Friday, July 29, 2005

Finished (big fat spoilers)

Wow. 10 minutes after I finished it and even though my mind's still reeling (DUMBLEDORE!! SNAPE!!! OMG!!) I'm already speculating.

I can't believe that Snape is actually a Death Eater. He's still a double-agent, I'm convinced. Dumbledore's death is the Order sacrificing their queen. I'm going with the theory that Snape must kill Dumbledore because Dumbledore ordered him to; they're both talented Legilimens, after all. Was not expecting him to be the Half-Blood Prince, however.

Wow. Just, wow. Must get back to reading internet discussions full of wild theories and speculations.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: progress report

[If you don't want to be spoiled for a romantic sub-plot everybody's figured out already anyway, skip this post]

You know, someday, when I'm independently wealthy, living in my beautifully restored Georgian home, I'm going to have a gorgeous library. Something along the lines of the Beast's library in the Disney movie. Floor to ceiling bookcases; rich, luxurious rugs; window seats; a handsome fireplace; cozy chairs and sofas. Tastefully arranged flowers on the end-tables, I think. Leather bound volumes on the shelves.

The one thing this library will absolutely NOT contain is a telephone.

Because every time--every single time--I'm reading a Harry Potter book, I'm interrupted at crucial moments by the goddamn phone. It's jinxed, I swear to god. The universe does not want me to finish this book. I'm sitting there, blissfully enjoying chapter 24, Harry's just got out of detention with Snape (who I think is acting as a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix), Gryffindor's just won the Quidditch cup, here comes Ginny and just as they're about to finally, finally kiss--the phone rings.

But wait, it gets better: there's no one there on the line.

The first time I get to read their first kiss. Ruined forever. And for no. good. reason! It's not even a telemarketer!! The baby Jesus weeps in heaven, I tell you! It's criminal!

::sigh:: There. I feel better. I think Half-Blood Prince is fantastic; better than Order of the Phoenix, which could have used an editor, I noticed that on my reread. This one's tighter, more streamlined. It's going too fast and too slow at the same time; in other words, I must-find-out-what-happens-absolutely-immediately-right-now, but I don't want it to be over yet, I want to draw it out and savor it. I hate it when books do that. But I hate it even more when they don't, cause then they're just wasting my time.

(Seriously, how can you expect me to write about Barbara Kingsolver when Ron and Hermione haven't gotten together yet and I haven't even found out the identity of the Half-Blood Prince?)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

the best thing you've ever done for me/is to help me take my life less seriously/it's only life after all

Went to the library this morning to pick up some music I requested; I'm determined to realize my lifelong dream of The Ultimate Shakespeare Mix CD. Think about it; a CD full of the bard's songs and poetry set to music. I've got everyone from Loreena McKennitt to John Williams to Ralph Vaughn Williams lined up. Unfortunately that only gives me 7 0r 8 tracks; and unless I want to fill up the rest with British counter-tenors (who give me the screaming meemies. I HATE counter tenors. They're goddamn fucking creepy, I tell you), I'll have to do quite a bit of digging.
Anyway, I wandered over and browsed through the CDs and picked up an Indigo Girls retrospective best-of album thing. I've had a distantly polite relationship with Amy and Emily most of my life. I first heard them, believe it or not, in a religion class at my Catholic girls school (it's so ironic I think my head might explode). My teacher, who's name escapes me, used to have each of us choose a song for us to reflect on in the context of whatever catechism lesson they were pushing on us at the time. She liked to play the Indigo Girls "Secure Yourself" a lot.
Now I bet this woman had no idea that Amy and Emily were, you know, like that, and not actually pleasant Christian folkies who were just very close friends. She was a Very Nice Person, you know the kind. She always wore pennyloafers and her socks never, ever failed to match her cable knit sweaters, which tended to be school bus yellow or shocking turquoise. (Katie, do you remember her? What the hell was her name?) "Secure Yourself" has the word "heaven" in the refrain, so I guess she felt that was all she needed to hear. Clearly, any music she liked was immediately judged to be Majorly Uncool. Ain't no way I was going to listen to it.
I later learned about the Indigo Girls progressive radical politics, but it still made me think of that religion teacher and woozy soporific Christian "rock." Ever listen to that stuff? I had to my entire sophomore year of college; my ride on breaks was a cousin, a Bible Study vet. It's full of really, really bad music and sublimated, repressed sexuality twisted around into gooey lyrics about Jeezus. It's freaky stuff, let me tell you.
Anyway, after I did the whole coming out thing (fun times), I associated the Indigo Girls with flannel wearing dykes a generation or two older than me who looked like my mom and had kids and mortgages and while that's nice, it's not really anything I connected with. Plus, it's such a cliche. It's like a lesbian qualification test, you must love the Indigo Girls, especially if you're a lesbian of a particular generation, just like you must also love Ani Difranco if you're my age (I don't).
So anyway, I picked up this album, and while I don't think I'll be burning it, I might copy a few tracks. I like them better than Ani Difranco, but not nearly as well as I like Dar Williams or Gillian Welch when it comes to women with acoustic guitars. Still, I can see why Michigan Womyn's Music Festival is always packed with thousands of topless dykes who know every single word to "Closer to Fine"

