Sunday, October 01, 2006

Conjecture's Exquisite Corpses

Down at Conjecture 5 in San Diego and Bettina Davis had a "word play" workshop. These things are always fun, at least if you're a "word" person. One of our little exercises was exquisite corpses, where one person writes a sentence, putting the final word of the sentence on a fresh line, and folding the paper over to conceal the rest of the sentence. Next person writes a sentence which starts with the single exposed word, and so on. Some of these were very funny and I'm putting them up here, for general amusement (and in the hopes that I can read everyone's writing - ack!). I will alternate between regular type and italic type and font color changes to indicate change of author.

There were no themes... just a single word (which is sometimes misread by the person following on - and so it goes).

Conventions make for strange bedfellows or even dinner companions who insisted on cooking in your kitchen with your pots and pans, your food and never did the dishes. One, two, three, they were cast across the room like little shot puts and they crashed against the wall. Oh crannied chink! Oh wall, oh wall, oh well... damn, I loathe Shakespeare. Shakespeare knew how to steal a plot and make it his own, or to rewrite history had never been his best subject; he wanted to take the textbook and throw it out the window or at his teacher's head and just see what the Principal Skinner. I hated the little bastard and looked forward to the day I could skin him like the rat turds! These are not capers, they are rat turds belong in the litter box, I explained to Angus, but the orange tabby ignored me and carried on with his grooming the cat always resulted in scratches and blood and a trip to the emergency room, but I wished I had three pigs to trade at the county fair.

My daughter was stung by a jellyfish drift in a dark and silent sea launch is the way most planets launch their shuttle sings through the thread as the beater bar raps the rhythm and blues, rock and roll crackers and cheese and crackers. Preferrably a fine brie served with a side of white grapes, make those grapes seedless waternmelon is a waste. What's the point of nothing to spit out from the artillery-like cannister, mowing down every man is not alone in the universe, but should be true to yourself and you can find real happiness is fleeting but true contentment is the real jewel of a true enlightenment is never easy but it's easier than you think all truth. Feel all love. See all beauty. Intuit all philosophy alone creates no warmth nor value!

Singing the song of praise, I called out to my Lord for salvation. "Salvation is my only hope!" Dolores thought, desperate and fervent prayers were offered up for the first manned mission to Mars as a new home. Nobody wanted to live there without a set of breeches and a canteen filled with sangria. I savored the day I would have these things. The day I would have to you, my love, forever and ever - because, if this ain't love, we are just wasting our time machines are all the rage in Hong Kong, but I don't think they have used enough safety of the ocean, where no man would follow into the ice. But what is a lie, but a permutation of the truth and consequences. Always those damn consequences never go away no matter how many days have past the fact that he couldn't breathe underwater, he slurped the last of his José Cuervo down and so much for cheap, tawdry chorus girls like Ruby Tequila. Damn her and all her ilk!

"Murder!" she screamed hysterically, rushing into the street car named desire. Wonder what exactly its 'about face' screamed the sergeant to the green recruits woefully under his care and feeding of wild animals was my favorite book of the dead will lead us all to a care (cure?) for immortality is not all it's cracked up to be in books are great fun to read through, very hard to write a meaninful short story in under ninety minutes tick by far too slowly when you want something to happen is as happens will. Frills thought as frill will I never see another spring? The winter-bound trapper muttered to myself about life, the universe, and everything was blown away by the Xenia Tornado of 1972 was a good year; I got my first big girl bicycle freely down the canton, and see the lovely people.

At first, I sought one hundred years of solitude is so relaxing after an afternoon of noisy kids can drive you mad; I dunno if I'm gonna have them stuffed and mounted, hung on the wall so all the world can see their useless flea-bitten hides under the rock. Shine a light; it's never as bad as you think of the true worth of everything and the value of none remained after the devastating storm crashed the coast guard I respect more than most military "divisions and propogations of Bearded Iris will be the subject matter of next week's Garden Club," Sally read from the brochure press kit and publicity photos all promote the star light, star bright, lead me on through starry night offers no promise of repose, but unformed apprehensions about the future can hold you back on my flight home, I paused to open my book for next week's reading Club.


