My 2019 Reading non-Challenge Update #2

The second 25

As you can see, the pace of my reading has slowed down. That happens every July and August. Blame it on the occasional good weather we have had.

In this group of books I read a non-fiction book which is the best I’ve read in a very long time, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas. I highly recommend this book.

I also re-read Justine by Lawrence Durrell. It is the first book in his Alexandrian Quartet. I first read the quartet in the early 1970’s, shortly after I was released by the army. Each time I re-read it I once again fall in love with the language. I hope to read at least one more of theQuartet before the end of the year.

I had the biography of Thelonius Monk on my bookshelf for a number of years. Finally other things didn’t get in my way, and I read it. I wish I could have gotten to it earlier. I caused me to go on to a listening binge of his music. If you are one of those people who disparage jazz, I can only shrug my shoulders in wonderment.

I hope you’ve had a good summer. Now on to my autumn reading.

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An uplifting dream

Is that the mailman?

This is a picture from the last time we doggy-sat Macon. He is staring out of the picture window, trying to decide if what he sees is bark worthy. It was.

***

I had a strange dream late last night, or perhaps it was early this morning. It’s hard to tell what time it flickered in my mind. I just know that it was unlike any other dream that I can remember having. This is the way it went:

I was part of a crew working in a high school setting up a computer lab. Not only were we working on the computers, we were also painting the room black. Definitely a bold color choice. Our work crew was mostly young Hispanic immigrants. Being an old white guy, I’m not sure how I was able to get the job. But I enjoyed working as part of the team.

While we were working the door burst open and a Kiss tribute band came into the room. Here is an unbelievable part: The band was not only in full makeup, but they were also on stilts. They struck a wild chord and shouted, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!” They went on, “OUR LORD, JESUS, DOESN’T WANT YOU HERE!” They advanced menacingly.

While most of our crew cowered in fear, a Hispanic girl in her teens stepped forward and kicked the stilts out from under one of the band. She was inspiring.

I found the courage to step forward and start preaching to the band about how un-Christ like they were being. I don’t remember any of my exact language, but it must have been a moving oration because the band was humbled and deeply ashamed. It was like the ending of many movies where the townspeople slink away, chagrined, when they realize how wrong they have been about…well, somebody. 

Now, I am not a religious person, nor do I have any spiritual leanings; but I know it is usually pretty easy to lay a guilt trip on another person. My mother taught me.

N-N-1: The August Edition

Here is another installment of N-N-1, hosted by my fellow instigator, Anju. Great Job!

This Labyrinth I Roam

Our time and space travelling project is continuing to capture real-moments globally, allowing us to see and read about events we can’t currently be there for. And until they invent that teleportation device, we shall live vicariously through the N-N-1 phenomenon.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, go to the N-N-1 collaboration archive to get up to speed on all the cool posts you’ve missed.

Here’s what our global ambassadors have been up to this August.

A Splash Of My Life

“This lil teefer deserves a warm bed and warmer cuddles. After a long, exhausting day at the Ensenada shelter, these pictures give me the determination to do all I can. I hope that they will be out, surrounded by love and care. Soon.” – Princess Butter

The View From A Drawbridge

“I’m beginning to think that the only way to beat the heat in this new global climate change…

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I received an e-mail

I received an e-mail from my good friend cupitonians at labyrinthiroam@gmail.com, the other day. She is hosting our next N-N-1, and I want to share the invitation with you. If you want to participate this time around, please contact her at the email above, or let me know at houseman@comcast.net, and I will forward the information to her.

If you are not familiar with N-N-1, it is a community of people who enjoy sharing photographs and descriptions of what they are doing during a specifics period of time. The project points out both our diversity and sameness. The more the merrier. Below is the text of the email. 

Hello, hello, hello, 

Summer is well and truly here, and so is the season for another glorious N-N-1 post! While we’re all suffering enjoying the high heat of summer, perhaps we could take time to take a photo in the first weekend of August? 

Days: 1st-4th August

Time: Any time you aren’t busy melting

I’ve left the days and times flexible as I understand most of us are living through a heatwave of sorts and so motivation could be up and down. The theme is also open! 

I will send you a reminder closer to the date. 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions, 

This Labyrinth I Roam

Another look at unproductivity

Tulip tree

This picture serves as my annual reminder why the Yellow Poplar is also called a Tulip Tree. In statute, the State tree of Indiana is named as the Tulip Tree, not a Yellow Poplar. In fact, the Yellow Poplar is not a poplar, but rather a member of the magnolia family.

