Saturday, April 28, 2018

It's Caturday!

Independent Bookstore Day ~ and a book

"Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April.  Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different.  In addition to a day full of activities (and a few surprises!), there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day.  Not before.  Not after.  Not online.  Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers.  They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity.  They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent."

I found those words on Facebook from The Novel Neighbor, located at 7905 Big Bend Blvd in St. Louis.  Just this week, I bought a book about bookstores because I was looking back at what I'd written about Jen Campbell a few years ago.  This is a newer book she wrote.  My "bookstores" in the USA are her "bookshops" in the UK.

The Bookshop Book ~ by Jen Campbell, 2014

We're not talking about rooms that are just full of books.  We're talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks.  Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations.  Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I've-ever-been-to-bookshops.  Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that's invented the world's first antiquarian book vending machine.  And that's just the beginning.  From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, Jen Campbell examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favorite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we've yet to build a bookshop down at the South Pole).  This book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.

I had fun reading this excellent book and rate it 9 of 10, one to be enjoyed by people who love bookshops (or bookstores).  Here's the author's web site, where you can link up with her podcasts and read about her other books.

Donna and Bonnie, 2015
By the way, have I ever told you that my friend Donna and I opened an independent bookstore in 2004?  We named it Book Buddies for our group of friends who discussed books online.  This photo of the two of us is in the little library here at the Crown Center for Senior Living, where we sort donations and shelve books these days.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Senior programs for the whole community

Listed on the right:
  • Variety of Dining Options
  • Art and Music Classes
  • Fitness and Health Classes
  • Jewish Celebrations and Traditions
  • Circle@Crown Café
  • Health and Wellness
  • Movie and Book Clubs
  • Trips to Cultural Events
  • Hands-On Culinary and Art Classes
  • Shopping Excursions
  • Performance Arts
  • Hiking and Walking Clubs
  • Gardening Opportunities
  • Community Service Opportunities
  • Lecture Series
The Crown Center for Senior Living is my retirement home.  Look at all the programs they offer us, and they open these events for the whole community.  All seniors are welcome to take part in what's offered here.  Every day, when I go downstairs, there are activities in one or both of our buildings and the connecting section between the buildings.  If you live in St. Louis, you should come check us out.  If we're friends, call me and we can grab a bite to eat in the Circle@Crown Café.

Birthday books

Varina ~ by Charles Frazier, 2018, fiction
Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner.  Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history — culpable regardless of her intentions.  The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”  Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath.  Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.
Come Rain or Come Shine: A Mitford Novel ~ by Jan Karon, 2015, fiction
Over the course of ten Mitford novels, fans have kept a special place in their hearts for Dooley Kavanagh, first seen in At Home in Mitford as a barefoot, freckle-faced boy in filthy overalls.  Now, Father Tim Kavanagh’s adopted son has graduated from vet school and opened his own animal clinic.   Since money will be tight for a while, maybe he and Lace Harper, his once and future soul mate, should keep their wedding simple.  By the way, it’s a pretty casual affair, so come as you are and remember to bring a tissue or two.  After all, what’s a good wedding without a good cry?
Books, that's what to give a "bookie" for her birthday, right?  These are my birthday books this year.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Audiobooks ~ what do you think?

I just read about an offer of free audiobooks:
"Each week, SYNC offers two free audiobooks that you can download onto any device.  The two books usually include one contemporary YA title, paired with a classic or a nonfiction book with a similar theme or subject matter.  Each pairing is available for download for one week, to be replaced by a new pairing the following week.  Once you download the books, however, you can listen to them whenever you want."
SYNC's program for 2018 started today, so head to the SYNC website to download the audiobooks for week one.  This first week is featuring:
The Great War ~ by David Almond, John Boyne, Tracy Chevalier, Ursula Dubosarsky, and Timothée de Fombelle ― a collection of WWI-related short stories by top authors.

A Study in Charlotte ~ by Brittany Cavallaro ― a YA novel about the teen descendants of Holmes and Watson solving a mystery.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Words ~ carry on

"I will not carry a gun. ... I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even hari-kari if you show me how, but I will NOT carry a gun!" ~ Dr. Hawkeye Pierce

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Denim Day ~ tomorrow

April 25th is Denim Day, a day of protest against rape.  It began in Italy in the 1990s:
An 18-year-old girl is picked up by her married 45-year-old driving instructor for her very first lesson.  He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans, and forcefully rapes her.  Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home.  Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges.  The perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted.  He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

He appeals the sentence.  The case makes it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court.  Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released.  In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans, it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work.  This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born.  The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and it has continued every year since.
Let's join in making a social statement.  I'll be wearing denim jeans tomorrow.  Will you join me in this protest?  Read more about the movement and get involved.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day 2018

Earth Day is April 22nd every year.  I'm concerned that we are killing our planet, the only place we have to live.  Our trash, especially the plastic filling our oceans, will kill us by ruining our water.  Our pollutants spewed into the air will kill us by ruining the very air we breathe.  I took part in the first celebration of Earth Day 1970, which I wrote about on another of my blogs in 2007.  This Pogo cartoon is from 1971, a year later, and our trash problem has only gotten worse.

