Monday, October 20, 2008

The Smell Of Email In The Morning

The first order of business in the am is answering the email. Most of it is business, but then there's FXcuisine, which leads to my making comments like this, proving once again how full of anything about everything an author's mind is:

"Yum! "Magenbrot" literally means "stomach bread." We're always told to use herbs and spices as an aide to digestion -- and the Germanic countries turned them into goodies.

It's hilarious watching Americans socking down Jaegermeister as a cocktail, when it's really a digestive aide and cough syrup!

(The little poem on the bottle goes:

"Das ist des Jaegers Ehrenschild,
dass er beschuetzt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmannisch jagt, wie sich's gehoert,
den Schoepfer in Geschopfe ehrt."

"It is the hunter's shield of honor,
that he protects and cares for his game,
sportingly hunts, as is proper,
honoring the Creator in (His) creation.")"

I've been accused of "knowing everything" up here (not always a compliment in a rural area -- I grew up in one). A guy who lives on Eagle Point asked:

"Do you know where the motorcycle gangs came from?"
"The ones in the fifties? Those were those soldiers let loose after the war."
"Damn! You DO know everything!"

He told me one of the reasons the young men of his generation were so eager to go to world war two was because they'd been promised the women of Europe and America -- grateful -- and the women of Germany and Japan -- forced.

Me: "Hell, that explains that photo of the sailor and the nurse!"
"Yup," he said. "They said we could have all the women."

I guess since rape in war has been made a war crime, that kind of explains one of the reasons war ain't so popular any more.

Beware of learning to write. You end up with a head full of detritus.

Ask Mary Roach. I recently read her Spook, about the search for proof of the afterlife. She says she starts out knowing NOTHING about the subject she's chosen to write about, and all the way through points out her "d'uh!" moments. In a world where most writers are poor attempts to imitate Hemingway, or poets who think they are Karouac (SAVE me from the ticky-tacky poetry rhythm readings* about somebody's dead mother!), Roach's style is erudite, breezy, intense and hilarious. She's like John McPhee with a sense of humor.

Highly recommended, btw. I haven't yet read her Stiff or Bonk (oh, just guess what THOSE are about).

(*I once cleaned that weird, jerky reading style out of a poetry reading meeting by using it for the ingredients from a bottle of cat shampoo. Every single meeting people brought it up again.)

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