Various. Hey, I’ve been working, I have no brain or ability to make connections
So I finally made it to bell practise at the abbey again tonight and . . . the less said about it the better.
I tell myself that it’s been a month since I was there last, that I already know I’m finding the learning curve with those particular bells steep*, and that tonight wasn’t as bad, say, as the first time I rang there.** Or the first time I rang there after quitting New Arcadia, being intimidated out of my tiny mind, and wondering if I had a future as a ringer anywhere.
But not very much better.
* * *
I wish to say that I am DELIGHTED at the forum comments about year round decorated not-just-for-Christmas trees.† I’ve actually thought of trying to do this, de- and re-ornamenting a tree†† or a tree-like object, but in the first place I’ve never got round to it, partly because in the second place as soon as you start thinking, okay, this can be anything I want it to be the possibilities unfurl into infinity . . . beginning with the fact that it wouldn’t have to be exactly a tree, although, come Christmas again that might be easier.†††
I am also delighted that several people have posted liking John Carter: the critic-flayed film. Excellent. Now all it has to do is come to Zigguraton or Mauncester. I admit I want the full theatre experience. ‡
Meanwhile, Diane in MN posted a link to this excellent article about Burroughs and the original novels:
And last but not least, also carrying on from last night’s link-post, my favourite story so far about recent rampant sexism:
Only a little over ten years ago, when I was an undergrad exchange student inFrance, I received a telemarketing-type call on the separate line that my host family nicely provided in their exchange student room. The woman on the other end asked to speak to the man of the house. As I was somewhat flummoxed by actually hearing this question out of the 1950s, the first phrase my still-shaky French brain offered up was: “I don’t have one.”
* * *
* Not to mention the stairs. Which have definitely got steeper in the last month.
** I had a cup of tea with Penelope today at her house^ and was describing my difficulties at the abbey, including the business of not ringing in a circle, which is what most of us are used to and what our rather feeble ropesight can cope with, but a line. Not a line, said Penelope, who has rung there herself, a banana. She’s right. Unfortunately I thought of this image tonight and it did not help my concentration.
^ Not without difficulty. Her entire street is up, with ‘road closed’ signs at both ends and mobs of yellow-jacketed persons rushing up and down waving uninterpretable instruments of destruction, flanked by diggers and dump trucks in a wide range of sizes and numbers of teeth. Having tried both ends without success, I parked Wolfgang in a hedgerow and hiked in, leaping over abysses and bubbling pits, and fending off over-familiar bulldozers. I believe they were air-lifting Penelope out when she had to go to work.
*** Maybe I should focus on singing. I pulled Che Faro Senza Eurydice off the shelf today for the first time in a while, to have a go at being tragic.^ Um. I think I may have achieved whining. Perhaps I’d better not focus on singing.^^
^ This may be as far as I can get into opera, but I want to sing this properly.
^^ I did get Nadia to help me with the frelling Owl and frellinger Pussycat on Monday. With her at my elbow being crisp it all seems terribly doable. This has gone away again. Yes, I can now sing the descant alone, possibly even without the one-finger-on-the-piano to hold me steady. But as soon as the basses start up tomorrow evening I’ll be toast. Pleeeeeeease let Griselda be there.
† Goes nicely with ‘a dog is for life and not just for Christmas’
And this year, Marks and Spencer, not to be outdone in the responsible consumer and empathic small-footprint, we’re-all-just-visiting-this-planet stakes, brought out a holiday-red shopping bag that says ‘a bag is for life, not just for Christmas’. I have a second-hand one—it arrived in this household bearing Christmas presents—and it amuses me every time I need a red plastic shopping bag to put something in.
†† I am totally with the idea of a chocolate Easter egg decorated tree, for example.
††† In the third place, I think Peter might not be entirely thrilled with the idea. Hmm. I could start experimenting by decorating the geraniums^ on the windowsills at the cottage perhaps. But a year-round holiday tree would, in my dastardly hands, turn into another sort of shelving for little noodgy objects—I already have not only a full complement of the standard sorts of dustcatchers, but little dangly things on chains and ribbons suspended from curtain rails and the cottage’s gigantic overhead beams and so on.
The good part of a rolling-with-the-seasons decorated tree is that you do get the fun of decorating (as someone on the forum said is an important part of the tree thing) while the boringness of the taking-down part is somewhat ameliorated. But what I foresee is that I’d just end up with the seasonal decorated not-a-tree plus a frelling Christmas tree all over again.
^ I’ve been moving around the cottage garden the last three days muttering Empty space! Look at all this empty space! and frantically trying to remind myself that this happens every year, I’ve got stuff ordered, CALM DOWN. Today in my inbox I have about sixty-two ‘your order has been shipped’ from plant nurseries all over England. And Scotland. Wheeeee. There goes my plan to repot everything on the windowsills before Spring Frenzy starts however.+
+ ::says in a very small voice:: But I do need a climbing rose . . .
‡ Opera and cheezy SF&F: McKinley’s theatre-going priorities. Which reminds me. Last-month’s-but-I-missed-it big story was: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/feb/02/van-halen-different-truth-review
Remember I told you that I finally got around to having my adolescence in my thirties? Yeah. Well, the David Lee Roth Van Halen was a major feature in this enterprise^ and I was totally with Bloom County when Michael J Binkley declared that the whole world has gone to hell in a handbasket since David Lee Roth left Van Halen.^^
Now . . . want to know how I finally found out about the new album? By following an opera singer on Twitter.
And am I going to buy the first David Lee Roth Van Halen album in almost thirty years? Hmmm. . . .
^ Although a friend who was there used to say that I didn’t have a disturbing and unhealthy crush on Roth, I wanted to be him. Well, yes. The wardrobe, you know, although I’ve kept more of my hair.
^^ I had the original cartoon taped to my wall in Maine, but I didn’t get it laminated fast enough and it disintegrated when I peeled it off to take to England. This may have been an omen, of course.
‡‡ Michael Dirda is fabulous. He is fabulous not least—as I was saying of Michael Chabon last night—because he takes genre seriously.
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