1. A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleur
The search terms cropping up on statcounter.com have not been as entertaining lately; I mostly get "reverberate hills" over and over, which is probably just OCD me checking and checking, come to think of it. But I did get a good one recently: "prefer real ladies over clumsy women". Wow. Sure. I mean, I guess one would. But since the search came from the Hague, I'm picturing sort of a mash-up of fin-de-siecle Paris and a Dutch genre scene, with a monocled diplomat in morning coat off to the side, pursing his lips in disapproval as the bulky ruddy milkmaids with their chapped hands trip and spill through their morning labors, while his eyes gaze longingly across the way towards the ostrich-feathered ladies of the minor aristocracy, sipping tea from gold-rimmed Sevres held daintily in their tapered fingers.
In case you're wondering, what the seeker after refined ladyhood was offered was my write-up of La Rondine. I'm guessing that's not what he/she really wanted, however instructive it might be. But it's still more likely than the searches I get for "menstrual pad porn" (which always gets my weird trip to LA last spring) and "free bestiality" (I'm assuming that came from my mention of the "narwhal porn" searches, and I should really stop encouraging these things by mentioning them). Why do those always come from Turkey? Do I even want to know?
2. It Was Inevitable
Today Amazon suggested I buy the graphic novel Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come, Volume 1, by Alex Ross. The reason? I had earlier purchased The Rest Is Noise by Alex "No, he's the other one" Ross. The Rest Is spandex-clad, kick-ass vengeance!
ADDENDUM: I was casting about for a title and, since I was listening to Iolanthe, I naturally thought of the opening chorus of Princess Ida, which I recollected as "Search through the panorama". Tip of the Red Sox cap to Joshua Kosman for e-mailing me with a correction: it's "search throughout the panorama". So I did what I should have done earlier, and checked both the text and the CDs, hoping he was wrong: not only did I misremember the words, I had the tune completely wrong. It scanned in my version! But I am now shamed in front of all Savoyards, and therefore no doubt will soon appear on Koko's Little List, or be lampooned in a relentlessly witty patter song. There's no defense for carelessness or stupidity, but it's customary for the blunderer to offer one, so here goes: late-Victorian satires of female education are not necessarily something I spend too much time with. I'll leave that to the person who was searching here for real ladies instead of clumsy women, and will retreat instead to Proustian meditations on the fragility yet reality of memory. I'm glad someone besides me notices my titles, though.