rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
While hunting for an English translation of the lyrics to Manau's bizarrely awesome French Celtic rap La Tribu de Dana, I learned that the Breton musician Alan Stivell sued Manau for borrowing the chorus to his 1970s song "Tri Martolod".

You want links to nationalist Breton folk-rock, don't you? )

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The story begins in the space behind a waterfall, when a commanding officer and a lady meet because of mist coiling through a wood. It is about the eternal.

From [livejournal.com profile] telophase's Steampunk Random Story Generator, to which [livejournal.com profile] thistleingrey and [livejournal.com profile] sovay have both linked. Go and find more stories, and when you find them, share them with me.

Be warned: once you start clicking, it's difficult to stop again.

The story narrates a journey between a room full of abandoned inventions and an opium den, during which a tormented but brilliant strategist and an organ-grinder encounter an anti-hero with stubble, as well as a bet and a pneumatic messaging system.

Your narrative is about discovery of one's self. It begins in gas-lit streets. There is the Giant White Rat of Sumatra and an efficient assistant who meets a gemstone-cutter. It inevitably ends with absinthe.

Absinthe. Of course. Why didn't I think of that?
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Nostre Chaucer is back, and he senses an opportunity in the writers' strike! Check out the shows he's planning to pitch, like Sectes in the Borough (This hot and explicit showe wil handle religious dissent yn a more free and open way than evere bifor) and Doctor Hwaet (Thys showe doth chronicle the aventures of a solitarye one who must wander the wayes of water on the rime-cold waves, mindful of miseries, yn a large device ycleped the TOWAERDES...)

Chaucer, if you write the shows, I swear I'll watch them.
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Via Strange Maps, which I learned about from [livejournal.com profile] vitabeata:

Did you know that a stag, a snail and a sperm whale, not to mention a bat, an emu and a flamingo, are hiding in the London underground system? Animalsontheunderground.com exists to tell you about these beasts of London. I think the wombat and the wallaby are particularly cute.
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My friendslist seems full of British delights today.

Via [livejournal.com profile] metaquotes: [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks's petition was rejected by Tony Blair. Shame, really.

Via [livejournal.com profile] musingsylph: You too can be awakened by Jeeves.

Over at [livejournal.com profile] camwyn's journal, [livejournal.com profile] taimatsu provides extra mental images of Jeeves, if you need more. (Perfectly worksafe, as long as your workplace has no objection to brains in jars.)

ETA: Will someone read this article, examine this picture, and tell me if I am wrong to be considering the possibilities of fanfic involving Merriman Lyon?
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Apologies for the prolongued hiatus, people. I haven't had much interesting to say. Today, though, I have new music to gush about.

The first time I listened to "Emily", the first 12-minute song on Joanna Newsom's new album Ys, I was really confused. I couldn't guess where Newsom's voice (which everyone compares to Bjork, but I'm sure I hear something in it that reminds me of the best early jazz musicians) was going to swoop next, or when and why she and the lush orchestra behind her were going to dance off in separate directions. By the tenth or eleventh minute of the song, I gave it grudging approval.

How can I describe the second listen? I felt like Mary Lennox, standing in the drab walkway and then pushing open the door to the secret garden, in a sudden blaze of sunlight on wild roses. Yes, that's a twee and overly cheesy analogy, but Newsom is always just on the near end of twee and overly cheesy herself. That is, unless she's gone all the way through and come out the other side.

The thing about writing a twelve-minute song, with lyrics that may just be the richest and most besotted with language I've ever heard set to music*, is that Newsom doesn't have to resolve her thoughts right away. Newsom can muse slowly, focusing on small details of what she sees ("the bones of the birches, and the spires of the churches, jutting out from the shadows; / the yoke, and the axe, and the old smokestacks, and the bale, and the barrow") and what she remembers ("Anyhow, I sat by your side, by the water / You taught me the names of the stars overhead, that I wrote down in my ledger"). She can raise tension almost unnoticeably, so that one doesn't recognize the bitterness of "Let us go! Though we know it's a hopeless endeavor / The ties that bind, they are barbed and spined, and hold us close forever" until the fourth listen. After all this, the song's final redemptive move comes as a gift, more valuable and meaningful for the ten minutes of journey.

We could stand for a century,
with our heads cocked,
in the broad daylight, at this thing:

Landlocked in bodies that don't keep--
dumbstruck with the sweetness of being
till we don't be.

*And I listen to Leonard Cohen quite a lot.
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These election results are awe-inspiring. As of midnight Pacific time, there has not been a single Republican gain in any national election anywhere in the country. All gains have been Democratic, and the numbers are looking better and better.

It's so nice to have a pleasant election experience.

In other news, while in Philadelphia this weekend, I saw this unfortunate ad on a SEPTA bus. If the ad's purpose is, in fact, to convince Pennsylvanians to vote for Senator Santorum, rather than to remind them of the substance (not worksafe!) that Dan Savage and his readers named after the Senator, it failed miserably. Goodbye, Santorum. You won't be missed.
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For the last two weeks, my cell phone has been failing to transmit my voice to callers. Therefore, I just went to the Sprint store and bought myself a new phone.

