Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Update

I'm still here. I haven't posted in a few days because, well, because I have the oldest excuse in the book: I've been busy.

Meetings, getting kids to school, more meetings.

Pant, pant, pant.

Maybe I'll catch up over the weekend.....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Deception by Joan Wolf

A few months ago I was culling books in my bedroom bookshelf and tripped over Joan Wolf's The Arrangement. I reread it and had mixed feelings. I sort of liked it, but thought it was flawed. Feeling generous at that moment, I decided to keep it.

On a whim I entered all of Joan Wolf's backlist into my wishlist at PaperbackSwap, although I'm really only interested in White Horses which involves a circus. (My interest in romance + circus will have to wait for a later post.) Friday I received The Deception. "Flawed" would be a generous term for this book.

Joan Wolf's Regencies tend to be told in first person by the heroine. After the first chapter, that construct doesn't alarm me anymore, but it does (duh) obliterate any chance of understanding the hero's conflict. Kate is the daughter of a renowned horse trainer who while dying of a gunshot wound whispers a clue to the identity of the villain. (On the first page! Wow, wonder what the plot is going to be?) Dying father tells loyal family groom to search out Kate's uncle, who shows up seething over his sister's elopement many years earlier with now tragically dead father of Kate. By page 5 we learn that Kate and her father were unexpectedly in this region of England to sell two horses to...OK, I have to stop this sentence right here to point out that I cannot read this name on the page properly. Please see if it causes you fits too...The Marquis of Stade.

What did you read it as? Perhaps, like me, The Marquis de Sade? Hmmmm. Maybe he's not a nice guy.

Also on page five we learn that Kate's uncle lives in an empty, huge, cold estate. An alarm sounds in Kate's brain. Yeah, mine too. I'm already flipping through the book to figure out when the hero shows up. Because at page five I'm already having misgivings. Stade indeed. Huge cold empty house. Humph.

So Kate's nasty uncle introduces her to the Earl of Greystone, the fair-haired Adrian, and quickly arranges that they be found together in a bedroom. A-Ha!! You must marry the chit. And so he does. (Eh....Why? Oh right, plot advancement. Right. Let's get on trying to figure out who killed Kate's dad. Yep.) He kisses Kate and then leaves for a few months.

After a bit (nine months!) he suddenly shows up again. They seem to have nothing to say to each other, so they go down to the stable to look at the Adrian's retired mare who Kate's been training. They stand outside her stall and he calls to the mare:
She knew him. She lifted her head and pricked her ears and then she slowly turned around and came toward him, her muzzle outstretched, her eyes soft. She nickered, then rubbed her nose against his shoulder. He reached up to caress the white star on her forehead.
I think that was the moment when I fell in love with him.

What the fuck??? Boy, do you have some low standards, woman! Kate's been around horses all her life. She's NEVER seen a man raise his arm to scritch a horse's forehead? Or maybe she's never seen an affectionate horse? Or maybe the source of her love is that the horse recognized its owner. Ooooo! If he had a dog and it recognized him too, would she be so overcome that she had sex with him right there in the barn? I don't get it. And Kate doesn't explain her comment any further.

Adrian's younger brother Harry hangs around a lot. Kate and Harry get along--they have entire conversations which tends to generate camaraderie. But Adrian and Kate cannot be afforded that luxury, because soon we will soon stumble into The Big Misunderstanding. And it's Big. So Big, that even I, a college-educated reader, cannot understand the misunderstanding.

'Kay, at some point, Adrian decides to consummate the marriage. As the reader may have expected by this point, the pain is intense, but she "endures" it. (Oh Please!) The next night, after some more pleasant nookie, she lies in his arms and begins to become afraid. Her thoughts are described as bleak, anguished, and painful. Good Lord! What can be causing such terror? Do tell. Your dear reader is all aquiver.

Kate's horrifying discovery is that she loves Adrian.

(Wait. I thought that happened out in the barn a few days ago. Oh! Right! That's the future Kate looking back on the story, pinpointing the exact moment when she first loves Adrian. Now we are deeply into the present moment, wherein she realizes that she loves him. Ok. Got it. Carry on.)

