Monthly Archives: April 2004

Bits and Pieces

I’m better today, thanks to my selfless husband leaving during Smallville last night to pick up DayQuil/NyQuil for me.

Since I didn’t get out yesterday, I made sure I went out this morning. It felt so good to be outside in warm weather instead of grey overcast damp world in which I usually end up travelling. I went downtown to deposit a cheque and pay the next three months on the post box I rent with a friend. At the bank I discovered that my money has apparently thawed, since I was able to transfer a chunk to my other account and then access it via debit. Huzzah! Bills to pay! Costume elements to pick up! Groceries to buy!

Tonight Skippy‘s coming over to do the final modem switch between my current computer and my brand-new-used-to-be-Scott‘s computer. So if all goes well, tomorrow I’ll be using a new system. (It’s never that easy; I know this well. Let me be optimistic, okay?)

During today’s writing jam, t! and I listened to various 80s rock and 70s punk albums. No one will ever believe that the first half of Chapter 7 was written to “Holiday in Cambodia” — either of the versions we heard. (1.5K today. Not great, but not bad.)

I mentioned to t! today that I feel like a traitor spelling words like “color” and “emphasize” a la American in this text, as opposed to good solid UK/Canadian spelling. He assured me that I was traitorous. Such love and support.

And I’ve somehow missed this Memphis Slim song up till now, but thanks to the new Susie Ariloli album it’s firmly entrenched in my brain:

(words and music by Memphis Slim)

You may play the race horses
You may own the whole race track
You may have all the money to buy anything you lack
I don’t care how big you are
I don’t care what you think you’re worth
When it all comes down we got to go back to mother earth

You may own half the city wear diamonds and pearls
You may have a jet plane and fly it all around the world
I don’t care how big you are
I don’t care what you think you’re worth
When it all comes down we got to go back to mother earth

You may have a great army at your command
You may have some politician eating out of your hand
You may have some servant who’ll do anything you say
But mother earth is waiting, it’s a debt you gotta pay
I don’t care how big you are
I don’t care what you think you’re worth
When it all comes down we got to go back to mother earth

So That’s What I’ve Done With My Life

Found via Muse:

Literacy Test: Highlight in bold those books you’ve read.

(Ed. note: Hunh? Since when has literacy been indicated by the number or calibre of the books you’ve read? Those books might have had an influence on your literacy, but it certainly isn’t directly correlational. Whatever. My comments are scattered throughout in italics.)

Author – Title

— Beowulf
Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice and everything else
Baldwin, James – Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie March
Bront�, Charlotte – Jane Eyre and everything else
Bront�, Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger
Cather, Willa – Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey – The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton – The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate – The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore – The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage
Dante – Inferno and the two smash sequels!
de Cervantes, Miguel – Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel – Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities and just about everything else
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore – An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre – The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss but not Middlemarch? Wha? Who developed this list?
Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Selected Essays
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William – The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry – Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox – The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von – Faust in two languages!
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph – Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms
Homer – The Iliad
Homer – The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame but not Les Miserables?
Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry – The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man thank you for not listing Ulysses
Kafka, Franz – The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong – The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair – Babbitt
London, Jack – The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas – The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garc�a – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Herman – Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur – The Crucible
Morrison, Toni – Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene – Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George – Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan – Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel – Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond – Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry – Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William – Hamlet
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth
Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William – Romeo and Juliet and just about everything else
Shaw, George Bernard – Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon – Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles – Antigone in two languages!
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William – Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David – Walden
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan – Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire – Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. – Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice – The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora – Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt – Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse and plusieres autres titres
Wright, Richard – Native Son you know, I honestly can’t remember

This list is obviously American, because it doesn’t ask if you’ve read Two Solitudes or Kamouraska. And where’s Fahrenheit 451? I find it interesting that the list is fiction and poetry, with Emerson and Thoreau thrown in, but doesn’t include important philosophical works. Apparently philosophy (Aristotle, Hegel, Kant, whoever) improves the mind but not the literacy rate. I think literacy evaluators ought to sit down with Kant and try to follow the a priori theory. They’d understand just how much philosophy rests on the ability to read and comprehend.

