Welcome to Immisceo

I’ve fooled around with the idea of a book list, which would contain all the things I check out from the library as well as everything I read, as well as my thoughts and reviews about these books. I was originally going to use a tumblr or twitter account, but neither seemed to be a good fit.

The title is some miscellaneous Latin, which means to blend or intermingle. I feel that as you gain knowledge, everything you learn joins into the web of what you already knew, blending together to create wisdom. This blog will often be about books, but also about other things I learn from television shows, documentaries, and maybe just life in general.

It might be full-on reviews, or just quick notes. I’ll be pulling over some old posts from other blogs that are a better fit here, so those will actually pre-date this introductory post.  I’ve also retroactively updated this post… so… some serious timey-wimey stuff happening here.

 

Top Gear

I’ve always liked cars, in an ineffable sort of way. I’m not sure where this started, maybe it’s just always been true. I like matchbox cars as a kid, like driving now and like playing driving video games. I don’t know anything about cars though, really. I just know I like them.

And that’s enough for Top Gear to be one of my more recent, more awesome discoveries. I caught an episode a couple years ago on BBC America and have loved it ever since. You don’t have to know anything about cars or even like them to enjoy the show. I am currently watching every single episode in succession on Netflix. The early years aren’t quite as good, but once they hit their stride the show is simply the best of its kind. My favorite episodes are the ones where they go to some other country and explore the limits of their cars and their selves.

I don’t have more to say than that. This was a bit anti-climactic, so I’ll sum up with some hopes. I hope to know more about cars one day, be able to fix my own car, buy nifty old used cars for kicks, things like that. I don’t need them to be the top of the line because I don’t have any practical use for them. Its much more fun for me to have some lower grade car that you can push to the limits on everyday streets.

Crafty

I started going to the library, for obvious reasons: I had lots of free time, not a lot of money, and wanted to ward off idolatry. I sped through a few novel-type books, then started checking out craft books. The problem was I didn’t want to take them back, because of course I could not complete the crafts in the allotted check-out time. You can renew them or check them out more than once, but that’s not the point. I wanted to be able to remember what projects were in what book, so I could re-check them out, and that seemed tedious. One day I was struck with the brilliant idea to just scan them. I now have (in my opinion) the best collection of crafts and projects from about 20 books.

I highly suggest it.

Why I Want to Learn Japanese

TO PLAY IT FIRST
This isn’t as true as it used to be, but for games Japan has traditionally been the land of play it first. Square still releases games first in Japan, including Dissidia, Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy.

TO WATCH ANIME WITHOUT SUBTITLES
Just a matter of principle here

TO TRAVEL ACROSS THE GLOBE
I know they say you can travel anywhere with a book, but it’s more of a fly over. If you can read the book in the native language, it’s like you’re walking the streets.

BECAUSE ITS NOT SPANISH
I have nothing against Spanish. I took three years in high school. It would be convenient to know, since so many people I see on a daily basis speak it. But, its Spanish. Its a lot like English but easier. Something about languages that do not use the roman alphabet seem impossible to master.

BECAUSE IT’S JUST AS HARD FOR THEM
http://kotaku.com/5737381/forget-dragons-japans-biggest-quest-is-for-english

BECAUSE I THINK IT SOUNDS COOL
That’s on principle too i suppose.

BECAUSE THAT”S WHERE THE COOL STUFF COMES FROM
Ninja Warrior. Unbeatable Banzuke. Pocky. Anime.  Video Games. Robots. You know.

Japan and English

This, in no way, is about Engrish. Well, maybe a little. The tough thing about English is we like to keep all our sounds a secret, a code that we natives inherently understand but phonetically have trouble simplifying. We can pretend that it’s just a matter of vowel shifts, but I have three words for you: tomb, comb, and bomb. It’s probably not too hard to learn to read English, but speaking it has got to be a cruel joke for many non-natives. In Japan, English words that have become a part of Japanese vocabulary are often shortened beyond recognition. Japanese doesn’t even contain dipthongs. But to be fair, it’s rather difficult to become fully literate in Japanese, and their literacy rate is higher than America’s. Despite what this map would have you believe, America’s rate is probably closer to 80% for full literacy, if not much lower. But Japan? They’re likely reporting a more accurate literacy rate. And they are smart. Not just “hopefully getting there“. You just can’t fake it with Kanji, I guess.

Righteous Kill Review

*no spoiler review*

I went to see it simply because of the leading men. That’s a flimsy reason to go, I know. The plot seemed a little interesting but predictable. A late-summer action drama with big stars. Of course, it’s a thought provoking theme: is there a righteous kill? Can you ever justify a murder that isn’t in self-defense?

The movie did not start like I expected. From the trailers, it was understood that DeNiro and Pacino were involved in murders of “bad guys.” What you didn’t know what how directly they were related to these murders or how they happened. I was surprised to see grainy scenes of DeNiro talking about the murders in the early moments of the film, and continuing throughout. In trailers he seemed to be the more aggressive of the two, but the discussion of the murders so early was a surprise.

This revelation certainly framed the rest of the movie, which showed the past while jumping to film of DeNiro in the present/future. DeNiro, playing a cop in the film, confesses to murders that exploit the law process he fights against. Those found not guilty for one reason or another anger DeNiro, but an individual taking retaliation against these men sinks him to their level. Since you aren’t told who the killer is, you get to try to frame different characters as you watch, trying to decipher who is responsible for these righteous kills. The characters in the film are doing the same thing, and it’s exciting to watch their accusations of one another. The film was a believable and amusing ride.

I’d rate this as one to consider. I can’t say I’d ever watch it again, but it was entertaining nonetheless.