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"To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony."
--William Henry Channing

Hi there! Ok so I've lost track of time a bit. Has it been more then a week since I updated this thing? I TOLD youse guys to poke me when this happens but Nooooo.... Er anyway, things that have been happening since we last (spoke? wrote? ESP'ed?)

Well I'm almost done with my copy of Alison Weir's epic tale, The Life of Elizabeth I. Ok well its supposed to be non-fiction but the way her critics see her, you'd think she wrote Harlequin romances. :p This IS history, all, just history written so you can actually read it without falling asleep. It's a great book and I urge you to go out and steal (er, that is, BUY) yerselves a copy.

As for music, I've been wearing out my copy of a Neal Casal demo tape from '96. If you haven't heard of Neal then check out his website elsewhere on this site and buy every album he ever made. He truly is THAT good. I'd tell you to buy Demos 3/96 too, but hehe you CAN'T! MINE! All MINE! *evil cackling in the background*

Been websurfing (god help me) lately too and found this bit of genius on an old Orson Welles page. :>

"6/31/98 - "Citizen Kane" is named, yet again, the top film on an "all-time" best films list. This serves as the high water mark of an otherwise baldly money-grubbing move on the part of AFI (teaming with Blockbuster, who did for prospective film enthusiasts what McDonald's did for potential connoisseurs of deliberately, carefully-made cuisine: pre-emptively bludgeoned any semblance of discerning taste from their unsuspecting palettes). At least the Random House companion to this "Top 100 American Movies of the Century" - "Top 100 English-Language Novels of the Last 100 Years" - inspires people to do something proactive (namely **read** the books on the list) instead of simply renting the movie in question (if it's from Blockbuster, by the way, and is any good at all, it is most likely edited, or cropped to a pan-and-scan paucity of image that ensures one is not seeing the film as originally intended, anyway), and "watching" it.

You'll forgive me if I'm a little bitter. I'm still upset that an amalgamation of bloated, sea-soaked, rotting filmic-cliche-corpses such as form the entirety of "Titanic" has been compared favorably to the epic films of the past, and that the unholy masses of money it has, ahem, "earned" (and I use that term loosely) has occasioned near-uniform use of reverent tones when speaking of it and its director. You can pre-purchase your copy of the horrifying, 200-million-dollar beast-from-the-deep at a Blockbuster near you...and I blame the success of this "film" (again, another term used loosely) on the figurative palette-bludgeoning Blockbuster and its ilk have perpetrated on unsuspecting suburbanites everywhere. "

Mr. Welles couldn't have said it better, himself.

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"After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...."
- Veronica Shoffstall

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