Monday, March 26, 2012

Coral Glynn: A novel by Peter Cameron

This is one in an occasional series of rants...can one rant occasionally?.......about the demise of the printed book, bookstores, and our slide into being plugged in to the matrix.  I am a hypocrite in this arena as I am contemplating buying a Kindle Fire even as I type.  For the record, my first Kindle lasted about a month before it unceremoniously refused to take a charge.  I feel like that sometimes.  WCE promptly decided to fix it himself and bought many tiny little screwdrivers to assist.  Cut to voided warranty.

So I'm driving home from work listening to this:  It sounded good, courageous repression and Jane Eyre plainness and British miniaturists.  I need to know what those are.  So the interview lodged in my book psyche.  Cut to Barnes and Noble, one week later.

To wander in a bookstore is an endangered past time.  One walks in, not knowing in advance what is going to make the cut or what genre will issue forth a siren's call.  As I am pondering the new paperbacks, the interview comes floating into my consciousness, sans the title or last name of the author.  I walk over to information on a mission:

Me:  I hate to do this to you guys but I want to track down a book and I can't remember some key components....the author's first name is Peter.
Lovely book-loving clerk:  This happens all the time...what is the book about?
Me:  Kinda of aVictorian novel set in the 1950's, repressed may have Glenn in the title.
LBLC:  Ok, let's put in a partial title search...hmmmm, nothing is popping out
Me:  See, I heard this great book review on Fresh Air
LBLC:  I love Terry Gross...hey, let me get the manager, she has some program that she can use to track down books that have been reviewed and I really want to learn how she uses it.
Manager:  Ok, when was the interview?
Me:  Sometime last week
Manager: (after some work)  Could it be Coral Glynn?
Me:  (loud scream).....That's it!!!!!!

I don't know how good this book is going to be but I had to have it.  I will remember how I got it probably long after the plot fades.  Books should mean something and getting them should sometimes be hard or at least multi-layered.  I want to read this and pass it on to Tracie who will pass it on to Lorette who might recommend it for a book club or two.  It should move forward in an organic and human way. 

We are on the verge of losing something.  I feel it coming.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Patina of Experience

It has been a tough couple of weeks; a dear family member has cancer, work continues to consume more than it's psychic share of time, and we seemed to have skipped spring and jumped right into summer.  Although it feels nice in the moment, the snow will return or the tornadoes or the hail and will pound the daffodils back  into the earth.  And so it goes. (apologies to Vonnegut for plagiarism)

This time of year brings the annual I-have-been-skiing-therefore-I-must-be-in-running-shape runs.  Those runs hurt.  There was no snow this year in New England so the skiing was sparse and yet again did not keep me in running shape.  Maybe the skiing as training philosophy is a false path.

As I was coming up on a hill that can only be described as gruesome, I spotted this by the side of the road.  The next time I ran that course, it was still there..... where it remains.  I look for it now, and smile when I think of my new talisman, a rusty chain.  I'm tempted to pick it up but am hopeful that it is providing fortitude for other runners or walkers.   

WCE said at dinner tonight, "I think I just like working with older people."   I think we are becoming the older people, actually.  Our parents are aging, our bodies are complaining, and our kids are beginning to think we are decidedly uncool.  My daughter actually has a specific look, only used for the special occasion for when I dance.  I want to say to her "Have you won 50 dollars at a dance contest with your gay boyfriend?  No? Then shelve the look sister" but instead I smile wisely and say nothing.  Her day will come.

So is it rust?  I think not.  I prefer the patina of experience. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let it Roll

We own, in our little family, 12 helmets.  They are for skiing, climbing, biking, sledding, and sometimes trying to cut a tree off your car after an ice storm so you can get to work.

Sometimes having a helmet does not help the situation.

I spent an hour in abject terror watching my two kids and their best pal careening down a hill yesterday, dodging planters, the swing set, and each other.  I had some time to ponder the metaphysics of it all, and came up with a few things:

1.  Our kids are usually not going to get hurt when they are helmeted up.  Buy as many helmets as you can think of, and make them wear them whenever you can....the danger is in what we can't prepare for.......the tumors, for example.

2.  The higher pitched the scream, the faster you should issue forth edicts about stopping what just brought forth that scream....or let it roll and place your faith in the helmet.

3.  Be careful what you create in your offspring; fiery, fit, fearless children are going to raise a ruckus and scare the hell out of you.  Make sure you have insurance.

4.  Pull yourself and your kids out of your schedules and sled whenever there is snow.  It all melts so fast.

5.  Be in the moment with them.  They get it.  Follow their giggles and energy and let it roll.