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california day 2


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The clouds in my head are beginning to clear a bit. Cynthia had to work yesterday but didn’t have to leave until 11. Despite being exhausted, Eileen and I took the kids to Trader Joes after a stop at Target.

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Eileen had a bad headache so she needed meds which was the reason for the Target stop. While we were there I purchased another of those Bose speakers.

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Right now I’m the only one awake. it’s 6 AM local time. I’m sitting at the picnic bench in the back yard so as not to disturb the people sleeping near where I would usually work, the table between the kitchen and the TV room. I’ve already exercised and done my Greek.

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My tablet surprises me with how well it plays YouTube videos. I used part video below this morning while I ran in place.

I only need about 20 minutes or so to do the running so I’m not finished with this. However, I am very impressed with Marlon James especially the way he handles language. When I  purchase his book I am thinking of looking into ordering from Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. Besides supporting a great bookstore, I keep finding myself watching videos of their book talks on YouTube.

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Before we left on Tuesday, I told myself I would go to the library and check out all my holds (requested books) and then check them back in. If they looked interesting I planned to take a picture of them and put them on one of my lists. But, when I saw that Simpson book on Pound, Eliot, and Bill Williams (as he calls Walter Carlos), I decided to take it with me.

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I have had a life long interest in these three poets.

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Simpson, himself, is a poet but I don’t know his work. He does write lively prose (at least it’s lively to me) about these poets. I brought the book along. If I were reading it at home, I in  my own library for copies of poems he mentions. But I reasoned that I could probably find them online.

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Walter Carlos Williams

I wanted to re-read The Ballad of the Goodly Frere by Pound when Simpson brings it up. Simpson who says that Pound living in London was annoyed by some people’s “irreverence” and wrote this poem. It’s an odd poem for me to read at this time in my life.

I don’t feel connected to Christianity so much as embedded in it. But I have to admit, I still like this poem just like I love the Psalms and many passages in the Gospels and Old Testament (and the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for that matter).

When I wanted to read Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, also by Pound (the first section of Simpson’s book is entitled “Pound, or Art?”), I thought of how much I like and use annotations. The link at the title is to a version with many annotations. Hot Damn!

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vacation begins

We are now ensconced at my daughter-in-law’s house.  Everyone was waiting for us when we drove in from the airport last night. Needless to say, Eileen and I were a bit exhausted, but it  was great to see everyone. My grand kids are so beautiful and grown up.

The flights were tolerable. But when I was unpacking I discovered my portable speaker was missing from my checked bag. I called and reported it. The airline person was actually pretty good about it. He apologized twice. This seemed to be part of the script as well as pointing out that though the airline takes no responsibility for electronic devices in checked luggage, in this case he would wave that. The speaker cost around $125. The airline is mailing me a $75 certificate. I was satisfied with that.

Eileen was very upset about this. It reminded me of flying into Barcelona and unpacking only to discover that my little personal CD player was missing. It, too, had been checked.

On the first leg of our journey, we arrived in Denver to discover that the people sitting in front of us were Tom and Mary Lou Taylor. They were long time parishioners at Our Lady of the Lake when I worked there. Mary Lou was the DRE. They are classic old timey RC liberals.

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It was fun to see them. Tom was nice enough to say to me that he misses my music.

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Russel Hoban’s Riddley Walker was an excellent in flight read. It distracted me enough that the flights were not bad. I like this book quite a bit but have several chapters left until it’s finished.

I discovered that my tablet does a good job with YouTube videos. I am working my way through the one above. I used it today to distract myself while exercising quietly.

I stumbled across this video while thinking and researching Erpenbeck’s finely wrought Go, Gone, Went. Saunders is not only thinking about borders but makes a striking point about the contemporary constantly “verified self.”

She describes the recent death of a pregnant refugee and her just born baby in the bottom of a refugee ship. The mother and the child were unidentified. Then Saunders launches in to a description of the incredible way we are constantly verifying who we are. Our smart phones are pouring out data about us. I especially liked her ideas about the absurdity of airport security checks, visa applications world wide, and maintaining that algorithms can actually know much about the complexities of humans.

I haven’t finished it yet.

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Marlon James has caught my interest. He was interviewed by Kevin Young on a recent New York Public Library Podcasts (which are wonderful by the way). He won the Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings.

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But he and Young were talking about his new book, Black Leopard Red Wolf and sci-fi and fantasy. It’s a fun podcast. He is now on my growing list of authors to read.

Rachel Maddow, Chuck Todd and Lester Holt Are Among Moderators of First Democratic Debate – The New York Times


20 Candidates (yet to be announced) and Rachel Maddow. What’s not to like?