9.9.19

Notable Quotes

"I'd like a large regular coffee with space for extra cream, please," said Wil."One Hefty with extra space," replied the teenager, "Would that be a latte?""No, a large regular coffee.  And I don't want a 'Hefty'""But you just said —""I said large. I'm not going to fall victim to Mug O' Joe's corporate vernacular. I just want a large coffee."The teenage blinked, confused.  This was beginning to go in the exact same direction it always went whenever Wil stood up for himself: namely, south."Hefty means big.  So does Bulky.  And so does Outsized.  We've had this conversation before.""No we haven't.  This is my first day.""Well, I've had it with all thirty-five of your predecessors.  I'm not using your terminology because it doesn't make sense." Wil pointed at the overly indulgent chalk-drawn menu just to make it clear he and the teenager were discussing the same issue.  "Just because someone in marketing happens to own a thesaurus, and just because your shareholders insist your drink sizes appear bigger than they are, and just because you are between liberal arts colleges and wish to bring your artists talents to bear on today's menu, it doesn't mean I have to join in.  I would like a large regular coffee with space for extra cream.  Please.""One Heft—""Don't say it.""One large coffee. Regular.  What flavor?" The teenage was beginning to get the hang of this argument.  He wasn't going to go down without a fight.

Curioddity by Paul Jenkins 

2.9.19

The Almost Gone

I read a book recently that talked about the Almost Gone.  Who are they?  They're people who have died yet are not forgotten in living memories.  Not those famous people we all hear about has having Made A Difference or Discovered Something so are part of our cultural memory, but those people we actually knew - family, friends, teachers, enemies, etc..  As long as they live in our memory, they're not completely gone.

Last weekend would have been my parents' 60th Anniversary.  It didn't feel right to let my father be on his own, so I decided to go home.  He balked, saying it was a lot of driving and obviously there were other things for me to do, given the start of the school year.  Tough.  I was coming. 

That first night, after dinner, we talked.  He's gotten through the first eight months, but it's been difficult.  Luckily he's had projects to complete, and many friends to spend time with (he says he's inherited a number of girlfriends, close friends of my mother who go for dinners, lunches and walks with him).  But he's lonely.  He's still at the house we moved into 50 years ago and while we've given away most of Mom's clothing everything else there is a reminder of her.

By the end of the second day, he admitted that having me around and going to museums and dinners and all that was distracting, and he was grateful.  We both frequently mentioned her, as in "Mom and I loved this drive" or "Mom would never have let me wear that outfit".  We partially planned the internment of her ashes and unveiling of her tombstone.  I wrote about half of the thank you notes to people who had written to us and/or donated in her memory.  In three weeks I'll be back because his best friend and colleague (died in early March) will be memorialized and my father will be speaking.  It's going to be difficult for him to give that speech, and I won't let him give it alone. 

I'm reminded of a speech given by a teacher at my high school, remembering the teacher who had inspired me many years ago.  Jack was so memorable that decades later his students remembered him (I was friends with an older woman and one day I said something about my alma mater; she said she knew and loved a teacher there - imagine my shock and pleasure that it was Jack, in year one or two of his teaching career, at another school!), and he couldn't walk across campus without constantly being stopped to say hello and talk with students and colleagues.  Yet a few years after Jack's retirement, on a visit back to campus, no one knew who he was, excepting those colleagues still teaching there. The speaker challenged the current students to think about their brief four years on campus and what impression they could make on the lives of their teachers and the other students: what legacy would they leave behind?

Both my mother and his friend are part of the Almost Gone.  They live on in the memories of friends and family, and in my father's friends' case, in the students whose lives he touched.  Their legacies are secure, for a while at least.   What will people think when I'm Almost Gone?  What will they think about you?

26.8.19

End of Summer

No more lazy days "sleeping in" until at least 5:15 (thanks to The Herd), napping and reading.  As you read this, I'll have started working again, officially.  Unofficially, of course, I've been working all summer.  So what have I been up to?  How has the Massive Summer To Do List™ fared? Let's see...

