Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Toby Trumps Mermaids, and other bits and pieces

A collection of recent observations:

- In the past year the overwhelming majority of strangers who have stumbled onto this site did so because they searched for information about mermaids. This is surprising because I have never, not even once, offered opinions or information about mermaids in any form. But I did, just once, refer to the women in the water aerobics class I took last spring, as real live mermaids. Apparently, that is enough to lend me something approaching Mermaid Expert status if you do a Google search. I’ve always been very entertained by this. But in the past week, I have accidentally stumbled into a crowd of folks who love Toby Stephens. And now I’m welcoming many visitors from that category. So. Mermaid-lovers and Toby Stephens fans – welcome. I don’t actually make a habit of writing about either one of those topics, but I hope you enjoy yourselves all the same.

- Alert Reader Annette has served us all a dollop of insightful literary criticism in her comment on yesterday’s post. She took us back to the book version of Jane Eyre, which is where any good book-club-ish post should go, and made her point brilliantly: there’s not really a modern equivalent to Jane and Rochester. Society has changed too much. But they are classic for a reason. Follow the link to read more of Annette’s analysis.

- I am on winter hiatus from water aerobics. It was 8 degrees here last Thursday. This Texan doesn’t voluntarily go outside in that kind of weather, much less outside while wearing a swimsuit or wet hair.

- In a spectacular case of cosmic particles, my friend Cat, the very one who sweated through the summer of ’95 with me in Chez Wombat and who now lives many hours away in a warm southern state, called me up this morning to say she was in town for a flying visit and wondered if I’d like to have lunch. (Personal credo: always say yes to lunch.) So we lunched and caught up and had a Moment of Silence for the Divine Toby Stephens, as the occasion demanded. Always good to see the only other Wombatian in the world.

- I once came within inches of tripping over a wombat. I had gone camping with friends at a place called Wilson’s Prom in Australia (one of the world’s most beautiful corners. Go there.) We had stayed up late playing cards and were making one last dash to the toilet block before calling it a night. I unzipped the tent and stepped out into the dark. The last girl out brought the flashlight and turned it on our path just as I was stepping into a wombat’s middle. If you’ve never seen a wombat, picture something the size and shape of a furry brown marsupial footstool. This wombat was eating grass in the dark and completely uninterested in me, even when I knelt down to make friends. He ran off to eat grass somewhere that didn’t involve the paparazzi.

- I learned the words to Australia’s national anthem and to Waltzing Matilda on that camping trip. In case you were wondering, Advance Australia Fair is the only national anthem I’ve ever heard that uses the word ‘girt.’ As in, ‘our land is girt by sea.’ Actually, it uses the word ‘girt’ twice. How’s that for national pride? Waltzing Matilda does not use ‘girt.’ Although it does use words like ‘jumbuck’ and ‘billabong’ which are poetically satisfying in their own way.

- Holiday Horizon: I know we’ve only just come through the year’s most crowded holiday season, but it seems we’re already fast approaching the next crop. Groundhog Day and Mardi Gras of course. Prep list: cloud cover and king cake.


Annette said...

LaLa, not only are to be congratulated for your fine taste in admiring Toby Stephens, but you are Aussie as well (me too!) so I will be popping in more regularly (not just when chat turns to Toby/Jane Eyre!)

Whiskeymarie said...

I love the "random bits" posts.

And now I miss taking water aerobics. Man I LOVED water aerobics. Maybe in the spring...