Kate's love is so "strong, [so] all-encompassing, [so] powerful" that she is sure that it will destroy them both. OK, that's odd. But please, tell us more:
I love him, but I must not make the mistake of expecting him to love me. This was the anguishing thought that was tearing at my insides and keeping me awake this storm-tossed night....I was safe with him. The question was: was he safe with me?
This feeling that I had for him was not tepid. It was passionate and possessive. If I ever gave it free rein it would smother him, and destroy me....When the rain ceased just before dawn, I had accepted what it was that I must do.
I could not burden him with a love he had not asked for...I must hide my feelings from him; I must leave him free.

She's terrified of nonreciprocal love? No, wait. I'm sorry. She's anguished to think that her powerful love will burden or smother Adrian. Wait, if she expresses her love she'll be destroyed by it? Is that it? How does that work, exactly? (Or even inexactly, I'm not picky just now) I can retype the sentences, but I swear I cannot figure this thought pattern out. All I can figure out here is that Kate, who may very well be in danger of being killed by her father's murderer if she pursues her wishes to punish the villain, decides that it is dangerous to love her husband but not dangerous to track down a murderer.

For the rest of this tortuous read, Adrian is kind to Kate but she spends a lot of energy being reserved and distant from him. Maybe he loves her, maybe he's intrigued by her, or maybe she pisses him off, but since Kate's telling the story, we will never know.

Adrian flits in and out of the book--he keeps being called away on various political missions, and whenever he doesn't like the way the conversation is going, he simply leaves the room on an "appointment." But Harry gets himself into scrapes, chats up Kate, and sympathizes with her while she mourns. Adrian exhibits signs of jealousy which Countess-turned-sleuth-hot-on-the-trail-of-father's-murderer doesn't notice.

Speaking of which, the mystery surrounding Kate's father's death is, eh, not very layered. Marquis de Sade, oops, Marquis of Stade, may have been involved, can you imagine? And by the way, what happened to gossip amongst horsepeople? I've worked in barns--the entire day is filled with gossip. The farrier visits, bringing new gossip, the feed is delivered, along with fresh gossip. That's all we do; muck stalls, groom horses, ride horses, and gossip. But in Joan Wolf's world Mr. Marquis can burn a barn down and switch studs and no one notices?

After a bizarre diversion into a subplot involving a gambling debt, Kate bravely sits at home and asks her father's former groom to go find and bring back evidence of the identity of the switched studs. I mean, we wouldn't want to distract from the intensely romantic story of the Earl and his wife ignoring each other by following the drama of the detective on the hunt. When Paddy returns, Kate bravely sits quietly in a room full of men while Harry outlines the evidence against the Marquis de Sade, no, Stade. Sorry. Gosh, this determination and bravery is just so appealing!

Of course, not only is Kate determined and brave, she is also too stupid to live. Kate, sigh, is kidnapped. Twice. Rescued once by Harry (who is wounded), and once by Adrian (who is wounded). When Adrian rides to her rescue (with dueling swords; because guns are so, you know, gauche), the resolution to the Big Misunderstanding is quick and sudden. The truth is blurted out and lovers fall together without a look back. And the hero doesn't have to kill the evil Sade, oops, Stade. The Marquis very handily dispatches himself.

This book may be the most annoying thing I have read. (And I have read Old Man and the Sea five times in five separate classes. I know all about annoying reads.)

To recap: We have first person narration, which if not handled just so can be a tad precious. We have OBVIOUS PLOT DEVICES thrown in with grand thunderclaps announcing their arrival. We have Pain of the Virgin. We have Big Misunderstanding. We have Kidnapping. We have Punishment of the Evildoer Without Dirtying Hands of Hero. The Deception is saved only by the fact that there isn't a Secret Baby.

Off to PaperbackSwap you go!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cleaning fish

I read that CindyS is considering what to do with freshly, eh, recently, caught fish.

Which reminds me of a butcher story. As I've said before, husband runs a high end, all-natural, mostly organic butcher shop. (Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, quail, goose, rabbit, and homemade sausages. $30.00 steaks. Very pricy stuff.)He got a call from a guy last week who said that he had a deer in the back of his truck. He asked if Butcher could portion the deer for him.

Husband says, "Yeah. Bring it over. I'll give you the saddle and make venison sausage for you out the rest." Hunter exclaims with glee. There aren't that many non-corporate butcher shops anymore--they all tend to be part of some supermarket or another--so it's been hard for this guy to find someone to help him with his deer.

