Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm in a book club and this past month we read "My Antonia" by Willa Cather. I'm sure lots of you read this in high school. I didn't but I do know my son read "Oh Pioneer" by Ms. Cather and everyone in his class hated it so I was leery of reading "My Antonia". I loved it. Since I live in Colorado now and drive through Nebraska every June I could picture much of what Jim, the narrator of the book, was talking describing. Also, my great-grandmother did what Jim did, at nine (Jim was eleven, I think) she moved from Virginia to the Midwest, though she went to a very small town in Missouri rather than a small town in Nebraska. Missouri looks nothing like Virginia and nor does Nebraska.It must have been quite a change for her, as it was for Jim. If you haven't made a trip across this beautiful country of ours I highly suggest it, though I can't say Nebraska or for that matter, eastern Colorado are the most picturesque, but they do have their own lonesome kind of beauty as they are filled with almost nothing, a raw sometimes rolling nothingness.

Books! I think I cannot exist without them. I was given a Kindle for Christmas and have a love/hate affair with it. I truly love it for many reasons and at times want just and "old fashioned" book. On another post I will talk about the Kindle. From now on in this blog - which I can't see that anyone is reading anyway, I am going to start recommending books I have read and why I liked them. I am starting with "My Antonia". Written around 1917, published in 1918. An interesting aside is that it thought that Willa Cather was a lesbian. She entered the University of Nebraska under the name of William Cather, she dressed like a boy throughout childhood and later in life had long term relationships (they said then "lived with) two women (at different times). Antonia is based on a friend of Willa's and I dare to think that Willa is really Jim telling the story. No matter what, "My Antonia" which is about a young Bohemian girl immigrating to our country, to Nebraska and her friendship and affect on Jim, and which is a very easy read, is certainly worth your time. It is beautifully written and beats a trashy beach book any day. And if you have already read it way back when I suggest a re-read as the reviews I read on Amazon of people who read the book when they were in high school and didn't like it then liked it much a lot as an adult. I didn't spring for the scholarly edition but I did get the paperback with the footnotes, which I suggest, though some are no brainers - there are many different publishers out there. Anyway, happy reading.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On Pitchers and Umpires

I do not follow baseball on a regular basis but the story of the Detroit Tiger's Pitcher, Armando Galarraga, is a baseball story that I tuned into, in fact I bet most of America did. The grace with which he accepted the loss of his perfect game due to a bad call by the umpire is a lesson we can all take to heart. He is an athlete that we can admire and hope that we see more of in the arena of sports. It is assured he will be remembered more for this gesture than for a perfect game. And I do not want to leave the umpire out of this, he was a man big enough to say he was sorry, to acknowledge his mistake, another wonderful example for all of us.

It seems to me there used to be more of those kind of athletes around when I was young. People we could look up to and strive to be like. Is it my age or is it this age? Armoando Galarraga's perspective was clear, his grace abounding. How refreshing and how amazed we all have been. We again have someone to look up to!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is Your Cell Phone That Important?

I have put a " no phone zone" sticker on the back of my car. I took Oprah's pledge not to talk or text while driving. Not a hard thing to do as I already knew it wasn't a safe thing to do while driving and didn't. Now the studies on the subject confirm what I thought was true. It is extremely dangerous. Did you know that studies show that while talking on a cell phone objects in front of you literally disappear because your brain cannot take everything in - hopefully, it is not a mother and child crossing the street that vanishes from the driver's sight while on a cell phone. And, texting, well, that's just an accident waiting to happen and many have.

Testing drivers on a test course they have found people, of various ages, all sure sure they were competent drivers while they texted, could not stay on course, in fact they drove way off course and hit many pylons even though they drove fine when they weren't texting. Several of these people admited that they texted while they had their young children in their cars. It was an eye opener for them to see how wrong they were. All pledged to quit.

This week a woman in my city, a woman who advocated no distracted driving, was killed by a 17 year old girl who was a distracted driver. Our city has been having it's own campaign. 6,000 people were killed last year by distracted drivers. So needless.

Do you talk on the phone while driving? Text while driving? Is it worth it?

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Questions: How much malarkey can one person put up with? And are you full of malarkey?
Being helpful and creative - what a great way to live one's life - always - and especially as we enter our next stage! Such good advice. How lucky we are to be able to have such an option!

Today I was back seat driving, s usual, and my husband said to me, of course he was taking a turn, didn't he have hia blinker on? I had to laugh as my kids would have told us it was a turn indicator, not a blinker! And it's called a remote, not a channel changer! And why haven't we taken the plastic sticker off the phone (cause we couldn't be bothered! duh!).

This year for Christmas my son's girlfriend gave me a mug with the word malarkey with its definition printed on the side. She had heard me say it over and over last summer and couldn't believe it was really a word. After much searching she found it on one site, the urban dictionary, and believe it or not they had a malarkey mug, so she got it for me. How fun and thoughtful is that? And where did I get that term - my father of course.

What words do you have that have or haven't passed down? Blinker doesn't seem to be one that my kids will pick up from me. I'm not sure marlarkey is either but that's okay, it may show up eventually, when they turn 60!

Thursday, June 3, 2010