Posts Tagged ‘rain’

Dickens December: Weather very stormy

December 18, 2010

Looks like we’re in for nasty weather in my neck of the woods.


Tuesday, 5th October 1852
Hotel des Bains, Boulogne.


WEATHER.
Very stormy, and a prodigious sea running.

“BLEAK HOUSE.”
Just begun.


Remembrances to Mrs. Willis and you from my two ladies.

(Charles Dickens. Letter to William Henry Willis.)

Is it Bleak House for which Dickens was paid by the word? Or is that just an urban legend? — I mean, as “urban” a legend as it is possible for gossip about Charles Dickens to be termed.

E.E. Cummings Month: Inaugural Edition and an explanation

July 31, 2010

Welcome to E.E. Cummings* month.


via.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near


your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose


via.

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;


nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing


(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

(E.E. Cummings, “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond.” ** 1931.)

The last line is my favorite. It is sort of aching and bittersweet because I find it beautiful but also sad in that I’m lonely. But here is why I like it. Drops of rain themselves are so small and simple and ought change nothing but in numbers and with insistence they can unstoppably drench everything around them and produce a deluge: that’s a great metaphor for love, which starts with such a small thing like a smile or a handshake and then increases itself even within minutes to become this powerful force that changes what your world was up until that point. Like rain. Does this make sense? I feel like I might have stopped making sense.

*I had always been put off by the lowercase “e.e. cummings” that you encounter in anthologies and the like because it seemed a little dramatic and juvenile, kind of put-on, but I’ve recently found that Cummings signed all his work “E.E. Cummings,” and used the capitalized form professionally and with his peers, and that the lowercase with which we are familiar was a result of several misconceptions at the publishing level which were given shockingly wide dissemination even after having been proven false.


Example of his signature.

There is a good and thorough story about it here, written by Norman Friedman, a writer, critic, and close friend of Cummings and his common-law wife, Marion Morehouse, which includes specific comments from Ms. Morehouse indicating her opinion that the widespread use of her deceased’s husband’s name in lowercase was inaccurate idiocy and asking her friend to intercede with the publishers to remove factual errors from the preface about him having legally changed his name to “e.e. cummings” and have it capitalized on the spine and jacket as well as within. Mr. Friedman wrote a follow-up article three years later, voicing his distress that the error has not been widely corrected and calling the inaccurate lowercase usage “cutesy-pooh” and “pure nonsense.”


Does this look like a dude who would go in for “cutesy-pooh” nonsense? No.

Mr. Friedman also uncovered in the years between the two articles a request from an editor while Cummings was alive asking in what case to set Cummings’ name on a book cover: how should it appear? because he understood the poet to prefer a lack of capitals. Cummings replied, quote, “E.E. Cummings.” Done deal in my book.

At any rate, I’m so glad to shake off of him the dust of what I had always feared was pretentiousness! So I’m capping his name all month and have retconned*** past lowercase usage into uppercase, is the main thing.

**Untitled works — and Cummings seldom used titles — are referred to by their opening line.

***Retcon: retroactive continuity, a term used mainly in comics and speculative fiction which I explained in better detail in my Music Moment entry on Julie Nunes.

Valentine Vixen — Cherie Witter, Miss February 1985

February 24, 2010

The lovely and talented Cherie Witter was a seasoned model by the time she posed for Playboy as Miss February 1985, and I’m happy to report she was born in the same neck of the deep dark crick gypsy needleleaf rainforest as myself!


Photographed by Richard Fegley and Arny Freytag.

Modeling takes, as Cherie would say, “a major amount” of dedication. Especially in an area that’s somewhat off the beaten track for the fashion industry. The towns where Cherie grew up — Marysville, Everett, Edmonds, Bellevue — appear only on fairly detailed maps of the hilly farm and forest land, lakes and seashores surrounding Seattle. (“Cherie On Top,” Playboy, February 1985.)


