Saturday, December 12, 2015

Book Reviews Literature From Russia

The Brothers Karamazov (Xist Classics)The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My friend Michael Anderson, told me that it was one of the greatest books that reflected the Gospel. I also am interested in Russian Literature as it has always been a mirror to the history of the United States of America. The last Russian novel I read was fathers and Sons by Turgenev. Our countries have both been on the perimeter of cultural centers. Russia looked to France. We looked to France and sometimes Britain for our cultural sense. So when reading Russian Literature I am also looking at a fun house mirrored reflection, something familiar yet different.
But, what can be said about such a profound book such a classic. First the gospel is definitely reflected. Pope Benedict XIV said, "Dostoevsky, for example, was right to protest against this kind of Heaven and this kind of grace in his novel The Brothers Karamazov. Evildoers, in the end, do not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction, as though nothing had happened." He is right in his reiteration of Dostoevsky.
We Christians (Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant) often sit and do nothing as crimes are committed. We take Christianity only at face value, and wear our crosses as a merit badge.
Not sounding trite this book is a masterpiece; and my friend Michael Anderson is correct in his positioning this book as a great reflection of the Gospel.
Dostoevsky does go on a lot, just like a number of pastors I know. We get the point and then they continue to salve that point over and over and over again. But I am glad for the salve, even if it is for the practice it gives one in patience.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dream Space

A dream:
I was left off by my wife at a crossroads, so that I could walk the remainder of what she was able to dive on.  I carried a large backpack full of books and trinkets.  The straps of the backpack dug into my shoulders.   I had to stop at different gas stations along the route becuse the pain of my load was too much.   I then called her.  She had arrived at the desired stop.   She was with friends.  I could hear her on the phone saying, "I am with friends so don't call.  you will get here soon, I know."   I felt crushed by the coldness in my wife's voice.   I saw clouds move in the horizon.   And put one foot in front of the other.     I carried on. 

Not sure why I had this dream as my wife is awesome.  But I had to put it down on paper and hope others enjoy the tale. 

One of my better Illustrations.

My illustrations are improving... because I am attempting to use shading to develop the characters profile.   Thus the image is not as dependent on one line.  I post a new image, every day, if I am lucky, on twitter.   Please come join me in my artistic expression.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Technology Notes

Whom to follow on Twitter. Whom to follow depends on what the user posts. I utilize my Twitter all the time; in fact its a useful tool for me.   Twitter is a great recorder. It sure is handy when I need to get my ideas on paper (figurative sense), or if I want to post future ideas in art or in life.  When I open porn or naked pictures in public settings like bible studies, the pictures are embarrassing . I would love to follow everyone, but some individuals post material that does not show me in a good light;  I choose to not follow some of my followers because of this.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Drawings of Faces: Including Hollywood Stars

I like my celebrity portraits but want to get them even better. They all have an expression that is kind of neat.   Some of them are old celebrities and some are people found on Online.  My technique is first draw a rough outline with my left hand (less dominant) than fill in the details with my right hand.  My goal is to draw 55 faces, so far I am at 20 or so. My favorite so far is Janet Gaynor. The idea for these pictures came from the book Media Lab for Mixed Media Artists.  The book is fantastic and a lot of fun.  Then I have studied different sources to make the drawings better.  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My drawing of Faces:

These were all drawn by me with my left hand, my less dominant hand, they are characterizations not to be confused with a photographic like drawing.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Art: catography

okay I am not as gifted as my mom, my wife, my friend Jason... at least in drawing but follow my progress on Twitter as I post one drawing per day....

Friday, September 25, 2015


Dreams, according to Freud, are a interconnection of all stimulus your mind juggled with recently.  Last nights dream was a dream like this.  The influence shaping the dream was watching an episode on zoo.  The episode was the one where the birds start attack a lady with a baby in a park.  and some hidden fear of birds.

