Sunday Salon: Gourded

It's been many a long week since I last joined you for Sunday Salon.  What have I been up to since then?  A welter of teaching and grading.  Somewhat less pleasure reading and film watching.  I became obsessed with the Miltonic television triumph of last spring, Justified, and with Timothy Olyphant's performance in it.  I turned 30, and that seemed like a good moment in my life to decide what kind of character I would be.  And I am deeply in thrall to the Canadian reality show Battle of the Blades, in which ex-NHL players are taught to become pairs figure skaters, to the extent that I now use it to demonstrate theoretical principles in my classes.

And reading?  I just finished Jennifer Crusie's exceptional good comic novel Faking It, in which an art forger falls in love with a con man only after the most numbingly awkward sexual start.  It's all about the forging of identities in more senses than one - the fabricating of separate selves for separate circumstances and the paralyzing (or sometimes eroticizing) effects of these  performances.  And it is so unspeakably witty, and utterly uninvested in the cliches of the romance genre, except as an object of light satire.  Consider this early moment, when the hero meets the niece and mother of the heroine (whose name he doesn't yet know, although he has decided that she bears a certain passing resemblance to a woman named Boop):

He grinned a little to himself, thinking of Nadine's curly hair and pale blue eyes; clearly she was someone who swam in Betty's gene pool.  And Gwen, too.  If you lined them up, all three of them with those weird eyes, they'd look like an outtake from Children of the Damned.
My favorite of the three Crusie novels I have read so far - I can't wait to read more.

Other news: last week, I discovered that a delightful (and previous unknown to me) colleague at a major university well to the south of me has structured huge parts of a graduate seminar around my (unpublished) dissertation and its framework.  And then my brain crawled out giddily out of my ear.

Three weeks ago, I began to write a Sunday Salon post about the most extraordinary event of the previous week, but I never had time to finish it.  Here it is, better late than never:

~     ~     ~

I have just two words to say to you about my day: Pumpkin. Regatta.

This time last year I was oppressively exhausted.  D called me up  and said, "You know that town we just visited on the northern shore of Nova Scotia?  They are having a pumpkin regatta tomorrow, and you have to go."

"I don't know," I said, "I am just so tired."

"Ariel," he said sternly, "If I was lucky enough to live an hour away from a pumpkin regatta, nothing could keep me away."

So I went, ploddingly, and (you see where this is going) it was sublime.  I had always thought that small towns as idyllic as the ones we see on television shows like The Gilmore Girls were the stuff of Hollywood fantasy.  Nowhere could be that charming.  Nope: Windsor, NS, with its main street just waiting for a film set in the 40s to take up shooting, is that charming.  It is known for two things: its claim to be the birthplace of hockey, and its unusually plump breed of pumpkins.  So plump are these pumpkins that two adults can sit inside a carved specimen and paddle it about like a boat.

There are generally two events: the motorized pumpkin (an outboard motor is attached to a raft made of two or three giant gourds) and the paddle division (one or two rowers propel a hollowed pumpkin).  Last year the motorized division included just three vessels.  The local head shop had sponsored one boat, which promptly stalled in the middle of the race.  "I don't want to draw any conclusions about the effects of marijuana use on your performance," drawled the announcer, "but there appears to be a bit of trouble out there."  The winner of one of the two races last year was the headmaster of the local school.  The whole town seemed to have brought their dogs - in Halloween costume - for some sort of contest that just precedes the regatta.  The whole thing: totally winning, utterly charming.

D arrived in Halifax late last night - just in time to go to the regatta today.  It was bitterly cold, but we braved the elements with my friend S and perched on damp, windswept rocks with the rest of the crowd to eat our poutine and hotdogs and watch the rotund pumpkin shenanigans.  (S was felled for the rest of the week by a racking illness that I couldn't help but feel partially responsible for, and mentally dubbed the "Giant Pumpkin plague".) 

D and S began to plot for next year, when they would carve their own vessel and take up regatta piracy.  "We could run up a skull and crossbones and wreak havoc among the other contestants," they cried, "we will bring tiny cannons that would shoot those miniature pumpkins instead of cannonballs!"

"Yes," I added, "and instead of being boarded, your victims would be gourded."

Groans all round....