✔ DVR 0
Clean up efiles in Dropbox and on GDrive
✔ Catch up on blogging
✔ Catch up on book reviews
✔ Get ahead on my 2019 Reading Goal
Inventory books and add to my personal catalog 
✔ Finish the Summer 2019  MPOW Work List
Create donations of clothing and other unnecessary items
✔ Read unread blog posts (I use Feedbin and had nearly 3000 posts to catch up on in June!)

I've also managed to binge on a few tv series and watch a number of movies.  If you're looking for ideas for your next binge, the Lazy Summer Watch List is:

TV Series Movies
The Case Goodbye Christopher Robin
The Crown Happy Death Day
DCI BancroftHome Again
Executive StressLoving Vincent
HiddenMurder on the Orient Express
Keeping Faith My Friend Dahmer
Line of DutyThe Snowman
Loch Ness The Square
MotherfathersonWelcome to Happiness
Murder in Suburbia The Wilde Wedding
Murderland Woodshock
Queens of Murder
Succession
Thorne
Trivia

Oh, and I've read 120 books.

Not bad for a summer of lazy, right?

19.8.19

Notable Quotes

"Does it?" Vikram stretched his toes, revealing a row of claws as black as obsidian. "Once a story leaves the hands of its author, it belongs to the reader.  And the reader may see any number of things, conflicting things, contradictory things.  The author goes silent.  If what he intended mattered so very much, there would be no need for inquisitions and schisms and wars.  But the author of the world is silent.  We are left with no intentions by our own.
The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson 

16.8.19

Sorry, I missed it

One of the problems of being close to Thing One and Thing Four is the age difference.  Thing Four saw The Beatles before they were "The Beatles" (several times, in fact).  And Thing One?  Well...

Several years ago we were at dinner with a few of Thing One's friends.  He'd met one in 6th grade detention (who knew they had such things!) and the other two shortly after.  So basically, they've known each other most of my life.  At one point we got to the "do you remember..." part of the evening and student protests came up.  I was asked whether I'd participated in the Moratorium.  Now, I actually remember that day: it was the day I stopped attending first grade and started attending second (no, I'm not that smart - blame a change in school systems).  So no, I didn't participate.  I had other things on my mind.

And then there's Woodstock.  Thing One and his friends missed because they were hung over and didn't get a ride up early, and then decided it was too late to get anywhere near.  Me?  We were moving from outside Cleveland OH to SmallTown NY.  Plus, I was about to start first grade.  No way would I have been able to go, even if I'd been aware of it.  Which I wasn't. 

I also missed the 1968 Democratic National Convention in 1968 (thanks to my sister's earache).  I did attend the 1963 March on Washington but... let's just say it isn't in my memory banks. 

I do remember where I was at other critical historical moments.  Like when Nixon resigned.  When John Lennon and Ronald Reagan were shot.  When Challenger exploded.  When we landed on the moon.  When the Berlin Wall fell.  And when the Red Sox Reversed the Curse. 

That should count, right? 

30.7.19

Want my vote?

On the eve of the next two Democratic debates, I've been thinking a lot about the whole 2020 election and what the candidates are saying.  Now, I've seen far too many school elections over the years and the one thing that bothers me most is when the candidates promise what they cannot produce because it's not within their ability to do - like "no homework over the weekend" or "froyo every day" or "changing the school mascot".

Virtually every presidential candidate comes out with a 100 Day Plan, talking about all the things they'll accomplish within their first 100 days.  And yet most don't get to do any of that for a few good reasons, like whatever it is requires Congress to vote or there's information they don't have as a candidate that as president they now know would make that idea impractical or take longer.  What if, instead, they talk about how things that we took as being "normal" and that have been regularly challenged by the incumbent need to be turned around and that legislation is needed.  In their first 100 days, they'll propose the following for a Congressional vote:
  • For all positions requiring Senate confirmation, no one can serve as an "acting" Secretary/Director/whatever longer than 60 days without Senate approval 
  • Any business or financial holdings must be put in a blind trust to prevent the appearance of conflict of interest
  • If the statute of limitations would run out on any crime committed, that time frame will freeze until the president is no longer in office
  • No personal phones or accounts for any communications while in office for any elected official or their staff
  • Security clearance and background checks to be handled by the FBI and cannot be overruled by the president without Senate approval.
  • All presidential and vice presidential candidates must release the past ten years of tax returns or they cannot be on the ballot
  • Press briefings must happen on at least a weekly basis 
Working with Congress on these would require bipartisan support, and by forging those relationships a new administration could then tackle the other stuff.  

