October 30, 2011

-image-a sunday afternoon in autumn

~ I’m making a Savory Roquefort Cheesecake topped with the thinnest sliced pears and an apricot glaze. It’s “savory,” you see, not a sweet cheesecake at all, so MB is aflame with savory bleu cheese lust. Maybe he can spare me some of that later? If he’s able to move after all the gorging, that is?

~ Football is on in the background even when our could-win-every-game-but-simply-choose-not-to Chargers aren’t playing. It’s the soundtrack of autumn for us.

~ Seen: Random bouts of nudity. The first Christmas commercial.

~ Heard (or maybe said): “You can’t start the day grumpy at me. You have to wait til the end, when you have just cause.”

~ Tasted: Trader Joe’s Greek Honey Yogurt with granola and pears. YUM. Also coffee, of course.

~ Sometimes, like now, I sit and worry about my corrupting influence over my nephews and nieces. Yesterday, my SIL was calling Original Banshee, now 7, to come upstairs. Her reply? “I’ll be there in a minute, peaches!” Uhmmmm ………. yeah, well. Sorry, peaches.

~ Both Banshee Sisters are very interested in the whole “peaches” thing and decided, while we were driving to take them to Dairy Queen, that they too wanted to be called by some type of food moniker. Who doesn’t? So I told OB I wanted to call her Butterbean but she just squinched her nose at me and didn’t like Butterbean at all, which is totally unfathomable, obviously. She decided instead on French Toast or “Frenchy” for short.

“What will you be, Tee Tee?”

“I’m feeling kinda Pop Tarty today.”

“Okay, Poppy!”

And I was Poppy from then on.

Baby Banshee, now 3, wanted to be Whipped Cream.

“But you can call me Whipped, Tee Tee!”

MB and I started howling, shaking hard in our seats. For the rest of the day, that was her name. She insisted we call her “Whipped.” She’s our little oddling. I love her.

~ Through our bedroom window this morning, I heard the toddler boy who lives next door saying goodbye to his dad, his high-pitched voice chirping, “I will be a GOOD boy today, Daddy!” and I started to tear up, just slipping on my shoes, at the thoroughgoing innocence of it all.

~ Worth noting, I never make such promises to my dad anymore because I know I cannot keep them.

October 29, 2011

-image-carrie underwood asked out by stranger in front of fiance

Who knows how I stumbled across this little snippet of video? Somehow in the meanderings of my need-to-get-a-life life, I found this, of all things. But it’s adorable.

Some dude asks out Carrie Underwood in front of her fiance — now husband — hunky hockey player Mike Fisher. Watch his face. First, it’s like, “I’m gonna kill this guy.” Then, when Carrie responds the way she does, there’s that grin of his. That killer grin says it all. He says nothing to the dude the entire time. He’s just that strong silent presence. The dude’s parting comment is pretty funny too and it leaves Fisher grinning even more. (Uhm, I can definitely see the appeal of this fellow of hers. Ahem.)

So much going on in just 19 seconds of tape.

October 24, 2011

-image-little ghouls

On the trampoline Sunday afternoon, under a grey scowling sky, the Banshee Sisters and I created our Halloween personas. Our little inner monsters. Our naughty alter ghouls. Oh, things happen on that trampoline, my friends. Brainstorms. Interrogations. Occasional jumping. Yes, the three of us are very busy when we’re out there, so please do not disturb us unless you’ve mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of the experience. On the other hand, if you join us — all green and unprepared-like– perhaps you’ll be the one endlessly cross-examined for a change which would be okay by me.

Each of our alter ghouls was a combination of our name and the name of someone or something creepy. For instance, mine was Tracula. Original Banshee’s ended with “zilla” and Baby Banshee’s with “zombie.” Sure, she sat on trampoline in a brown feety puppy costume, but she was The Dread Babyzombie nonetheless.

At one point “Zilla” was called inside by her mom, leaving I, Tracula, and Babyzombie alone in the grey with our ghouls.

