Friday, December 02, 2005

Who Needs TiVo, Wiki, or Google? I Have Family and Friends...

One of the ways in which I'm a lucky, lucky girl is that I'm virtually surrounded by really smart people who know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. Consequently, I never have to look very far for cheap education or entertainment.

For want to know anything about anything having to do with houseplants? Ask my mother, whose thumb is green all the way up to her elbow.

Want to know anything about anything having to do with oral hygiene? Ask my baby sister, who was a much-loved-by-her-patients dental assistant for several years before settling down to marry and spawn.

Want to know the best way to set a piece of glass into a window, or cut a mirror? My dad is your man. Forty-five years as a professional glazier. The man has glass in his bloodstream. Sometimes literally.

Want to know the proper manner in which to find psychiatric and/or medical help for your batshit-crazy relatives? Ask my OTHER baby sister, who is the world's finest, most dedicated and gifted social worker.

Want to know the proper dosage of a given medicine for high blood pressure, diabetes, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, arthritis, and a host of other illnesses that attack the body as it ages? Ask my husband, who specializes in geriatric medicine.

Want to know pretty much anything about any stringed instrument made? My husband again -- he can play them all, or make an excellent attempt at it.

Want to know about contemporary vocalists, fine food, and reasonably-priced-but-stylish fashion?
Barb Ferrer is your woman. She knows so much about stuff I didn't even have a clue existed...I'll never catch up. I've quit trying.

And finally...want to know about books and/or films? Ask my friend
Watcher Don. He eats both for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Classic literature, historical nonfiction, mythology, contemporary genre fiction...horror flicks, raunchy comedies, gangster movies, still more historical name it, the man reads and watches it. (With the exception of romance, of course. Within that particular genre he consumes only my work, and only as part of some bizarre Roman Catholic ritual of penance, I'm sure. :p )

Which leads me to my essay by the Watcher on author Stephen King's DARK TOWER series. Fascinating reading, at least to me. Here's a tease, and then a link to the rest.


Of Roland the Destroyer and the Decline of the King

"In the 1966 Sergio Leone classic, 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,' Clint Eastwood plays a laconic gunfighter who makes his living capturing criminals, bringing them into town to collect the reward, then rescuing the crook from the hangman so they ride to the next town and collect the reward again. After a disagreement about splitting the take, he abandons his latest 'partner,' a swarthy bandido named Tuco (Eli Wallach) in the middle of the desert to die. He miscalculates, however, and Tuco survives, emerging from the sands on the very edge of death, vowing revenge on the cheroot-chomping 'Blondie' (Eastwood.) There follows a famous scene in which Tuco tracks Blondie across the desert, searching through the ashes of abandoned campfires and gauging his progress by whether the ashes are still warm. He knows he has caught up to Blondie at last when he reaches a campsite that still has a cheroot smoldering in its detritus.

And therein, with that scene, commenced Stephen King's mammoth 'Dark Tower' cycle, a group of works that lay at first in the shadows, but gradually came to the forefront of King's work as a novelist of the past thirty-five years."



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