Saturday, August 05, 2006


Go to page 123, read the fifth sentence then write down the next four.

"I started hiking. First, I had to find my way out of the maze of dank old fortifications around the harbour. The limestone-block walls were pitted from the cannonballs that pirates and assorted rebels had fired over the centuries. As I negotiated the narrow lanes between the double walls, whores hissed and grasped at me from the shadows."
Adventures in Ocean Exploration by Robert Ballard.

"Captain Nelson arrived here in 1782, having sailed up the St. Laurence past wooded hills blazing with Autumn colours. It was here that he fell vainly in love with the sixteen-year-old Mary Simpson, daughter of the garrison's provost-marshal, and here that his friend, Alexander Davison, dissuaded him from abandoning his naval career to continue his courtship. Colonel Simpson's stone house is thought to survive among those near the St. Louis Gate in old Quebec. There were compensations for his disapointment in love: "Health, that greatest of blessings, is what I never truly enjoyed till I saw Fair Canada", he wrote." (the one-eyed, one-armed little shagmeister started early, practise for Emma Hamilton)
From the Nelson Companion, edited by Colin White.

"He was shocked to see how Nixon raged about him, called him a "simpering asshole". Baker felt like a voyeur reading Nixon's fury. "Baker will not be in this office again - do you understand that?" Nixon told Haig on July 12, 1973. "Never, never, never!"
From Shadow, Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate by Bob Woodward.

I know it's only supposed to be one book but I'm reading all three of them although I wasn't up to page 123 of Ballard and after reading that I'll be surging ahead to catch up.

Thank you Andrew, between pages 122 and 123 I found my recipe for banana and irish cream pudding and for making me realize what a train wreck my bedroom is. I can't believe that I actually take up this pile every time I make the bed and put it back.

I have a glossary of meterorites, a dictionary of Geology, papers on impact crater collapse, climate and the collapse of Maya civilization, the discovery of the largest crater field in the Gilf Kebir, whether impacts initiate volcanic eruptions, a list of logical fallacies, a breakdown of the Agulhas Currrent, the formation of shatter cones, a thesis on gay racism and its affect on Asian men in HIV social research and The Connoisseur's Guide to Art Nouveau Jewelry.

Also in this mess are my Tarot cards, the Toth deck by Aleister Crowley, the handbook of practical applications fo ancient visual symbols and my deck of Angel Cards. My copy of Moby Dick is under the bed along with my Synchrotron notes which fell there when I turned the mattress. I have to bring the rake in to get them out.

My Christmas presents from my sister are still on the bed with my walkman, tapes, batteries, pens, pencils, box of kleenex and the cat. I tell you there is just no room in my life for a bloke, or there's no room in my bed for a bloke.

I'm supposed to tag 5 people but I'm just going to tag our honourary blogger, RH, you're it.
You can use my comments section and no cheating by using page 123 of your own poems.


Andrew said...

Judge a person by what they read. Yeah, works for me.

R H said...

Thank you Miss Jahteh.

I've so much to say. And a gentleman never refuses a request from a lady. Not even when it's a request to piss off. And thank you so much for thinking of me, but I'm sorry, I really can't do this.

But maybe I can say a few words anyway. Maybe I can tell you what I did yesterday, in case you're interested. I'm always interested in little things people do, and rightly or wrongly, I imagine mine can be interesting too.

My daughter has just opened a child minding centre in Hoppers Crossing - which is going well, and on my way to see her there yesterday I stopped off for a rummage at Laverton trash market. I scored a Reader's Digest boxed set of Elvis Presley's Greatest Hits; six albums. The box itself, and parts of the Album covers, are a bit water damaged, but the records are as new. Not a scratch. And golly, what did I pay for all this? Five lousy dollars. Wooh! Another tightarse special, as the girls would say.

Then as usual, just before leaving the market, I wanted to see if the clairvoyant was on duty. And so I entered a huge tin shed where a overly made-up woman who is not young sometimes offers tarot card readings to the suckers for twelve dollars a pop. And she was there alright, and she had a customer too (another woman, of course).

