I’m reading The Idiot by Dostoevsky for my Classics Club spin. I’m using this character list, someone took the Sparknotes version and took out the spoilers (why do these character lists have spoilers in the first place?!!!!). I printed it out, so I could have it handy.
I’m reading on the Serial Reader app. I did get the paid version, so I can read ahead and have more than one novel going. It’s not a subscriptions, so it’s more than fair for me the excellence of it, I mean I’d give more.
Marian of Classics Considered is rereading it, so if anyone wants to join us, the more the merrier. I’m going to try to post as I go along so we can discuss, she has posted some already on her Instagram, she’s reading a book of notes about the novel so this is really in depth! I don’t think I can think that deep, but we shall see.
I’m WAAAY behind, I’m about 22% of the way through, per the app, and on chapter 8. My impressions/emotions thus far have been:
“oh, this is going to be painful, poor precious baby”
to “I’m bored out of my mind with his pointless boring stories (why must authors stuff their pages so baldly?)”
to “ooh, now it’s getting interesting”
back to “oh, this is going to be painful, poor precious baby”
to “I think some second-hand embarrassment is coming”
Someone shared this list of general plots of British, German, and Russian novels on Instagram. Can’t speak to the German novels, but the other two sound about right.
These High, Green Hills and Out to Canaan by Jan Karon (books 3 and 4 of Mitford). I had decided that I would read Mitford every once in a while and now seemed like a good time for a nice cozy read. Then I thought I’d read them straight through, but since I’ve stuck in book 5, and I’m starting to get my reading interest back, I think, this current month, I think I’ll save the rest for another time.
Rilla of Ingleside. This book starts out so well, it is so deep and atmospheric and the build up to and after effects of the tragedy are excellent and then everything else seems incidental.
As Old As Time by Liz Brazwell. I’ve been in the mood for fairytale retellings and this part of a series that takes Disney’s retellings and retells them. I greatly enjoyed it. The prose was decent to be easy to read and it was fast paced. It was very dark, much darker than the usual Beauty and the Beast, not kid or sensitive teen appropriate.
This is probably totally boring to most people, but I think it’s fun, especially trying to tie back to my favorite Rosemary Sutcliff Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasion. I want to be related to those fictional characters! Yes, I’m nuts.
I was so sad I lost Scotland/Ireland. I know I don’t have Irish really, that is a very distinctive pattern of movement and culture in American history that would have shown up in genealogy, geography, names, and religion which doesn’t in our family. Whereas what I’ve figured out from genealogy is that Scottish makes sense, but probably Scottish before anyone came over here.
Good, I got my Celtic/Rosemary Sutcliff/Scotland back! Although per Ancestry, England would still included ancient Brits not just Anglo-Saxon (and Norman too), they didn’t take out everyone, I guess like most people assumed.
Frank James has still been putting out winners such as 16 Personalities on a Road Trip (I’m INTJ with some ISFJ) and 16 Personalities Getting in Shape (I’m ENFP, ENTP with the rationale of INTP) and 16 Personalities as Brides (literally right around our wedding stuff time, so perfect to share with the family, and this one is especially good, also, I’d probably be every bride in that video at some point).
I mentioned Trey Kennedy made a bunch of videos for a charity challenge in August and some of them are gems.
Do Less Episode Trey Kennedy is from Oklahoma and has stayed in the Midwest, he and Jake were talking about good looking people and how they automatically assume those people are going to LA. Then he told a story about his agent or managment and all those people are from LA, and how they reacted when they came out to Oklahoma, seeing normal people “You have All Your teeth?!”
Youtubers don’t often seem to stay normal and have normal lives, they always seem to move to LA or somewhere big. Similarly, you don’t often hear normal conversations like when Trey Kennedy and Jake Triplett talk about telling grandparents and parents about their job. Jake said his dad said, “Well you aren’t asking for money so you must be okay.” And Trey said his grandparent in laws think he is unemployed. It is just so funny to hear all the details of things like that.
This is a very deep post, obviously.
