November 11th, 2006

bear by san

elevenses

Brian W. Aldiss offers a field guide to being 80.



And I know I do this every year, but it's the sort of thing that it never hurts to do again.

Kurt Vonnegut on Armistice Day:

So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time to November eleventh, nineteen hundred and twenty-two.

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.

--Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions



Happy 84th birthday, Mr. Vonnegut.


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phil ochs troubador

Ladies, don't believe what a bad fella tells you, though his eyes be blue or brown--

Gotta figure out what I'm doing wrong with the way I'm holding my left wrist before I do myself a permanent injury. Or maybe it's just training the muscles to adapt to that position. Or, you know, I could start actually using the stool when I practice. That might be smart.

My big triumphs for today: I managed to switch between strumming patterns without bitching it up completely, I got a F major to ring almost clearly (once, out of about twenty tries), and I managed to count beats, sing, handle chord changes, and strum for about four whole bars simultaneously. Admittedly, the song in question was "Horse with no Name," which might in fact be too simple to actually count as a song for any practical purposes, consisting of two chords which involve shifting two fingers exactly one string. But I will take what I can get.

What's interesting is that, in learning a new skill as an adult, I can *see* myself learning. The other day, driving to archery practice, I caught myself humming along to a strumming pattern of a song that was on the radio. A month ago, I wouldn't even have noticed that, but my brain knows what it is now and is paying attention. That's kind of neat. I like it when I catch my brain working. It's interesting.

Well, okay, I have three hours before I have to be in Glastonbury. I guess I should write.

Why *is* this damned novelette/novella taking so long? You would think I would be done now: it seems like I've been writing it for weeks.

Oh, right: there was a convention in the middle there, wasn't there?

...guess I also better figure out what happens next....

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evile overbear

the issue is....

I can't write any more of this story until I figure out this one plot point that eludes me. Which is annoying, because I have everything else sorted, at this point.

hmm.

I think I'll read some more of the Roach book and then have a nap and then go to the party I am supposed to go to this afternoon. And maybe my brain will fix it for me by tomorrow.

If not, I will go for a walk. Walks fix any number of stuck plots.