are, but expect you to treat them as delicate wall flowers. I could also tell you how movie “Young Adult” sucked, and how I found no comedy in that comedy-drama. I could tell you how disappointed I am in Nurse Jackie series, for from the “nurse with a bad back”, she turned into a nothing, but a lame drug-addict. I could also tell you of how much I want vacation and some rest, away from everything, except maybe a few dear friends, but how my priorities demand I work more now, rather than later. Or is it my laziness? I can never tell. All of that – I will not tell you. Why? Because everything is fine even with those things around. Air is cool, no more bugs around, I got myself plenty of books, there’s nice things to watch, people to talk to, work to do, work that I don’t hate. Everything is fine and therefor – all the little things that ain’t as bright – don’t matter.

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Cheri and the Horrors

Let me start by telling you a tale of “buy three for the price of one” sales on books. It’s extra-hard for me to pass these ever since I was 11 years old, when I first bought two books worth 12 dollars for barely 4 dollars, left from my lunch. This time, few days ago to be specific, I bought a fourth Hellsing manga, “I am Legend” and “Cheri“, all three attached together. I didn’t know what this “Cheri” is, but I figured – it’s together with two vampire stories, it can’t be that bad, right?

Colette_EN_LT

Lithuanian and English

 

So I took it to be read first, before Legend, before Hellsing (that one I’ve read a long time ago, I just didn’t have my own copy). No vampires, I’ll say, altho there was a single mention of them, when Leya called herself a vampiress, craving the young body of Cheri (Fred). It’s not the “wow, that was good” type of the book, but I have no regrets in owning it. Why? Well, because Leya, mother of Cheri, and all their friends are also courtesans. It’s just terribly interesting for me to watch what those women can make out of a man in life and I’m never disappointed. Mind you, I don’t find this profession anywhat worse than any other. Where there’s a demand, there’s offer, thus if the women are “vile” for doing this – shouldn’t you start by getting to the demanders? Anyways, so that’s that, a fine book. I presume I missed those stories of fancy hats, tights vests tie pins.

Right after finishing it I went for watching the movie. Mind you, I’m not the type who sits down and watches something easily. Either lure me with amazing things, or I’ll escape the first chance I get. Funny thing, what lured me in “Cheri” movie were the details all around them. The green with gold glass goblets, the fully gold covered tea cups, the wide wine-red smoking-robes, the previously mentioned hats and all those aging courtesans. They followed the book pattern really well, for one of them indeed seemed a cross-dressed man (maybe she was indeed a he, I didn’t check the actor list), and the other one had a really fake looking wig.

Cheri_1

Cheri_4

 

Cheri_2

Cheri_3

  One thing was terribly odd for me tho. It’s a narrated movie. Like some “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“. If it was at least narrated by a woman it maybe wouldn’t have felt as if an oompa-loompa was about to jump out and start singing.

  The other thing is – congratulate me! I finished first season of “American Horror Story“. And it wasn’t good. I’m told the second one is by far better, but first one knocked the will out of me to watch on further, so I’ll put it on the tab for next week. As for now, lets figure what’s what, shall we?

  Okay, so there’s this fancy old house, suspiciously cheap. Tourist-lurers keep bellowing – it’s a MURDER house! And it is. You move in – you die. No, first you somehow, for some weird-ass reason decide you want a baby. Then a thing in spandex suit or what it was, comes to help out on that. Then you figure you’re growing a demon baby in thy womb, as if priests weren’t terrified of you being a woman in the first place. Then – everyone dies. Usually killed by ghosts who died there before. For if you die there – you cannot leave. Ever. And that house is CRAWLING with ghosts of crazy people, I tell you. Some died because of hate crimes, others – for infidelity, others more – suicided and so on. They love, they hate and most of all – they all want your baby. Oh, and they want their house back, so just pop that thing out and get the hell out or else…

  So that’s that – murder, lots of murder, pretty much – you wasn’t excited enough about my new vase! – stab, stab, stab! Then there’s rape and infidelity. Then there’s psychotic teens and creepy little kids. Oh and did I mention everyone keeps killing everyone?

  First serie – awesome. Second – o-kay. Third – …not so much anymore. Last serie was quite alright tho, that’s why I didn’t ditch the idea of giving second season a chance some time later.

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  Let’s return a bit to the topic of books, for I didn’t mention one more. I happen to be a secret lover of all kinds of Asia involving books, even if it’s purest fiction of all fiction, with realms that aren’t ours. Thus if I see a sale or other cheap little book (I try to cut down on book buying. You should see my home, really, it’s pure gain to buy less damn paper books…), I get it. This time I got Ihara Saikaku book “Five Women who Loved Love“. First two stories were a disappointment and I was cursing my stupid head to buy a book with such a suspicious title in the first place. But then the last three made it worth my while.