Trey Kennedy has been doing 20 videos in August for a charity challenge, and there have been some absolutely hysterical ones. One of my favorites is
Target People and Walmart People. Now, I know where I live, I think everyone shops at Walmart. Maybe I’m delusional, but I think you can find from upper middle to lower class there. But apparently in other states only um, how to I put it, we’ll just go with the Walmart people meme type people shop there. Not a very rich nor aiming to be classy state you know.
Anyway, I go to Walmart all the time because the time from when I get up from my desk to walking in Walmart can’t be above 5″ minutes. I’d like to think I’m not redneck though, actually, I know I’m not redneck. Target is the stereotype of basic white girls, which I’d also like to think I’m not . . . that however is probably up for debate.
I mean I shop at Walmart and talk like Target, I mean, like you, like, he was like. I was talking to my mom about this, I know a lot of people make fun of Americans for talking like (proper usage!) this, and I wasn’t public schooled not surrounded by popular culture, how on earth did I pick this up? Does it just spontaneously spring from us?!
Also, I think at lot of people were talking about the cleanliness of the stores. Well, my sister worked at Target, and she had some stories both with regards to that and the classiness of people. I’ll spare you the ones that come to mind.
But before I worked in the town I work now, the Walmart I would often frequent in the nicer side of the city was side by side literally, with a Target. And I only occasionally went there. My dad always says he doesn’t understand how they can thrive side by side, and we always point out, they really aren’t rivals. Target is a nicer store, supposedly anyway for like clothes, a bit nicer makeup, home goods, things like that.
But usually to me, Target isn’t nice enough or doesn’t have enough variety. Like Kohl’s is the same in quality to me in terms of clothes. And in my teens and early twenties I would far rather have bought from Kohl’s most of the time. And now, I’m either dirt cheap or more expensive or more specific (like Ulta for makeup) than Target depending on what I’m looking for. I have bought some things from Target, don’t get me wrong, its just not usually my first source for just about anything.
I remember reading a book about English customs and they mentioned upper class people used the terms Mummy and Daddy, and I was like, as opposed to babies? Like is it used longer among upper class people or something?
It seems most kids here in this generation would start out with Mama and Dada then move to Mommy and Daddy, then to Mom and Dad. Occasionally I new people who used Mama and Papa, but I don’t know if that lasted beyond childhood. I think in one of our family’s friends family where the dad from the Dominican republic, they called him Papi but not always, I think.
In more southern states/rural areas, Momma (definitely a Southern spelling) and Daddy seem to be a pairing, into adulthood at least among my parents and grandparents generations. Like my mom calls her parents Mom and Dad, but sometimes she’ll say Daddy, but never Mommy (can’t imagine my grandmother ever being called Mommy, she’s definitely matriarchal).
Similarly, her mom, Mamau to me, and her sisters refer to her mom as Mom or Mother, and her dad as Dad or Daddy (in conversation, neither are living). I think it does have something to do with the women in our family being rather less sweet oftentimes, certainly my great-grandmother wasn’t sweet. Daddy is softer, to the more gentle parent.
I think part of the reason parents have fewer versions of names is that grandparents names can also be a form of endearment or be “softer” names, for you know, the sources of more spoiling. But that again, I think is perhaps a newer thing, I don’t think my parents or grandparents were spoiled by their grandparents. I know my grandmother remembers one of her sisters being a favorite of her grandmother and so she determined to not pick favorites with her grandchildren.
But we were still expected to behave, it was just a whole lot easier under the circumstances to do so, you know, where you are sort of seen as wonderful beings as opposed to demonic ones. Of course, when I was talking about this subject my youngest sister mentioned she got spanked by my grandmother, a fact which I was thrilled to find out, as I felt it evened the balance of the oldest to youngest difference in treatment by our parents. I mean they did still spank her, but the difference in standards! But that is a whole other topic!
I feel like I’ve heard discussion on a couple of podcasts the confusion of meanings between works like “irony” and “sarcasm” and “facetious.”
Word origin for “sarcasm” is about flesh tearing, which I think Jake Triplett mentioned in one of the Ghostrunner’s podcast episodes which got me thinking about this. It ties in with modern Brits discussing (seemingly constantly) Americans allegedly not understanding sarcasm and me not liking what passes for modern British humor yet adoring the classic humor (more on that in a minute) as well as thinking about how my family and our broader circle talks.