Slowly, I began describing in detail Tracula’s appearance and powers. Babyzombie stared at me, her every-color eyes growing bigger with each new detail. Finally, my crowning flourish.

“Annnnnd,” said I for several seconds, “each of Tracula’s fingernails lifts up and dispenses candy, one kind for each nail.”

Babyzombie’s eyes officially bugged out. I pointed to each finger and began naming the candy it dispensed until she interrupted and finished the list in a frenzy of candy fantasy. My ring fingernail dispenses candy corn, did you know?

In an instant, Babyzombie was pouring out descriptions of her alter ghoul.

“And my haiw is onje, Tee Tee, and my face is pink and my fingos gib you candy!”

“Wow. You are cool!”

“Yeah.”

The briefest pause.

“And, Tee Tee, I am baaaaaaad.”

Her puppy feet wiggled with delight. Her agate eyes gleamed with the joy of untapped naughtiness.

“You are?”

“Yeah!”

“Okay!”

She cocked her head at me.

“Tee Tee, are you Tracula?”

“Yep.”

“Tracula is you?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. Is Tracula bad?”

“Hm. I don’t know. I don’t think so. I haven’t decided.”

“Okay. I not bad either den.”

“Babyzombie can be bad if you want.”

“No. Dat’s okay.”

“Okay.”

But my fingos still make candy, Tee Tee!”

“Well, that’s the most important part.”

“Yeah.”

“Come on, Babyzombie. Let’s go inside. Tracula’s cold.”

And she scampered off the trampoline, her puppy feet running silently across the grass, her never-zipped costume exposing her smooth pale back and the top of her little butt as she ran into the house.

October 20, 2011

-image-sometimes you just need to offload

I’ve figured out why my thinking has been sluggish lately. It’s not my diet, which is fine, or lack of exercise, which I partake of daily on my trampoline, or the drinking or drugs, to which my body has now acclimated after many jittery decades of abuse.

No. It’s stupid random stuff that clogs my brain and ruins me utterly.

Take Jim Caviezel, for instance.

jcav.jpg
He’s a nice-looking fellow, no? But that’s not the thing clogging my brain. Nope. It’s not. It could potentially be brain-clogging, I suppose, but that’s really not it right now.

Because I am, sad to say, much more bothered by this thought:

Is the prosthetic nose worn by Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ …..

passion-of-the-christ-800-75.jpg

the same prosthetic nose he wore in The Stoning of Soraya M?

2009_the_stoning_of_soraya_m_004.jpg
(Granted, these photos are not at the same angle, but that’s the best I could do.)

It’s a bit sad, don’t you think, that this is the stuff that consumes me? Frankly — and I think this a deeply disturbing admission — I find him better looking as Jesus than as his normal self but it’s not because of “Jesus,” although I can’t say that with certainty which is the disturbing part. Really, I think it’s because of the nose. I think. I hope. That crook nose nicely de-pretties his practically perfect face which just makes him much yummier in my opinion. I don’t like a pretty man. This is why I would gladly punch Brad Pitt repeatedly in his pretty-pretty face — for his own good, you see.

But back to the noses. They look nearly identical. Is this the same nose? The same nose artist? (Which I’m pretty sure is the correct technical term.) Did Jim Caviezel just put his Jesus nose in a drawer thinking, “Better hang on to this. Never know when I might need it”? And does he get better reviews with a Middle Eastern nose?

Okay.

I need help, pippa. I just wrote a post about Jim Caviezel’s prosthetic noses.

This is not normal behavior.

October 18, 2011

-image-“kooky” a film by jan sverak

I love this trailer of the movie Kooky by Czech filmmaker Jan Sverak. I’m now kind of pining to see the whole thing somehow.

” …. forced to stand on his two stuffed feet and become a hero.”

Hahaha. Magical with a touch of silly. My kind of thing.

October 17, 2011

-image-snippet

Sunday morning, trying to park at our new favorite coffeehouse. The lot is crowded.

