July 27, 2012

Kage Baker:  grinning in my memory today, busy as I was with a bag of plums, two fancy pens and 9,000 signature sheets still to complete.

A morning spent signing things, and singing to English, Scots and Irish folk music with my family: everybody was home, everybody knew the words, and it was just plain fun.  I followed the news just enough to be aghast at Mr. Romney’s arsey-versy diplomacy, and to be amazed when the VP in charge of PR for Chick Filet dropped dead of a heart attack. Let loose the dogs of irony!

Then a break in the afternoon to go case roses and herbs and buy lavender bushes. Oh, and sing along in the car with the famous “Ode To Joy” from famous Beethoven’s famous 9th symphony, broadcast from the Albert Hall in London for the Olympics! In our family tradition, (since only Kage and Kimberly ever the words in German) we sang the words to the lovely old American ballad Clementine. Kage discovered years ago that Clementine could be sung to the “Ode To Joy” – and vice versa. Throw in lots of choral “bum bum bums!” and arm waving, and you can conclude the 9th symphony in a perfect paroxysm of joy. Not to mention frightening the people in the next car.

Consequently, I have not written much today. Nor will I.  I should have time for another 300 signatures before the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics begin on American telly. There will be Philly Cheese Steak Pizza for dinner. Harry can stay up late and sneer at the  funny mascots, while we cheer all the bright flags and goofy uniforms and insanely, heroically hopeful athletes.

I can hardly wait for the cage fight between Lord Voldemort and Mary Poppins!

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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19 Responses to July 27, 2012

  1. athene says:

    “Funny mascots.” You are kind. I find them incomprehensible and sort of ominous. But we will settle in front of the teevee as well, and see what Old Blighty has put together. Chuck hs read that Mary Poppins and James Bond will make an appearance. I’m afraid he’ll lose his mind if Sherlock Holmes (whatever iteration) doesn’t have at least a walk-on.

  2. Kate says:

    Oh, dear, But I have heard a rumour that Whats-his-name Cumberbatch is included in the festivities somewhere. Not that he’s my idea of the immortal Holmes, but lots of folks apparently adore him. No accounting for tastes.

  3. Jan Foley says:

    They threw the Queen out of a helicopter. Gotta love it.

    • Kate says:

      They didn’t throw her out, Jan! She jumped. Sedately, royally, with James Bond as escort, and with her skirts never daring to flutter higher than her knees. God save the Queen!

      Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com

  4. mizkizzle says:

    I wonder if the Chick-Fil-A PR guy was surprised when he died of a heart attack instead of being Raptured? It must have been disconcerting, as Mitt Romney said of the London Olympics.
    As for Benedict Cumberbatch, his Holmes is better than Brett’s or Rathbone’s, IMHO. He is the bee’s knees and the snake’s hips.

  5. Kate says:

    I imagine death is usually a surprise in some way or another. Our fondest hopes and most fervent beliefs are not up to the task of predicting death.

    As for Cumberbatch: not for me. The man completely misses the mark where Holmes and I are concerned. Rathbone had the look for Holmes, but was hampered by the 1930’s acting style. I do think Jeremy Brett was nearly perfect, especially in the semi-hysterical and drugged portions of Holmes’ personality, But for me, the utterly best Sherlock Holmes was Nicol Williamson.

  6. Margaret says:

    Lord Voldemort vs. Mary Poppins!? Who gets to be armed with what? I think your Olympics are MUCH more interesting than what I’ve been sampling. Is it a special California feed?

  7. Kate says:

    Well, was a giant puppet – in a very old and perfectly valid English tradition, too. And it was an army of Mary Poppins, all armed with brollies and rectitude, and so Voldemort just sort of folded up like a deflating souffle. As far as I know, it was was just NBC’s feed, though – abbreviated, over-commercialed and badly-narrated though it is, curse them.

  8. Margaret says:

    Another cry of Nyah, NBC! from here. Don’t I remember that not so long ago, one used to be able to see the whole of a single event in sequence, without having to put up with the channel cutting away for half an hour to some faux-sport? Or is this just old me remembering things as better than they actually were?

  9. Kate says:

    I don’t think you are mis-remembering, Margaret. I admit, at my age it is quite possible that I am recalling the past in a rosy myopic glow: but I too remember spending an entire evening or afternoon watching one event all the way through. Alas, no longer on the telly – but there is the internet, where that can still be accomplished. Between NBC, their various zombie affiliates, and the Internet, I’ve managed to see almost everything I wanted to see. But it’s been a scramble.

