Saturday, June 22, 2019

College life in the twentieth century

I went to college in the twentieth century.  They were pretty strict.  One sex dorms, with curfews, which were rigorously enforced.  If there were student organizations, I was unaware of them and didn't participate in them.  There was a student government, but I never knew anyone who participated in them or even voted in their elections.  They were powerless in any case and did not matter.

  There were not many officials in the administration.  Each college--arts and science, art, etc.--had a dean, and there was a dean of students.  I met only one dean in my time there, and that was when I wanted to drop Italian because I was simultaneously taking French and German and it was making me crazy to learn so many languages at the same time.  He gently remonstrated with me, suggesting that there would come a time when I would want to read Dante in the original, but reluctantly signed off on my request.

  Each dorm had a housemother.  Fraternities had them too, but I didn't belong to one.

  Here's how we spent our time.  There were classes all week, including Fridays.  During the week, we students studied, played games like ping pong, gossiped, hung out with friends, and went to the movies.  There were sports team, like football and wrestling.  Weekends we hung out with friends, dated, and drank.  No one coordinated our activities, unless we came to the attention of the police.

But our thoughts were our own.  Yes, you could believe anything you wanted to!   No one sought, in the words of Queen Ellzabeth, to have windows into our souls.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Trying to understand the Mueller Report

It's too much for me.  Trump did nothing we can prove, but he must be guilty anyway. 

  I don't recall when O J Simpson was acquitted of murder, that the verdict was Not Guilty with a Side Order of You Did It all Right.

  I'm also not happy with process crimes, like lying to the FBI about some matter of which you know nothing but you're going to jail anyway. as happened to Scooter Libby.  But that is a side issue.

  The thing that has me gobsmacked is the filling oout of form 302 by FBI agents.  In a day and age when cameras are obiquitous, agents do not record or film their interviews with "persons of interest."

Instead they fill out Form 302, afterwards, possibly with a chisel on a stone tablet.  How quaint!  Or maybe it's on sheepskin.

I no longer expect any government official to do his job.  They get paid for just showing up, doing anything must be contracted to an outside agency.

Friday, June 07, 2019

California dreaming, nightmare division

I just got back from California, aka Democratic headquarters.  Everyone is a Democrat there, including children, pets, and wildlife.  I really felt very lonely.  Wrong--I felt like a criminal.  I actually felt like someone in one  of those science fiction movies who finds himself dropped into a strange new universe which is not subject to gravity

I don't mind being thought crazy, but I  object to being told I have blood on my hands because of maniacs shooting innocent people some place I have never been.  I'm not a second amendment freak, I've never shot anyone with anything, even a slingshot. 

Are all the people in the US delusional?  Or is it just California ?

Sunday, May 05, 2019

I miss the old blogwolrd

 I am nobody, coming from a long  line of nobodies, respectable but  obscure, all of whom minded their own business  and did not share their innermost thoughts with anyone.  

  Contrary to this distinguished but uncommunicative heritage, I began sharing my thoughts, ideas, prejudices, and daily occurences on blogger in 2004. For one thing, it was free!

   At that time, the web was full of blogs by ordinary people like me- laymen, civilians, call them what you will-but they had a variety of interests, activities, professions, and were fun to hear from.  I used to have a blogroll, with 18 or 20 names on it, and I enjoyed interacting with them.

 Most of them were amusing, some very talented and witty. I would comment on their blogs, and they on mine.  Comments flew back and forth.  Most people posted every day or two -three days a week.  It was Facebook avant la lettre, but much more interesting.  People did not regularly post pictures of their pets, for one thing.  One really felt connected to fellow bloggers, unlike Facebook friends, who I am sure don't care a straw about me. Nor, to be honest, do I care for most of them,with exceptions.

    I liked to post about my family, growing up, about New Jersey, which I was about to leave or about Delaware, where I was headed,  about being Jewish, and about Mr Charm, my late husband, and his peculiarities.  Books I had been reading.  Weird stuff, and ordinary stuff.

  But what does it matter? That blog world is long gone.   I don't know what happened.  Perhaps the blogosphere was taken over by experts or poisoned by politics.  Or maybe most people had better things to do.  

  I miss my former blogfriends.  I wonder what happened to them, but I guess I'll never know.  Unless they post something on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Countertops updated

Apparently countertop replacement requires the skills that Eisenhower brought to the invasion of France.  Materials must be chosen and paid for.

  Then the fun begins.  Your old countertop must be removed.  Including the sink.  Next, special estimators will arrive to measure the size and shape needed, leaving the kitchen unusable and looking like a crime scene..   So no cooking or washing in the kitchen.  If the procedures duplicate my previous experience with contractors, since they have been paid, they will return some time in the future which suits them.  The remote future.

  Some day, if you're lucky, they will return with the new countertop, which you have to pay them to install, or do it yourself.  I can''t picture myself wrestling unaided with a large and awkward  sheet of quartz weighing approximately ten tons, so I will have to wait until they condescend to send someone to install it.

  So I started with new flooring, which does so much for the kitchen, and the countertop returns to the wishlist behind the longed-for trip to Australia.  In short, in Neverland.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Books I like

Since I dislike so many books, people want to know what books I like.  I must like some of them since I waste so much time reading. 

  First I want to mention why I hate writing review of books I like.  I am not sure why I like them, or what about them I like.  When I re-read a book, I find so much in it that I didn't appreciate more.  There are depths in a good book, layers of meaning.  Every time I re-read anna Karenina, I find something new--re-reading  opens up unending new insights and I appreciate it not better, but differently.

My favorite classic fiction: Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, Great Expectations, anything by Dickens, practically anything by Trollope.  I have no objections to long books, if they are good.

Books I hate is a much longer list: Anything with a political message, particularly progreesive.  Anything "transgressive," anything by "women" writers, published because the author is a woman.  Anything where the characters have winsome names, like Turtle or Tempest.

I like American history, because I am an American and learned something about American history, albeit reluctantly, because I had to,  in school.  Other countries, not so much, because I know so little about them that I can't fathom the background. I would need to know much more, to know where I am. English hisotry, about the Tudors, particularly Elizabeth I.   British and Irish modern history, because I typed so many papers about them when my husband was getting his PhD in British history, and because the Irish are such greeat writers.  I particularly like Conor Cruise O'Brian. 

  I also like reading about musicians, and musical instruments.  I recently read a biography of Maria Callas,  and an auto-biography of Placido Domingo, and one by Julie Andrews.  I recommend them unreservedly. These people knew who they were at an early age and believed in themselves, a revelation to me, who still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, even in the face of mortalitty.

  Music reveals new depths every time. That's why you can listen to the same pieces over and over and find new things to love and admire.

Monday, April 01, 2019

The dog that didn't bark

The Mueller report was a bullet to the brain to the democrats, but unfortunately it takes more than a bullet to the brain to shut up these guys.  Possibly they don't have brains.  Or maybe they are the undead and it takes garlic to silence them.

  In any case, they are a hardy crew, who have the stamina to arise from their graves every four years to vote.  Not like the rest of us, who do nothing useful to anyone and just molder in our graves, taking no part in public discourse.