I know it’s not linguistically sound to hold onto language to concretely. The Wired language guy even discusses the use of “irony” here.Sarcasm
- Oxford Learner’s Dictionary “a way of using words that are the opposite of what you mean in order to be unpleasant to somebody or to make fun of them”
- Merriam Webster “a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain” or “a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual”
- Cambridge Dictionary “the use of remarks that clearly mean the opposite of what they say, made in order to hurt someone’s feelings or to criticize something in a humorous way”
All of the definitions point out the intent to hurt in sarcasm. Whenever I’ve thought about sarcasm and Brits saying we don’t know it, I always thought, well we do, we just it as weapon as an ax (as opposed to a rapier wit), and always as a weapon. Now, I know that that IS what it is, it’s mainly as a weapon.
I’ve thought that some of what passes for “British humor” now is Brits trying to pass spite and/or insecurity off as humor and that the connotation of British humor is them resting on “long dead laurels” (I don’t know where I heard that phrase or to what it was even applied, but it is SO apt here). I never thought the classics stuff was mean-spirited, there was of course plenty of poking fun, but it was intrinsically witty while the impression I get of a lot of modern stuff is intrinsically petty and mean. I think looking up the definitions made things clearer. Modern Brits seem to call sarcasm humor and their humor sarcastic, but classic British humor had more than that and sarcasm was more honed and specific.Facetious
- Oxford Learner’s “trying to appear funny and clever at a time when other people do not think it is appropriate, and when it would be better to be serious” Synonym is “flippant.”
- Merriam-Webster “joking or jesting often inappropriately” or “meant to be humorous or funny : not serious”
- Cambridge “not serious about a serious subject, in an attempt to be funny or to appear clever” Synonym is tongue-in-cheek.
These are all vaguer definitions than I thought. I was thinking facetious was the opposite meaning humor and insincere statements without the weaponization, like the connotation I have of “tongue-in-cheek.” But then I’m probably expecting to much rigidity in language.
- Oxford Learner’s “not intended seriously; done or said as a joke”
- Merriam-Webster “characterized by insincerity, irony, or whimsical exaggeration”
- Cambridge “If you say something tongue in cheek, you intend it to be understood as a joke, although you might appear to be serious”
The Merriam-Webster definition is definitely more the connotation I have of “facetious” and “tongue-in-cheek.”Irony
- Oxford Learner’s “the funny or strange aspect of a situation that is very different from what you expect; a situation like this” while Ironically “in a way that shows that you really mean the opposite of what you are saying”
- Merriam-Webster “the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning” and “a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony” OR “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result”
- Cambridge “a situation in which something which was intended to have a particular result has the opposite or a very different result” while Ironically “in a way that is interesting, strange, or funny because of being very different from what you would expect” and “in a way that suggests you mean the opposite of what you are saying, or are not serious”
It seems like “ironically” maybe is a modern sort of definition creep. I think these definitions match what I think of as “facetious” and “tongue-in-cheek.” It looks like Merriam-Webster moved that type of humor to irony rather than only have situational irony under the definition.Sardonic
- Oxford Learner’s “showing that you think that you are better than other people and do not take them seriously.” Synonym is mocking.
- Merriam-Webster “disdainfully or skeptically humorous : derisively mocking”
- Cambridge “humorous in an unkind way that shows you do not respect someone or something”
I was thinking sardonic was closer to sarcasm that it actually is, I mean I guess sarcasm IS sardonic, like a type of sardonic comment but they aren’t interchangeable. Sardonic is just a broad category.
So there is clearly a spectrum of humor ranging from intending to hurt with sarcasm to the milder/not necessarily mean irony/facetiousness/tongue-in-cheek banter. I think that my circle has both. And I think when people use sarcasm we often try to pass it off as banter when it really is not. This explains a lot of hurt feelings and communication problems in my family. It also explains why often modern British “humor” raises my hackles while I positively adore the classic stuff particularly à la Sayers and Trollope. Actually, this kind of humor is present in Montgomery (it also explains why Anne hates sarcasm but uses lots of ironical humor) and Alcott and some modern American middle grades. It’s the American Classics that seem to be entirely devoid of humor, even often the cruel kind. And that topic will be featured in another post.
