If you look at it, not that much. I’m halfway through Anna Karenina and are really digging it. It’s much more approachable than the Fjodor Dostojewskij books I’ve read years ago. I might read them again, because I was pretty young when I did. As a teenager I went through a ‘phase’ of Russian literature and read a couple of Dostojewskij’s books and Chekhov’s stories (after Raymond Carver cited him as an influence). Tolstoy was waaay too intimidating. Come on, War and Piece comes in three volumes if you don’t want to carry a brick around that is so thick you can barely turn a page. And Anna Karenina is also something to shlep around, trust me. However, if you haven’t read it and are looking for a nice read, go for it. It’s fun. That also means that I haven’t done much esoteric reading for the last couple of months, mostly because I felt that I needed a vacation and not more work when I came home from work — so it’s novels at the moment.
As far as TV shows go, The Wife and I watched Damages, which was really surprisingly good. Lawyers, lots of double-crossing and moral bankruptcy. And it has Glenn Close in it, who, even though I think she looks creepy, is a fucking good actress. The Wife and I are cutting down on our Netflix consumption, because make no mistake: that streaming feature is like crack. It’s in some ways even worse than TV.
Now, I thought Don Tiki would be kinda neat, if a little boring and flat after a while, but it turns out that they just don’t compare to the real stuff at all. I think I’m going to look a little more into the Exotica genre. I was always turned off by the remarkably tacky covers, but there’s probably some amazing stuff! I mean, come on, the Martin Denny video is amazing, is it not?
I’ve also come across the Ensemble für Frühe Musik Augsburg, which plays some great medieval music. And, again, if you listen to their stuff and compare it with the other ‘medieval’ music groups out there you will notice the difference right away.
So, yeah, exotica, medieval music, lawyer dramas, and Russian love stories — that’s pretty much what’s going on with The Grumpy German right now.