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

Cause it's a damn good song. I guess we're okay now, me and the Indigo Girls. Friendly. I can see the huge appeal they have. The world can always use more queer female radical music duos.
Yet more irony: Corny Religion Teacher also introduced me to Joan Osborne. She loved that whole "what if God was one of us" song. Which is not really her best song, IMHO. My relationship with Joan was quite different from the Indigo Girls. My sister had the tape Relish and I was kind of obsessed with it for a while there. I'd never heard a woman sing bluesy-rock like that, or with such raw sexuality. It was a baby dyke moment, to be sure, so thanks, Corny Religion Teacher. I guess I learned something from you after all.

I really am going to post about Barbara Kingsolver soon! Cause I know you're all on tenterhooks!

Monday, July 25, 2005

seen on a bumper sticker


So true. Must have. Maybe I'll screen print it onto a t-shirt. Finished up Love and Freindship in the Juvenelia; I hereby bestow it with The Best. Death Scene. Ever. Award.

"My beloved Laura (said she to me a few Hours before she died) take warning from my unhappy End and avoid the imprudent conduct which had occasioned it... Beware of fainting-fits... Though at the time they may be refreshing and agreeable, yet beleive me they will in the end, if too often repeated and at improper seasons, prove destructive to your Constitution... My fate will teach you this... I die a Martyr to my greif for the loss of Augustus... One fatal swoon has cost me my Life... Beware of swoons, Dear Laura... A frenzy fit is not one quarter so pernicious; it is an exercise to the Body and if not too violent, is, I dare say, conducive to Health in its consequences -- Run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint --"

Been working on a post about Barbara Kingsolver forever; will get around to posting it one of these days.

(Seem to have taken to dropping personal pronouns and articles in manner of Bridget Jones or similar. Interesting, as have not read said Diary for several years).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I am officially a new age hippie freak

I got all excited this morning because I had a chance to clean the bathrooms with environmentally friendly baking soda recipes involving vinegar.

It's only a matter of time before I start smelling of patchouli and walk around sporting white girl dreds and tie dye.

Actual book post coming up. Really!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

" 'Scuse me, can I be excused? I seem to have the plague..."

