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I will be on vacation from August 8-14th. Blog updates will resume on August 15th.

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Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood
The Avenger of Love by Jack Skillingstead
Blaze by Stephen King
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch
The Eighth Day of the Week by Marek Hlasko
The Elephants of Style by Bill Walsh
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki
Father Malachy's Miracle by Bruce Marshall
Free to Be... You and Me by Marlo Thomas
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Harold's Fairy Tale by Crockett Johnson
Hunger by Elise Blackwell
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Look at Me by Anita Brookner
Lost by Gregory Maguire
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Randy Udall
Poor Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston
Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright
The Ride by Tom Brandner
Shadow-Below by Robert Reed
The Sneakiest Pirates by Dalton James
Sorcerers of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
The Spiral Briar by Sean McMullen
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
Through Endangered Eyes by Rachel Allen Dillon
Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans
The Tribes of Bela by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Valley of the Giants by Peter B. Kyne
"A Wild and Wicked Youth" by Ellen Kushner
Without Sin by J. Thomas
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

Episode 10: The Wandering Rocks: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Episode 11: Sirens: Our Man in Havana
Episode 12: The Cyclops: Pick-a-Little Episode 13: Nausicaä: Petting in the Park
Episode 14: Oxen in the Sun: The Critic in the Cabernet

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Ulysses: Episode 13: Nausicaä: Petting in the Park: 05/23/09

Pettin in the Park... bad boy! Pettin' in the park... bad girl!

Before I jump into Episode 13, I feel like I should explain the method behind these posts. I do my reading in the middle of the week and before I begin, I go to the Wikipedia article that outlines the key plot points. It helps get my brain into gear. While I read I try to picture the connection between The Odyssey and Ulysses. I also keep notes of whatever films or television shows I'm reminded of as I'm reading. If I come up with more than one, I try to pick the one that has the most points of similarity with Ulysses.

The thirteenth episode of Ulysses called "Nausicaä." As it turns out much of the adventures of the Odyssey are recounted by Odysseus as he is recovering after having been shipwrecked on the beach where Princess Nausicaä was doing laundry with the servants. While his nakedness and the need to borrow some of the laundry could lead to an unfortunate scandal, nothing actually happens between Nausicaä and Odysseus.

In Ulysses the episode takes place at the beach and there is flirtation between a bored young woman named Gerty MacDowell and Bloom who is out there with a wet shirt. Gerty is there acting as a nanny to the other women she's with, watching their young children. She'd rather have a romantic tryst than be stuck with a couple of brats.

A crawling baby leads the camera to these long legsThe combination of flirtation, innuendo and babies made me think of the "Petting in the Park" number from The Gold Diggers of 1933. The number, not to be confused with the cleaned up cartoon version (also by Warner Bros.) revels in the heavy petting that often time happens in public places. It's something to be enjoyed by lovers (young and old) and sometime to be watched.

While the lyrics, dancing and camera work all hint at sex, nothing is actually shown and nothing is explicitly spelled out. The number playfully builds sexual tension and takes time away from the growing love triangle of the main plot.

A can open for the modern day chastity beltSo like the young man and woman in "Petting in the Park", Gerty has needs. Unfortunately for her, she isn't equipped with a can opener to get at the prize she seeks (Bloom). She will have go on day-dreaming of love (or lust) to come rather than actually experiencing it.

I have five episodes left, meaning I'll be finished on June 27th (baring illness or some other disaster). For being 3/4 of the way through the list of episodes, I still have physically half the book to read. I find this fact a bit unnerving!

Below I have included "Petting in the Park" for you to watch. It's seven minute song and dance number with a catchy tune. I'd personally love to hear a punk cover of it.

Next Saturday I'll post my thoughts on Episode Fourteen: The Oxen of the Sun. If you want to read along, Ulysses is available online at Read Print.

"Petting in the Park" from Gold Diggers of 1933

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