shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


this day in history (# 3 updated)

It is unfair when birthdays occur on non-weekend days, most cruel when they are on Mondays. I have asked for my birthday to only ever be on Saturday, but such is not the case. Because today is also a ton o' links day, a numbered list. My coworkers brought me pretty flowers. They are tall and pink. I plan to leave early.

1. Also born today were Pablo Neruda, Henry David Thoreau, possibly Julius Caesar, and fellow Kentuckian Tod Browning (whose uncle Pete the Louisville Slugger was developed for). Also: 1794 Lord Nelson lost his right eye at the seige of Calvi. Not to mention all this other stuff.

2. Extremely good loot so far. I'd already claimed the Gilmore Girls First Season and the Freaks and Geeks boxed set early. This morning I got the new Loretta Lynn CD and last night a fantastic graphic novel called 2 Sisters (about which more when I finish it). A wonderful silvery surprise package replacing my old worn out VHS copy of Sullivan's Travels with the fancy DVD edition. (YAY!) My nephews made me a cake, and we taught one of them how to ride a bicycle. All in all, a low-key birthday, which is as it should be, seeing as how I forgot which one it was, making the actual event totally anti-climactic.

3. We were totally lame and missed the Perpetual Motion Roadshow last night. You have no excuse though and should go see. Schedule is here. UPDATE: You can also hear Gavin's lovely Scottish accent (and Liisa and Geoffrey, sans Scots-accent) give updates via pay phone from the road here. Scroll down to The Pay Phone Tour Diaries and click on the links. Favorite sentence: "We were snakeless in Northern Kentucky." Yay!

4. Excellent Washington Post review by Paul Di Filippo of Perfect Circle in yesterday's Book World. Stewart's mastery of Will's first-person narration is unflinching and unfaltering. The voice conjured here is absolutely authentic and affecting, as is the portrait of Houston, Will's stomping grounds. Will's vast extended family of oddballs and losers and honest toilers imparts a John-Crowleyesque heft to the book. And his treatment of the ghosts -- "Ghosts don't do things to you. Ghosts make you do unspeakable things to yourself" -- is truly eerie. Readers familiar with the quotidian spookiness of master English horror writer M.R. James will find similar frissons here, but married to the gritty demimonde in the novels of American noir writer James Crumley, resulting in a fusion of black humor and pathos, blood and ectoplasm. The first chapter is up at Salon.

5. Congratulations, Terry!

6. David Schwartz has the scoop on why Tom Bombadil wasn't in LOTR, via an interview with Tom himself. MH: Ha ha. So, I understand you did a screen test for Peter Jackson. TB: That's true. I did the Judd Nelson monologue from "The Breakfast Club" for him. You know: "Fuck you! No, Dad, what about you?" Tom always thought that bit was genius. O.

7. Alan found cool fliers.

8. The summer issue of Endicott Studio's Journal of Mythic Arts is up (via Write Hemisphere), featuring essays by Terri Windling and Midori Snyder, a new story by Laurie J. Marks and lots of other cool stuff.

7. Alice Sebold and Amy Bloom had pieces in the Wash Post magazine on summer reading (as did other folks).

8. Anchorman's not half bad. And there's one inspired sequence.

9. Alas, today's a Tour de France rest day. But, as TdF Blog explains, it's not much of a rest day. Tomorrow's stage should be good; it's a long one.

10. To make it an even 10 and because I love it and will point to it every year as long as it's there, my birthday present from last year at the Infinite Matrix. The historian was the only one of the old gang left who played those little head games with me. The rest had all moved on or moved off — done their damage, mostly, and figured out I wasn't much of a challenge.

I have to take a little trip for the next couple of days so updates will be slim. I do intend to try and catch up a little on email before I leave though.

worm "Mrs. Leroy Brown," Loretta Lynn

namecheck Richard "Dwell House is Pretty Cool" Butner


  • At 10:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Happy Birthday Gwenda


    R. D. and Amy (whose birthday was yesterday)

  • At 3:06 PM , Blogger Dave said...

    Happy Birthday!

  • At 3:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Blogger obviously does not know about the birthday or it wouldn't make me post anonymously in my own comments.

    Thanks, RD and Dave! RD tell Amy I said happy birthday to her; we really do have to hook up sometime soon.


  • At 3:22 PM , Blogger Rob said...

    Happy Birthday Gwenda. I always ask to be off work on my birthday so I can drink in peace.

  • At 11:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Happy Birthday G! I hope that your new year overflows with the best that life has to offer.

    -o elfalan

  • At 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Happy birthday (week)!

    - Karen


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