Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - HAPPY CHRISTMAS

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December 24th, 2007

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HAPPY MID WINTER FESTIVAL and to all who sail in her

This lovely little tree-heart handmade by thymeth - THANK YOU thymeth.

from [info]blackcoyote, CJ Cherryh fanart drawn just for me! Wow, thanks! (And way better than mine to you last year.) I especially like the way you draw the Hani (in the middle).

[info]schemingreader doesn't do Christmas so she sent me this at Hanukkah because she knows I like this poem. Thank you! But see the look on the poor pussycat's face. All crestfallen. Awww.

Sent to me by [info]dark_safari, The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by Edward Gorey and John Updike. Thanks, LB! Some of my favourites pages scanned in here.
1: Creepy Santa

And the shopping horrors - I know this feeling all too well recently. Only mine's online shopping, so it's the curse of RSI mouse finger, the 4 am idiot panic purchase and the never-arriving package.

Oops, [info]alchemia sent me Edward Gorey art as well (a cat, plus some sweeties), but I forgot to scan that. There's always something escapes the scanner. Thanks though, al!

And glynnis - I didn't get your package yet! But thanks for when I do. Yaaayyyy!

Anyone else I haven't mentioned: I didn't get your card yet either.

*hugs to all*


(Indulge your wild theories here)


Date:December 24th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
Do I have permission to stomp on the Royal Mail's collective crotch (and Amazon UK's as well)? They said it was supposed to arrive on Saturday! Well, I hope it gets there soon, anyway. :/

Those cards are great! And the first one is so pretty!

Merry Christmas!
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
I got it! I got it on Christmas Eve, just before I was about to head off to meet my parents! Just about the hour before. A wonderful last minute surprise.

Thanks so much for the present - a Handel opera. You know me so well! And one I hadn't even heard of - Rodelinda. I haven't been able to watch it yet (if I try to put on any opera at all, the first words I hear are, "Can you turn that down?" closely followed by, "Can you turn that OFF, I can still hear it,") but I'm soooo looking forward to watching it, repeatedly. It must be a good one if you chose it.

I see it's with the Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment. I love them every time they come on the radio (I've taped them loads in my cheap arse way), it'll be great to see them play. I hope there's some good orchestra pit shots.

Hope you had a good Christmas. I did - none of my family tried to attack each other, which is all I can hope for.

I've been reading The Wind-Up Bird. May reminds me so much of you. She's got that aggressive pessimism like you have. It's really quite funny - because ironically she's much more alive and interested in life than most of the other people around. I can see why you like the book so much. It's reminding me a lot of Roald Dahl. Have you ever read him? People keep popping out of the woodwork and having interesting stories about their lives to tell the narrator. Also, the language is used in a straightforward way, but the stories themselves are incredibly bizarre. The author teases a bit with the sex, which I find a bit too calculating at times.

I'm enjoying it lots.
Date:December 28th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Huzzah! I'm glad it made it, and I really hope you like it when you get a chance to watch it. Hehe, the person asking you to turn it down sounds a lot like my dad, except he's more passive-aggressive and just turns the volume up on the TV as soon as he hears a single note of classical music.

This production of Rodelinda is one of my favorites ever, and the male lead, Andreas Scholl, is to die for. This was his very first experience in a staged opera, but his singing is gorgeous. I think there are at least a few good orchestra pit shots, during the musical interludes and stuff. They got a shot of the sheep outside the opera, so surely they could've squeezed in one of the orchestra!

Thanks! Christmas was OK, mostly just really boring. But there was food, so I can't complain too much. ;}

I actually gave my boss The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for Xmas! When I can't think of a present for someone, I usually end up giving them a book I really loved. I really need to reread it soon as it's been about 4-5 years since the last time, but I remember May, and she is responsible for one of my favorite passages in the book. Roald Dahl's books were assigned to us in elementary school, and they were always a nice switch from the boring, babyish crap we usually had to read. He was great!
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
I'm always giving books to people too. I constantly have to buy new copies of my favourite ones because I've given my own away. But I only give them to my friends - I can't vouch for the taste of the general public.

I've just read May going on about wigs and male baldness. She's so funny.

Roald Dahl was kind of my literary hero when I was 15. I got a copy of his book 'My Uncle Oswald' as a school prize, which was hilarious. The school obviously thought it was one of his kids books, but the main plot involved a woman collecting sperm from famous people (by sleeping with them, obviously) so she could sell the sperm to rich women who wanted babies by their idols. It was very, very racy and at 15 definitely the sexiest thing I'd ever read. I think he was the model for how I write sex scenes now. He was so incredibly funny and daring about it all. Hooray to my school and their prize for mathematics!

I'll tell you about the opera when I finally get a chance to watch it. It's over 3 hours long, I see, so it might be a while before I get to see it all.

NB opera icon, Bugs Bunny style. Wagner not Handel, but it's the closest I've got.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
I got to see the orchestra!

The whole of the overture was spent in a series of closeups on the orchestra and their crazy early instruments - fantastic! There are some bizarre appliances they're playing there, twice the size of a man and constructed from shiny dark wood with all sorts of bits sticking out. I was rather smug to see a whole section dedicated to the treble recorder. I played that at primary school, and had no idea it was a proper orchestral instrument - or used to be, in Handel's day.