Making the ice icy

I'm obsessed with Canadian reality tv show Battle of the Blades, in which (ex-)professional hockey players are taught how to figure skate with top-calibre female ice dancers or pairs skaters.  How could I not be?  I mean, look at it:

First: I defy you not to weep as you remember the tragic beauty of Gordeeva and the late lamented Grinkov.  But look how happy she is now.  Secondly: Katia and her hockey player Val went to the same Russian athletic academy as children.  It is clearly icy fate that has brought them together.  Thirdly, bear in mind that Val has only been figure skating for a month when he performs this.  A month in which all his years of accumulated confidence on the ice were abruptly crushed and then rebuilt.

I may even have used it as a way to explain defamiliarization to the students of my theatre class during our discussion of Brecht the other day.  The same class featured a preliminary analysis of this week's episode of Glee as theatricalist television (I swear to you, one of my students said, "What's Glee?".  Three of her classmates immediately responded, simultaneously and before a single beat had elapsed, "The best show EVER."  Really: they all used exactly the same phrase.  It was eerie.), an account of my brief appearance as an extra on the now-defunct Joan of Arcadia to demonstrate the anxiety that results from reversing the spectatorial gaze, and a moment in which I held up a long strip of sour fruit ribbon candy and compared it to Brecht's concept of "culinary theatre," or theatre that sells you an ephemeral experience of emotion without arousing critical distance, intellectual engagement, or the desire to change the world.  I could just hear their internal monologues: "She brought us candy, which is awesome, but then she turned it into a metaphor for Brecht, which is not.  How could she do this to us?".

Anyway, our minds soon turned to the question of Verfremdungseffekt (imprecisely translated into English as alienation or estrangement, words which have an unwarranted tinge of hostility to them, since Brecht is actually advocating for Verfremdung as a goal of socially conscious art).

"You may have heard about this in your other literature classes under the name 'defamiliarization,' which is what the Russian Formalists called it," I said to my students, all the while chewing, cow-like, on my strip of culinary theatre, "Defamiliarization is an experience of reversal and realization: when something you thought you knew (and had stopped examining closely) is made unfamiliar, and you look at it with new eyes.  The idea being that what art does is defamiliarize the world, forcing us to slow down and reconsider our assumptions and take pleasure in the overlooked."

(My colleague would later remind me of the lovely quotation from Viktor Shklovsky's 1917 essay "Art as Technique": "Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one's wife, and the fear of war... And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.  The technique of art is to make objects 'unfamiliar'... to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.")

"Or from Brecht's perspective, the Verfremdungseffekt forces us to recognize the ideologies that govern aspects of society that we think of as 'natural' and unchangeable.  You might think," I went on, feeling from the stoniness of their stares that perhaps I was succeeding in increasing the difficulty and length of my students' perception of Brecht, "of Battle of the Blades."

Incredulous titters.  I power through.

"Defamiliarization is a hockey player who, after decades of confidence on the ice, puts on a pair of figure skates and suddenly not only realizes the difficulty of simple skating techniques (he hasn't been this clumsy since he was four years old, and what the hell is this toepick?), but also begins to question the nature of his self-confidence, the way he has grounded his whole personality on his skating abilities, and the ideologies that undergird his celebrity, his disdain for other ice sports, his sense of masculinity, his devotion to technique and hard work and training, or the way he relates to his own body."

Oh, Georges Laraque, how I adore thee.  Be sure to watch to the part of the video in which they detail how he was injured in practice doing the most demanding trick of the routine and immediately came back to perform it again.  Also note the peculiar character of the judging is a Verfremdungseffekt: there is always at least one judge who is a former hockey player on hand to comment disbelievingly that someone who once regularly bludgeoned the #^%$ out of him is now so graceful on the ice.

The player who was eliminated after this night's show asked the host if he could say something, after it became clear he was going home.  Here's what it was, in all its defamiliarized glory:
"In Canada, we prejudge and stereotype figure-skating a lot.  And what we've learned in the last little while, or I have, is, uh, all the hard work and dedication that these people have, but it's going on in every rink across Canada.  So from all the hockey guys, we tip our hats to every kid taking this - it's an amazing sport, and we've learned a lot."

Here be dragons: Charting the Female Character

The highly intriguing Overthinking It has a worked out a convoluted and perilous "Choose your Own Adventure"-style flowchart of narrative possibilities for female characters.

In the narrative of my own life, I am going to place myself somewhere between "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" and "Mystical Artifact."  With maybe a soupçon of "Lady Macbeth" thrown in for good measure. Sorry, D.  Just screw your courage to the sticking-place and we'll get through it together.

On turning thirty

Excerpts from the recent journals of Sycorax Pine:

Thursday, October 7, 2010
30 years ago today, I was supposed to be born, but wasn't.  Instead I was born a week later, on my father's birthday.  He had been born on his parents' anniversary.  As a family, we know to make an entrance.

Wednesday, October 13
Long day at work, came home from salsa class to a table full of fresh lobsters, bought and prepared by my family.  Bliss.  Thanks for your sacrifice, wee lobster friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010
My 30th birthday.  Spent most of the day in the office, working on a grant proposal and hypothesizing a book project.  Then out to lovely dinner with houseful of visiting family (D, parents, and mother-in-all-but-law) and home to messages from friends.  Exhaustion. Vast improvement over the last two birthdays, when I cried with frustration and loneliness in the face of unscalable Mt. Grademores, nearly burned down the house by leaving the toaster set to "Always On" overnight, and looked out the window to find the city had towed my car.  I sense a new maturity.  But my knees hurt, and they didn't yesterday.

Friday, October 15, 2010
I can't go to see Midnight with Roy tonight, so I console myself by taking us off to see my university's National Hockey Champions play the season opener at local rival Dalhousie.  Immediate college sport culture shock: the night opened with Dal congratulating SMU (my school) on its dominance last year, "Because when one of us wins, we ALL win." My group exchanges glances. "Can you imagine," I say, "If at the beginning of the Carolina-Duke game, the Tar Heels congratulated Dook on their championship win? Anathema." I shudder.  Still, you've got to admire Canadian collectivist politeness at work.  Although the game did end in a giant, fists-flying brawl... after SMU won 5-0. (Go Huskies!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010
Everyone went home at the crack of dawn today and now the house feels both free and barren.  Must get some sonic mouse deterrents.  Little buggers took immediate advantage of unpopulous house to frolic in front of me.  Smart-asses.

Monday, October 18, 2010
Up late last night in empty house and empty bed, churning my way through the pile of Lisa Kleypas romances that landed on my doorstep earlier in the week.  They all begin well, if somewhat identically: strong, confidant woman meets professional man intrigued by her self-sufficiency.  But all end rather unnervingly with a flurry of "No no! Please! Not here! Not now! Someone will find us! Oh, please stop"s that are actually "Yes, yes! I can't resist you! Overcome me!"s.  And there is frequently a trajectory of independent self-reliance disintegrating into sobbing codependence on the part of the heroine.  I don't care for it.  Even when I often admire other things Kleypas is up to, particularly with her use of image and metaphor, I can't help feeling this is queasy gender politics masquerading as feminism.

I began on the night of my 30th birthday with Suddenly You, which begins on the night of its heroine's 30th birthday.  Convinced of her wizened, unapproachable spinsterhood and alarmed by her impending descent into decrepitude, she decides to celebrate by hiring a gigolo and losing her virginity.  Because that's what you do if you are a single Victorian woman of a literary bent and a certain age.  Don't you remember anything from Jane Eyre?  The male prostitute incident was somewhere between the scene in which Rochester cross-dresses as a female gypsy fortune-teller and the one in which Jane flirts with becoming a repressed missionary.

But back to Suddenly You, a book in which this actually does happen.  The man who shows up at her door at the agreed time is surprisingly untawdry.  Still, she is getting cold feet, and begs him to leave.  For the first of many times, he dismisses her request out of hand:

"Oh, no. Not if I'm your birthday present.  I'm going to keep you company.  You're not going to stay alone on such an important evening.  Let me guess - today began your thirtieth year of life."*
"How did you know my age?"
"Because women react strangely to the thirtieth.  I once knew a woman who draped all the mirrors in black cloth on that birthday, for all the world as if a death had occurred."
"She was mourning her lost youth," Amanda said shortly, and downed a large swallow of wine until it sent a flush of heat through her chest.  "She was reacting to the fact that she had become middle-aged."
"You're not middle-aged.  You're ripe.  Like a hothouse peach."
"Nonsense," she muttered.... (15)

Hmmm.  I'm doing some muttering myself.