And later on, when we become more mature, we have that line, where if you're talking to someone, getting on well, you can say that great line, "Do you want a cup of coffee?" And if they go, "Ah… yeah, okay," then sex is on, yeah? That's the unwritten rule. Doesn't always work. If the President of Burundi says, "Would you like a cup of coffee," you're not supposed to go, "Oh, I'm in here!"
"And how do you take it?"
"Anywhere I can find it big boy! Oh, just a cup of coffee? All right... I thought you meant 'Do you want a cup of coffee!' So you're from Burundi, are you? Fantastic! Yeah! No, I know, it's near Zaire, isn't it? Near Tanzania, yeah. Yeah. No, I learned them all when I had chicken pox. I have to go now, ‘cause my grandmother's on fire..."
But normally it does work as long as you keep the chat sexy. "Yes, I like my coffee hot and strong. Like I like my women! Hot and strong... With a spoon in them. Ah, the curve of the spoon, the curve of your breast! I like to run the spoon ( talking with the tongue sticking out ) across my lips..." Then you're pretty close, yeah?

--Dress to Kill

Yeah, so my life has started resembling an Eddie Izzard routine. Which, you know, is amusing, but since I'm not an English transvestite comedian (he looks way better in fishnets and lipstick than I do), is also rather unfortunate.

I hate it when it turns out to really be "just coffee." Or, in this case, "just dinner and a movie."

Right. So. Dyke bars and anonymous sex it is, then!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Don't let the muggles get you down.

--Ron Weasley, Chapter One: "Owl Post", Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I've had Harry Potter on the brain, just like every other bookish geek in the universe. My sister has her copy of The Half-Blood Prince ordered, and since we share our HP books (it's cheaper that way), I'm going to be re-reading The Order of the Phoenix in the meantime. Mags at Tilneys and Trapdoors posted about taking flak for being an adult fan of Harry Potter (some douchebag wrote an op-ed calling HP "simplistic fairy tales"). I commented
Whether the Harry Potter books are Great Literature is a matter of debate that only time will settle, but they’re damn good. And clearly Mr. Stein knows nothing about fairy tales beyond Disney movies. Fairy tales are complex, enigmatic, and dark, full of archetypes and surrealism. They aren’t simple. They’re a culture’s subconcious dreaming, and every society has them.
The tendency to dismiss Harry Potter as "kid's stuff" and criticize adult fans of it is just part of a larger trend of disparaging fantasy. Residual effects of the Enlightenment and all that Cartesian rationalism, I guess, combined with our dour Puritan heritage. Fantasy isn't "serious." It's escapism, childish, wishful-thinking, immature. Adults who read fantasy, who take it as real art, are seen as foolish. You might as well still believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Genre fiction is always the bastard child of the literary world, especially fantasy, never mind the fact that some of the classics are fantasy to the bone. Alice in Wonderland, anyone? Animal Farm? The Divine Comedy? How about the Iliad and the Oddessy? I was at The Dan Brown Wholesale Warehouse the other day, also known as the mall bookstore, they had Ray Bradbury shelved in both Science Fiction and Literature. Fahrenheit 451 is Literature; The Martian Chronicles is Sci-Fi. It can't be literature if it involves aliens. The Lord of the Rings is the only fantasy that's taken seriously by the mainstream, and only because the movies were a success. The fact that it's written by an Oxford don (as opposed to a single mom on welfare) helps quite a bit I imagine. Not to mention the fact that it's about That Big Important Manly Subject, Warfare. Massive amounts of violence are always an indication of Serious Art. We just kind of over look the bloated length, meandering plot, over-wrought prose, and data-dumps of arcane minutiae (and I'm a fan of the books).
Fairy tales are even further marginalized. Most people are only familiar with bowlderized Disney versions and the sexist appropriations by male writers like Charles Perrault and the Grimm brothers. The older versions more often resemble horror movies than Victorian morality lessons. And they're traditionally the province of women, told and retold by illiterate poor and working class women maintaining an oral tradition. I first heard them that way; my parents never read to me as a child, that I can remember. My mother would send me to sleep by playing a cassette tape of a woman reading the classic stories. I don't think she ever actually listened to that tape, because if she had she wouldn't have let her nightmare-prone daughter near it. I fell asleep listening to the evil stepmother in Snow White dance herself to death in red-hot iron shoes, to the prince in Rapunzel having his eyes pierced with thorns, the step-sisters in Cinderella cutting off their toes and heels, Rumpelstiltskin tearing himself in two in a fit of rage. There's a whole obscure field of modern writers who do wierd and wonderful things with fairy tales, exploring everything your A-List Boring Author of Serious Fiction writes about, but nobody really pays any attention.
Which is why I love the fact that everybody pays attention to Harry Potter, even those who hate or fear it (and what else is fundamentalist condemnation of the books but a display of pure fear). I love the media circus, the internet sub-culture of gossip and speculation and fan-fiction, and even, dare I say it, the merchandizing. Since when does the front page of a newspaper report on the publication of the next installment of a kid's fantasy series? I love the communal feeling of reading the series. Reading is such an isolated, individual experience, most of the time. But here it's a cultural day-dream that everybody can participate in, from kids too young for the books to elderly folks. The excitement and anticipation is infectious. It makes me think of Dickens serializing The Old Curiosity Shop. People would swarm the docks of New York City when they shipped in the British magazine with its monthly installment, desperate to find out if Little Nell dies in this issue. The nay-sayers are missing the point. My beloved A.S. Byatt wrote an op-ed a few years ago lamenting that everybody was reading J. K. Rowling instead of the arguably superior Diana Wynne Jones. But if J.K. Rowling isn't a great writer (and I think she is), so what? The kids reading Harry Potter today will get to Diana Wynne Jones eventually. They'll find their way to C.S. Lewis, and Lewis Carroll, and Lloyd Alexander, Roald Dahl and Patricia McKillip on their own, once Harry has hooked them on the addiction of reading. I spent most of my childhood and pre-pubescent days reading Marguerite Henry and The Baby-Sitters Club, and it didn't melt my brain. Most people don't start off reading Austen and Tolstoy; you got to find your way there on your own.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to Harry and Co.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

