Wednesday, October 31, 2007

hallowed hollow

Happy Hallowe'en!

Today was a major celebration day in the sense that it was all halloween all day. I am still adjusting to the school culture so I wasn't quite prepared for so much but that's okay. Now I will know for next year and already have a few ideas in mind.

I dressed as Edna St. Vincent Millay. There were all sorts of guesses for what I was when I arrived, from butterfly to witch :) I wore a 1918 black lace panel dress I bought years ago from a store in lower Haight (which doesn't exist any nore) a broadbrimmed black hat with flowers and a burgandy velvet calf length coat with those infamous shoes of the 4inch heels.

Quite fun but my feet are very happy we are at home now *g*
I finished reading the Mark of Zorro yesterday and started From Russia with Love***CV

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Emily and Illse

Emily of New Moon, LM Montgomery (338pp) Emily is different than Anne in more than looks. Like Anne she is an orphan but only because her father passes away when she is 11 years old. Emily's mother died rather suddenly when Emily was four and so she aand her father had been taking care of each other since. Emily of New Moon is harsher than Anne of Green Gables. The adults are prone to sarcasm and gossip. Perhaps the author idetified with Emily more than Anne. There is much talk of catching beaus and Aunt Elizabeth was hard to understand much as this reader wanted to. Interestingly the sympathetic Aunt Laura also gave me cause to wonder with her white lies and subverting of consequences. Dean Priest also struck me as odd. Something about a man in his 30's waiting for a 12 year old was a little too Nabokov for me. I did love the Catholic pries though and I hope he returns in other stories. Emily is a writer with dreams of being a poetess and possibly a novelist. Once again the reader meets Ms. Montgomery's love of things fey and Tennyson. I will look for the other two in this series.***CV

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Carnations and Violets

The Knight of the Maison Rouge, Alexandre Dumas (398pp) Maurice Lindey is your typical handome, brave, impulsive heroic member of the Republic. He is both patriotic and chivalric to the point that though he may be commanding the guard at the King's execution he will kill anyone who disrespects said personage. His good friend Lorin continually improvises quatrains and cites ancient poetry in response to typical conversations and is also a loyal member of the republic (with a sense of humor). Insert a mysterious beauty married to an unscrupulous Royalist, a mysterious chevalier determined to save the Queen, a loathesome cobbler and France during the revolution and what do you get? Why Mr. Dumas in all his swashbukling glory :) Oddly the end reminded me of Dickens.
Today I started Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Conspiracy as well as Rainbow Valley, the seventh in the Anne of Green Gables series.
In class we finished reading the Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. I'm not sure what we will be reading next. So far I'm considering Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll or perhaps the Kin by Peter Dickinson.****CV

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Mississippi Jack, LA Meyer In which our intrepid heroine narrowly misses being taken home and tried in court by the intervention of ye olde theater troupe only to reprise the role of lost native american maiden who knows how to out houdini houdini as far as controtionist acts go,writes pre silent era Perils of Pauline, does a bit of the Blue Lagoon, gets tarred and feathered whilst away from her show boat and at long last reunites with her true love (for all of five minutes). Will the Mississippi ever be the same?
Dragonhaven, Robin McKinley I think what I love about this book is how much I can relate to it as a developmental study. I refuse to explain. Go read it now.
Currently reading: The Knight of the Maison Rouge, Alexandre Dumas ***CV

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Might Need A Crow or Two

I posted a short story on a Paula's short story blog a week or so ago. For those who are interested here it is.


Snip, snip, snip, Solitude snipped a few dead rose heads with her newly sharpened shears. Nice, she thought, as they popped and then hopped over the hedge.

In ordinary daylight the roses might bewilder any casual passerby; or perhaps not. It is possible that the mixture of red pink orange plum yellow coral variously tipped and variegated blooms might appear perfectly reasonable. Our casual passer by might presume that the hedge was comprised of many differing rose plants overgrown and bound together so that one could –if one was of the mind too, possibly pick any bloom, that is choose not “pick”, and after locating its individual stem from thence trace the stem through all its winding and wending curves until reaching the vary base of its original root. Alas for our determined root seeker, such an action would not be possible for all blooms, each and every bud, and each and every blown florescence, led to one root stock: Period. Best to give up and say it was a botanical mutation supreme and simply admire it in all its phantasmal-glory.

Solitude was of course used to the wondrousness of the hedge and her sole concern at the moment was to make the overgrown bits esthetically pleasing while not actually trimming the hedge and creating an inhabited feel. That would not do at all. She enjoyed the wild exclusiveness of a slightly overgrown maze.

Too overgrown and it appeared abandoned, forlorn, forgotten, and thus an open invitation for any sort of romantic minded over imaginative dreamer to enter and that was not acceptable. On the other hand, too neat and tidy, and than the respectable callers, the rule followers, the rigid thinkers would appear and what fun would that be? No not appropriate either.

