Hickory is a mouse, born in a grandfather clock, living with his parents & brother Dickory & sister Dock. they have a happy life in the house...moreHickory is a mouse, born in a grandfather clock, living with his parents & brother Dickory & sister Dock. they have a happy life in the house that is their world, but Hickory wants to see more. so he leaves the house to make his own home in the fields beyond. and there he makes a friend, the grasshopper Hop. Hickory made me love mice! ah, adorable little mice.
i read this as a child and loved it. the writing is simple and straightforward and sometimes quite subtle. the illustrations were lovely. i remember particularly liking the picture of Hickory and Hop snuggling at night. Hickory finds a place to live and makes a comfy home, complete with a half-buried jar to use as a sun-room when it is cold. i loved this book, but i did not reread it over and again, just a few parts here and there (Hickory on a crutch, Hop distracting a prowling cat away from him, a visit from the family to his new home)... there was a bit too much that made my heart hurt a little, a wistfulness in the tone, a sadness in the narrative. there is a brief part where Hickory covers his ears to blot out the sound of a fearsome owl's hooting that made me feel strange, uncomfortable. and there is death. it is at times ambiguous, but it is also a certainty.
at one point, Hop tells Hickory why she doesn't like staying in his comfy little home under a rock: "I come from the ground," she said "and someday I will go back to it, but not before I have to." later, as autumn and winter approach, Hickory learns that Hop expects to die soon because of the cold. so brave and faithful little Hickory proposes that they go together to where the birds fly, where it is warm and where Hop can, well, not die. and so they go.
we don't get to see the end of the expedition... but we know that it will end much sooner than Hickory would like. they will never get to that summer land. as a kid, whenever i would think about the two of them, i would get so sad. this was not a book that i shared with my friends. if i thought too much about Hickory & Hop, their hopes and friendship and the beginning of that journey... i'd end up having to go to my room, to curl up in my bed, and tear up a little. oh such a sensitive boy!
here are the last couple pages of Hickory:
"Hickory," Hop asked, "honestly, do you think we'll get there?"
With his crutch Hickory shooed away a yellow-jacket. "I think so," he said, not sure, never sure, but not afraid to hope.
"Let's sing something as we go," Hickory said, and he began, "How many miles to Babylon?"
Hop, who did not know that song, answered with the only song she knew. So they sang, each a line in turn:
How many miles to Babylon? My life is but a summer song, Three score miles and ten. A little carol in the sun. Can I get there by candle-light? Now, when the nights grow cold and long, Yes, and back again. The song I sing will soon be done.
It made a sort of sense. Before them lay a hundred hills they might never climb and a hundred streams they might never cross, but they would try. Nearly out of sound, a clock in a church steeple began to strike the hour. The chime was the same as the chime in the grandfather clock, and Hickory could almost hear his father repeating:
Time is going, Never staying, Always flowing, Ever saying: Gone!
He shivered. He would like to jam the clockworks with his crutch, but it would not have helped at all. He knew it, and without looking back he left his crutch in the tall grass.
As the sound of the chimes faded, Hop called back to Hickory, "What was that noise?"
"Nothing," Hickory answered, catching up. "Nothing but a clock striking one."
The sun was bright, and there was not a cloud in the sky, but the air was cool and dry and very still. That night on these owl-haunted upper ridges there would be hard frost.
good grief, that's making me sad again, just rereading it!(less)
today i am 15 years old. everything is all bullshit, as usual. i can't believe how fucked everything is around me. like i'm surrounded by...morejournal entry
today i am 15 years old. everything is all bullshit, as usual. i can't believe how fucked everything is around me. like i'm surrounded by zombies. i can't talk to any of my so-called friends, i can't talk to jamie, i can't talk to my parents. who would bother listening anyway. i cannot wait to leave orange county! this place makes me fucking sick. everyone is a hypocrite. everything is so goddamn bright and shiny and sunny and meaningless. FUCK, life is so full of crap.
there is one good thing in my life though. just read this book Catcher in the Rye. blown away! i don't know how a book written decades ago could say exactly what i would say. it is like the author was reading my thoughts and put it all down in this book. things i didn't even realize i felt were right there on the page! I LOVED IT. i think this is my favorite novel of all time. which is not saying a whole lot because there is a ton of pretentious bullshit out there and i bet mrs. durham will force us to read it all. man i hate that bitch.
today i am 20 years old. life is great as usual. just enjoyed my wednesday morning wake-and-bake session with j-p, the sun is shining, the san diego weather is beautiful, and tonight i'm off to rob & gregg's to destroy them at bullshit. love that game! gregg says that joelle will be there (yes!) but she'll probably bring that prick pete with her. one of these days i'm going to lose it and kick his ass. "i'm in a band"...fuck you, pete! i will never spin your records.