in which I do not bitch about anything. really!

and considering that The Clan is in town for the annual family reunion, which means we now have 8 people living in this three bedroom house (I had to de-gay my room since it doubles as the guest room) and I get to have all 20 of my aunts and uncles trying to fix me up with guys instead of the usual three or four, I'm in a remarkably good mood. Probably because I got out of the family outing to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Local Community Theater, plus the fact that things are going rather well with my current crush object.

Monday (er, Thursday Evening) Madness: In Your Lifetime, Have You..
1. ...ridden on a rollercoaster? All the time. I always loved the names of rollercoasters. The Screaming Eagle, Fire in the Hole, The Mine Train, The Ninja. I get my love of rollercoasters from my dad. When I was little I used to cry because I wasn't tall enough to ride on them with him.
2. ...performed (in any area of the arts) onstage? Now that I think about it, I've performed quite alot. As a violinist I've performed the Brandenburg Concertos, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Beethoven's 8th Symphony, Strauss' Death and Transfiguration, Copeland's El Salon Mexico, Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade, etc. Not to mention the usual school theatricals. My first part in a play was as Mama Bear in Goldilocks when I was six. I got to wear a lace apron and flubbed my line: "Someone's been eating my chair!" I once got cast as myself; I landed a bit part in my high school play, Life with Mother Superior. I played a Catholic schoolgirl named Anne Marie. We didn't even have costumes, we just wore our uniforms. My latest role was performing "The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could" in The Vagina Monologues my junior year of college. So I've gone from fairy tales to monologues about a black teenage lesbian who gets raped, runs away from home, and is seduced by an older woman.
She makes a vodka for herself and then she asks what I want to drink. I say the same as she's drinking and she says she doesn't think my mama would like me drinking vodka. I say she probably wouldn't like me kissing girls either, and the pretty lady makes me a drink. Then she changes into this chocolate satin teddy. She's so beautiful. I always thought bulldaggers were ugly.
3. ...planted a garden?
I used to have tomato plants as a kid. And now I get paid to weed mama's garden.
4. ...ever had to reformat your hard drive due to a virus/spyware? I wish. The damn thing crashed completely and I had to install a new hard-drive. Lost everything from freshman and sophomore years of college.
5. ...written a book? A poem? A song? I've written my fair share of poetry. Most of it is terribly earnest and not very good. I am, however, very handy with a limerick. This is my favorite one:
Ogden Nash wrote verses quite clever
No matter how awful the weather
If a rhyme didn't fit
He just bent it a bit
Until it sounded much bether.

