Possibly the greatest adaptation of Shakespeare to film EVER. Check out the York when Romeo (who reminds me vaguely of my cousin Scott), yells 'Tybalt!' up the alley.


Kathryn, do NOT be jealous of me going to the opera. It was weird. They were wearing these bulky animal costumes and clonking boots which might have been okay except that their footsteps drowned out the sound of the orchestra (Oh look! A band!). The plot was supposed to be about the circle of life or something deep, but it really seemed to be more about animals getting it on. It was an opera, though, so plot really shouldn't matter as long as the music is good.

It wasn't.

I mean, it wasn't BAD - but most of the singing was monotonous, the orchestration was unremarkable, and I hope to heaven no one from the production reads this. It would be so disheartening! They were all skillful - I just wasn't interested in the piece itself. But then, I have only ever seen very classical sorts of pieces. The Marriage of Figaro. Samson and Delilah. And I was listening to Puccini before leaving the house! What do you do?

But then again, I was distracted by my seating companion. Five soft seats away, sat Michael York. Yes! Yesyesyes. Yorkyorkyork. Apparently, he's a patron of the our city's opera. Which totally makes me want to be a patron too, even though I didn't like the performance. The things we will suffer...

By the way, Kathryn, if you look through photos of Mr York on imdb, you will find some that remind one remarkably of Caleb. Check it out.


I am going to the opera. Something about a cunning little vixen. What I really want to hear is Puccini. Maybe Madama Butterfly. Un Bel di Vedremo. I'm kinda stuck on it. Reminds me of the scene from A Room with a View, the one in the field 'with Florence in the distance,' though I'm not sure that it's the same aria.


speaking of which...

so the last post was rather exclusive. sorry about that, o faithful readers. once upon a time, a friend sent me a snippet of joanna newsom's lyrics. they were beautiful, and i wanted them to have been mine - meanwhile, roommates laughed at them, killing the mood. they might not have laughed had it not seemed exclusive. most of you probably won't like her music (i've found maybe two people who do), but apart from that, she's a poet. here's from my second favorite song in all of creation - second only to sufjan's 'seven swans'. it's called 'only skin', and this is just a small fraction of the nearly fifteen-minute whole:

Last week, our picture window
Produced a half-word,
Heavy and hollow,
Hit by a brown bird.

We stood and watched her gape like a rattlesnake
And pant and labor over every intake.

I said a sort of prayer for some rare grace,
Then thought i ought to take her to a higher place.
Said, “dog nor vulture nor cat shall toy with you,
And though you die, bird, you will have a fine view.”

Then in my hot hand, she slumped her sick weight.
We tramped through the poison oak, heartbroke and inchoate.
The dogs were snapping, so you cuffed their collars
While i climbed the tree-house. Then how i hollered!

Cause she’d lain, as still as a stone, in my palm, for a lifetime or two;
Then saw the treetops, cocked her head, and up and flew.
(while back in the world that moves, often, according to
The hoarding of these clues,
Dogs still run roughly around
Little tufts of finch-down.)

The cities we passed were a flickering wasteland,
But his hand, in my hand, made them hale and harmless.

While down in the lowlands, the crops are all coming;
We have everything.

Life is thundering blissful towards death

In a stampede
Of his fumbling green gentleness.


dear jenny,
would you believe it?? you fell for joanna's music on her BIRTHDAY!! how appropriate! like a gift just for her. :)
heads up: it's now less than three months till my birthday. this will probably be your only warning, since i plan on forgetting all about it myself.


Humpty Dumpty

At lunch today, speaking of squirrels and birds and nature, I mentioned to my mother how what is natural is unnatural. And she said that He will put all things back together again.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
and all the king's horses
and all the king's men
couldn't put Humpty together again

even so, it is neither horses nor men who will save our souls, who will patch nature up from her fallen place.

- till the king himself comes -


grinding stone

three days off and now back to work. strange to say i'm looking forward to it, but it's true. there are all these fixtures i want to dust. i'm looking out the front window at a pirate ship. that's what it looks like, sans jolly roger. the masts are hung with white sheeting, a crow's nest sits atop it all, prow long and thin... i almost hear the bellowing call of the yeoman, booming across the deck. there was some sort of reenactment the other day. two such ships met each other in the bay and shot cannon fire (no cannons, of course) at each other. the sun was so bright behind them, i couldn't see. only heard the boom and boom as we walked - the whole family - along the bluff to my favorite taco shop. (whereupon i stuffed myself sick, as usual.)



are everywhere
and the dogs don't seem to like them
moreover the shoes
are too intimate
with their surface area
and white



1. going to disneyland with my brother today. he is home at last.
2. just now couldn't remember holden caulfield's name. had to wikipedia it. felt like a literary idiot.
3. but hey, i've only had a very little coffee this morning.
4. and i didn't like that book anyway. i might like it better now. that i'm older and wiser. maybe.
5. feeling a little weird going to disneyland the day after neuhaus has passed. i should spend the day in black, pacing the beach, rereading passages from death on a friday afternoon. aloud. at strangers.
6. the camelias on the table are lovely.
7. we will be late for disneyland if i don't shut up and get moving!!


frenetic formatting

forgive me, eager readers, for changing the format of the blog so quickly - again. but i couldn't handle all that blue. there was too much going on. so here's 'minima'. and may it remain so for a while yet.


let it be known throughout the land that my brother will be arriving tomorrow night. i can say tomorrow, since i am writing this after midnight. his absence has seemed longer since his distance was greater and his adventures more numerous. perhaps he will grace my blog with an account of his visit to the north pole or some other such wonder. we shall see. meanwhile, i have just finished day six of my ten-day workweek, a streak of intense book dealing all in the name of said brother's immanent arrival. i'll have three days off together this way. it is a good thing. a very good thing. :) also meanwhile, i must apologize to all of you for whom i owe a phone call or an email. there are even several who have christmas presents sitting in the back of my car. someday soon, i will return to earth and attend to you. someday soon.....



1. Budget.
2. Devote.
3. Be careful with my words.
4. Communicate with friends and family more fully and frequently.
5. Volunteer.
6. Pray.
7. Donate to good causes.
8. Get my facts straight.
9. Read good books (list to follow).
10. Finish writing my novel.
11. Help.
12. Apply.
13. Bring my lunch to work.
14. Stop and listen.
15. Look people in the eyes.
16. Keep my car clean (and undamaged).
17. Smell good.
18. Cook more.
19. Do right.
20. Love Jesus.
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