Saturday, June 22, 2024


I finished my latest book by author TJ Klune entitled The House In The Cerulean Sea.  I decided on this book after stumbling across another book a few months earlier called, Under The Whispering Door by the same author.  TJ Klune writes with mystery, magic, mayhem, reality, and myth.  He's definitely off-center and enjoyably so.  However, not everyone's cup of tea I suspect. In this second TJ Klune book I found myself stumbling with the story and it took me a bit to warm up to it but once I did, and just like the main character Linus Baker himself, I was soon drawn into the depths of this shadowy story by its rather bizarre and seemingly impossible characters.  Lucy (who thinks his father is the Devil) Tahlia (a Gnome) Sal, (who transforms into a Pomeranian when threatened) Chauncey (nobody knows what he is) Phee (a forest Sprite) Zoe, also a Forest Sprite, Theodore, a Wyvern, and Arthur Parnassus himself who is a man of mystery and many hidden secrets.....and something else.  It's a thought-provoking read as long as you have an open mind and a great imagination.  I, thankfully have both which make Klune's books work for me.  Underneath, the book does carry a heavy meaning, and there are lessons to be learned for those of you who can accept them.  TJ Klune's sequel to this book is entitled, Somewhere Beyond The Sea and will be available online September 10th.  I'm looking forward to what I suspect will be the continuing wild and whimsical tales of thought-provoking truer-than-life myth, rather bizarre magical realities, continuing fantasies, and Klunes own way of looking at our society through his own colorful characters.

Al's Music Box:)) In My Room is a song written by Brian Wilson and Gary Usher for the Beach Boys. It was released on their 1963 album Surfer Girl. It was also released as the B-side of the "Be True to Your School" single. The single peaked at number 23 in the U.S. (the A-side peaked at number 6, for a two-sided top-40) and was eventually inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. "In My Room" was ranked number 212 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Gary Usher explained that  "In My Room" found us taking our craft a little more seriously. Brian and I came back to the house one night after playing 'over-the-line' (a baseball game). I played bass and Brian was on organ. The song was written in an hour ... Brian's melody all the way. The sensitivity ... the concept meant a lot to him. When we finished, it was late, after our midnight curfew. In fact, Murry [the Wilson brothers' father] came in a couple of times and wanted me to leave. Anyway, we got Audree [the Wilson brothers' mother], who was putting her hair up before bed, and we played it for her. She said, "That's the most beautiful song you've ever written." Murry said, "Not bad, Usher, not bad," which was the nicest thing he ever said to me.  Gary Usher (who co-wrote the song with Brian Wilson) further describes that "Brian was always saying that his room was his whole world." Brian seconds this opinion: "I had a room, and I thought of it as my kingdom. And I wrote that song, very definitely, that you're not afraid when you're in your room. It's absolutely true."  In 1990, Brian wrote, I also enjoyed producing "In My Room". There is a story behind this song. When Dennis, Carl and I lived in Hawthorne as kids, we all slept in the same room. One night I sang the song "Ivory Tower" to them and they liked it. Then a couple of weeks later, I proceeded to teach them both how to sing the harmony parts to it. It took them a little while, but they finally learned it. We then sang this song night after night. It brought peace to us. When we recorded "In My Room", there was just Dennis, Carl and me on the first verse ... and we sounded just like we did in our bedroom all those nights. This story has more meaning than ever since Dennis' death.
  You might be a redneck if......

- You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
- You need an estimate from your barber before you get a haircut.
- The biggest fashion risk you take is which pair of scruffy overalls you'll wear to the 4-H Fair.
- You have flowers planted in a bathroom appliance in your front yard.
- Your wife weighs more than your refrigerator.
-You move your refrigerator and the grass underneath it has turned yellow.
- You mow your lawn and find a car dating back to the late forties.
- You can spit sideways without unclenching your teeth.
- Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night involves putting on shoes and a jacket, grabbing a flashlight, your shotgun, and box of shells.
- It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

- My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
A guy had been feeling down for so long that he finally decided to seek the aid of a psychiatrist.  He went there, lay on the couch, spilled his guts, then waited for the profound wisdom of the psychiatrist to make him feel better.  The psychiatrist asked him a few questions, took some notes then sat thinking in silence for a few minutes with a puzzled look on his face.  Suddenly, he looked up with an expression of delight and said, "Um, I think your problem is low self-esteem. It is very common among losers."



  1. Those hay rolls are massive! Thanks again for the backstory on a nice song, I hope the Bayfield bunch has a good night

  2. Your "bake a lasagna in your mailbox" was very timely for us. We just pulled into Douglas, WY where the temperature is 97° F.

  3. Al, have you tried reading the Harry Potter series? Lots of good stuff in those books!
    Cheers! Terri in Virginia