My First Seance

My first seance was back in middle school.  My friend Amanda lived in a big old run-down Victorian which I still dream about (though, in my dreams, it’s much bigger and I find that my dreams have infected my memory and so I can’t say for sure which parts are real and which parts are made-up when I try to remember it, even though I spent many, many days there).

Anyway, Amanda would have these sprawling slumber parties, with like twenty girls, and we would all sit in her living room in the dark in a circle trying to call forth spirits.  I so distinctly remember that, but I can’t remember if it ever worked.

We’d also put each other in trances, by rubbing on each other’s temples or eyes, and making the person being put in the trance count down from fifty and, if they started to mess up their counting, we knew they were in a trance and we’d pepper them with questions about which boys they liked and which girls they secretly hated.

I was just thinking about how telling that was, that the big mysterious things we had to put ourselves in some kind of woo-woo state to attempt to navigate were the dead (Death being, I think, the first ancient power we feel tempted to mess with) and the complex interiour lives of our friends.  Do you really like me?  Are you just pretending?  Things we couldn’t quite articulate in the light of day, we found an outlet for there in the dark.

It’s a hard age and one I navigated about as well as a blind hippopotamus, which I guess is how we all are.  I look at SuperMousey and her friends and it seems just as weird and difficult as I remember.

They wanted to me to come in and help them work the Ouija board, because they couldn’t get it to move.  So, I did and it did and they were all convinced I was moving it.

And, well, yeah, duh, that’s how it works.  It just disappointed me that I couldn’t get them to move the planchette if I wasn’t touching it.

Still, it was pretty entertaining.  The kids asked the “spirit” where it was buried and it said, “The ground.”

The Play’s The Thing

Andrew Sullivan’s reporting that that dink, Jonathan Franzen says

Yes, in theory, words are words. But literature isn’t data. The difference between Shakespeare on a BlackBerry and Shakespeare in the Arden Edition is like the difference between vows taken in a shoe store and vows taken in cathedral

which just goes to show you what a wrong-headed elitist dink said dink, Jonathan Franzen, is, because anyone who believes that the essense of Shakespeare is found in the pages of the Arden Edition is not only missing the forest for the trees, he’s missing the god damn trees.

You want Shakespeare, you go see Shakespeare performed.

He was, after all, a playwrite.

Edited to add:  I appear to not be the only person who noticed that Franzen doesn’t, apparently, understand how plays work.

Like that O Henry Story But Without the Artistry

Y’all I have been on fire in the gift buying department this year.  I have bought gifts so perfect for the people on my list that I fully intend to spend the next two weeks having to fend off the dreaded dry-no-lip-relative-mouth kiss.  You know the one, where they don’t really want to kiss you and you don’t really want to kiss them, but it seems like a kiss is necessary because of the awesomeness of the event and so they come at you with the smallest lip surface available, the rest rolled back into their mouth and so you end up in more of some kind of weird nose-poking-face set-up than some actual kiss?

And so, I purchased for the Butcher “God of War 2,” which I have been assured, both by him and the internet, is the most awesome game ever and a fitting end to the PlayStation 2.

Well, I guess so, because the second the Butcher put it in the Playstation (yes, we exchanged gifts a week and a half ago), the PlayStation refused to work.

Bah Humbug.

He has, however, taken it over to various other PlayStation 2s and assures me that it is the most awesome game ever, ever, ever.  If anyone knows any tricks for ressurecting a PS2, I’d love to hear them.