a little book blather


“I had no one to help me, but the T. S. Eliot helped me. So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.”
― Jeanette WintersonWhy Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?


I  wasn’t sure where to store this lovely Winterson quote. I ran across it as the epigram to Amber Dawn’s interesting looking book, How Poetry Saved My Life: a Hustler’s Memoir.  So I put it here. I guess I could put it in my notes for Sarah Schulman’s The Gentrification of the Mind since that’s where I found Amber Dawn mentioned.

After looking at Amber Dawn’s book on Amazon and reading a bit of it, I now am interested in the Winterson book quoted above as well Dawn’s novel Sub Rosa.

Winterson is an author I read. Schulman mentions her as an example of an out lesbian writing well and receiving recognition for the quality of her work. Unfortunately Schulman was drawing a telling parallel to the dearth of out lesbian writers of quality in the USA right now. Winterson is British. It’s the British that publisher her and give her accolades.

I for my part am always looking for writers that I might like to read. Amber Dawn is now on that list.

I have been using the website Goodreads to keep track of my reading. It’s a kind of social network for readers. The social thing doesn’t interest me that much. But I do like the interface and keeping track of my reading. I seem to be connected to it through Facebooger. It shows me Facebooger “friends” who are using Goodreads and asks if I want to recommend a book I am reading or have read to them. So far, I haven’t done so simply because the recommendations didn’t seem apt.

I am simply adding Goodreads to the other methods I use to keep track of  my reading.

Since I had a rehearsal scheduled last night around the time Eileen and I usually have pizza, I invited my soloist, Laurie Van Ark, to join us for pizza after rehearsal. I declined to pull off the song suggested last minute by the person organizing the party. ( “Seasons” —see yesterday’s post for the fascinating background to this). I found out last night that this is a Solstice party which would have been good information when I got the email yesterday that Max (that’s the person whose organizing this party) said we could just add a song of our own choosing.

I was unable to come up with a song not knowing this and not knowing what songs Laurie would recognize. We talked for a while last night but couldn’t come up with a song that fit the solstice theme and that she knew well enough to perform in public tomorrow evening. I did give her an idea that I could probably pull off a popular song if she could think of one. Otherwise, I guess we’ll skip it.

Max is also putting together the order we will perform. Thankfully we won’t have to stay for the whole evening and can leave after we are done. Probably silly of me to take this gig. But I could use the bucks and it gave me an excuse to flex my guitar chops.

1. Windows 8.1 Review How to Disable Logon Screen – Disable Windows 8 Login 

I followed the instructions in this link, but this morning when I pulled out my laptop I still had to login. Hmmm.

2. The President of the Cool – NYTimes.com

I love it when Ishmael Reed gets published in the NYT. He’s not that great a writer, but I enjoy his rough edges.

3. Hypertension Guidelines Can Be Eased, Panel Says – NYTimes.com

I take Diovan and a water pill to help me keep my blood pressure under 140/90. It feels more like superstition than actually affecting my longevity. This article doesn’t help.

4.Uninsured Skeptical of Health Care Law in Poll – NYTimes.com

I would love it if journalists or poll takers would ask people if they are registered to vote.

I believe that much of the anecdotal weird shit one sees from the person on the street in the media is driven by people who watch too much TV and listen to too much of their own ill informed echo chamber and do not vote. Hence many hold opinions against their own self interest.

5. Smart Tip: Peel an Entire Head of Garlic in 10 Seconds Saveur | The Kitchn

I can’t wait to try this. Son-in-law Jeremy Daum says it works.

6. Cantor Fitzgerald Settles 9/11 Suit Against American Airlines for $135 Million – NYT

I do not get suits like this.


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