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Showing posts from November, 2007


While I was in KC my Mom and I went to see Doubt at the KC Rep. She was offered free tickets.

All we had to do was sit through a small presentation.

It was like going for a time-share.

We were there to hear about the rest of the season and hopefully buy season tickets.

Has anyone else heard of this? This new tactic by theaters to get ahold of a captive audience?

Driving Part Two

I didn't know how to drive when I left Kansas City, so driving in my home town was a novel experience. I drove around and past my old schools before I went to see my mother. My home town has a highway down the middle with access roads down the sides.

There were a lot more highways. When I left they were just being built. A high school student died playing chicken there when I was in junior high. Went off an unfinished bridge.

It used to be that after taking I-70 from St. Louis to KC you had to wend through back roads from Lee's Summit to Grandview. Now it's a highway, but you miss the lake that way.


Added B's new blog. She's funny and I love her. I've referred to her often and now you can see why.
Removed Susan's--I think she's lost interest, being busy in New York auditioning and stuff.
Removed Musing's--because she moved blog addresses and is taking a break from blogging. It will come back whenever she wants.

On the sounds of words

Matt's been exploring something like this--only smarter.

This is what occurred to me:

Is it more fun to say "Knickers in a twist" or Panties in a twist?

Panties/twist has a fun ts/st play going on, but knickers/twist has the smooth middle short "i".

Ok, that's all.

Meaningless meanings, again

On the plane I sat next to elderly Japanese-American women on both legs of the trip. Both mentioned the internment indirectly. The first I believe may have been in them but she didn't elaborate and I felt I couldn't ask. The second mentioned how she had not been at risk because she was in Hawaii, but her father had been active in the outcry. It was interesting. Neither had ever been to Japan.

I finished the Eco on the first leg and had to grab a book at an airport store for the second half. I passed on Middlesex by Eugenides. I felt I needed something lighter. So I grabbed a Kathy Reichs, the books the show Bones is based on. A bit of fluff--it's already in the bag for the Goodwill, but good for a plane ride.

So, I'm sitting next to this elderly Japanese couple, and she's reading a history of native abuse in Hawaii, and he's reading a bio of someone like Adlai Stevenson. I wanted to say, "No, but see I WAS reading Umberto Eco. And I just finished Moby Dick, …


My was better than I expected. And some things were exactly as expected--but I was in a better place to see those as aspects of being old, not terrible things that she was doing to me. And some things...were the same frustrations I've always lived with. She has too much stuff and too many plans and, and...

I'm glad I went. I need to go back in the spring to really take care of some things. I got some things set up for her--her non-internet connected computer, a new cordless phone, better TV picture, but I couldn't get the DVD and VHS player connected (I'm not even sure where she got them.)

I only really snapped at her once and that was because I had just fallen down and skinned my knee--in addition to Chinatowns and stadiums I seem to skin my knee in other cities--New York, Kansas City, Providence. I managed to apologize, and that was better of me than I might once have been.

I met her sort-of boyfriend. He seemed nice but less nice than my father, which is, I…


Driving across Missouri was...peaceful. I left St. Louis around noon. I had a car with cruise control and could plug in my Zen. It wouldn't have been my choice of car, a Neon (I think, it's been awhile), but it was fine.

It's a four hour drive, but I told my mother not to expect me until six. So I had the luxury of time--nowhere to be and all the time to get there. I put the Zen on pure random--something I've never done--and set off. There were some silly moments (Cab Calloway after L'Arc, for instance, and for some reason--and I've heard this from others--random play has a fondness for certain songs) but overall quite soothing.

I let myself stop at places called Ozarkland and Nostalgiaville somewhere around the middle of the state. They had been advertised for (I'm not kidding) 70 miles. They were kitsch incarnate, but still fun. I bought my mother one of those booklets about the year in which you were born.

I could see myself doing that--driving acr…


I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit my father's grave. I thought it would be mild--he isn't there, of course. But somehow, seeing the gravestone (which I had never seen) hit me in the gut.

I spoke to him for awhile. The grief was partially around my own sense of failure. A sense (which he did not instill) in letting him down. Baggage--it follows along a bumps you in the ankles when you least expect it.