all i have on the agenda today is to go to the gym and then off to keracik's american lit class. it is not a bad class, although it is nowhere close to gender studies with halberstam. or davidoff's survey of modern postmodernism last semester. now that was a class! it blew my mind. so many things to think about. the reading in american lit has been okay. but we've been assigned to read Catcher in the Rye and it is terrible. can't believe i ever liked this book. caulfield is a whiny little bitch. the book has no depth. there is literally nothing going on with the narrative, style, theme, characterization, it is just one rote cliché after another. he thinks he is such a rebel-without-a-cause but in reality he is just another tired representation of rootless, stereotypical masculinity and gender essentialism. completely inane and without meaning. i think my essay will use some acker-style postmodernist techniques to show how simplistic this trite "classic" truly is. i'm going to deconstruct the shit out of this novel, baby!
today i am 25 years old. another gray, drizzly san francisco morning. i wish christopher would wake up, i really need to talk to him after all that shit last night. notes on my pillow, really?? time to grow up dude, i will never "complete you". well actually i'm glad he's still asleep, my throat is too sore to get into it right now with him. plus Food Not Bombs is happening this morning and i have to get the kitchen ready. john is probably hard at work already, typical over-achieving behavior. i bet the wisconsin kids are still crashing on our living room floor. it's time for them to leave! they've seen The Vindictives at every single Epicenter or Gilman show now and it is time for them to hit the road. or learn to take a shower. this apartment is not the world's crashpad!
i woke up early this morning and thumbed through A Catcher in the Rye. i remember hating this book in college for some reason. probably wasn't po-mo enough for me. or "challenging". feh. what a pretentious idiot i was. this is a beautiful book. it changed my life as a kid, i'm not sure how i would have survived orange county without it. just re-reading parts of it brought back all that old angst about all the fucked-up shit in the world that kids have to deal with. i'm not sure there is another book as insightful or as meaningful. or funny! that part with the clipping-of-the-toenails is hilarious. ackley is such a douche. this book is the foundation of every zine that i have ever loved. a perfect novel. it is so...."human", i guess.
today i am 30 years old. man my head hurts...so hungover! my birthday party last night was awesome. even got to spend some time on the turntables (thanks kraddy for actually relinquishing a tiny bit of control for once). i must have made out with a half-dozen people. sadly, no real action. i think last night's party will be the last big party i will ever throw. things have got to change. no more partying like the world is about to end, i still have my entire life ahead of me! tomorrow i am going to go into AIG and hand in my notice. i am not an entertainment insurance underwriter, that is not me. fuck them. if erika can get me that job working with homeless kids at Hospitality House, than i am set. although moving from the biggest room in the flat to the water heater closet will be no fun. i'm 30 years old now for chrissakes! still, i've got to do something meaningful with my life. it cannot all be about booze, drugs, hooking up, and paying everyone's rent when they're broke. things have got to change.
i cracked open A Catcher in the Rye yesterday before the party and read some of my favorite parts. what an inspiration! seriously, that is a classic novel. it is packed with meaning. i'm twice caulfield's age but i still somehow connect with him in a very direct way. my life is going to change and the attitude expressed in that book is at the heart of that change. i love you, holden caulfied. it's not too late for me to learn from you, to find some meaning in life.
today i am 35 years old. another intense, sad, but deeply fulfilling week has passed. every day something meaningful happens, something so emotional and real. sometimes i find myself just losing it in a fetal position because of the things i've seen. working with people who are drug addicted or who have been abused or who are dying is HEAVY. but it is also beautiful. it's hard to believe i am dealing with all of that and supporting my folks too. thank God i have good friends to talk to about these things. anyway. so now marcy wants to have a kid. i just don't know how i feel about that. this is such a fucked up world, do we really want to bring new life into it? i dunno. it seems....selfish, somehow. she should just quit her job with the d.a.'s office and get back to her roots in the public defender's office instead. does she think that having a child with me will bring more meaning into her life? my life has meaning enough already. and i really am not sure i can handle that responsibility on top of everything else.
i skimmed A Catcher in the Rye yesterday, after an awkward talk with marcy about having a baby. it was not an inspiring read. caulfield is so full of misplaced angst! i'm not sure i even understand him anymore. why is he so pissed off? he's seen nothing of the world and what the world can actually do to people. i want to like him, i want to re-capture that feeling of affection i had for him, but now his contempt and his anger just seem so meaningless, so naive. he really does not have it so bad. there is so much worse out there. i don't know how i would handle a kid like that. i hate to say it, but i constantly rolled my eyes when reading it. oh the emotional self-absorption of youth! just you wait, caulfield. it sure gets a hell of a lot more complicated once you grow up.