I wonder what the best video game I played ever was not was, a great underappreciated band of the eighties rock is like totally the best said the boy with big hair is so sexy on women. I think they should wear nothing comes of nothing. Effort must be made to achieve your dreams and you will be "happy birthday dear Bono - happy birthday to you," I sang to the posters in my bedroom eyes beautiful dark brown eyes with long lashes fluttered as she flirted through hallways of men like to think they are the captains of their fate is a lot of bullhonkey, you gotta make "your purpose cannot be often separated from the desire to accomplish great things," Grandma said sagely nodding, the wise old woman had the last laugh.

The selkie hid her skin in a cleft of rock was hard. I sought it not just to climb but for the challenge really makes the blood boil and a person fire up the grill cuz I'm hungry for some shrimp scampi served with garlic and lemon on a bed of linguine with garlic sauce makes my breath rancid fat is the basis of all true witchcraft; she knows this well at the World's End is a nice title for a rock band aids are evil, but it's better than bleeding hearts are a moisture and shade loving shrub that do well in swampy areas of your garden vegetables are a bunny smorgasbord was a true board of blood and Iron men and streel wills change the course of human events.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Too Long Gone

I am not a great blogger. I wasn't a great keeper of journals, either. In both cases, I write when I feel compelled to - either something I want to share (a blog) or something I want to wrestle through (a journal).

Right now I'm reading Dante's Inferno for the first time (slowly), along with Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight which is about sensory defensiveness (between that and subtle brain damage, I'm learning a lot about why I'm sooooo weird). Preparing for a trip to Mythcon 37, the annual conference of the Mythopoeic Society, this year in Norman, Oklahoma. And grappling with the stuff of life.

I know, I owe you the rest of my trip report from last year's jaunt to England (Stonehenge and then the Tolkien Conference in Birmingham). And it might be fun to write about my birthday dinner with Tim & Serena Powers, Larry & Marilyn Niven, Karen Anderson, Jimmy Akin, Sue Dawe and Michael Underwood... but not tonight! Suffice it to say we had a GRAND time.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The History of Alcohol

well, in my life!

My parents were tea-totallers (what is the origin of that term, anyway?!), so I didn't have a liquor cabinet to raid (my mom had some cheap cooking sherry that she kept up on a very tall shelf and used every 18 months or so - I knew because, being 3-4" taller, she'd ask me to retrieve it for her).

High school (in the late 60s) there was the crowd that drank a lot of beer and puked at parties (the appeal of which has always mystified me) and the crowd that smoked dope, of which I was a part. So I never even tried alcohol until I was out of high school and jamming w/friends and offered a beer on a hot day (yuck, then; now I probably drink a couple of beers a year - certain foods are very nice with beer) and somebody else was drinking some truly disgusting wine like Boone's Farm Apple and I found that tolerable - so I drank cheap, flavored wine in very small quantities.

I think it was probably at a carbo-loading dinner w/my competitive cyclist boyfriend that I discovered chianti is very nice with pasta, and so I began my explorations of red wine, a voyage I am still enjoying.

I rarely drink when I go out, unless a group of us decide to get a bottle of wine with dinner, because I find a decent red wine is excessively expensive by the glass. I used to go to a lot of clubs to hear bands (and friends) perform and the standard was a cover charge with a two-drink minimum. I would either drink Kahlua-and-cream or Tequila Sunrise; I once had a gin-and-tonic that I really enjoyed at a party, but I've discovered since that gins vary a lot and most of them I don't like. Sometimes I'll have a margarita on the rocks at a Mexican restaurant but I had a bad experience w/tequila that greatly diminished its appeal: one night at The Troubadour (seeing Leo Kottke, as I recall) I had my two Tequila Sunrises, came home, went to bed, woke up with the stomach flu - and the taste associated with it was tequila (as close to a "drunk" experience as I've had). Not good.

