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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-01-22 06:51
Subject: [personal] Things I have been wondering about lately
Security: Public
Tags:books, food, funny, music, omaha, personal, process, sunspin, travel, writing
  • Why anyone lives in Omaha, or anyplace where 1 degree F is a normal temperature

  • Why I was awake 21 hours yesterday

  • Who thought Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was a good choice for a middle school girls' choir to sing

  • Who had to explain to the kids what the song meant

  • Why my WordPress comment spam has spiked so high these past few days

  • Why my process for Sunspin is so vastly different from any other novel I've ever written

  • How yogurt can go bad

  • What everyone else is wondering about

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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2011-01-22 14:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The clearest answer to the first question, which is true in our case, is "momentum." We have been here a long time. We own property here. We have friends here. We know our way around here. We have jobs here.

It's a hassle to move. It's a challenge to move. It's scary to move. It's a big change to move. It could be a financial disaster to move.

So, despite the uber-negative political atmosphere here, despite the friendly natives in places such as the Pacific Northwest, and despite that awful weather, we stay put.

Because it's easier. Yeah, I know, not the best reason in our situation.
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-01-22 15:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But I'm glad you're here, Gary. :)

My answer to #1 is - the momentum of many decisions over time bring a person to a particular place, and they stay there until momentum builds to carry them to a different place.

As for the song, for that demographic? My guess would be a music teacher frustrated and wanting to do loftier things, and neglecting to think about their choir members' level of development or understanding.

As for the others, I got nuthin'.
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-01-22 15:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*bringS*

why oh why do I ever post before my first cuppa coffee?
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-01-22 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have to agree with you about the first one. I mean, come on. If you're going to have temperatures like that, the least you can have is pretty mountains, stunning canyons, amazing back of beyond vistas...and a fracking SKI AREA!!!

As far as I know, Omaha has none of those.

Enterprise, Oregon, however, has all of those (well, okay, the ski area is a rope tow and a J-bar, but if you want to clamber on a sled and do the snow machine thing, or do telemark, you can find a decent ski slope).

Cold without decent winter sports and a view ain't worth it in my opinion. Then it's just all about the drinking and not about doing the stuff outside that justifies the drinkies afterward.

(Is my inner ski bum redneck showing too much in this comment ;-)?)
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-01-22 15:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, and never forget: Omaha is a money town, first and foremost. You think it's accident that Warren Buffett lives here? Doesn't mean everyone is rich (I'm a case in point for sure) but it does mean that if money is your priority in life, you can get it here if you know how. Lots of it.
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Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond
User: birdhousefrog
Date: 2011-01-22 15:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Having lived in Omaha, I'm really not sure what the answer to #1 is. But I don't live there now. Ask Matt Rotundo.

As for #3 and #4, oh my. I'm amazed at that number of places I see that song used wholly inappropriately. Presumably because it has the word "Hallelujah" in it and a pretty melody.

Better yet, let's have the girls sing "Chelsea Hotel."

I know yogurt is supposed to have bacteria and all, but is it supposed to be black and furry? That's about the point where I throw it out.
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Reynardo the Red
User: reynardo
Date: 2011-01-22 22:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I vote "Sisters of Mercy" - start with the song and end with something by the band.
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pmrabble
User: pmrabble
Date: 2011-01-22 15:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You could have been in Minneapolis this week instead. Woke up yesterday and the temp was -25F.

We point at the crazies living in Edmonton.....
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-01-22 15:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And in Edmonton they laugh at the fools in Yellowknife.

The Lowells only talk to the Cabots, and the Cabots only talk to God. Or something.
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shelly_rae
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2011-01-22 16:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wonder about Hallelujah too. Yes, it's a gorgeous piece of music, moving, powerful and, when done well can bring a crowd to tears. But I suspect that the Bible no longer has the resonance it once did. Even with the obvious religious title people miss the references to Samsom and Delilah "cut your hair" and betrayal. Or the overwhelming adulteress desire of David for Bathsheba. "you saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you."

