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search about a garden a tree a stream an entrance now

Joshua Whiting

learner, writer, creator, librarianish person

a stream

All posts and notes on this site, sorted by when published.


I Watched Parasite, 2019

[Originally Posted: 2020.01.07]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]

This review may contain spoilers.

Can’t stop thinking about ghosts in the basement and cockroaches scurrying under the furniture. And how maybe children’s fears should be taken seriously. This is a metaphoric spoiler.

Parasite Poster Image

This review may contain spoilers.

Can’t stop thinking about ghosts in the basement and cockroaches scurrying under the furniture. And how maybe children’s fears should be taken seriously. This is a metaphoric spoiler.

Parasite Poster Image

(First posted on letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/jdwhiting/film/parasite-2019/)

Is it weird that I started subscribing to the weekly showtime updates for the Salt Lake Film Society / Broadway Centre Theater almost a year ago but am just now finally attending a movie there on a random Monday night? Probably.

Standalone post link: I Watched Parasite, 2019
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I Watched Killer of Sheep, 1978

[Originally Posted: 2020.01.05]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]

Kids singing rhymes Dogs barking Car ignitions turning over but failing to start This bitter earth Scuffling and throwing rocks An ice cream truck on the next street over That’s America to me

Killer of Sheep DVD Cover Image

Kids singing rhymes Dogs barking Car ignitions turning over but failing to start This bitter earth Scuffling and throwing rocks An ice cream truck on the next street over That’s America to me

Killer of Sheep DVD Cover Image

(First posted on letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/jdwhiting/film/killer-of-sheep/)

Last night I also watched another film directed by Charles Burnett: My Brother’s Wedding, 1983. I watched the director’s cut. It was included in the same scratched-up DVD set as Killer of Sheep, which I obtained from the Salt Lake County Library. I waxed slightly poetic describing the sounds of Killer of Sheep above, but I think I liked My Brother’s Wedding even more, although I admit that a lot of the acting here is just bad. I laughed at moments that I don’t think were intended as comical on account of the acting, but maybe that’s okay. Overall, I’m glad I watched both of them as a double-feature.

My Brother’s Wedding Movie Image

(I’m still working my way through the 2017 and 2018 topics of the Film School Drop Outs Challenge at my own pace. This was watched for Week 32 (2018) - Movement - L.A. Rebellion.)

Screenshot of moment of Killer of Sheep frozen by a scratch in the library DVD Screenshot of moment of Killer of Sheep frozen by a scratch in the library DVD

Screenshot of library’s MARC Record for Killer of Sheep, just because I’m weird and this is my site so I can Screenshot of library’s MARC Record for Killer of Sheep, just because I’m a weird cataloging nerd and this is my site so I can. And also because I couldn’t get a direct hyperlink to their catalog record to work :(

Standalone post link: I Watched Killer of Sheep, 1978
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igh!

[Originally Posted: 2019.12.11]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.21]

Standalone post link: igh!
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Dogs--Evolution. Human-Animal Relationship--History.

[Originally Posted: 2019.12.01]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.16]

A Dog in the Cave by Kay Frydenborg, with Luna in background

The other day at work I was going through some new MARC records for a school and came across this book they had purchased, and it covers the precise topics that I’ve been meaning to learn more about since a dog came into my life.

A Dog in the Cave by Kay Frydenborg, with Luna in background

The other day at work I was going through some new MARC records for a school and came across this book they had purchased, and it covers the precise topics that I’ve been meaning to learn more about since a dog came into my life.

Screenshot of Subject Headings for A Dog in the Cave by Kay Frydenborg

So now I’m learning about the co-evolution of humans and dogs. I love the serendipity of good library cataloging.

Standalone post link: Dogs--Evolution. Human-Animal Relationship--History.
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Thanks

[Originally Posted: 2019.11.28]
[Last Updated: 2021.02.20]

“Thanks” by W.S. Merwin - poetsdotorg screenshot

Thanks.

“Thanks” by W.S. Merwin - poetsdotorg screenshot

Thanks.

You better count your blessings for real. AMEN.

All My Heroes Are Cornballs by JPEGMAFIA - Cover

Standalone post link: Thanks
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Happy Life Day

[Originally Posted: 2019.11.28]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]

I forgot to observe Life Day several days ago, but I’ll observe it today on the Internet and on my website. I did share Life Day with my kids (just about 7 minutes worth) soon after when I had come to myself and realigned my priorities. They kind of loved it, and kind of thought it was terrible, which is just as it should be.

I forgot to observe Life Day several days ago, but I’ll observe it today on the Internet and on my website. I did share Life Day with my kids (just about 7 minutes worth) soon after when I had come to myself and realigned my priorities. They kind of loved it, and kind of thought it was terrible, which is just as it should be.

A day or two later I overheard my kids telling their cousins about it. My daughter gleefully informed them that Princess Leia did not have a very good singing voice. A few seconds later she literally fell onto her own face out of a swing, which I pointed out to her was likely recompense through the force for her speaking poorly and untruthfully of the princess, or perhaps even the force ghost of Carrie Fisher herself reaching out to bring balance.

The Star Wars Holiday Special poster on TMDB - I chose this particular one because it features Bea Arthur as well as the treehouse

I feel like the holiday special is actually one of the most important entries in the entire Star Wars canon because, other than the scenes by the lake on Naboo, it is the only time you really get a feel for the home front in these taxing times, and just how much is at stake to be lost by the regular middle-class inhabitants of the galaxy if the rebellion fails and the empire continues its crushing, authoritarian reign, not only on a galactic level but in its abuses of the personal freedoms and comforts of individuals right in their midcentury modern treehouses.