Much to my delight, when I went to purchase a ringtone for this phone, I found out that I could choose from a whole collection of songs from movies, TV shows and musicals, including dozens of Monty Python songs. If someone calls me now, my phone will begin a rousing chorus of "We're knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able!"

(They don't have the Veronica Mars theme song, though. It's a shame, really. How better for your phone to tell you, "You don't want to talk to that person" than by playing the Dandy Warhols' "We Used To Be Friends"?)
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Courtesy, as always, of Maister Chaucer. (One of these days, I will stop linking to every one of his posts. This is not that day.)

Our Geoffrey is currently designing a collection of tales for the entertainment of all and sundry. (It shall be designed as a series of fragments, he tells us, because he "[troweth] that a worke in ‘fragmentz’ shall appeale to Vmberto Eco.") Today, he shares his notes on this collection with us. Fragment 1 is projected to include the following story:

-The Milleres prolog and Tale: whatte Adam Pinkhurste did vnto me bifor I fired hys ass– chaunge names and occupaciouns – absolvtely fabliaux

Augh, Chaucer, it burns.
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Snicket, or his publishers, sent out an email today to his mailing list, revealing some of the contents of his upcoming work The End (Book 13 of the Series of Unfortunate Events). I swear I am not making this up.

Dear Reader,

All of us at HarperCollins Children’s Books would like to extend our sincere apologies for yesterday’s surprising public announcement by Lemony Snicket. We discourage our authors from disclosing the contents of a book so far in advance of its publication -- especially a book as highly anticipated as Book the Thirteenth, THE END, which will not be released until October 13, 2006.

As a courtesy to dedicated fans, we thought it only fair to share Mr. Snicket’s revelations in an open forum. Below is the key information revealed by Mr. Snicket regarding the upcoming final installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

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[livejournal.com profile] newredshoes introduced me to something I did not know could be purchased on the Web.

I do not need a Plush Black Death. I have no use for a Plush Black Death. Of course I don't want a Plush Black Death.

...Isn't it cute?
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
This is not a real update, I am afraid.

I am thankful for lots and lots of things, including (but not limited to) my studies, my friends, my family, my life in general, and my sister. (Yes, she's part of my family, but she gets a special mention anyway.)

Also, I have a meme, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] deborah_judge.

Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one/a lot of reasons why I like/love/adore you. Then post this in your LJ and share the love.
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
In response to the latest news from the Vatican, [livejournal.com profile] cataptromancer has been writing Latin verse.

Sumus omnes peccatores
Humani viles et sunt mores -
Unde haec superbia
Quae te ad arcendos caros
Urget Dei cum ignaros
accipis in familia?

[We are all sinners, and human behavior is vile - whence this pride which drives you to exclude those dear to God and to accept into the family those who are ignorant of him?]


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] deborah_judge, I have now watched the Battlestar Galactica miniseries. I did enjoy it. The Biblical imagery is very clear, and the conflicts between the human characters are fascinating. President Laura Roslin, especially, is a fully-formed character. I have to admit that I'm not fond of the Cylons, though. Six, especially, earned my loathing from the first moment her dyed-blonde hair appeared on the television screen. Something about the artificiality of her femininity repels me utterly. Before I figured out what her name was, I started calling her Vagina Dentata; that should totally be her name. It's so much more descriptive than Six.


My sister is coming tomorrow. In her honor, my apartment is nearly clean. Hopefully, it will be completely clean by the time her plane lands.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
Sire Thopas drow abak ful faste;
This geant at him stones caste,
...Out of a fel staf-slinge.
But faire escapeth Child Thopas,
And al it was thurgh Goddes gras,
...And thurgh his fair beringe.

[Sir Thopas drew back quickly;
The giant cast stones at him,
from a fell sling-staff.
But Child Thopas escaped fairly,
and it was all because of God's grace,
and because of his fair bearing.]

-Chaucer's Tale of Sir Thopas, lines 827-832

Thopas is totally a literary ancestor of Sir Robin, the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Launcelot. I love Thopas dearly. I want to take him home and feed him well and sing to him: "He was not afraid to die, oh brave sir Thopas!"

I do not think that expressing my deep and passionate love for Sir Thopas, The Slightly-Braver-Than-Sir-Robin, is necessarily the best way to impress my orals examiners, though.

ETA: Has anyone ever noticed that Tolkien's poem 'Errantry' seems to be related to 'Sir Thopas'? )
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Things that make me happy, in no particular order:

  1. I keep finding kosher ground turkey for $2.59 a pound at Trader Joe's. That's cheaper than tofu, or cheese, or any number of protein alternatives. I can afford kosher animal products!

  2. My sister, who just might be my favorite person in the world, is coming to visit me for four days next weekend.

  3. I have fallen in love with certain books I once loathed, including The Scarlet Letter and The Sound and the Fury.

  4. I have new glasses. They are deep red and angular, and they do fascinating things to the shape of my face.

Thing that rather disturbs me:

  1. It is November 17. There are three weekends left in the semester, and I intend to spend one of them with my sister. The other two must be reserved for seminar papers. This means that I will not be seen on the Internet this weekend (or the next one, or the one after that). Deepest apologies, [livejournal.com profile] avariel_wings and [livejournal.com profile] tahira_saki.


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January 2017



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