Sunday, October 30, 2016

Time Travel

I am reading Time Travel, by James Gleick, so my brain is looping around in time. Many delights here, and Gleick is so clear, as he was in explaining chaos theory via Chaos, back in 1987. I will pause long enough in loop to mention two of the delights:

1) Gleick describes a short film called La jetee and I'm recognizing the plot of 12 Monkeys, a film I watch over and over when the mood overtakes me. Then I'm thinking I remember seeing a credit to La jetee in 12 Monkeys, then doubting my memory (am I creating that memory?!) and then Wikipedia to the rescue, and also IMDb!! Indeed. (And now I will have to watch 12 Monkeys all over again!)

2) On page 182 of Time Travel, I'm reading about the Golden Record, sent off in Voyagers 1 and 2, "a twelve-inch disk engraved with analog data via the technology, now obsolete, known as 'phonograph' (1877-ca. 1987)." Inner giggles at the way Gleick describes the obsolete phonograph record, which he and I are old enough to remember, and because I just read all about the Golden Record, in great detail, in The Voyager Record, by Anthony Michael Morena, which I reviewed for Escape Into Life. (Morena might not be old enough to remember the phonograph, but the records and record players are still around, relics of time travel...!)

Goofy little confession: The Golden Record part comes before the La jetee part of Time Travel, so I have reversed chronology here. Tee hee. People who like science fiction will enjoy this book, with its references to Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, and E. Nesbit, among others. And I loved learning, via footnote, that James Gleick's mother, Beth Gleick, wrote a children's book on time, called Time is When.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Fire

I am not on fire. But these poems I read side by side have little flames in them: take a look here, in a brief compare/contrast piece at Escape Into Life, where I continue to read and review and select poetry, even as the world goes up in flames around me. In some places, that's true, alas, and in the current political climate in the the USA, that's figurative. Sigh.... The poems, provided (with the poets' permission), are by Donna Vorreyer and Jeannine Hall Gailey, both, by now, returned to my stolen/absent/disappearing/reappearing blogroll. (Did it go up in [Russian] flames?)* And whose books I read and reviewed at EIL, as well. Here and here.

I hope you got to see that gorgeous big yellow harvest moon. The harvest is going on around here, corn and beans, with some good weather for it, and for the grasshoppers. I have spent time outside, reading, of course, and also gazing at a praying mantis who lives in the back yard. And, at night, gazing up at that moon.

Tonight I believe there is a Cubs game and a debate. I'm debating what to do...

*See Cranky Doodle Day blog explanation here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Textbook Amy

Three things: 1) I am cranky 2) I lost my blogroll 3) I love this book that is not exactly a memoir, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and I need to return it to the library. That is not why I am cranky! I am a little bit cranky because I lost my blogroll here at blogger (Did the Russians steal it when they hacked America?!) and will be gradually reconstructing it... Sigh...

But I am mostly cranky because of the news I wake up to every morning and hear all around me, and all the political crap & comments going on. I may vote early just to help shut it out, but I do love voting on election day, which is November 8!!

But this book certainly cheers me up and gives me great faith and joy in the human race. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an interactive book, and you can text her--words and photos--by doing what she says while reading the book, or later, and you can see what people have contributed at her official website for such things, here!* Have fun.

*It is a busy, ever-changing-because-interactive website, so it loads slowly. Be patient, not cranky!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Angels and Florists

Dear hearts, I've been busy, performing in the annual cemetery walk as Jennie Thompson, a social worker, dubbed locally as the Angel of the West Side, who died in 1924. The other day, during a performance, I caught a fainting student, so maybe I have earned the nickname! I get to wear a silvery gray 1920s-style dress as well as low heels while performing 12 to 15 times a day, so that might earn me a halo, too. But when I come home to rest and recover, I am still reading! And still reading memoirs.

I am in love with Patricia Hampl and must now seek out her poetry, after reading The Florist's Daughter. Her dad was a florist in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here is a random coincidence. Jennie Thompson had a kind of "flower ministry," using a particular extra donation to her charitable organization (a day nursery and settlement house) to take flowers to mothers whose children had died.

I found an excerpt from another of Hampl's memoirs in Writing Women's Lives, edited by Susan Cahill, a book I'd heard about for years but finally got hold of at the library! That is truly wonderful. And I read Graham Greene's memoir, A Sort of Life. We discussed Sunny's Nights, by Tim Sultan, this summer at my book group, sort of a memoir of a bar, like The Tender Bar, by J.R. Moehringer, which we'd enjoyed in a previous year. Very soon I'll get back to novels, starting with Kent Haruf's Our Souls at Night.