Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I'm whimsical in my connections myself--once in an alphabetical list of library gardening resources, I included Dewey numbers for "Knees, hygiene and health," and "hot tubs," for example. But in as much as I was thinking of playing with words just this morning (what a coincidence, but more on that later), I have to admit I didn't see an immediate connection between
Presented by Gerald Fierst
Ages 5 and older
What would the oldest man in America be able to tell you about our Founding Fathers (and Mothers)? This renowned storyteller recreates some of the characters who helped shape our country and shares some hilarious folktales, too.
Bellevue Regional Library, Monday, May 7, 7pm
Federal Way Regional Library, Wednesday, May 9, 7pm
and playing with words. I suppose, for the sake of argument, words had a big influence on how our country was shaped. Nevertheless, the kind of play with words I think of is more in line with the other programs. If this group of Spring programs was a mystery, American Spirit would be the red herring clue--or else the red herring clue that is really the important clue after all.
Now, about playing with words from this corner of my mind. I was thinking about how "one" goes to "once," "two," goes to "twice," and "three" goes to "thrice" (although admittedly, is not often used). What about four or five? I know English doesn't really follow consistent patterns--that it seems to start a pattern of one kind or another and then break out--"-ed" past tense and irregular verbs, for example. But that doesn't stop me from trying to think "what would follow next" in the pattern.
The pattern seems to be take the beginning of the number--on-, tw-, thr- and combine it with -[i]ce. Soooooooooooooo fource? fivice?
As amusing as I find all this, it usually isn't very long before I have to rain on the fun and look up the words in question to see what's really going on, and why the pattern stops. ("oh, that's an 'irregular' verb" [in the case of irregular verbs, time and less use by speakers of the language seem to be the verb laxitive, making verbs regular].)
Anyway, the Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd e, says in the case of once, twice and thrice their etymology comes from Middle English, ones; Old English, twiges; and Middle English, thries (from old English thriga). The -es was changed -ce to "retain the unvoiced sound of the final consonant." So, Old English four is feower. Old English five is fif. In the stream of time, I guess single words for "four times" or "five times" either disappeared or didn't come into existence because they weren't used as often.
Well. That certainly killed that play date...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
(Allusion to "A Long-Expected Party." You know the book...)
Okay, finally a note about a new TV show. (While it's a good idea in public speaking to tell the audience what you're going to say, say what you said you'd say, and then tell the audience that you said what you promised; in blogs and other serial written material it can be a drag, a burden, an obligation hanging nastily over your head.)
The show is Raines. It stars Jeff Goldblum as a police detective with mental issues. If you never watch TV, you can skip this entry, but then again, it might be fun to know some pop culture without having to go through actually exposing yourself to the disease. heh heh.
Anyway, in a structuralist look, Raines is rather like a cross between Monk, Medium (and Ghost Whisperer), early Crossing Jordan, and maybe a dash of House thrown in. That is, Raines talks to the dead murder victim(s) whose death he is investigating. The Monkian aspect is, however, that he's really imagining/hallucinating them. Nevertheless, like in Medium, they won't go away until he has helped them out by finding their killer and maybe some other deed he intuits that they'd want him to do if they really were haunting him. (The dash of House is that many of his acquaintances think he's a jerk, but to some, he's so good at what he does that it's to be endured, and to his ex-partner, at least, Raines is a likeable jerk.) The Crossing Jordan aspect is that he re-imagines the crime events and they're shown as scenes that happened or might have happened. (CSI did that first, and Crossing Jordan's role-playing with her father was a riff on that, and now Raines is a riff on a riff.)
Golblum, like John Wayne before him, is very good at playing variations on a particular kind of character. If you liked Goldblum in any of the following: Independence Day, Jurrassic Park, Buckaroo Bonsai; then you'll probably like him in this. If not, then even if you do watch TV, this may not be the show for you. Since it's the haitus-replacement for ER, that could be a really cruel fact of life if you are an ER fan.
In my case, I've never started with ER, so I'll have no problem watching this replacement. (Or rather taping it to watch the next day, since it would keep me up later than I prefer.)
Saturday, March 17, 2007
While The Higher Power of Lucky is rather material/physical (as opposed to metaphysical/mystic), the next book I'll mention is more in a magical vein.
The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is 3rd in the Tiffany Aching series/adventures/trilogy/thing. According to the catalog, it's number 34 in the Discworld series, but the stories of Tiffany Aching are fairly self-contained. (I've not read any of the other Discworld series.)
