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2003-03-26 - 10:23 a.m.
1. Maddy's school is displaying their artwork at the local children's art museum. This is very nice -- it's also less of an honor than you might think. You just need to sign up, I think. Anyway, I am somehow in charge of refreshments, which means I have to leave work early to go buy some refreshments and then get them there. And I have to get back to pick Nora up before 6. The museum is in Oakland, which at 5:00 in the afternoon might just as well be on the moon. Oh well.
I'm tired of this kind of stuff, I'm sorry to say. I was asked to do this this weekend, in the middle of painting the basement. So I should have hopped right on the phone to get people to help me, but I didn't, and then I called around last night and got a few people, but not all that many.
2. There were a couple more things about Secret History -- The narrator, Richard, is supposed to be from somewhere near San Jose, but it's pretty clear that the writer is not very familiar with California at all. Which is fine -- it's just funny that I noticed it at all. She seems to think that LA and SF are sort of of a piece, and that things are flat and dusty here. Which isn't quite right. Anyway. But also, it made me want to learn Greek. And it made me remember how worthwhile it can be to study literature.
3. I have a cup of tea here, but it's too hot to drink.
4. I'm thinking again about Fragrant Harbor. The bulk of it is made up of the account of Tom Stewart, who leaves England for Hong Kong in his youth, and ends up making his fortune there as a hotellier. However, he probably leaves the most important part of his story -- that he's in love with Maria, a Chinese Catholic nun that he meets on the boat trip over -- completely out, although once you know that, several otherwise comments begin to make sense. Anyway -- but that's sort of characteristic of the book -- there's as much left out as in. Does that work, though? I'm not quite sure. Hmmm.
4. We bought the soundtrack to Chicago, and now the girls listen to it over and over, while doing dance steps across the living room. Maddy is amazed by how awful all the characters are (except the woman who gets hung -- who seems to be innocent, and the husband.) They seem to be intrigued by a story all about bad people. A few years ago it would have been a problem, but now its intriguing.
5. I have several horrible things to do, involving reservations and summer camp plans and coordinating plans with other people. The sort of things that have to be done, and aren't that horrible once you sit down to do them, but somehow loom like bloated ticks at the back of my mind. Yuck! I wish there were only seven of them ever in my life. I would make a list, and then do them, and be free of them forever. It doesn't work that way, though. Once you do two, five more spring up to take their places. (See -- a classical illusion. Jason and the Argonauts, I believe -- although is it dragons teeth or soldiers that they're fighting?)
6. Today is an amazing day for birthdays, I found out courtesy of the writers almanac . Robert Frost, A.E. Housman, Gregory Corso -- and lots more. Funny. And there's an A.E. Housman poem in Secret History, and I actually ran across it this morning while looking randomly through the book shelf before we had to leave. Something about rue. Garrison Keillor read this one. Oh, and it's Tennessee Williams' birthday, too, and Joseph Campbell's.
7. I was reading something else that talked about Joseph Campbell last night -- oh it was this. Talking about how science fiction was based on myth, but wasn't the same as myth.
8. Okay, then. Surely we all have to go.
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