***

The other day I wrote about the things I did instead of being productive. Today I thought I might build off of that. You will be happy to know that I finally finished my load of laundry. I put down the mystery long enough to do that. Then I went back to the mystery and read the rest of the book. I told you it was a good mystery.

Part of the time I was reading I was playing music in the background. I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning that, but for a statement I heard on TV this morning. The person speaking said that people were perfectly happy to let AI (Artificial Intelligence) do things and make decisions for them. He mentioned Anti-lock brakes (I concur) and choosing music (What?). I know he was talking about Spotify and similar services. I have tried Spotify a few times but have never liked the results. I give it a few songs that I like, and it seems unable to match my preferences. Perhaps I’m too picky. I would probably be the same with an online dating service.

***

I also cut the grass the next day. I am happy that the trend in lawn beauty is  lush stand of grass. I can recall when we were all supposed to have yards that looked like putting greens, very short and smooth. My grass is lush. My more generous neighbors might call it super lush. My less generous neighbors might call it super frickin’ lush. I’m sure that those who really don’t like me have even more colorful terms. At least I have no rusted-out autos in the yard. I could be a worse neighbor.

By the way, a half hour after I finished cutting the grass it started to rain. Timing is everything.

Things I did instead of working around the house yesterday

Full moon through the clouds

I took this picture after our granddaughter Maely’s final 8th grade choir concert. At least I think it was then. It was an eventful concert.

***

I had an unproductive day yesterday. There are things I should have be doing, but put them off, because I’m basically lazy. For instance, rather than collect my dirty clothes and start a load of laundry, I decided to read a chapter in a mystery. It is a very good mystery.

Apologies to my vegan friends for the next two paragraphs. I hope that you don’t find them too distasteful. Perhaps you should just skip over them.

While reading I flashed upon a steak dinner that I used to order in my favorite restaurant in Auburn. I haven’t lived in Auburn in at least thirty-five years,  but I could picture the plate with the steak and baked potato. The dinner had just been served, with the potato still in its foil jacket, steam rising from the plate, and a smaller plate for my trip to the salad bar. I could feel the tenderness of the steak as I cut into it, and the delicious flavor of the meat. All this at 9:30 a.m.

I put on a Pat Metheny Group CD that I borrowed from the library. It was really relaxing. I had the windows open, the ceiling fan on, and my eyes closed. But then I experienced an olfactory hallucination, and could swear I smelled eggs frying in butter. It smelled so real that I could almost hear the sizzling in the pan. It wasn’t yet 11 a.m.

OK. You can start reading again.

The only explanation have have for these incidents is that due to a reaction to a newly prescribed med, I had lost my appetite for the best part of a week. That seems to assume that meal times are the best times of the week. (I should probably think about that.) But now my appetite is returning.

I finally started my laundry and decided that I should cut the grass. It needs it. Badly. But you know, the idea of just sitting in my easy chair and watching an old episode of The Rockford Files just seemed too appealing. Of course after I watched that episode it was time for my afternoon nap. Nobody would want me to miss that! And after my nap, well it was just getting too late to start a major project like cutting the grass. I’ll do that tomorrow. Unless it rains.

My confession: I’ve had to make some changes this post while writing it, because I started writing it yesterday but put off finishing it until today.

Little bits and pieces

Macey & Della

I took this picture at my granddaughter Maely’s baseball game Friday. My older granddaughter, Macey, found it hard to be as somber as her mother and grandmother because she was holding the adorable Della.

***

A few days ago I tore one of my thumbnails to the quick. Yes I know, “Boohoo, Boohoo.” After staunching the meager blood flow, I put a band-aid (copyright erosion?) on my thumb to protect it. Due to diabetes I have lost some sensitivity in my fingertips. With this problem and the band-aid, it took me more than double the normal amount of time to button my shirt yesterday. I believe my thumb has been protected enough. The band-aid is coming off soon, because eventually I’ll be getting dressed for another baseball game.

***

Our President’s talk about his beautiful wall at his political rallies, reminds me of Gallagher’s sales pitch for the Sledge-O-Matic. I do miss our dear President’s tag line that Mexico will pay for the wall. What happened? Unlike Gallagher’s show, the crowd doesn’t need to bring plastic sheets for protection. You may have to look that up on YouTube if you are under a certain age.

***

For those of you on WordPress, you know that you can compose either in the classic format or in block format. I prefer the classic format. I was surprised to see that the spell and grammar check function had disappeared from my tools. Has anyone else experienced that as well? I want it back.

***

I was looking through my list of notes for possible blog posts before starting this draft. One of my notes reads “Eyes as big as half dollars.” I wish I could remember what I was planning to write because, because it sounds like it would have been fun.