Little Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys (books and movies)

So with the latest Little Women film which came out last Christmas by Greta Gerwig. I finally decided it was time to read the books all three of them. Let’s go. Spoilers to follow and I’ll be brief.

The first book Little Women came out in 1868/9 is told in two parts Little Women and Good Wives. The first part focuses on a year in the life of the March Family. Meg (16), Jo (15), Beth (13) and Amy (12) live at home with Marmee, their Mother, their father has gone off to the War as a chaplain. They become friends with the boy next door Theodore Laurence “Laurie” (about 15 1/2), who is an orphan who lives with his Grandfather, James Laurence. Jo and Laurie become fast friends and eventually Laurie is basically a family member. Father gets sick and Marmee is called to Washington to nurse him back to health. Beth contracts scarlet fever and recovers in time for Father to arrive home at the end.

Part two, begins about 3 years later and begins with Meg marrying John Brooke, Laurie’s tutor. Amy heads off to Europe with her aunt and Jo realizes that Laurie has fallen in love with her but to Jo Laurie will only be a brother. Jo leaves for New York where she meets Professor Bhaer who is boarding in the same house and they have a connection but after Bhaer criticizes her writing the sensational stories for the Weekly Volcano as not great. She gives up on her writing until she can write something that is true. After returning home from New York Laurie proposes and Jo says no. Laurie heads with his grandfather to Europe to get over the heart break. Beth’s health declines and Jo become nurse maid once again. While Laurie is in Europe he runs into Amy he falls in love with her eventually. Before they can return Beth dies and Jo discovers that being alone isn’t the best of things. Amy and Laurie return from Europe married and Professor Bhaer comes to visit as well. Jo and Bhaer eventually share a small umbrella in the rain. Bhaer has only his fill heart and empty hand which are “not empty now”.

The films are all a bit different from the book moving bits and pieces around. Be Kind Rewind did a great video comparing all the big one. The 1933 and 1949 films are basically the exact same the later one is in color in 49 they also switch up the order of daughters w. Katherine Hepburn starred Jo in 33, June Allyson was Jo and Liz Taylor was Amy in 49. In 1994, it was the first time a woman directed the story Winona Ryder was Jo. The latest film from 2019 mixes the whole story up telling it in bits and pieces from childhood and adulthood, it also sort of changes the end, having Jo not marry maybe.

The second book, Little Men (1871) tells the story of life at Plumfield, Jo and Bhaer’s school where they raise about a dozen boys. Daisy and Demi (John), Meg’s kids, are taught there as well. Franz and Emil, Baher’s nephews are older and sort of help out and Jo and Bhaer’s kids Rob and Ted are toddlers. I can understand why this hasn’t gotten made into as many films as Little Women as there are so many children in here. We meet several new characters Nat, Tommy, Nan and Dan. This book is about bonds in childhood and focus on several months to a year in their lives.

The final book, Jo’s Boys (1886) is set a decade after Little Men and tells us all about what has happened to everyone. With Nat going off to Europe to become a concert violinist, Nan becoming a doctor and Dan traveling the world. This book pairs up almost all the characters with suitors.

It’s not that the other two books aren’t great they just are different than the first book sure we get Meg, Jo, Amy, Laurie, and Bhaer back from the original and they are characters but the focus is on the next generation. I’d suggest if you haven’t read Little Women before to read that but you don’t have to read the rest. Even if you’ve already read Little Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys are fine reads but not necessary unless you want to visit an older Jo.

Native American naming Controversy Part 13

Well, it’s been a while since any big news has come around about this but the shoe has finally dropped. The Washington Redskins are going to be doing a thorough review of the team’s name. It took a bunch of corporations threatening to boycott including FedEx, Nike and Pepsico. to get Danny Snyder to even think about reviewing the name. Even though if he wants to move back into DC, which is one of his hope, and to get a new stadium built at the RFK site he has been told for ages to change the name. I’ve felt that if Danny is all about making money why hasn’t he change the name and sold tons of new merchandise. Many have postured that this means a name change is coming, some even saying by the time football season begins in August/September, that’s only about a month and a half way, but reverting to the spear logo is an easy change. This is a great step but it is only a step in the long journey. However the new name could possibly just be bringing back the old name Braves from when the team was in Boston or they could lean into the Native American concept by taking a name of a tribe like the Anacostans or Patawomecks rebranding with that as a name to “honor” the heritage of the area. Others online have suggested Red Tails to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, then there is Hogs honoring the team’s stellar offensive line from the 80s-90s, Warriors, Senators, Monuments, ‘Skins and Pigskins.

