You dive into the undergrowth and see movement in the bushes in front of you. Ordering your Warriors to spread out in order to make yourself less of an easy target, you run towards the bush ahead. A small brown-skinned creature suddenly jumps out from behind it, pointing a long blowgun straight at you. You recognise it as a Blog because of its dog-like head and the shrunken heads that are tied to its belt. Infamous for cooking human flesh in large cauldrons, Blogs are hated and hunted down by all human races. A split second later, a poison dart is flying towards you. If you possess a shield, turn to 73. If you are not carrying a shield, turn to 330.
— Armies of Death, Ian Livingstone, Puffin (1988); Wizard (2003.)
Wow ! We had a TON of low scores this week ! What’s with you guys J
Rossa’s Controband tied the All –time low score in league posting a 7 under 29 ! and is now either tied for or solely in 1st place in both the handicap and low score divisions.
Al Putz and MC United continue to hang around the top of the leaderboard… The Cart Girls have begun their slide from the top
See ya on Monday !
Bend Park & Recreation District
I have been, for whatever reason, getting emails from someone in the Park and Rec department of Bend, OR, about their golf tournament. One of the other teams is called ‘The Angry Birds’.
12:00 pm • 23 July 2014
I grabbed a bunch of books from out a box earlier to show my upper-intermediate class so they could read some blurbs and learn vocab and write some blurbs. This instead of the textbook exercise, wherein within pairs one of them would claim to be an author writing a life of Truman Capote and the other an interviewer interviewing them about Capote (n.b., no-one in my class had heard, ever, of Truman Capote, even when I showed them the cover of A Capote Reader and asked, “Truman Capote: would you?”—anyway, no one had heard of him, except one German or possibly Dutch student who was familiar with the song ‘Breakfast At Tiffanys’.) One of the books I had grabbed was William Mayne’s A Game of Dark, which not vetting the blurb I didn’t realise had a critical claim that said novel
without a trace of melodrama, but not without mystification, the story, balanced with two sets of symmetrical characters, carries the reader from discovery to discovery, in the manner of a classical drama.
Which doesn’t mean a lot for an upper-immediate learner, and, I imagine, doesn’t mean a lot to you if you’re twelve either (and I’m not convinced it means much to the general reader; while I see what they’re going for, the only novel with sets of symmetrical characters is Flatland.) On the other hand, reading it, now, I’m struck by how little Mayne is writing for children:
In the next hour the wind ran out of breath, even up on the hill. The wetness left the sky, and the horizon of the sea became bright and distant. Donald sat at the table in his room and looked from the window, over the front hedge, over the road and the houses beyond, to the edge of the tide and the silken washed beach. Still in the gutter over the window the last of the fallen rain dripped, and now and then, in its last erratic puffs, the wind sighed in the roof over him. Outside the window the top of a small bush, looking in with its highest twigs and loaded with raindrops, refracted and focused its surroundings in gems. In the kitchen next to his room Donald heard tea being prepared. In the grass of the lawn a three-fingered flower danced alone, and lay still: a fallen and dried sycamore leaf, each lobe rolled, the palm curved.
Like more here than in anything else of his I’ve read he’s doing a Style: a weird attempt to reconcile 19th-centurisms with Joyceanisms (a devotion to syntactic parallelism in clauses separated by colons and fragments separated by commas: an interest in optical phenomena: a tendency towards adjectival pileups not so much demonstrated in the above but e.g., “a dog … put out a sly invisible enquiring tongue to lick his cheek”) in this way which is interesting in its failure.
12:00 pm • 22 July 2014
Also when I found said bird I went and greeted one of said housemates by holding the bird out round the corner of the door and exerting pressure on the back of its neck such that its head twitched up and down as I said “hellooooo,” because, I mean, what else are you meant to do with a dead bird.
8:43 pm • 21 July 2014
Of course, I am now living with my ex’s housemates, which is fine, except, and I wouldn’t want to claim that these people are slobs, exactly, that’s not what I’m claiming, exactly, except that, earlier this evening I found, and I mean, this is the first time this has happened, I wouldn’t claim it as a regular occurence, I wouldn’t want to claim that it’s a regular occurence, and I wouldn’t want to claim that they’re slobs, not exactly, I wouldn’t want to claim that, except that I found a dead bird while I was cleaning the kitchen earlier, and I wouldn’t want to claim that they’re slobs, except that it was under a substantial layer of dust, one indicating it had been there for a week or more, but I wouldn’t want to generalise from that, I wouldn’t want to draw any spurious conclusions.
8:07 pm • 21 July 2014 • 1 note
This got me added by two Freud themed twitter accounts, which I think but I am not sure are both bots. Something here, some kind of comment, about what it means to be perpetuating Freud via a necessarily post-industrial form of automated communication, I’m not sure what, I don’t know, there’s probably something in it, you work it out.
