Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I fancy Flight

The Flight of the Conchords brings me comfort and joy, just to know I am not alone with my appreciation for freakish humor.

(You are a picture of the devil's daughter. I am a pitcher of holy water.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

My dearest Lucas,

I write to you with trembling hands, but see only small lavender boxes, descending with my tears.
I have waited for you, it seems, beyond my endurance. I have gazed out the small window of my solitary cottage, touching the frozen window panes with small-work-pricked fingers beyond my paltry will's ability to bear it.

Lucas, the dark figure in the yard, the one of which I wrote to you, the one of which you replied in your last post from the port in Siam ("Don't let him in for God's sake, Lysinda! Don't let him in!"), yes, that dark figure, came calling again last night, with a gentle rapping upon my door ...

Lucas! I have pledged myself to you, and to write this accursed novel that cries out day and night and day and night to live, live, live ... but I instead have succumbed to the licentious Tetris!

I know it makes you tremble! You, who knew from a small child, you would live a life on the sea until you saved up enough to establish a small vacuum-repair shop, and you who always awoke at night in fear of the dreadful Sirens and Scylla as if we lived in the days of the ancients and not in some ... vauge, kind of Gothic/Edwardian imaginary time period ...

You dreamed them, in fear, for me, dear Lucas. For I did not resist the siren's call of Tetris!
You have at least the church, my Lucas, in which to pour the dregs of your broken life, but I have not that option, now.
Unholy, unholy undead Tetris!

What am I to do? What am I to do?
But wander the moors, to wander the cliff-edges facing out-to-sea as if to recall our fond dream of your happy home-coming to our own cottage, together, but I will be unable to look up from the Gameboy, clutched in my stiffening hands!
Oh, cold, cold Tetris, my new, un-loving master. Oh Tetris, who called me with your hazel squares, falling, the music of your chortling, electric beeping.

Do not search for me, Lucas, for the girl you knew is gone. Her hair is grown long and snaggled, her gown twisted, her skin bleached white by darkness as she wanders, playing Tetris through the night ...

I write this final post, lovingly, as I speak it outloud dramatically in a fake English accent.
There is nothing else to say, my love, except good-bye, and to beg you to warn the young girls in the village who aspire to write to never, never to make this mistake.

Your loving fiancee,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Howard Jones

I know to each his own but ... I love Howard Jones.

If each decade's rock, in general, is heavy on one particular aspect or another, I'd applaud the 50s for audacity. I love the 60s for pure music-crafting (I think they added heart, and a message, to rock). The 70s ... well, they, in part, were swinging (drifting?) away from the 60s so, they did excess well? Then I will argue that the 80s added heart, and a message, to excess.

(Live Aid. Erasure's politics. Everything Depeche Mode is saying without really saying it.)

And PIANOS. Viva the much-maligned synth! And enter what slays me: complexity (have you ever really LISTENED to Just Like a Dream? Over and over? And over?) Then, these layers, ranges (the guy from A-Ha), and melody.

Melody, melody, melody.

Dismiss it as "hooks," unbeliever. Then dismiss Tolkien as plot-heavy. What a beach read! Great plane-ride paperbacks!

OK. High, high praise. But Howard Jones' melodies (which I've just admitted my weakness for) are surprising and brilliant. I guess they really are gems set in ... aluminum alloy pop trinket lockets. Which I, being a girl, and not too much of a music snob, root through greedily.

Howard Jones, maybe I've elevated these songs to sacrity, but I would love to see you spend the next 20 years weaving each of them into 15-minute piano "symphonies." Things Can Only Get Better "amplified," expounded, expanded?? That is your assignment, so stop reading my blog and get started. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I just finished "The Bestiary," by Nicholas Christopher; another one heavy on motif. This time it was pseudo-history and fantastic beasts.

Um ... I like these books. It reminded me of "Salt," with its faces-and boot-shapes-in-the-clouds motif. (They're "painterly?") But motif ... I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do every time I spot a "motif."
A griffin! A manticore! The name Sylvia, again!

I loved the main character -- these great twists and quirks that made him very real, for me. I felt like I was sitting in a coffee shop across from the author, telling me a ripping good yarn, when he pauses, leans back, cocks his head at a jaunty angle and blurts, "phoenix."
A chuckle. A lean-forward on conspiratorial elbows.
"You heard me. Phoenix."

OK. But more about the guy! More about your excellent premise! The lost medival manuscript of fantastic beasts!
Instead ... how about 100 pages of forgettable history-snippets (I'm sorry). And, since he's only writing around 200 pages total on this epic, life-long quest to find the bestiary, he must dash through a childhood, schooling, Vietnam, a first romance, world-travels and a final romance with a fugitive animal-rights activist.

But what of the bestiary??

This one historical snippet was priceless, though: I never really understood how Lord Byron had both time to write and to window-dive into canals, maintain scandalous romances, participate in the political unheavals of non-native nations. First, he didn't have TV. Secondly, he apparently wrote from midnight to five a.m. EVERY NIGHT. He also didn't have online Tetris.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I may as well blog (as play hours of online Tetris)

And, I'm going to let people know of this blog.

"Once when Lord Mitsushige was a little boy and was supposed to recite from a copybook for the priest Kaion, he called the other children and acolytes and said, 'Please come here and listen. It's difficult to read if there are hardly any people listening.' The priest was impressed and said to the acolytes, 'That's the spirit in which to do everything.'"

(Including quick, clean decapitations.)

-- From Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai