Posts Tagged ‘neil gaiman’

Hey all it’s time for another round of vocab. It’s been a while since I put one of these up. The last few books I read were either audio or belonged to a friend so I wasn’t able to mark it up and come back to it later.

Anyhow, this round we’ve got another one by Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning.

For anyone new to this, I like marking up my books as I read them. When I finish something I sometimes post a bit of what I’ve marked. It’s usually either, words I didn’t know or words I think are not used often enough, cultural references, and words I think are worth sharing.



What we learn about ourselves in those moments, where the trigger has been squeezed, is this: the past is not dead. There are things that wait for us, patiently, in the dark corridors of our lives.


Desiccate – to dry out; often for the purposes of preserving


Are Fictions safe places? …Should they be safe places?


Alec – a somewhat autobiographical comic book by Eddie Campbell


Grand Guignol – “the theatre of the big puppet” a theatre in Paris popular in the early 20th century. Known for their particularly grotesque and horrifying work.


Hebrides – archipelago off the coast of Scotland


Did you know May the third was the day that the devil was cast out of heaven, and thus the day on which it is unpardonable to commit a crime?


Imitable – capable or worthy of being imitated


Ruminant – an animal with more than one stomach, like sheep or cows


The finest things I have seen are dead places.


Awl – a metal spike for punching holes in leather


Whirligig – pinwheel


Ducks don’t like socks, they said, it’s a duck thing


Inveigh – to rail against something, or communicate with great hostility in regards to


Lassitude – physical and mental weariness


Apiary – where bees/beehives are kept


Punctilious – showing great attention to detail, particularly regarding correct conduct


I sometimes imagine I would like my ashes to be scattered in a library. But then the librarians would just have to come in early the next morning to sweep them up again


Okapi – a mammal native to central Africa, kinda like a giraffe but zebra type stripes on their legs and ass and… well here’s a picture.



Jack Benny – vaudevillian comic from the early to mid-20th century


Ducal – relating to a Duke


Quiescent – inactive, dormant


She was waiting for him, in the place where flowers die.


Reynard – fox (French), or a trickster character from a French fables


Shighthound – hounds that hunt by sight and speed rather than scent and endurance.


Drystone – style of construction popular Northern Britain and Western Ireland, in which stones are interlocked without mortar


Hawthorn – a tree, it looks like this

Shows up in folklore, as the entrance to the otherworld, also as the crown of thorns used on Jesus.


Secateurs – pruning clippers


Obverse – the ‘heads’ side of a coin. The counterpart of a fact.


Druids, Norse, Catholics, Protestants, doesn’t matter. That’s what people pay lip service to. The old religion is what gets the crops up and keeps your cock hard and makes sure that nobody builds a bloody great motorway through an area of outstanding beauty.


Pusillanimous – timid, lacking in courage



It’s time for another vocab lesson with the Dirty Old Man! This time we’re doing Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Like last time, I’m not going to review the thing (gods know there are more than enough people doing that these days). I’m just gonna run through words that stood out to me.



This is the quote that opens the book:

Maurice Sendak to Art Spiegelman in the New Yorker – I remember my own child hood vividly I knew terrible things, but I knew I mustn’t let adults know I knew them. It would scare them.


Catkins –  Sometimes, even if I know what something is, especially a plant or animal, but I don’t see it often, I’ll look up a picture so’s I can keep up with the author.


Dowsing –  a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites,[1] and many other objects and materials without the use of scientific apparatus. [I’ve always heard this called water witching.


Trestle – a framework consisting of a horizontal beam supported by two pairs of sloping legs, used in pairs to support a flat surface such as a tabletop.

Poulter – Poltergeist


Shuck – a person or thing regarded as worthless or contemptible.


Girls and Boys come out to play – an old Nursery rhyme 


In those dreams I spoke that language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. It is the most basic building brick of everything in my dreams I kept a perfect little bed and breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say in that tongue, “Be whole” and they would become whole, not be broken people, not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.


That’s the trouble with things. Don’t last very long, Kittens one day, old cats the next. And then just memories. And the memories fade and blend and smudge together…


I do not know why I did not ask an adult about it. I do not remember asking adults about anything, except as a last resort. That was the year I dug a wart from my knee with a penknife, discovering how deeply I could cut before it hurt, and what the roots of a wart look like.


Small children believe themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and they can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing things.


I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children’s stories. They were better than that. They just were.


When he got angry enough to shout at me he would occasionally remind me that he did not hit me, as if to make me grateful. In the school stories I read, misbehaviour often resulted in a caning, or the slipper, and then was forgiven and done, and I would sometimes envy those fictional children for the cleanness of their lives.


