Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Goblets from the 1980's

When Keith and I got married in 1986, my Uncle Rex sent four goblets, and I guessed them to have been made in Alaska, where he was living. Years passed.

I put up photos of my dishes, and Deb Lewis said she had four goblets like that one that shows. I have four too. Nice coincidence. She had been in Alaska in those days when my uncle was there, too. (Not that they knew each other, but they had good taste in goblets.)

I kept thinking I had made a page like this to document not only that we each owned four, but that it was discovered, at a distance. I'm making a page for all of this now.
 photo kdk_2815.jpg



One from an episode of The Mentalist (on the desk—same mold, different pattern):

Deb found the pattern names:



When I went to get images, I found that there are dinner plates. (here)
I own a few, from thrift stores. I had never put a goblet next to one. Wow.
I hope I remember to do that at some point!

I had no idea they were related.

Below are some notes on the Japanese manufacturer:
Otagiri Manufacturing Company was an importer of Japanese stoneware and ceramics between 1958 and 1994. ...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The old screwdriver my dad gave me

I just tightened the door to Marty's old bedroom (my current workroom) with a screwdriver my dad gave me. My dad died in the 1970's, but the wooden-handled screwdriver with a flathead and a phillip's has always been in the drawer nearest my sewing machine (wherever and whichever drawer that was, over the years) ever since he gave it to me. It was already old when I got it. I use it all the time.

I've never thought to look for markings on it, but now that I was photographing it, I see that the double-bit part (the interchangeable rod) says FELO. I looked it up. It's from Germany.

I had often admired the reinforcing ring on the wood, but hadn't examined the shaft.

My dad was a motor-pool mechanic, after the war, in Germany. He might have brought it back with him. I'm glad I have it.

The ring has a diamond (wider than high) with a U in it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Luck (but is it good or bad?)—and another Korean Drama review

I will write a review without spoilers. I did it before for Faith, a.k.a. The Great Doctor (which I've now watched three times through, and the good parts more than that).

But first I want to go back and talk about my resistance and acceptance of some other types of art.

Seven years or so back, I wanted to watch some anime, so I asked Joyce Fetteroll for a recommendation. She suggested Fruits Basket (Don't read that if you want to watch it without knowing the plot.) I loved it! When I tried other series, they were just okay, not as sparkly, not as engaging. But I was happy with what I learned and experienced with Fruits Basket.

For a couple of years, Pam Sorooshian recommended Audible.com to me. Finally I subscribed, in June 2009. The first book I got was The Help, unabridged, by Kathryn Stockett, narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell. I listened and loved it. I've never heard another book there that was nearly as good, which has made audible a "downhill since then" situation. The candidates for second best come in about 75% as good as that reading. Mostly, I avoid fiction and use it for autobiographies read by their authors, and non-fiction, and I'm quite happy with it, but every book is "not as good as The Help" in my mind. Poor things.

So when I decided to finally pay attention to Alex Polikowsky's near-constant buzz about Korean dramas, I watched Faith and it was STUNNING. I wrote (in the review linked above) that it was the best thing I had ever seen. A month has passed and I still feel that way.

It was good luck (or taking the advice of people I had reason to trust), that gained me these too-big-to-top starting places, and that makes it bad luck for the other examples. Bad luck for me, to try to find something so wonderful. But had I started with something lame, I would not have made it to Fruits Basket, The Help, and Faith/The Great Doctor.

To see whether it was just me and my enjoyment of feudal/medieval stories, I figured I should watch something modern, and some more historical. I've done that. I've finished six series and dabbled in a few more. I don't know everything, but I know something.

The other historical things I've seen are not as good as Faith is. So I thought maybe it was the music that did that, and I watched The King's Face, which has the same composer. No. The music is wonderful, and is well utilized in Faith, but it was more than the music. [CORRECTION: I mixed up two series. The same composer didn't score The King's Face, but Master's Sun, so I'll think about the music if I watch that series.]

I thought maybe I should try something by the same screenwriter, so I watched Healer. BINGO! Even though it's set in cutting-age fantasy current days (James-Bond style gadgetry and backup), the story is similarly intricate while still being easy to follow, and the characters are revealed in similar (and maybe better) ways—better because of photographs, in part. One certain photograph is central to the story.

Within eight minutes we've met three main characters and we know something about their attitudes, skills and personalities, in eight minutes, because the writer, Song Ji-na, is really good. The plot, characters, dialog, the clues shown visually (in objects the people have around them, in what they're doing when they're alone, when they're with others) is something I can't remember seeing so clearly elsewhere. Maybe an occasional token view of a bedroom or a work desk, or clues in costume or mannerism, but not like this show.

One aspect of Korean drama by what I've experienced directly and been told is that some characters start off more irritating than they'll be later. Some shows need three or five episodes before they can hook you. And I have dropped a few I tried to start. But both Faith and Healer grabbed me right up, and so I'm a fan of Song Ji-na.

Halfway through this second pass, I wrote "I'm watching Healer the second time, and there are many things I missed the first time, or didn't have a hook to hang it on yet. I fully endorse watching it twice! SO intricate and sweet and spooky and well-constructed."

At the end... "I just finished Healer for the second time, and I love it even more than the first time. The first time I was trying to follow mysteries and relationships and figure out who's who and what's what. This time I could think about philosophical issues and that's the best part of it."

Having let this settle for a week, I think that objectively, Healer is better than Faith/The Great Doctor. Faith gets big points for having armor, swords, feudal politics and Lee Min Ho. But assuming that someone didn't have a balance-tipping preference for those things, Healer is smoother, tighter, funnier, sweeter and has clearer morals and a more satisfying end.