First of all, Tiffany Aching is an excellent character. She's not annoyingly perfect, but she is a girl, relatively strong, magically talented, and both clever and intelligent. (As Lennon and McCartney said, "And if you saw [Tiffany] You'd love her too.")
All three of her stories involve struggling against danger and tremendous odds (which is a good deal more cliched than any of the books). In The Wintersmith, Tiffany attracts the attention and infatuation of The Wintersmith himself. He is the personification of Winter. Inspite of his age (after all, winter has been around nearly forever....) he has all the experience of hitting on human girls of a early middle school boy. His power and the self-evident unsuitability of the match make much of the danger and suspense of the plot.
The Wintersmith has some similarities to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. A magical being becomes enamored of a mortal woman (girl) and causes trouble and danger for a number of people because of it. Of course, TW is a good deal shorter. And its allusions are clearly contemporary (whereas JS & MrN is pretending to be written in Victorian times about England during Napoleonic War times).
Also, Tiffany is the protagonist, not the Nac Mac Feegle, not any of the other witches wanting to help her, and not Roland, the human boy who writes to her. Thus, TW is as if one took one of the main plot points from JS & Mr N but had Mrs. Strange or Lady Pole have to save themselves. I like the variation on a theme, myself.
Read both and see what you think. Only read The Wintersmith first, because it's shorter.
Oops. out of time. have to talk about the TV show next post.
(These are all unrelated to the photo, but he did seem to have a "Thanks for dropping by" look about him.)
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (pronounced, [peh 'trone] in the audio book author interview). I almost hate to mention this one given all the hullabaloo that's gone on about it in the recent past. Let's just say out loud, that the word "scrotum" is not used in any salacious, harmful to minors, or really any other objectionable way. (The point has been made that teachers probably won't want to read it out loud because of the middle school giggle factor, but that's really quite apart from the book being objectionable, which it's not.)
Anywaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, two of my reading colleagues weren't impressed. One reader, whose sometimes distainful and often impatient views of books I aspire to, couldn't get past the first 15 pages. The story, the characters didn't grab her.
Another colleague didn't find it particularly grabbing either. I was surprised. I liked it immediately. It really does matter, I suppose, what one brings to the book. I grew up living in a trailer park until my dad got his own land in the Nevada desert and moved the trailers to it. And when Patron described the three trailers connected together, I had a flash of recognician! We only had two trailers, and they were connected with a wooden passageway between the back door of the 10-wide and the hole cut in the 8-wide instead of end to end, but yeah, we did that!
Also, the 12 step meetings, the whole small desert town, it's all true. To quote Wally Lamb, "This much I know is true."
Well, more on the other book and the tv show in the next post.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
regarding two ...
No, that's ambiguous, too.
The Kind you Jump through
I've subscribed to two hapless participant's blog feed.
It took a while to find someones I might actually want to read that I think won't make me envious beyond enduring. If I didn't subscribe to your feed, and you post more than once a month, I'm probably not able to get over my admiration-turned-to-envy.
Today's entry brought to you by to, two and too.
The other hoops you may have known is the NCAA type. And NCAA owns the trade mark or something like that of March Madness. Which is why various comercials that may make some allusion to the season as a sales gimmick are usually careful not to say/spell exactly "March Madness."
I actually jumped ahead and subscribed to some library related feeds, too. But since that's another thing/hoop, I'll take credit for having done it in another post.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Art seems to frolick in the spirit of pretension.
In that spirit, and having to do with spirit and art,
I offer this picture:
stacked chairs in the modern cathedral in Coventry.
They are empty, except for other (chairs) like them, and yet...
Three points of light shine, suggesting more light to come.
Speaking of more light to come, I'm hoping the 27things beyond FlickrMashups are better. I played with the Montag, and it was kinda fun, but my mugshots didn't show up in the mosaic I made, so I left it.
Then I tried the Make a Trading Card Mashup, but for some reason, even when I gave the program/system/mashup permission to go to my flickr account (because I didn't want to upload more pictures from my computer), it wouldn't actually open a photo chooser for me to pick from my Flickr account. So I think I would have liked this one best if it had worked for me as I was hoping/expecting.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
"And all this science, I don't understand /
It's just my job, five days a week . . ."
I don't know. I was working with room reserve and the event recording software, and the song just came to me ("Rocket Man". Actually, to be perfectly correct, the *quote* is really by Bernie Taupin who penned the lyric; Elton John composed the tune and recorded it. Wikipedia says that it's based on a Ray Bradbury short story.)