Myth Happens - God is dead! And baseboard heating is an abomination!

Sovay
Date: 2012-04-05 03:32
Subject: God is dead! And baseboard heating is an abomination!
Security: Public
Music:The Focus Group, "We are all Pan's People"
Ridiculously Social Wednesday Mk. II:

1. Met mrbelm at the Diesel for the second half of the book handoff, meaning I am now in possession of some items I was seriously beginning to wonder if I would ever see again. The Checkpoint Charlie-ness was substantially diluted by the fact that he threw in a CD with vast amounts of The Focus Group, Stereolab, Raymond Scott, and Carl Stalling. (Can you keep those last two on the same disc or will they fight?) Also I ran into audioboy, which was unexpected but pleasant.

There were a pair of children in the little plaza out front of J.P. Licks playing What time is it, Mrs. Fox? They were mostly calling nonsense hours: "Forty-three o'clock!" I hadn't thought of the game since elementary school; I had never heard the feminine version. I liked it. I sat on one of the benches and wrote the beginning of a poem, but it was terrible and will be broken down for parts.

2. Met Matthew Timmins for lunch at Taipei Tokyo. I couldn't remember the last time I'd ordered any kind of bento, so I got a box full of stuff and it was very tasty. He recently introduced me to Posh Nosh. I owe him big time.

I finally walked past Ward Maps when they were open, so I went in and, after resisting some pages from a late nineteenth-century book of astronomy, was suckered by The Boston Terminal Co. Diagram of Tracks and Signals. Resident Engineer's Office. Boston, May 28, 1905. NOT TO SCALE. It looks like the layout for a circuit board, only instead of transistors and capacitors, the components are labeled things like "Power House Yard," "Express Yard," "Atlantic Ave. Bridge," "Subway Tracks." I will try to get a picture up, although I believe I said that two months ago about a photo of George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Canada.

3. Met Dean Grodzins for generalized hanging-out, including the discovery of Q Tonic. He showed me the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments in Harvard's Science Center. I don't own any sundials past the one on my ring finger—and I only wish I had an orrery—but the oscilloscopes, the Geiger counter, and the DC meters looked very familiar. I think the dot-matrix printer in the cyclotron control console is the same one we had on the sun porch when I was growing up. I recognized, but wouldn't swear to the Commodore 64. Upstairs was an exhibit on the Rorschach and the TAT. I remember taking the latter when I was in elementary school; I had no idea the history behind its invention was so batshit Jungian, Jack Parsons without the fulminate of mercury. (Or that it tangentially involved the OSS, but at this point in my encounters with WWII-era intelligence I am beginning to feel I should have been surprised if that wasn't the case.)

I fell asleep slightly on the bus, but I also read the last chapters of Angélica Gorodischer's Kalpa Imperial (2003) trans. Ursula K. Le Guin. How can this be the only one of her books in English? Is Le Guin working on more?

4. Came home just in time to meet lesser_celery for Millennium. We are nearing the end of the second season; I still think "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" sounds like the hook of a cheerful country-and-western, but I liked the episode's ability to turn knife-quick from sardonically funny as Screwtape to suddenly not. I am not sure it was quite in the same show as the storyline around it, but this season has felt like two or three different shows under the same title already. Fortunately, I quite like at least one of them.

The afternoon mail brought me absolutely gorgeous contributor's copies of Cabinet des Fées' Cinderella Jump Rope Rhymes. One of the seven full-page, full-color illustrations is for one of mine. Thank you, Adam Oehlers. And everyone else involved in the lunacy. Goofing off on LJ should lead to art more often.

5. Met derspatchel for dinner at The Friendly Toast. Ordering the fish burrito, as it turned out, was a great idea. So were the Hitchcocktails: the Saboteur was a curiosity, though worth trying (Kraken rum, rhubarb purée, and mint, with what looked for all the world like a violet-streaked orchid stuck on top), but the Vertigo (Gosling's, chocolate ice cream, pomegranate molasses, Grand Marnier) was brilliant and doubled most satisfactorily as dessert. I still mooched off Rob's slice of Drunkard's French Toast. One does not pass up a sauce made with raspberries and Grand Marnier. He is the other person I know who's read Robert C. O'Brien's The Silver Crown (1968).

