Sunday, March 30, 2008

Harold Lamb's Khlit

My parents bought a place when I was four. It's on a lake, and is what most people in Ontario refer to as a cottage. (Out in BC people refer to them as cabins. What do they call rudimentary second homes situated in forests or near lakes where you live? I call them proof that I'm lucky as hell, as it turns out.)

One notable thing about this place, besides the fact that it can only be accessed by boat, is that it has a wall of books. These books are almost all mystery novels from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, many featuring wasp-waisted women on the covers. They have titles like "The Red-Headed Corpse", "The Bride Wore Black" and "Too Late to Live". Another favourite title (because it's so over-the-top) that my sister found: "We All Killed Grandma".

In the collection (alphabetized by author by the previous owner), there are other random books, including a few by Harold Lamb. Who is Harold Lamb you might ask? WHO IS HAROLD LAMB!?! Well, he's the guy who wrote some crazy historical fiction novels (mostly about conquerors) that fans claim can teach you about history as well as the characters involved. You know, get to really know Genghis Khan and Timur, etc. And their families. And the thousands of people whose severed heads they left in a trail behind them.

Someone in my family, who may even be moved by this post to comment, LOVES Harold Lamb books, a source of some amusement to the rest of the family.

As you know, I recently discovered that one of Lamb's books is called The Curved Saber: The Adventures of Khlit the Cossack. My sis and I found a link (which I've since lost) that allowed viewers to read some of this superbly-named tome online.

Without further ado, I give you our foolish conversation:

Goo: if you click on the book
it will let you read it
i wish i could copy paste some of these lines
"It was a good battle," Khlit growled, "it was a battle such as I have never seen."
click on the first book, wolf of the steppes

Roo: "Here they formed in a line, Khlit taking his place between Chagan and a trembling youth in Dungan garb."

Goo: nice find!!!!

Roo: page 430

Goo: they abound

Roo: it's a goldmine

Goo: almost as though Lamb was having his own game

Roo: check this out - "Action and the prospect of conflict aroused him, and Khlit, who missed nothing, saw that the Khirghiz were equally gay."*

Goo: sweeeeeet
are you able to copy paste?
I found another one

Roo: no
type it out
so worth it

Goo: harold lamb has supplied this family with so much entertainment over the years

Roo: I know

Goo: "Khlit stroked the scabbard of his curved sword thoughtfully"

Roo: I declare a winner!
I'm really tired though. Have to go to bed now. Me=melting.

Goo: OK! good night.
stroke it thoughtfully.

Roo: As always.

*By the way, I'm 100% all for the gays: being gay, feeling gay, gay marriage, gay sex, gay gay gay.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

best book title evar

The Curved Saber: The Adventures of Khlit the Cossack

Can you even believe how good that is!?!?!? DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU!?>!?

Never mind.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dr. Silkenstein

If Matt Hooker can have Beef, and J&M can have these guys,* I can have Dr. Silkenstein**:

Other possible names:
  • Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (who famously turned gold into cottage cheese)
  • Beauregard (after the janitor on The Muppet Show)
  • Rorschach
  • Louis, sort of after the swan in E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Ferris (obvious)
  • Arlo
  • Department of Justice

Another reasonable suggestion:

how about:


Solomon Andre (to name after famous swedish hot air balloonist who attempted to fly balloon to north pole in 1897)

then you get all these great/cute nicknames - Saul, Solly, Mani, Solo***

I kind of like the idea of a northern-inspired name because I'm so crazy about the Yukon, but I can't just call the dog Yukon, because that's already the name of a big truck.****

OK, peanut gallery, your turn!

* Yes, I did just compare your two human children to puppies, but I mean it in the nicest way.

** Those scratches on my chest are my own fault. I went into the big puppy pen, partly reclined on the blanket they have learned not to soil, and squealed "Puppiespuppiespuppieeeeeeeeeeeeees!!!!!!!" so that I had six beautiful creatures clambering all over me with their tiny needle-sharp puppy claws. Absolutely worth all physical damage sustained.

*** Which also means I'd call it Han Solo, OBVIOUSLY.

**** God, I am sick of over-sized super-polluting vehicles being named after wide open, beautiful natural places. We all know that your truck is going to spend 99% of its life in the city while you pretend to be nature-loving and adventurous, you big self-deluding fraud.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

if A is to B what C is to D

New Dad*: apparently, one CAN get sick of really high-end lifestyle muesli. who knew?
sometimes you just want cheerios, innit
in the same way that, to use a cultural analogy for a canadian, sometimes you just want kraft dinner, not ricotta and fennel risotto

Roo: thanks for helping that make sense to me
I am totwally blogging that

ND: guess what i'm cooking for dinner tonight?
what's that canadian heavy metal mockumentary movie where they say 'just giv'er!'?


ND: fucking loved that movie

Roo: it's also the one where Plan A is to start a garage band and make it big, become millionaires with groupies and Plan B (you know, if that doesn't work out) is to "just fuckin' giv'er"

ND: hahaha

Roo: yes
Plan B
it's just so useful

* as of March 19

Monday, March 17, 2008

not unlike a fightin' kind of mood

I've been in a denying kind of mood lately.

Not to be confused with denial, the "denying kind of mood" means actively, consciously, often irrationally (and therefore often against my best interests) saying "Fuck no!"

I'm digging in my heels, randomly, stubbornly, the way our old dog Sophie, a 15-lb cat who masqueraded in this life as a black miniature poodle, used to angle every one of her spindly legs in such a way that she'd suddenly feel 150 lbs at the end of the leash - all because she wasn't done smelling this particular spot and wasn't ready to move yet, thanks, idiot human.*

In my particular case, it means denying everything, good and bad. For example, I have been refusing to go skiing, even in these fine conditions and good weather; I have been turning up my nose at alcohol and coffee; and I have resisted blogging with everything I've got. I don't return phone calls or emails promptly (or ever if I can help it, for no good reason), and I sometimes spend the whole day in my pajamas. It's an ornery sort of mood. Could it be that I am on strike until winter heads out and makes way for spring? It could.

On the positive side, I write to you now with some coffee in a cup next to me, which could signal a shift in the right direction, even though coffee is terrible for me. (My justification: at least I'm sort of switching things up.) This cup is from Japan and has a big bald head on the front of it, and standing on top of the big bald head is a pink poodle creature with Xs for eyes. I just looked for it online to show you but now I see I'll have to photograph it someday and post that instead.

Oh, and my friend CA made me promise that I'd name my new poodle "Department of Justice". I was reading out road signs as possible names for the pup, and I guess "Department of Justice" had a better ring to it than "Maximum 50 km". The conversation went something like this:

CA: Oh my god. Promise me you'll name your dog "Department of Justice". Promise me!

Roo: Really?

CA (more animated than I'd seen him in ages, and grinning widely to show all his terrifying white teeth): You have to do this. PLEASE do this!!

Roo: OK.

CA: Yesssssssss!!!!!!!!

Roo: Why do you always have to get your way, anyway? You are so demanding.

CA: I dunno, white male privilege? Aren't things just coming to me?

: I'll tell you what's coming to you...

etc. etc.

* Her general disdain for humans and other living creatures was legendary. She ate her chow by daintily chewing one kibble at a time; got huge, aggressive dogs ten times her size into submissive poses within seconds of meeting them; and refused to do any tricks, which she was more than smart enough to learn but which she so clearly believed were simply beneath her.