today i am 40 years old. when did i become a boss? it is like i woke up one day, mysteriously transformed into an old man. am i really a "leader"? what does that even mean? sometimes i feel like i am just faking it all and someone is going to figure it out and blow the whistle on me. last week i made a huge play on the Council, i had all my ducks in a row, and all the votes came in just as i had planned. everyone has their own agenda and the way to get things done is simply to recognize and engage with that disappointing fact. some folks got up and started clapping and then the whole room joined in, even council members who voted against my motion - feh, phonies. the experience was sort of amazing but it also made me feel very odd, almost disconnected from myself. is this who i am now, a public policy figure, a community advocate, a mayoral appointee? ugh, i can't stand the mayor. i don't feel like me. there is accomplishment there, and some satisfaction... but i am missing something, something visceral, something real. sweet Jesus, is this what a mid-life crisis feels like? it is a weird feeling, like i know everything that i need to know about the world, about the people around me, how everything connects, but yet i still feel like i know so little about life. oh, such angst, mark. surely you've outgrown this?
i've started re-reading A Catcher in the Rye. it's so strange, during different parts, i felt like crying. a wonderful and moving novel. i feel like i really understand holden, like he is my guide, my son, my brother, my friend... myself. i think of him and i know that change in the world and changing myself can still happen. it just has to happen. that's life after all, right? (less)
ASTROLOGY. mysterious belief system governing the human psyche, one containing a surprising amount of truth? or eye-rolling and annoyingly pervasive h...moreASTROLOGY. mysterious belief system governing the human psyche, one containing a surprising amount of truth? or eye-rolling and annoyingly pervasive hippy-dippy hokum that is yet another opiate for the masses? i say both are true! this book has been on my shelf for a bit, without a review, but thanks to Sparrow's highly enjoyable review, i feel now is the time.
my mom was really into astrology. as a kid, i was fairly clueless about it and didn't even realize it was connected to birthdate. at one point, probably elementary school, i spent an afternoon going through one of mom's books to determine which sign i was. after reading about all of the signs, i settled on Sagittarius; it felt right and the traits described seemed to be mine. and so it was settled. i was a Sagittarius. later, i stumbled upon A.F. Seward's Zodiac and Its Mysteries. more on him later. still not realizing that astrology was based on birthdate, i proceeded to read this book through the end, and then over and over. it was fascinating and it opened up a whole new and enchanting world for me. people are magic! sorta. for a while i had rolled my eyes whenever mom talked about astrology with her girlfriends (boring parental stuff, i assumed). now astrology meant an entrancing world of mystery and pseudo-science, and i proceeded to eat it up. i still have the copy; it is currently bound with duct tape.
A.F. Seward was an ideal guide to this fascinating new world. this is a lovely, lovely man. definitely a glass half-full kind of guy, full of kindly advice, positive reflections, and fatherly wisdom. not creepy patriarchal fatherly but, you know, the good kind. Zodiac Etc is full of carefully gentle portraits of each of the signs. it talks about the credits and debits of each one in such a sweet (yet at times constructively critical), you-can-do-it kind of way, almost like he must have had a beloved child within each of the signs. he's clearly a nice guy, but what made him a particularly interesting one to me was his mystical side, one which seems steeped in a kind of naturalist spritualism.
so yeah, i read this one a lot. however, i was clearly a profound dummy because i still had no idea what those dates meant that were listed under the name of each of the signs. it wasn't until early high school when my girlfriend realized that i was calling myself a Sagittarius just because that's what i thought. much to my shame and her amusement, i was quickly taught that because i'm born in mid-September, i'm actually a Virgo. at that point i dismissed astrology utterly. it was for nitwits and lackwits. anyone could literally look at any sign and project their own sense of self onto that sign, and so believe what they wanted to believe. it followed that daily horoscopes were a particularly ridiculous form of mass stupidity (no coincidence that my girlfriend & mom loved their daily horoscopes) because anyone could read anything and somehow project themselves onto that anything, and believe. astrology, feh!
during college i dated a hippy dippy lady who was really into astrology. she did my charts. i learned that my "Rising" sign is Sagittarius. quelle coincidence! i learned that the Rising sign defines both the image you project (or, sometimes, wish to project) to others and what is often your inner motivation. suddenly my young choice of Sagittarius made a lot of sense. and suddenly i was a believer again! sorta.
okay, now i'm going to have some personal fun (i.e. boring to you, probably) and analyze the signs. because I Am Virgo, you can expect a critical analysis that will be completely and utterly 100% true. oh, and unbiased. cause that's how we Virgos roll. i may be pointing and wagging a finger at you, but i really am not trying to judge you. you can't help being imperfect. poor you.
oh, and i'm going to use quasi-creepy words like "lovers" and "lifelong" friends, so prepare yourself for that.
