Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mary Miller's Consecutive Owls

As you know I don't "blog" anymore unless I read a book with an owl in it, which I then add to my big list of books with owls in them. Yesterday afternoon I walked up to Square Books and was delighted to see a stack of Mary Miller's new story collection, ALWAYS HAPPY HOUR. So I bought one and came home and read the first eleven stories in a single evening. There are sixteen stories in the book. You do the math! I guess that means I read almost 3/4 of the book in a single sitting but I'm not sure because I'm going to let you do the math, as previously stated. But that's how riveting Mary's new book is. And I am pleased to inform you that two consecutive stories have owls in them. "Owls are predators. They could take off with a small dog, easy," says a character in one. "There's an owl at my house," says a character in the next. As to the former point, I was thinking about it just the other night when Dr. Theresa and I were watching SLEEPING BEAUTY and the owl was overly friendly with the squirrel.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Owl Grease

THE BIRDS came on TCM yesterday and I thought, "I wonder if Messiaen ever saw this movie?" That's considered a real knee slapper around here. But then I really started wondering. And I remembered there was a book on the case right next to me all about Messiaen. But I looked through it and it's not that kind of book. I thought maybe Messiaen would have enjoyed the soundtrack to THE BIRDS - in fact it was the soundtrack that made me start thinking about him - but disapproved of the bird behavior. Or maybe he would've found some mystical interpretation of the bird behavior. And you know, maybe he would have hated the soundtrack. I guess we'll never know. I did open the book to some diary notes of Messiaen, which is how I know that he heard the call of a pygmy owl at Bryce Canyon, Utah, at 5:20 in the morning on May 5, 1972. In related news, Chris Offutt told me he has been reading my "blog." And I was like, "WHAT!" Because as you know I don't "blog" anymore. But to save me some time, Chris sent me part of his next novel... JUST the parts with owls. I believe I counted five owls, though as Chris pointed out in his accompanying email, some of those could be the same owls. Chris gave me permission to quote from his owl passages but I'm hesitant to spoil anything. The piquant title of this "post" comes from Chris's manuscript and already I feel I've said too much.