Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

cheating, sort of...
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the littlest bit guilty

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Well, it's not really cheating if you break over and go to dinner at a restaurant that has a whole section of the menu devoted to stuff that is okay on your diet. God bless the South Beach menu at Natasha's, which also has a wonderful little gift shop (also online at that link) where we got about a third of X-mas gifting done. Yay!

There were several noteworthy stories today by my count--none of them involving Saddam Hussein, because I suspect that you, like me, are getting enough of that elsewhere.

So, quickly... and I apologize cause there are a few articles today, but all worth your time.

Laura Miller with an interesting column on Peter Pan in the NYTimes Book Review. Puts the whole story in a slightly different light, or at least it did for me, as I knew very little of Barrie's backstory.

And a Washington Post travel piece about visiting Tolkien's old stomping grounds. I particularly liked this part and excuse me if everyone in the SF world but me knew this already... It's sweet:

Signs led me past characterless tombstones to Tolkien's. With a thick headstone and a stone border framing a rectangle of rosemary, pansies and roses, his and Edith's grave resembled a bed. Some fans had left offerings: a candle, a wooden rosary, a jeweled barrette. In raised black letters on the flecked granite tomb is the inscription:

Edith Mary Tolkien



John Ronald

Reuel Tolkien



"Luthien" and "Beren"? They are heroes of a 1917 fairy-story Tolkien wrote about a mortal man who falls for an immortal elven-maiden. This theme bloomed later, in "The Lord of the Rings," between the characters Arwen and Aragorn.

We have our seven o'clock showing tickets already (do you?), and I am so jealous of the people I know in LA who have already seen ROTK--and I've heard with a Q and A by the director after. I really have to sell a script.


It seems there's a new theory about the eruption of Krakatoa inspiring the sky in the famous Edvard Munch painting "The Scream." This whole piece is fascinating. I love it when modern day practicioners play old school detective, like that great BOSWELL AND THE CLAP book where doctors pieced together maladies of famous types from diaries and accounts.

A little snippet of the volcano piece, with Munch's own words:

Munch himself described how the painting was inspired by a brilliant sunset. In one version of a prose poem written to accompany "The Scream," Munch recollected:
"I was walking along the road with two friends -then the Sun set - all at once the sky became blood red - and I felt overcome with melancholy. I stood still and leaned against the railing, dead tired - clouds like blood and tongues of fire hung above the blue-black fjord and the city. My friends went on, and I stood alone, trembling with anxiety. I felt a great, unending scream piercing through nature." But Munch left little hint as to when and where this life-changing experience took place.


On Aug. 27, 1883, Krakatau exploded with unmatched ferocity. The eruption obliterated most of the island and sent huge tsunamis racing for thousands of miles across the ocean, killing nearly 40,000 people. Barometers recorded shock waves from the explosion traversing the planet seven times. And a thick pall of ash and dust rose skyward, eventually encircling the globe. Sunlight reflecting off particles in the atmosphere tinges sunsets redder than normal; this is why smoke from wildfires can produce such spectacular sunsets. After Krakatau exploded, skywatchers began reporting crimson skies appearing ever farther north as the ash and dust spread out.

The most beautiful, apocalyptic sky I've ever seen was driving along a coast road on Maui in a convertible, very early in the morning. Lorraine and I thought the world had ended and someone had forgotten to tell us. The sky was unbelievably billowing, and multi-hued, like spray-painting on clouds. After 15 minutes of driving into this ever more impressive display, with only our sleep deprivation to keep us from completely freaking out, we found the source. A sugarcane field was on fire.

earworm: "Que Sera," Cake

random rec: "Medea," Euripedes

namecheck: The Fabulous "Meet Me in Maui" Lorraine

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