As far as modern Americans not understanding sarcasm and or tongue-in-cheek humor, we do, I think perhaps it has more to do with missing the British deadpan delivery. And no, no more definitions, I’m exhausted with that now, that one I think is fairly obvious.
I think I included some June things in May, but I feel like June and July were connected in a lot of ways. I had 3 classes, tons of wedding prep, little time.
I cut down on social media (easy to do when one actually has stuff going on in real life, amazing how that works), tried to curate a bit. I’ve got a YouTube addiction problem, so I moved many YouTubers over to my Pinterest YouTube overflow board, in an attempt to not have enough YouTube to binge at a time, so that I don’t check it obsessively. I didn’t really have the time to before, and since I’ve finished school, I still have wasted a lot of time on it, but I do think this was a step in the right direction.
For Instagram, I felt bored of a lot of Instagrammers, I tend to go in phases, because I will follow people who focus on a specific craft or hobby that I’m interested in at the moment, and then I get bored of seeing it. But also, some of the more “professional” ones drown out the smaller, more interesting bloggers and those who feel more like real people. I also started a habit of deleting Instagram from my phone on the week, because I would get on it at work and just mindlessly scroll during my breaks. I’d already really only been posting on the weekends, so as to keep in from being stressful. But I really like that mind trick of deleting it. I resisted doing that with Youtube, but I probably should, even though YouTube on my computer is more of them problem.
I shared some wedding posts on Instagram. I made little seed packets for the wedding favors, but not many people took them, I don’t think most people noticed them as they only had a limited time in the lobby for obvious reasons, I do think they would have been more popular on the table even in a more normal wedding environment.
I made a cheesecake, and I also made the cake. I used this recipe for the cake and icing (no filing) with dark chocolate cocoa. I made a practice run, and I decided to forgo the espresso powder, use proportionally more cocoa in the icing, and add the cocoa AFTER the other ingredients were beat together in order for the icing to stay dark. It taste AMAZING.
I learned that you need pans with a 4″ difference in diameter in order for a cake to look properly tiered, so although I made cakes for three tiers, I had to leave out the middle. Also, naked cakes are hard too, I thought it would be easier, my cake was super moist and a bit uneven and some of the edges were falling off so it wasn’t quite naked. But with the berries and low light it was fine. I guess.
We had tons of the Costco cake and cheesecake as well as my cake and cheesecake leftover even though we didn’t overcalculate near as bad as with my other sister’s wedding. But better to overcalculate than under.
I also had to hem my dress, with my genius, I manage to overcut and make it tea length rather than floor length, but since I’m prone to stepping on my long dresses, my shoes hurt my feet so badly that I ended up taking them off instantly after the ceremony, and I plan on wearing the dress to less formal events, it works out fine I think. I got my dress on Poshmark, a J Crew dress for around $80. I loved it, it was so flattering, and it nice that it got two wears and hopefully more to come.I ended up having to work on school during the wedding week (it’s a good thing I had aimed at no school so at least I had some margin for when I did have to do it), including taking a test the morning of the wedding. I ended up having to use my paid birthday off day to do school from 6am to almost 12 midnight with a few breaks. But I’m done glory hallelejah, and I passed with decent letter grades (I was seriously afraid), and I should have another associate’s. I will NOT however, be continuing on the accounting track though, I certainly learned how greatly I could despise it, and I grappled with the sunk cost fallacy.Hilariously, this sort of thing was discussed at the beginning of the chapter of one of my accounting textbooks, a chapter on cost benefits analysis. The chapters always featured real life examples, and this chapter was discussing many of the fallacies related to cost-benefit analysis we make in our lives, like trying to “suck it up” and “power through” that are actually detrimental. I’m good at ditching a book that I feel is wasting my time, I’ve struggled with the college question though, holding onto it as a life-preserver rather than acknowledging I’m using it as an absurdly expensive crutch.My aiming for accounting did land me my current job, however, this job is high-school level in real requirements. I don’t want to stay in accounting, so why would I pour money in to have to stay longer in the field to try to get that money back? I’m fine with my current job for now, but I need to move on to different things which is what I’m going to work on now. If I change from those things, at least they will be less expensive. I still have college in my mind, but for other things. I really just one to feel like a “real” historian, I think, which isn’t a great reason, but I also truly love history and economics (not the graphs part, the concepts part, I really enjoyed those parts of my econ class).In one of the Not Overthinking podcast episodes, Ali mentions having a Commonplace book. I decided when I saw the above section in my textbook that I would created one right then and that would be my first quote. I know that Katherine at Leaf in the Leaf blog has written about Commonplace books, some of her posts are Commonplace books posts, but it didn’t click until Ali mentioned it and then I had my first great source. It’s funny because I think Ali was mentioning awareness of principles in one the earliest episodes(I can’t remember the exact terminology he used), that what seems obvious to one person may not be obvious. I don’t know if he mentioned this or not, but sometimes you have hear things said in a specific way in order to really be aware or listen.Anyhow, time to wrap up this rambling post.
