Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday Thirteen ~ food and other stuff

1.  Donna (sitting at the right) and some of my other friends attended the "Bagels and Schmears" workshop on June 6th.

2.  Crown Center regularly has workshops in our culinary kitchen, which shares space with our library.

3.  Here's a look at some of the finished bagels the attendees got to sample.

4.  Speaking of food ... Celery May Help Bring Your High Blood Pressure Down.  This article also mentions the DASH diet.

5.  Donna says this is the best article she's read in years:  I Don't Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People.  I agree with Donna.  Here's a taste of the article:
"Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family.  If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am.

"I’m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I’m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education.  If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye."
6.  When I first started blogging in 2007, I joined the Something About Me Reading Challenge.

7.  Each of us chose five books that say "something about me."  Then we read and reviewed books chosen by the other bloggers.

8.  Here are the five books I chose to tell something about me:
* Evensong ~ by Gail Godwin, 1999, fiction
* On Tap ~ by J. Frances Alexander, fiction
* Booked to Die ~ by John Dunning, 1992, mystery
* Go Out in Joy! ~ by Nina Hermann Donnelley, 1977, memoir
* The Dance of the Dissident Daughter ~ by Sue Monk Kidd, 1996, memoir
9.  I listed these five books on this blog, too, when I posted that I'd joined my first ever reading challenge:  Something about me.

10.  I discovered a list of 50 Underrated American Towns, which I looked through because the first photo showed a bridge that reminds me of the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, my hometown.  Click the link, and see that this is a bridge in New Jersey over the Delaware River.  I love the flowers.

11.  It's been over ten years since I met John Dominic Crossan, and I heard him speak again the following year.  I recommend his books on theology, if you are interested.

12.  Take a look at The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God by Steve McSwain, 2010.  This quote is from page 30:
I am sometimes asked, "If there are many ways to God, how do you understand Jesus' instruction to 'Go and make disciples' (Matt 28:19-20)?"  When Jesus said, "Go and train everyone . . . in this way of life" (Matt 28:19), he meant, as it is correctly paraphrased here in The Message, that we are to teach people his way of life, his way of thinking and living.  Jesus did not say, as most Christians have mistakenly thought, "Go and train everyone to believe in me," or worse, "Go and train others to believe as you believe."  Jesus said to spread around his "way of life."  The world around you will never change until the world within you does.  That's the message Christians know as the good news.

13.  Seems like there was something else I wanted to add.  Hmm, I lost my train of thought.  I think it has something to do with old age.

The only rule for Thursday Thirteen is to write about 13 things.  The New Thursday 13 is hosted by Country Dew and Colleen.  If you want to read lists by other people or play along yourself, here's the linky for this week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday Word ~ gibberish

Irreverin · July 17 at 9:20 PM ·
"Sure, this president speaks fluent gibberish.  It should make perfect sense that 'would' means 'wouldn't.'  And no means yes; up is down; blue is the new orange (because everything is orange).  ETC.  So he misspoke, what's the big deal?  Except, we all know that is not what happened.  Because his capacity to speak nonsense is surpassed only by his proclivity to lie, to cover his own assets, and to twist the narrative until nobody knows which way is up anymore.  He said what he said, and he meant it the first time.  His ability to distort truth and polarize the population is every bit as concerning as the Russia ties.  Which thing are we going to address first?"
Bonnie's comment:  I don't know Irreverin, but I think I like her!

Gibberish = unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense.
Synonyms = nonsense, garbage, balderdash, blather, rubbish, drivel, gobbledygook, mumbo jumbo, tripe, hogwash, baloney, bilge, bull, bunk, guff, eyewash, piffle, twaddle, poppycock
Update:  I looked her up and now have a name for Irreverin.  She's the Rev. Erin Wathen, who serves as the Senior Pastor at Saint Andrew Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Kansas City suburbs.  She's also the 2010 recipient of the Fred Craddock Award for Excellence in Preaching, and (having now discovered it) I think I'll have to get a copy of her 2018 book Resist and Persist: Faith and the Fight for Equality.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Teaser Tuesday ~ reluctant centenarian

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared ~ by Jonas Jonasson, 2012, fiction (Sweden)

First, the teaser
You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to inform his surroundings of his decision.  But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long.

So the idea had barely taken hold in the old man's head before he opened the window of his room on the ground floor of the Old Folks' Home in the town of Malmkoping, and stepped out ― into the flower bed.

This maneuver required a bit of effort, since Allan was 100 years old, on this very day in fact.  There was less than an hour to go before his birthday party would begin in the lounge of the Old Folks' Home.  The mayor would be there.  And the local paper.  And all the other old people.  And the entire staff, led by bad-tempered Director Alice.

It was only the Birthday Boy himself who didn't intend to turn up.
A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over.  After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop.  The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100.  A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption).  So he decides to escape.  He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory:  Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them.  Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle.  This book is quirky and utterly unique.

If this video quits working, view it on YouTube.