Deer was cleaned, so that was a blessing, but it still had the skin and head on. (I will edit the part of the story which involves skinning the deer in the bed of the pickup and decapitating it.) Husband brings the deer into the shop and hangs it in the walk-in cooler to bring it to temperature and to age the meat. (Walk-in has a glass window to the aisle--kind of like those reach-in doors you pull your milk cartons out of at the grocery store. So from the side aisle you can see cuts of meat aging on racks, and usually there's a full lamb or a side of pork hanging hygenically in the window.) Tells the owner of the deer to come back the next day to check on the temperature, and he can help butcher portion the venison. Satisfied customer.

Now, husband's butcher shop is in a marketplace set-up. When you walk in, it looks like an all-natural grocery, but each station in the grocery, fish, wine, bakery, etc., are all their own independent businesses. The clerks in the all-natural grocery tend to be politically correct vegans, and they cannot seem to fathom why a butcher shop is in the marketplace. (Since the butcher shop opened everybody's profits have increased, so the owners are pleased to have him there, but the teenaged "principled" employees have been a royal pain. Apparently they have no problem with the whole fish being sold at the fish market, but beef roasts send them over the moon.)

Husband comes by the walk-in later in the day to find the manager of the cashiers talking to a customer. "That is just so disgusting. This guy has no class."

"Excuse me," says Husband. "Can I have a word with you?"

Manager blanched and mumbled something about having to get back to work. Husband says, "I thought that was what we were doing."

Apparently the owner of the grocery had some sort of sit down with her employees after this happened, but I mean, really. Are we all this immature?

As Maili would say, "Le Sigh."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

House guests

Busy! Busy!

Didn't even take the time to say, "Hey! Monday was the first day of school." Whew. Two of my kids are out of the house during the day. Which leaves me to entertain the four year old on my own, but at least she doesn't fight with her siblings WHEN THEY ARE NOT HERE! God bless teachers. Really.

Things are rough in my mother's life.

My older brother is going through a divorce, and he calls her daily to complain about his almost ex-wife. "Today she packed all my toiletries in a bag and put them by the door." (Gee. Think there's a mesage in that?) "Today she left all her personal emails lying around so that I could see how all her friends agree with her and think I'm a jerk." (Gee. Think there's a message in that?) Mother sounds sympathetic, but then turns the conversation to reality, like, "When is your next meeting with your lawyer? Have you finished your financial statement yet?" which he doesn't appreciate, so hangs up in a huff. But she still hates that he calls her daily to bitch. (Note here: she was a divorce lawyer for 17 years. She loved the law but retired because her clients were making her crazy.)

My mother's father died a few years ago and his estate still isn't probated. Turns out the Executor never filed income taxes for the year he died. He wants my mother, the benficiary, to cough up the 3 years of penalties, so they're fighting. (Note here: don't fight with a retired lawyer. Just don't. Husband says my mother could pick a fight with God and win.)

My mother just had elective surgery, so she's fighting off exhaustion from the recovery. And to top it all off, she and my dad are putting an addition on the house. Turns out the new first floor bedroom's foundation, is, eh, a parallelogram, not a square. (And this is the second time the subcontractor has built the foundation. It had faulty concrete the first time around.) Time to call in the bulldozer again!

All in all, not a really great time in her life.

Mom called me last night to ask, "Please can you fly across the country and stay the weekend? I'd love to see you." I spent all day today trying to figure out a schedule of babysitters to make this work. (Husband owns his own butcher shop. Leaves at 8am, returns home 8 or 9pm. Works all weekend. My ten year old is wise beyond her years, but I connot see her preparing dinner for her siblings and getting them to bed.)

By this afternoon she had called me 12 times. "Are you coming?"
"I'm trying, but now I need coverage for Friday night."

Finale: She's coming here Thursday night, staying into Monday morning.

How I love house guests. Especially depressed angry ones.

Time to load up on the herbal teas.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Tag. I'm it.

Cindy tagged me.

Total number of films I own:

I dunno. I put my hand on top of them and muttered, "5,10, 15, 20" and got to about 230. But then that includes some boxed sets of SCTV, Monty Python, Twilight Zone and some other TV stuff.

