Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
The first mélanges he constructed for us were firmly at the nightmare end of the cold vegetable spectrum, a particularly unwelcome role being played by chunks of beetroot, "a vegetable for which," as my father remarked, "there is no excuse." My mother, a fastidious eater who preferred to avoid "hands-on" engagement in the kitchen, had to be conscripted to coach him through the principles of the assembled salad, starting with dressings. Mitthaug acquired these techniques faithfully, though there was still a sense of their being a dutifully learned set of techniques rather than a fully interiorized program; the absence of shredded lettuce and diced carrots could never be fully relied upon. "How can someone so good produce something so bad? " my mother would wonder, lifting a piece of wilted leaf between dainty fingers.
The Debt to Pleasure (Picador, 2001) p.145-146
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I really like Patricia Highsmith's The Heroine, but I have mistook this story for Mary Higgins Clark's work nearly a year. I don't have any idea why. :( Anyway, there's a scene involved coffee and milk...Lucille's new nurse of Christiansen family's children. And the children, Nicky is nine years old and Heloise is six years old. Of course Lucille's not an ordinary, kind, devoted nurse-above all, she's Highsmith's heroine! But it passed a bound of our theme. Just coffee and milk now. :)
"Dad always gives us a little bit of his coffee, " Nicky remarked as he took his place again.
Lucille had been wondering whether the children would mention the accident to their mother. She sensed that Nicky was offering her a bribe. "Does he?" she asked.
"He pours a little in out milk," Nicky went on, "just so you can see the color."
"Like this?" And Lucille poured a bit from the graceful silver spout into each glass.
The children gasped with pleasure. "Yes!"
"Mother doesn't like us to have coffee," Nicky explained, "But when she's not looking, Dad let's us have a little like you did. Dad says his day wouldn't be any goo without his coffee, and I'm the same way . . .Gosh, Catherine wouldn't give us any coffee like that, would she, Heloise? "
"Not her!" Heloise took a long, delicious draught from her glass, which she held with both hands.
Patricia Highsmith, The Heroine
Sleuths of the Century (Carroll & Graf, 2000) p. 340
Oh, 'the accident'? That's not much of an accident. Lucille just spilled her coffee on her apron. And the apron was made of oilcloth. :) I don't know exact reason why I like this scene so much. But...when I was a child, mom gave us-my sister and me-some kind of very thin coffee milk, too. I guess a half teaspoon of coffee in 3 cups of hot milk. No sugar added, thus rather salty than sweet. Usually served with pancakes.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I have a Nintendo DS Lite. Rosy-pink, in transparent armor case, customized with a pink check ribbon sticker by me. Matches my ugly rosy-pink MP3P perfectly. :) Since first got the DS, I played only Animal Crossing : Wild World and Nintendogs during a year. I was a lot more into Animal Crossing, simply because I'm not a great dog lover. I usually prefer cats.
One day my friend peeped my monotonous game life and said, "When I saw you with your DS, the DS looks like some early handheld electronic game devices. " I laughed away at the point, without a "Hey! " of objection. I always had seen fickleness in my very nature, so I was rather proud of myself for playing the same video game nearly half a year.
Anyway a year later, I finally became tired of AC and tried to find other DS games. Then my friend recommended me Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Hmm, puzzles. I usually like puzzles, especially when it came with beautiful pictures. As you know, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is one fine game. Animations in the game are very delicate. The settings and characters of the story are fascinating. I really like the tower's design. But about the puzzle itself, I thought the it was a set of too well-known, common brain teasers. And logic puzzles, matchstick puzzles, etc,. Sometimes I answered the question almost automatically. I was too accustomed myself to those kind of puzzles.
But, there's something :
Throughout playing, a feeling resembled that "Hey, wait a minute. I know this guy..." or something teasing my brain. Or tickling my brain. Not only the puzzles' style, but also the hints' style. Lovely, humorously mischievous elder professor-like...or all the puzzle book writers are sound like this? It wasn't sure.
Without solving this, I cleared the game. When I was watching a credit roll, suddenly something caught my eyes.
