My towel!

two women, one holding a towel with a picture of an elephant and the other holding a towel with a picture of a tiger

Sanguinity and I flew to Colorado for my mom’s 80th birthday. Mom was unwrapping some stored picture frames and found my tiger towel, and my sister’s elephant towel! They were gifts from my aunt, but I don’t remember that– in my memory I always had this towel, or at least since I was an infant with the towel that had a pocket in the corner to make a hood. Tiger and elephant hung in the bathroom.

That’s all there is to this story. I’m excited. My towel and I, reunited!


Neeble neeble neeble, neeble neeble— neeble neeble neeble neeble!!

LIZARD MUSIC broadcasting from east Portland
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Dream plus Wednesday reading plus movie news

ALL I wanted my dad to do was sign the Reba McIntyre CD so I could send it in and get… um, I don’t remember now. But he wouldn’t, suddenly he was saying it was like prostitution and pot-smoking. “It is NOT,” I said, thinking, how are those two things even alike except that they are illegal, which Reba’s disc deal clearly is not, and the only reason you’re conflating them is you’re a RULES-FOLLOWER. DAD.

And then the cat was licking my armpit so we got up to start another long day of thwarting and oppressing her.
I’m rereading The Golden Compass, and relishing the feeling of going slowly, and thinking and looking back at who said what in previous scenes, now that I don’t have to vicariously solve the plot right now by reading. I’m especially taken with the witches so far this time around, particularly in contrast to the daemons. I don’t remember it bothering me before, but the way the unsettled daemons have no conservation of mass (Pantalaimon is sometimes a moth, sometimes a porpoise) tips them too far away from actual animals for me. Then I start thinking about how they don’t interact like animals, and certainly don’t have social groups. Is an animal without its family group or ecosystem really truly that animal? Not quite, for me. It’s all a bit decorative.

The witches, however, are presented as not all one group, and they seem less of a foil to humans than the bears do. I sense complexity in the way they conduct their lives and politics in the natural world. Perhaps it’s this underlying connection that allows them to send their daemons farther away? I haven’t been in the north very long, so there is lots more to reread about them.
omg you guys, there’s a new documentary about Andre Gregory and it’s playing at the art museum on Friday night!

Nabokov Again

#omgyouguys! In today’s surf I found What Kind of Tree Is That (mis)attributed to Nabokov! Here it is via Robert Day in the September 5, 1993, Washington Post (Mr. Day notes that it’s probably apocryphal):

Nabokov. Vladimir. American novelist and literature professor who once had something like the following conversation with a student at Cornell University:

‘Mr. Nabokov, I want to be a writer.’ Nabokov looks up from his reading he points to a tree outside his office window.

‘What kind of tree is that?’ he asks the student.


‘What is the name of that tree?’ asks Nabokov. ‘The one outside my window.’

‘I don’t know,’says the student.

‘You’ll never be a writer.’ says Nabokov.

It’s like my literary dead boyfriend sent me a love note.

I’m also reading Cleaning Nabokov’s House, by Leslie Daniels. It has that extravagant, “throw it all in yes the kitchen sink too!” energy that I associate with some first novels (Virginia Lanier’s first bloodhound mystery Death in Bloodhound Red is a great example). And at least in stretches it’s stuffed with wit and wry insights at such a pace I have trouble taking them all in.

It’s a new release, but I ran across it by chance, so there’s that little thrill of added value too. Well, “by chance” with respect to Nabokov. I had been thinking about Diana Wynne Jones and how much I like to read about housecleaning, so I did a keyword search. I’d already read Esmerelda Santiago’s America’s Dream and the Blanche White mystery series by Barbara Neely; I put another mystery, Maid for Murder by Barbara Colley, on my library list.

Apparently Leslie Daniels really does live in a house the Nabokovs rented. I expect he’s her literary dead boyfriend too.