Thursday, July 26, 2012

Treasure Island

I saw Treasure Island with Wallace Beery the other night. It was so good! Beery was superb; the rest of the cast was merely wonderful. What a story! I've always loved RLS, both as a man and as a writer. I decided my ten-year-old grandson would enjoy reading Treasure Island, so went on Amazon to buy a copy for him. There were so many versions on offer, but some of them were condensed, like Obama's white girlfriends, and it was not apparent which were and which were not. Why do they ruin books like that?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Complaining, whingeing, and whining

Hot, humid, hot, hot, hot. My plants look as if they could use a good stiff drink, the lawn is brown, and the roses refuse to bloom. The sky is grey and looks threatening--although what it could threaten us with more unpleasant than what we've got would be hard to figure out. I suppose a hurricane would do the trick. I joined the JCC earlier because I refused to spend another summer without getting in a swimming pool. But the pool is as warm as chicken soup, although so far I have not encountered any matzoh balls or noodles floating in it. I have a lot of administrative stuff to do that soaks up my time like a sponge soaks up water. These dreary tasks make me feel like I have an unpleasant job, filled with monotonous but exacting tasks that never end, which moreover I have to pay for instead of being paid to do it. It involves lawyers, banks, and government functionaries. The IRS seems to have lost my 2010 return, and so have I. They called me about it in 2011 and I was able to answer questions about it but I appear to have eaten the paperwork. Or misfiled it. It is now as lost as my favorite umbrella. The best news of the past month is that I have been summoned for jury duty.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

People who should know better...

are dissing the liberal arts and advising college students to go in for STEM courses instead. This is based on a false dichotomy. The liberal arts as taught today are a far cry from your grandmother's liberal arts. I should know--I'm a grandmother. When I went to college back in the late lamented 20th century, liberal arts students read "the best that has been thought and said." We read great works of English and American literature. In addition, we had to take courses in history and science. These courses were survey courses, not the greatest, but they did present an overview of Western civilization. We also had to take a couple of years of a foreign language. We read all of Shakespeare's plays as well as those written by other Renaissance playwrights, and a ton of poetry. We were taught grammar and had to do a good deal of writing, which is an excellent way of learning to think. Today's students master Grievance Studies such as Black History, Womyn's History, GLBT history and so on ad infinitum. Or popular culture like soap operas and cartoons. It is no surprise that they get As in everything, who wouldn't? Foreign language departments are closing, as no-one is required to study language any more. Ditto for philosophy. And a four-year course of study takes six years! Students are leaving colleges with worthless diplomas, heavy debt, and empty heads. But don't blame the liberal arts. Nobody is studying them any more.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

St Swithin's Day

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Hispanics who came to dinner

Disgusting.

A list of red light cameras in Delaware. An article in the recent edition of the AAA magazine makes the point that traffic enforcement should be about safety, not revenue. Clearly this is not the priority of local governments in Delaware. Some traffic lights are actually set up to have very short yellow periods, the better to entrap the people they are trying to "protect."

Monday, July 02, 2012

Gone to Philly

I finally ordered season's tickets to the Philadelphia Orchestra. The seats, in the nosebleed section, were cheap, even with added fees. They are a world class orchestra and I'm looking forward to some great music. I feel very sad for the Delaware Symphony; I know some of the musicians and staff. But it was necessary to make alternate arrangements. I need my musical fix. Maybe Delaware will come back...someday.