The other big news is that The Cleveland Indians are reviewing their name as well. Here’s hoping the Cleveland Spiders live again. There hasn’t been anything from the Braves, Chiefs or Blackhawks about them thinking about changing their names. Sure the Atlanta Braves still have the Tomahawk chop, but they say that their limiting it so that’s great. The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t done a thing really but besides the tomahawk chop the name is only tangentially related to Native Americans, and the Chicago Blackhawks are a hockey team and Americans just don’t care about hockey that much

Happy New Year 2019

Another year has gone by and we are all hopefully a year wiser than we were last year.   I’ve been a bit busy in December so that why there hasn’t been much posting around here, between getting thing ready for the holidays and working on getting Smash Brothers Ultimate fully unlocked. It’s that time of year to reconsider our lives and try to become better people.

Tune in to the Rose Parade and perhaps the Mummers Parade as well as the Winter Classic and what every College Bowl games are on tomorrow. I’ve got a nice list of books that I will be reading this year from the final book in the Space Trilogy by CS Lewis, Hunt for Red October, The Seven Storey Mountain, maybe Huck Finn as well. There are bound to be some good films and television programs as well.  I hope that everybody has had a pleasant break and I plan to be posting around three times a week.

Family Vacations

This past week I was on a family vacation and sure it was a tittle weird. Sure, I wasn’t related to anyone but they are family none the less. We went to the farm which was always talked about but I had never experienced. It was worth the wait but I do find the whole experience still a bit strange as I know all the adults better than their children as I’ve spent more time with all of them than the few times that their children came up/visited their Grandma and most of that time was spent catching up with their aunts and uncles/hanging out with one another so I’ve had a few conversations with them but they are basically “what have you been doing?” Sure I know them but I really don’t know much about them at all. It’s a strange relationship here all around on top of all the invites to go visit the ones out of the country. Sure I would get to know but is this the best solution.

The vacation was fun and all but there were fifteen all together and hanging out with them but as the old saying goes “guests like fish begin to smell after three days.”  This was the first real big vacation I’ve been on in a while as my own family hasn’t done anything in years  but we’ve got a big family as well so reason, but we do gather together quite a bit for parties and the like. However this was enough of a family vacation for a while.

Thanks and ideas for 2017 posts

As we come to the end of the year I just want to thank all you who put up with the variety of topics that interest me. In the upcoming year here are some ideas of what I will be looking at focusing on.

I will be doing several posts (at least 6) about Fatima, as this year will marks the 100th anniversary of the events and the Pope is going so that’s noteworthy. Since Lent occurs at the same time for both Eastern and Western Churches this year, we will focus on Great Lent and other facets of the Eastern Orthodox season. The Rosary reflections will be coming back and I hope to have fewer movie and television show reviews and they will only be about good things that I’ve seen. The News Roundup will change a bit, instead of talking about multiple stories perhaps the focus will be on only one or have it multiple days of the week, not sure yet. I hope to do a bit more reading and sharing the books that I’ve been reading more often, this year I started off great but Amoris Laetitia was released and that sort of messed up reading in general as I had started reading War and Peace and it just never got far when I went back to it. Hopefully, I will finish up all the Vatican II documents and move onto the documents of Catholic Social Teaching.


Holiday Crush

I can’t believe that we are already in the holiday crush Thanksgiving is in a week and Christmas will be following behind soon enough. It seems like only yesterday it was Halloween and now everyone is talking turkey and wondering about their potatoes/stuffing and all the rest of the menu. If you can all take some time to rest and reflect as we near this end of they year and the holiday extravaganza.  Sure it is nice to see old friends and family members but we also all need to remember to take some time for ourselves. I hope that everyone has a wonder filled holiday season.

Lesser Known…

Parents’ Day and Children’s Day fall on the same exact day June 1. This is an odd thing to start in the United States as well as a bunch of other countries these events have been moved to different dates in the US Children’s Day is the Second Sunday in June and Parents’ Day is the Fourth Sunday in June. Unfortunately for me I didn’t know about Children’s Day growing up but on this day children up to 12 get a present or something it really depends on the country, Parents’ Day on the other hand is a day to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship. It’s like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day wrapped up into one.

