Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ruth moved in!

Ruth has moved in and I am so happy. I'm sorry for her mother losing her, but I am happier at gaining her. In place of rent money, she will do clean-up around the house. Yay!! She is trying to get a job doing care for a friend's disabled child. She prunes. (have I got a hedge for you!) She has her AA and is trying to make enough money to go to massage school. I'm wondering if she could make some money taking care of our 85 yr old houseguest. I refused to be his aide. I make a crappy nurse and I would rather just be his friend.

I've been having fun with my kindle reading machine. When I can't breathe because of this present cold, I have fun in my bed ordering sample chapters for free and like magic, they appear in the machine. That is so cool. I've also read a number of free "eh" books on the machine and then deleted them and right now I can't remember titles or authors.
Oh, I finished Jeffrey Overstreet's Auralia's Colors whilst at sons' house for Christmas. Very good and very different. I left it for my grandsons to read. I have ordered the second book now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake is another beautifully written novel by Margaret Atwood with the usual spice of "men are evil and stupid" or is it "men are stupid and evil" and the usual screed about overpopulation. I despised the protaganist who is much like the protagonist in Catcher in the Rye. There is one chapter titled Asperger's U which was fairly funny. I don't know why she thinks humans reverting to the nature of bunnies, as she did here and in another novel where the forest takes over and absorbs the excess babies, is such a good goal.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another book

I finished This Child Will Be Great, a memoir by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Another Oh My Goodness book. As she lays out year by year the wars and causes in Liberia, I remember why I have always felt so hopeless about Africa until I went to Rwanda. Ellen Sirleaf persisted and now is president of Liberia. She has the same problem Rwanda has, which is: how do you build a nation full of murderers?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Voyage to Arcturus

I reread David Linsey's Voyage to Arcturus because something I was reading said it was great literature and loved by C.S. Lewis. After 38 years all I could remember was a three-legged lamb that spun as it walked (was it a guide?) and a voyager whose perceptions kept changing, and shapes moving in some medium. Since it was a philosophical treatise as well, I understood almost none of it then  I can remember when my husband and his friends would discuss philosophy at the Lutheran student center near the U of Washington in Seattle, and I would look from one to the other and wonder how they knew what they were saying. I certainly had no idea what they were saying. If you are going to talk about, say, desoxydyhydrosiltransferase, I'm on it, but abstract philosophy is over my head.
Okay, so I read it again with the difficulty that I fell asleep every other page or so. I had the electronic reader Kindle set up so it would fall down when I fell asleep and that would wake me up so I could start again. I was a more patient reader back in the 70s. Right now my husband and I are watching the old Outer Limits television series in black and white. We cannot believe how slooooow it is. Yet when we watched it as children we did not perceive it as slow. Anyway, David will spend two paragraphs describing the appearance of someone when the appearance has no relevance at all etc. plus I cannot follow what seem to be random statements that compose the dialogue. Once I believe they were discussing Stoicism. I wish he could have been clearer the way Lewis was in Pilgrim's Regress which was also a journey through philosophies. And the end of it all was: life hurts. Not a conclusion to throw confetti for.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little more on the Narnia movie

One thing I forgot to mention about the Narnia movie was the visceral delight I felt from the scenery. Marvelous rocks and shores and such blue, blue water. Gorgeous. I love our ocean shores here and try often to go to Long Beach in Washington, and Sea Side and Cannon Beach in Oregon. But our water is not blue. It is gray. On sunny days you might see some green in it. And the temperature of the ocean on those beaches is not far enough above freezing for many people to enter. We walk and play with the sand and pick up shells and dig for clams and have picnics and fly kites and look in rock pools and take pictures and visit the art stores and search for treasure amidst the washed up seaweed. What most of us don't do is swim.
A bit late in life I finally read Utopia by More. I cannot imagine ten people living like that for an entire life, let alone an entire society. Maybe programmable robots can. Right now I am reading about ten books at the same time. I need to focus.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas prep and Narnia

Today we decorated the Christmas tree for ourselves and we are sweeping and putting things away. Yesterday we took a young friend to go see the movie Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. I loved the intro and the ship and the sailors and how they handled the slave market. The green smoke monster that made people disapperate made me say "What?" I knew things had to be compressed for the movie, so why did they add something? And then they added the stowaway. The goldwater and dragon hoard were done well. Why they had Lucy take off the dragon's armband, I don't know. I shall need to wait several months before I can buy the movie and watch it captioned. They changed the spell that Aslan needed to talk to Lucy about because they made it a movie about the temptations of the main characters. OK. And then the adventurers needed to collect all seven swords to defeat the evil green smoke monster island, and I groaned inside: video game. A great deal more was made of the sea monster than Lewis made of it and it was a truly scary monster. Some good fight scenes. And then Hollywood Cliche like Secret of NIMH and countless countless other animated movies, the seven swords were joined and a column of light shot upward and Edmond's sword glowed and when he hit the monster crackly lightning killed it. Oh gag. And then the green smoke monster island releases all the people it stole including the stowaway's mother so we can watch the tearful reunion. OK. I got it. Hollywood movie endings must circle around to the beginning and tie up all loose ends to be satisfying. Watching Reepicheep sail off to Aslan's land was cool. Oh, and so was the Wizard and the, the, not Puddlelumps, but you know what I mean. Dufflepods? I'm sorry there could not be a lamb on the beach preparing a meal or indeed a great many things I would have included, but movie adaptations cannot be as complicated as books, I know. Plus there is no way for Hollywood people to understand the layers of meanings in Lewis's books.
Then we went with my sister's family to watch the Asante Children's Choir. Wow. It was wonderful to watch those children singing in English and dancing some Rwandan dances and then new dances to worship songs. Yes, I remember when those kids had not seen a toilet and did not know what to do with it, and sinks, and bathtubs, and managed to break all of them before they learned. I do hope they have learned how to turn pages on books by now. LOL. I remember watching them run screaming from the choir house when I showed them a rubber snake when I was going to teach them prepositions.