Grapefruits Need Pruning and Blogs Need Naming

Now here is a book I’m sure you’ll really enjoy. It is called Seven Ways to Prune a GrapefruitIt’s a collection of poetry by one of (if not the) most delightful minds I have had the pleasure of knowing. Dr. Johnny Wink is a professor of English and Latin, a perpetual student of his wife’s Advanced Grammar class, and a real nice guy, to boot. He has been writing poems “for the sheer fun of it” many a year, now, and it’s high time his words were put back into print.

I encourage you to read this article to get an even stronger idea of the whimsical nature of Johnny Wink and the affection he inspires in all who come across him.

Then I encourage you to pre-order his book here, at the publisher’s website. They will only print as many books as they have orders for, and will be taking orders until August 19th. Unsettling Wonder is a British publisher, so it will ship from overseas if you are from North America. The total comes to £17.99, or approximately $28USD, and I have every confidence that it will be well worth it.

I was lucky enough to have Johnny Wink as a professor, mentor, and friend during my time at university. It makes my heart swell with gladness to know that now virtually anyone can be moved to giggles by his wit.

Johnny Wink was, in a way, the inspiration for the title of this very blog. Erin had asked me what we should name our joint endeavor, and I was at the time enrolled in the Charles Dickens course taught by Dr. Wink. It was a very small class, with only seven students—and all of us female. Being a small group, we were able to spend quite a bit of time bringing up our favorite quotations from our reading and having a good laugh (Dickens really is quite the chap for humor, in case you had gotten the impression he was all stuffy and didactic). One such session brought up this very quote from The Pickwick Papers (or its full title, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club), which turned out to be my favorite Dickens novel.

“Rum creeters is women” was such an unusual phrase; we had to know what it meant. When it was explained that the dirty-faced man was declaring women to be strange creatures, our class knew we had to take ownership of that phrase immediately. Johnny Wink, who for the purposes of that class was nicknamed “Miss Peecher” after one of Dickens’ characters, took it even a step further and suggested we start an all-girl punk rock band called The Rum Creeters. Well, we never did start that punk rock band, but I wasn’t willing to let that phrase be closed in a book and put back on a shelf. So now here we are, the Rum Creeters (for we are all a bit rum, aren’t we?), thanks to one Johnny Wink.

Signing off for today,

Puella Fontanarum Calidarum
(my Latin nickname, bestowed by Miss Peecher himself)

I Sing the Body Electric

This entry is a twofer! I’m putting a music video at the end, so it’ll count for Mix Tape Tuesday. Because I said so.

One of my most cherished friends gave me an iPod “just because.” She was able to get it for free after rebate and, since she had her own iPod already, decided I would appreciate it. Consider me thoroughly appreciative. I’m still in awe of how much love this woman has in her heart. Okay, I know that sounds cheesy, but there’s no uncheesy response to a gesture like that.

That being said, I’m quite proud of myself for coming up with the perfect engraving for the back of the iPod:

I Sing the Body Electric

It’s a reference to multiple things, it fits well in the context of a music player, and it’s a phrase that I’ve always found intriguing.

Poetry isn’t generally my cup of tea; I’m a prose girl. I have my fair share of favorite poets, as any English major ought, and I have penned my fair share of poems, as any writer ought. But for the most part I find I connect best with novels and short stories. That doesn’t, however, mean I cannot be passionate about a poem. And if ever there was a poem I was passionate about, it’s “I Sing the Body Electric” by Walt Whitman.

My first encounter with that phrase was through Rod Serling. (He is one of my heroes, but I will save my thoughts on him for another entry.) It is the title of an episode of The Twilight Zone written by Ray Bradbury (another of my favorite authors), adapted from his short story of the same title. I highly recommend both watching the episode and reading the story.

That’s all I have to say about that.

-Rachel

P.S. And now for something completely different, does this video remind anyone else of The Adventures of Pete & Pete?

“Rue the Day” by Young Knives, from their album Superabundance (2008).

Ode to a frizzy-haired friend

Good morning, Creeter Readers.

How I have missed you.

Last week, I had full intentions of writing a post, but then I didn’t. No great excuse; I was just happy to be lazy with no obligations.

Last week was also Rachel’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!), so I have decided to write a few limericks about her. Enjoy.

There once was a girl from Nantucket

No, I’m kidding. Seriously. Here you go:

I have a frizzy-haired friend
who’s greatness I’d like to commend
she’s quirky and fun
and she’s surely the one
who everyone should befriend

She could listen to music for days
and her knowledge will always amaze
she’ll tell you a fact
that’s never unbacked
and you’ll quickly be a part of the craze

She also loves to write
She’s more than just all right
In fact, she’s great
a heavyweight!
and your mind, she will excite

And of course she’s loads of fun
and always good for a pun
she’ll sing and dance
or frolick and prance
and she’ll even do the charleston

I’m lucky as can be
to know a girl such as she
who’s always been
through thick and thin
a wonderful friend to me

Love you, Ruh-chel, Rachanting monks, Rah-cha-cha-cha, Rachipmunk…

-Ebo