The title of this post is unrelated to anything that happened today, except that I copied it down from an utterly charming bit on The Colbert Report weeks ago and I might as well get it out of my head now.

I should really try to sleep.
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Rush-That-Speaks
User: rushthatspeaks
Date: 2012-04-06 04:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There is also, in the basement of the Harvard Science Center, a locked room labeled in neat white letters "Collection of Hysterical Scientific Instruments". I have been trying to find out who has the keys since 2004.

I thought I might have read The Silver Crown, but the Amazon summary seems to indicate I read a different book with the same motif, only with more mind control and dystopian futuretech. Now I'm gonna wonder what that was.
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Sovay: Cho Hakkai: intelligence
User: sovay
Date: 2012-04-06 06:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
iconCho Hakkai: intelligence
I have been trying to find out who has the keys since 2004.

When you find out, you will tell me.

I thought I might have read The Silver Crown, but the Amazon summary seems to indicate I read a different book with the same motif, only with more mind control and dystopian futuretech.

It does have both of those things. What do you associate with the name Hieronymus?

Now I'm gonna wonder what that was.

Any chance you're thinking of the silver-mesh Caps of John Christopher's Tripods trilogy?
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Rush-That-Speaks
User: rushthatspeaks
Date: 2012-04-06 07:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Of course. And then we will go see the Hysterical Scientific Instruments.

Oh, it does? Maybe it's the same book then. I remember a lot of scrambling about in open country and that the crown controlled some aspect of the dystopian future tech and wound up destroyed? But I don't remember any names. There was a lot of hiding from people. Mostly what I remember is tone, which is probably not very helpful. It was a cold grey book I'm thinking of, very chilly and kept threatening to tip over into creepy but never quite did because it was too pragmatic. A tone like one of the DWJs I could only appreciate when I was older, like Hexwood or something like that, where the author expects you to know things about human nature going in, and very surprise!SF.

And I got it out of the library because I wanted a fantasy novel and I was like eight and it was very much not what I'd been looking for which is why I didn't reread it because it was one of those days when I really wanted what I'd been looking for in the first place and couldn't readily redirect. And I kept seeing the title as it went by in later years and trying to figure out whether I should overcome my initial groundless annoyance and I never quite got round to it. Should I have? Should I now?

Edited at 2012-04-06 07:18 am (UTC)
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Rush-That-Speaks
User: rushthatspeaks
Date: 2012-04-06 07:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh and I've only read one of the Tripod books and that one was quite memorable and also was a totally different color.
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Sovay: Rotwang
User: sovay
Date: 2012-04-06 15:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
iconRotwang
And then we will go see the Hysterical Scientific Instruments.

I just want to know!

I remember a lot of scrambling about in open country and that the crown controlled some aspect of the dystopian future tech and wound up destroyed?

If this isn't the same book, it's a very small and specific subgenre . . .

A tone like one of the DWJs I could only appreciate when I was older, like Hexwood or something like that, where the author expects you to know things about human nature going in, and very surprise!SF.

That sounds right, actually.

And I kept seeing the title as it went by in later years and trying to figure out whether I should overcome my initial groundless annoyance and I never quite got round to it. Should I have? Should I now?

I have positive enough memories of the book (including or notwithstanding the mind control, an element which never failed to freak me out as a child) that now I'd been reminded of its existence, I looked for it, without luck, in two used book stores yesterday.

Oh and I've only read one of the Tripod books and that one was quite memorable and also was a totally different color.

I didn't think they were easily confusable, but I was trying to name other books with mind control and silver.
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ethelmay
User: ethelmay
Date: 2012-04-06 19:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think there are two versions of The Silver Crown, just to confuse things. http://www.mugglenet.com/booktrolley/rco-silver.shtml
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Sovay: Psholtii: in a bad mood
User: sovay
Date: 2012-04-07 00:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
iconPsholtii: in a bad mood
I think there are two versions of The Silver Crown, just to confuse things.

That's not helping anything!
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