Last film I watched:

Husband watched, I listened to: Sin City
Children watched, I tried not to listen to: Garfield
Last film I watched at home: Garden State
Last film I watched in theatre, with popcorn: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Five favorite films I either watch frequently or that mean a lot to me:

Notorious Oh, Dev.
Room With a View
The Four Musketeers
The Pirates of the Caribbean
Krull This is on here because I remember watching a Siskel and Ebert review of this in 1983. My aunt and I were watching the clip silently and at the end, turned to each other and said, "That looks GOOD!" At which point Ebert said, "And this is just one example of how bad the film is. I won't even waste any more time on it." Oh well. (If you're not sure which one Krull is, it's the one with the flying Clydesdales.)

Worst film you've ever had to endure:

Starship Troopers. Please. Make it go away. Please.

Favorite movie quote:

From My Favorite Year, which also belongs in the list above: "Damn you! I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!"


Favorite movie adapted from a book:

The Talented Mr. Ripley


One book I'd like to see made into a movie:

The Broken Citadel By Joyce Ballou Gregorian

Local Newspaper. Again!

Headline:
Council/School board liaison panel meets Thursday night

[Which causes me to gasp, because I'm sure I didn't have an evening meeting this week.]
Last sentence:
"The meeting will be in the city hall commission room at 8:30 am and is open to the public."

Ok. Well, then.

Friday, August 19, 2005

College days

I'm still working on the meme, but until then:

My husband was driving with my seven year old son.

Son: "Dad, did you go to college?"
Dad: "Yes. But I only went for one year. Then I did some other stuff. Then I came back and got a degree in something else.

Conversation goes to rambling off to a different topic. About twenty minutes later, son asks one of those imponderable questions of his father.

Dad: "I don't think I know the answer to that."
Son: "Maybe you should have stayed in college."

Dad's mother got a big kick out of this one.....

Local Newspaper, Again...

Well, they didn't print my letter. However, they did print a correction including, "We regret this editing error."
Just above the School Board correction was this little gem:

In the August 18 front page article "Big change in planning appointment process," Planning Commissioner [name] was misquoted. What he said was, "(The Planning Commission) is not a lock-step voting body, and I am proud to be a part of it." [Name of newspaper] regrets this reporting error.

I swear, I am not making this up!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I'm such a Beeyotch

Just so y'all know, I'm an elected official.

And I've got something of a reputation as being, well, not a nice (as in simpering and smiling sweetly) girl. I will tell you what I think, and you may not agree with it, but there you go. At least you know what I think.

We are blessed in our town with perhaps the world's worst, OK, maybe only the County's worst, newspaper. Can't walk out of a room through an open door without getting a fact wrong.

Below, please find a letter to the editor I wrote this morning. (Names blacked out to protect the innocent.)

Dear Editor:

I was interviewed a few days ago by your education reporter who was very eager to
get a confirmation of my present age. I gave her my year of birth but further replied
that I could not understand the value of determining an exact age as she was ostensibly calling to collect a quote. I note in today's paper "Seven Candidates for School Board" that every candidate listed is further identified with their exact age.
I suppose this is an admirable attention to detail.

On the other hand, in the tradition of [Town Name] Herald's often bizarre reporting
standards, my name is mispelled, and I am listed as being a candidate for November's
election. I am an incumbent, yes, but not a candidate. Further, [reporter name]'s list of candidates is not complete. There is no mention of [another candidate's name], a candidate who has filed papers with the [blank] County Registrar of Voters. I do not know her age.

Sincerely,

[me]
[District name] School District Trustee.
Term 2003-2007

Think they'll print it?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Zorro by Isabel Allende reviewed.

I give up.
I surrender.
I cannot finish Zorro.

This pains me deeply. I hate giving up on a book. In some way I feel responsible. Maybe if I taken notes, paid more attention, lingered over a lovely phrase, it all would have come together for me. After all, I generally enjoy either an easy read or a more difficult journey. But I never clicked with this Zorro at all.

OK, let's just get this part out in the open. Zorro, at heart, is a silly character. Yeah, he wears a mask. (Ooo! What a handsome devil you must be!) Yeah, he's got the Big Black Wild Stallion. (Is that a carrot in your pants, or are you just glad to see me?) Yeah, he has a sword. (Is that an epee in your pants, or....?) And sometimes he even has a bullwhip. (And here I should insert a snarky comment, but I cannot for I am in awe of the writing team for Zorro, the Gay Blade.)