My goal today is to pick up trash that has blown into an area that collects water running off a nearby parking lot.  I can see it from my sixth floor window and have suggested a trash pick-up as one of our volunteer opportunities for residents here at the Crown Center.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cousin Chart

I found this chart to help us identify our kinfolks.  Do you know your "second cousin" from your "first cousin once removed"?  Click the link to read all about it, or double-click on the chart to see it better.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Around the World ~ North Korea, Spain, Russia

A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea ~ by Masaji Ishikawa, 2000, memoir (North Korea)
The harrowing true story of one man’s life in — and subsequent escape from — North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.  Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country.  This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste.  His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society.  But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.  In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life.  This book is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity — and indomitable nature — of the human spirit.
The Light of the Fireflies ~ by Paul Pen, 2013, fiction (Spain)
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother.  Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire.  His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.  He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling.  Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting very strangely.  The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away.  A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement.  His grandma said, "There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light."  That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world.  The problem is, all the doors are locked.  And he doesn’t know how to get out.
The Gray House ~ by Mariam Petrosyan, 2009, fiction (Russia)
This is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths. Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and laws—all seen and understood through a prismatic array of teenagers’ eyes. But student deaths and mounting pressure from the Outsides put the time-defying order of the House in danger. As the tribe leaders struggle to maintain power, they defer to the awesome power of the House, attempting to make it through days and nights that pass in ways that clocks and watches cannot record.
These three books are among nine offered free for Kindle for another four or five days.

Around the World ~ Chile, Sweden, Turkey

Ten Women ~ by Marcela Serrano, 2011, fiction (Chile)
For nine Chilean women, life couldn’t be more different.  There is the teenage computer whiz confronting her sexual identity.  A middle-aged recluse who prefers the company of her dog over that of most humans.  A housekeeper.  A celebrity television personality.  A woman confronting the loneliness of old age.  Of disparate ages and races, these women represent the variety of cultural and social groups that Chile comprises.  On the surface, they seem to have nothing in common, except for their beloved therapist, who brings them together.  Yet as different as they all are, each woman has a story to share.  As the women tell their stories, unlikely common threads are discovered, bonds are formed, and lives are transformed.  Their stories form an intricate tale of triumph, heartache, and healing that will resonate with women from all walks of life.
Still Waters ~ by Viveca Sten, 2008, fiction (Sweden)
On a hot July morning on Sweden’s idyllic vacation island of Sandhamn, a man takes his dog for a walk and makes a gruesome discovery:  a body, tangled in fishing net, has washed ashore.  Police detective Thomas Andreasson is the first to arrive on the scene.  Before long, he has identified the deceased as Krister Berggren, a bachelor from the mainland who has been missing for months.  All signs point to an accident — until another brutalized corpse is found at the local bed-and-breakfast.  But this time it is Berggren’s cousin, whom Thomas interviewed in Stockholm just days before.  As the island’s residents reel from the news, Thomas turns to his childhood friend, local lawyer Nora Linde.  Together, they attempt to unravel the riddles left behind by these two mysterious outsiders — while trying to make sense of the difficult twists their own lives have taken since the shared summer days of their youth.
Last Train to Istanbul ~ by Ayse Kulin, 2002, fiction (Turkey)
As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara.  Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician.  In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.  But when the Nazis invade France and begin rounding up Jews, the exiled lovers will learn that nothing — not war, not politics, not even religion — can break the bonds of family.  For after they learn that Selva is but one of their fellow citizens trapped in France, a handful of brave Turkish diplomats hatch a plan to spirit the Alfandaris and hundreds of innocents, many of whom are Jewish, to safety.  Together, they must traverse a war-torn continent, crossing enemy lines and risking everything in a desperate bid for freedom, from Ankara to Paris, Cairo, and Berlin.
These three books are among nine offered free for Kindle for another five days.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Around the World ~ Greece, Japan, Indonesia

