Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I was half-joking with a friend today about setting her up on a blind date with one of my oh so nice and eligible bachelor friends. Only half-joking.

The thing is, I know some really neat people. I've been very blessed to know some quite wonderful people who, for one reason or another, have not had success with the opposite sex lately.

I'm also blessed with the most wonderful friends in the world. I found some pictures last night of a birthday party I had a few years ago, back when we lived at the rented house on Leveritt. It was nice to see. Clint was there, Mike was there, Kathleen and Collin were there.

In other news, here is a really funny toothpastefordinner. Well, at least, it's funny to me.

I'm rereading the two book series by Sean Russell, the Initiate Brother and the Gatherer of Clouds. It's a very nuanced and subtle story about what is essentially a young Botaharan monk (in this fictional setting, the Empire of Wa, a sort of alternate ancient Far East, the Buddha is called Botahara) and the characters around him uncovering a plot against the Empire, perhaps set in motion by the Emperor himself. There is this secondary plot that is more interesting, in some ways. The Botaharan monks at the time of the story are the only ones left, and they follow what they call the Sevenfold Path. At a distant time in the past, there was a heretical group that followed the Eightfold Path, with the Eighth Path being essentially Tantric Sex. The books are deeply poetic and beautiful. Here is a short passage. The background is that there is a barbarian army invading, and a young Lord Komawara has warned the border province of Seh about the large size of the barbarian force, but most of the local nobility have not believed him:

"What news?" Lord Toshaki's son called. "How large is this army?"
The three riders looked up to see who questioned them, and at a whisper from on of the Taiki handlers the men went back to their drinks, handing bowls to servants to be filled a second and third time.
Young Toshaki rode closer now, blocking their path. "The Lord of the Toshaki asks the size of the barbarian army," he said with some anger.
One rider, a young captain, swung into the saddle, his horse stepping sideways, catching the excitement of the men. "Doe your Lord wish to measure the size of the force he as spent the winter raising against the size of the barbarian army?" he asked with little show of respect. "Go back to your gii board, young Sire, we do the governor's bidding."
Toshaki spoke now, riding up beside his son, the wind whipping his long hair out of its ring. "We will all fight together now, despite the past. We are men of Seh, tell us what it is we face."
The captain rode forward, working to control his mount as it tossed its head, ready to run. His voice was pitched low and taut with anger. "You will bow at Lord Komawara's feet and ask for his forgiveness, lord, " the said to Toshaki's son. "That is the size of the barbarian army."
The messengers spurred their horses then and pushed through Toshaki's guards. The riders disappeared into the darkness where the trees tossed like confused seas driven before a great storm.

Both books are a thoroughly enjoyable read. I highly recommend them both if you want a fantasy but want one very different from the usual Tolkienesque schlock.

Oh yeah, and here's some wonderful political satire from Bob the Angry Flower.


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