    • Jan Foley says:

      I live here in Blighty, and am annoyed at the over-coverage on BBC of all the “Team GB” interest in the games, and the more or less complete sidelining of any sport which doesn’t really feature British medal hopefuls. We get endless re-runs of the British success stories, as well as endless pundit-ing about which Brit might be about to win a medal, as well as comiseration of the medal failures, but little else. Michael Phelps? Who’s that? Oh him. That swimming guy.

      I think they get away with this because, if you want to see any of the events ‘live’ you can push the red button on your digital TV and/or go to the computer. So you have no grounds for complaint, do you? But for me, the Olympics is an international event, and suppressing that aspect of the games is irritating. Mind you, it’s worse at the Winter Olympics, as the British are pretty much rubbish at winter events. So the coverage goes on and on about some British ski-er who may or may not finish in the ‘top 20’ while other races go on behind the scenes. And once number 20 is gone, well, so is the event. The outcome might get a mention, but that’s about it.

      It’s interesting to hear that you’re getting spotty coverage in the USA as well.

  10. Margaret says:

    Kate – Thanks. Any evidence that I’m not getting (more) addled is always welcome. Sadly, my computer doesn’t care to let me watch anything that moves much. So I’m saved from getting addicted to viral ideas on YouTube, but also from full Olympic coverage.

    Jan – It seems to me that the US coverage has improved just fractionally in the let’s-just-cover-OUR-team aspect, but they have a long way to go. At least we no longer seem to be having so many of the ‘Up Close and Personal’ profiles that always made it seem as if there’s no athlete participating who hasn’t had an awful personal or professional tragedy to overcome.

    • Jan Foley says:

      Oog, blurg, gagh, spit. Thankfully we don’t get fed stories about the Tragic aspect of our athletes very often, here in the UK. They’re all cheery, lucky chappies and chappettes. Until they don’t win a medal. Then it’s T-R-A-G-E-D-Y…

      Mind you, British Gold Medal rower from several Olympics back, Matthew Pinsett, had his ancestry traced on the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are” and it turns out he’s a direct descendant of Jesus (and, therefore, God.) No, I’m not joking; would I make this up? That’s the kind of Up Close and Personal story about an athlete that I enjoy. A lot. In fact, I’m still enjoying it.

    • Kate says:

      Margaret – I am at last faintly soothed by the conviction that Olympic press coverage in every other country is as stupid as ours in the USA. Every now and then the background mike slips, and you hear someone ranting in Chinese or Spanish or Latvian – and the tone is* precisely *identical to our idiots.

      And you are so right about the sob stories, too. I know these people have overcome astonishing odds – heck, I suspect some of them (like Michael Phelps) are not even exactly *Homo sapiens* anymore. But I want to see them in their moment of victory! It’s what they deserve, too, not to be dragged back to someone they beat to get to the Olympics.

      Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com

  11. Margaret says:

    Jan – Oooh! I positively PINE to see the story on Mr. Pinsett’s descent from Jesus. I don’t think I’ve heard that claimed for any of the US athletes yet, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time. Or maybe Michael Phelps’ descent from ET or the revelation that he’s a Company project who escaped – one of Edward’s prototypes, perhaps?

    • Jan Foley says:

      I heard one of our British commentators mentioning that Mr Phelps’s “wingspan” was greater than his height. I’m sure there’s a sci-fi story in there somewhere…

  12. Kate says:

    Michel Phelps is an example of evolution in action, I think. Or will be, if he breeds true. All those young men and women that we’ve been selecting under such enormous pressure, to be matchless athletes … in the last 20 years or so, the physical differences have been getting greater and greater. Some of it is, of course, the strenuous training – but if they didn’t have the genetic material to take advantage of it, no amount of training alone could produce a Phelps, or a Franklin, or a Gabbie Douglas.

    Have you taken a good look at Michael Phelps’ feet? Or any of the swimmers, really; they are no longer standard-issue plains-striding primate feet. Or his hands … Phelps actually has slight webbing.

    And then there’s the aesthetic question: he is gorgeous.

    I think there is a story here. Or at least an essay.

    • Jan Foley says:

      What is coming across in the last couple of days, when the British presenters have actually started interviewing Michael Phelps, is how nice a person he appears to be. Very laid back, very amusing, and much more relaxed than I expected. Just watched him win gold in his very last individual competitive swim ever. Nice moment. No I have not had a good look at his feet yet. I’m in the queue, though.

      • Kate says:

        All the swimmers have enormous, flexible, feet – sometimes webbed. They are astonishing.

        ll their limbs are exaggeratedly long and flexible; they work at it. Watch video of Phelps getting ready for a race, when he claps his arms around his torso – they really go around his ribs, until his palms seem to be slapping his shoulder blades. Does he even have bones, are is he cartiliginous, like a shark or a ray?

        He’s a miracle of construction.

        Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com

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