Of course it won't happen.  But a Lazygal can dream, right?  And maybe if there are enough of us dreaming the same things...

29.7.19

Notable Quotes

"They weren't bad books," Phin countered patiently.  "They were books that you didn't enjoy.  It's not the same thing at all.  The only bad books are books that are so badly written that no one will publish them.  Any book that has been published is going to be a 'good book' for someone."
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell 

23.7.19

Summer discovery

A few years ago I blogged about being a lucky Lazygal regarding tvs and how I've never had to buy one.  I did buy one for Thing One two years ago, but I've never bought one for myself.  Why mention it now?

As I've been wading through the Massive Summer To Do List™ I find it helpful to have something on in the background.  Yes, I could listen to music but I've also got quite the backlog of shows people have insisted I watch because... well, because.  Because the tv in my room is so old (ok, 13 years old) it's not Internet Ready.  It's not even a flat screen (gasp!). But while looking for some series that would take me through a number of those tasks that only require partial attention I found that a few were on Netflix and that somehow I could log in via my cable box. 

Imagine my surprise.  And pleasure.  I do watch my Netflix DVDs on that tv (there are far more DVDs available than there are things to stream, btw) and now, to some extent, I can watch other things.  First up?  The Crown

Suggestions for what's next?  Comment below.

18.7.19

Call me crazy

One of the things that confuse me about others the insistence on air conditioning when it's really not needed.  I've even blogged about itTwice.

That's not to say that I don't see the need for it: MPOW is a concrete box with windows that don't open, and I'm sure the top floor gets up to over 100 during the summer (great for books, right?).  I'm all for removing the humidity and extreme heat from my life.  I mean, really, who wants to sweat from morning to night if you're sitting indoors.  The question that plagues my life is How Low Should You Go?

After several years of arguing this out, The Herd, Thing One and I have reached an agreement.  If the indoor temps reach 81 (or higher) we'll turn on the a/c, which will be set to 78.  If that's still to hot, use a fan.  Personally, I find it's perfect at that temp.  This year, we didn't turn the a/c on until July 5 - although it was an exceptionally cool spring so it wasn't an issue. 

The corollary to that is the winter indoor temp, which is great at MPOW.  At home?  I'd prefer 63-64 indoors, but have been convinced that 65 is perfect for most of the time, with 68 for extremely cold days.

Go ahead.  Call me crazy.

16.7.19

Musical Update

Apparently I posted this music meme in September 2009, (update in 2011) so it feels appropriate to do another update now.  So, what musical groups have I seen? Anything new is marked with a *

Original List
David Bowie
Jethro Tull
Charles Aznavour
Bonnie Raitt (3 times)
Spyro Gyra
Rolling Stones
Eric Clapton
Lou Reed
Clannad
kd lang (3 times)
Li'l Ed & the Imperials / Koko Taylor
Charlie Musselwhite
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Bjork / Sigur Rus
Steely Dan
"Guns & Roses"
Blondie
Kiss / Aerosmith
Cat Power
Marianne Faithfull
2011 List
Eric Clapton (again)
Jeff Beck
Charlotte Gainsburg
AIR
Jessie Baylin
kd lang (again)
Sybarite5
Cima Trio
Blondie (again)
Bruce Daigroponte (left off original list)
David Johansen
Larry Coryell
Rachid Taha

2011-2019
Charlotte Gainsbourg (again)
Coeur du Pirate (3 times)
Alison Moyet
Bryan Ferry
Julia Haltigan
Camille O'Sullivan (3 times)
Duran Duran
Leonard Cohen
Jethro Tull Opera
Rolling Stones
Cyndi Lauper/Boy George
Bruno Mars
Jay Geils Jazz & Blues Review
Tom Petty
Sybarite 5 (3 times)
Steve Winwood
Blondie
Ray Davies

Nothing on the horizon, but who knows what the fall will bring.