Don't misunderstand me, I enjoy that warm glow that a certain amount of alcohol provides, but I don't like where it goes shortly thereafter, which is kind of choppy and sloppy and disoriented. I've had many a long, slow dinner w/friends where we drank a couple of bottles of wine over the course the evening, but it just sort of prolonged the glow (and as long as you keep yourself hydrated, the body processes the alcohol quite well); traveling in Europe I would typically order half a carafe of the local red wine (and cheaper than the Coke my ex- drank continually!) and in English pubs it's usually dry cider (scrumpy, if it's available). I love the way Guinness looks, drawn on tap, like rich chocolate milk, and then it separates into that beautiful dark dark brown with creamy head - but I can't stand the way it tastes (such a disappointment to me--).

At home I'll often have a glass of red wine with dinner, because I like it and because it's good for you (well, me), in reasonable quantities, the whole cholesterol-cutting aspect of it, heart-supporting, etc. I think of red wine as a wonderful accompaniment to food (give me a really big mature red with a medium rare steak and I'm one happy puppy).

When recording, I found a little Southern Comfort was good for keeping the vocal cords relaxed and smooth - but it needs to be a VERY little or you end up with one loose singer, by the end of the session. Pitch gone to hell in a handbasket and timing, what timing?

And, to bring the whole thing full circle, a wealthy German industrialist with a wine-cellar par excellence introduced me to ice wine (botrytis), so while I shudder at the thought of cheap flavored white wine, I delight in a very good dessert wine (with fruit and cheese - yum) - but that's an exceedingly rare indulgence.

Monday, March 06, 2006

General Updatedness

I came down to San Diego for ConDor (this year was ConDor 13, I think - I've done concerts at nearly every one) and for the first time stayed with my Mom in her new location up in Poway, so that put me about half an hour away instead of 8 minutes away. The only alarming thing about this is a particular piece of pavement on the 163, just before the 805 junction, when the finish of the road sounds like a brake squeal - every time it would give me an adrenaline hit until the very last time when I kept repeating, like a mantra, "it's only the road, it's only the road" - so that made me notice where it happens and hopefully I won't continue to react so strongly in the future!

The concert was good fun. The last few concerts I've done I haven't been very pleased with because I really hadn't done any prep and was selecting songs on the fly and perhaps hadn't performed that song for months, and while I was well-received, I knew that I could do better.

There are excuses for all that, of course (--aren't there always?!--) but I knew and it's ultimately me that has to be okay with what I'm doing.

So this time I did better and I'm much more satisfied and the concert was received very enthusiastically. Ah! good.

One of the fun things was debuting a couple of brand new songs: Left Turn Love, which is something of an attempt at a modern Childe Ballad (the last verse even starts, "Come all you tender maidens and heed the words I sing..."); and There Are Three Things, a love song built off Proverbs 30:18-19.

There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

England Six, Lynn Slow...

So... I left you with the threat of Stonehenge. Our last day at the timeshare we loaded into the car and then wrestled with heavy traffic to Exeter where Michael was picking up his rental car. He'd been grumbling about the size of our rental car, although we needed the room when it was loaded full of us AND our bags, and had reserved something smaller to pick up at Exeter and drop at Birmingham - but when we got to the rental location they offered him a station wagon (!!) - a much BIGGER car than the one we'd been in all week - and he took it (the fool!). Ellie and I shook heads, helped him load his stuff from one car into the other, and then we all drove off with Michael following us.

I kept him in my rear view mirror for at least an hour, through the heavy traffic (school holidays, remember - *sigh*) and then lost him while overtaking some slow vehicles (families towing trailers, or caravans, as the Brits would say). I thought I saw him draw near but that car eventually passed us and it wasn't him (rats!). We'd all planned to go to Stonehenge that day, and his little photographer's heart would have leapt for joy because the sky was wonderful - big dramatic clouds. If you can't be there for magic hour (sunrise, sunset) then dramatic clouds are as good as it gets - but we never saw him there and learned afterwards, when we met up in Birmingham 5 days later, that he was attacked by a bout of good sense and chose to drive on up to the Lake District (a loooonnng haul in one day, especially by British standards, which are smaller, more winding roads than he's used to in California).

