Required Reading
Cap'n Flynn (deviantART)
Cap'n Flynn's Salty Sea Chest

The Unveiled Clepsydra

The Voyage to Ruin
Catholic Works
Aliens in This World
Apologize and Don't Be Sorry!
Catholic Ragemonkey
De Fidei Oboedientia
Doubleshot Thoughts
E-Pression (Zorak)
Flos Carmeli
For Keats' Sake!
Happy Catholic
John C. Wright's Journal
Old Oligarch's Painted Stoa
Scuffulans hirsutus
Shrine of the Holy Whapping
Summa Mamas, The
Troglodyte, The
The Stacks
Basia me, Catholica Sum
Corner, The
Fiat Lux!
I Am the Lizard Queen!
The Kawaii Menace
James Lileks
Wasted Words
Weirdsville, USA
8-Bit Theater
Get Fuzzy
Sluggy Freelance
xkcd: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language
One Guy's Opinion
Dark Echo
Reference Materials
Catholic Culture: Liturgical Year
The Holy See
Invisible Children
New Advent
The Rosary Confraternity
Anglican Use Society
Book of Divine Worship
Pastoral Provision
Saint Mary The Virgin Catholic Church
Chambers' Book of Days
King's American Dispensatory
The Writer's Den
Jim Butcher
Bruce Campbell
Susanna Clarke
Harlan Ellison
Stephen King
Lit Gothic
The Studio
Jeff Matsuda
Moby Dick, the Movie
The Conservatory
David Bowie
Dougie MacLean
Gaming FM
Great Big Sea
Kate Rusby
The Myriad
Nickel Creek
The Recliners
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29 October 2004
Test Your Horror Movie Knowledge
How could I, of all people, resist

Happy to report that I actually managed to ace the quiz, too.

Thanks for taking our quiz. You answered 100% of the questions correctly. Excellent. Memorize the telephone number of your local civil defense agency – because if there’s ever a plague of undead carnivorous zombies, only people with your high level of horror-movie knowledge can save civilization.

Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:44 AM
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Quoth the Wolf (Halloween Edition)
With the holiday looming, I thought I'd put up a little trilogy of terror.

We have murders in New York without benefit of ghouls and goblins.

He got me, Charley! He bit me! You know what you're gonna have to do now, don't you? Kill me. Kill me, Charley--before I turn into a vampire, and ... give you a hickey!

They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching ... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly...."
Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:37 AM
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27 October 2004
Long Days and Pleasant Nights
I finally finished Stephen King's The Dark Tower last week, and though I'll say little on it, I wanted to again urge those who've not yet encountered the series to consider hopping on for the ride. No spoilers to worry about here, so for the one person I know to be mid-series, feel free to read on.

Stephen King himself has said that he's not entirely happy with the way things have worked out in the story, but that what he's written is the right ending. It's an important distinction that I reckon a good number of people who do not write regularly themselves would find hard to understand. There've grown two major camps of lit critics in the last century (bear with me here--it's been an age since I've delved into the academic side of these things, and my knowledge is way rusty; I'm certain one could talk all day about the various "camps" of criticism, but as I find lit crit pretty much useless, I'm only going to focus on what I see as the two major views of how stories come to be). There are those who believe that the author is essentially God, knowing all aspects and nuances of the story he's creating, controlling all, seeing all. And then there are those who believe the author is no more than a conduit for the story, that he is a tool which is completely divorced from the process and design. As with all extremes, these both touch on the truth without quite grasping the whole. I believe (as, apparently, does King) that it's a bit of both. The story drives itself along, often heading in directions the author does not expect, but there are also many areas where a story might stop dead if the author doesn't exert a bit of his own pressure on it. A truly good author (and for all his detractors, I still hold that King is one) is both creator and conduit. The story is a product of both craft and inspiration. And back to the point, this is what, I think, King's statement about the end of The Dark Tower is getting at. It may be not be the end he, as author, wanted for it, but it's what the story demanded of him. And while the story may sometimes urge us to listen, when it demands, there's just no choice.

And in the end, it's one heck of a ride. I honestly do not believe I have wept as much in the reading of a book. Of course, after seven large tomes (well, okay, the first is short, but they have ever grown after that) of world and time-spanning adventure, of death and love, it's hard not to get emotionally involved in the lives of the characters. Especially when they're this well-drawn (which is actually a wonderful little pun for those who have read it).

And, in fact, I suspect that our involvement with the characters, and that blurring between what is real and what is story, is a reflection of one of the major themes King brings into play in these final few volumes. Just how culpable is the author in the lives of the characters? Are the characters really justified in blaming he who is both conduit for the story as well as the guy who says, "Well, gee, that's all I can do with so-and-so. Time for him to bite the dust, I guess!" Or, "Hmm, so-and-so seems too happy. What other horrible thing can I heap on her shoulders?" Are the characters the creation of the story, or the author? Again, I think it's a bit of both. So yeah, they can blame the author for their lot all they want, but there's really not much they can do about it. Best to just accept it and let the story take them where they're meant to go. In the end, I think the author's responsibility is in telling a good story. It does not matter how inspired a story is; we are still human and can quite easily muck up the telling of it.