  It’s all about… Well, honestly, there’s no one pure topic. I’d say – tragic love – but that’s not it. I’d say – falling in love – but that’s not it either. I’d say – okay, being unfaithful and getting what you deserved for it – but that’s also not true. First two – tragedy, oh tragedy. The girls are insanely young, thus saying “women” is a hard thing for me. And first two do things that I can’t work through my mind. Say, a lover in the dark mixed you up with someone else, you slept through whole activity he took, then woke up and figured you probably love him terribly, thus you should, absolutely, run away with him? Let me just back away, slowly… Or better, some old geezer dropped a pot on your head, messed your hair up, his wife decided you had a little tumble with him and thus began spreading vile rumors on you, you decide that if that’s so, you’ll give her REAL reason to spread rumors and thus again – run off with some weird old man you met once, twice? Sense can begin any time now. And it did, by the way, for next three stories did make sense, by all means. The last one didn’t even end with deaths, and there was even some homesexuality mention (and more) in the last two, which gave the “five women” a little charm. Especially as I always dearly admired samurais and while friends and mates all wanted to be police officers, high ranking military men, professional athletes – hell, I wanted a katana! So there’s that for me.

English, Lithuanian

English, Lithuanian

I did the the little book, it’s also – not the best thing you can get – but definitely not the worst. I also got it quite some time ago, so I can’t figure how I forgot all about it. I guess I just didn’t expect old Japan to be the setting for it. Oh, and let me add, that while stories are short and definitely not the most interesting things you could read – there are these little footnotes and such which speak of those-times-Japan, the culture, traditions and other facts. Those were the best!

 

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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.

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Ten Inch Hero and more of Felicia Day

Yesterday was one fancy day. Another serie of Supernatural, a can of Khaos Monster Energy Drink, joining the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim (I now look like this and feel like I was just dropped out of the movie “Eyes Wide Shut), some interesting news about The Witcher 3 and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. And many other things I don’t remember. But most fun were two main things. First of all, my prayers have been heard and Felicia Day will be in another Supernatural serie. I love her there, I think her character there is perfect. And it’s not that I love red-heads, which I do, I simply in general like most of her ideas and ways in life, plus she really fills in the gap with the Winchester brothers, especially when Cass is not around. So that’s that.

Second thing is maybe even greater. A cheesy romance comedy with Dean Winchester (for lets face it, most watched it for him, even thou movie isn’t about him and shows a lot of great things, believable things and not as crappy-portrayed things as most movies do. I mean, a teen mother who was forced to give up her child goes to find her child but what she founds is a whole different love – I think that was rather unique, especially as it turned out with that little girl). Maybe I’m a bit lame, maybe I just miss these things after watching so many, so grand, so awesome movies they build nowadays, with all the sequels, remakes and other unoriginal crap we’re fed and told to enjoy. But I liked so many things about that movie, including the rib-breaking laughter it caused.

I liked the simple music and the love nonsense, when at the beginning you wasn’t sure who’s into who, and what will go where. Simple subway store, three ladies, owner and a cook, each with their own personal drama’s and personalities they try to hide or express. Watch the t-shirt of the cook, seriously, I’d gladly own them all.

I can repeat and repeat – it’s simple, it’s funny and yes, it’s a bit cheesy. But unless you see it, you won’t know a thing about it. So if you got a hour to spare, you go ahead. At least you’ll laugh, I’m sure of that.

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Nurse Jackie got me

Not so long ago I decided to give a shot for tv series called “Nurse Jackie“. I like series of medical and criminal subjects (yet am not a fan or Dr. House, don’t judge me, it’s good, but not for me). I’m a great fan of “Bones“, for instance. And as “Bones” new season just started and series are aired way too slow for me, “True Blood” ended, so did “Game of Thrones“, both for now of course, I began watching “Nurse Jackie“.

And now I am an addict.

It’s an amazing series of a nurse with bad back. And what is a nurse with bad back? Unemployed. Thus she uses all kinds of painkillers, tricking, stealing, buying, getting them, the strong, good stuff, any way she can, to keep her mind steady and body – painless. Actress who plays Jackie is amazing, her way of acting, in my opinion, is perfect, at least for this role, for before I never saw her anywhere.

Eitherway, it’s a comedy with some drama about it. She has two kids, girls, a husband… A lover too. Her life is one big mess and the only thing keeping her steady is the same thing you could blame all her problems on – drugs. Painkillers. Yet what I admire about these series most is her sense of justice. Say, here’s an example, a youngish-man on a skate-board rides right past a granny, boo-ing her and scaring her. Bad for him, he rode past Jackie, who casually, like she did nothing, knocked him out with her elbow. And denied it without a blink. Of course, her best friend Doctor O’Hara senses the truth behind her lies, but their minds are wicked, and it’s probably the glue that keeps them together.

All the different patients also show how important and often more important is a job of a nurse than a doctor. Nurse not only has to take care of everything for the doctor, but sometimes do the doctor’s job too, at same time working as a psychologist, calming people down, assuring them that everything is going to be okay. Jackie would definitely find some common language with Dr. House, after two seasons I am sure of that.

Thus, I do not regret that I started watching these series. So far there are four seasons and fifth one is to be produced yet. I will gladly continue watching, seeing how quality didn’t fade through the seasons. After I finish the fourth one, I’ll give a better review, but so far it’s 5 out of 5.

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