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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

YouTube fixes my toilet

sorry I haven't kept up with current issues. such as what senior citizen will win the Democratic nomination.  I actually haven't even done my income tax yet.  I've been too busy watching youtube. 

  Ever since I heard a kid say he taught himself to play the tuba on You Tube, I have been fascinated with YOu Tube.  I taught myself tai chi--sort 0f--and practiced singing lessons.  I read about the Nickolas Brothers and the Clancy brothers.  followed the Hedy Lamarr story. 

  But the YouTube videos about toilets have been taking up most of my time.  I have one toilet which stops up regularly, and of course it is the one I use most.  YOuu might think there is not much that can be said about toilets, but you would be wrong.  There are several competing philosophies from people who take toilets seriously.  There are discussions on how to use the plunger properly.   How to keep the toilet from getting blocked in the first place. What substances to use to keep things -flowing. 

  After much waste of time,  I have gone with the white vinegar school of toilet maintenance.  In the unlikely case you have never heard of this, the theory is that the jets get blocked with minerals and will no longer wash away offending matter as they should.  The theory involves pouring white vinegar in the tank, which clears the jets.

  It seems to work, too.  Only don't use too much toilet paper.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

So what happened to my new year's resolutions?

I resolved to practice my singing for half an hour every day.  I also resolved to do tai chi for ten minutes every day.Also to work on my painting every day.

  I haven't done any of that.

  I also resolved to replace the kitchen countertop ASAP.  I did not do that either.  I looked into countertop replacement and found that it would be easier to tear the entire house down and start all over again.  So instead I had a kitchen floor installed.  The installers were the Platonic ideal of installers.  The flooring which they replaced was installed by my hairdresser's daughter's volleyball coach's unemployed husband.  And it looked like that, or worse.  And now it is gloriously beautiful.  So beautiful that it makes the countertop look shabby and the walls appear to need a new paint job.

  But nobody's perfect.


Saturday, February 09, 2019

Sexy politicians

We certainly have come a long way since Ted Kennedy's affairs were greeted with a wink and a nod.  If that.  Ted was forgiven because of his advocacy of progressive issues.Not issues that would cost him anything financially.  He had fleets of accountants to shelter his income and that of the rest of the Kennedys.  It was always your taxes that would pay for his grand ideas.

  Other politicians come to mind.  Nelson Rockefeller was a Republican, but one who loved to spend the taxpayer's dollar, so he was forgiven for being a Republican and something of a sex fiend. Your daughters would not be safe in the same room with him, but that was their lookout.

 Then there is the hardy perennial, Bill Clinton. Given the evidence, you wouldn't want your daughter in the same government building, even if it was the White House.  Is conduct was shrugged off repeatedly by feminists, because he approved of abortion.

  It's amazing what conduct is unforgiveable .  The requirements are always changing.  It was enough for Al Franken to run his hands suggestively over a poster.  His career was over.  I would be inclined to cut Northam some slack for the photo.  Bad taste is forgivable.  I find his views on abortion morally repugnant, but no one else does.  I would certainly go after his medical license, though.

 

Thursday, February 07, 2019

My take on Northam

I know the whole world has been waiting for my opinion of the scandal surrounding the Virginia governor. Well not everyone in the world.  In fact, hardly anyone in the world.  The fact that nobody reads my log is so incredibly freeing.  I can express my thoughts honestly without incurring hostility, or even criticism.

  So here goes my opinion on the Northam sccandal:  I think it's dumb.  Undoubtedly he wore that outfit to a Halloween party and after a few drinks everyone thought it was hilarious. Or even transgressive, but in a good, ironic way. Drunks are easily entertained.

  The problem is Hallloween parties and the fact that people who are presumably adults take them seriously enough to put on costumes and make jackasses of themselves.  In my childhood, children dressed up in costumes and went around the neighborhood begging for candy.  The adult role was to sit in the house and dole out the candy when the kids rang the doorbell.  If the weather was nice, they might even sit out on the porch.  In my opinion, the performed their role superbly.

 In my day, folks, you can attend a party in regular clothes and have a good time.  Actually, people dressed up in their best clothes.  Women wore dressses  and men wore something called a necktie.  Parties are for socializing with your friends and having a good time.  Getting drunk and/or hitting on a member of the opposite sex is optional, and was frowned upon in the best circles.

  When I was a child I dreamed of growing up and dressing up and going to parties or nightclubs.  My role model was Myrna Loy in the Thin Man movies.  You can bet that Myrna did not dress up like Butterfly McQueen.  She wore amazing long gowns and high heels.  But by the time I grew up no one dressed up for parties.  Most people wore T-shirts,  The elegant ones wore T-shirts without slogans.  The getting drunk etc part was still part of the scene.  However they did not dress up as Batman or Cinderella.

  So I say, cut the governor a bit of slack.  Sure he advocated killing newborn babies, but no one minded that apparently. It's just abortion carried a bit too far, and we're all okay with that, aren't we?  The fact that he is dr Gosnell light disturbed almost no one except oddball people with extreme religious views, like Christians.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

On reading

  I have to have at least two books in hand--one that I am currently reading and the one i am planning to read next.  i actually prefer to have a stack of unread books in case of emergency. unfortunately i find most books tiresome, which limits me a bit.  i like popular fiction, but the choice has to be well written and have credible characters and action which is not too implausible.  A little bit implausible is okay.  I'm not talking Great Books here. But I don't like to read about superhuman powers, for instance, or plans to blow up the planet. 

  I have tried to read to improve my mind by catching up with the books I didn't get a chance to read;  I was a literature major anyway and stand for Great Literature and culture generally.  I utterly failed to be impressed by most Great Books..  For instance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Don Quixote.  Not crazy about Faulkner, either. 

 .  I like books about American history and English history  and Ancient Rome.  Biographies of great men, but only British and American ones.  I particularly like to read biographies of musicians and musical gossip generally.  I even like to read the notes in music programs.