But a carefully tended and artistically mussy hedge indicated the possibility of persons who cared and perhaps were away for a little too long but surely would be returning any day now. Thus a romantic might pause but would not intrude or loiter overlong. And as for the respectable people, well they would eye the disarray and mentally note to themselves that this was a rather untidily kept up place and quite possibly the residents were lazy, idle or poor groundskeepers, or worse: incompetent at either hiring or managing servants (or even a worse horror: both!) and not worth the trouble to get to know.

So Solitude continued snipping the rose hedge and humming to herself happily. Occasionally a rather fetching tendril would peep out at her, and a twig or two would catch her fancy, and these she tucked away thus refurbishing her garments and at the same time shedding bits of cobweb and spider spit to encourage that slight disreputableness of the overall esthetic.

One particular tendril was exceedingly mobile. And as Solitude observed it, it appeared rather thicker and furrier than a rose stem ought to be. Puzzled she peered closer. What could this be she wondered.

It’s a tail of course.

Well, she paused mid-snip.

No. Not a well. That is not here at all and you know it dear Solitude

Cat, how are you?

Oh can’t complain can’t complain.

What brings you out this way Cat?

I was looking for you.


Solitude was puzzled even further. Cat was known for being his own best company why would he seek out the companionship of someone as Solitary as Himself? Wait a moment. She had felt a peculiar resonance with the word Himself.

Looking for me Cat? Or looking for someone else?

What do you mean?

Cat, the word “you” can refer to me or it can refer to any other person present who may or may not be visible. It is a rather general pronoun. In fact it is a little too general for a Cat to use.

The truth is, dear Solitude, I was seeking solitude.


And here I have found you, Solitude but not solitary at all.

What do you mean Cat?

We are not alone.

Cat, must you always speak in riddles? I can not make you out; neither head nor tail

You can see my tail can’t you? asked Cat in a rather worried tone


You can see my head then can’t you?


Oh, in very relieved accents. Well that explains why you can’t make me out head and tail but not why you can’t make me out neither head nor tail as you can see my tail if not my head

Thoroughly exasperated Solitude snipped her shears across the leafy tops several times in rapid succession nearly neatly trimming it in the process but she caught herself in time.

“Maxima calamitas!”

Both Solitude and Cat startled and glancing at each other saw their own expressions mirrored: what was that?

They looked up: Nothing. They looked behind: Nothing again. They looked before themselves: Still more nothing. And then they thought to look down and there, neatly disappearing into the hedge, was a white cotton tail followed after by the faintly echoing cry of:” maxima calamitas, maxima calamitas, maxima calamitas,” until only the faintest whisper of that odd Latin phrase trailed back to them to finally vanish amidst the tangle of thorny stem and spiny leaf which had heretofore tidily hidden the rabbit’s passage.

Oh dear!

Oh my!

Wasn’t that interesting?

What can it mean?
Snip, snip, snip. Another pair of sharpened blades was trimming a hedge not of leaf but of words. Snip, snip, snip, snip, and another set of trimmings were added to the pile of barber like clippings on the floor surrounding the figure’s chair. The spectacled and hunched form appeared to not notice the steadily increasing collection and that soon he would be all a sea in a tidal pool of newsprint and photo essays if he didn’t do something like sweep soon.

Snip, snip, s-n-n-n—i-i-p! And fluttering to the floor in a whispery sigh more shreds joined their brethren. A gentle breeze acting the moon’s role shifted the flowing mass across the floor first in one slow sweep towards one end of the room and then back again to the opposite side.
Mistress: “What are you doing!”

The slight bespectacled and bearded form jumped and whirled around

Mistress: “Give me that!”

And his scissors were snatched away before he could blink.

Mistress stood before him, clearly outraged

He then blinked and looked down. Slowly his eyes wandered over the vermicelli covered flooring.

Vermicelli? That couldn’t be vermicelli. He shook his head to clear the mist of thoughts. Well if it wasn’t vermicelli what else came in long thin strips? Fettuccini? He peered closer. No, there were markings on the strips – so, tickertape? Why would he be in a room covered with tickertape? He listened carefully but all he could hear was the sound of Mistress’ angry breathing.

He peered owlishly at her. “Did I miss the parade?” he asked


He looked down and then back up. “The ticker tape parade, did I miss it?”

Mistress shook her head in exasperation and disbelief.

The librarian looked confused.

Mistress: “You have been shredding the library.”

Librarian: “I what?”

Mistress: “You have been clipping the books, over editing the stacks, perforating the paragraphs, serratting the spines and lacerating the lines.”

Librarian: “Why would I do that?”