I've only got as far as the first act still. I keep having to watch it in bits. The guy who plays the villain of the piece (in handy moustache so we can all tell he's BAD) is a fantastic actor. He's a joy to watch. Most of the acting is amazing. I love the silent-movie motif, how they've done it through the costumes, lighting, makeup and right through to the way they move across the stage. It really works for opera. The shared melodrama.

When Scholl came on it only took me about 5 seconds to fall in love. I can see why you like him. It's his voice, and the way I totally believed his character by the way he was singing. So pure and heartfelt. He's pretty good looking too, which helps. My heart kept giving little quivers. I think it's the same as why I'm into Julian Barratt - it's all about the voice.

The direction of this is amazing. The story flows so well. It might be the best opera I've ever seen - it's so compelling. I just want to find out what happens next! I'll ave to get some hours alone with just me and the DVD player.
Date:January 5th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
Period instruments are so fun! A lot of them seem to be just like modern instruments only made out entirely out of wood, but then you get those enormous funky ones. I still want to know what a theorbo is.

The villain reminds me an awful lot of Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder Goes Fourth, which is a good thing. He really took on the '30s feel with his very stylized acting, I think.

Aw, I'm so glad you like Scholl! His voice is a bit different now, more manly, I think, but still so incredible. He's definitely my type looks-wise -- tall, big nose, gorgeous hands, and (hehe) small eyes.

You're right about the direction. Baroque operas can be kind of shuddery because they're usually all arias with some tiny bits of recitatives, versus more modern ones with ensemble singing. But this version of Rodelinda flies by.
Date:December 24th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you counted that card toward X-mas. We sent it then because that's when Kid A wanted to send it! (I had bought a little stack of cards that looked appropriate for you, and that was one that cracked me up--because you recorded that poem for us.) I have another card he dictated to me for you, but we haven't done that one. Also a page of Christmas stickers and drawings he made for you--those will have to go in the mail late. :( Well, I'm always late with snail mail.

I'm really behind on the original fic as well. I might be, um, a little intimidated by it. Okay, a lot intimidated.

We had apple pancakes this morning. Kid A helped me make them.
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)

I might be, um, a little intimidated by it. Okay, a lot intimidated.

Want to talk about why? I tried to get you on Googlechat to see if you wanted to discuss it yesterday - send me an email if you're about some other time. I sent you an email suggesting an extension of our original fic agreement. I'd love to keep going with it. I think it's a really worthwhile thing for both of us to also do original fic and set each other deadlines. I'm certainly getting a lot out of it.

Hmmm. I don't have a writing icon at the moment. I think I need one for discussions like these. WRITING IZ SRS BZNSS.

I can have about 300 icons here, which is more than I'll ever need. Meanwhile, I have to go over to LJ and re-host about 100 images of art and Boosh photos next month before my paid account scrapbook runs out. Ick.

Aw, I'm getting another card? And Kid A's Christmas drawings? *happy smile* I really empathise/sympathise with that poor pussycat, you know. I think I'm going to put your Owl and Pussycat card on my userpage.
Date:December 28th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think that's a good idea. I signed out of chat to force myself to go to sleep! I had crazy insomnia.

How about I give myself another two weeks to finish the draft of the story? Or I might start another one, maybe that one isn't meant to be.
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, let's set a new date. How about 15 Jan? That's not too far away but not scarily near.

You decide whether to go on with the old one (which I really liked - it had such an intriguing opening and I was really feeling for the characters already) or to start a new one. Perhaps if you put the old one on hold an ending will occur to you while you're writing the second one?

I'm still going to send you chapters at the end of this month though. Yah!
Date:December 28th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Okay, don't throw me in the brambles, as my dad says. I would love to read it.
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
Brambles? Who are you, Brer Rabbit?
Date:December 28th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your...thanks! And for scanning up the Gorey images. I should have made more effort to make cards from them this year but pfft. Real Life, etc.

Please to hear your family remained on good terms over Christmas and WELCOME BACK! :)
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hey there sweetie.

Yeah, I'm back. I'm writing my original fic at this very moment. Can't you tell?

*desperate avoidance measures as usual*

Date:December 28th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Ha, I'm on a "writing break" too. Thought I'd catch up on some of teh interwebz although I'm having trouble trying to reach the desk across my humungously enormous belly that's swollen up from Christmas food. Me and Julian - united in wobbly tums.

Dan and Jones got a hold on me today. It's been productive. :)
[User Picture]
Date:December 28th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
If I know you, I know exactly where Dan and Jones got a hold on you, and it wasn't your belly.

I've rewritten the start of this original fic so many times now it's like one of those cheese that are full of holes at the tip and rubbery everywhere else.

I'm not as fooded-up as I thought I would be. I missed dinner every single day through being conked out in bed. Only eating two meals a day, no matter how big, isn't enough to get a gut on me. And I went swimming one day too. Still, nice food. On Christmas Day they had prawns in a bowl served in a huge swan made from ice, placed on top of a rowing boat, while a crooner sang Frank Sinatra hits. That was a little surreal.
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