Narcissi  – Daffodils


Counterpane – a bedspread.


Why do I find the hardest thing for me to believe, looking back, is that a girl of five and a boy of seven had a gas fire in their bedroom?


Mangle (object) – Called a Wringer in the United States. a mechanical laundry aid consisting of two rollers in a sturdy frame, connected by cogs and, in its home version, powered by a hand crank or electrically. While the appliance was originally used to wring water from wet laundry, today mangles are used to press or flatten sheets, tablecloths, kitchen towels, or clothing and other laundry.


Oh, Monsters are scared… That’s why they’re monsters.


Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.


Knucklebones – Jacks (the ones you catch while bouncing a ball, not the men’s toilet)


The second things I thought was that I knew everything Lettie Hempstock’s Ocean flowed inside me, and it filled the entire universe, from egg to rose. I knew that. I knew what Egg was —Where the universe be can, to the sound of uncreated voices singing in the void—and I knew where rose was—the peculiar crinkling of space on space into dimensions that fold like origami and blossom like strange orchids, and which would mark the last good time before the eventual end of everything and the next big bang, which would be, I knew now, nothing of the kind.


Skeins –  a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted; tangled or complicated arrangement, state, or situation


Spotted dick – a pudding popular in Britain, containing dried fruit (usually currants or raisins) commonly served with custard.



Final Nano Clock in: !17563. Not a success, but for my first attempt I’m not too disappointed in myself especially since I started 11 days late.

Shuffle says “Oi! Oi! OI!” Cockney Rejects Greatest Hits Volume III

Hey it’s my birthday!
Whatever, Enough of that. Here’s last Sunday’s post.

Over in the UK they’re acting out a 70’s cop movie when undercover agents attempting to infiltrate groups of political activists fall in love with their targets.

Someone at has put together an American Gods mixtape. And you know how much I love a good mixtape.

Sunny Megatron’s Husband Ken takes a look at Mormonism and sexuality.

Benedict Cumberbatch Keeps making himself more awesome. Following up his leading role in the best video adaptation of Sherlock Holmes to date (though, The Great Mouse Detective and Neil Gaiman’s homage with “A Study in Emerald” come a close second) on the BBC, he has gone full villain in his dual role as both the Necromancer and Smaug in the forthcoming Hobbit movies, as well as KHAAAAAAAAAN! in the sequel to JJ Abrams’s agreeing of  Star Trek. Recently he took it to a whole new level of geek/cult awesome to star in an audio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Joining him will be yet more amazing people including  David Harewood,  Natalie Dormer, James ‘that Scottish guy that isn’t Ewan McGregor” McEvoy, and Anthony “Buffy was so intense I gave up my middle name” Head. Also Saruman. Just sayin.

The NYPD finally caught up to that dastardly dingle who put up all those posters about drone strikes.

The Weekly Sift is all about the Unions this week.
Be safe out there, Boppers.



Shuffle Says: “Miss You” The Rolling Stones, Some Girls

I’ve been away for awhile, gearing up for  Assassins which opens October 12th at the Viaduct Theatre. In the meantime, a lot of shit seems to have happened in the world so this week’s links will be in two parts.

Most Importantly, Neil Gaiman posts a letter from a scared actress who unwittingly took part in an anti-Islamic film.

Maggie Mayhem clearly explains to California Voters why a law supposedly aimed at human trafficking will in fact infringe on civil liberties and harm women, working and otherwise, throughout the state.

The Cylon/Dalek Hybrid, Mitt Romney was not updated with the ‘Gay people have families’ bundle and needs to be updated.

Afterwards, he forces Coal Miners to attend his rally.

The New Inquiry takes a good look at the logic of Occupy Wall St

Molly Crabapple teams up with Dave Graeber in The Nation by asking “Can Debt Spark a Revolution?”

Google has relented and finally allowed bisexuals to exist.

Shuffle Says: The last Album I listened to with Andy was Nevermind by Nirvana, so here’s “Come as you Are

Two great men died last month. One you haven’t heard of, the other was Ray Bradbury.

I hate writing eulogistic posts

There’s never anything right to say, especially if it’s a loved one. And if it’s a famous, person every newspaper, subject appropriate magazine, blogger, etc.. has already covered it with something probably more poignant and personal than you could ever come up with in a timely manner.

It seems like anything you write is somehow insulting to their memory. And now of course I’m being equally insulting, writing about me and how difficult it is conjuring up something fitting. It’s all cliché, but with a subject as old as death how could it not be.