So, How Was It?

Alright, Novel, you're thinking. You've sidestepped and failed to keep up with posting for over a month. Tell us about your trip, the conference, your mother. Like I said, it seems impossible that it was a month ago.

The conference was what it was--it went well, glitches were smoothed over, etc. I have a better idea for next time and the spring will be back in Boston. But the fall will be in Scottsdale (???). I know this because one of my bosses' brilliant ideas was a committee to decide such things, and boy, are they gung-ho. So I've been even busier since I got back than I was before I went. He also has an Idiot's Guide book coming out on Dec. 4th to promote, etc. etc.

Driving thru Kentucky at breakneck speed because I forgot to coordinate time zones with Musing, but had a good dinner. Then the drive through nowhere to St. Louis. I remembered then why I no longer live in the country. The gas stations were closed by 10:30. The highways were dark. The la…

Time flies

Ah, where has the last month gone? I've been busy at work and it's left me drained at home. I spent the last three days trying to build a webpage for work. I'm an amateur at HTML, don't know javascript except to know that I need it, and basically did a crash course in Dreamweaver beyond what I had to know to do the newsletter each week. I can put up the pictures but as always, my ambition exceeds my ability. It's the general HTML problem--what I've built looks great on my 19" screen at home--but is too large to look good lower res. I'm doing percentages and tables and percentages in tables.
I often try to sew beyond my ability and knit beyond it as well. Does that make me grow, or does is it just foolish--esp. when I've said I could do it for work. Should I break down and admit I can't do this? Or is it perhaps better than I think? That happens too.

I'm coming off of being sick--a really bad cold, which caused me to miss friends in…


After showing my mother and Musing my long hair I decided to get it cut.

Louise Brooks--how can one go wrong? Goth girls everywhere love her.

Actually, mine's a little longer--right to the bottom of the jaw and the bangs aren't as heavy so I look more like this. Then I had to dye it black to get the highlights out. I love it and I've gotten a lot of compliments. I feel...more like me. I'm not sure who I was trying to be before, but this is closer to who I am.

On anger

Something unpleasant happened while we were riding to the airport on the T. First, the website didn't tell us that they were busing from downtown to the airport, or that the buses were running from a different station--that we could have accessed by changing at a different station by walking across a platform, but instead had to schlep a suitcase above ground for 3 blocks. So we were a little tense when we finally got on the shuttle to the airport. Across from us was a guy tapping an empty water bottle against the arm rest of the bus. It was annoying and my husband turned to him and asked him, quite politely, to stop as we couldn't hear each other. The guy became belligerent and said that he was happy and he had a right to do whatever he wanted to do, and that we could talk louder.
I told my husband to ignore it, and we kept talking, when suddenly in one smooth motion--so fast it startled me--my husband stood up, stepped across the aisle, grabbed the bottle and tossed it to the…

I'd rather be Moomin

If all that is Christian in me was formed by Narnia and Lewis, then all that is Zen was formed by the Moomintrolls of Tove Jansson. They are kind and generous to their neighbors. They find joy in everything they do and they live in the moment and can walk away from their possessions and dark emotions without hesitation. When they have dark emotions--anger, possessiveness, jealousy they quickly realize the error of their ways. Many creatures try to tell them they are foolish for living the way that they do, and sometimes they struggle with it (reading ThichNhatHanh's Anger to see that even monk's struggle with it was very helpful to me), but in the end they return to peace.
I don't know if you can read this, but the Fillyjonk is beratingMoominmama for her housekeeping--the fact they let a tree grow in their living room or that they keep the dishwashing for days when it rains, or that they pretend that explosions are happening when they dust and the garden is a jungle.

This i…

A comment back to Matt who doesn't allow comments

I always heard that Evelyn Nesbit was the Gibson girl.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

In a sort of planned coincidence (is that possible), after posting the clip from Peter's Friends below, we went to see the above, with Imelda Staunton in rather a different role. Oddly, Emma Thompson is playing a fairly similar role.

