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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.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Vexing questions

Can someone please tell me the rationale for the continuing existence of Publishers Clearing House?  Nobody subscribes to magazines anymore except doctors' and dentists' offices.  Anyway, thiey no longer even pretends to be selling magazines.  Or books.  Or anything, really.

  So why does this pestiferous organization continue to exist, to broadcast television commercials, and to send out direct mail solicitations.  Why do they still award money to people?  Or are the persons who are televised swooning, shrieking and jumping up and down in their doorways really paid actors?  In short, just what the hell is going on?
  While other organizations which have outlived their mission--think Boys Town--have quietly ceased to exist, Publishers clearing House appears immortal.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Modern travel.

A very old friend has died.  This lady and her husband were close friends when we were young parents.  The male half of the team was best man at our wedding.  So we go back a long time.

  It brought back memories of the death of my husband.  He suffered from some neurological disease, and to make matters worse he had fallen and broken his femur.  We hoped against all expectation that he would get better and come home, but that goal was receding farther every day.

  After two years in the nursing home, aka Roach Motel, my daughter in California wanted me to visit her.  He seemed no worse--and no better, either--so I decided to go.

  After an 11 hour trip on United Airllines, I arrived on a  Thursday.  On Friday I was exhausted.  Sarturday morning I was starting to feel like my old self when I received a call from the nursing home that he had had a sudden heart attack and died.

  It was Easter weekend, and there were no flights that day, so I booked a ticket for the next day, which was Easter Sunday.  Then my troubles began.  You can't fly direct to Philadelphia from San Luis Obispo, so I was booked to go to San Francisco, or Los Angeles, I can't remember which.  But neither could United Airlines.  When the flight I had booked arrived, the B team who were in charge on that weekend could not print a boarding pass.  So I was not allowed to board the plane, but there was another plane due to the other city, whichever it was, so they would get me on that one.  But they couldn't, because they could not print a boarding pass.

  All this took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, yelling and screaming, and agita of the highest order.  Not on the part of the United team, however.  They took it stoically.

  Finally, there were no more planes either coming or going, so someone came and got me and I spent another day in San Luis Obispo. On Monday, I was able to catch a flight which left SLO early in the morning and arrived in Philly at almost midnight. 

  The advantage of this epic drama were that my mind could not linger on the death of my husband, so filled was I with impotent rage at United airlines, San Luis Obispo,  and the State of California generally.