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Exponential Detritus For Feeble Minds

Friday, December 05, 2003

A dweeby Christmas elf am I... 

Listening to the dorkiest music imaginable out of shameless nostalgia. John Denver Christmas music and Linda Ronstadt. I was making birthday mixes for my Mom out of the soundtrack of my childhood. And I got all wistful and stupid, but so what? I am not ashamed any longer. I am old enough that nostalgic geekdom is precious and not simply laughable. Right? C'mon, what'd you guys listen to at Christmas when you were about four. Bonus points to anyone who'll admit it:)

Another word I didn't know... 

And such a twistedly fitting one at that! Oh, how oft I have felt this way:


1. having talents or ambitions that are unrealized or unfulfilled; (used postpositively -- placed after the word it qualifies): "Practical concerns diverted Yunee's talents to programming, but she remained a poet manque at heart."

Approximately 1778; borrowed from French, from past participle of 'manquer': to fail; from Italian, 'mancare,' from 'manco': lacking, left-handed; from Latin, 'mancus': having a crippled hand, infirm, probably from 'manus': hand.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


That is sooo not true.. I read your blog :)

Lovely Little Morning 

Got up intending just to take Maggie to school and threw on a long sundress, a sweatshirt and boots. Put Sarah in shorts, rudolph sweatshirt and socks. Ah, but weren't we dressed to the nines?
Dawned on me that it was Thursday, and thus sesame bread day. Went to the bakery. Say a guy outside who looked like the secret love child of Tom Cruise and David Spade with wardrobe by Edgar Allen Poe. Morphed into a happy little bread fairy, basking in the elfin smiles of strangers.
Suddenly awake and rather giddy, I commence toward Trader Joe's but find it isn't open yet, so go next door for breakfast. Eat eggs while Sarah darts madly about the empty dining room. As we leave they offer her a cookie for being "so good and quiet." Next to Trader Joe's where the cutely balding, Dave Attelle-esque cashier guy shamelessly flirts with her and is amazed by the color of her baby eyes.
Also should mention I am freshly hennaed, so that next time I need to touch it up I can check when the last time was. Thus this post shall serve a purpose for a change.
Because, let's face it, nobody really ever reads my blog but me:)

The coolest thing ever...if you're me 

Unbelievable to me that my favorite author is currently writing a novel and posting about it online. Giving some sort of insight into the process of writing. Allowing for brief glimpses, perhaps, of what is to come. Oh, dammit, why does there have to be any justification at all? It's just tremendously cool and that's all there is to it. Or perhaps I'm just a bit of an ubergeek.

Placards for the endomorphically endowed? Whatfrigginever.

The Bad Sex in Fiction Award for 2003 has been announced.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

From my bleeding heart to yours... 

From Amnesty International:

Rebiya Kadeer founded and directed a large trading company in northwestern China, championed the rights of the Uighur ethnic group there, and became one of China's most prominent advocates of women's rights. All these activities came to an abrupt halt in August 1999. As she entered a hotel to discuss human rights with U.S. Congressional staff visiting China, she was arrested. The Chinese government charged Rebiya Kadeer in September 1999 with "providing secret information to foreigners." Authorities tried her in secret and sentenced her in March 2000 to eight years' imprisonment. Amnesty International considers Rebiya Kadeer to be a prisoner of conscience and has appealed for her immediate and unconditional release.Please send an email to your Representative TODAY urging her/him to sign a congressional letter on behalf of Rebiya Kadeer:

Thank you for your support.
Online Action Center
Amnesty International USA


Alas, but I am weary. Strange omens and portents abound. Its going to be an odd little winter indeed, I think.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I've been browsing a database of Child Ballads at "The Contemplator" , a trove of traditional ballads, both familiar and obscure. Here's a sampling. For more, see the Myth of the Day

The Gypsy Laddie

This ballad is Child Ballad #200 (The Gypsy Laddie).