ME: It’s all the Buddhists here for temple. Or whatever.
HE: Guess so.
ME: There’d better not be a line out the door because of them.
HE: Yeah.
ME: Besides, they’re not supposed to have desires, so what are they doing in line for coffee? Get outta the way, Buddhists! We’re Christians! We have desires!
HE: Yes. Deep dark …….. desires.
ME: That’s right.
HE: So outta my way or I’ll one-hand clap your ass!
ME: You tell ’em, babe.

October 11, 2011

-image-soo … nice try

A few people I’ve never before heard of or from have emailed me asking for the password on the upcoming churchy posts. One even made a first-time comment on a recent post simply — it seems to me — to meet my criteria for getting the password. I’m sorry, but I’m going to be a total battle-axe here and I don’t care.

So let me clarify my earlier clarification:

There are no criteria anymore.

If you don’t get the password, it could be for any number of whimsical, spur-of-the-moment reasons that flit through my brain. This pleases me immensely.

But — you especially won’t get the password if I think you’re playing games with me to satisfy your morbid curiosity. Seriously. Don’t email me telling me I’ve heard from you before “in the past” when I can easily search through my emails and see that’s not true. Do you think I don’t do that? Then you, my friend, really don’t know me. Don’t diss me like that. Come on. I’m blonde. I ain’t dumb.

I know the people I know on this blog and you can neither fool me nor fake me out on this. And the people who know me on this blog don’t have to basically introduce themselves to me in an email. Come ON.

So. Okay. (Calm down, battle-axe. Sheesh.)

But Crackie is in NO mood on this topic, ‘mkay?

October 5, 2011

-image-100 best last lines from novels ~ american book review

Great great stuff here. Obviously, I haven’t read them all — I’ve read a good number — but this makes me want to read them all.

**********

1. …you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on. –Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable (1953; trans. Samuel Beckett)

2. Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you? –Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)

3. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

4. …I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. –James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)

5. But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before. –Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

6. “Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” –Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926)

7. He loved Big Brother. –George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

8. ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’ –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

9. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. –Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

10. Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision. –Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927)

11. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead. –James Joyce, “The Dead” in Dubliners (1914)

12. I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita. –Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

13. And you say, “Just a moment, I’ve almost finished If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino.” –Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979; trans. William Weaver)

14. Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity! –Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener (1853)

15. Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth. –Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

16. Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining. –Samuel Beckett, Molloy (1951, trans. Patrick Bowles)

17. So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty. –Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)

18. I don’t hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I don’t. I don’t! I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it! –William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! (1936)

19. L–d! said my mother, what is all this story about?——
A COCK and a BULL, said Yorick——And one of the best of its kind I ever heard.
–Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1759–1767)

20. ‘I shall feel proud and satisfied to have been the first author to enjoy the full fruit of his writings, as I desired, because my only desire has been to make men hate those false, absurd histories in books of chivalry, which thanks to the exploits of my real Don Quixote are even now tottering, and without any doubt will soon tumble to the ground. Farewell.’ –Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605, 1615; trans. John Rutherford)

21. If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who. –Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (1963)
22. You have fallen into art return to life –William H. Gass, Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife (1968)

23. In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel. –Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900)

24. Go, my book, and help destroy the world as it is. –Russell Banks, Continental Drift (1985)

25. It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan. –Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

26. The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off. –Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)

27. Is it possible for anyone in Germany, nowadays, to raise his right hand, for whatever the reason, and not be flooded by the memory of a dream to end all dreams? –Walter Abish, How German Is It? (1980)

28. Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days. –Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

29. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. –George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871–72)

30. He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

31. Now everybody— –Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)

32. But, in spite of these deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union. –Jane Austen, Emma (1816)

33. It was the nightmare of real things, the fallen wonder of the world. –Don DeLillo, The Names (1982)

34. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city. –Albert Camus, The Plague (1947; trans. Stuart Gilbert)

35. This is not the scene I dreamed of. Like much else nowadays I leave it feeling stupid, like a man who lost his way long ago but presses on along a road that may lead nowhere. –J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)

36. “Like a dog!” he said, it was as if the shame of it must outlive him. –Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925; trans. Willa and Edwin Muir)