*That's right - this day actually ENDED her thirtieth year of life, and started her thirty-first.  But who am I to quibble?  Just an old crone, er, hothouse peach.

What in me is dark illumine, what is low raise and support

Netflix has finally come to Canada, albeit solely in its digital form, and dove-like it sits brooding over the vast abyss of my evening, and makest it pregnant with a new addiction.  The streaming quality, for me at least, is impeccable, the selection of films and shows not by any means exhaustive but certainly tempting (and very different from the American digital catalogue, as far as I can tell).  And tonight it brought me the complete first season of Justified, which I have been itching to get my hands on since it made a serious splash last spring.

The premise is this: Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) has a bad habit of shooting people.  They know what's coming to them.  His targets are routinely criminals, and he always puts it to them bluntly: you have a choice here, he says, resist and you will die.  Argue and you will die.  Do anything unexpected and you will die.  Submit to my will, and you'll have your life.  The choice is theirs.  But, damn 'em, they keep choosing wrong. So he loses his job in Miami and has to move back to Harlan County, Kentucky (of documentary fame), site of a coal-mining past and grifting father he has no desire to revisit.

My first thought after watching the pilot?  "Wait... so Timothy Olyphant can act?"  He is brilliant here - a model of self-deprecating subtlety.  You can see every emotion flash across his face, succeeded swiftly by the next one.  Where was this when he was Seth Bullock in Deadwood, a character so woodenly acted that you resigned yourself to viewing his strong-jawed beauty as compensation for a lack of depth?  What's more, Bullock is a character identical in every broad-stroke feature to Raylan Givens - his almost puritanical self-control (over his sexuality, his anger, his symbolic status as the law), his quiet magnetism, his conflicted devotion to the way of justice in all its murky glory.  But Olyphant plays the part completely (completely, I tell you) differently.  Bullock was interesting, but only in apposition with Al Swearengen, the Lord of Misrule, Chaos turned to the cause of Order.  Raylan, by contrast, has all the anxious care of a Jimmy Stewart mind trapped in a John Wayne persona: the lethal fist in the ethical glove.

My first thought after the second episode: this is very well written.  It still has a procedural feeling at this point - each episode ensnaring him in a different crime and its punishment - but you can feel the individuality of each secondary character, and you can sense the weight of Raylan's worries, along with his largely successful attempts to hide them.  Every scene is about big things (justice, violence, the debts of friendship and the duties of morality) and small things (how you wear a hat, how you spot a fake neo-Nazi by the way he unconsciously rubs his shaved head, as if he doesn't really remember that hair is gone).  This is the combination of detail and intellectual complexity that mediocre shows miss completely.

It is good enough to have me quoting Milton, whom I left graduate school with a profound and vehement hatred for.  But there is something distinctly Miltonic going on here, with Raylan insistence on the choice that his criminal targets retain -- a choice of theirs that conveniently relieves him of the ethical burdens of having shot them.  It is a choice that absolves him of choice.  "They drew first," he repeatedly finds himself saying, in the great dusty Western tradition, "It was justified."  But, of course, this is a word which has defensive anxiety built into its very connotations.  To be justified is not to be just.   It is to have formulated or discovered a just explanation, after the fact.

What Raylan has to do in every episode so far  is justify the ways of the gun to men.  And we have already seen these ways in terrible conflict with his other values: friendship, family, sexual attraction, his career (which demands the most justification from him: even though his job as an enforcer depends on the association between the Way of the Law and the Way of the Gun, this power, according to his bosses, should largely be exercised through restraint), and even love.

In the first episode, he tells his ex-wife about a shooting from the first five minutes of the show.  "But he pulled first," he says, casually, looking down at his beer and avoiding her face, "So I was justified."  There is a pause, and then: "But what troubles me ... is what if he hadn't?"  Raylan had given him twenty-four hours to get out of town, or he would die.  "What if he just sat there and let the clock run out?  Would I have killed him anyway? I know I wanted to.  I guess I just never thought of myself as an angry man."  His ex laughs: "Raylan: You do a good job of hiding it, and I suppose most folks don't see it, but, honestly, you're the angriest man I've ever known."  An expression flits across his face that says he didn't sneak into his ex-wife's house at midnight to receive this particular assessment of his character.

