Month: October 2003 Page 1 of 2

Chapter Four. Done with “Friday.” I don’t know what the page count is; I have to type it all in.

Woo Hoo!

Just Saturday left, with a little finishing up for Sunday.

And I don’t mean this weekend 🙂

Update:

Pages typed in, at 413, 80,220 words. Phew.

A Good Day to Think.

Today is a good day to think. There are days when you follow time through one thing to the next, days when you let go of time, and days when you just worry.

Too bad I have nothing that needs thinking about.

Only ideas to play with.

So.

So the other thing that went wrong last weekend was the sewer.

As it turns out, it wasn’t just the mass of toilet paper, it was the tree roots.

All better now.

Reviews.

The Tattoo Murder Case, by Akimitsu Takagi

Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, by Will Cuppy

The Tattoo Murder Case is a…murder mystery novel, of all things, which I suppose you never would have guessed based on the title.

Seeing as my basis for comparison in reading mysteries is much smaller than fantasy or SF, here’s all I can come up with:

  • Not as clever as Agatha Christie.

  • A locked-room mystery where the locked-room aspect was downplayed, even mocked.

  • Prose (admittedly in translation) inelegant and unappealing, but functional and readable.

  • Compared in the reviews to John Dickson Carr, whom I haven’t read.

I figured out something, though. I don’t like mysteries that I can figure out before the denoument. There were a lot of details that I’d missed, but the central twist I had even before the murder occurred. I’ve talked to people that like to read a lot of mysteries, and most of them sound happy that they were able to figure out such-and-such by the end of the first chapter. Is that analagous to being the kind of SF reader that spends the entire time bitching about how explosions can’t be heard in space? Which always struck me as being a waste of time, too. Oh, well. I spend the first chapter of a fantasy novel figuring out which country or myth the main country was based on. “Oh,” I’ll tell myself with smug satisfaction. “That’s supposed to be France.”

Lost in a Good Book is a good book for people that like to read. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s metafiction, but it takes some of the elements therefrom and turns them into insider jokes. No…this is more of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the farce (dramatically) that was made out of the partial novel of The Mystery of Edwin Drooooooooooooo-duh. For example, two of the guys that are assigned to tail the main character early on in the book are called “Cannon” and “Fodder.” They die, of course. One of the main villains is called “Jack Schitt.”

The premise is that our Heroine, Thursday Next, is able to move into and out of books. That’s right–in the first book of this series, The Eyre Affair, Thursday is transported into the original copy of Jane Eyre and changes the ending from the lame-ass “Jane goes off to South America”* and gets her married to Rochester. All other copies of the book change to reflect the new ending.

I’m not going to give away any more of the plot; it’s too funny and I’d be here all night. Elements of note: Mycroft Next, Thursday’s mad-scientist uncle invents Nextian geometry, which allows circular scones to be punched out of dough without any scraps left over; a Kafka-esque trial that makes fun of Kafka, Alice in Wonderland, and existing legal systems with one fell swoop; and nevermind, just read the book.

The Decline and Fall is really only summed up one way, by quotes.

On Alexander the Great:

“Alexander’s empire fell to pieces at once, and nothing remained of his work except that the people he had killed were still dead.”

On Attila the Hun:

“Attila the Hun was an awful pest, but there are plenty of others. You mustn’t blame him for all your troubles, because most of them are your own fault, and the sooner you realize it the better.1

1Attila’s name does not rhyme with vanilla, as it used to in my day. It is now believed that, if children can be taught to accent Attila on the first syllable, things may take a turn for the better.”

On Louis XIV:

“Things went from bad to worse until just anybody could defeat the French.”

On Catherine the Great:

“…but in 1754 Catherine had a baby boy who looked a lot like Sergei Saltykov, a young man with whom Catherine often discussed current events. Some historians thing Peter may have been the father because the child grea up to resemble him in character and general uselessness.”

I have another book by Will Cuppy from the library that I haven’t read yet, How to Be a Hermit.

“Coffee! With the first nip of the godlike brew I decide not to jump off the roof until things get worse–I’ll give them another week or so. With the second I think I see a way of meeting my monthly insurance premium, and I simultaneously forgive the person I heard saying I was not half as funny as I thought I was.”