I was living in a run down appointment.  My friend, Adam Simon, was living in the flat below mine.   The dream featured a bald eagle.  The bald eagle was eating my arm. Then the bird would fly threw Adams open window.   So, with incredible strength, I grabbed the eagle.  I then threw the bird into the oven.   I did not want a bald eagle eating me.  Thank God, I decided to forgo buying the turkey, and by synchronicity I had a bald eagle.  The bald eagle was supported by the Benjamin Franklin branch of what to serve on Thanksgiving.

 My family then appeared. They were there for thanksgiving.

Then I had a conversation with Simon Abrams:

Simon:  That was my eagle.
Me: Dude, the bird was eating my arm.
Simon:  But it was my eagle, my pet.  

So this conversation was going to go nowhere... so of course I brought up Notre Dame Football because they were playing that day.  And Simon was wearing a four leaf shamrock Notre Dame cap.  I was confused because I thought Adam was Jewish.  They were playing my Colorado Buffaloes.  (Last time they played each other was 1991 in the Orange Bowl.

Adams dad was there for thanksgiving and I wanted to bring both Adam's dad and my dad together.

The dream ended with Notre Dame playing.
Simon's dad (the only Jew who loves Notre Dame)  brought a bottle of fifty year old wine. He exclaimed that the upstart buffaloes had no chance against the gods of Notre dame.  I could never support Colorado,  because I only support vintage brands. 
My dad accepted the gift from the opposing camp.
The Bald Eagle was ready for carving.
And then there was a wishing of Happy Hanukkah to all involved.
We were thankful for the wine,  even though it was vintage. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

American Spirit: A NovelAmerican Spirit: A Novel by Dan Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 I will return to this author again, as this book gripped me with snort out loud laughter, despair, and sympathetic union with the main character Matthew.  I found the book on Kindle Unlimited and chose it out of a synchronized mistake.  I thought it was Dan Savage, not Dan Kennedy... oops.  (They are both Dan's right); sometimes mistaken identities can make good traveling partners.  

The author gets the state of manhood today.  We are an endangered species.  Disinterestedly developed.   Immature.   Confused.  Angry.  Scared.  Confused. Confused again.  The fault: is partly commercialism, and partly the strong women in a man's life.   The crisis began when our our moms sprayed our manly stink with apple spray; and so the denuding process began. Men, now  barely manage.  We pay our bills, and we smile because its part of the uniform.   Manhood never shines in public, with out the denuding scent of female.  We love our wives but forget what it means to be
 a man.

 I think you will enjoy unless you are too hooked into the politically correct matrix. 

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Book review: the California gold rush

The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil WarThe California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War by Leonard L. Richards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book illustrates some of the tension that broke up the federation of states, and led to the civil war. The miners were a microcosm of America in the mid nineteenth century.  Some of the men southern others northern, but all reshaping what the confederation stood for.  The conflicts of states' rights, slavery, and the correct faith.  Also of interest was the exploration of the mormon problem.   Sometimes, I felt overwhelmed by facts, and lost the narrative.  The book overall was interesting.

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Twisted Proverbs

Twisted Proverbs


week of June 1st

First Published on Twitter
Follow me at Polycarp55,  I will attempt to be entertaining but at times may seem like an obtuse ignoramus .

  1. If a goat has a beard that does not make him a rabbi, nor a member of ZZ Top.
  2. If you knock the nose, the eyes cry, and you need a new nose job.
  3. When two quarrel the third steals the hat, or sits watching ESPN at home.
  4. If grandma's had wheels they would be a wagon, or a monorail in Summer's Amusement park.
  5. There is no gift like a those darn overgrown banana trees in ones backyard, untended for five years.
Explanation:  These proverbs are ways for me to rewrite famous, or not so famous, proverbs.  The new writing will be an attempt at being funny in a cynical 21st Century. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review of Books:

Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and PygmiesStrange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies by Stewart Copeland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stewart Copeland is a great insider into what it is to be a musician.  He goes deep into his psycho-babel hum drum thoughts ; I finally (partially) understood my friend Perry's addiction to playing the drums. Stewart Copeland does a fine job of reading his book.   The sound production, including tunes by Copeland, added spice and a bit of fun to the book. All in all a great listen.