Standalone post link: Happy Life Day
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Holiday Fun

[Originally Posted: 2019.11.27]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.21]

Swinging and Listening to Sung Tongs

I forced the kids to listen to my Sung Tongs vinyl today while they made snowflakes and swung around.

Swinging and Listening to Sung Tongs

I forced the kids to listen to my Sung Tongs vinyl today while they made snowflakes and swung around.

Making Snowflakes

Making Snowflakes

Sung Tongs by Animal Collective - Cover

Standalone post link: Holiday Fun
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Book Review - A Wolf Called Wander

[Originally Posted: 2019.11.22]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]

Cover Image - A Wolf Called Wander

I published a review of A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Perry on Granite Media and also posted it on Goodreads.

Enjoyed reading this one to my kids at bedtime.

Cover Image - A Wolf Called Wander

I published a review of A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Perry on Granite Media and also posted it on Goodreads.

Enjoyed reading this one to my kids at bedtime.

Swift is not the largest or strongest pup in his pack, but he loves his home in the mountains and he wants to grow to lead, provide for, and protect the pack just like his mother and father do. When stranger wolves invade their territory, Swift finds himself alone and blocked from his mountain home forever. He wanders far, encountering dangers from men and challenges on the prairie and desert. Will he ever find a mountain home among other wolves again?

This is a dramatic, realistic, and action-packed animal adventure story inspired by the true experience of OR-7, a radio-collared wolf that mysteriously traveled over 1,000 miles across Oregon and Northern California to establish a new wolf pack. The back matter features engaging photos, maps, and other information about OR-7 as well as about wild wolves generally and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest. The frequent illustrations add to mood and experience of reading the book.

I highly recommend this book for young readers who like animals, adventure and survival stories, and even lyrical/poetic writing about nature and the wilderness. Swift’s keen observation and love of the mountains made me want to get out and explore nature myself, and after reading the book I’ve found myself even paying more attention to the animals and plants around my home and in the city.

Reviewed by Joshua Whiting, Library Media Program, Educational Technology Department Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars) Interest Level: Grades 3-8

A Wolf Called Wander Written by Rosanne Perry, Illustrated by Mónica Armiño Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 243 pages Release Date: May 7, 2019 ISBN: 9780062895936

Tags: 2019 Children’s Fiction, Adventure Fiction, Animal Adventure Fiction, Animals Fiction, Joshua Whiting, Journeys Fiction, Mónica Armiño, Mountains Fiction, Nature Fiction, Rosanne Perry, Shelley Francom, Survival Fiction, Wolves Fiction

Standalone post link: Book Review - A Wolf Called Wander
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Book Review - Other Words for Home

[Originally Posted: 2019.11.20]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]

Cover Image - Other Words for Home

I published a review of Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga on Granite Media and also posted it on Goodreads.

I really wanted to put screenshots of this entire poem in the review, but couldn’t justify it on Granite Media. But here, I get to do whatever I want, so…

Poem from Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga - Screenshot of ebook

Cover Image - Other Words for Home

I published a review of Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga on Granite Media and also posted it on Goodreads.

I really wanted to put screenshots of this entire poem in the review, but couldn’t justify it on Granite Media. But here, I get to do whatever I want, so…

Poem from Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga - Screenshot of ebook

I still smile at everyone in the street. Not everyone smiles back, though. When they don’t, I want to say, ‘You don’t have to worry about me. I am just a girl who likes movies.’ -–Jude, in Jasmine Warga’s Other Words for Home

This is the engaging story of Jude, a girl who lives in a ocean-side town in Syria, where her father runs a convenience store for the tourists who visit the nearby beach resorts. She loves to watch old (1990s) American movies and sing along to Whitney Houston songs, and wants to be an actress. As tensions rise between the Syrian government and young demonstrators pushing for democracy, including Jude’s teenage brother Issa, Jude and her mother travel to visit Jude’s uncle in America. As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate they are effectively refugees in America, and Jude must navigate American middle school while not knowing what is happening to her brother back home.

Jude is a character that all readers will be able to identify with, and Warga does a great service in showing Jude’s personality and the details of her family and life in Syria before the political unrest and violence breaks out. Crafted in easy-flowing free verse, this is a story that will help refugees, immigrants, English language learners, and really any young person who feels like they don’t quite fit in to feel seen, and it will build understanding and empathy in readers as it puts an individual face and experience on a terrible individual situation that can be hard to imagine or understand. This would make an excellent classroom read, and I highly recommend it for all young readers and for inclusion in every elementary and middle school library.

Reviewed by Joshua Whiting, Library Media Program, Educational Technology Department Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars) Interest Level: Grades 4-8

Other Words for Home Written by Jasmine Warga Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 342 pages Release Date: May 28, 2019 ISBN: 9780062747808

Tags: 2019 Children’s Fiction, Cincinnati Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Emigration Fiction, Family Fiction, Government Resistance Fiction, Immigrants Fiction, Jasmine Warga, Joshua Whiting, Movies Fiction, Moving Fiction, Muslim Americans Fiction, Muslims Fiction, Novels in Verse, Ohio Fiction, Political Unrest Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Refugees Fiction, Syria Fiction, Syrian Americans Fiction

Standalone post link: Book Review - Other Words for Home
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Luna Waiting for Will to Finish Gathering Rosehips

[Originally Posted: 2019.11.16]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.21]

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Copyright 2022 Joshua David Whiting. Made in Millcreek, Utah, USA. Contact me. Built with Hugo and my own WP51 theme, still a work in progress. Hosted via Github and Netlify.