I know Trey Kennedy has poked fun at Midwest and Southern grandparent names on Southern Sayings and maybe some other videos, but of course the classic is the Tim Hawkin’s bit. Trey Kennedy and Jake Triplett also discussed their grandparent names of one of the podcasts, it was the Do Less God Bless podcast (between the two of them, I think they have like 4 podcasts).
So for us Mom’s side is “Papau” and “Mamau” (is that really how you spell it, no, but some snobby grandkid, wonder who, decided that a “u” looked better than the “w” that is the real spelling since after we at least down here pronounce some of the words with “aw” and “au” the same way). Mamau’s parents were Papau and Mamau Last name. Actually that great-grandmother referred to herself sometimes as Last name, Last name, for privacy sake it was some like Lee, Lee. She was the only one I remember of the two.
I vaguely remember my Papau’s mom and we also called her Mamau Last name (her second married name). In referring to that great-grandfather my family called him Papau Last name.
On my dad’s side it was Grandad and my step-grandmother’s first name, the one living great grandfather was just great granddad I think, only three of us saw him once. Dad’s mom and step dad were Grandma and Poppy. Grandma also referred to herself as Grandmother, but since we are not Victorian and certainly didn’t come from the blue bloods, particularly not that side, that sounded so pretentious.
Since Dad also tried semi-seriously to get himself called “Grandfather” he got knocked down a peg or two with the originally facetious Grandpoopa. And it’s glorious fun since my niece now seriously calls him “Poopa.” Mom is “Mamau” to her, and our Mamau and Papau are Grammy and Gramps to her although I’m not sure if she knows that. She just now started figuring out my name.
You have your hillbilly:
Mamaw and Papaw
Meemaw and Peepaw
Granny and Grandpappy I think I’ve only heard in books, but if Meemaw and Peepaw exist, surely some people really still use Granny and Grandpappy
Then you have your normal:
Nana and Papa
edited, I forgot to add Meme. I was listening to Not Overthinking and the guys called their mom Mimi. We did know someone who would call their mom Marmee sometimes.
Grandma and Grandpa
Opa and Oma
I have actually heard people still use Grandfather (sister-in-law’s family) and perhaps Grandmother which is so formal.
Books were mostly rereads. I’ve resigned myself to allowing rereads to count to my quota of books.
Murder Must Advertise and Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. Favorites are soothing even if they are mysteries or perhaps sometimes because they are.
Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley. Balm to the soul, as always.
As Old as Time by Liz Braswell. This was a Disney sanctioned Beauty and the Beast Retelling. I’ve been going through Fairytale Central’s awesome fairytale collections to find which books I’d want to try and which my libraries have. I was totally sucked into this one.