6. ...sang karaoke? I went on a school trip to England the summer after my junior year of high school. We were in this awful hotel in Brighton, and we all invaded the karaoke bar. I sang "Blue Moon" even though it was at least an octave too low for me. I was thinking of the Billie Holiday cover when I requested it, but they played the doo-wop version instead. Afterwards I escaped and spent the rest of the evening talking to the middle-aged security guard, a lovely English bloke who gave me his jelly beans and proceeded to tell me his life story.
7. ...been interviewed by a local tv station/newspaper? I was interviewed about the Jonesborough school shootings after coming out of a movie theater. I think I saw a Leonardo DiCaprio flick. Anyway, I hadn't heard of the shootings and didn't know what the guy was talking about.
8. ...witnessed a tornado/earthquake/hurricane first-hand? Considering I live next door to Tornado Alley, I've seen plenty of storms that produced tornadoes, but I was never in their path. Last summer we managed to get out of Florida the day before Hurricane Charley hit. My grandmother had just died and we had to cut our trip short; later we found out that the hurricane hit the day after.
9. ...participated in a photo scavenger hunt? No. Boring.
10. ...traveled to another country? Just England and France. But give me a year, we'll see how many more I can add to that list.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

To the person who ripped out pages 289-292 of The Peguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories

What. the hell. IS WRONG WITH YOU, you sick fuck??

Who does that to a book?? A LIBRARY BOOK no less!!!

Book mutilator!!

There ought to be Library Cops, like in that Seinfeld episode. There really should. Literatecs like Jasper Fforde's intrepid book-traveling gumshoe Thursday Next.

Here I was, happily enjoying Dorothy Allison's "A Lesbian Appetite," and one minute they're slicing up eggplant, the next they're having sex. I would kind of like to know how they got from point A to point B, thankyouverymuch.

I'm not even sure it's a homophobic case of book mutilation, since the rest of the volume is in pristine condition, especially for a library book that's 12 years old. I mean, you'd have to be one hell of a closet case to get through nearly 300 pages of Sarah Orne Jewett, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Colette, Monique Wittig, Joan Nestle, and Jewelle Gomez before going all Orwellian on the thing. Did your two year old get his hands on it? Did your dog get hungry or something? Was the scene just so incredibly hot that not even a photocopy would do?

Not that I haven't been tempted to mutilate a book or two in my time. I came awfully close with Tropic of Cancer and Heart of Darkness. But I restrained myself, sent them on their way, to someone who could better stomach them. I turned a profit, everybody's happy. Is that so hard?

Grr. Argh.

I'm going to go read my copy of The Order of the Phoenix to cheer myself up.

Friday, July 08, 2005

And now for something completely different

[/John Cleese]

