More From Gary Kamiya

Love Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco. Reading the essays in it painstakingly slowly.

Gary Kamiya was one of the founders of Salon.com (still going strong!). An ex-fellow Fellow from Stanford, Jim Paul, used to write for them. As did Chitra Divakaruni. As did Laura Miller. As did Heather Havrilesky.

Self is on Essay # 5, The Harbor at the End of the World:

A 1508 map by Johannes Ruysch depicts South America as the New World, with Asia in the place where North America actually is.

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Private beach access for this homeowner along the Mendocino coast

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Books/ The Economist, 9 February 2019

As dear blog readers can tell from the date, self has a whole pile of Economists to catch up on.

Today is Sunday and the sun is shining and she’s made good on her goal to spend most, if not all, of today reading.

She’s on the 9 February 2019 Books section, and there’s a review of a really interesting book:

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Another book reviewed in this issue (though not positively, lol) is Let Me Not Be Mad, by A. K. Benjamin. Sadly, The Economist does not warm up to its unreliable narrator, but self confesses to being intrigued by this excerpt, quoted in the review:

  • I walked over London Bridge in rush hour, faces thronging around me, and diagnosed each one in an instant: Psychosis . . . Depression . . . Lewy Bodies . . . Panic . . . Depression . . . Sociopathy . . . OCD . . . Cynophobia . . . Panic . . . Guam’s. Everybody has something, and now there’s a name for it, even if it’s fear of having something, of going insane, aka dementophobia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Abraham Lincoln, Self Can’t Even

Leadership During Turbulent Times, Chapter 1 (Abraham), p. 6:

  • “When he first learned how to print the letters of the alphabet, he was so excited that he formed letters, words and sentences wherever he found suitable material. He scrawled them in charcoal, he scored them in the dust, in the sand, in the snow — anywhere and everywhere that lines could be drawn.”

— Nathaniel Grigsby, a childhood friend of Abraham Lincoln

Quote of the Day: Abraham Lincoln

My mind is like a piece of steel — very hard to scratch anything on it, and almost impossible after you get it there to rub it out.

  • — from Chapter 1 (Abraham) of Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Now Reading, In Honor of Women’s History Month

Leadership in Turbulent Times

Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin

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Doris Kearns Goodwin, Presidential Historian

Chapter 1, Abraham, is about Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood.

There are a lot of things self knows about Abraham Lincoln, most of them having to do with the fact that he’d grown up poor.

But she never knew that his roots were in rural Kentucky. Mitch McConnell’s home state! Self is no fan of the Senator.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Cost of Living, p. 57: Déja Vu to Rachel Cusk

The main character, Deborah Levy (also the name of the author, lol), attends an editorial meeting in London. She decides to bike there and gets oil all over her hands. Then the meeting commences.

The Cost of Living, p. 57:

The executives sat around a polished oak table in a windowless room. They were intelligent, experienced, groomed, at the top of their game. I was offered a glass of water and accepted it gratefully. After a while, I realized I had an old-fashioned idea of what a meeting such as this one should be like, and I had acquired it from watching too many black and white movies. What I had in mind was an atmosphere in which we sipped negronis in a nightclub in Rome, plotting the main arc of the film while dancers adorned in feathers cavorted in the background.

Gender Politics

It is so mysterious to want to suppress women. It is even more mysterious when women want to suppress women. I can only think we are so very powerful that we need to be suppressed all the time.

— The Cost of Living, p. 49

The Writing Life, from Deborah Levy

  • The writing life is mostly about stamina. To get to the finishing line requires the writing to become more interesting than everyday life . . .

The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography, p. 36

Sunday Read: TAKING MESOPOTAMIA, by Jenny Lewis

Two books self put on hold are waiting for pick-up at the downtown Redwood City Library: one is Milkman, the prize-winning novel by Irish writer Anna Burns. The other is nonfiction by Doris Kearns Goodwin about Leadership.

The rain seems to be holding off a bit. She planted some lilies and spread organic fertilizer around her roses.

She really needs to get on with her writing, always difficult when she’d much rather be planting. To help her, she’s reading Jenny Lewis’s memoir in poetry of her father’s time in the British Army: Taking Mesopotamia (Carcanet, 2014)

This is a re-read. Self has known Jenny for five years. She heard Jenny read at the British Museum. She was there when Jenny read from her new collection, Gilgamesh Retold, at the Woodstock Poetry Festival in Oxfordshire, last November.

The collection begins with two quotes, the first from the epic of Gilgamesh, the second from Lord Grey of Falloden.

Here’s what Lord Grey has to say about the taking of Mesopotamia, 1919:

  • I think the best thing would be if, at the end of the war we could say we had taken and gained nothing. Taking Mesopotamia, for instance, means spending millions on irrigation and development with no immediate return . . . keeping up a large army in an unfamiliar country and tangling every kind of administrative question.

Self loves the idea of an occupying army taking and gaining nothing.

Stay tuned.

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Sunday Morning, First Day of Daylight Saving, March 2019

Quote of the Day: Deborah Levy

I became physically strong at fifty, just as my bones were supposed to be losing their strength. I had energy because I had no choice but to have energy. I had to write to support my children and I had to do all the heavy lifting. Freedom is never free. Anyone who has struggled to be free knows how much it costs.

The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography, p. 17

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Deborah Levy, memoirist

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