The House by the River ~ by Lena Manta, 2007, fiction (Greece)
Theodora knows she can’t keep her five beautiful daughters at home forever — they’re too curious, too free spirited, too like their late father.  And so, before each girl leaves the small house on the riverside at the foot of Mount Olympus, Theodora makes sure they know they are always welcome to return.  Having survived World War II, the Nazi occupation of Greece, and her husband’s death, Theodora now endures the twenty-year-long silence of her daughters’ absence.  Her children have their own lives — they’ve married, traveled the world, and courted romance, fame, and even tragedy.  But as they become modern, independent women in pursuit of their dreams, Theodora knows they need her — and each other — more than ever.  Have they grown so far apart that they’ve forgotten their childhood home, or will their broken hearts finally lead them back again?
The Great Passage ~ by Shion Miura, 2011, fiction (Japan)
Kohei Araki believes that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words.  But after thirty-seven years of creating dictionaries, it’s time for him to retire and find his replacement.  He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime — a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics — whom he swipes from his company’s sales department.  Along with an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment:  completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language.  On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the words that connect us all.
The Question of Red ~ by Laksmi Pamuntjak, 2013, fiction (Indonesia)
In this sweeping saga of love, loss, revolution, and the resilience of the human spirit, Amba must find the courage to forge her own path.  Amba was named after a tragic figure in Indonesian mythology, and she spends her lifetime trying to invent a story she can call her own.  When she meets two suitors who fit perfectly into her namesake’s myth, Amba cannot help but feel that fate is teasing her.  Salwa, respectful to a fault, pledges to honor and protect Amba, no matter what.  Bhisma, a sophisticated, European-trained doctor, offers her sensual pleasures and a world of ideas.  But military coups and religious disputes make 1960s Indonesia a place of uncertainty, and the chaos strengthens Amba’s pursuit of freedom.  The more Amba does to claim her own story, the better she understands her inextricable bonds to history, myth, and love.
These three books are among nine offered free for Kindle for another five days.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Words ~ tock-tick

I've never heard of this before, so I want to post it for myself as well as tell you about it.  In case the picture ever disappears, I want the words to remain on my blog.  So I'll type out the whole short article below.
Why 'tock-tick' does not sound right to your ears

Ever wonder why we say tick-tock, not tock-tick; or ding-dong, not dong, ding; King Kong, not Kong King?  Turns out it is one of the unwritten rules of English that native speakers know without knowing.

The rule, explains a BBC article, is:  "If there are three words, then the order has to go I, A, O.  If there are two words, then the first is I and the second is either A or O.  Mish-mash, chit-chat, dilly-dally, shilly-shally, tip top, hip-hop, flip-flop, tic tac, sing song, ding dong, King Kong, ping pong."

There's another unwritten rule at work in the name Little Red Riding Hood, says the article.

"Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order:  opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose noun.  So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife.  But if you mess with that word order in the slightest, you'll sound like a maniac."

That explains why we say "little green men" not "green little men," but "Big Bad Wolf" sounds like a gross violation of the "opinion (bad)-size (big)-noun (wolf)" order.  It won't though, if you recall the first rule about the I-A-O order.

That rule seems inviolable:  "All four of a horse's feet make exactly the same sound.  But we always, always say clip-clop, never clop-clip."

This rule even has a technical name, if you care to know it ― the rule of ablaut reduplication ― but then life is simpler knowing that we know the rule without knowing it.

If a word sequence sounds wrong, it is probably wrong.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Do you know me?

I'm about to post this on Facebook, to see how many people REALLY know me.  Before I tell you my answer, what do you think I love?  How much do you know me, especially those of you who know me only through my online sharing?  So often we imply that you can't possibly know much about me if you don't know me in person, but I think I know a few of you quite well.

My answer takes us to the TWO of TWOsday:
First, I love words.  As a child I loved words and wanted to know more words.  It started on the day I looked up at my uncle as he asked my cousin Nancy, "What grade are you in?"  She understood the question, I guess, because she said, "First grade."  I was puzzled and confused because I could plainly see that she was in a ROOM.  And what in the world is a "firstgrade," anyway?  I determined to learn all the words in the world.  Nancy, by the way, is four years older than I am.  As an adult, I figured that day would have been early May 1943, the day of my grandmother's funeral about a week after my third birthday; Nancy would be at the end of her first grade year in school.  My uncle was wearing a suit, and we were standing in my grandmother's living room.  I know, because I can still see my grandmother's chandelier behind his head.  Wanting to know WORDS is my earliest full memory.