One Bit, Two Bits, Three Bits, A Peso.
All those for Zorro, Stand Up and Say So!!

Sorry. Sorry. Had a bit of a wild diversion into memories of Bunny Wigglesworth with his gold lame bullwhip. I'm back now.

But in a rambling way, that's almost my point. For an outrageous character to work, he has to have charisma at all times, a twinkle in the eye, a clever turn of phrase that makes you pay attention, no matter what he's doing. Straight up, as portrayed by Douglas Fairbanks, he's a "Swash, Swash, Buckle, Buckle" hero. (Thank you, Orlando) In black, he's dashing, bold, victorious, athletic, and brave. In embroidered bolero jackets he's clever, handsome, articulate, and cutting. The ladies may not desire him as he waves his handkerchief while professing his desire to stay at home while others fight for justice, but they keep asking him to ride into the fray. Intriguing, isn't he?

Even as Bunny Wigglesworth, wearing pom-poms for goodness sake, Zorro works. Bunny is extreme, but he's so fun to watch, and you just know he's about to say something totally outrageous whenever there's another person sharing the screen. Zorro's alter ego, the mincing fool (Hello Percy?? Anybody seen Percy about??), needs to be just as delicious as our masked hero, or the tension dies. Everytime Diego is in a room with the Spanish military, you know he's going to verbally skewer them. Yes! Yes! And they will think that maybe this is Zorro? No-o-o-o-o-o. Not this guy. Pshaw. And the tension builds until Zorro can mount Toronado and thunder to the rescue. Whew! How fun was that?!?

But this is where Allende lost it for me. Absolutely no dialog. No tension. No buildup.

In the original stories, Don Alejandro always expresses some measure of disappointment in his son. It is often hinted that Diego was a strong strapping lad when he left California, yet upon his return from Europe he is surprisingly effete. Yet in Allende's Zorro Alejandro and his son barely even speak to each other. How do you set up crushed expectations if the characters never communicate?

And then there's the added problem that Diego's mother is depressed and SILENT for his childhood too. (Of course Bernardo, the soon to be mute, isn't offering up much dialog either.) With a "stoic" grandmother, a telepathic childhood friend, and two silent parents, where is Diego learning all the double entendres and subtle barbs which will serve him so well as a hero? Oh. Right. In Europe.

I'm sorry. I don't buy it. He has about three conversations in Europe, two with his fencing master, and then he's off rescuing damsels. Huh?

How does he learn to flirt? How does he learn to tempt the villain into following him down the winding road into the awaiting trap so skillfully laid by Bernardo? Did he read it in a book? (He learns to fence from a book. Maybe he did.)

Before I end this tremendously long post, I should add that Isabel Allende has a wonderful gift for prose poetry. There are some delicate descriptions which make your heart turn over. But, unfortunately, these are scattered through long narrative paragraphs detailing events over the course of months. And the narrator has a truly annoying habit of reminding you from time to time that she's there, telling you the story, and it's her story, or rather, her story of Zorro, and there are some details which she cannot know because Zorro did not wish to tell her. OK already. I get it. Nonomniscient third person narrative, check.

I really wished I liked it. But I didn't. On the other hand, it did cause me to order Zorro, the Gay Blade, so I guess maybe the book was OK. I guess.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Traffic

Brianna had an idea to create traffic. It involves bribery, sure, but hey, what else works these days?

To that end, I've added Brianna's blog to my links, and today I'm visiting (and posting) all those who commented on Brianna's suggestion. Care to play?

Edit: Brianna's Mommy correctly pointed out that she is not Brianna. Duh. So the correct first line should be:

Brianna's Mommy had an idea to create traffic. Etc., Etc.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

You GO girls!!

Best ever description of my problem with crazy Christians. Ever.

I am Christian. But listening to fundamentalists tell me why they can never be criticized makes my hair go white with suppressed screams of frustration.

Go read this.

Monday, August 08, 2005



I was going to post this photo to the sidebar, but gave up trying to get it to look right.

I am really trying to finish this book. I just can't get involved in it. I don't want to start another sentence with "I", but I feel uncreative today.