So maybe I have the wrong epic invocation.  Maybe this show demands a muse who will sing of wrath, and the countless ills it brings....

Where have I been?

My god, I am not sure I even know.

It has been a couple of hectic weeks in which I ... attended the Pumpkin Regatta to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving ... taught up a storm (somehow this managed to involve showing a lot of videos of fake phallus props to my students while we were studying Aristophanes*) ... hosted four houseguests (all family, all delightful)... started a hunt for my first ever owned home ... and officially entered my fourth decade of life.

All of which I have wanted to talk about at some length, but there never seems to be sufficient time in the schedule for a good, substantial blogging session.  So I just wanted to pop in and assure you that I am still, at the very least, in the land of the living.  Even if I am experiencing The Five Stages of Grading.

*I didn't show this one to them, but can't resist sharing it with you.

Book forts and Pas(s)times

D is coming to visit, my first sight of him since August.  (Next anticipated sighting? December.)  He leaves Honolulu at 9:30 tonight, and, traveling without cease, he will arrive in Halifax tomorrow at 10 p.m.  Twenty-four hours of travel apart? I don't care for that.  I feel like we are one internet and cell phone collapse away from carrying on a Victorian epistolary romance.

So... the next twenty-four hours are stretching out ominously, tediously, and busily (there is a lot of cleaning that needs to get done before this house is livable for anyone but me and the mouse colony that has taken up residence under my sofa).   But I am going to while away at least part of that time in reading, so I thought I would share my two favorite bibliophile discoveries of the week with you in honor of this passe-temps.

First, I give you this marvelous Penguin Books campaign.  I mean, who hasn't fantasized that they could just open up their hands and read whatever book they wanted in their palms?  Best mutant power ever.

And then there is the infinitely entertaining Bookshelf Porn, site of endless bibliophile giddiness.  What is there not to love about the shelves that spell out a giant injunction to literacy? (D's roommate tells me she is totally onboard with our putting these up in their LA apartment.)  And I think we all know that if the cautious Canadian banking system (that's why our economy isn't a state of total collapse, RBC bankers routinely say to me, turning a gimlet eye on my profligate American self) refuses me a mortgage,  it will quickly come to this.  Or this, depending on how assailed by worldly troubles I feel.

Sunday Salon: Leviathan and Lonely

Last night a friend from my department hosted a massive 80s party.  I may (embarrassingly) be the only person I work with who was born in the 80s (and thus may have a somewhat blurrier memory of the decade than everyone else there), but I did my best to turn it out.  Much planning went into my ensemble: A stiff silk taffeta baby doll dress, its gunmetal overskirt pinned up to render it less demure and show off the ruffled petticoat. Gartered fishnets.  Hand-knitted (over the last two days) faux angora legwarmers that made my feet look like a sooty yeti's and that made a determined run for the floor at every opportunity. Peep-toe, bow-and-brocade black heels (totteringly high, ill-conceived for dancing). Huge, curling-ironed hair, asymmetrically swept up on one side.  Sparkle-encrusted, teal-lined eyes, heavy on the mascara. Harsh blush, hot pink lipstick.  Emphatic brows.

It all started out looking satisfyingly trashy, though by the end of the evening it had settled into this. (Left.  Note that the yeti legwarmers had, at this point, given up any attempt to stay on my gams.)

At any rate, the moral of the story is that this morning (sigh, midday) I look like a raccoon that fell face-first into a child's collection of colored glitters and finger paints, I've lost my voice from shouting over Madonna and the Bangles, and I can barely walk from dancing in those heels.

Ah, well: worth it.

So what am I up to this Sunday? Well, blogging (a pleasure I have shamefully neglected since the start of classes a few weeks ago).  Gym-going.  Lesson-planning for tomorrow.  And, hopefully, some of these other things:


My copy of Monsters of Men, the third book in Patrick Ness's increasingly brilliant Chaos Walking trilogy, arrived on my doorstep this week, so I am dying to dive into the conclusion to this tale of a world in which a virus has made men's thoughts audible (the Noise, they call it, and it makes living in a community almost unbearable), and the consequences to society of this psychological shift.  I can't forget that I have work to do, or it will absorb me totally.