Second, I love books.  Anyone paying attention can easily see that loving books is simply an extension of loving words.  My parents read to me and promised that I, too, would learn to read when I went to school.  (Notice that we could add "like Nancy.")  Though I don't remember the first day of school specifically, there were two family stories of my first day of school.  (1)  While our mothers stood around the first grade room watching, Mrs. Curry called each child up to her desk and asked, "And what are YOU called?"  Knowing I was a wordy person (see?), my mother expected me to explain that I was called "Bitsy" at home, a nickname given to me by my other grandmother because I (her first grandchild) was such a tiny baby.  But no, I simply said, "Bonnie."  And I've been Bonnie ever since.  I was never called "Bonnie" because that was the name of my mother's only sister, and we lived with her.  (2)  I came home very upset that my parents had lied to me.  I went to school, but they did NOT teach me to read that first day.  Very disappointing.  Very!
UPDATE from Facebook comments:
  • Sandy R. ~ Books
  • Jeannie C. ~ your cat.
  • Helen M. ~ reading (and she commented below:  "On FB I only said 'reading,' but here I will add:  your multiple generations of family, books, reading, religion and reading about religion-related topics, words, and Clawdia."
  • Toni H. ~ To read ....................................amor
  • Carol H. ~ Your books and cat
  • Jae Tea ~ Friends (and books and cats).
  • Donna C. ~ ("liked" books and your cat, then said)
    I'd add dinner out and study of other religions.
  • Sylvia J. ~ ("liked" books and your cat and reading)
    I could add, your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  If I have lost track and you have great-greats by now, add them.
  • Meg T. ~ Books and book clubs!
  • Stephanie T. ~ Books!!
  • Fartema F. ~ Books!!
  • Jan H. ~ Books!
  • Maggie S. ~ Books
  • Francesca O. ~ Cats.
  • Kay B. ~ People
  • Charlotte E. ~ Books
  • Barbara L. ~ Words
Kiki 1-19-12
I've known and met all of these people face-to-face except Jeannie and Helen and Jan, and I've "known" each of them online for several years.  There seems to be a consensus that I like books and reading and my cat.  Carol gave me Kiki, who died in 2012.  Kiki's and Clawdia's photos are on the sidebar, but here are a couple of other pictures I like of each of them.
Clawdia 5-26-17

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ high winds, books, and idioms

Discarded Book

Little Stories for Big People ~ by Sol Gonshack, 1976, vocabulary (65 stories good for ESL students), 7/10
This book was falling apart, with pages brittle and loose.  Rather than throw it in the garbage, I gave it to a Crown Center resident who is from Iran.  He's always studying dictionaries and listening to tapes, trying to learn more about the English language.  One of the hardest things, in my opinion, is grasping the idioms.  This little book has many of them, and he knows he can ask me questions.

The next day, he was trying to understand "green thumb," so I held up my thumb and tried to explain how some of us are good at growing green plants.  He then held up his thumb, with fingers curled below as I'd done, and shook his thumb at me.  "Does this mean 'green thumb' when someone does this toward me?"  Oops!  No, that means "okay" or "well done.

English is so confusing!  Other parts of this book include "Keeping Up with the Joneses" (he may not even know anyone named Jones), "The Lemon" (about a car), "The Eager Beaver" (no, it isn't an animal), "The Worrywart" (a wart?), and "The Absentminded Professor."  But those lessons will have to come later as he gets to those parts of his reading of this little book that sounds childish, but isn't.

Friday night, a windstorm blew through, threatening us with tornadoes.  I saw, the next day when I opened my blinds, that one of the big green umbrellas on the patio below my windows had been blown over, table and all.  Chairs were lying askew around it.  The other umbrella had been closed and was standing intact nearby.  I took this photo later in the day, when I went downstairs to the big rummage sale held by the residents council.

I tried to send the photo to my email FOUR times, and it never arrived.  I'm back to post it on Monday evening.  In the meantime, I'd left this photo of Clawdia looking down at the patio from our sixth floor window in 2015.

Library Loot

Donna, the library lady, has been culling older books from our limited shelves in the Crown Center's small library, making room for donations we'll be getting in early May.  I brought three of the books home with me to read before they are donated to the JCC for their next book fair.

Alaska's Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers ~ by Nick Jans, photos by Mark Kelley, 2005, travel (Alaska)
I picked up this one for the photos of glaciers.  It's small and full of pictures, so I'll read it in a very short time.
When Madeline Was Young ~ by Jane Hamilton, 2006, fiction (Wisconsin)
I've read and enjoyed at least two of Jane Hamilton's novels:  The Book of Ruth (1988) and A Map of the World (1994).
Tallgrass ~ by Sandra Dallas, 2007, fiction (Colorado)
I read and enjoyed her novel Prayers for Sale (2009), and this one is about Japanese internment in the United States during World War Two.
More Sunday Salon posts are on Facebook