"An English lord came home one night,
Inquir-ring for his lady,
The servants said on every hand,
She's gone with the Gypsy Laddie.

Go saddle up my milk-white steed,
Go saddle me up my brownie
And I will ride both night and day,
Till I overtake my bonnie.

Oh he rode East and he rode West,
And at last he found her,
She was lying on the green, green grass,
And the Gypsy's arms all around her.

Oh, how can you leave your house and land?
How can you leave our money,
How can your leave your rich young lord,
To be a gypsy's bonnie.

How can you leave your house and land,
How can you leave your baby,
How can you leave your rich young lord,
To be a gypsy's lady.

Oh come go home with me, my dear,
Come home and be my lover,
I'll furnish you with a room so neat,
With a silken bed and covers.

I won't go home with you, kind sir,
Nor will I be your lover,
I care not for your rooms so neat,
Or your silken bed or your cover.

It's I can leave my house and land,
And I can leave my baby,
I'm a-goin' to roam this world around
And be a gypsy's lady.

Oh, soon this lady changed her mind,
Her clothes grew old and faded,
Her hose and shoes came off her feet,
And left them bare and naked.

Just what befell this lady now,
I think it worth relating,
Her gypsy found another lass,
And left her heart a-breaking."

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low

This ballad was printed in England on numerous broadsides in the 1800s. Printers included J. Catnach who printed between 1813 and 1838. Copies of many of these can be found at the Bodleian Library. This version was collected by George Gardiner in Hampshire and published in 1909.

The name of the hero is variously Edwin, Edmund or Edward, and Emma is also known as Emily.

The ballad was also well-known in Ireland and America. It was collected in Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Vermont, Michigan, North Carolan, Georgia, New York and Kentucky. It was also found in Nova Scotia.

"Come, all you wild, young people
And listen to the song
That I will sing concerning gold,
Which guides so many wrong.
Young Emma was a servant-maid
And loved a sailor bold,
He ploughed the main much gold to gain,
For his Love, as we've been told.

Young Emma she did daily mourn
Since Edwin first did roam;
When seven years were past and gone,
Then Edwin hailed his home.
He went unto young Emma's house
The store of gold to show,
Which he had gained upon the main
Above the Lowlands Low.

Her father kept a public inn,
It stood down by the sea.
Says Emma, 'You can enter in
And there this night can be.
I'll meet you in the morning,
Don't let my parents know,
Your name it is young Edwin
That ploughed the Lowlands Low.'

As Emma she lay sleeping
She had a frightful dream,
She dreamt her Love stood weeping,
His blood poured in a stream.
She rose up in the morning
And to her friends did go,
Because she loved him dearly;
That ploughed the Lowlands Low.

'Oh, mother, where's the stranger lad,
Came here last night to stay?'
'Oh, he is dead, no tales can tell;'
Her father he did say.
'Then father, cruel father,
You will die a public show
For murdering my Edwin,
That ploughed the Lowlands Low.

The fishes of the ocean
Swim o'er my lover's breast,
His body rolls in motion,
I hope his soul at rest,
How cruel were my parents
To prove his overthrow,
And take the gold from one so bold
That ploughed the Lowlands Low.''

The Twa Corbies

This ballad is a variant of The Three Ravens which dates back to 1611 where it appears in Melismata. Musicall Phansies Fitting the Court, Cittie, and Countrey Humours by T. Ravenscroft. Child names this a "cynical version" of the original ballad.

Corbie is another word for raven or crow.

This ballad is a variant of Child Ballad #26 (The Three Ravens).

"As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
'Where sall we gang and dine to-day,
Where sall we gang and dine to-day?'

'In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his honnd, and lady fair,
His hawk, his honnd, and lady fair.

'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady 'a ta'en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet,
We may mak our dinner sweet.

'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare,
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.'

'Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane;
Oer his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sail blaw for evennair,
The wind sail blaw for evennair.''