Thursday, May 15, 2014

Literary laxatives

Feeling a little gluttonous
[UPDATED because we hit 'publish' in a hurry without proper proofreading.]

Sorry about that title -- you're just lucky we didn't call it 'Miralax.' We were feeling a little ... stuck ... here at CathyBlogs, creatively speaking, so we're going to do a Five Things Friday a few hours early -- oh, Five Things Thursday sounds boring and not as alliterative, even if it is -- let's get caught up on stuff we've been doing.

1. Still reading Dante. We're only up to Canto VI (or should we say, down to Circle Three?). But we are appreciating the easy-reading translation of John Ciardi as well as the endnotes. One thing we're finding especially interesting -- the occasional references to popular culture and people of the time, which would be pretty opaque if not for the notes. We're looking forward to Canto VI, though, because it's about THE GLUTTONS. Our kind of people!

2. Also read, for book club, Wally Lamb's We Are Water. We admire Mr. Lamb's literary ability very much; his characters are alive, his plots dense and rich. He's really good at dialog. We would, if it were up to us, subtitle them all, 'We Are F*cked Up.' He does enjoy running through a laundry list of Dr. Phil-worthy problems.

3. Guess what we got to watch, finally -- Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing! And yes, we liked it very, very much -- the cast, the black and white, the humor. But we remembered an interview on NPR from way back when it was first released, and we were just waiting for this scene, and it did not disappoint:
MONTAGNE: Now, you filmed this in your home, which, by looking at the film, it's a large, beautiful house in Santa Monica. And there's one giggle-inducing moment where the two leads, Claudio and Benedick, they're talking about being a bachelor for life - that's Benedick - as they have walked into the room that they're going to stay in, which has two twin beds, and it looks like maybe your daughter's room?
WHEDON: That is in fact my daughter's room and it's one of the few moments where the black and white makes me sad because it is pink.
MONTAGNE: And you can tell, though, it's pink.
WHEDON: Well, the great thing about shooting in your own home is location scouting means walking around with a cup of tea going, hmm. And my daughter had that big doll house with those Barbies in it. So that was a perfect place for him to sit down in resignation when he finds out that Claudio wants to get married.
The closeup on the Barbies had us falling off the sofa.

4. One day last week, lost in the surfiness of a day's reading, was a list of ten most over-rated ... it was either bands or albums. And the Black Keys were on it, which we so disagreed with, for we love the Black Keys plus they are native Buckeyes (Akron). And we'd seen this interview on CBS Sunday Morning a couple of years ago and loved it. Then this week what happens? A new album from the Keys -- Turn Blue, and suddenly they are everywhere. Including on NPR Morning Edition, and we loved the Steve Green interview. And this:
INSKEEP: When you're writing about something sad that you want to get out, how does that work for you? Do you get it right on the first pass, or are you editing and changing a lot?
AUERBACH: I think it's really difficult. It's personal, but at the same time, you sort of feel like you have to do it — like you can't really do anything else until you get it out of the way, get it out of your mind. [Emphasis ours.] Music has always been something that I've loved deeply and that makes me feel great, but I've never actually relied on it for healing. And in this last year, music was very helpful to me.
5. We're still working on this:

Driving with Dante, Revision 4

Driving to work with Dante
we never arrive, we drive in circles.
Landscape that freezes, greens,
golds, dies, freezes, greens,
golds, dies.
Always the same miles,
eighteen somnolent miles,
morning edition miles;
miles of roadkill and road rage,
time clock miles,
stick it to the man miles --
lost miles. We have no
Virgil, and we are not
Beatrice; what do we worship
during these daily mass miles,
our routine sacrifice?
Journeyed and jaded in
our casual purgatory, we
drive and drive and forget to pray:

God help us.

Gotta balance the gluttony. Bon Iver was on that worst list too. Obviously, our taste sucks here at CathyBlogs. But you know that.

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