Puzzlemaster ... Tago Akira
Of course I knew him! Tago Akira(多湖輝) is Japanese Psychologist who deeply interested in puzzles, published many puzzle books. His Atama no Taisou(頭の体操, means Head Gymnastics) series is published first in 1966 and sold over 12 million copies in Japan. He established the conception of enjoying puzzles in Japan.
When I was a child, my father had Tago's puzzle books in his bookshelf-about 10 of them, I remember. They were Korean translation version of Head Gymnastics, titled Making Brain in Korean. How I loved the books! Later he gave them to me and I kept them in my shelf several years. To confess, for the reason that the author of 10th book was not Tago, but "Tanaka Minoru", I thought Professor Tago passed away. I have no idea why the Korean publisher did that thing.
Thus I was very glad when I recognized his name on credit roll and knew he was alive. Later I heard that Hino Akihiro, the producer of "Professor Layton" series, was huge fan of Tago's puzzle books in his childhood. He turned his enthusiasm into Professor Layton series-a small, but really fine world of riddles. I haven't played the other Professot Layton games. I hope that the riddles in those games are more unique, enthralling one. But, I'm touched so far, by Hino's adoring of Professor Tago's works. It's not just old riddles, it's THE old riddles that were told me first time in my life.
(Although I think "Miss Layton" or "Governess Layton" might be more appealing to me... : )
Friday, May 22, 2009
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)
I'm one devoted Googler, but sometimes think that I should quit this habit and read more books. My friends & I are sharing same childhood reading experiences, so that we can simulate very loose type of a book club. Like this :
"Hey, you know what? The Father, in The Brothers Karamazov, is a model of clown, I think. "
"Oh, I remember him. I agree, real clown. Like me. "
"Or me. "
"We can't get out of this. "
This loose book club often confronts a problem. Once I referred Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie and blankly said, "I always wanted to taste roasted prairie chicken. " In hearing this, my friend asked even more blankly : "How big is a prairie chicken? " Of course I didn't know. No one of us knew.
We were talking in my room and there was my PC. But, different from the usual trivia-craving attitude, I didn't turn on the PC. My friends too.
Instead, we guessed.
"Hmm, in Little House on the Prairie, Laura's Pa brought several that chickens in one day's hunting. It cannot be a turkey big. "
"Did they consumed it one day? I recall that Laura's Ma had excellent food-preserving skill. "
"But birds? Birds in salt? Not bacon or fish? I don't think it works. "
"I meant carrying problem. Can a man carry several turkeys at once, with a gun in one hand? "
"Nice point. "
"Maybe the same size as a familiar chicken. "
Silly, I know. But we made this into a game and called Playing Prairie Chicken. The rule is simple. Do not immediately google it. Guess it, with references you can remember. Richer references make the game more interesting. We played this game with various topics. What is the adjective form of New Zealand? In USA, eating a cookie dough is common? What does "fellows of the right kidney" mean? Is it from "a man of right kidney"? Then why did it get that meaning?
Back to the size of prairie chickens...according to wikipedia, they are 14 inches (360 mm) long. And except New Zealander, others remain uncertain. The last one is from James Joyce's A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. This time I googled it, and I couldn't get an answer.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
For my work is halted by reading material's miss in printing, I'm reorganizing IE bookmarks(=Favorites). My, last time I did it was three years ago. Lots of dead links, faint trails of dead affection, dearest feeling still alive, etc.
Here's my secret devotions - according to organized bookmarks.
- Creed Bratton as a character of [The Office]
- Emerald City Confidential
- Food Porn
- Mike Libby's Insect Lab
- Neil Gaiman
- Rosemary Sutcliff
- Peter McCarty
- Philip Macdonald
- Pop-Up Books
- Stephen Fry
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
- The Office
- William Butler Yeats
Maybe I can use it for updating blogger profile.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Stephen Fry is in it.
Dr. Brennan's first name is "Temperance."
Dr. Brennan is hot.
Stephen Fry is starring only 4 episodes.
Dr. Brennan isn't much hot as Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh.
This show has something makes me blush. I don't know what and why.