1) My uncle once: pulled out 11 of my teeth, because he's my dentist.
2) Never in my life: have I kissed a boy (100% Grade-A Certified Dyke, that's me). Or flashed someone. But then, I haven't been to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival yet ;-)
3) When I was five: I was in preschool singing songs about being a soldier in the Army of God.
4) High school was: really, really boring.
5) Fire is: my dad's bread and butter, since he's a fireman.
6) I once saw: the Naked Cowboy in Times Square. Followed by an entire crowd of people in their underwear.
7) There’s this woman I know who: believes absolutely in Revelations and the Left Behind series.
8) Once, at a bar: I danced with a straight boy even though it was a gay club.
9) By noon I’m usually: eating breakfast.
10) Last night: I put together a track list for another mix CD of feministy music. I call them "Guerrilla Grrl" mixes.
11) If I only had: 500 pounds a year and a room of my own. I'm feeling all Virginia Woolf here.
12) Next time I go to church: I'll be watching a cousin get baptised/recieve first communion/get married.
13) The best thing about my last relationship was: she wasn't shy and was a damn good kisser. Mm-hmm.
14) What worries me most: being stuck in Midwest Suburban Wasteland the rest of my life.
15) When I turn my head left: I see the closet door, miscellaneous hats, a shelf, odds'n'ends, my copy of Angels in America.
16) When I turn my head right: I cracked my neck. Fascinating stuff, this.
17) You know I'm lying when: I say "I'm fine," "That's interesting" or "That's nice".
18) What I miss most about the eighties: The Cosby Show.
19) If I were a character written by Shakespeare, I’d be: Hamlet, probably. But I'd like to be Beatrice, or Rosaline.
20) By this time next year: I have no idea where I'll be. Probably back here, looking for a job, god forbid.
21) I have a hard time understanding: people who don't read books
22) You know I like you if: I try to make you laugh or make fun of myself.
23) If I won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: Jesus. No, seriously, he hasn't zapped me with lightening bolts yet, so he can't be all bad.
24) Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: On the Origin of Species, Die Zauberflote, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Changing History: Women, Power, and Politics [/geek]
25) Take my advice, never: go traveling with large groups of Americans. You'll start pretending you're a Canadian.
26) My ideal breakfast is: my French Breakfast: toast with apricot jam and two bowls of cafe au lait.
27) If you visit my hometown, I suggest you go to: the Loop and the Central West End. It's about as bohemian as we can manage.
28) Why doesn't everyone: mind their own business.
29) If you spend the night at my house: we'll have to be very discreet. The walls are paper thin and it's about as private as a college dorm.
30) I’d stop my wedding: if the government neglected to stop it for me. I am a law-abiding citizen, after all!
31) The world could do without: Tom Cruise.
32) My favorite blonde is: my sister.
33) If I do anything well, it’s: bullshit.
As R said: I don't know what happened to questions 34-43; they slipped off somewhere to have a drink, apparently.
44) And by the way: you're not fooling anybody, Tom Cruise. Come on out of the closet. On second thought, stay in, we don't need your kind of bat-shit crazy.
45) The last time I was drunk, I: watched a 6'4" Australian footballer dance the hula. Quite well, too.

Via my good friend R. at Polarity of Sound

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"oh christ, she's quoting from that play again!"

Angels in America, Part II: Perestroika. Act V: Heaven, I'm in Heaven. Scene 10.

Harper: Night flight to San Francisco. Chase the moon across America. God! It's been years since I was on a plane!
When we hit thirty-five thousand feet, we'll have reached the tropopause. The great belt of calm air. As close as I'll ever get to the ozone.
I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air, and attained the outer rim, the ozone, which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth, and that was frightening...
But I saw something only I could see, because of my astonishing ability to see such things:
Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules, the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them, and was repaired.
Nothing's lost forever. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we've left behind, and dreaming ahead.
At least I think that's so.


Together we organize the world for ourselves, or at least we organize our understanding of it; we reflect it, refract it, criticize it, grieve over its savagery and help each other to discern, amidst the gathering dark, paths of resistance, pockets of peace and places from whence hope may be plausibly expected. Marx was right: The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one; one is a fiction. From such nets of souls societies, the social world, human life springs. And also plays. Tony Kushner

I find knitting to be very soothing. It calms your head and keeps your hands busy; you can work out your frustrations and emotions as well, because shaping raglan arm-holes can be a real bitch. And you make something fine and useful in the process. Nearly half-way done.

jesus motherfucking christ sonofabitch

I have a friend in London. English Girl, the one I've been emailing for a few months now.

I think I'll start researching Toronto, just so I'm convincing when I start passing as a Canadian.

I went to London when I was 17, on a school trip. I remember riding those double-decker buses, getting on the tube at King's Cross, having the time of my life.

It feels like an episode of MI-5. I keep hoping Matthew McFayden will show up on screen and tell us it's all been a drill.