Although it’s a picturesque area, it hasn’t been a center of fashion since the boom days of the Klondike gold rush. Of course, few people today wear miners’ boots. And with the gold all but played out, people in Seattle have been forced to build ships and planes, catch fish and harvest timber. (Ibid.)

Erm, that’s a fairly inaccurate depiction of the history of the Pacific Northwest (did they seriously leave out Lewis and Clark? and how on earth was any part of the Klondike Gold Rush to do with fashion? it was dudes in flannel and gumboots, my friend, and whores in eight layers of clothes against the cold — read Call of the Wild, dumbasses), but I’ll take it.

The rest of my family being born where our deep roots lay, in Northeastern Washington and the very far north woods of Idaho, makes me very smug and proprietary about the Puget Sound — I believe only my cousin Richie shares the coast of Washington as our birthplace, among the, like seventy of us cousins and our kids. Rich was born in Marysville and I was born in Bremerton.

I found a very dicey and suspicious fan tribute page to Ms. Witter on the myspace which looked too scammy for me to link to, but I found her legit facebook and will share only that she now lives in a really gorgeous town further up the Puget Sound called Mukilteo. I’ve been through it only once in my grown-up memory, but it’s beautiful country — a lot of the landscape cinematography and ferry scene stuff for the American film version of The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2003) was shot around the area.

Knowing the proximity of Mukilteo to Bremerton, up in that there ol’ Sound, I decided to test Google’s ability to use the ferry system in its directions. The Sound consists of dozens and dozens of peninsulas and islands connected by a spotty system of bridges which span the “narrows” —our colloquial term for straits of water slim enough across so you can see one another’s buildings but deep and riptidey enough that if you drove you’d sink and if you swum you’d drown— but it’s often quicker to shoot around on the reasonably efficient ferry transit system.

Also, you can see orca whales. I’m not kidding. It’s amazing. They come right around either side of the boat in good-sized pods and circle and flip and do all kinds of shit. They are kind of show-offs. They scared the heck out of me when I was a kid because of their teeth, though.

So I typed in a query for directions from Mukilteo to Bremerton in Google and … FAIL. Google maps and driving directions, on the first shot out of the gate, told me to drive a crazy-stupid-lengthy route around I-5S to 16-W, the lonnnng way, from Mukilteo to Bremerton. This is extra stupid, because anyone who lives in the area will tell you Mukilteo is a pretty popular transport hub for the ferries.


If Ms. Witter weren’t so beautiful, this would hecka just look like one of those cheap Glamourshots from the mall, yes?

But I will give the site credit for eventually recommending the way I would’ve instinctively gone, which is to drive down to Lynnwood and Edmonds, take the Kingston-Edmonds ferry, get to the Kitsap Peninsula, then drive 104 to 3 into Bremerton. Duh. (Sarcasm.) Look, I don’t get to be “smarter” than google very often, so give me my moment! Speaking of smart, Ms. Witter had this to say about people’s perceptions of her intelligence based on her looks, an important lesson in not judging, no matter whether the subject of your judgment is, in your estimation “a dork,” or a beautiful idiot:


Oh my saltines, so dang adorable.

“I feel as if, at times in my life, I’ve been fighting what I have on the outside. I feel that, when people meet me, I don’t really have a chance to let them know what I’m about, or to prove that I’m worth knowning. And I don’t like having to prove that to people.

“But a lot of people who meet me are surprised. And they tell me they’re surprised; that’s what’s funny about it — they’re honest. They say, ‘I’m surprised, really surprised that you have not only your looks but you have something upstairs too.’ I like that.” (Ibid.)


What? She has a slicker on. Get off her back. Totally de rigeur apple picking attire. Perfectly normal.

In one of those great little coincidences that somehow abound in the small world of Playboy (the more you investigate the playmates, the more fun connections pop up), here’s a brief cross-pollenation note about the cover of Ms. Witter’s centerfold issue:


Also, please note the interview with then-29-year-old Steve Jobs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “the articles are interesting” is more than just a timeworn excuse for ogling titties.

