Monday, October 31, 2011

Son of a Witch (A Third Time)

My push to read the Wicked Years books before "Out of Oz" is released tomorrow continues with my third reading of "Son of a Witch" (329 pages) by Gregory Maguire. My first and second impressions of the novel can be found here and here. As with my third reading of "Wicked" I thought I would just relate some quotes I jotted down as I read through the novel:

"The Witch had locked him in the kitchen with Nanny and that jittery Lion. Showing surprising resourcefulness for one so dotty, Nanny had driven the handle of a one-egg iron skillet into the rotten wood of the doorjamb. Getting the idea, Liir and the Lion gouged at the hinges until the door fell heavily inward." In fact this is not how events went down in "Wicked." It was Nanny who had lock Liir and the Lion in the kitchen as the Witch dealt with Dorothy. A false recollection by Liir or a mistake by the author?

"His voice sounded soothing, even hypnotic, but the prisoner crouching against a back wall scooched her bare feet underneath her skirts. Shell's boots drew near until he was standing flush against her. She moaned or whimpered, and her feet curled the farther under her skirts. Mercy was hard to accept, Lirr guessed. Shell's feet rocked from toe to heel, with a comforting rhythm, and his heels began to lift from the floor." Shell, the future Emporor Apostle, bounder of opiates and rape.

"A capacity for interiority in the growing adult is threatened by the temptation to squander that capacity ruthlessly, to revel in hollowness. The syndrome especially plagues anyone who lives behind a mask."

"In Quadling thinking, one plus one doesn't equal a single unit of two. One plus one equals both."

"His other talent, though, was a distillation of memory into something rich and urgent. He guessed, in the hours or years remaining to him, he would remember the effect of Trism clearly, without corruption, as a secret pulse held in a pocket somewhere behind the heart."

"Still smeared with her birth blood, and the watery beginning of her little feces. He took her to the doorway and held her up in the warm rain. She cleaned up green."

Up next, "A Lion Among Men."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicago Signs

Resistance is futile!

What happened to the first sixteen?

We call them speed bumps here in Mayberry. A new meaning for a quicky?

Sign over one of the bathrooms at Roscoe's. I couldn't decide if this was my entrance...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hang With Me

I haven't posted in a while as I was away on another trip to Chicago. I arrived back in Oklahoma City on Monday apparently bringing back with me the the plague. I've been in bed or on the sofa since. Bummer.

Song of the trip:

Picture of the trip:

I'll post some more once I'm feeling better...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National Coming Out Day

I'm out! As if there was any confusion to those who read this blog. I hope that anyone struggling to be open about their orientation has the courage to come out to their friends and/or family today; however, if it isn't something they can do right now, I'm down with that too. The only person one has to be true to is himself.

I've lived openly for so long I don't actually remember when it was I came out. I told my parents I was gay and they said "okay" and that was pretty much it. I've never had issues with any of my close friends or family in regards to my orientation. If anyone has had a problem with it they've kept it to themselves which is a wise decision on their part...

Happy Coming Out Day!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Wicked (A Third Time)

I've set out for the third year in a row to read the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire, starting of course with "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" (406 pages). I guess I'm ramping up for the fourth and final installment, "Out of Oz," due to hit stores November 1st. My first and second impressions of the novel can be found here and here. Rather than going over ground already covered in previous posts, I thought it would be fun just to list some quotes from the book that came to my attention.

Melena on Frex: "For a man who condemned worldly pleasures he ate with elegance. She loved to watch the arabesque of fingers and two forks. She suspected that beneath his righteous asceticism he possessed a hidden longing for the easy life."

"Perhaps, thought Nanny, little green Elphaba chose her own sex, and her own color, and to hell with her parents."

"'Perhaps our time here is limited,' said Frex, sighing with contentment and clasping his arms behind his head - the typical male response to happiness, thought Melena: to predict its demise."

"Galinda didn't see the verdant world through the glass of the carriage; she saw her own reflection instead. She had the nearsightedness of youth. She reasoned that because she was beautiful she was significant, though what she signified, and to whom, was not clear to her yet."

"Galinda always felt as if she couldn't see the whole picture. It was disconcerting, and to her credit at least Galinda felt inside herself the ripping apart of some valuable fabric - was it integrity? - when she sat in Madame Morrible's parlor and drank the perfect tea."

"I've told you before, I don't comprehend religion, although conviction is a concept I'm beginning to get. In any case, someone with a real religious conviction is, I propose, a religious convict, and deserves locking up."

Elphaba: "'I should say you'll look back on this summer and cringe. She may be lovely, Boq - no, she is lovely, I agree - but you're worth a dozen of her.' At his shocked expression she threw up her hands. 'Not to me! I don't mean me! Please, that stricken look! Spare me!'"

Elphaba: "I love you so much, Fiyero, you just don't understand: Being born with a talent or an inclination for goodness is the aberration."

Fiyero: "He did not approve of anarchy (well, he knew he was in lazy doubt about everything; doubt was much more energy efficient than conviction)."

"'What's your beef?' said the Cow, in a dark humor."

Nessie to Elphaba: "Well, you can have the shoes, my dear - over my dead body."

"The alien girl - she called herself Dorothy - was by virtue of survival elevated to living sainthood. The dog was merely annoying."

"And of the Witch? In the life of a Witch, there is no after, in the ever after of a Witch, there is no happily; in the story of a Witch, there is no afterword. Of that part that is beyond the life story, beyond the story of the life, there is - alas, or perhaps thank mercy - no telling. She was dead, dead and gone, and all that was left of her was the carapace of her reputation for malice."

"And there the wicked old Witch stayed for a good long time."
"And did she ever come out?"
"Not yet."

Again, one of my favorite reads, at least in the past three years. I enjoy it more and take more from the story with each reading.

Red River Shootout

Fall is in the air and that means it time for the annual Red River Shootout between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas! Being an Oklahoma State fan I really don't have a dog in this hunt but I do get so amused by the trash talking going on all week, especially on Facespace, between Sooner and Longhorn fans. I usually root for the Sooners since Texas is a vile, evil place and the home of George W. Bush. Here is an example of some of the things I've seen on Facespace this week, having predominately Oklahoma and Texas friends:

And my favorite courtesy of my friend Jason:

‎"And I shall de-horn the wicked." Psalm 75:10. BOOMER! SOONER!

Of course we all know who the best is...

Go Pokes!!

Football rivalries, one of the many small things that make life worth living!

Bible Thumping!

"Chickasha, Okla. -- Chickasha police arrest Justin Farley, who is accused of beating up his wife for not buying a Bible.

According to a police report, Farley punched his wife three times in the head and then choked her for not buying a Bible at a local Walmart store.

Police said Farley's wife claimed her husband likes to buy Bibles and then tear them apart.

Farley faces a domestic abuse charge, police said."
(You think?)


I have no words... Only in Oklahoma!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Storm of Swords

I've continued reading George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, just finishing the third installment, "A Storm of Swords" (1177 pages). From the back cover:

"Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

A Storm of Swords

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world....

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...."

So far "A Storm of Swords" is the best in the series as well as the lengthiest. Martin has created a universe that I literally can't put down with so many twists and turns that it's very hard to predict which direction the story or individual characters will take. This is a good thing. Very well written and deeply engrossing. Highly recommended. I can't wait to read "A Feast for Crows!"