Aries (view spoiler)[my favorite sign. family members: Mom lifelong friends: none. but lots of friends that have come & gone. lovers: countless. seriously, i have no clue because it seems like most of the people i've dated for any good amount of time are Aries (with two exceptions, both Leos). lovers: a lot debits: often wildly immature. prone to fits of temper. naive, so naive. it is easy, too easy, to hurt their feelings. they think they have a filter, but no, they don't have a filter, it all comes out. big egos. credits: honesty, honesty, honesty. i love that. what is in their minds comes out of their mouth. i love that. big egos. i love that. secret frailty. i love that. charming, funny, athletic (at least they want to be), appealing. they love spooning. i have an automatic affection for Aries and tend to forgive everything. i don't know why i love them but they are the best! (hide spoiler)]
Taurus (view spoiler)[family members: none lifelong friends: 2 lovers: <3 i like this sign. i've noticed that the guys tend to want to date younger women, and if it goes on too long, they get this creepy controlling vibe. i like them better when they are with highly intelligent & independent women who dominate them. they seem happier that way. debits: they think that they are always right. they are not. credits: nice big hearts. unless they've been done wrong, and then they are horrible and watch too much porn and say & do unpleasant things to & about women. oops, that should be under debits. okay, another big credit: the smartest people i've ever met have been Taurus. they also have profound emotional intelligence. (hide spoiler)]
Gemini (view spoiler)[another favorite. a highly enjoyable sign. family members: none lifelong friends: 4 lovers: >3 debits: huge egos. talk too much, especially about themselves and what they are good at. 3 of the 4 close Gemini friends once made a practice of knocking me around (even the girl Gemini, she hit the hardest)... so, they are violent, to Virgos. what an unpleasant trait! also prone to tantrums when frustrated, especially with municipal transit systems. their tantrums are hilarious but don't laugh or you'll get hit. credits: smart! funny! easy to talk to! i love hearing them bitch. i love hearing them talk about work. one of my Gemini buddies (who i married to a lovely Sag last year) is a carpenter and artist, two topics that i often find automatically boring, and yet i can hear him talk about his work forever. and he does. so what, it's fascinating. (hide spoiler)]
Cancer (view spoiler)[i don't know about this sign. jury is constantly out. family members: none ex-friends: 1 lovers: probably 0 debits: they are full of themselves. wow that seems to be a theme with my debits. okay, they are also irrational. like seriously irrational sometimes. the only person i've kicked out of my office was a Cancer. two of my staff are Cancers, and they are both little Napoleons. credits: some of my favorite people have actually been Cancers. i love their prickly energy. they are fun to tease and are usually good sports about it. i like their sense of humor. there is something really warm about them, even when they are being haughty. my favorite staffer ever is a Cancer. i liked her so much, she reminded me of me. (hide spoiler)]
Leo (view spoiler)[another favorite. i don't know why, they're terrible. such egos! but so charming. infinitely charming, even when they are being lazy and want you to get them a beer because it is just too hard to get off of that couch. family members: Dad ex-friends: 2 lovers: several, and including my most important girlfriend and my longest-ever relationship with a guy. Tom, a former marine and now a comic book shop owner. sigh. oh, Tom, you were the best, i can't believe i treated you so badly! but it was your probably your fault. debits: it is all about them. even when they want to know what you are thinking, it is often what are you thinking about me. very easy to flatter. in the end, Leos have been faithless friends to me. which is too bad, because they were great while the friendship lasted. credits: incredibly easy for me to be around. endlessly amusing. i just enjoy hanging around these people. good-natured. friendly. and as lovers, well, maybe not super-imaginative but yet somehow pretty awesome. (hide spoiler)]
VIRGO (view spoiler)[hey, it's me. family members: none lifelong friends: 2 lovers: probably 0 debits: critical, petty, condescending, etc, you know the drill credits: really, too many to list (hide spoiler)]
Libra (view spoiler)[another favorite. family members: Sister lifelong friends: 1, my best friend. and hey, i was his Best Man. my speech killed it! sadly, they are now estranged. am i bad luck? lovers: <3. debits: well, both of my Libras like to pick on me, in public, which is a real debit in my book. i hate how much you fucking Libras like to embarrass me in public! my God, stop! it's not funny anymore! credit: dreamy temperament. genuinely kind. artistic. peaceful. i've noticed that they seem to find that person in a room who is the most uncomfortable, and will reach out to them. that's just really nice, Libras, good job! (hide spoiler)]