37. P.S.
Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise.
–Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America (1967)

38. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate. –Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942; trans. Matthew Ward)

39. Yes, they will trample me underfoot, the numbers marching one two three, four hundred million five hundred six, reducing me to specks of voiceless dust, just as, in all good time, they will trample my son who is not my son, and his son who will not be his, and his who will not be his, until the thousand and first generation, until a thousand and one midnights have bestowed their terrible gifts and a thousand and one children have died, because it is the privilege and the curse of midnight’s children to be both masters and victims of their times, to forsake privacy and be sucked into the annihilating whirlpool of the multitudes, and to be unable to live or die in peace. –Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (1981)

40. Oedipa settled back, to await the crying of lot 49. –Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1965)

41. I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth. –Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)

42. A way a lone a last a loved a long the –James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939)

43. Columbus too thought he was a flop, probably, when they sent him back in chains. Which didn’t prove there was no America. –Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (1953)

44. Everything we need that is not food or love is here in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and extraterrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity. The cults of the famous and the dead. –Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985)

45. Are there any questions? –Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)

46. It was a fine cry—loud and long—but it had no bottom and it had no top, just
circles and circles of sorrow. –Toni Morrison, Sula (1973)

47. And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One! –Charles Dickens, A
Christmas Carol (1843)

48. “No glot…C’lom Fliday” –William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959)

49. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from
pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. –George
Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)

50. “Poor Grendel’s had an accident,” I whisper. “So may you all.” –John Gardner,
Grendel (1971)

51. So I mean listen I got this neat idea hey, you listening? Hey? You listening…?
–William Gaddis, J R (1975)

52. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. –J. D.
Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

53. The aircraft rise from the runways of the airport, carrying the remnants of
Vaughan’s semen to the instrument panels and radiator grilles of a thousand crashing
cars, the stances of a million passengers. –J. G. Ballard, Crash (1973)

54. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable
past. –Willa Cather, My Ántonia (1918)

55. We shall come back, no doubt, to walk down the Row and watch young people
on the tennis courts by the clump of mimosas and walk down the beach by the bay,
where the diving floats lift gently in the sun, and on out to the pine grove, where the
needles thick on the ground will deaden the footfall so that we shall move among
the trees as soundlessly as smoke. But that will be a long time from now, and soon
now we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of
history into history and the awful responsibility of Time. –Robert Penn Warren, All
the King’s Men (1946)

56. He knelt by the bed and bent over her, draining their last moment to its lees;
and in the silence there passed between them the word which made all clear. –Edith
Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905)

57. “All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”
–Voltaire, Candide (1759; trans. Robert M. Adams)

58. He was the only person caught in the collapse, and afterward, most of his work
was recovered too, and it is still spoken of, when it is noted, with high regard,
though seldom played. –William H. Gaddis, The Recognitions (1955)

59. Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead. –James Joyce, A
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

60. One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, “Poo-tee-weet?” –Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-
Five (1969)

61. For now she knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could
ride it. –Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (1977)

62. I never saw any of them again—except the cops. No way has yet been invented
to say goodbye to them. –Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye (1953)

63. The key to the treasure is the treasure. –John Barth, “Dunyazadiad” from
Chimera (1972)

64. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the
rain. –Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929)

65. This is the difference between this and that. –Gertrude Stein, A Novel of Thank
You (1958)

66. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that
enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be
playing. –A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)

67. “Vaya con Dios, my darklin’, and remember: vote early and vote often, don’t
take any wooden nickels, and”—by now I was rolling about helplessly on the spareroom
floor, scrunched up around my throbbing pain and bawling like a baby—
“always leave ’em laughin’ as you say good-bye!” –Robert Coover, The Public
Burning (1977)

68. Then there are more and more endings: the sixth, the 53rd, the 131st, the
9,435th ending, endings going faster and faster, more and more endings, faster and
faster until this book is having 186,000 endings per second. –Richard Brautigan, A
Confederate General from Big Sur (1964)