There is also World Environment Day on June 5 how is this different from Arbor Day or Earth Day I really couldn’t tell you. On June 6 it is UN Russian Language Day as well, it coincides with Alexander Pushkin’s birthday. Pushkin is considered to be the father of modern Russian literature. This is one of the six UN Language Days which are to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and to promote equal use of all six of the UN’s official working languages. This language day is a cool idea and it would be interesting to read some Russian Literature, as well as the other UN languages (Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, English)

The UN does like to make days up like this, all of the days  listed above are made up by the UN.


The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant

I just finished reading Douglass Wallop’s classic novel about the beloved Washington Senators. Although I am sure that more people know the story from the stage musical Damn Yankees. The book tells the Faustian tale of a downtrodden die-hard Senators fan who makes a deal with the devil to become the star of the Senators and help the team move up from the cellar. The Washington Senators were best known by the punchline “First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League”. The book is a little different from the musical version but I’ll get to that later one. Spoilers to follow.

Joe Boyd is the devoted fan of the Senators and a middle-aged real estate salesman who makes a deal with Mr. Applegate to become the best baseball player in the world (Joe Hardy) if he only sells his soul, however Boyd will only agree if there is a way out of the contract. Applegate and Joe agree that on this but Applegate won’t give any real details about the contract, so Joe leaves his wife and heads to join the Senators on the road. When Joe gets to the stadium in Detroit he knocks on the locker room door and says he’s here to tryout. At the tryout Joe smashes balls out of the park and is signed on the spot and joins the team in their next game as a pinch hitter. When Joe returns to Washington DC, Applegate introduces him to another “lost soul” Lola, the world most beautiful woman, and tries to get them together, but Joe is concerned about his wife. The book has an interesting character which didn’t make it to the musical Roscoe Ent who is a little person who the Senators have on roster to entertain the crowds and pitch an inning when the Senators are down by a lot. Roscoe is jealous when Joe comes to town and basically eliminates his role with the team. The book also has a journalist who is out to get Joe who is from New York and wants his Yankees to win the pennant. One of the things that the book has is the whole ending is different as Lola sacrifices herself for Joe to be free and Applegate find another sucker to be Joe Hardy for the World Series and to follow through with his plans. The book also has a part when it basically says that the devil is the reason why the Yankees are so good.

If you are a fan of baseball this is a must read, it takes the Faust story and adds a baseball twist. I really liked how everything felt real as if it could actually happen. Many fans across the nation would make a deal with the devil for their team to beat the Yankees and make their way to a pennant. With Baseball in DC yet again the story still holds up sure the team is better now than it was in the 40s and 50s but fans are sill hoping for the team to bring home a pennant (they last one was back in 1933, and the World Series is even longer back in 1924). Maybe one day the long suffering fans in Washington will have something to cheer about.

Oktoberfest weekend

So i will be gone this weekend going to an Oktoberfest and a wedding. The first Oktoberfest was convened to celebrate a wedding so it seems like a nice thing to do . So today I will be eating and drinking too much good German food and then the wedding is on Sunday. Sunday’s readings will be up as usual, but on Monday there will not be a post.  Hope you all have a great weekend. If you want something to read there are plenty of good topic to choose from in the sidebar.

Present from Google Reader

Since Google likes to no longer support the applications that I use. I was a huge fan of Google Wave and thought that it was a cool thing it was like a chat room but even better. Of course i was a bigger fan of Google Reader I used it for ages to keep up to date on a plethora of blogs and other sites like that. So Google decided to close up shop and I needed to find a new place to keep up with the blogs and other sites I follow, so I jumped, following the advice of lifehacker,  over to Feedly and it has been my reader for the past 3 or 4 weeks.

So one of the things that Google provided was the whole contents including the my favorites posts. Now I marked several things as a favorite but I hadn’t really gone back and looked at it since they they were saved. Looking over these there are some great ones, i’ve got a huge collection of The Art of Manliness post on a wide range of topics, from fashion to dating and cooking to backpacking. All of these need to be re-read. There is also a bunch of recipes from mostly Endless Simmer but a couple from The Wednesday Chef as well all of which I really want to make at some point in time. Also in this bunch is a slew of Catholic post, mainly from New Advent, and a bunch of list of books to read.

Anyways it is a lot of thing there to read at some point in the future perhaps whenever I finally get that iPad I’ve always wanted is when this list will get any smaller. It is a shame that Google bailed on their reader but I do like that with feedly I can explore all the post that I saved, I think if Google Reader hadn’t ended I would have continued to mark more and more post as favorites. It is great to have to read this over again. Thanks Google!