Thursday, January 5, 2012


1. To my list of things written last year.
I had another article in press that slipped my mind, one which arrived in print yesterday with a last year's date on it: "A Tolkien Classification System" in the December issue, no. 32, of that intensely special-interest occasional magazine, The Tolkien Collector. It's a discussion of and outline for a suggested way for prolific collectors to arrange their books by and especially those about Tolkien in an order more interesting and possibly more useful than just author and title, drawing on my long professional experience with fine-grained library classification.
I also have an article that I submitted to Chunga when the newly-released issue was being first prepared, so if it's accepted it'll be in the next one, but I haven't heard back from the editors about it yet.

2. Pyffe asked, since I'd posted my song to feed cats by, if I might post my alluded-to songs to clean litter boxes by. Actually, most of them are just nonsense reworkings, but there is one rather more special. The delightful singer-songwriters Lou and Peter Berryman have an old-home nostalgia song called "Your State's Name Here", which you may hear them perform on this video. Lou sings generic lyrics in praise of a generic state, and at any point where something specific is called for, Peter interrupts with words like "your state's name here" or "the state songbird" or "place a colloquialism right here," all of which of course fit the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the rest of the lyrics perfectly.

It seemed to me that this song was crying out for a parody called "Your Cat's Name Here," and many years ago B. and I collaborated on writing one, which we performed with great success at a couple of filksings when I was still attending them occasionally. I won't print the entire lyrics here, but there were a lot of comic references to annoying feline behaviors that cat owners like us somehow put up with and even find endearing, and the chorus alludes to a daily duty that never seems to show up in other paeans to cats, so I tend to sing it while performing that duty. It goes like this, the first singer's part in ordinary type and the second singer's interjections in bold brackets:
Oh, [your cat's name here], oh, [again], what a cat
She always brings presents, a fish, bird, or rat
When I rise in the morning, each day of the year
I clean out the catbox of [your cat's name here]

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