Last year, I read two of Paul van Loon’s Dolfje Weerwolfje books. As the others have since returned from a loan, I read those as well. Not to sound too much like an old man, but I guess I was too old for them.
The first two were loads of fun, as I never read them, but these, well, if I had read these two first, they’d be loads of fun too. It’s just that I figured out the formula, and that made them more repetitive than fun. Dolfje is a werewolf, Timmie is his best friend, Dad is weird, they get in trouble (Zilvertand wants to capture werewolves to sell them / some business persons want to cut down Wolvenbos), and cousin Leo, Grandpa Werewolf and Dolfje’s girlfriend Noura come to the rescue.
Then there were also two even shorter stories for children just starting to read, and there even less happened.
So: fun, but not keeping me interested beyond the time it took to read them.
The main reason I like Acda en De Munnik so damn much is the words. Thomas Acda has diminutively said that he just puts them it the right order, but in truth, both he and Paul de Munnik are really, really good at that. On every album there are a couple of songs where the lyrics are borderline genius. A turn of phrase here, a simile there, a song that is so meta that it is all about what type of song it is … for someone who is into words and the order they’re in, I can not recommend them enough. Especially if you’re a hopeless romantic who rather keeps dreaming of what could be, instead of finding out what would really happen (cf. day 27), like me.
This post would be so much easier in Dutch, ‘cause then I’d just post a bunch of lyrics, and you’d get the drift.
Songs like “Als je me morgen ziet”, “Geen Liedje”, “Jaren ver van hier”, “Eva” and “Halve zinnen” are exactly about that: being hopelessly in love, and not being able to do something with that. It’s almost un-doable to pick a favorite from those, so I went for the one with the most watchable video. From a purely textual point of view, “Jaren ver van hier” would be so spot on that it’d be the “Love Theme” on the soundtrack of the first movie they’ll make about me. (For those who want to know: Love Theme, Part II)
Of course, I can’t end this post without a proper quote, so just to illustrate how well they could capture the lovestruck idiot I was, from “Halve zinnen”:
And with that, the 30 day song challenge concludes.
The View from the Cheap Seats (ToC) is a collection of the selected non-fiction of Neil Gaiman. It’s a hodge-podge of essays, interviews, book introductions, speeches, and the like. Some of them I had read before, either online or as part of the Neil Gaiman Humble Bundle.
What makes this collection work, I guess, is that despite some of the pieces being deeply personal, they are never private. Even when I knew nothing about the subject/person being talked about, Gaiman manages to make a connection. So that you can relate. After reading some of the included book reviews, there were quite a few titles I might want to look into eventually. But the pieces about making art and the process of making things up were the most fun for me.
Throughout the book there are little nuggets of quotable wisdom, like “I don’t get only supporting the freedom of the kind of speech you like. If speech needs defending, it’s probably because it’s upsetting someone.” and “Things can mean more than they literally mean. And that’s the dividing line between art and everything that isn’t art. Or one of the lines, anyway.”
Two pieces are among my all-time top 5 favorite things Neil Gaiman put on paper. The first is a Credo:
As I said earlier, I wasn’t all that into music as a kid. Apart from the kiddie stuff, I can’t recall much music beyond what my parents forced upon me (and lets not go there). I do remember getting a CD-player (and my mother winning some CDs with a game on the radio before that), and one of the first kinda cool CDs we had, was a promotional sampler from our local super market. Looking over that track list, it’s a trip down memory lane.
This live version of “Symphony of Angels” was the last of three bonus tracks tacked onto Queen of the Ocean, the first Lana Lane album I bought, but I was sold long before I reached it. I first heard her on Ayreon’s Universal Migrator albums, and that was reason enough to seek out her own work. A sticker on that album made her out to be “the Queen of Symphonic Rock”, and I could go for that.
Her next album, Secrets of Astrology is my favorite of hers, especially the monumental title track. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was little she could do wrong for me.