May 30, 2007 § Leave a comment

Gotta get that photo off the top.


Aaaah. Much better. “And there they stand to this day, all alone, unless the birds perch on them; for trolls, as you probably know, must be underground before dawn, or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again.” (illustration via zepe).

I’d never heard of Moomins until I read about them on Loobylu in November— do start blogging again soon, Claire!— and I wasn’t completely charmed by the books I got from the library. They weren’t bad at all, just not what I was expecting. But now, seeing the level of enthusiasm for Tove Jansson’s work here and here, and the very cool exhibit in Tampreen Taidemuseon Muumilasko* (a Helsinki museum, I gather), I’ll have to give the books a second chance. The above illustration is from a Swedish edition of The Hobbit illustrated by Jannson and published in 1962.

*It’s the music particularly that’s intriguing me. I’m always a sucker for an accordian, I know, but there’s something melancholy, wonderful— in the full-of-wonder sense— going on there. Evocative of Yann Tiersen (warning: annoying Flash site).

Bill Waterson mentioned in The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book that his work is (was?) most influenced by Krazy Kat, but to that point, no comprehensive Krazy Kat book had yet been published. Since he wrote that introduction in 1994 or 1995, (and given Calvin & Hobbes’ sustained popularity), I assume someone must have assembled and published such a collection by now, but I can’t seem to find any evidence.

Also, I heard last week on CBC that Belgium is honoring Tintin with a postage stamp. Huzzah for Herve! Tintin is much more popular and well-known in Canada than he was in my little corner of Maine. Also, he served as shorthand for a singularly despicable former roommate’s (also singularly despicable) boyfriend, for which I owe the little carrot-top endless apologies. The cartoon carrot-top, I mean. Not the boyfriend.

It surprises me how few parents pick up graphic novels* for their kids as a bridge between picture books and illustration-free chapter books… Tintin would be perfect. Also good for ADDs who have a hard time following endless lines of words on a page, or picturing the text’s action in their head.

*Or maybe they do, judging from the bulging section of manga and graphic novels at the library. What do I know?

In case any of you missed it the first time*…

May 25, 2007 § Leave a comment

*like I did. This story is from October, 2005.

A ferocious clash of giant reptilian predators in the the Everglades leaves both dead and one exploded!

Snake bursts after gobbling gator

An unusual clash between a 6-foot (1.8m) alligator and a 13-foot (3.9m) python has left two of the deadliest predators dead in Florida’s swamps.

The Burmese python tried to swallow its fearsome rival whole but then exploded.

The remains of the two giant reptiles were found by astonished rangers in the Everglades National Park.


Rest of the story here. But you’ve already seen the good part.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to my fellow Americans! Don’t get splatted on the turnpike by the drunk drivers! And don’t get malignant carcinoma from the blazing sun! (It was 63 degrees here today EAT YOUR HEART OUT.)

from HFX/The Daily News

May 23, 2007 § 1 Comment

An excerpt from Babies trade sleepers for trendy fashions by Chris Zdeb (Ed. what?), CanWest News Service:

Mom Christie Ottenbreit says she really enjoys dressing up nine-month-old twins, Emma and Noah.
“[Babies] are kind of like our little dolls. When I was a little girl, it was fun to dress up dolls and now I’ve got my own real live little dolls.”

But! She continues, and apparently her condition is hereditary! Or at least vicariously-transmittable!

“I know me, when I sit around in sweatpants all the time, I don’t feel particularly great,” Ottenbreit says. “I definitely notice with my little girl, when she’s wearing something pretty or frilly, she’s definitely more vocal and lively.”

Oh, how excellent.

I guess the moral of this story is get up when you wake up. You know, if there is one.

May 23, 2007 § Leave a comment

I was awake at 6:55 this morning, and had every intention of staying awake, but it’s chilly again today, so I went back to bed to warm up. And fell asleep until 8:35— so much for health, wealth, wisdom and the worm. In that time I had a satisfyingly traumatic dream about giving CPR to my cousin Anthony.

Anthony died during a hike with my uncle, his father, on June 4, 2005. Here he is on his 26th birthday, just a few weeks before.


He’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the early nineties, I think, and his medications were constantly in flux, and that day he had a fatal combination of bad reactions. He first complained of being thirsty. So thirsty, in fact, that he drank all of the water they’d brought for an eight-hour hike. Then he had trouble breathing. They were within sight of the parking lot when he needed to sit down. My uncle tried to call for help, but he couldn’t get a signal, and the rescue helicopter didn’t arrive for thirty minutes.

And that’s what I dreamed about this morning. Those thirty minutes of trying to keep Anthony alive. I was performing CPR, my uncle was covering him with dry leaves to keep him warm. Breathing for Anthony, keeping his heart beating… he would pick up the rhythm and breathe on his own for a second, and I’d think I had saved him, but then he would stop again. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I had to keep trying, I could save him this time. This time! he would be! all right! I kept imagining I could hear the helicopter, but it never came. He wasn’t all right.

When I finally woke up, Richard told me he’d dreamed that we were at a local artist’s apartment in Lunenburg, and as we passed from room to room, all the guests were charmed by us. They invited us to dinner parties, gallery openings, committee meetings— we were a hit!

“That sounds like a nice dream,” I said.

Ring Cycle

May 22, 2007 § Leave a comment

In honor of CBC 2’s, um, admirable achievement of playing Wagner’s entire Ring Cycle in one day, may I present: The Only Wagner Richard Can Stomach, aka What’s Opera, Doc?

chrome-plated, trumpet-voiced flycatcher

May 17, 2007 § 1 Comment

Dear Residents of Lunenburg,

You are RESIDENTS of LUNENBURG. No one is going to steal your car or its contents. Stop arming your car alarms. Do it for me that neurotic terrier on Montague the children! Do it for the children.

You know you’re only going to set it off yourself anyway.

Kindest regards, etc.,


So. No Gilmore Girls or Veronica Mars next year on The CW. [CW Entertainment head] Dawn Ostroff, may your little black dress fall down around your knees at a cocktail party, may your teeth evermore be thick with raspberry seeds, and may your pandering, preening network fall on its knees in September. Thus I spake.

Seriously, though. 24* is renewed and VM isn’t? Who runs this frigging industry?

*Check the end of the second paragraph.


May 15, 2007 § Leave a comment

Richard just invented a new G&T twist— he added 1/2 cup (or so, I can’t just charm him out of his secrets) of cooled hibiscus tea. And all without a mixology degree. I’m just blinded by his brilliance.

Also, good-ish news from sweet | salty. And bad news from QEII Lottery where once again we’ve won nothing. DAMN YOU, LADY LUCK!

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