Marching Song

I am apparently unable to resist a ridiculous poetry challenge, and the Merriam-Webster twitter feed provided a list of words that rhyme with glockenspiel and asked for poetry. So…villanelle. (Not strict in the refrains.)

A bell lyre is a form of glockenspiel

That’s used in marching bands, led by

A hollow mannequin of orange peel.

Scrambling to acquiesce, to cut a deal,

The yes-men march with one hand to the sky,

Lockstepping to a clang of glockenspiel.

Their worship is of all things mercantile.

Their heartbeats sing out buy and sell and buy

Their standard is not gold, but orange peel.

The papers call them dapper. Sex appeal

Apparently excuses…anything, so why

Not dance to their triumphant glockenspiel?

Their logo is a face ground under heel

Forever. Their slogan’s just, “How high?”

They’re jumping for their lord of orange peel.

We others watch the ranks goosestepping by.

We watch our shrinking rights. Our warming sky.

And hear a war song played on glockenspiel

By an empty, grinning man of orange peel.


A Limerick for Ron Glass

Just now remembered that I once did a series of Firefly character limericks. Here’s the relevant one:


The Reverend Book quotes a line

From Armaments 17:9–

It is the Lord’s will

That thou shalt not kill

But shooting at kneecaps is fine.

The Best One-Word Line in Ghostbusters


Abby’s completely incredulous response to Erin mentioning that she finds Kevin hot makes me so, so happy.

Because our current culture is so very insistent that sex appeal is a thing that is…objectively rate-able. It’s not that you in particular find someone attractive. It’s that they are attractive. So everybody finds them attractive!  Because they just ARE! They’re five feet, 11 inches tall, they wear a size ten shoe, and their attractiveness rating is 9.65!

This is, of course, bullshit.

But it’s reinforced so loudly and constantly that it can be hard to remember that it’s bullshit.

And I don’t think that the line is intended to mean that Abby doesn’t find Kevin attractive because she’s gay. Or because she’s gay and specifically into Erin and thus jealous about Kevin’s attractiveness. (I didn’t feel like canon made any strong statement about Abby’s sexuality. Your mileage, obviously, may vary. And my take on canon does not remotely preclude wanting to see lottttts of slash written about all these ladies. Slash ’em UP, please. And then send me a link.)

Abby just totally does not find Kevin hot.

She’s not making nasty comments to Kevin. She’s not, really, trying to shame Erin for her taste–it’s not a diatribe, just a quick, almost involuntary yelp of baffled astonishment.

And it made me very happy. Because attractiveness is NOT objective and NOT a universal standard. Because it is incredibly personal. Because–all you folks who say “nobody wants to see that!” about fat people who show some skin?

Some people deeply, desperately, with every tingle in their loins, DO want to see that.

And some people don’t–even a little bit–want to see Kevin.









Villanelle for Ben Carson (for a challenge issued by John Darnielle)

The pyramids were built for storing grain.

And Burr shot Martha Washington in spite.

So Ben, who is a genius, maintains.


Gamergaters? Sweethearts, in the main.

T. Rexes roam Schenectady at night.

The pyramids were built for storing grain.


Luxembourg’s a lovely part of Spain.

Ali got knocked out in the Liston fight.

So Ben, who is a genius, maintains.


King Lear was jumped by trees at Dunsinane.

Wilbur and Orville used a giant kite.

The pyramids were built for storing grain.


Leeches work just great for sinus pain.

Death caps? Super tasty! Try a bite!

So Ben, who is a genius, maintains.


Acknowledged experts? Phooey–Ben disdains.

Everything you thought you knew? Not right.

So Ben, who is a genius, maintains.

The pyramids were built for storing grain.

In Which I am a Giant Dork at Work

Patron: Do you have a sewing machine here?

Me, very excitedly: We’ve bought one, but it’s not set up for use yet, but it will be soon, and we’re going to have classes in how to use it, are you interested in signing up for CLASSES?

Patron: Ummmmmmmm, no. *blinks at me*

He had, it turns out, actually asked if we had a SODA machine.

Short Review: Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest


I was, much to my surprise, really MEH about this one. I was not expecting to be bored by a book with a badass mom lead AND airships AND zombies.(And that got so many award nominations!) I just didn’t connect much with the characters.

I think a large part of that connection problem for me was that we got a LOT of descriptive passages about all the Cool Steampunk Backdrop Stuff in the Briar (said badass mom lead) sections, and I kept thinking, “She is TOTALLY PANICKED about her kid who as far as she knows is PROBABLY DEAD, why the (#*($ would she be taking time to notice how the nifty ventilation system works?” And I know, I *know* it was not first-person narration, and there *is* such a thing as a not-so-tight third person narration where it isn’t omniscient but still there are things that aren’t really through the viewpoint character’s, um, viewpoint. But it just wasn’t WORKING for me–I felt like Zeke’s portions reasonably had a lot of WOW COOL worldbuilding and that worked fine, because he is fifteen and might indeed be distracted by shiny even when he SHOULD be terrified instead. But Briar–her sections were just not nearly filled enough with “I CANNOT THINK ABOUT ANYTHING BUT SAVING MY KID” for me, and every time those sections swung to detailed descriptions of airships I was kind of going, author, you are not serving the story here, you just wanted to go on about cool airships for a while, grrrrrrrr.

Also, I just don’t understand why ANYBODY stayed in the walled city. I get that the city outside was not exactly rolling in rainbows, either, but come on, ZOMBIES. If you COULD leave a city in which the zombies would stay walled up, YOU WOULD LEAVE. (Maybe this is made more clear in the sequels? Which I have no interest in reading.)

(I *did* enjoy the fact that I had mentally cast Briar as Eva Green. Mmmm, Eva Green.) And I liked the fact that the ending made sense in a way that I had COMPLETELY not seen coming.

And I really did like the thorough, upsetting, highly claustrophobic way Priest kept coming back to how difficult it was to breathe through the air filter masks. That felt very real (and very much something that you WOULD think about even if you were in a total panic.)

But overall just…meh. Not a grabber for me.

BUT! The reason I was so disappointed in this one is that I loved, LOVED her “Lizzie Borden fights Lovecraftian horrors” book Maplecroft. LOVED. And, in checking Amazon to make sure I was spelling Priest’s name right for this mehfest, I discovered that there is a sequel to Maplecroft, Chapelwood, coming out on September 1st! TWO DAYS! GO LIZZIE BORDEN!

Extremely Summarized Liiiiiiiiife Update

So, in the past few months:

*I got a full-time librarian job, which I love love LOVE

*I lived with my beloved buddy Deuce for 4 1/2 months (for which I cannot thank her enough) while Pete finished out his school year

*My mom had a quadruple bypass and is recovering beautifully

*Ian went from a restaurant job to being on the Geek squad at Best Buy, where he is much happier

*Ian and his delightful girlfriend moved into an apartment together

*Dixon graduated from college

*Pete wrapped up his boarding school career of 20 years and we moved from the middle of frakking NOWHERE to Richmond, which has INTERESTING STUFF WE CAN ACTUALLY WALK TO FROM OUR APARTMENT, OMG

*Dixon moved to Chicago to be an actor/comedian

But, you know, other than that list, not much going on. Same old same old. 😉