–I can see Dave Barry and Terry Pratchett in here. Especially in the footnotes.

*Or wherever. I’m not going to look it up at this moment. Muahahahah!

Ray’s Birthday:

Her actual birthday was on Friday. Lee worked until after bedtime.

We were going to go to the Boo at the Zoo, at the Cheyenne Moutain Zoo, last night but:

  • I dropped the e’fant head back at the house on the way out the door.

  • Military types turned us back at the pass.

  • By the time we reached the shuttle bus, it was 7:30 (and the event finishes up at 8:30).

  • We arrived at the Sears parking lot at the Boadmoor Town Centre, only to find a line of hundreds of people waiting for the frikkin’ shuttle bus. Hundreds.

Crap, man.

I still have the tickets, and I’m going to try taking Ray again later, but trying to get everyone in and out and up and down in under an hour wasn’t going to happen.

Today we’re having cake and little squealing girls with party noisemakers.

That’s the good news. The bad news, well, will be left for another day.

Spoiler.

We went out to “Pirates of the Carribean” finally last night.

You know what I’m thinking?

Will Turner’s dad has been rotting away as a living skeleton at the bottom of the ocean for years now, and suddenly he’s just been crushed to death.

–The pirates sent him to the bottom of Davy Jones’s locker with a weight attached to his bootstraps.

–He had to have taken one of the gold pieces, in order to pass it to his son.

–His blood was necessary to release the curse.

–Thus he was one of the undead.

Ewwww.

Weekend. Lee’s taking this weekend off; we’re going to celebrate our fifth anniversary (actually Sept 26) by dropping off Ray at a friends’ house and taking the night off tomorrow.

Leave a message…not that you don’t always have to leave a message, come to think of it.

Harlan Ellison on Schwartzenegger’s Election:

To all the other 49 states — with the exception of Minnesota, whose election of a mountebank transcends even ours — the coronation of Ahnuld seems phantasmagoric. But not to us. We’ve done it at least twice before: George Murphy to the Senate, and Reagan to the White House. So, been there, seen that, done that. I thought, early on, that it was a great slate with Gary Coleman and Schwarzenegger both running: remember in MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME, the behemoth called “Master Blaster” — this seven-foot-tall brain-damaged, muscle-bound giant, with the midget strapped to his shoulders? Wow, what a terrific Governor we’d have if we just cranked Gary Coleman down onto Ahnuld’s shoulders!! As long as nobody blew a high-pitched dog whistle, we’d be in sweet milk an’ honey. So what do I actually think about all this foofaraw? To quote Thomas Jefferson, who was rewording le Comte de Maistre: “People get pretty much the kind of government they deserve.”

(via ***Dave)

See what I mean?

Hm… Lee reports that comments are saving, but no number is appearing for them. And I just though I wasn’t getting any…

I don’t know how to fix it, but I’ll see what I can find out.

Must have said something amiss.

From “Bob Marley” :

[The following concludes an email of 250 words or so.]

“For the most part, I’m usually against this sort of thing, going with a

“well, whatever suits you” approach, but for some reason your utter crap has

rubbed me the wrong way and I just had to share my dissatisfaction of you,

with you. I don’t suppose that any of this really matters, though, since

I’ll never be reading any of this shit you post again, but maybe you’ll do

others a favor and stop writing altogether. I know you would have saved me a

lot of time if you had never started at all.”

He also states that the stuff of mine he’s read is annoying, seemingly “tripe-ish” and that I insist that “whatever you say must simply be so, just becuase *you* say it is.”

Admittedly, I’m a pompous ass at times, both in person and on paper, but I wonder what it was that made him bother with writing to me at all if he didn’t care for it. Or spending any amount of time reading anything I’d written, for that matter!

Eh.

Since this guy won’t be reading anything I have to post, I’ll just leave a comment for future reference: specific examples of my tripe, shit, crap, etc., are requested. This is called “constructive criticism,” although it isn’t necessary to give suggestions for improvement.

Update:

Aha. I’ve figured out the professional way to handle this unless you’re Harlan Ellison:

“Your comments have been received and noted. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy what you read. Better luck next time.” If you’re Harlan Ellison, people will pay you to rip into the guy, so have fun.

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