Scorpio (view spoiler)[so many mixed feelings. family members: none lifelong friends: 4 lovers: >3. Scorpios are into me. i don't know why. i find them... intimidating. Scorpios have actually made me cry, which is hard to do, at least in person. usually i'm the person making people cry. also, they seem to tend towards the hairy, and i mean both the boys and the girls. that's no problem for me. debits: controlling. and just sorta scary. my closest Scorpio friend does this thing when he's frustrated with me, or anyone, that is a combination of crying and yelling, and i feel like some actual damage is about to occur. fortunately, it never does, because the Scorpios i've known actually loathe violence. so much so that this particular Scorpio, despite being a huge ex-high school football player, runs away like a little bunny rabbit when it has seemed like i am about to get into a fight. i literally have to force him to have my back. fortunately, i don't get into those kinds of confrontations anymore, except for a few weeks ago. credits: they give really, really good advice. they don't cater to my (or anyone's) weaknesses. very honest. i love that. my Scorpios are like members of my family. i think my family actually prefers them. oh and they are awesome in the sack. my God, wow. (hide spoiler)]
Sagittarius (view spoiler)[so frustrating, but so loveable. family members: none lifelong friends: 2 lovers: >3 debits: too argumentative. like insanely argumentative, even for me. just too combative. and petty. and vengeful. boy they hold grudges, just like Scorpios. they could also wash their clothes a bit more often, i mean really, people notice. credits: enormously fun. i can talk with them for hours, unless they just want to argue with me. surprisingly loyal. interestingly self-critical. they are really into "the truth", whatever that is. on all topics ranging from politics to co-workers to books, i usually see eye-to-eye with the Sag. sometimes they seem so glum and down on things that i just want to hug them until they get right. don't be sad, it'll be okay! (hide spoiler)]
Capricorn (view spoiler)[ i dunno. they are a mystery to me. family members: none lifelong friends: 1, sorta. i mean, he's there, but in the background. lovers: probably 0 debits: i dunno. once Jeff didn't drive me to the airport and i missed my flight. he was pissed that i said he was in love with my girlfriend, and then i laughed about it in an As If kinda way. hur-hur-hur. guess it wasn't so funny after he didn't give me a ride the next morning. credits: um, they seem smart. and Jeff almost always laughs at my jokes, which is great. he also seems very industrious. well at least he makes a shitload of money. (hide spoiler)]
Aquarius (view spoiler)[family members: none lifelong friends: 0 regular-but-not-close friends: too many to count. why is this? i never go deep with Aquarians. lovers: probably a lot. but i've found that Aquarians think astrology is stupid, so we don't talk about it and i forget their sign. oops! debits: not particularly easy for me to read. they have a flightiness to them that i find annoying. sometimes they let slip things about their inner workings that i find genuinely disturbing. credits: certainly very creative. agreeable. nice-sized egos. fun to be around. charismatic. a drunk Aquarius is a particularly cute Aquarius. (hide spoiler)]
Pisces (view spoiler)[lots of history with this one. family members: BIL lifelong friends: 1 ex-friends: 2 an actual friend-turned-enemy (damn, that one went south): 1 lovers: <3 debits: this sign is supposed to be the wisest, but i've found them to be rather immature. and, um, not wise. sort of superficial in outlook at times. credits: another creative sign. and another sign that i find easy to be around and fun to talk to. the Pisces i've known are often rather shallow, but yet they also have a strange, and strangely profound, depth to them. it's hard to explain. they frustrate me but also fascinate me. why did they just say that? did they mean that? what does that mean? what does that mean about them? what's going on in there? (hide spoiler)]
i began reading for pleasure in the 4th grade. at that point, it was less about reading a novel from beginning to end and more about discovering new w...morei began reading for pleasure in the 4th grade. at that point, it was less about reading a novel from beginning to end and more about discovering new worlds to live in. i rarely completed a book - i usually read just enough to get the sense of a different place and time, and then used that as a template for my own imaginative travels... things to think on and wonder about as i roamed around the woods of south bend, indiana; as i rode my bike about with my pet toad perched atop my head; as i sat musing in the corner during various family gatherings, ignoring the adults engaged in their loud yet tedious socializing.
