Thursday, January 26, 2023

Sherlock Holmes: The Shadow in the Window

As thin shadows swayed across my window blind, my fingers clutched the book to my chest. My throat muscles convulsed, and the blood trapped in my veins by the shock suddenly thundered on, rushing heat through my body.

It was him… the creeping man.

This was my first identifiable memory as a Sherlock Holmes fan.

Of course, the creeping man wasn’t actually outside my window; it was a crazy shadow cast by a tree devoid of its leaves in the winter. But that moment of utter terror experienced in my early twenties decided my favorite Sherlock Holmes short story for me.

The Creeping Man startles the imagination with its ghastly and Gothic possibilities, making it one of the most iconic of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.



Monday, January 23, 2023

Announcing the Classic Children's Literature Party April 2023

I cannot lay claim to the idea. A lovely blog called Simpler Pastimes hosted CCLE for quite a few years, but the last one was in April 2017 so I have decided to begin hosting my own version with a slight name change to Classic Children's Literature Party or CCLP. I have dearly missed the event for a few reasons. One being that reading really is a simpler pastime and it's lovely to take a break from the hectic race of life to read children's literature. Another is that classic children's literature reminds us of a more innocent time for children. And finally, I discovered so many amazing children's books by participating in the event and I wish the same delight for other readers.

So let us begin as we mean to go forward. 

Classic Children's Literature Party 2023 - Basic Guidelines

Throughout the month of April, read children's classics, as many or as few as you like. There are no minimum or maximum expectations. Post your thoughts and impressions about each of them on your blog and leave a comment with your link on the main Event page that I will post on April 1st (no fooling!). I'll also compile a link-up page and publish that at the end of the month.

Use your own judgement for what fits the idea of being a "children's classic" but here are some helpful guidelines:

  • Children's classics are not going to be picture books, as in primarily pictures with very little text. So keep with the idea of the book being children's fiction in the elementary or preteen age bracket.
  • A common measuring tape using for classic literature is that it must be at least 50 years old. So let's stick with that measure, only books 1973 and older. I'm good with the publication month being after April in 1973. 
  • Go wild with books from other countries and translations other than English. I'm partial to British literature myself so that will likely be my focus.
  • You can join at any time during the month of April. 

This is intended to be a fun, relaxing party with no pressure or expectations other than to enjoy reading. If you like, you can always post a list of anticipated reads on your blog and share that here so others might be inspired with your ideas. If you read one book or 10, you are welcome to participate. Classic children's literature is inspiring and I hope you will delight in the time spent reacquainting yourself with old favorites and even finding some new ones. 😘

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya take on deadly games in Alice in Borderland, Season One (2020)

 

Stories that involve being trapped in a game are the popular it thing right now. I love trapped in a game stories, but while I "enjoyed" AinB, it's really not that original. I could get the same thing watching Tron, The Hunger Games, or The Maze Runner, and actually enjoy those more. If not for the likeable leads of Arisu and Usagi, I would have dropped it halfway through the first season. Why the threat of dropping? Because it's far more violent than was necessary. Lots and lots of gore, showing the impacts of bullets, knives and swords actually cutting, a brain dissection, etc. It went overboard, probably because the manga is also big on over-the-top gore, but I'm only guessing at that part since I haven't read it, and probably won't. I'm also not keen on attempted rape, so keep that in mind as being triggering for a lot of folks. 

2023 Update: I published this review on another blog last year, but have decided to keep everything at Musings of an Introvert. So if you find any odd references, like not mentioning S2 is already released, oops, that's why! I also binged S2 over Christmas break so I will be releasing that review soon. Um, can I just say, as a precursor to the S2 review, Yamashita Tomohisa, what the heck, man!? I felt like I was in anaphylactic shock for hours!



Monday, January 16, 2023

Kamenashi Kazuya gears up in 2023 for season two of the hit Japanese law drama, Seigi no Tenbin

Seigi no Tenbin tells the story of Takano-san, a defense attorney with a a vendetta against criminals due to personal loss in his life. Some think the character is better suited for a prosecuting attorney, but I disagree since Takano-san has to put aside his own prejudice in order to serve his ethically serve his clients. It would be so easy for a prosecuting attorney to just go full-tilt into revenge mode. It takes a bit more moral dilemma juggling for him to be a defense attorney. He has to plead for leniency, to put himself in the position of the criminal, to seek for compassion on their behalf. Season One of Seigi no Tenbin is deeply moving.

I know literally nothing about what Season Two might entail, only that I love, love, love Season One and have been hoping and praying for Kame to end up in a drama that would be worthy of a second season. I am so glad that Seigi no Tenbin is that drama!



Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Apartment (1960): A Lesson in Power Harassment

The Apartment (1960)

starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray


One of my favorite Christmas movies is actually a very depressing movie about power harassment and attempted suicide that happens to take place over Christmas. Weird, right?

There will be some spoilers, so keep that in mind when reading.

The Apartment was released in 1960 and stars Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter, Shirley MacLaine as Fran Kubelik, and Fred MacMurray as Mr. Sheldrake a.k.a the hound from hell. It is the brainchild of Billy Wilder (a favorite writer/director of mine) and I.A.L. Diamond and is brilliant and funny and horrifying all at the same time. Like a lot of those 1960s dramedies.

Power harassment is a manipulative tactic. If you go along to get along, you'll receive some benefit in return, or you'll just be able to keep your job. If you don't go along, then you'll lose your chances at promotion and possibly even lose your job. Not surprisingly, the term power harassment was originally coined in Japan, but not nearly as long ago as you might think, just in 2002. Japan has been and still is notorious for power harassment issues (like the majority of Asian countries), but based on the existence of movies like The Apartment, it is a wide-reaching demon that affects everyone.



Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Welcome to 2023!


Yes, things were sporadic last year, for a variety of personal reasons. It was not an easy year, by any means, but there is a somewhat brighter outlook right now so I'm making plans for this blog that you can count on going forward.



Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Discovering Alexis Ffrench

Credit: Alexis Ffrench and Spotify

My time at Glen Eyrie was very well spent. I took scads of photos, but haven't had a chance to go through them yet. Once I do, I'll share some and post some thoughts.

Until then, here's a music recommendation for you in terms of something soothing that aligns with more of a self-care mindset.

I love piano music, always have. But I tend to forget that I love it until some new piece crosses my radar. So it is with Bluebird by British contemporary composer and pianist Alexis Ffrench. The first time I heard Bluebird, as in really stopped to listen as it was playing on the Amazon classical music channel, I was just blown away. There is such a haunting sorrow paired with hope in this piece that just moved me to tears.