In Faith, Choi Young is constant, steadfast, unchanging. That's good, for that show.

Healer is about someone trying on different ways of being, disguises and transformations. Seeing Ji Chang Wook switch from one guise and stance to another is wonderful every time.

All but the second of these photos are all from the photobucket account associated with Drama Beans which has GREAT recaps and commentaries on every episode of Healer and Faith. Here's Healer, Episode 1. VERY nice blog, and I'm glad javabeans has gathered such great images.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bruno Mars or Healer?

The first bit of this video, especially the blinky eyes at 1:20 is a great match for Bruno Mars playing Devyn the Intern at Pandora here. While they're similar in stills, they're just about identical in motion and posture. It's a fun comparison. And if you haven't seen that SNL sketch with Bruno Mars, please do before it's gone again.

All the images are links.

Here's what these guys look like without being disguised as dweebs:


Bruno Mars (hard to find a photo without hat or shades) and Ji Chang Wook

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Devyn's Sixth Birthday

Credit: Video made in Vietnam, by "severinh20" at Fiverr

Thursday, February 26, 2015

David Bowie letter.... read aloud in a performance

Peter Serafinowicz read the letter David Bowie wrote to me aloud, in a sort of concert of letter readings, and it's been more than a year. I never heard of it. I was looking for something I'd written about Kirby and Marty playing with friends when they were very young, and somehow in the google search this came up:

Letters Live, a review, was posted in December 2013. She wrote "Peter Serafinowicz giving life to David Bowie’s adorable letter to Sandra Dodd, his first self-proclaimed US fan who wanted to start a fanclub"

It's awkwardly worded. I had no idea I was his first American fan. He said in the letter that I was!

Really they should call that letter "David Bowie to Sandra Adams," but because it was found on my website and that's what it was first called, it stuck.

I wrote to the editor of the book, when I saw that the owner of the blog Letters of Note was publishing on paper and asked, if he had used my letter, if I could have a copy, but he didn't write back. I don't think it was in the first volume, though. I think that one was notable people to other notable people. Even that blog post, though, links to the letter on my website. Nice!

Because my letter was one of the first ones he published, it was in the top five most popular for a while. Now it's on the most popular ever, where a few dozen out of 900 are listed. "+ My name is David Jones" is the file name there. http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/12/my-real-name-is-david-jones.html

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Faith / The Great Doctor

Originally posted on facebook, February 10 at 8:25pm but I want to be able to send it and look back at it myself. The facebook link is leading to the photo.

I just watched THE best program I've ever seen in my whole life. I don't say that lightly. Bummer it's not in English. Alex Polikowsky told me about it last May, and I was "ho hum, don't care." Don't be that way, then, people who read this.

ALSO don't read about it. You don't want to know what's going to happen. LOTS of things will happen. It's on Hulu plus, and (Alex says) another place or two. Maybe YouTube, I don't know.

I watched the whole thing in two and a half days. Monday was dedicated to just that. I never even went into the kitchen. I didn't make tea. Keith took me for a hamburger in the afternoon, but I was in a hurry to get home.

Oh right. It's called "Faith" and it's a Korean TV series, season one, 24 one-hour episodes. Historical fiction, 1300s, armor, swords, honor, redemption, politics, a bit of magic but that's not the main thing. Swords mostly, but some spear, archery, trickery, gymnastics, household items. Magic flute, steel stabbing finger ring (don't know the name). Hand-to-hand. Some horses, but no fighting on horseback. There's a fair amount of medically-related business, as the time traveller is a doctor. (There is a bit of time travel, but that's not the main thing.) There are aspects of vocabulary and of handwriting that I appreciated even though Chinese characters and Korean writing mean nothing to me—still, as elements of the plot I liked what they were doing.

The subtitles aren't great, but after a while I didn't care. I don't know (don't care, don't WANT to know) if the costumes and armor and weapons are period. REALLY I don't care and if people put stuff in the comments about it being not period, I won't be your facebook friend anymore.

When I looked something up and saw that there were 24 episodes, I was sad to know when the end would come. If you watch it, SERIOUSLY, just try it out and don't read about it first, because the joy of NOT knowing what's going to happen will be wonderful. From episode 18, I started thinking actively about what other movie or tv show I thought was better than this. From episode 20, I started to feel sorrow that I would never, ever again be able to see this program for the first time.

Alex says give it six episodes before you give up on it, but I was hooked by three.

Today I had other things to do, so wasn't able to sit and totally marathon, though I did want to finish it before Kirby and Destiny got here (and I did). Between times, I thought hard about what show might be comparable and honestly could not think of anything. I have loved a lot of movies in my time, and have had some TV series I obsessed about, but this is it for me. I wouldn't mind finding something better someday, but I don't expect to.
I peeked lightly on the internet, enough to know that they're working on a second season (not series; sorry). I will take care of my health, so that I can live to see that. smile emoticon

I didn't mention what Alex said to me before she even mentioned the series. [Came back to edit this. I still didn't. She raved about the lead actor being handsome.] The male star has a great voice (and many other attractive attributes, so I'll bring a photo of him so people don't accidentally read plot details looking for his picture. :-))

Sets are nice, cinematography is GREAT, direction, script—apparently, even though I couldn't understand them, I could hear when there were parallel phrases or lyrical comments or staccato comments, and those things aren't random, with good writers. Props and sets were fun. There was a wheelbarrow halfway between a European wheelbarrow and a Chinese mountain wheelbarrow, and I'll try to get an image of it for my wheelbarrow collection at some point.

The lead actor's name is Lee Min Ho. The character is great.

[The photo I first had gone bad; the link wasn't working. I've put another photo above, and a few here (maybe).]