The brain-asplodin’ly cute model posing in the chaps and spurs is the lovely and talented Julie Michelle McCullough, who appeared in the “Girls of Texas” spread in this issue of Playboy and returned a year later to headline her own spread as Miss February 1986. And guess who was on her cover that February issue one year later?


(you have already seen this picture but I’m posting it again for comparison’s sake)

Cherie Witter! I guess they have each other “covered”? Cherry pop tarts, I sure hope for all our sakes that’s the worst pun I make today. But no promises. Anyway, how about that? Pretty great. Stand-up comic and good-time gal Julie is one of my all time faves, so here’s another link to the feisty “funny bunny,” who, just like Ms. Witter and so many of the great playmates I’ve gotten to highlight this month, is walking and talking proof that beauty and brains aren’t mutually exclusive.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Rain and Hope edition

January 20, 2010

Music Moment: The Beatles, “Rain”

January 19, 2010

The Beatles — Rain

Thy fate is the common fate of all;
Into each life, some rain must fall. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Longfellow also said, “The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.” I’m trying very hard to internalize that message.


I took this. About a year ago. With my Diana F+. It was the first roll I shot with it, and almost all the rest turned out wretched.

This track by the Beatles was the B-side to “Paperback Writer.” It is noteworthy for being one of the first songs to use backward vocals. The final lines feature the first verse sung backward, with “Raiiiin” as a chorus over the top.


“I fell in love with an alien” by vampire_zombie on deviantart.

If the rain comes, they run and hide their heads.
They might as well be dead.
If the rain comes,
if the rain comes.


When the sun shines they slip into the shade
(When the sun shines down.)
And sip their lemonade.
(When the sun shines down.)
When the sun shines,
when the sun shines.


Rain, I don't mind.
Shine, the world looks fine.


I can show you that when it starts to rain,
(When the Rain comes down.)
Everything's the same.
(When the Rain comes down.)
I can show you, I can show you.


Rain, I don't mind.
Shine, the world looks fine.


Can you hear me, that when it rain and shines,
(When it rains and shines.)
It's just a state of mind?
(When it rains and shines.)


Can you hear me, can you hear me?
If the rain comes they run and hide their heads.


One of the other, like, three pictures that turned out.

sdaeh rieht edih dna nur yeht semoc niar eht fI.
(Rain)


niaR.
(Rain)
enihsnuS.


And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. (Gilbert K. Chesterton)


Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.
(Saint Basil the Great)


I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge? (Douglas Adams)


It ain’t no use to grumble and complain;
It’s jest as cheap and easy to rejoice;
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain,
Why, rain’s my choice.
(James Whitcomb Riley)


Photographed by Nirrimi Hakanson on facebook, via ffffound.
I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies. (Eden Ahbez)


He covers the sky with clouds, he supplies the earth with rain,
and maketh the grass grow on the hills. (Psalms 147:8)


Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain. (Langston Hughes)

Looking for upsides. How about this? Shit week, yes, but hey, free car wash.

Tut, tut. It looks like rain.

September 12, 2009

I am completely undeterred in my plan to bus and hoof it all weekend. Bring it on, water cycle; I got a kickass red umbrella which I have been trying to lose and grieve over for practically forever! (It’s so unlike me to actually hold on to something that I love so well that this streak of keeping track of my red umbrella is beginning to freak me out.)

This weather is just the excuse I’ve been waiting for to finally bust out my ruby slipper chux. Last night I dreamt briefly that I had a Holga (in actuality I have a diana f+) and I was futilely attempting to take pictures of a rainbow, but I kept jacking it up I was sure, and I said in the dream to my friend that the problem with Lomo was that I could not tell how the pictures came out until they were developed, but that at the same time I loved that. Now I know why I dreamt of rainbows: it’s raining today! So let’s do this!