It's a gospel song at its musical heart. Weeping over woman who betray and fail. Not exactly middle school girl stuff. But it is pretty.

My wordpress spam is prolific lately too. New bots?
Anon
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Amanda
User: cissa
Date: 2011-01-26 02:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Some of it's about women who betray and fail, or who the singer fails. Some of it is about a really difficult relationship with himself and God.

Not middle school material, methinks.
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Renfield
User: cuddlycthulhu
Date: 2011-01-22 17:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm currently wondering why I'm awake and the feasibility of pumping coffee directly into my veins. Veins need coffee too, right?
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewriter
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2011-01-22 17:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Typewriter
Brutal cold, yes. But we get more sunshine than you, too. So there.

What have I been wondering about lately? Time travel.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2011-01-24 02:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Like, traveling backwards (or forwards) to summer, maybe? ;)
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewriter
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2011-01-25 03:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Typewriter
There's a thought.
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oaksylph
User: oaksylph
Date: 2011-01-22 18:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Four hours east of Omaha is the (in)famous Writers' Workshop. Seemed like a good place for a bookstore. Yesterday, however, I had to wear long underwear, jeans, and overalls with two sweaters and a full-length bathrobe in front of a space heater, and I was still cold. Consolation prize: the experience of hot coffee grows exponentially in loveliness versus temperature. When the air is cold enough to numb your teeth, steam on your poor shriveled skin, warmth in your crooked fingers, the taste of something that doesn't seem stale as all other things do with so much dust in the air, and the little ember in your belly as you drink are amazing.

Why your process is different: You are different. You've been through at least two distinct circles of hell while watching your child develop her own joys and also a fiction sensibility of her own. That can't not have an effect.

"Hallelujah": Sometimes I think the vast majority of people only understand one or two lines per song, fixate on them, and expand the personal meaning they attach to those lines until it fills up their entire understanding of the song. I, for example, was dead certain that Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia" was about a cat. "I get up to wash my face / When I come back to bed, someone's taken my place." Granted, I was four at the time and thus not clear on how exactly a cat shook a man's confidence daily. Then I got older, studied poetry, and began to understand that using horoscope-unclear lyrics was the basis of U2's success.

Yogurt: It's not the yogurt. It's the stuff in the yogurt. A toy company is offering a new magnet this season that says something like: "Try organic, free-trade certified, farm-fresh, locally grown! Or as your grandparents called it - food."

Wondering: Whatever happened to the utopian idealism of the 19th century Midwest? Now we're just like everyone else - one guy can farm 3,000 acres, so most people live in town, struggling desperately to keep a job with benefits, and move away as the economy drags them hither and thither. No land left for physical utopias, no security or hope left for idealism....
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dinogrl: snow crystal
User: dinogrl
Date: 2011-01-22 19:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:snow crystal
Hmmm. Dunno to the first one. However, I moved from Great Falls, MT to Seattle, then Seattle to the SF Bay area. Last one for Love, but the weather isn't bad. I'm not a big fan of freezing my arse off. Too many days wondering when the thermometer would get above zero degrees F.
.
.
.
And I wonder what's with kids these days...

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randy_smith2
User: randy_smith2
Date: 2011-01-23 01:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've never lived in Omaha, but I used to visit it frequently, back when it was only a three-hour drive. There was much to like: Mannheim Steamroller, Henry Doorly Zoo, Rosenblatt Stadium, The Orpheum Theatre, Merchant of Venus Books (yes, an SF specialty store in Omaha!), the coffee shop next door to Merchant of Venus Books, The Old Market, and many many good friends.

Alas, OmaCon and ConTretemps are gone. Someday I'll get there for an OSFest.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2011-01-24 02:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow. I used to live about a block from Merchant of Venus and the coffee shop. (Moved a couple miles west about six years ago.)
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Scott Raun
User: sraun
Date: 2011-01-23 04:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That "Hallelujah" was prominently used in the first Shrek movie. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIgzw8_fe94 - and it's use there was actually kind of appropriate. I'll bet that it was a 'it's a song the kids will know from the movies they watch' decision.
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