so a couple years passed and i still faithfully checked out books from the library and i still faithlessly left them unfinished. i also started combing garage sales. by the time of my 6th grade year, i had discovered three books that really stirred my imagination, that completely fascinated me and opened up the world and my mind to so many new and absorbingly strange things:
now with these books, i read my eyes out. they were read from cover to cover, over and over again. i lingered over so many parts, wondering how they could apply to my life, the world around me, the people in that world. i thought about them all the time and made ambiguous little remarks to friends and adults that secretly referenced those books. i have them still. their margins and end pages are filled with scribbles and notes and lists and drawings. Zodiac and Its Mysteries is held together by duct tape. A Field Guide fell apart and separated into two books, both also held together by duct tape. Mastering Witchcraft appears to be completely unchanged from how it first appeared to me, hmm. all three are literary touchstones of my youth.
A Field Guide to Little People is divided handily into three parts: Light Elves, Dark Elves, and Dusky Elves. the "Little People" are not all little, some are human-sized or larger. they include such beings as the Sidhe, the Rusalka, the Kobolde, the Lechy, the Mound Folk. each tribe is given a clear-eyed and entirely unsentimental overview of their lifestyle and temperament. that is followed by a section entitled "Identification" that describes their physical appearance and their various guises. and that is followed by a section entitled "Habitat" that describes their home country and where they could be found. finally, short tales (sometimes just a paragraph) detail an often terminal interaction between human and Little Person. these tales are simply told and often morbid, at times disgustingly violent. but they are also soulful fables full of melancholy, full of longing for lost things, full of sadness at the way that humans will often betray the world around them. A Field Guide does not talk down to its reader; it assumes a tacit sympathy with and respect for the subject matter - which i was utterly willing to give.
some things i learned:
a Wood Woman, or Wood Troll, can fall in love with a human man. and like a human woman, they can have their hearts broken, often shortly after the man discovers their animal tail and withdraws from their arms in disgust.
a Vodyani looks like the bloated corpse of a fat old man. he floats in rivers and beats children to death with a club wrapped in colorful ribbons.
a Linchetto likes to stalk young ladies. however, to rid yourself of this horny pest, simply eat a sandwich while sitting on a chamberpot. the Linchetto will flee your home forever, howling in disgust at your outrageous behavior.
a Duende looks like a 2-foot tall woman, dressed in dusky gray and brown garb. they will clean your house from top to bottom and amuse you and your family with odd games like tickling your feet in the middle of the night with their cold fingers. when angry, they act like poltergeists. they cannot be exorcised and have no fear of holy water or holy men. awesome little bad-asses!
a Shopiltee lives in lakes, takes the form of an adorable grey foal with huge genitals, and subsists on the blood of those who have drowned.
a Seligen Fraulein is a kind of wood nymph, blonde and waifish, gentle and kind. if you come across her, she may ask you to promise never to hurt or hunt an animal in her forest. if you break your promise, she will find you and blind you. their lovers are the perpetually-aroused Norggen, who have blazing red eyes and hairy, strong bodies. Norggen are often sweet-natured and if you don't harass their elfin friends, they will control the weather for you.
a Pavaro protects bean fields. he has fiery eyes, a dog's head, teeth and nails made of iron, and he can stretch his arms to the length of acres, just to get you.
the elfin prince Tam Lin has no problem lying to maidens and pretending that he is a handsome mortal man. but he is a good sort and mainly wants to escape his captor, Elfland's Queen. if you are a lovely maiden who he has seduced, you can free him by simply holding him tight as he shifts from man to salamander to snake to bear to lion to red-hot iron to burning coal, and finally back into his true form, your now-naked lover. say hello to your new boyfriend! but realize that you have thus earned the undying enmity of the Elfland's Queen.
The Wild Hunt will hunt both man and Little Person alike. they chop them both up and nail bloody pieces of them on village doors. beware The Wild Hunt.