69. She sat staring with her eyes shut, into his eyes, and felt as if she had finally got
to the beginning of something she couldn’t begin, and she saw him moving farther
and farther away, farther and farther into the darkness until he was the pin point of
light. –Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (1952)

70. He heard the ring of steel against steel as a far door clanged shut. –Richard
Wright, Native Son (1940)

71. So that, in the end, there was no end. –Patrick White, The Tree of Man (1955)

72. The old man was dreaming about the lions. –Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man
and the Sea (1952)

73. Somebody threw a dead dog after him down the ravine. –Malcolm Lowry,
Under the Volcano (1947)

74. Tell me how free I am. –Richard Powers, Prisoner’s Dilemma (1988)

75. “We shall never be again as we were!” –Henry James, The Wings of the Dove
(1902)

76. ‘I closed my eyes, head drooping, like a person drunk for so long she no longer
knows she’s drunk, and then, drunk, awoke to the world which lay before me.’
–Kathy Acker, Don Quixote (1986)

77. “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is
another day.” –Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (1936)

78. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never
die. –Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (1985)

79. “And then the storm of shit begins” –Roberto Bolaño, By Night in Chile (2000;
trans. Chris Andrews)

80. Everything had gone right with me since he had died, but how I wished there
existed someone to whom I could say that I was sorry. –Graham Greene, The Quiet
American (1956)

81. It’s old light, and there’s not much of it. But it’s enough to see by. –Margaret
Atwood, Cat’s Eye (1988)

82. Ah: runs. Runs. –John Updike, Rabbit, Run (1960)

83. They were only a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that
composed our life at that time; the memory of a particular image is but regret for
a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years.
–Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way (1913; trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence
Kilmartin)

84. But I knew that Catherine had kissed me because she trusted me, and that made
me happy then but now I am sad because by the time my eyes close each night
I suspect that as usual I have been fooling myself, that she, too, is in her grave.
–William T. Vollmann, You Bright and Risen Angels (1987)

85. But that is the beginning of a new story—the story of the gradual renewal of
a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into
another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new
story, but our present story is ended. –Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
(1866; trans. Constance Garnett)

86. He waited for someone to tell him who to be next. –Brian Evenson, The Open
Curtain (2006)

87. That’s it. The sun in the evening. The moon at dawn. The still voice. –John
Hawkes, Second Skin (1964)

88. “Meet Mrs Bundren,” he says. –William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930)

89. this way this way this way this way this way this way this
way out this
way out
O
–Ronald Sukenick, Out (1973)

90. …and to all you other cats and chicks out there, sweet or otherwise, buried deep
in wordy tombs, who never yet have walked from off the page, a shake and a hug
and a kiss and a drink. Cheers! –Gilbert Sorrentino, Mulligan Stew (1979)

91. Come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played
out. –William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1847–48)

92. Maybe I will go to Paris. Who knows? But I’ll sure as hell never go back to
Texas again. –James Crumley, The Final Country (2001)

93. “Terminal.” –John Barth, The End of the Road (1958)

94. From the sky a swift Angel descends, an Angel with a golden helmet and green
spurs, a flaming sword in his hand, an Angel escaped from the Indo-Hispanic altars
of opulent hunger, from need overcome by sleep, from the coupling of opposites:
body and soul, wakefulness and death, living and sleeping, remembering and
desiring, imagining: the happy boy who reaches the sad land carries all this on his
lips, he bears the memory of death, white and extinguished, like the flame that went
out in his mother’s belly: for a swift, marvelous instant, the boy being born knows
that this light of memory, wisdom, and death was an Angel and that this other Angel
who flies from the navel of heaven with the sword in his hand is the fraternal enemy
of the first: he is the Baroque Angel, with a sword in his hand and quetzal wings,
and a serpent doublet, and a golden helmet, the Angel strikes, strikes the lips of the
boy being born on the beach: the burning and painful sword strikes his lips and the
boy forgets, he forgets everything forgets everything,
f
o
r
g
e
t
s
–Carlos Fuentes, Christopher Unborn (1987;
trans. Alfred MacAdam and Carlos Fuentes)

