A Miscellany

First off, mega congratulations to Sarah and Kevin J Anderson for their Dragon Award. Also hearty congratulations to all the other winners – but since I don’t know any of them personally, the biggest heap of dancing rodents goes to Sarah. It’s well-deserved, not to mention wonderful to see things I actually like showing up in an award list.

I was starting to think I might just be too weird for words… what am I saying. I know damn well I’m too weird for words. My tastes are… eclectic is probably the best word (just as an example I think rap and its derivatives and jazz are about the only musical styles I actively dislike. The rap and derivatives largely because chanted words to a mostly rhythmic background does absolutely nothing for me. Jazz just leaves me cold – I can appreciate the skill of a good jazz player, but it does nothing at all for me). My reading tastes are much the same. I’ll read just about anything: it’s got to be totally dismal for me to toss it. And by dismal I mean either in terms of quality or in terms of dreary and depressing.

In any case, it starts to feel like you’re the only one when the things you really like are consistently ignored by everyone around you. For me the greatest benefit of the Internets (aside from the cat pictures) is the ability to connect with people who have similar tastes to mine, people who can follow my wild leaps of… something (it seems perfectly logical to me, but an awful lot of other people disagree) to similar conclusions without me having to backtrack and try to figure out all the smaller steps I skipped over along the way. Not to mention people who either don’t care whether my personal opinions match theirs to the umpty-umpth degree or have similar enough opinions the differences don’t matter.

The first time I ran into this it was incredibly freeing. After spending most of my life as the odd duck, the outcast (I can’t say black swan because most swans in Australia are black), I found an online home of sorts with people who didn’t think I was weird because I was different. They were either different in other interesting ways, or they were like me, or both. I’ve made several real, long-term friendships from that, for which I am immensely thankful. Hell, I met the Husband this way, and that meeting along with moving to the US and all that followed is something I doubt I’ll ever regret.

Of course, life is life and regularly dumps on me, but I’m still so much better off than where I expected I’d be 25 years ago. At that point I was figuring on confirmed spinster and crazy cat lady. I’m most definitely not the former, and quite a few cats shy of the latter. I’m also on a different continent than I expected to be back then, but it’s all good.

I still miss some things about Australia, but I wouldn’t change what’s happened. Mostly. If I had the opportunity I might kick my high-school self’s arse and tell her to go into computers no matter what the idiot guidance officer said about them being a fad. But that’s really about it.

Oh, yes. The picture is her highness Princess Buttercup, showing all the grace and elegance of the Siamese cat.


  1. So?

    I get no kick from any Jazz
    Improvisation hasn’t all that pizazz
    Thou the player may be so adroit
    But I get a kick
    out of Hoyt.

    1. Her texts spin ’round in brain
      Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne
      Her books go to my head like a sip of sparkling Burgundy brew
      And I find the writing she can do
      Like the kicker in a julep or two

      (With no apologies to anyone. So there.)

  2. If I’m going to listen to chanting, I’ll take it in Latin, thanks.
    I also have very limited patience with Jazz, or at least what it’s become. I don’t mind improvisation, but when you lose the melody, I’m out.

    1. Memo to file:
      File under mad plans:
      1. Finish learning Latin.
      2. Learn to rap.
      3. learn to rap in Latin.
      4. You know, to rape is one of the possible meanings of caedere. So leave the e off the end, that must be the proper Latin for Rap.
      5. Write music with very offensive lyrics.
      6. I don’t think “Caedete Eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.” sung to the tune of Felis Navidad is offensive. That song in my heart puts a smile on my lips.
      7. Perform.

      1. I’ve heard traditional Jewish music performed as rap.

        “Throw some more marbles in the garbage disposal, I need to drown out the neighbors’ rap again!”

      2. Bob, depending on who you want to offend, you could probably just grab the traditional Latin lyrics to the mass. Ok, I would be highly ammused by the Dias Irae as rap.

    1. Ha. Never a metalhead, but in my old age I’ve developed a taste for industrial/aggrotech and Celtic punk; Hocico and Siobhan have become my faves. My younger self, who preferred classical and soft country/western, is still horrified. I console my younger self with my contention that punk and electronica are descended not from rock, but from classical, and that C/W derives from the Irish. (Play the Glorious 9th REALLY LOUD, and tell me I’m wrong.)

      1. Fripside!

        No, really. They called the band Fripside. ~:D AWESOME!!! The crowd in this vid is losing their collective shit with the glowsticks.

  3. I used to say that I disliked certain musical styles, but there always ended up being exceptions. So I contend that what I like is music done well, though that’s not the only music I like.

  4. The first girl I ever dated (back in 1968, when I was 16) told a friend of hers that I was “too weird for words.” Her friend was dating a friend of mine, so it got back to me.

    You are not alone. And in this crowd, well, when everybody is too weird for words, nobody is too weird for words.

    I can deal with jazz now and then. Just don’t get me started about opera…

    1. Sometimes its worse when you get “he’s a little weird, you know.” Then they’re looking at you, trying to figure out wtf is wrong with you.

      But either way, you’re the brown pigeon, and they peck at you. Solution, be the Scary Brown Hell Pigeon that all the normal grey asshole pigeons are too sucky to take on.

      Peck back, brown pigeons! ~:D

  5. My music taste is eclectic, so I’m never satisfied with commercial radio. Thanks to the Net I’ve been able to find podcasts and radio programs of people with tastes similar to mine that have been able to broaden my repertoire. For example, being from Spain is difficult to find blues/soul/country programs, but I was a follower of Elwood’s Blues Radio (unfortunately it finished last year, and I haven’t found a proper replacement) and each year I found a group or two worth following (to me). I use Spotify and Youtube, and sometimes I find something interesting in their recommendations, but they don’t work to discover really less known music, specially oldies, they have them in their catalogue, but I discover them in radio/podcast programs and afterwards I add this music to my lists.
    When I talk about the music I’m listening to work coworkers and friends, they feel word out because I usually like to listen to all my music in random mode, so I can go from an aria to AC/DC, to Spanish 50’s popular music, to Dean Martin, to Spanish pop music…

    1. Ok, that last paragraph is been completely messed by my phone auto correction…
      When I talk about the music I’m listening to TO MY coworkers and friends, they feel WEIRD out because I usually like to listen to all my music in random mode, so I can go from an aria to AC/DC, to Spanish 50’s popular music, to Dean Martin, to Spanish pop music…

      1. Shuffle is the only good thing about iTunes. I’ve heard mine go from Enya to Ramstein to Pachelbell to the Rascals. AWESOME!

    1. That’s getting a wee titch bit too close to your subject matter. (And you know darn well that someone’s going to put “Murder, She Wrote?” on as a headline.)

  6. Kate, I’m glad to read your blogs, and just caught up with a bunch of ’em. (Too much going on at this end to keep up in a timely manner, I fear.) But I am concerned ’cause I went to Amazon to buy a book, specifically looking for one of yours, and found only IMPALER — and that is out of print.

    Is there any timetable on putting your books back out? Or are they available somewhere else? (I know they’re also not available at BN.com.)

    When they do come back out (and I do hope it’ll be soon), let me know; I will be happy to spread the word. Your work is excellent and funny and deserving, and I was so happy I had just a bit of extra money to spend on a friend’s work…and then, I couldn’t buy anything.

    (Apologies if you wrote about this a long time ago and I just couldn’t find it.)

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