... and that's barely a fraction of this field guide. there is so much more!
as a child, i did not really read comics and i did not like a lot of tv either (besides Three's Company of course). i thought tv and comics were, for the most part, pretty silly and eye-rolling, "unrealistic". to me, A Field Guide to the Little People was the opposite of silly and unrealistic. it portrayed - and so realistically, so unsentimentally - a life that i felt utterly confident existed just beyond reach. i dreamed myself into this book day after day, year after year, it became a foundation for how i look at the world today.
thank you, Nancy Arrowsmith and George Moorse!(less)
an early childhood favorite! the copy that i own was published in 1970, the year of my birth, and this perhaps encouraged my intimate connection to th...morean early childhood favorite! the copy that i own was published in 1970, the year of my birth, and this perhaps encouraged my intimate connection to this handy field guide for beginners. Huson writes in a candid, engaging style, and is open about the problems that face the modern witch. such as the need for simple privacy, elucidated on page 31:
"...now supposing at just that precise moment the door to your place of working were to open and your husband or maybe your mother-in-law were to confront you, uttering words to the effect of 'Audrey! What are you doing dressed up like that in here? And what's all this terrible smoke? Are you trying to set the place on fire?'....Total anticlimax."
besides the actual spells painstakingly detailed throughout the book, i learned many things studying this resource manual during my formative 6th & 7th grade years:
(1) a guy can be a witch too!
(2) changing your given name is POWER. but then you're stuck with it, so reflect carefully and don't pick a stupid one that you'll regret later.
(3) there is a difference between romantic love and hot sex; fortunately there are spells for both.
(4) love spells are best performed on a friday around 8 in the morning. apparently this is when love sign Taurus is really on the move.
(5) one can love, believe in, and respect Almighty God (as He is referred to in this guide) while still understanding Satan (referred to, disturbingly, as "The Lord of the World" in this book).
(6) naked frolics are not just for hippies etc....they can also be convened for more sinister purpose! they are particularly useful, as the author states, "to get the black juices flowing".
(7) approach divination sensitively. the 72 beings formed out of primordial fire before man even evolved do not particularly appreciate the humiliation of being conjured up by apelike, clay-formed homo sapiens.
(8) the wearing of basic black at all times has an ancient tradition of coolness & don't-fuck-with-me-ness. i can't help but recognize that this continues to exist in this modern day. for example, noted witch Johnny Cash. and have you noticed that Gwyneth Paltrow overwhelmingly favors black in her wardrobe choices? something to consider.
(9) forming a coven is an important way to build community and create powerful spells. but what i did not learn was how to deal with upstart asshole witches who want to challenge your title of high priest. as a child, i felt this was a severe lack. it is simply being realistic to assume that there will always be some ambitious pain-in-the-ass to deal with if you've risen to the top (as i naturally assumed i would). if a youngster like myself realized this, why didn't Master Witch Paul Huson recognize this important topic?
(10) once you enter the world of the Black Arts, once you start noticing how the world really operates... OTHER THINGS BEGIN TO NOTICE YOU. shudder! this was perhaps the biggest reason that i never tried to enact any of the many spells described in this guide. well that and the fact that as a child, i read this book while attending regular Bible study classes, which caused some understandable and uncomfortable spiritual confusion.
i suppose the main reason i enjoyed this book so much as a youth was because it hinted at a much wider world existing on the edge of the world we know. it was fascinating to consider! on the one hand, the Bible presented a world that i earnestly wanted to understand and be a part of; on the other hand, Mastering Witchcraft presented a world that was just too cool for Bible school. of course, every child yearns to be cool, and certainly being a practitioner of the Black Arts would make me feel so much cooler - and it assured me that i would have a built-in cool witch peer group to befriend and get naked with. exciting stuff for an alienated young military brat who found this for a quarter or so at a neighborhood rummage sale. secretly reading this felt less like rebelling and more like understanding the secrets of the world, and how to get the best out of that world. it felt like a positive, celebratory, eye-opening experience. and thus i enjoyed Mastering Witchcraft, and loved the world around me, a little bit more.
there are probably as many reviews of Cat's Cradle as there are stars in the sky, so no doubt there's little i can add that's of any value. who cares?...morethere are probably as many reviews of Cat's Cradle as there are stars in the sky, so no doubt there's little i can add that's of any value. who cares? i love hearing myself talk, so let's go for it!
well, this is harder than i thought. it's as easy as describing why i love my favorite pillow or threadbare t-shirt, or why i like rainy days as much as sunny days. okay, here goes. the inventiveness of Cat's Cradle and its bleak, absurd humor was incredibly eye-opening to me in high school and it practically provided a template for how i looked at things. in college, it was a joy to return to, particularly after the tedious nonsense foisted upon me in various classes (well, in time, i grew to love all the tedious nonsense foisted upon me, but that was years later, and besides the point). after college, it defined the outlook of almost everyone i knew around me, and i remember bothering folks to read it so that they could understand some of my references, or so that they could read their own worldview, in book form. when i said things like "impaled... on a giant hook" or "i want to read your index", folks had no clue about what i was talking about. i guess that's why i eventually stopped saying those phrases.
and back to the book. Cat's Cradle: it has warmth and anger and wisdom and an almost naive kind of brashness at times. i love that combo.
favorite character: cynical young Philip Castle: do-gooder, sarcastic asshole, painter, owner of a hotel that scorns snobs and is therefore pretty empty. i love you, Philip Castle! my second fictional crush slash look, i see myself! type character. Holden Caulfield came first and Donnie Darko eventually replaced you... but you were the dreamiest.(less)
You are Captain Arthur Hastings, and you are slowly falling in love with a Belgian. The feelings are embarrassing at first;...moreChoose Your Own Adventure!
