home alone


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My family has come and gone. It was excellent to have everyone here. Sarah remarked yesterday that if she and Elizabeth and their families lived closer our (Eileen’s and my) lives would be chaotic. For my part, I would love it if Sarah and Elizabeth (and the rest of the crew including Matthew who didn’t show up for this family event) were close. I like having intelligent people to talk to and I admit that having grand kids is great fun.

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Anyway, Sarah is now safely back in England. Elizabeth and her crew are still wandering the States but will soon return to the smog of Beijing.

Eileen has been under a good deal of stress due to the collapsing of her project to fix the house with the city’s help.  During the family visit, we discovered that the contractor the city had recommended had a history of screwing over at least one person we know. Then Eileen’s Weaving workshop hit.

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Yesterday after Sarah got on the plane, Eileen described herself as a wreck. For a change, she had to ask me to not bring up impending tasks. Last night we relaxed. She is resting now. I am hoping to help alleviate the pressure she is under. She said that we should skip using the city’s offer of a loan and 10% discount. Instead we should find people we have confidence in and pay them from our savings to do the work. This sounds like a good idea to me.

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I listened to Schumann’s Spring Symphony this morning, then Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony and Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. I am buoyed up by the hope and beauty in this music.

Audio/Visual | Garrison Keillor

I have been looking for Garrison Keillor’s new post-sexual harassment accusation incarnation of The Writer’s Almanac. I have been watching his web site, but it didn’t seem that he was updating it daily. A few days ago my brother sent me the RSS feed for it (thank you , Mark!). It turns out Keillor (or his web master)  has been hiding the daily update at the above link. Sheesh.

I used to use this daily podcast to listen to as I sat still for five minutes before taking my blood pressure. I see that Keillor now is not trying for a precise five  minutes but I can still use it and keep an eye on the time.

“The Gurney” | The New Yorker

I used to not like most poems in the New Yorker. However since Kevin Young has taken over as poetry editor I find that I like more of them. This is one I like from the current issue.

Very cool. Here’s a link to the archive I think.

NYTimes: The Good, Racist People

Daughter Elizabeth recently put this 2013 article by Ta-Nahesi Coates in her Facebook feed. It bears rereading in light of our present awful times.

NYTimes: Lost John Coltrane Recording From 1963 Will Be Released at Last

Excellent. I think you can choose your access here.

NYTimes: How the Supreme Court Avoided the Cake Case’s Tough Issues

It’s difficult not to see the SCOTUS as a partisan strong hold of the right.

The Probable Artist – Out of my Face

Short story by son-in-law Jeremy Daum. I think he found the old manuscript while he was visiting and typed it into his blog. I like it.




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