Monthly Archives: March 2002

Twilight Zone

Okay, now I’m officially shpooked. This morning I said to myself, “Gee, I wish I had a new Mercedes Lackey book to take with me to Toronto this weekend.”

Twenty minutes ago, our CanPar delivery man dropped off two boxes. One of which contained the new Mercedes Lackey hardcover Gates of Sleep, based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale.

I’m almost afraid to take it out of the box.

Giants Passing

Wow. Dudley Moore is dead. I was thinking about him completely out of the blue last week. No particular reason, just popped into my head. I spent a day or so trying to figure out why – had I seen a clip from a movie, heard a comedy sketch, or something of the sort. I didn’t come up with anything, so I let it go. Then on the news this morning, they announced his death. Eerie.

Moore was one of those people who was dreadfully, awfully talented. He trained as a classical pianist as well as developing a nasty wit. On Music & Company this morning Tom Allen played two different Moore musical sketches, but the one that sticks in my mind is the Same To You musical piece he did, which is Colonel Bogey a la Beethoven. I almost spilled my tea. It’s right up there with Peter Schickele’s baseball version of Beethoven’s Fifth symphony, Conductor vs Orchestra. (“My God! They’re reprising the opening theme! This has never been done before – listen to the crowd – they’re wild!”)

So I enjoy classical musical humour. Shoot me.

Sleeping On It

Well, sleeping on it does work! I wrote last night’s post on-line (a no-no I usually avoid by composing in Word and copying it over) and my computer froze as soon as I hit the “Publish” button. Argh! Was it lost? Was it trapped in cyber-space, awaiting my secret Jedi powers to free it?

After half an hour of trying to un-freeze the unit I gave up. If it was gone, it was supposed to be gone, and my earlier post was to stand as to my musings on Eric’s sudden passing. I checked this morning, and voila! My post!

Orchestra tonight – I’m so anti-Bizet that I pulled out my CD and my music this weekend and listened to it over and over, then played the opening bit. Or, I tried. Then I played with the Schubert symphony for a while. Much more satisfying. This marks the first time I’ve touched my cello between rehearsals in, um, five months. Gulp.

Woke up this morning to a delightful bit of Renaissance lute music from a CD called “Lute Music for Witches and Alchemists”. Now I have to own it. Hey, I’m supposed to be enjoying life more consciously now, right?

On Funerals

I have not felt this drained in a long time. I’ve given up trying to work; I’m pretty useless tonight.

Eric’s memorial service was funny, touching, and in general a celebration of a happy man who lived life to its utmost. By far the most enjoyable funeral-type service I’ve ever experienced, it was a chance to share with others how much one individual can have touched your life, while mourning the fact that you’ll not have the opportunity to share time with him again. My husband said that he wants his service to be much the same – but with much alcohol, and dancing too. I’ve never been a fan of the weepy, heart-wringing kind of funeral – what good does that do? – nor of the startling “repent ye sinners and turn to GOD!” genre, so I must say that I’m right with him on this one. Celebration of life is the key, even while we recognise that our lives will never be the same.

All through the afternoon, I looked at each of my friends, and saw individuals with whom I enjoy spending time, with whom I share interests, in-jokes, hobbies. When I said hello or good-bye, I held them all a little tighter, a little longer. Life’s precious, damn it. Why don’t we see that more often?

What is it that prevents us from understanding that at a deeper level? Or, perhaps more importantly, at a superficial, always-on-my-mind level? Why do we let ourselves become burdened, stressed, concerned with what’s wrong in our lives? What does it – any of it – matter in the end? What it all comes down to is you, your friends, your family; your level of peace, the love you feel: what’s right on your life. This afternoon, someone said that one of Eric’s philosophies was, “You can never be too kind”. It’s true. That means reaching out and telling people that you care. It means hugging those close to you. More, it means accepting the hugs from others, their kind words. It means touching others, and making that connection.

After a tough time in my own life, I’d begun looking at my friends and family again and realising how much they mean to me, every one of them. The loss of Eric just highlights that importance. Death points out to us all that we are still living, as difficult as it may be in the wake of such a blow. Not living life to its fullest is turning your back on the simplest, yet most elegantly profound, message the gods have sent to us.

On The Contrariness Of Cats and Oscars

About a month ago we inherited a never-used sofa bed and matching recliner chair. Nice, neutral in style and colour, comfy, and miles more attractive and less uncomfortable than the tiny 30 year old sofa bed we’d picked up at a garage sale a few years ago. That sofa bed was being used as a scratching post by our three fluffy hellions, so we’ve been keeping an eye on them when they’re in the living room with the new set. If we’re in the apartment and hear that tell-tale “skrr skrr skrr pop” we yell, clap our hands sharply, or smack the offending puss on the rear (depends how persistent they’re being). Well, you can’t watch them all day, so when we noticed a thread or two hanging off the arm rest of the sofa we decided to cut further damage off at the pass.

We brought home a board wrapped in heavy jute rope and screwed it to one of our doorframes.

All three cats ignored it.

I rubbed some catnip on it. They rolled around on the floor in front of it on the bits that fell off.

One by one, I picked each of them up and carried them over to the scratching board, put them down, picked up their front paws and made little scratchy movements against the rope. They pulled their paws out of my hands and gave me injured looks.

I gave up. Another terrific idea, down the drain.

A couple of days ago, I was in the bedroom and heard the “skrr skrr skrr pop” sound. I yelled; the sound didn’t stop. I walked into the living room ready to dish out hell, and there was Maggie, on her back legs, back curved, her front claws locked in the rope, looking at me like I was an idiot human who was contradicting myself again.

Ahem.

She’s the only one who uses it, though. The other two haven’t figured it out yet. Either that, or they’ve tried and she’s defended it, having decided it’s her personal scratchy spot. My money’s on Maggie telling the other two that it’s really better for them if they use the sofa to sharpen their claws, and she’s no longer using it to give them more opportunities.

Oscar Review:

I haven’t watched the Oscars in years, namely because I’ve been so disinterested in what the world of film has had to offer. Last night we watched the back-to-back Enterprise episodes, then tuned in to the Academy Awards in time to watch Sidney Poitier receive his honorary Oscar. I missed all the LoTR awards, but by checking out the web site I’m very pleased to see that Howard Shore got a statue for his incredible score which rarely leaves slot no. 3 in our CD tray. I did have the fortune to see Randy Newman win for Best Song, however, which was long overdue.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised to see films like Gosford Park and A Beautiful Mind be honoured. These are films which I was excited about when I heard they were being released, then got swamped by the general raving hullabaloo once they came out and lost any desire to see them. Guess I’ll be fixing the oversight soon. Maybe I’ll rent Moulin Rouge so I can finally see that as well. Oh, and why not see LoTR again while I’m at it.

Movies I’m looking forward to this year: Possession (scheduled for July 2002, based on the novel by A.S. Byatt, which is one of my Desert Island books and one of the three focal points of my M.A. thesis – although apparently this film ruins the whole turning point of the novel by making the scholars American!), The Importance Of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde rides again!), Star Wars: Episode Two (I refuse to call it by the lame, lame title – we’ll all call it Ep2 anyway), Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (a title which can’t be changed for American audiences, thanks the gods), and of course, The Two Towers. Most of which are likely to be ignored this time next year.