“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” — Holden Caulfield, Catcher in the Rye

Updated to add the obligatory Onion link: Bunch of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger. Pullquote:

“He had a real impact on the literary world and on millions of readers,” said hot-shot English professor David Clarke, who is just like the rest of them, and even works at one of those crumby schools that rich people send their kids to so they don’t have to look at them for four years.

sticky Valentines

I recently spent an afternoon flipping through CDs and websites looking for a first dance song that would suit both our tastes. It’s turning out to be tricky, especially since most of our favorite music is better suited to a divorce proceeding than to a wedding.

After a few hours, I has a “well, duh!” moment and turned to Google. Ach, my eyes! Ze google does nuzzing! Well, nuzzing except remind me why I have assiduously avoided The Knot: The Knot’s first pick for hip first dance songs is Elvis Costello’s “Alison.”


Now, I was eight when “Elvis Costello released My Aim is True. “Alison” is probably the first Elvis Costello song I knew word-for-word all the way through, probably the first Elvis Costello song I sang in the shower, probably the first Elvis Costello song that spurred me to buy an Elvis Costello album as I crept toward my teens. This is a song I loved long before I could really get it. This song twangs a string deep inside my chest.

And even as a kid, I understood that “Alison” is not a song about finding your true love and life companion.

No, really. The lyrics to “Alison,” listed by the official Elvis Costello website and fan club, emphasis mine:

Oh it’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
And with the way you look I understand
that you were not impressed
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
take off your party dress
I’m not going to get too sentimental
like those other sticky valentines,
’cause I don’t know if you’ve been loving some body.
I only know it isn’t mine
Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.
Well I see you’ve got a husband now.
Did he leave your pretty fingers lying
in the wedding cake?
You used to hold him right in your hand.
I’ll bet he took all he could take.
Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking
when I hear the silly things that you say.
I think somebody better put out the big light,
cause I can’t stand to see you this way.
Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.
My aim is true.

Nanowrimo update

The writing, she is not going well. Even though there is plenty left to tell, the will to share it has petered out. Blar blar blar. Okay I’ll keep going one more day, but at this point, at a little over 8,000 words, I am not so hopeful to make up the deficit over the course of this week, especially if I have to begin cleaning for the move. However, I am house-bound tomorrow due to the 24-hour urine test (joy!) which has required me to forego tomatoes, nuts, chocolate and various fruits. (Do you know how hard it is for me not to eat tomatoes? It’s almost like telling me not to eat broccoli.) So I may give it one more full day before officially throwing in the towel. Wednesday I will celebrate with salsa.

Bring it on

NaBloPoMo Elli: 1/30
NaNoWriMo: 2,630 words and counting
Going for the glory this year, the first year I will finish writing a 50,000-word novel at NaNoWriMo. (Click the link and if you’re writing too, make me a buddy.) As usual I’m being thrown for a loop. The past two years I was travelling around Oz without daily internet opportunities so I couldn’t post at all, but congratulations to Elsa who, I think, made it through NaBloPoMo. I didn’t count, but let’s say she did. Woot! Now I finally get the chance, except we’re moving over the course of the next few weeks. Fortunately I have a handy little wireless device so at least I’ll have dial-up wherever I may go. Take that, November. I’m also 2,630 words into my novel and still writing. Yes, day one is promising. I’ll be at it all weekend, because I’m pretty sure that come Wednesday morning here in Australia, which is Tuesday evening in the States, I’ll be watching election coverage non-stop and unable to tear myself away to write anything other than a excited tweet.
Sentence of the day:
“She quivered at the thought of going anywhere near the place, not because of the snow covered roads, but because of the people who lived there–the ‘happy people’ she called them.”

Card carrying member

I got another of my favorite kinds of cards today: a library card. Rejoice, but quietly, deep inside! Although not packed to the rafters the way I normally like a library to be, I still found a few volumes to take home:
The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson (books about language = love)
Why a Painting Is Like a Pizza: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Modern Art by Nancy G. Heller (because it sounds true)
The Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques by Jinks McGrath (which is on my Amazon wishlist and now I can determine if it should stay there)
The New Macrame by Katie DuMont (because who hasn’t needed to brush up these skills)
These were all found at the new Falcon library just south of us, but next time we’ll check out the older Mandurah library just to see what they’ve got sitting around (besides the toddler sing/play group that was meeting today — quiet please! — and the elder ladies having a discussion circle — good decibel level, thanks.)

campfire stories, William Gibson style

Just in time for Hallowe’en, a few spoooooooky stories, internet style:
But Andrew didn’t want to go. Dave got into that argument with him about how it was the perfect setup for a young bachelor, house all to yourself, party time, Risky Business, and Andrew kept saying it was too cold there for a party. Too cold. I distinctly remember that. Don’t fail to click the updates link, and follow up all the tendrils as they spread…
I will NOT reveal the location of the cave to ANYONE for ANY REASON! [spoiler] Ted the Caver’s page by page description of his close call in Mystery Cave takes its action directly from Thomas Lera’s short story “The Fear of Darkness.” Oddly enough, the staccato online delivery of the story packs more punch, building from a mildly interesting account of a caving day-trip to nerve-pounding fear.
– Finally, a post entitled I found a digital camera in the woods! was smeared all over the net a few years ago, but I found the photos still alive and kicking here and here.
Turn out the lights and enjoy!

Screw your courage to the sticking place

Shakespeare porn.

No, really: Shakespeare porn. Do you suppose they renamed Puck?

Also, I’m afraid, Shakespeare slash.

“Things I will not do when I direct a Shakespeare production, on stage or film,” part I, part II, and part III. Includes such wisdom as:

The ghost of Hamlet’s father will not be played by the entire ensemble underneath a giant piece of diaphanous black material.
Olivia probably should not say “Most wonderful!” as if she’s thinking “THREESOME!
I will not have my weird sisters hump each other.
I will also never use ACTUAL snakes. Ever.

Hold me

Today I wandered through my tiny local bookstore trying to find some light reading in German. I’m not at the level to read the books that really interest me. Instead I need a book that doesn’t send me to the dictionary every other sentence and, well, the only books that fulfill that requirement are of the “chick lit” kind. Hold me, I’m scared.
Perhaps it’s time to push myself and not try to understand everything I read.
Thanks for the holding, I’m okay now. I’ve decided to read Die Physiker. Here’s the English version.