I am talking about books

Julie is a lifesaver. She asked me to answer some questions about my reading habits yesterday afternoon. Her timing was excellent because I tanked a ranty post. Some of you are sick so I would rather cheer you up. I have some options: (a) read this post (b) listen to the music (c) type any off topic comment. Or do all three.

I had to keep my eyes closed for most of the day because of a migraine, so I’m squinting and prepping this. And now, a word from our sponsor. Art of War, performed by Vanessa Mae, courtesy Ionna Pianissimo via YouTube.

(I am) talking about Books
The Q’s & A’s

You have 20,000 books on your iPad. How do you decide what to read next? That is impossible. I have tried to download every work from every classical French poet and novelist but there aren’t that many texts available. I regularly meet for after work tea with a colleague who needs her French poetry fix, so I need to have the works in digital format. Twangent allez tu? (I just made that up).

You’re halfway through a book and not loving it. Do you quit or commit? Toss.

The end of the year is around the corner and you are far from finishing your GoodReads challenge. Do you quit or commit? Why does everything have homework? You know there are textbooks for married couples, so they can get a degree in how to be married? I’ve even read about a girl who has a breakup plan and a two month evaluation clause in her relationship contract with her boyfriend. (I’m not introducing you.)

Painting of Queen Victoria in full regaliaQueen Victoria. Image courtesy article on Victoria’s Scottish secrety,
via The Daily Beast.  Her biography, A Personal History, was a very good read.

The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. I usually cover my books. I prefer to read the book rather than judge it by the cover.

Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? My subscribers, who are very smart about hating on stuff and are more eloquent ranters. I once used my Amazon account for sharing feelings. However, no one cared that the autobiography of the Arab princess was fake.

You’re reading a book and you’re about to start crying in public. How do you deal? Cry. I like the runny eyeshadow look. I like to mix colours just in case. (Reliq Minerals aubergine and mud pie). Also, I would be completely invisible under sunglasses the size of my face.

Helena Bonham Carter via Vlad Rodriguez @ Pinterest

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot. Will you re-read the book? Highly unlikely I’ll read a sequel of anything. Unless Alexandre Dumas writes a spicy follow up to The Count of Monte Cristo on his secret blog. I know what you’re driving at and no, I did not make it past chapter six of 50SOG.

You don’t want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people “no”? I don’t mind lending my books out. Many people ask to have my books, so I sign and gift them over. If someone finds my taste in books intriguing, I take that as a compliment. One exception is a Verdi (Requiem) libretto, which is an early edition. It’s stashed away safely somewhere. (I have no idea where it is).

You’ve picked up and put down five different books in the past month. How do you get over the reading slump? I don’t have a slump because I’m a voracious reader.

There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy? Everything I want to read is so old, I can download them free from the iBook store.

After you’ve bought a new book, how long does it sit on your shelf until you actually read it? You mean, how long do books sit in the box until I stumble over it, while cleaning, only to realise that I bought a box of books and forgot to open the box?

** FIN **

One of these days

One of these days

Her soulmate waits for “high school days”
and juggles his mind’s song
while she tends her heart’s fire
with standard oil
until that blessed moment
when he pitches forwards
(and clicks)
hors de fosse
into this void

(One of these days)

Faux pas

If Kublai Khan were to see my hair today (92% humidity), he would mistake me for a cave dweller. Do not be misled, Kublai. I am a purist and a snob. I am a vain, stuck up precisionist who was raised by a Debrett’s handbook.

I once torpedoed plans to fund a small wedding party for a recently married colleague. I objected because he invited part time staff to his wedding. However, he snubbed full time, worked to the bone six days a week staff. He did not follow protocol and inform his boss. He kept it a secret from the persons who covered for him when he missed work.

The Monday following nuptials by the lake, the Photo Album was flopped on my desk. As I thumbed through it, you should have seen the faux smile on my face. It was priceless. But he still hadn’t told me he was now married, so I did not congratulate him.

Victoria Beckham. I have two versions of that dress in grey.
Photo credit: Pop Sugar.

Snobs resemble prudes to a degree. But prudes are predictable and rigid across the board. You know what they’ll disapprove of. To succeed as a snob, you need double standards and these must fluctuate unpredictably.

For example…

Thanks to Marc Jacobs’ final rule bending antics at Louis Vuitton, I now have a collection of dresses that could pass for nightgowns or underwear. I have also been outdoors looking like this:

 Alexander McQueen Photo credit: Vanity Fair, Italy.

Ask my wine club. And yes, it is appropriate for male guests to remove their clothing after a few glasses of Riesling. I won a pair of neon pink lace briefs in the lottery at the last gathering. The morning after, my inbox was flooded with requests to see me wearing them. That was everyone’s way of thanking me for a fun evening out.

Does this view pop your tart?


A facsimile of mornings in my office. Nail polish is banned, but this goes unnoticed. 

Photo credit: Star FM, Australia.

Because I’m a snob and have double standards, this will not pass. Not at 08:13 in the morning, when my eyes have just started to focus.

Hitmen

Abyss Brain
This meeting will now convene. First on the hit list is Mrs McLeod. Rob?

Rob
Thank you. The request to cancel Mrs McLeod came to my attention from a neighbour who is allergic to E. She complained about Mrs McLeod’s cello playing after 21 o’clock on week nights.

Abyss Brain
Questions?

HB
May I? What are the decibel measurements of each practice session?

Rob
Thank you for these questions, H. Well, the neighbour said the sound of E flat on the cello was annoying.

Jarrod C
Pardon me. For section D-17 of the Cancel Request Form, the distance travelled must not exceed 40 km from base. Google Maps says your home base is exactly 41.2 km away from the target. Also, you did not clearly describe your disposal method at C-5 or equipment at C-8 on the form.

Rob
Yahoo Maps disagrees by 3 km. And “throw her under the bus” seems clear to me.

Abyss Brain
Keep calm and let’s vote, please. All in favour of cancelling Mrs McLeod … 1, 2, 3… All against … 4, 5, 6… Abstaining… 7, 8, 9… We’re in a standoff.

Matt
May I? We should have a playoff. Mrs McLeod versus one of us?

Abyss Brain
Ruth Ann, you abstained. You’re up. Rob? You and V Publica will pick up the target 13 hours prior to the recital.

Rob
Not a problem. I have a pair of sequin shorts that will stun her.

Abyss Brain
All in favour…  Unanimous. Good. We reconvene in 14 hours. Now, let us move on to the next target.

++

Practice session, a few hours later

Bach Prelude from Suite I
Performed by Ruth Ann Scanzillo

Ashes

Rings
chime to reveal
all revellers unmasked
silk stockings are tokens; salvation’s the ask
tween sips from elixirs
dispensers scream chants
as ashes ascend
from bonfire’s
trance

**

Ashes x SB
with photography by Stephen Day

I would like to thank Stephen Day at the Iconophile for sharing this mesmerising photograph. It accompanied his reflection, He says: D for Disguise. I could hear a song chiming from a distance and I sat down on Monday afternoon to invite it in. Please tune in to Stephen’s blog for more art magic.