Whine, whine, whine.

I'd love to write a really snarky review about all the little ways that this book annoys me, but it doesn't annoy me either. I'm not angry at the plot twists in the book, I'm not angry at the author, I'm just not that involved with this book. I adore Zorro, so I guess it could be that unrealized expectations thing, but, no, Isabel Allende has done a good job fleshing out the origin story of Zorro. But she has so far failed to make it interesting. This morning I brought Zorro to the pool for entertainment during my son's swim lesson. I learned that Diego de la Vega (Zorro) got a trunk full of books and read them. Eh, Isabel? You out there? Watching a character read is not really that engaging.

This novel is beginning to feel like an academic assignment--I've got to finish it so that I can write about it.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Favorite searches



I have the "Cheval" one of these in cobalt blue. Looking at it reminds me of my aunt, because she had one. She used to wrap her hands around it, fingers tucked between the handle and the warm body of the mug, sitting at her kitchen table. She also had cranberry glass thumbprint goblets which were only for iced coffee. They were huge, a full pint at least. And the "Cheval" mug was also large, like her flat generous hands.

One winter in college when I only wanted to sleep through every class, or maybe just run away from school and show up on her doorstep, and she would open the door to me with no questions as to why I was there in the snow, I bought the "Cheval" Taylor and Ng mug. I thought having it on my desk, where I could wrap my fingers around its warmth, would convince me that I was happy at college, and that I should stay to fight out against the depression. I thought that having the mug, especially the "Cheval" mug, would inspire me to brew strong coffee in my illegal coffee maker to wrinkle me from bed so that I would attend one of my morning classes and not hide in bed until lunchtime, pretending to ignore the dormmates knocking on the door.

Twenty years later, fourteen years after my aunt's funeral, is it weird to suddenly want an entire set? La Vache, La Baleine, L'Escargot, Le Lapin, Le Chien, and Le Chat? I'm hungering for it. I keep searching eBay, disdaining the brown versions--clearly loyal to the cobalt--and am distressed when they sell for more than $10, because that seems high for a whim. But I have yet to bid on any. Why does having a set of them make the "Cheval" mug better?

Maybe I'm trying to hide its importance to me by assembling an entire cupboard barnyard for it to become lost in. "Oh, that old thing? I have a whole set of them."

Or maybe I'm trying to display it more obviously. "Here, I have a whole set of these generous mugs. You take the cat one. I started collecting these all because of my horse mug. More coffee?"

I haven't yet figured it out, but until I do, I'll keep searching eBay, like every other confused soul trying to ressurect a memory.

Assembly required

Spent the morning putting together a bike. Actually found the hex wrenches in the garage! How was that possible? Finally have the brakes adjusted, the seat at the correct height, and the little flashy ringer bell on the handlebars.

Son hops on bike, pedals a large circle around the backyard, drops the bike at the back door and lopes inside for lunch.

I'm looking out at a bike box, little scraps of torn cardboard, scattered tools, and a pristine shiny candy-blue Schwinn. I'm proud of myself for having assembled it, but at the same time I wonder if I just wasted a morning which could have otherwise been spent reading the paper figuring out the details of the caliper brakes for a bike my son may never use.

I guess this means I'm going to have to, ugh, invite him on those "Let's exercise as a family!" outings I so despised as a kid. "Hey son," I'll loudly exclaim. "I'm heading out for a refreshing ride around the block on my bike. Wanna come along?"

Monday, August 01, 2005

Paging Sir Percy!!

Cleaning out bookshelves causes one to peruse the books tucked within. Upon finding a 1960 paperback edition of The Scarlet Pimpernel I flipped through the pages. I think I am now channelling Sir Percy.

All day I've been muttering to myself: "La!" "Zooks!" Truly it is most distracting.

But my favorite forgotten but now rediscovered line is when Marguerite discovers her husband, who is revealed to be the Scarlet Pimpernel, bound with rope on the floor. She falls upon him crying. I've been misquoting his response for years, but here it is in all its silly glory.

"La! m'dear," he rejoined good-humoredly, "we will both do that anon, an you think you can loosen these demmed ropes, and release me from my inelegant attitude."

Ha! Now if I can just get him out of my head. Oh well, I suppose he can take up residence for a spell. Odd's fish!