I'm worried about my travel plans, of course. I just got my visa. But I'm more upset because I know it's the British government's cooperation with our regime (I refuse to call the Bush Cabal a "government") that's helped make them a target. Said regime has certainly made the terrorism situation much worse than it was five years ago. And there's nothing I can do about it. I'm so mad I could spit nails, I'm worried about English Girl, and there's nothing I can do.

I thought about posting this on the 4th:

Belize: Well I hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It's just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word "free" to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me.
You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean. I live in America, Louis, that's hard enough. I don't have to love it. You do that. Everybody's got to love something.
Tony Kushner, Angels in America.

But then I thought, you know, that's pretty cynical and negative. And I'm having a good summer, I don't feel particularly jaded today. A Certain Someone once accused me (indirectly, not to my face, of course) of being bitter, angry, a victim (short-haired too, which is apparently an insult). Well, I'm not a victim. That is one thing I most assuredly am not. But you better fucking believe I'm bitter, and angry as hell. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

You know they sell the Angels in America DVD at Walmart, of all places? They probably think it's about some nice Christian virgin talking to Jeezus.

UPDATE: English Girl is okay.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dignity, always dignity.

Finished Part I of Beat to Quarters. Am resisting the temptation to pull out a belaying pin and beat Horatio over the head with it. Must hang in there as I still haven't met Lady B.
However, now I know why the gals at Horatians are so desperate for the BBC to film this one:
Hornblower stripped off his wet shirt and trousers and shaved standing naked before the mirror...There was a pair of melancholy brown eyes, a forehead sufficiently high, a nose sufficiently straight; a good mouth set with all the firmness acquired during twenty years at sea.

See, Ioan Gruffudd was born to play this role. Nobody else could do it, not even Gregory Peck.
The tousled curly brown hair was just begining to recede and leave the forehead a little higher still, which was a source of irritation to Captain Hornblower, because he hated the thought of going bald. Noticing it, he was reminded of his other trouble, and glanced down at his naked body.

At this point I'm thinking, Aw HELL no. I like you Hornblower, but not that much, so let's keep things north of the equator, shall we? I don't need to see that. Let's get back to the bits where shit blows up. That's the fun part.
He was slender and well muscled; quite a prepossessing figure, in fact, when he drew himself to his full six feet.

Aha. See, they all go on about Lady Barbara and action-packed plots, etc, when really what they want is more nekkid Ioan. Not that I begrudge them; I may consider myself practically a six on the Kinsey scale, but if Ioan showed up on my doorstep tomorrow morning, well, I'd totally think about it. He's just so darn pretty.
By the way, and this may be my semester of Queer Theory talking, but is it possible for there to be homoerotic subtext between a narrator and his character? Because, jeez Cecil. That's one loving eye for detail you got there.
Nice to see all the use I'm putting this English major to...::insert eye-rolling smilie here::

Monday, July 04, 2005

a little Katharine Lee Bates for Independence Day

you know, the dyke who wrote "America the Beautiful."

If You Could Come
My love, my love, if you could come once more
From your high place,
I would not question you for heavenly lore,
But, silent, take the comfort of your face.

I would not ask you if those golden spheres
In love rejoice,
If only our stained star hath sin and tears,
But fill my famished hearing with your voice.

One touch of you were worth a thousand creeds.
My wound is numb
Through toil-pressed, but all night long it bleeds
In aching dreams, and still you cannot come.

"Yellow Clover" is about her 25 year relationship with Katharine Coman. I like the last stanza in particular:

My sorrow asks no healing; it is love;
Let love then make me brave
To bear the keen hurts of
This careless summertide,
Ay, of our own poor flower,
Changed with our fatal hour,
For all its sunshine vanished when you died.
Only white cover blossoms on your grave.

A bit depressing, which is not how I'm feeling, since my visa came yesterday! Huzzah! In the mail, on a Sunday, which is wierd, but I'm not complaining.