Category Archives: Books

Long, long day

3.5+ hours of commuting with Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, 11 hour workday (important upgrade), soaking in hot hot water and bubbles with chapters of Woodpecker, and now I’m ready for the sleep of appeased Gods. I know I have outstanding work that needs catching up on, but it will be there tomorrow, and I have run out of those little sticks that hold the eyelids open.  Goodnight, fellow collections of particles, fellow bags of water, fellow assemblances of energy. May everyone wake up aroused tomorrow!

The Terry Pratchett Experience

I’ve been listening to the audiobooks of Discworld recently. I’m nearly finished with the third of what looks to be forty-one in total, according to Wikipedia. I started out of order, just because I wanted a taste. I think after I finish this one, I’m going to start in order and go through the whole set.

I’m already starting to see people as otherworldly creatures. Imagine how much stronger this will be after finishing the entire set.

If you follow the series, I started with “I Shall Wear Midnight,” then “Making Money,” and am now finishing up with “Snuff.” Thankfully, so far it seems that he’s one of those authors that writes in a way that you can jump in any time and get to know the aspects of the characters being presented in that particular volume, and learn more later, and so far, they mesh well.

Household Gods (Crowley)

Found this one in a folder full of Crowley texts. It’s an obscure little play about a man and his servant girl… It opens with the man at an alter bemoaning the fact that his wife has abandoned him to play in the woods with entities unknown. The servant girl comes in to console him, and one thing leads to another.

It’s a very short play, and serves only to demonstrate the lure and power of sexuality over man, and what we are willing to do if the conditions are ripe…

It did have a line near the beginning that conjured up Nick Cave lyrics for me… Don’t know if there’s a relation or not. As he’s poring over the alter in the beginning…

Ye household gods!
By these male tears I swear
That ye shall grant this prayer.
All things at odds

Shall be put straight–
Harmonized, reconciled
By some appointed child
Of some far Fate!

It made me think of Nick Cave’s Do You Love Me, specifically the line “She was given to me to put things right…”

Book consumption progress 2015

It’s almost mid-May, and I’ve finished 31 books so far this year. Sounds crazy, but many of them are audiobooks, the result of a long commute and lots of time on my hands. Some of my friends say they’re unable to focus on both the road and the plot of a book. I don’t have a problem with that, although sometimes I have to run it up a bit louder to make sure I don’t miss anything. It helps that much of what I’ve been listening to has been exciting stuff with captivating plots.

I think when I signed on to Goodreads (are all of my reader friends on Goodreads?) I set a goal of 40 books this year. It looks like I might have to revise that goal to 100.  100 books in a year would be quite an accomplishment, would it not? I’d have to step up my game, though. We’re about 43% through the year, and I’m only 31% through the goal of 100 books. I think I can do it. Two of the books I listened to are among the longest books out there (The Illuminatus! Trilogy, which is technically three books, and Gravity’s Rainbow).

Busy Busy Saturday

My busy, busy Saturday. My own firm plans were in Silver Spring, at the Santa Fe Writers Project Spring Book Launch party, and after that, less than a mile away seeing Kiya Heartwood at a house concert at the home of my great friends Henry and Rachel.

Well, I had some time after my haircut, so I went by way of DC and ended up catching the first set of Dot Dash doing an outdoor gig at 18th & Columbia.

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They’re good, solid, sensitive post-punk. Go give ’em a listen. It was fun to people-watch, too. I don’t get into the city enough.

Found some great city art just around the corner.

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I kinda wanted to stay for Dot Dash’s second set, but I really wanted to make the book launch to support SFWP and their authors, so I headed back to my car and up the road to Silver Spring.

When I got there, I decided to park near Henry and Rachel’s and walk the .7 miles back to Jackie’s for the book launch, since it was a nice day and I was a bit concerned about parking for the house concert later on. Before going in, I wandered around to find an ATM, which it turns out wasn’t necessary as the book table took credit cards.  I was excited to see Joe’s Record Paradise. I cut my teeth musically in their former location. I still remember the first three punk albums I bought from Joe’s.

Into Jackies, then, a bit underdressed and sweaty from walking in the heat. Couple of beers, nice chat with Andrew, photo op, then over to the book table. I was good.  There must have been 15-20 different books on the table, and I only walked away with three. Had I stayed longer, I might have bought more. Here are the three I settled on:

I was sad to cut out of there early, only hearing one of the authors reading, but glad I got to experience the event — I had never been to a book launch before. Plenty of art openings, record release parties, etc., but never a book launch.

Headed back over to H&R’s for the house concert. H&R have a lending library in front of their house. It’s a cool concept. Someone a few blocks up their street has one too. I made sure to leave a copy of the Krylon book in both.

It was sooooooo, sooooooo good to see my friends again. These are people that have been a positive influence on me for two thirds of my life.

After hellos, intros to the other guests and a couple of beers, we sat down for the show. I had done some research, and listened/watched a bit on Youtube to Kiya’s work, but I wasn’t prepared for the show. Last night’s show had a theme, and it was a good, strong, and well-timed theme. It was storytelling and songs for the common man, the working man, teaching about Mother Jones, Joe Hill, Calamity Jane and Walt Whitman. Informative, educational, entertaining, and passionate. You can tell that Kiya has deep feelings about these themes. Sorry my pic is blurry…

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After the show, had a great time hanging out and listening to recordings in the fantastic studios of Red Sky Audio, and then chatting with everyone in the front room. Then it was time to make the bleary-eyed drive back to the burg. Long, difficult drive, which included a short nap in a McDonald’s parking lot. Home by 2AM or so.

I like my life.

Waywords and Meansigns: New Finnegans Wake audio project released!

I am colossally excited about the release of this new Finnegans Wake project. This will be my next audiobook to tackle. It’s 31 hours of james Joyce’s Finnegans Wake being read aloud, with backing music by different groups of musicians per section.

Details at http://www.finnegansweb.com/

Timothy Leary

TIMOTHY-LEARY_TIGHT1Timothy Leary came up in conversation a couple weeks ago, and I thought this was worth noting.

I was at a yacht club rum tasting event — if you follow my periodic blatherings, you will remember that this was the event during which I consumed more rum than I had previously ever consumed. That may have sounded sensational, but I’m rarely a rum drinker. So four shots probably would have been a lot for me. I had way more than four shots by the end of the night.

Anyhoo, early in the event, I was introduced to a local singer-songwriter. Since I’ve always been one to befriend performers, after a few shots I struck up a conversation. My first question, “what kind of stuff do you write about,” resulted in an answer with some intensity, so we kept at it, and somehow we ended up trading Timothy Leary quotes back and forth. Well, I threw one out there, and she threw one back, which is I guess a bit rare nowadays. So that was impressive. So at some point during the conversation when she mentioned a recurring motif in peoples’ lives of the “fear of death,” I casually remarked that Leary wasn’t afraid of death. She replied, with the same intensity and utter sincerity, “No, he was afraid of life!” *

Wow. Mind=blown. Now I’m going to have to reread all my Leary stuff with that as my mantra.

* At least I think that’s what she said.