What Self Read (At the Frick, On the Plane)

Brother has gone to the hospital to fetch Ying, who is being allowed to return home (to the apartment) this afternoon. Yes!!! In the meantime, self, who seeks only to crash on a mattress on the floor of the apartment — since she has not slept a wink for over 24 hours — has drawn up a list of all the various books/ magazines/ newspapers she has read in the course of two (very busy) days, starting from Friday, 21 March, when self embarked on the plane for Newark, NJ up to today, Easter Sunday, in Tel Aviv:

Self has finished reading The Bookseller of Kabul (Was able to read straight through to the end while on the plane from New York to Tel Aviv, and while most of the other passengers were sleeping). What a fascinating, heartbreaking book. Self thinks the images of the bookseller’s daughters and wives will remain with her for a very long time.

Read, from cover to cover, the latest issue of People Magazine (featuring on the cover a radiant J Lo, doting over her newborn twins)

Read, in the Frick, while standing in humble obeisance before Parmigianino’s seductive portrait of an unknown lady: several pages by the museum curator, speculating on the model’s identity, which was no help as all the curator did was surmise that the painting was either that of a) a bride; b) a courtesan; or c) a complete figment of the painter’s imagination (which last suggestion self thought was the most un-interesting)

Browsed the Friday New York Times (in which she read that new J-horror flick “Shutter” is not quite a success — in the opinion of reviewer A. O. Scott)

Began reading the next book on her list (shortly after arriving at the apartment where her brother is staying in Tel Aviv), George Howe Colt’s The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home

Began perusing last Friday’s edition of The Jerusalem Post, which was lying on top of the grand piano in the living room of the apartment. Before self begins quoting from an article in said newspaper, she wishes to mention the reading activities of her seatmates on the two planes she was a passenger on:

On the plane from SFO to Newark, NJ:
Boy on her left was reading a many-paged tome which looked to be science fiction, judging from the one-word chapter headings (one went something like Owenaira?). Boy on her right (who looked like a devout student from a yeshiva) was reading issue after issue of Gun Magazine. Self surreptitiously glanced over at the articles he was reading. One was on handguns and had accompanying illustration of a Glock semi-automatic. Another was on “Ammo for Handguns.”

On the plane from Newark, NJ to Tel Aviv:
Seatmate on her left, a middle-aged man with gray hair, scribbled endlessly, page after page, on small pads of yellow ruled paper. And then read USA Today and Newsweek.

And now to the quote for the day, from the Jerusalem Post of Friday, 21 March 2008:

‘Speak English’ signs approved at Philly Shop, article by Patrick Walters (AP):

Dateline: Philadelphia — The owner of a famous cheese-steak shop did not discriminate when he posted signs asking customers to speak English, a city panel ruled Wednesday.

In a 2-1 vote, a Commission on Human Relations panel found that two signs at Geno’s Steaks telling customers, “This is America: WHEN ORDERING PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH, do not violate the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance.

Shop owner Joe Vento has said he posted the signs in October 2005 because of concerns over immigration reform and an increasing number of people in the area who could not order in English.

Vento has said he never refused service to anyone because they couldn’t speak English. But critics argued that the signs discourage customers of certain backgrounds from eating at the shop.

Commissioners Roxanne E. Covington and Burt Siegel voted to dismiss the complaint, finding that the sign does not communicate that business will be “refused, withheld or denied.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

3 responses to “What Self Read (At the Frick, On the Plane)”

  1. Wow! There you are! The Summer House is a good book. It was a retrospective social encyclopedia that explained the Yankee culture I married into. Lots of AHA moments in that book. Bud found it very entertaining since he is a convert to bohemia.

    Prayers for health assured for Ying. Easter Greetings to all! 🙂


  2. Yes, here I am, Kathleen! And Tel Aviv is very very hot, just like the Philippines!

    I’m only a few pages into THE BIG HOUSE, but I really like his descriptions, they are so evocative. Is your husband’s family like that? I mean, you go to a summer house on the shore? Sounds idyllic . . .

    Ying is fine! She is thin, doesn’t have any hair, but she is still the same sweet and funny person I know. So glad to be here.


  3. His family is like that, and they had a “big house” life but they now have a farm in NH. It sounds idyllic but the chill factor is scary. The anthropological experience is the same though. I identified with the outsider relatives! They are a good reason to write short strories, the material is ongoing and unbelievable. 🙂

    So glad to hear that Ying is doing well. 🙂 Happy Easter!


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