95. From here on in I rag nobody. –Mark Harris, Bang the Drum Slowly (1956)

96. My love for my children makes me glad that I am what I am and keeps me from
desiring to be otherwise; and yet, when I sometimes open a little box in which I
still keep my fast yellowing manuscripts, the only tangible remnants of a vanished
dream, a dead ambition, a sacrificed talent, I cannot repress the thought that, after
all, I have chosen the lesser part, that I have sold my birthright for a mess of pottage.
–James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man (1912)

97. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air. –Kate
Chopin, The Awakening (1899)

98. And he couldn’t do it. He could not fucking die. How could he leave? How could
he go? Everything he hated was here. –Philip Roth, Sabbath’s Theater (1995)

99. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see. –Zora
Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

100. “GOOD GRIEF—IT’S DADDY!” –Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, Candy (1958)

October 4, 2011

-image-“softly whispering i love you” ~ the english congregation

First, let me say, I command you to put a Post-It note over the video screen here so that you can’t actually see this totally retarded cliched YouTube video of this gorgeous song. I mean, Charlie Sheen from Two and a Half Men is involved at one point. Like, wha??

I listened to a few different versions of this hard-to-find song and thought this one had both the best sound quality and the absolute worst visuals — and that’s saying something. It was a Sophie’s Choice moment for me, I tell you.

So Post-It note. I command it.

Alternatively, in lieu of scrounging around for those Post-It notes we all have but can never find, I suppose I could allow you to do something like, oh, close your eyes and simply listen. Put on headphones and listen.

This song was a one-hit wonder back in 1972 from British pop band The English Congregation, featuring singer Brian Keith. (Not actor Brian Keith. Although that would be interesting, I gotta say.)

I’m in love with this song now. I can’t stop listening to it. I don’t know how I stumbled across it but I’m so glad I did. So much going on here. So much that’s unexpected. It starts off sounding like a choral piece from the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Literally, the entire first minute of the song sounds like a right proper churchy choir where everyone is singing with their hands clasped in front of their chests, breathing perfectly from their diaphragms, and making perfect O’s with their proper churchy mouths. But then ….. oh then, all hell breaks loose at the minute mark and nothing is the same. The single curl of an electric guitar slams into you and leaves you breathless. The flutes come in — yes, flutes, for God’s sake — in a piping adamant percussive. Which is weird if you really think about it. I play the flute. They’re generally not all that adamant.

And Brian Keith. Good Lord, Brian Keith. All I can say is that the minute …. no, the second …. he opens his mouth to sing, he has me, forever. I don’t want to give it away, but his entrance into the song makes me want to run up and do naughty things to random strangers. He doesn’t sing this song. He declares it. He declaims it. And while he declaims and the guitar curls and the flutes percuss, the perfect churchy choir sings perfectly behaved backup. The elements are kind of nuts, but the whole ….. the whole is brilliant.

And the lyrics …. I kind of love the lyrics …… I can feel your warm face ever close to my lips …..

Ahem. Indeed.

Here’s the weird thing: The first time I heard this song, I thought, “I know this voice. I know I’ve heard this voice before. Where??” I mean, he did not become a well-known singer, unfortunately. So where would I have heard him? Then it hit me: Jesus Christ Superstar. I researched it to see if I was hearing right. I was.

Brian Keith played Annas in the original 1970 concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar.

(Which, in my opinion — and I do intend to write about this — far outshines the movie soundtrack).

The fact that I recognized this not-well-known singer is proof of just how much of my publicly puritanical youth I spent dancing with the devil, blasting this album in secret whenever my parents weren’t home, wailing along at the top of my hellbound lungs. I recognized this man’s voice. Clearly, in some little naughty nook of my brain, I am permanently joined with Brian Keith.

And that’s just fine with me.

So, take a listen. The English Congregation, Softly Whispering I Love You.

(The song takes about 10 seconds to kick in. And, again, I would implore/command you to close your eyes.)

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