I took a couple of American Literature courses at university, which is how I came to read things like Theodore Dreiser and Henry James. Most of the rest of my score here is attributed to the double BA in Liberal Arts and English Lit. (That and a decidedly anti-social streak.) And yet I’ve managed to reach the age I am without reading the high school classics Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye. Go figure.

Have fun.

Witches Weekly: The Moon

Another dark, overcast day. I feel like I’m working in perpetual twilight. The prevailing gloom of the past couple of weeks is really getting to me.

Witches’ Weekly has a new set of questions up:

Do you celebrate and/or perform moon magic on the Esbats? If so, why?

Depends. I view moons (full, dark, whatever) as an opportunity to commune more than anything else. I do use lunar energy to fuel spells when necessary (not that I do a lot of them), but magic is never the sole purpose of an esbat for me.

Do you feel that the phases of the moon affect the energies of the waves and people?

Yes. Duh. I’m female, and a Cancer Sun, Pisces Moon. I’m quite aware of how the moon affects people.

What type of magic do you best associate with the moon?

Depends on what phase the moon is in. I go on the fritz when there’s a dark moon: I sleep badly, communicate badly, and don’t remember what I’ve read or studied. If I do ritual around a dark moon, I tend to be quite emotional, and as I know emotion fuels magic I have to be very, very careful. I find that I use waxing energy more than any other energy; I just tend to do random workings during that phase more than any other phase. As a rule, I use lunar energy for gentle enhancement of whatever work I’m doing.

Maybe it’s the greyness of the day, but I’m craving chocolate. And I’m so sick of tea.


We had a wonderful birthday party for my goddaughter. She played with everyone, appreciated her presents (“Look! Look!”), handed round cake with style (“Happy Birthday cake!”), and we all got to spend time with people we don’t see as often as we should. By the end of it, we all were ready for a nap; it seems that no one slept well on Friday night. HRH and I arrived home mid-afternoon, and next on my agenda was to pop by the MPRC Beltaine Fair downtown. I was so sleepy that I lay down and closed my eyes, figuring I’d have a quick catnap to get out of my zombie-like state, then bus into town… and when I woke up, it was six in the evening, and the phone was ringing.

Evidently my body decided to get back at least some of the hours of sleep it missed out on the previous night. Fine, except couldn’t it have taken just one hour, then saved the rest for later? I would have gone to bed early. I really, really wanted to see what was on sale at the fair, and see how the workshops went.

Drat. And of course, because my body had stolen sleep during the day, I wasn’t tired enough to sleep again until midnight. Grr.

On the good side, HRH and I sat down last night for an in-depth joint Tarot reading looking at the next twelve months, posing questions and reading for different time-frames (electional Tarot! – well, if you’re an astrologer you’ll get the joke), and our projected plans seem to have quite favorable outcomes. It did a lot to settle doubts and nerves.


I sent the Undead Manuscript back to the publisher at four-thirty yesterday afternoon. My deadline was next Monday. So there.

Then because I resented having my day’s plans put on hold, I went downtown to shop and buy birthday gifts. It was odd to walk down Ste Catherine Street and hear most people speaking English. This is a phenomenon that occurs only during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

I was also reminded why I don’t like people very much. They’re rude and classless and superficial and self-centered.

Aside from gifts for others, to reward myself for a nasty day I popped into Lush and picked up two bath bombs, one a lovely rose-scent and the other the new Reynard dans les Fleurs scent – Fox in the Flowers. (For those who don’t know, I’m as obsessed with foxes as I am with owls.) It’s as close as I can get to new-mown hay, being severely allergic to all of Nature, and it felt heavenly last night.

Then in HMV I bought the new Susie Arioli Band album, and, er, the newly released Guns’n’Roses Greatest Hits collection. (You know you’re an eclectic music-lover when you bring home two contrasting CDs like this.) I blame ProsperosDaughter and t! for the latter purchase; t! for my original immersion in this sort of stuff, and ProsperosDaughter for bringing the Motley Crue tape along on our last trip to Toronto and reminding me of 80s rock. I also managed to forget yet again that I have an HMV gift certificate left over from Christmastime.

Apart from nasty insomnia last night, I’m feeling pretty okay today. There’s a friendly celebratory brunch for my goddaughter this morning, which I’m looking forward to immensely. Life may get bumpy, but there’s always two-year-olds with birthdays to make things better.