12:00 pm • 21 July 2014 • 4 notes
So R. moved out today. Originally, since R. had to be in London today and tomorrow for some kind of Rilke-themed event, the plan was we’d go in and have one last brunch and then R. would head to that, but nowhere was open so R. went to that and we met up again and had what was still, nominally, brunch, midafternoon, in a café that had spelt in every item on the menu. I found it when I was googling “places to work with laptop in central London”; the blog post that mentioned it said something about how the baristas played ‘hip indie music’; two out of three times I’ve been there I have heard John Mayer’s ‘Waiting for the world to change.’ Anyway, now I’m single, I guess.
When I got back, this evening, I moved all the stuff from the basement room I’ve been in to R.’s attic room, which I am now subletting; this is, for those keeping track, my fourth new room in six months. It is about ten degrees warmer here, all the time. I bought deodorant today, incidentally, for the first time in about a year. It’s a fancy deodorant; it came in a linen bag. Someone asked if I had been “using hippy crystal shit instead” and I said, no, I just haven’t been wearing deodorant. I told my mum I’d moved from a basement room to an attic room, omitting many details, and she laughed and said “well, maybe now you can write that novel.” Last week I came into class wearing a sort of quasi-houndstooth snapback and one of my students said, why are you dressed like Sherlock Holmes. It’s a good week for scoring points off me, is the point of this paragraph.
11:35 pm • 20 July 2014 • 1 note
bob weir, ‘ace’
"I’m going back home. That’s what I’m gonna do. / You did better than me than I did by you."
"Then way way up in Heaven, for whatever it was worth / God thought he’d throw a party; thought he’d call it Planet Earth."
Biggest rhyming couplet quality fall-off in rock history.
Have also noticed of late that by ‘77 Weir (and Donna Godchaux, I guess) have taken to appending to John Barlow’s at-least-competent “I’ll still sing you love songs / written in the letters of your name / and brave the storm to come / for it surely looks like rain” the supremely bathetic ” / yeah / and it feels like rain.”
4:41 pm • 19 July 2014 • 2 notes
Though for anachronous modern phenomena nothing yet beats the discovery that the good suitor in Our Mutual Friend was a hipster racist.
3:28 pm • 13 July 2014
more confused notes about trollope
And Burgo, if it was so that he had not heart enough to love truly, could look as though he loved. It was not in him deceit,—or what men call acting. The expression came to him naturally, though it expressed so much more than there was within; as strong words come to some men who have no knowledge that they are speaking strongly. At this moment Burgo Fitzgerald looked as though it were possible that he might die of love.
So I quoted this bit before but then R. and I started talking about how it was basically Tao Lin. Put quote marks around the last three words and it functions a lot like the last sentence of Taipei.
There’s a queer half-modernity at work in Can You Forgive Her? — or it seems so to me, anyway. That everyone’s problems are problems of inaction and self-sabotage: Glencora accepting that she would be happier if she eloped with Burgo, but choosing instead to stay in a comfortably painful marriage; Alice throwing over potential suitor who is imperfect for one who is, she is entirely aware, a long way away from lovable. And the odd irregularity of register in which they articulate their problems is quite something: “My dismay was at first so great that my reason for a time deserted me,” Alice writes to Cora at the climax of her break with George, “and I could only sit and cry like an idiot.”
The scene where George breaks Kate’s arm is followed by some of the weirdest register-switching, a vacillation between Victorian pietism and an almost-recognition that he an abuser, an odd scramble to find a realignment of motives and actions that will permit the novel to resolve. When, later, after contemplating suicide, he goes offstage with a loaded gun in his pocket and we hear he’s “gone to America”, there’s a bizarre echo of Svidrigaïlov. In fact his whole vibe throughout is of someone who wishes he were in Dostoyevsky, but was born too early and in the wrong place.
I have been trying to think out some broader ideas about the ethics of the novel within this book’s sphere but I am getting nowhere. I can’t decide if Trollope’s invitations for the reader to disagree with him as to what the novel’s women are capable of —“she was, I think, (etc.)” — constitute an ethical move or a cop-out or both. Like the claim for an ethics of the narrative artwork is something like, I don’t know, that in providing the novel’s actors with motivations and action-sets such that we are refused an external position from which to judge? I don’t know? no, that’s definitely wrong — but there’s certainly something interesting about this here particular book, the title, the direct address to the reader, the ironical spirit in which this is uttered, and in which which the broader editorialising about female emancipation takes place that makes the book of value as a moral object in a greater context than of being the utterance of an upper-middle class British Victorian gent. That said the occasional kneejerk anti-semitism is unredeemable, and there is probably not enough prophylactic irony in the world for it to sit comfortably with us that John Grey and Plantagenet Palliser can unquestioningly accept that it’s probably, in the grand scheme of things, okay, that the only way into government is via money.
2:26 pm • 13 July 2014