Stephen King may not be entirely pleased with the way things work out in the series, but he knows he did not muck it up--it unravelled the way it needed to. I, as reader may have thought things could have come out a bit different, but I was not disappointed. It's a good tale, very well told. And as with any good tale, now that it's over, I long once more to head back to beginning and to start the trek anew.
Jelly Pinched Wolf   3:30 PM
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In the Mustardseed Sun
Today marks the 90th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' birth. As he is a poet whose works are very dear to me, I could not let today pass without a mention. Thomas' poems are often very dense, quite difficult to grasp on a first (and sometimes twentieth) reading (and though I be a Bob Dylan neophyte, I'm beginning to see why he took Thomas' name when he changed his own). Anyone who knows me and my own writing can attest that I've clearly been influenced by this. Thomas believed in the craft of poetry, such that as much as they were inspired, a good poem nevertheless takes hard work and lots of tinkering to hammer every word into just the right place. And woe be he who lets but one meaning come through in the reading of the work. Of course, his Welshness added a lot to his poetry as well. Dark beauty abounds.

Most people who know of Thomas know him by but one poem: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. It's a beautiful poem, and I think one of the most perfect examples of the craft there is. But since most may be acquainted with it already, I thought I'd post a poem fewer will know. It's one that's always appealed to me, and has done a great deal in influencing my own forays into the craft. I'll write more on Thomas in a couple weeks, as the anniversary of his death is not far off. For now, enjoy:

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

Dylan Marlais Thomas, 27 October 1914 - 9 November 1953
Jelly Pinched Wolf   9:30 AM
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15 October 2004
Quoth the Wolf
Been a while since I've done one of these, so here goes. I'm not sure whether this is ridiculously easy or too obscure, but have it:

Our love is God; let's go get a slushee.
Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:03 AM
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13 October 2004
Let Me Play Among the Stars
I once told kashi I'd give her the moon if she wanted it. I don't think she's ever actually asked for it (after all, where would she keep yon great empyrean orb--her pocket?) but that's never stopped me from doing my best to live up to the spirit of that sentiment.

On this, our third anniversary, I had hoped to write a poem as I have in the past, but my creativity has been in a slump of late, and time has been elusive. I had hoped to be at least poetic in this post, but there are times when the words will just not cooperate. And so I will have to fall back on the words of another. Three years ago today (about ten hours from now), kashi and I danced to "Fly Me to the Moon," as performed by the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. The song never fails to happify me, so I hope it throws a little of that happiness your way, too.

Happy Anniversary, my kashi!

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me

Fill my heart with song
And let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

*instrumental break*

Fill my heart with song
Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, in other words
I love you.

written and composed by Bart Howard
Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:43 AM
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12 October 2004
Quizzes Mean JPW Doesn't Have to Come Up With Something Interesting to Blog About
You are DNA. You're a smart person, and you appear
incredibly complex to people who don't know
you. You're incomparably full of information,
and most of it is useless.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

via Zorak
Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:52 AM
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08 October 2004
Bored to Tears
Alain the Seer
You are Alain! Quiet and introverted, you prefer
thinking to talking. Even though you aren't
that social, you have a kind heart, and will
help those in need. You often see things from a
unique perspective, but people seem to ignore
your feelings. Learn to speak up, and show that
you take pride in what you do!

The Dark Tower Character Test
brought to you by Quizilla

Albert Rosenfield
You're Agent Albert Rosenfield, the snide and
superior forensics expert. Your tongue is
sharper than your scalpel, and it doesn't take
long for people to start hating you for your
supercilious quips, but you are the very best
at what you do. You don't suffer fools gladly,
but you give respect when it's due. In fact,
you're a good guy at heart, but so wedded to
your sarcasm that you can rarely stand to treat
people kindly.

Which Twin Peaks character are you?
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Jelly Pinched Wolf   10:15 AM
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07 October 2004
Find Your Spot
this quiz a couple years ago, but with all the changes in my life these last few years, I figured it'd be worth taking again. Also, I'm bored.

According to this site, my top places to live:

Lebanon, New Hampshire
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Jamestown, New York
Plattsburgh, New York
Dillon, Montana
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Peterborough, New Hampshire
Augusta, Maine
Fort Collins, Colorado
Durango, Colorado
Lewiston, Maine
Bozeman, Montana
Salt Lake City, Utah
Helena, Montana
Bar Harbor, Maine
Provo-Orem, Utah
Manchester, New Hampshire
Hanover, New Hampshire
Denver, Colorado
Easton, Pennsylvania
Springville, Utah
Reading, Pennsylvania

linked to via Finally a Winner
Jelly Pinched Wolf   8:19 AM
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06 October 2004
As a lover of Wales, I couldn't resist this.

My title is a word created by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (spell it backwards for the true sentiment behind it) which I think would accurately describe both the EU and it's most
recent blunder. Is it really a surprise that a system which regulates the curvature of bananas would screw up like this?

Of course, the Welsh seem to be taking it all in stride. And in defense of the EU, by wiping Wales off the map they have at least succeeded where England has failed for centuries. Not to mention the terrific puns this little snafu allows.

linked via Mixolydian Mode
Jelly Pinched Wolf   8:40 AM
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05 October 2004
Requiescat in pace
Screen legend
Janet Leigh dies.
Jelly Pinched Wolf   7:30 AM
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01 October 2004
Food: The Last Resort in Self-Defense
In an email regarding today's quarterly corporate luncheon: " may select either chicken fried stake or chicken fried chicken..." (underline is mine).

Well, at least we'll be safe in case of a vampire attack. But do stakes still work when they're breaded and deep-fried? Hmmm.
Jelly Pinched Wolf   11:30 AM
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