Recommended Movie:
Beware Mr. Baker

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Review of Books

The Savage DetectivesThe Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book's many voices serve as an illustration of Octavio Paz's fusion of the microcosm to the macrocosm. Incarnation of Images.See Notes from Conjunctions and Disjunctions.  It shows the power of poetry, art in a world that is stuck between the mythic and modern, between success and disaster, between voice and one duck tapped and the screams are muffled.  An incredible literary journey.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review of Books

2666, Part 5: The Part About Archimboldi2666, Part 5: The Part About Archimboldi by Roberto Bolaño

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite book of the five volumes,  this is the best one.  The books tie it all up together even though the story is a departure of the Mexican Setting; we find ourselves in Germany. The book is superbly sublime semblance of the 20th century, an homage to the hundred years of European frustration, filled with jihads and fascist leaders. Jingoism upheld by fascist editors. We feel the train of history pounding us down into the tuberculous streets of post World War One Germany and embryonic Hitler. We find an awakening to the death and birth of the modern world.  Bolano ponders what will become of Latin America in this modernity.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Review of Books

2666, Part 4: The Part About The Crimes2666, Part 4: The Part About The Crimes by Roberto Bolaño

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This part gave me nightmares;  the narration salves into one's imagination the terrible murders and crimes of St. Theressa Mexico.  I was ready to move on, but there were more and more murders and the murder kept building into my psyche. I felt responsible in some way.  I felt a depression from the  I did not enjoy this section.

Book Four gives a cry for help for the  disenchanted people  daring  to ask why:  Why should we be forgotten? Why should we be used by the machinery of capitalistic imperialism on a deserted landscape of St. Theressa (Juarez) Mexico?  Why have our once dutiful men succumb to their primitive urges of rape and violence against their mother's daughters? 

2666 would be incomplete with out the salving tome. 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review of Books

2666, Part 3: The Part About Fate2666, Part 3: The Part About Fate by Roberto Bolaño

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bolano is a magician in his prose.  He gives you a presence of the things beneath the curtain but never truly giving you a view, so you plod along in order to get a glimpse of the solution to the mystery.   And in the end you see enough but not too much that you continue to explore the tragical world of Juarez Mexico.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review of Books

Ham on Rye Charles Bukowski
Five Stars
Read the week of 3.27.2015
 Listened to on Scribd.

Part One of the Bukowski Quartet:

""Our Gang of Little Rascals" as described by cranky Bukowski, is not the type shown on classic T.V.. Heck, the worst thing said on the Leave it to Beaver Show was "You were a little hard on the beaver last night."  No this gang is set in a gritty South Los Angeles, California; set during the 1950's;  in an immigrant family.  The kids here  just wants to fuck the pretty girls and set fire-crackers off in the bathroom during midterms. This book is tragically hilarious... and was a delight to listen to on Scribd.  The ending leaves us wanting more, as we hang on Bukowski's final, bitter words of Ham on Rye. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Literature Genres Defined:

Bukowski can be an ambassador for two types of fiction:
1.Transgressive fiction:

The New York Times, described transgressive fiction thus:[2]
A literary genre that graphically explores such topics as incest and other aberrant sexual practices, mutilation, the sprouting of sexual organs in various places on the human body, urban violence and violence against women, drug use, and highly dysfunctional family relationships, and that is based on the premise that knowledge is to be found at the edge of experience and that the body is the site for gaining knowledge.
 2.  Dirty Realism:
"Dirty Realism is the fiction of a new generation of American authors. They write about the belly-side of contemporary life – a deserted husband, an unwed mother, a car thief, a pickpocket, a drug addict – but they write about it with a disturbing detachment, at times verging on comedy. Understated, ironic, sometimes savage, but insistently compassionate, these stories constitute a new voice in fiction."[2]

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review of Books:

Post OfficePost Office by Charles Bukowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bukowski (part 3) expertly describes the lives of the Pabst Drunken Sailor; the man who is sauteed in their own fat juices and slowly brought to a cooked ending. Yum! Post Office is a memoir of his sorted twelve year career in the Post Office, he also describes his life with lovely bar debutantes. We, the reader, hope he does not get syphilis from all the cunnilingus; tonging his way to a good time. We also hope that his horse comes in and he ends up the winner in a crowd of losers. Bukowski used what he learned from reading  Henri Miller, to become an authentic, reality smoked, writer. It is safe to say that, in his prose, his horse finally came in!?