Ray was old, he contributed some of the finest works of literature to the cultural repertoire of the human race and drastically influenced writers for centuries to come. He was old. It was his time I suppose. Right? Whatever the fuck that means.

Andy was young…ish. He was involved in so many people’s lives and changed them for the better. He was a pillar of the community in which he dwelled. He gave his time and effort and wisdom and love freely to all who but asked him for it.

He was the kind of person everyone loved, not just liked. Not small or unassuming. I loved him. I am a better person, a better artist, a better citizen of the world because of my experience with him. And there are plenty of people who could say the same. People who knew him better.

Anyway, that’s All I got. Here a few links.

Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury by Rachel Bloom. A young woman’s pledge of love and devotion to her favorite author.

Neil Gaiman’s The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury

And my friend Andy promo video for a production he led of Sam Sheppard’s The Tooth of Crime

Shuffle Says: “Marry You” B.B. King and Eric Claption Ridin with the King.

So, awhile ago I wrote about my last road trip back up here (that was before my plates expired and I ended up with 500 dollars in parking tickets in two weeks while keeping it in the exact same spot on my street) and how wonderful the drive was. This was in large part due to the pleasant company of Neil Gaiman and friends and the new full cast recording of  American Gods. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, Gaiman is a huge fan if audio books and I’m sure he went through a great deal of effort to ensure a fine production. Before the tenth anniversary of Gods Gaiman’s last novel to take an aural turn was The Graveyard Book and before that was The Wolves in the Walls both of which were for children and both of which were read in their official capacity entirely by him. In American Gods (the first version did not feature the dulcet tones of the author’s voice) Gaiman takes a bit of a back seat opting not narrate this one as he believes it would be inappropriate given his accent (an admirable choice). Instead he takes on the “Coming To America” passages, all immigrant stories, which makes far more sense considering he is one himself.  Even for those brief moments, his voice as always was a wonderful, sexy addition to the joy of the story itself.

This book is certainly on my top five and I believe, especially considering its sheer epic nature, is one that always stands for a great reread.

The new edition also features 16,000 more words than the original U.S. version. It gives it a bit of a ‘directors cut feel’, though not changing the story all that much. Gaiman admired that the “original” version has long since been lost. After half a dozen rewrites and numerous edits and editions after the majority of that text was cut, it couldn’t simply be shoved back in without negative repercussions on the story. So Gaiman says he actually did some minor rewriting to slip some extra material in and calls the new version his “preferred” text.

All things considered, however, the added content was so well blended in I had to often ask myself if maybe I had forgotten something or remembered it wrong. Luckily I was driving and couldn’t pull out my old copy to check. There additional scene with Jesus (and I wont tell you any more about it), he doesn’t put back ‘in’ at all, but leaves it as something like a deleted scene at the end. This one was interesting was… nice, a bit queer, and I can see why he left it out.

The cast is stellar, the only actors I had issue with were Shaddow’s wife Laura – there was some strange stop start cadence to her speech that just kept bothering me – and… some other woman (Sam Blackcrow I think and for the same reason)

OK so not much of a review today, but I’m feeling lazy and I really want to get this one off the shelf

Also, after spending this precious time with the book, I feel it is worth giving a half sleeve’s worth of ink to. Anyone who feels like volunteering to design it, feel free to volunteer.

Shuffle says: “Feel Me, Touch Me”, Fastway, Fastway

Today’s post is sponsored Chicago PRIDE day, whose fairly entertaining mess I just got to walk though on my way home (again you’ll notice how this will probably not end up being posted when I write it). That and Neil Gaiman who just seems to be everywhere with this post.

Today is Yoga day! This is in accordance with the Neil Gaiman workout plan as I am calling it, which I spoke of sometime last week or so (though it really has very little to do with him, but the yoga today is reminding me of this picture he had posted on his wall a while back) for which I have been reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing which at the rate it’s going might rival No Country for my favorite of his so far. Today, however I took a little break, because Yoga runs about an hour and a half and instead of just doubling the amount of McCarthy I read, I listened to Kevin Smith interview Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer on his podcast Starfucking.

I ended up reading about because I had been checking out something about his 10th anniversary edition of American Gods (I did not end up auditioning for the Audio cast, by the by. Turns out, I hate the sound of my own voice) which has been expanded by about 12,000 words. After hearing the announcement I ended up reading about a quarter of the 600 page road trip epic before forcing myself to stop for fear of ruining my appetite for the new edition.

Understandably the new cast recording of the book will probably make its way onto my stack of audio to reads.