Mistress: “I certainly don’t know, you being the librarian and all. You tell me.”

The librarian looked around himself more closely this time.

“Which ones”, he finally ventured

Mistress: “What do you mean which ones?”

Librarian: “Which books have I been clipping?”

Mistress: “Does it matter which ones? Isn’t it enough that you have been?”

He shook his head slightly. “I don’t know.” He paused again for a while before continuing. “Have I been clipping all of them?”

Mistress looked thoughtfully at the floor. Then she looked at him and said, “No. If it had been all of them you would have drowned by now or at least suffocated which is near enough the same thing.”

He nodded, “Then it does matter which ones have been clipped.”

After glancing around once more Mistress asked, “And how do you propose discovering which ones?”

He looked slightly surprised, “By reading the bindings of course”

Mistress looked around again this time making rather a show of it. Then she returned her gaze to him and asked if he saw any bindings in the room. And here she shifted a tremendous backwash of shredding with her foot and stirred them together.

Thoughtfully, more concerned with the investigation then the opinion of Mistress he said,

“No, but even if the bindings are not here I can piece the pages back together.”

Her eyebrows rose and nearly disappeared behind her skull in amazement.

“Oh really?”

“Yes,” he said and then smiled. “I am the librarian after all.”

She sighed theatrically then inquired if he would like the assistance of One, Two, Three or Four in the process of piecing the pages to be read.

“Thank you no”, he quickly replied and then added, “however…”

Mistress: “Yes?”

Librarian: “Would you be so kind as to take these away with you?” Here he pointed to the scissors very carefully.

Pocketing them equally carefully within the folds of her apron Mistress left, closing the door softly behind her.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Meeting of Two Cultures day

Yesterday was the last day of training. And even though it was hard to be nonstop for five weeks I am sad that the training is over. We had a graduation ceremony complete with quiz questions as we received our certificates: philosophy, anatomy or do a chant. Totally in fun of course. My question was: What is the difference between knitting, crochet and needlepoint ;)
In true form whenever there is a break in school routine like a day off I am fighting a cold (bleh). I went to practice this morning with a new teacher and interestingly enough during the inversion of choice segment she talked about having attended a class led by the Yoga Trainer I had just trained with (I was wondering why her sequencing seemed familiar).
I started Anne's House of Dreams today and ordered Dragonhaven as well as Mississippi Jack. Funny momene occurred as the book seller was checking her warehouse for the latter book she asked, "How do you spell that?" "Mississi- " "Oh, that Mississippi" ***CV

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Reading has been a bit off lately. I am still making my way through the Anne series and I'm almost finished with Anne of Windy Poplars. Last night I picked up some new books including volume 10 of Hikaru no Go which I read all the way through (aaah manga :). I started Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue this afternoon during our lunch break and I'm almost halfway through that. It wasn't utlil I reread the back copy that I saw it was recommended ny Fracesca Lia block - she of Weetzie Bat fame.

I can see why she would be a promoter of this volume. It's retold Fairy Tales with a feminist edge. However, it is also a collection of stories in which one character asks another character how they came to be the way they are and this character's reply leads to the next tale and so on. So far I have met revisions of Ashenputtle, Bluebeard, Snow, White, Beauty, Rapunzel, The Goose Girl and now am in the midst of Rumplestiltskin.
Speaking of books I decided to start three reading groups in class. For Fiction we are reading the Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury; Biography is Listening to Crickets about Rachel Carson and Non Fiction is The Book of Forms or anglo american poetry.
We started office hours at my school (which is times on a particular day for parents to sign up and come and talk with one of the adults for a half hour). A sort of check in. First day the sheet went up someone signed themselves up for once every month (and now wants more), another wanted to do the same but was persuaded to do one and then see if every month was really necessary; then I didn't check but another parent signed up the morning of office day and then someone needed different arrangements for this week.

Why yes I am glad Monday is a holiday.***CV

Monday, October 01, 2007

satya graha baby

October 2nd is Ghandi's birthday! I noticed it on the class clalendar today. Imagine my surprise when most of the nearby children said, "Ghandi? Who's that?" I so booked it to the book shop tonight and got me a bio of Bapu and I'm bringin' in the salt and the candle and now do I wish I'd shelled out the money for the charka wheel I saw on ebay last year.

Got me a lesson planned for tomorrow.
I discovered today while talking about the happenings in Burma that my assistant is Laotian. My best friend in HS was from Thailand, her dad was Laotian. Her family came to the US as a consequence of the holacaust (I do not use hat word lightly) that occurred there. She shared only a little of what it was like to not know whether you would survive or not and even less about the fact that her dad had not come with them and was still in Laos.

It's amazing to me how little one can know about tragedies and yet those most deeply affected by them can be so close.***CV