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Lover Confessional:

New Year Goals and Reading Stats So Far (first Quarter):

Last Year:
I completely finished 11 books last year that were non fiction.  That is only 12.5 percent of my books were non fiction.   So my plan is to read one non fiction book for every three fiction books finished.

This Year:
  • 6 out of 13 books read so far are non fiction.
    • Fiction Books Multi Cultural Stats
      • Books written by Women: 0
      • Books Written by Non Caucasion: 0
  • 7 out of 13 books read so far fiction.
    • Fiction Books Genres:
      • Drama: 1
      • Science Fiction Fantasy:  3
      • Historical Fiction: 2
      • Contemporary: 1
    • Fiction Books Multi Cultural Stats
      • Books written by Women:1
      • Books Written by Non Caucasian:1

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Lover Confessional:

Oh My... what you have not read this book

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Yes,  I am not sure how I have never read this book.  But somehow I have never read it.  I think it is strange, that in my 600 plus books that I have read in my life time, I never read to Kill a Mockingbird.   I think one of the reasons is that I often don't like books that have a lot of media around them.   My goal:  To read -  To Kill a Mockingbird before the release of the second book in this series, that will be released really really soon. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Last American Bookstore Hunt

Magers and Quinn Booksellers
The Twin Cities' largest independent book store

3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
(612) 822-4611 or toll-free at (866) 912-6657

Open Sunday-Thursday: 10:00am-10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 10:00am-11:00pm

Review: Awesome store.   I only stepped into the history section as it was my first quest.   I found two books : 38 Nooses Lincoln Little Crow and the Beginning of the Fronteir's End.   by Scott W. Berg. Also got The West The Railroads Made by Carlos A. Schwantes and James P. Ronta.   The store was awesome and I had to quickly get out, or I would have spent more than I could afford.   I also went by Louis Erdrich's Birch Bark Store.  I can't wait to get a chance to check the store next time I am in Minnesota.

The Last Bookstores in America stand tall and refuse to bend to the effects of digital publishing....

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cat Haikus

Oliver, stretches out
and over my inked notebook.
Pay attention to ME!

To Read, and to Read Again.... Brideshead Revisited.

I read, Brideshead Revisited, three years ago... I will be re-reading it for my Discussion at the E book group.  What do I think of reading books twice.   I think there are so many books out there and there is a limited time to read millions of books.  So my answer is in part an answer to the question, "What is the value of a book?"  If books are only for ideas and gathering up of ideas than re-reading is a waste of time.   However, I believe that certain books should be owned as touch-stones in the story that we read into our lives.     I hope I enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed it last time, and I can add it to my wall of well read books.

The first time I read this book it was a beauty to me... so I wrote a poem to its impression:


Brideshead Revisited is like an Avalanche!

Some parts so Edenic,
 .Before the fall!
And other places so cruel and cold,
Taking your heart,
Bitter like horseradish next to Filet Mignon and crab.

And the veil is ripped.
The great big square
In the country,
Is your original home.
Young and bright.
Almost nobody comes to visit anymore.
Or even tries to write...
to loved ones lost long ago.

Cold and cruel,
It looks like
You should return-but then
Time pasts through your
leaving only a scent.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Haiku: Spring and Cats 3

Black cat hides
from the twirling pink skate
pushed by School-Girl.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Haiku's?

Spring Two: 

Oliver, the cat, jumps at me
snarling to get my interest for his
shy and hungry friend, Smough
time to buy meow mix; (bits?).

Spring One

Up from my deathly flu,
 I returned my Facebook world,
greeted by my cat Smoug.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sometimes We Find Something We Do Not Expect.

The Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman (Library of America)The Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman by William T. Sherman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I begin this book as an attempt to stir up my wife, whom is related to Jerfferson Davis, a true GRITS (a girl raised in the south).   I am a western boy and sometimes full of tenacity, and sprite. I tell you this because I was reading the book for material to share with my wife when she got to Southern. Sherman had such a great presence that no one had a neutral opinion on him.   Some hate him. Others loved him. So who was this man and was he as angelic or diabolic as people portrayed him to be... I have seen Sherman be a foot soldier for the history of the united states in the 19thc. Sherman was more human and much more complex than I originally thought.   William T. Sherman was a man of deep philosophy and believed in the UNION above all other thoughts.  His philosophy was deep enough to include a love for the South;  he retired in Missouri, began Louisiana State University, and wanted to treat Jefferson Davis with dignity and secretly hoped the former Confederate President would find a way to escape from reconstruction trials.    This book was well worth the time and energy I spent.   I recommend it highly!
just don't give up because of its length.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review of Books

A Calculated Life , by Anne Charnock   (3 out of 5 Stars).
An utopian corporate world fulfilled by calculations to make it the best for a select people.  A drone girl is stunned to find an abnormality  in the natural world.   She looks at a Stick Insect and finds the QUESTION, "Why does this insect have wings but does not fly."  The QUESTION opens the road to discovery and the desire to free her self from a calculated world.   The book was average in its telling, but interesting enough to finish.

The Martian  by Andy Weir (Abandoned)  
Jack London  + Star Trek (the Original Outer Space Opera) - Star Wars (Hero Quest) =  The Martian 

Alas, I grew tired of all the weather and storms wiping out Potatoes on Mars. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review of Books

New Year Goals and Plans with Reading:
I completely finished 11 books last year that were non fiction.  That is only 12.5 percent of my books were non fiction.   So my plan is to read one non fiction book for every three fiction books finished.

Minnesota, The North Star StateMinnesota, The North Star State by William W. Folwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I began this book as a way to meet my goal of reading more non fiction books through out the 2015 year.  My plan is to read one non fiction book for every three fiction books finished. 

I finished my first book (1:25)on Monday.

Why a book on Minnesota? My grandfather is turning 100 on February 5th. I was interested in learning more about the state, since he is a long time Minnesotan.   The book was a good historical  interpretation, shaped by the time it was written in 1908. I liked how non politically correct this history is. Truth is found sometimes in the stuff that dirties up our closet.  Today, we tend to shy away from controversial subjects. Minnesota becoming a state was truly controversial, especially in the 1850's before the clash of the Civil War.  The national philosophy was emerging upon definite power lines, and Minnesota was caught in the midst of this action.

       This book seemed to be his overall general reader of Minnesota's history.   I would love to delve deeper into his discussion of the tea pot dome period and its effect on Minnesota.    Also the civil war and Indian wars and their effect were interesting but were quickly raked over.   I am interested in finding out what ever happened to the 150 Swiss Watchmakers who came to Minnesota to find that the promise of the American Dream was not as good as advertised.   The book is a great general history of Minnesota and gave me more appreciation of the state.
The author has three/four volumes of history on Minnesota, which go deeper into themes and study.  So far, the volumes are not found at Project Gutenberg, so I will have to wait to dive into them. 
The book can be found free at the Gutenberg Project.

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 Here is a link. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Reads So Far

Books finished so far. 

1 Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond (Otherland #4.6) by John Joseph Adams **** (Four Stars)
Fun re imagining the tales. Also gave deeper meaning to the original tales.

2 The Storied Life of A.J. Firky by Gabrielle Zevin *****(Five Stars)
all book lovers out there, this book a homage to you. The characters are fun. The plot is interesting. And the book reads quickly. I dig it big time.

Reading or listening to currently:

A Calculated Life , by Anne Charnock   On Chapter 9 out of 18.

The Martian  by Andy Weir
Jack London + Star Trek (the Original Outer Space Opera) - Star Wars (Hero Quest) =  The Martian

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