What teased me about this book
That teaser up above is the book's beginning.  As a matter of fact, it's the whole first chapter.  It immediately brought to my mind the picture of a Confederate soldier named Inman, who stepped out of a hospital window and started walking back home to Ada, the woman he loved.  That was in Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier's 1997 book.  There was nothing humorous about Inman's walking away, no stepping into a flower bed outside the window, no discovering (two sentences into the next chapter) that he was wearing indoor slippers and had forgotten to bring his hat.  Would you have kept reading?  I was hooked and bought the book for my Kindle.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ one library book

Library Loot

It's been three weeks since I wrote about putting Amy Suskind's The List (2018) on reserve at the library, and now I have it.  I probably won't read the whole thing, which is over 400 pages long with an additional 100+ pages of Notes and Index.  Opening it at random, I read from Week 50 (item number 104 on page 370):
140.  Corker responded, telling CNN about his previous support of Trump that he "would not do that again," and said Trump has "great difficulty with the truth."
I can flip open the book to any page and read with terrible consistency about Trump's lying, hatred, bigotry, and corruption.  It's almost too much, almost overwhelming.  Maybe I should simply skim through parts of the book and read what Amy Suskind posts each week online.  This quote from Week 87, posted yesterday, is about the pregnant women being denied medical care while being held in ICE detention:
49.  The editorial board added, “This is the kind of behavior that, when carried out by non-superpowers, gets people hauled before the International Criminal Court or some special war crimes tribunal.”
Are you excited to learn that "ICE will be hiring more than 300 new agents and scores of staffers" (from item number 55)?

And then there's this telling photo at the end of the 169 items on the list this week.  It's so symbolic of how Trump is totally out of sync with other world leaders at the NATO summit.

On my Kindle

Reading now
In the Beginning: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis ~ by Isaac Asimov, 1981, science and theology
Just finished
October the First Is Too Late ~ by Fred Hoyle, 1966, science fiction, 8/10

Youth ~ by Isaac Asimov, 1952, science fiction, 8/10
Up next
The Weight of Ink ~ by Rachel Kadish, 2017, historical fiction (set in 1660s London, winner of the National Jewish Book Award)
Just purchased today
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared ~ by Jonas Jonasson, 2012, fiction
What's this sign have to do with anything?  In Trump's America, refugees and immigrants are considered "illegal" and are being punished even when they are doing the very things our forefathers (and mothers) did by coming to this country ... unless our ancestors were in that first category.  If I "check all that apply," I'd tick off the bottom one or two.  My people arrived as immigrants from France, England, Scotland, and Ireland.  Those from Ireland could have been refugees from the 1845-1849 potato famine.  All I know is that my mother's ancestors came from those four countries.

More Sunday Salon posts on Facebook

Friday, July 13, 2018

Beginning ~ with your mother

"This story ends with loss," said your mother.  "I'm only on the first chapter, but I can tell."
Forever Is the Worst Long Time ~ by Camille Pagán, 2017, fiction
When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life.  But she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob.  So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.  As the years pass, James’s dreams always seem just out of reach — he can’t finish that novel, can’t mend his relationship with his father, can’t fully commit to a romantic relationship.  He just can’t move on.  After betrayal fractures Lou’s once-solid marriage, she turns to James for comfort.  When Lou and James act on their long-standing mutual attraction, the consequences are more heartbreaking — and miraculous — than either of them could have anticipated.  Then life throws James one more curveball, and he, Rob, and Lou are forced to come to terms with the unexpected ways in which love and loss are intertwined.
Those opening lines are puzzling.  The book's narrator starts with "your mother" rather than a name.  Who is this mother?  And who's speaking?  And why is someone telling "you" about "your mother"?  In other words, I'm intrigued.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fursday ~ it's a thing, as of today

Okay!  I just heard about "Fursday" from another cat (her name's Fiona), so now I can claim at least two days a week:  Fursday and Caturday.  That's only fair, don't you think?  Let's see, what furry kind of fun can I come up with today?  I think I'll nap on it and get back to you.

Clawdia, 'til next time   >^..^<

Monday, July 9, 2018

Mindfulness ~ why'd I buy this book?

Can't Not Do: The Compelling Social Drive That Changes Our World ~ by Paul Shoemaker, 2015, sociology

What this book is about:
With so many social challenges facing our world, trying to effect change feels daunting.  The problems are complex, the politics murky, and the players innumerable.  Yet, every day there are regular heroes making a significant impact on our most intractable social issues.  “Can’t Not Do” is a catchphrase for the urge that captures the heart of effective social change agents — explaining, in their own words, their passion and drive:
  • “I can’t not do this.”
  • “It’s not that I can do this, it’s that I can’t not.”
  • “I could not imagine not doing something about this issue.”
The surprising truth from the trenches is that we already have numerous proven solutions for our many social challenges; what our world needs most, and what most changes our children’s future, are more people prepared and committed to act on their social impulses for the long haul.  Innovation helps.  Money helps, too.  But greater numbers of committed people help the most.

If you feel an internal, persistent call to do more for the world, this book will help you to bridge the gap between “wanting to do” and “doing.”  This book has seven seemingly simple questions that provide guideposts and unlock the reader’s potential to make a difference for a social cause they care about.  It isn’t a self-help book, but has authentic success stories, vital questions, and unconventional answers that can guide and inspire you to realize your greatest potential.
Why'd I buy this book?

Something's got to change.  I woke one morning to news that "Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza as U.S. Embassy opens in Jerusalem."  That afternoon, I read:   "White House refuses to urge Israel to use restraint as 52 Palestinians are killed."  Lately, we've been hearing about the children at the border who were taken away from their parents.  Every day, it seems, there's a new atrocity.  If "something's got to change," maybe I'm supposed to do it.  Or start doing it.  Or contribute in some way.  Maybe this book will give me some ideas about HOW to do that thing I can't not do.

What are some of the things I'm concerned about?
Plastic in the oceans
Lying, hate, bigotry, corruption
The environment