You are aware of all this, yes?
Okay. Maybe it's just me (and old age). But, between the kids' Autumn birthdays (and whatever celebrations they enable), school (and school holidays/breaks the administrators gleefully schedule), the candy coma of Halloween, the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, decorating the house with Christmas lights, tree and ornaments, Christmas vacation, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the accompanying and inevitable Christmas celebration mental breakdown, and New Year's Eve, the-year-is-already-over. And then it's,
Thank you, sir! May I have another?So, before all of this starts up, there's some end of the month housecleaning to be done.
BlogosphereThere's a reason I follow the people I do. Whether they specialize in books, movies, the arts, or life, they are all never boring and very often exceedingly creative and exceptional. And September was one of those kind of months. Of the first three, none other than author Sophie Littlefield happened to say about them (because I name-drop so shamelessly) in an email reply to me [wife: "You can be a pest... you know that."]:
Must say, you run with a great crowd. Those three friends you mention are all delightful and have been really kind to me.Jen of Jen's Book Thoughts has been building an extraordinary collection of memoirs from well known mystery and detective authors (and other very interesting people) this entire year. But what makes it quite so special, though, is that the collection includes just six words from each. Who can get away with that? This blogger, for one. For almost every week of this year, it's what I look forward to from this blogger. And today was no exception. And since I've met her in person earlier this year, I consider myself pretty lucky to call her my friend.
Same goes to the one known as the Pop Cultured Nerd. (PCN for short) She follows and comments on many aspects of the popular arts, and like Jen, consumes and covers an extraordinary amount of books and authors. I'm constantly amazed at the things both of these women do, and the amount of ground they cover (but then again, they are networking wonders). And yesterday she published a piece on the National Book Festival in D.C., and it was fantastic. Reason: her young nieces (8 and 11) did the reporting. It was an outstanding post that elicited the simultaneous reactions in me of feeling old and hopeful of the future because of the likes of these scary smart, amazing kids. [just as long as she or their mother keeps them out of my current field of work, says the insecure one]
Corey of The Drowning Machine also had an exceptional month. Though he began the Watery Grave Invitational in late August, it bloomed nicely come September. This unique contest of e-short stories (that the ol' Buckeye came up with) proved to be something that had great and unexpected results. [I say unexpected only because he had doubts - "I have this awful sinking feeling in the pit of the old tum-tum." I never did, of course (says the boastful one)] And with the top three including the likes of Hilary Davidson, Sophie Littlefield, and Keith Rawson, I highly recommend that people read the wonderful content that came out of this event.
Switching gears, this month also saw exceptional content from the movie bloggers Dennis Cozzalio, John Kenneth Muir, and J.D. These gentlemen cover so much great stuff in popular cinema. It's one of my favorite subjects [wife: "Obession is the better word for it."] From Dennis adding his own answers to one of his now famous movie quizzes that bring so much fun in follower participation, to the ongoing and insightful reflections by author JKM on film and TV (one of my favorites being a recent post on the best horror remakes so far), and finally the unforgettable look back by J.D. at 9/11 through the lens of Paul Greengrass' United 93, it was an uncommon month of wonderful output from a set of guys who make a habit of producing great stuff.
And finally, kudos go to Bev, Jen, and Corey for mentioning Banned Books Week in their blogs. One can't minimize this in our day and age.
MusicI don't know if it's schizophrenia setting in, but these were the last three music tracks I added to my iTunes library this month:
- Into The Night - (2007) Santana (featuring Chad Kroeger)
- Peter Gunn (Theme) - (1959) Henry Mancini
- Wedding Bell Blues - (1969) The Fifth Dimension
And I can't forget the generous Moondancer when it comes to music. She's the one who sends me props for my musical blips (but hers are ones that are worth following), and I thank her for it.
As well, since this was the month I did my annual Kill Bill fest (Vol. 1 & 2), I thought it would be a good idea to remind those that care that the much rumored Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair still remains missing in action. However, the good news is the DVD may finally be in the offing. And if you're a fan of the music used by Mr. Tarantino on his soundtracks, the song Urami Bushi (sung by Meiko Kaji of Lady Snowblood fame) has special meaning for fans of both films. So, if you don't understand Japanese, here are the translated (noirish) lyrics for that song (aka The Grudge Blues):
You're beautiful, you're the flower, he praises you.
But if you bloom, he will get you scattered.
Stupid. So stupid.
I go so stupid singin' my grudge blues.
You can accept your pitiful fate.
But when you cry, he'll make you cry more.
Women, oh women,
It's women's tears that makes my grudge blues.
I hate you. Full of regret, never forgiven.
Try to erase my memory, but cannot forget you.
It never ends, never,
It never ends, 'cause that's my grudge blues.
They say it's a dream, embers of one-sided attachment,
laughing at you.
So you decide to wake up, but fear to be fully awake.
Women, oh women,
Women's soul beats on my grudge blues.
Crimson roses have its sharp thorns.
Don't wanna hurt you, but have to stab you with my thorn.
Burning, it's burning,
It keeps on burning within my grudge blues.
No flower would bloom on my dead body.
So I will live along hanging on my grudge.
Women, oh women,
My woman's life belongs to my grudge blues.
FamilyI know I'm going to hear it for putting this down in the order, but did I happen to mention that I love my wife? Not only is she the mother of two of the most beautiful children I know, but she gives the absolutely best belated birthday presents that I know of. And with the exception of a few gray hairs (which she is justly proud of, I might add), she is the same beautiful woman I married more than 20 years ago - and which still garners me envious looks from a bunch of guys around town :-p
MiscellaneousAuthor Sophie Littlefield (there she is again in this post? Stalker Alert!) is someone I've been hoping to meet over the summer when she was book touring for A Bad Day for Sorry. Jen, PCN, and Corey all spoke highly of her breakthrough debut of said novel. Naturally, I missed every single one of her southland appearances. Luckily, the West Hollywood Book Fair (where the heck did this come from?) is going to bail me out this weekend. She'll be in town to attend the Take Back The Night: Feminism and Powerful Women in Fiction panel. And did I happen to mention authors Gregg Hurwitz and Charlie Huston will also be there? Makes for not a bad set of content covers, huh?
"Now... where was I?"
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