It's lucky that it arrived when it did, however, because I had just finished Carolyn Crane's excellent romance-tinged sci fi novel, Double Cross, and was feeling a bit bereft.  This is the second in Crane's series about an alternate-history midwestern metropolis in which the, well, excessively-abled (known by those who actually believe in their existence as highcaps) can invade your dreams, or manipulate building structures, or read your thoughts.

The heroine isn't a highcap, but she encounters a magnetic figure named Packard who tells her that her rampant health anxiety (a really crippling hypochondriacal paranoia) can be externalized - purged temporarily from her system and even used as a sort of a weapon or tool.  She can pour it into others, specifically targets who need to be "disillusioned" of their antisocial tendencies, for whom all her potent fear can act as a destructive catharsis.  But Packard, of course, has his own agendas, probably nefarious, and despite the pull he exerts, she also finds herself drawn to a heroic figure named Otto, the mayor of the city and the very emblem of the power of the law and its structures.

I won't say any more for fear of wandering into the dread land of Spoiler for those who haven't read the totally engrossing first book, Mind Games, but I can wholeheartedly recommend both of these trilogies.  Double Cross is the sort of fiction that isn't afraid to (scratch that - is eager to) grapple with big, complex moral issues.  Crane doesn't mind ripping the veneer of perfection away from her characters - the fact that they are human makes them more compelling, and no less admirable (somehow) than the plastic sheen of flawlessness would.  This itself becomes a major theme in book 2...

I had a lot of time on my hands yesterday, while I had my fingers full of half-knitted legwarmer.  My eyes wandered guiltily to the pile of discs that had gathered dust under my television for the entire month of September.  So, in the time it took to knit a legwarmer and a half, I watched In Bruges (a brutal, sometimes manipulatively shocking, jarringly beautiful movie about two hitmen exiled to the fairy tale limbo of Bruges, it is the filmic equivalent of one of those marvelous, monstrous moral paintings by Brueghel or Bosch, filled with wild demonic torments) and then the classic Man of the West, starring Gary Cooper (never one of my favorite western heros, although he is sort of charmingly clumsy here).  This second may demand a rewatching at some point: my knitting is not so practiced, at this point, that I can take my eyes off it for any length of time, so I missed all the shadings of familial guilt and sexual threat that occur in the silences of a good western.  Another time...

Listening (A Literary Analysis)
All week (when I wasn't bathing my sparkly self in the sounds of the 80s) I was discovering the long-owned and long-neglected (by me) newish album by Josh Ritter, So Runs the World Away.  Ritter has been a favorite of mine for a long time, not only for the richness of his sound, but also for the literary intricacy of his lyrics. Consider my current favorite from the new album, "Change of Time":

He describes a dream of nightswimming, "directionless and drifting," in a world of things that have suffered a sea change (into something rich and strange):
I had a dream last night
and rusting far below me
battered hulls and broken hardships
Leviathan and lonely....
Its the wit of the wordplay that always gets me in a good Ritter song.  A hull is (of course) a nautical term - he is floating above shipwrecks and the sirens that lured men down - but it is also an empty shell, the container for things that have slipped away.  This is a song about the batterings of life, the ellusiveness and hollowness and strange, floating suspension of memory - the pun on "broken hardships" breaks that metaphor wide open for us.

(Also, I may have to name my first novel, set in Nova Scotia, Leviathan and Lonely.  You heard it here first.)

He goes on to extend the metaphor - the past is an anchor we drag behind us, memory is a set of ripped sails that won't quite propel us, catching the wind and then letting it slip through.  We are pummeled by the whitecaps of recollection.

And like so many Ritter songs, there is a fundamentally romantic shift at the end, although one tinged with melancholy rather than sentimentality.  (This is, of course, a pivotal part of my devotion to his music - unsentimental romanticism.  Do you know how hard that is to find?  How hard a pitch it is to hit and maintain?)
I had a dream last night
And when I opened my eyes
Your shoulder blade, your spine
Were shorelines in the moonlight.
New worlds for the weary,
New lands for the living.
I could make it if I tried -
I closed my eyes, I kept on swimming.

Here is a live acoustic version of the song - stripped down, less surging, but still lovely.

Until next time, Saloners! Enjoy your October days before they get too short....