Friday, April 13, 2018

Beginning ~ with a positive pregnancy test

"Wow!" I can remember saying as soon as Vivian stepped out of the bathroom and showed me the positive result of the pregnancy test.  "That's great!"  In truth, my feelings were closer to ... Really?  Already?
Two by Two ~ by Nicholas Sparks, 2016, fiction (North Carolina)
At 32, Russell Green has it all:  a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte.  He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that.  But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear ... and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down.  In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality.  Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding ― one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

My novel I'm not (yet?) writing

Four years ago, according to Facebook, I posted this illustration and wrote:
"Now I know why I suddenly forget what I was about to say."
So now I need to figure out how to get this idea into the plot of that novel I'm not (yet?) writing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday Words ~ nexus

Nexus = a connected group or series; 
a connection or series of connections
linking two or more things.

Someone on Facebook suggested we should stop talking about a school to prison pipeline and talk about "a school and prison nexus."  Students wear uniforms, are often treated like criminals or thugs, and don't receive the resources they need, she says.  Teachers in Oklahoma have been documenting the need for books and supplies.  Above is my "favorite" photo of crumbling textbooks.

In this eighth grade history book, which is being used in 2018, George W. Bush is still president of the United States.  Even with uninviting books like this one, there are not enough to go around to all the students.

But back to "nexus" as used to link two or more things.  Someone pointed out that the news reports use prison language when they say schools are on "lockdown."  School resource officers (SROs) have not stopped a single mass shooting that I'm aware of, but they have sometimes been shown to treat the children like thugs or criminals.  And the SROs make more money than the teachers, according to Wikipedia.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Two eggs on TWOsday

I drove a neighbor to her doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon.  Beside the sign-in sheet was this basket of eggs (yes, I know Easter is past).  The sign says:  "Please take one Egg-Blessing especially for you."  Words with the two pictures say:
Left ~ "Each day is a blessing from God."
Right ~ "It is better to give than to receive."
I chose a green plastic egg for myself while Marilyn answered the receptionist's questions.  Inside my green egg (makes me think of Sam-I-am from the book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss) was a folded slip of paper with these words:

Egg-Specially for you

"God is with you no
matter what life brings."
Joshua 1:9

After she had signed in, I showed my egg to Marilyn.  She was wearing purple, so one of those purple eggs went home with her.  I don't have her insert, which was long and started with "The Lord bless you and keep you."  But there you have it:  two eggs on TWOsday.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ Uncle Remus, books, and a short play

Uncle Remus

You may wonder why I'm thinking about this today.  Someone on Facebook had posted:  "I am totally lacking the Zippity part of my do dah day."  Someone else left a comment asking about the name of the movie.  It's from Walt Disney's 1946 animated movie "Song of the South," starring Uncle Remus.  My Aunt Bonnie took me to see it when it came out, and I loved it.  Now I'm singing the song.

I've been singing this catchy tune for 72 years so far.  If the video quits, watch it on YouTube and sing along with me.
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Mister Bluebird's on my shoulder
It's the truth, it's actual
Ev'rything is satisfactual
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day.

I finished one book this week (An American Marriage ~ by Tayari Jones, 2018, fiction, 9/10), and I've almost finished a second one (A Soft Place to Land ~ by Susan Rebecca White, 2010, fiction).  What's up next?  I need to finish some nonfiction books I'm discussing with various friends:
  • A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community ~ by John Pavlovitz, 2017, religion
  • Bad Feminist ~ by Roxane Gay, 2014, women's issues
  • The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear ~ by William J. Barber II, 2016, memoir/politics

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare Festival Tour performed at the Crown Center for Senior Living on Thursday.  The cast of five were able to play all of the roles in Romeo and Juliet.  Since this group tours schools, they also got the gist of the play covered in just under an hour.  Amazing, and fun to watch them dash behind a screen and come back out with minor costume changes to play another role.  One of them mentioned, during the question-and-answer session at the end, that Juliet got to mourn her own death.  If you click to enlarge the photo of their van, read the words on the door:  "Will on Wheels ― have verse, will travel."  I think Will Shakespeare would be proud.

More Sunday Salon posts are on Facebook.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Caturday ~ Clawdia's cousin?

I have trouble seeing Clawdia, even when she's in the room with me.  I told the story of her hiding in plain sight in front of me in the hamper full of dark clothes, even though she had simply found a comfortable spot to nap and wasn't really hiding.  The cat above must be Clawdia's cousin, shiny coat and all.  Clawdia looks like an ornamental decoration herself, sitting on the little corner table.

By the way, Clawdia knows I don't always see her, as she slips past me like a shadow.  When I'm coming near her, she actually chirps, a little "meowp" sound, to let me know she's there.  Is this cat smart, or what?