You are Captain Arthur Hastings, and you are slowly falling in love with a Belgian. The feelings are embarrassing at first; you find the Belgian himself to be quite an embarrassment. But there is just something about him. Could it be his suave, continental sense of humor... his keen sense of justice... his shapely, rubenesque figure? Or is it simply his hypnotic mustache, perhaps? The passion develops in fits and starts. You don’t want to love him, you really don’t. You don’t want to follow him around, adventure after adventure. You don’t want to be his little bitch, always at his beck and call, sniping and moaning at him but loving it nonetheless. You don’t like mysteries but you are about to fall victim to the greatest mystery of them all: the mystery of the human heart! Try as you might, the Belgian has hold of your soul. You will follow him, forever.
one day when i was about 8 or 9, living in some chilly state, i bundled myself up until i looked like a little gray egg, hood over head, the hood's fu...moreone day when i was about 8 or 9, living in some chilly state, i bundled myself up until i looked like a little gray egg, hood over head, the hood's furry fringe making my face a cameo portrait of a round genderless blob, and proceded to wait for my ride in the lobby of my apartment building. a young man came down to use the vending machines there, looked at me, and asked conversationally, "Are you a little boy or a little girl?"... i died a little bit, then squeaked out: "I'm a little girl".
i laugh at the story now but i also can't help but remember the sharp flash of humiliation, the quick decision that it was less embarrassing to be a girl mistaken for a boy than to admit that i could have been a boy who looked like a girl, and then of course the ample self-loathing that followed. it is interesting to think about the complicated emotions that my youthful self had to wrestle with.
i recently re-read House with a Clock in Its Walls and was taken aback by the memory of reading it for the first time at age 10 or so - and the memory i had had back then of my moment of mortification and sudden femininity. a memory of a memory! i was never a bullied or angst-ridden child, so that memory pops out as almost uniquely painful. the protagonist Lewis Barnavelt of House With a Clock was the first time i'd read about a hero who was unheroic, who lied to avoid embarrassment, who rather despised himself. reading about him, reading the story of a boy filled with anxiety and doubt and even self-loathing, was almost like a tonic: now here was an author who lived in the real world! here was a protagonist who knew exactly how i felt that day. Lewis Barnevelt is akin to Narnia's Edmund or Eustace - except Aslan does not step in to help him slough off his self-hating nature. he has to do it on his own. he does not go on a quest and he does not save the day; instead he grows by bits and starts, the shedding of each of his dark layers a small triumph - quickly forgotten by Lewis, almost unbearably affecting to me.(less)
an enjoyable introduction to the Bible, if you're into that kind of thing. bogs down a bit during the new testament. the vivid, technicolor illustrati...morean enjoyable introduction to the Bible, if you're into that kind of thing. bogs down a bit during the new testament. the vivid, technicolor illustrations are what have stuck with me over the years; i think they are pretty much the visual template for all of my most memorable dreams. for that, i thank you Golden Children's Bible! i still bring this one down from the shelf from time to time, if only to appreciate the cinematic imagery.
so mom and dad bought this one for me. i'm not sure why - when i was growing up, dad was an atheist and mom thought God was a floaty energy type being. but it definitely came from the terrible twosome because young mark monday apparently had to sign the nameplate for them:
i am assuming that "insighned" actually meant "unsigned". must be, right? i'm also sorta disappointed that i neglected to put down an actual date.
and now here is my current Favorite Awesome Review, brought to you by Moe, for this book right here!
I was curious about Adam and Eve and mom said this book has some awesome stories in it. It's not a book I'm going to read all the way through because it is already making me crazy with all the boring stuff. I read about Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, and the Tower of Babel. These stories can be good but some are sad. I liked the story of the serpent in the garden the best. I thought the story of Babel was sad because all of these people wanted to make it up all the way to god and actually achieve a goal, but god ruined it for everybody. I would like them all working together. So far, the Christian god isn't very nice in these stories. I thought he was nice, but now he's all "You should do everything my way instead of yours."(less)