Not my favorite film of the series. I felt very little when (spoilers--but is there anyone who cares who does not know this?) Sirrus died while I was deeply affected when I read it. It relied too much on tricks to move things along and found nothing knew--newspaper montage, slow mo over the emotional bits, general montage...etc. A few solid scenes would have served it better. We had all these new characters thrown at us, and no time to get to know any of them. Imelda was horribly wonderful. Rupert Grint was better than he has been before, while Emma Watson seemed less good. Daniel Radcliffe is excellent and since the film and the series rests on his shoulders, that's good. I'm glad to see him breaking free of Potter already. I see him…

No, I do this for myself

After busily underlining things in Moby Dick, finishing it, tucking it away and then pulling out the Eco, and beginning to busily underline things, the gentleman next to me on the plane asked me how many book reports I had to do.

Oh, none, I said. I annotate for pleasure, solely for myself.

From which I found

The link gave me this:

Often I have encountered the evil of living

Often I have encountered the evil of living:
it was the strangled stream which gurgles,
it was the crumpling sound of the dried out leaf,
it was the horse weaty and exhausted.

The good I knew not, other than the miracle
revealed by divine Indifference:
it was the statue in the slumber
of the afternoon, and the cloud, and the high
flying falcon.

(Eugenio Montale, Ossi di seppia)

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

In my big long post about going to San Francisco to see Hyde last year I mentioned that I went into a book store in San Francisco to get a book by Umberto Eco and walked out with the book I wanted to buy in Britain two years earlier. So I went and got the Eco before I went to Nashville. I didn't get it for the title (ha, ha).

So, I read it during the week of the conference. It was a much faster read than say, Foucault's Pendulum. It was also illustrated. :)

The premise is a man who has had a stroke and cannot remember his own personal history but random quotes from everything that he has ever read haunt him and come unbidden to his mind. The first chapter have passages of random quotes--jumbled together. I recognized some pieces but not others. So much to read--so little time.

So here's a test for you:
...the marchioness went out at five o'clock in the middle of the journey of our life, Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begatJacob and Jacob begat the man of La Mancha, and that…

Blazing Saddles

Watching the tail end of this--you could never make this film today.

I do love this film.

I discovered it quite recently as my parents didn't watch Mel Brooks films. I only watch Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. My husband loves The Producers (not the new thing--which we found unwatchable--putting us deep in a minority). He likes History of the World I too which just seems overdone to me. And the later stuff...well, the less said, the better.

Edit: My husband walked in and although I was looking at the TV guide with no picture, and even though all you heard was footsteps he knew right where we were in the film--and every line.

What R the Odds?

I had one of those stupid music moments again the other day.

Before Rod Stewart and Carly Simon did standards albums, Bryan Ferry of the 70's band Roxy Music and some 80's solo work, did one called As Time Goes By (and he was doing it before that--there's a cover of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and These Foolish Things on his albums). Oh, and he dated/discovered a model named Jerry Hall. You might have heard of her.

Anyway, the last song I heard from the album was The Way You Look Tonight. I was listening to it at work, and when it ended, I had to make a call. I was waiting on hold and realised that the song was...The Way You Look Tonight in muzak. At first I thought I was still hearing Bryan Ferry in my head or projecting it onto the muzak, but no--really The Way You Look Tonight.
{Sidenote: I've been trying to show how fabulously talented Hugh Laurie is lately by sending people You Tube clips, and it just occurred to me to look for this from Peter's Friends:

So, I was thi…

At last--"whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul"

And the most important thing...more important than pulling off the conference in another state, more important than seeing my mother...

I finished Moby Dick on the flight down. I almost didn't pack it, because I knew I was close to finishing it but decided I wanted to finish it, not still have it when I got back.

...whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off...

What can I say? It's Moby Dick.

The first hundred pages are funnier than I expected. The last 100 are riveting and unputdownable. In between are some fascinating bits of boat life and boat lore and an awful lot of information on the biology of whales. is it is that we still refuse to be comforted for hose who we nevertheless maintain are dwelling in unspeakable bliss; why all the living so strive to hush all the dead; wherefore but the rumor of a knocking a tomb will …