And so being RH, I loitered awhile, trying to catch her spiel. But she spotted me, and I was obliged to move on. And golly, but it amused me, that this soothsayer - fervently imparting profound and loving information about themselves to poor souls - could at the same time notice RH standing there, and give him a look that said "Fuck off."

It's interesting. Because apart from her tatty little booth, this dusty old shed contains about an acre of hard-to-sell pieces of cheap modern furniture. Factory seconds, that's all. Stuff no one wants.

There's no buyers. No. Except for her kind of junk. Fortune-telling junk. As fake as the phoney veneer on chipboard furniture.


Well I've heard that if anyone ever got in Nixon's way he set out to utterly destroy them. Not punish them - destroy them. Always.

In the end he got destroyed himself - apparently. And yet I have a feeling that he is now more loved than any US President in history.

Nixon was Individualism, ruthlessness, unforgiveness. And Comedy.

A true American.

Davo said...

"Individualism, ruthlessness, unforgiveness. A true American."

(yeah, i can 'cut-and paste') Is there iron (y) somewhere? (apart from the Pilbara)

JahTeh said...

Reading that list I come across as just a bit pretensious and it's not as impressive as it sounds. Sometimes I have to look up every word in a sentence and some articles are like, well you've mastered firecracker, come and help me build this nuclear reactor so they go to the bottom of the pile. The fun is in the "Aha" experience when something clicks.

RH, Get a blog and I will be your devoted reader.

Davo, Nixon was a ruthless unforgiving nutcase and it's Ronnie Raygun who's more loved which is scary but I don't think Bush will be loved for a couple of centuries, if ever.

JahTeh said...

Elvis Presley's Greatest Hits for five dollars, lucky dog!

Davo said...

who the heck is elvis presley.. Neil Diamond.. aH, have several of those LP's.

R H said...

Yes well you wouldn't think stallholders would leave things like that sitting out in the rain, but some do. Most rush about mad trying to cover it all.

Elvis is very popular at Italian and Maltese weddings. There's still a lot of Maltese Elvises around Sunshine and St Albans. They'd put on an impersonation for you, any old time. I'm not really a fan myself, I got the records to give to a pal living on the Gold Coast. Although I do like some of the songs.

Viva Las Vegas is my favourite, but maybe you'd like Old Shep.

JahTeh said...

1. spellcheck Pretentious.

2. I hate Old Shep

R H said...

Pardon me Miss Jahteh, but that comment was directed to Mr davo - to his gravatar, in fact.

I've been a bit harsh on the yankees, because actually they've always been very good to me, and they're probably the most polite people in the world. But I hate their movies, and their TV shows. But that's commerce.

Americans invented Celebrity in the 19th Century, and got stuck with it. That's the trouble. And there's no Celebrity without controversy, they love controversy. At the same time, Americans are enormously sentimental, and FDR was probably their most loved President, and rightly so, but Dirty Dick was the most entertaining. And controversial, right to the end. He put on a fine show.

JahTeh said...

We never saw the best parts of Tricky Dicky. The way his staff had to unscrew jars and open boxes because he was so inept at it. I never believed his staff when they all turned to God when they got caught.

R H said...

That's right. Getting Born Again - in the boob. And Mrs Mitchell, the attorney general's wife, yelling on the courthouse steps (again!) for the cameras, while old Mitchell, bald headed, contrite, not a word to say. And iceman Liddy, more deadly than the entire CIA, later becoming a talk show host henpecked by old ladies from Ohio.
And months of headlines, thousands of TV hours, Dirty Dick saying, I am not a crook, and so on. Terrific show. Marvellous. And right at the end, Dirty Dick's farewell; standing in the doorway of the helicopter, an enormous grin, both arms raised: V for Victory!

Marvellous. Enormous. Best show ever.

R H said...