Downtown Palo Alto: More Liquid

Self went to see Hitchcock’s Vertigo at the Stanford Theatre in downtown Palo Alto. Of course she brought her camera because she was just itching to take pictures of things LIQUID for this week’s Photo Challenge.

The fountain in Peace Park was an obvious choice. But she is exceedingly fond of the vibrant colors of Essie Nail Polish lined up in a window she passed on University Avenue.


Corner of Emerson and University Avenue



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

We Meet Scylla: The Odyssey, Book 12

The Odyssey is the greatest adventure story ever told.

No other book she reads this year will come close.

Now to Scylla:

She has twelve dangling legs and six long necks
with a gruesome head on each, and in each face
three rows of crowded teeth, pregnant with death.
Her belly slumps inside the hollow cave;
she keeps her heads above the yawning chasm
and scopes around the rock, and hunts for fish.
She catches dolphins, seals, and sometimes even
enormous whales . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


The Odyssey: Book 10, The Winds and the Witch

One of the smallest stories follows. After the horror of the Cyclops and the magic spells of Circe, this counts as a very wee segue (but, by a strange coincidence, she’s at the point in The Amber Spyglass when Lyra and Will head for the Land of the Dead):

The youngest one — Elpenor was his name —
not very brave in war, not very smart,
was lying high up in the home of Circe,
apart from his companions, seeking coolness
since he was drunk. He heard the noise and bustle,
the movements of his friends, and jumped up quickly,
forgetting to climb down the lofty ladder.
He fell down crashing headlong from the roof,
and broke his neck, right at the spine. His spirit
went down to Hades.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lyra Silvertongue: The Amber Spyglass, p. 262

Lyra tells how Will Parry had


His Dark Materials, vol. 3: The Amber Spyglass, p. 261

fallen overboard as a baby from the side of his father’s ship and been washed up on a desolate shore, where a female wolf had suckled him and kept him alive.

The people ate up this nonsense with placid credulity and even the deaths crowded close to listen, perching on the bench or lying on the floor close by, gazing at her with their mild and courteous faces as she spun out the tale of her life with Will in the forest.

Sly Lyra knew Will was listening with rapt attention and it only spurred her on to greater heights of invention. Because this was the best part of her. And she was offering it to her truest companion and best friend.

Please please please please let there be a Will Parry in The Book of Dust trilogy. Just one teensy mention.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.



Also Still Reading: The Amber Spyglass, By Inches

pp. 263 – 264:

“I’ll tell you all about it,” said Lyra.

As she said that, as she took charge, part of her felt a little stream of pleasure rising upward in her breast like the bubbles in champagne.


Circe to Odysseus, Book 10 (“The Winds and the Witch”)

CIRCE to Odysseus:

Now sheathe your sword
and come to bed with me. Through making love
we may begin to trust each other more.

Holy cow, Circe! Could you dial it back a little?

Odysseus is suspicious, and rightly so:

How can you command me
to treat you gently, when you turned my men
to pigs . . .
so you can take my courage and my manhood
when you have got me naked? I refuse . . .

Wait, didn’t Hermes tell Odysseus NOT TO REFUSE CIRCE?

Odysseus, my man, you had one job. ONE job.

Stay tuned.

Further in The Odyssey, Book 10

Hermes to Odysseus:

Here, take this antidote to keep you safe
when you go into Circe’s house. Now I
will tell you all her lethal spells and tricks.
. . . She . . . will tell you
to sleep with her. Do not hold out against her —
she is a goddess.

Is Odysseus going to have to sleep his way home?

Faster than you can say “sexual harassment,” or #metoo . . .


Tell her to swear an oath by all the gods
that she will not plot further harm for you —
or while you have your clothes off, she may hurt you
unmanning you.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: The Odyssey, Book 10

Odysseus encounters Hermes, messenger of the gods:

He seemed an adolescent boy, the cutest age, when beards first start to grow.

Ka-boom for real: Hermes is a cutie.

Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: The Odyssey, Book 9

So they embarked, sat on their rowing benches,
and struck their oar blades in the whitening sea.

Self is so glad she decided to buy this book in hardcover, instead of checking out from the library! It’s the first time she experiences for herself the awesomeness of Odysseus. She is referring to the quickness of his mind.

The above sentence is the first that describes the sea as anything other than “wine-dark.” That one small detail gives the reader such a grasp of how furiously the men were rowing.

Kudos, Homer (or his co-writers)

Stay tuned.

Every Single Pirate Trope In Existence

Treasure Island, p. 72:

And the parrot would say, with great rapidity “Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!” till you wondered that it was not out of breath, or till John threw his handkerchief over the cage.



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