My newest favorite podcast is Not Overthinking. The way they think so honestly (reminds me of Trollope really, it’s a particular way, merciless but not really, it’s blunt and but not inhumane, hard to describe) and the brotherly banter and the facetious British slang. It can be really serious but sometimes really normal, for example, one of the first things that caught me was Taimur describing his jealousy over Ali’s magic, it was just hilarious. I mean Taimur is a data scientist and Ali is a doctor and big Youtuber (which is how I found the podcast), and the magic tricks were what made Taimur envious, it is SUCH a sibling thing. Also Taimur constantly pushes at Ali when Ali is perhaps telling something maybe slightly ridiculous like when Ali wrote his crush a letter,”You wrote her a letter, did she live halfway across the world and this was the 1800’s?” And the way the slip in jokes at the other’s expense, and the whoever the joke is at stops and acknowledges the good hit. Right in the middle of an intellectual discussion, it’s just awesome.
I need more podcasts though, once I finish bingeing this one I will have a couple caught up, but some of the funny one’s I’m sick of so I do need more variety. I’m such a princess.
I’ve just not been into watching any movies or tv because I haven’t had much time with school and wedding and work and my terrible attention span. I did start a K-drama in August, but that is for an August post. Yet, I’ve collected quite a list of others’ recommendations from blog posts and such, if I could just motivate myself.
The prompt for this one was a bar scene. I haven’t seen too many Westerns, and it would have to take a super fantastic bar scene to wipe out the first one that came to mind which was one from The Apple Dumpling Gang.
Oh, how we love this movie in our family! This movie has adventure, stellar slapstick humor, tons of sarcasm with killer delivery, genius timing, romance. It is just about perfect for a de-stressing fun movie night. Lots of quoting done by the people who can remember the exact quotes, bless Imdb for their quote section.
Here is a taste of a few:
Theodore: “You know something, Amos? The Lord poured your brains in with a teaspoon, and somebody joggled His arm.”
Frank Stillwell: “If I ever get within shootin’ distance of that doggone Amos Tucker, he’s gonna have winders where his ears was.”
Sheriff McCoy: “You two couldn’t steal candy from a baby without coming out on the short end.”
John Wintle: “I’m leaving for San Francisco tonight.”
Sheriff McCoy: “San Francisco’s loss is Quake City’s gain.”
The bar scene.
So it really starts with the rather slick, sleek Donovan getting married to Dusty (her nickname for a reason), a no-touch, for the children’s sake marriage (see this romantic photo). Then Donovan gets right back to his gambling addiction and saddles Dusty with babysitting the kids. She takes the kids to the general store for candy and discovers (so she thinks) that Donovan bought the bed she was admiring for the two of them.
She marches right to the saloon where Donovan is peaceably playing cards:
He looks shocked, “Who me?”
“Yes you, you snake oil salesman! Are you coming out here or am I coming in there?
“What’s the matter, Dusty? Is there some trouble?”
“Yes, there’s trouble all right! And you’re in it!”
She then proceeds to chase him around the saloon flinging epithets (among other things) at him while he tries to simultaneously get away from her and inquire why she is angry. Everyone else tries to get away from both of them while the poker and billiard area is being destroyed. One flabbergasted townsperson asked, “What happened with them two?” to which the the Sheriff replies in a deadpan manner, “They got married.”
Finally Donovan manages to get an answer as to what the whole fiasco is about: “That’s it? The bed?” and then it’s his turn to get angry. A very quiet anger at first, “The bed happens to be for the kids, Dusty. When the nights are getting colder, they’ll need a warmer place to sleep. So the brass bed is for the boys, and the smaller bed is for CELIA!!!
I cannot explain the hilarious way this line is delivered, but the crescendo is just absolutely killer.
After which Dusty meekly and daintily insinuates it’s all his fault for not explaining and sweeps grandly out of the wrecked bar with Celia in tow leaving everyone in stunned silence.
There are so many details of hilarity, sarcasm, contrast etc. This scene just perfect in conception and delivery and while this movie has tons of excellent scenes, I think this has to be the best.
Go watch this movie.
Also, for extra credit. Apparently a great-great-great uncle went to prison for killing a man in a bar brawl over a woman. In the great Wild West state of . . . Illinois.
It looks I will be reading The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I figured that after I had to reformat the numbers on my list, not sure what happened, but it look right on the drafting side, but not on the published side.