This is a slim little novel, but turns out to be surprisingly engaging (The husband interrupts to inquire what movie we are to see tomorrow.  Self doesn’t think there will be enough time for a movie.  Since we are leaving for Washington DC in a matter of days — !)

At this juncture, the MacMini decides to act up:  turns out the “Keyboard Batteries are low and may shut down at any moment.”  But self is at the moment too stressed to go hunting around in the closet for keyboard batteries.  She’ll do it when the keyboard shuts down.  As it will.  Eventually.

The next book on self’s reading list is another slim little Albom novel:  The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Who thinks up these titles?  The publisher?  Anyhoo, a little research yields this nugget:  The Five People You Meet in Heaven is # 7 on Time Magazine’s list of “Top 10 Airplane Books”)  There are no copies in the Redwood City Library, but there is one in Atherton.  Self checks and sees that the Atherton Library is open on Sunday afternoons.  So perhaps, after 7:30 am Easter Mass, self can squeeze in a trip to the Menlo Park Farmers Market, plant a few more gladiolus bulbs, and then, after lunch, head for Atherton (Hello, earth to self!  No library will be open on Easter Sunday!)

Here are a few of the things self did today:

  • Began revising an old story.  Working title, which self is extremely dissatisfied with, “Good.”
  • Early in the morning, watered.  After getting back from the Asian Art Museum and lunching at Brenda’s (with a detour to Hillsdale Mall so the husband could buy himself a new pair of sunglasses),  watered some more.  The garden looks so good now, the plants all lush and fat.  It will not look this way in a few more months, summer.  Self can barely trundle a bucket of water around, it takes 20 buckets three times a week just to get the plants surviving (never mind thriving) until the cooler temperatures of fall.
  • Met Niece G at Philz Coffee on Folsom and 24th.  The line was incredible.  Asked for a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain, Niece presented her credit card as she insisted on treating.  “That’ll be $120,” said the cashier.  Self thought she was joking.  No.  A pound of Jamaica Blue Mountain from Phil’s Coffee really is $120.  “What about a fourth of a lb.?” the cashier asked.  That would be $30.  Eeek!  The lady behind the counter, the one who was about to grind the coffee for self’s Krups, suggested another type of coffee which she said was just $17.95 a pound.  Oh thank goodness!
  • Saw the exhibit on Indian Maharajahs at the Asian Art Museum (a great exhibit, self was so happy she caught it just before it closes, tomorrow)
  • Had a late lunch at Brenda’s (The beignet sampler was divine.  So was the pulled pork sandwich with grits.  And the husband’s order of crispy pork belly).  We only had to wait about half an hour.
  • Did laundry, watered, cooked dinner, washed up.  Self saw that the Betty Sheffield camellia, which she planted two years ago, is blooming.  It now has four big, fat, red flowers (It is a very scrawny plant, four blooms look about the size of Volkswagen Beetles)

And now, finally, here we are at the ostensible reason for this post, the quote from For One More Day,  p. 21:

My father once told me, “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy.  But you can’t be both.”

So I was a daddy’s boy.  I mimicked his walk.  I mimicked his deep, smoky laugh.  I carried a baseball glove because he loved baseball, and I took every hardball he threw, even the ones that stung my hands so badly I thought I would scream.

Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, Niece G informed self that there is a contest for best “Hunky Jesus” to be held in Dolores Park, at either 3 or 4 in the afternoon.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Most Helpful Reviews: NYTBR 29 January and 5 February 2012

Such a beautiful day in the San Francisco Bay Area!  Self and the husband met up with Niece G and we were able to see the exhibit at the Asian Art MuseumMaharajah, the Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, which closes tomorrow.  Then we walked to Brenda’s, and enjoyed the following:

  1. the beignet sampler (plain, chocolate, apple, and crawfish)
  2. fried catfish
  3. pulled pork belly sandwich with grits
  4. crispy pork belly with grits

And now self is home, and perusing back issues of The New York Times Book Review, specifically those of 29 January 2012 (!!!) and 5 February 2012.

Self’s backlog of stuff to read has certainly exploded to humongous proportions, these past few months.

Here is a list of the reviews self found most helpful in perusing The New York Times Book Review of 29 January 2012:

  • Sarah Wheeler’s review of Alec Wilkinson’s The Ice Balloon:  S. A. Andrée and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration:

Andrée was tall and handsome, with a big nose (a feature that, according to Alec Wilkinson, “people in Sweden regard as an augury of success.”)

  • Samuel G. Freedman’s review of Cullen Murphy’s God’s Jury:  The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World:

. . .  for the goal of this lucid, learned and ultimately predictable book is to present the Inquisition as the template for America during the “global war on terror” declared by President George W. Bush and still being fought.

  • Michael Washburn’s review of Paul M. Barrett’s Glock:  The Rise of America’s Gun:

As Barrett writes, the Glock is “the Google of modern civilian handguns:  the pioneer brand that defines its product category.”

*          *          *

And here is a list of the reviews self found most helpful in perusing The New York Times Book Review of 5 February 2012:

  • Olen Steinhauer’s review of Elmore Leonard’s newest novel, Raylan:

Jazzy prose that occasionally lets go of “proper usage” is Leonard’s trademark.

  • Patrick McGrath’s review of Dan Chaon’s new story collection, Stay Awake: Stories:

A man loses a finger in a fall from a ladder.  Someone glimpses through a window a figure not of this world.  A parent commits suicide.  Children are deformed, abducted, sent away to foster families . . .

  • Caryn James’ review of Neil Jordan’s new novel, Mistaken:

“I grew up . . . under the shadow of a vampire,” says the narrator, a man whose childhood home in Dublin was next door to a house where Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, once lived.

  • Judith Newman’s review of three new Downton Abbey books:  Jessica Fellowes’ The World of Downton Abbey, the Countess of Carnarvon’s Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, and Margaret Powell’s Below Stairs:  The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey:

Until Downton Abbey, I never realized how many of my deepest desires involved ironing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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