But Ellie and I had a grand time slowly walking around the henge and taking a ton of photos (that's what really made me apprciate my digital camera - I must have taken more than 50 shots of Stonehenge and I never had to reload! yay!!!). Here is the official English Heritage site, which has lots of links (they have the management of the location).

We finally hit the road and drove on in to London environs, having finally eluded most of the holiday traffic, and by hit-or-miss (MapQuest leaving a bit to be desired in this instance... quite a large bit, actually) made it to Pat & Trevor's and fed their hungry kitties and schlepped stuff into the house. Pat and Trevor were at the World Science Fiction Convention (up in Glasgow, which I'd planned to go to and then decided I'd prefer to spend that time seeing friends in England and seeing ENGLAND, as opposed to seeing a convention center and a hotel which could be about anywhere, as interesting as Worldcons are) but they kindly lent us use of their home, which freed up a friend who was driving over to feed the cats (Broggy and Kiwi - large brother and smaller sister, both gorgeous black animals).

I think we drove out to an Indian take-away in a nearby community, and crashed pretty early. Next day, Sunday, we slept in, used the computer, started doing laundry, fed cats repeatedly (rather complex directions as they each have special diets!), found a shop where we could buy a little food (having cleverly forgotten it's SUNDAY and even this close to London, the shops don't stay open late - spoiled Americans, I tell you!).

Monday we drove 15 minutes down to Farnham, a charming small city (town?!) full of Georgian architecture, some lovely churches, and a castle which was, sadly, closed that day (*sigh*). We nonetheless had a grand time wandering through the town and eating a pub lunch in a rather "foody" pub - they had a 2 course prix fixe meal that was EXCELLENT plus a special on a bottle of wine - we thoroughly enjoyed that! I learned there is a well-known guitar shop and I walked off in search of it while Ellie went in search of a particular publication and came back to find me tucked into a timbered corner of this great old building, happily playing a VERY nice inexpensive guitar (!!) to maintain my callouses (I hate losing them and having to rebuild them - it hurts!). We walked back and wandered through the Lion and Lamb Yard which was charming - I do like the sculpture!

Tuesday we drove all the way out to Whitstable on the east coast (so we walked beaches on both the utter west and utter east of England, right across it's broadest portion!) - we particularly liked the beach huts - funny little houses. My friend Joan told me that these have sold for some ridiculous figures, especially considering that you can't SLEEP in them! But it was lovely for me to see Joan again (who fed us a scrumptious luncheon) and her now-grown daughter and two grandkids (yay! for grandkids) and then we started the drive back, stopping in nearby
Canterbury (check out more Canterbury shots at this site) and just missing the Cathedral (they closed EARLY, the rats!) but enjoying the grounds for several hours.

When we finally hit the road for home we had a great experience as we topped the rise of a hill and found a hot-air balloon rising majestically (and ENORMOUSLY!) before us - there was an annual ballooning meet the next day - here are some nice shots from a different meet. A rich, full day!

Wednesday we took the train up to London and spent the day riding the Underground, walking through assorted galleries and museums, hanging out in Covent Garden and of course a yummy lunch with wine and finally an evening at the theatre, seeing The Philadelphia Story with Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Ehle at The Old Vic. Lovely, rich day and despite terrorist activity within the previous month, neither of us were fearful (remember how my trip started with a diverted flight, after all!).

Thursday will find us loading out of Pat & Trevor's home and driving up to Birmingham, stopping at Kenilworth Castle on the way. The story of parking and schlepping and returning the car isn't particularly interesting - except that we drove 1,500 miles in less than 10 days, from Rochester to Heathrow, out to Cornwall and Land's End, back by way of Stonehenge and east to Whitstable, and finally north a little ways to Birmingham! Whew!!!