Solitude: The Daily Post Photo Challenge

“Show us what being alone means to you.”
— Jen H., The Daily Post

Self never feels more alone than when she’s on the train, surrounded by people listening to iPods:

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And there is something incredibly solitary about these people on a train platform:

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Cats are solitary creatures: Agree/disagree? The cat’s name is Chester. He lives in Calgary:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: When Ape House Goes Prime Time

p. 201:

  • When the anchor asked why they were picketing Ape House, the woman explained that bonobos had bisexual and homosexual sex, and therefore were fags.

lol

#amreading: Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker Article on Kellyanne Conway, “Taming Trump” (17 October 2016)

Conway went to Trinity Washington University, a Catholic college in Washington, DC, and received a law degree from George Washington University. She pointed out that, while Hillary Clinton failed the D.C. bar exam in 1973, before passing in Arkansas, Conway was allowed into the D.C. bar after passing the exams in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Conway said she thought about that during the first debate: “Boy, she really can cram a lot of information into her head for one performance. How the heck did she fail the D.C. bar?”

#thatlastquestion #snark

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2nd Quote of the Day: Kellyanne Conway

“I’ve noticed a lot of people are very bold and blustery on Twitter, because it’s easy to do that with the poison keyboard and a hundred and forty characters.”

— quoted by Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker, 17 October 2016

Quote of the Day: Jack Kimmich

“You can never outrun an angry sow.”

— Jack Kimmich, who raises Berkshire pigs in on his farm in Hollister, in an interview with Rosie Parker for edible Monterey Bay, Winter 2016

Quote of the Day: Graydon Carter, Editor’s Letter, Vanity Fair, December 2015

The political arena has always held its attractions for business leaders who believe that wisdom picked up at the coal face of American industry can be applied to civics. On the surface, this seems like a natural transition. But it isn’t. Most people who succeed at business do so with a relentless, single-minded ego thrust that crushes the opposition and tosses aside the weaklings who stand in the way. Wait, that does sound like what it takes to win at national politics.

What’s interesting is . . .  the way voters keep seizing on the idea that someone from the business world (Lee Iacocca? Ross Perot?) is the ideal candidate to lead us into the Promised Land when the only real business titan we’ve ever had as president was Herbert Hoover. And look how that worked out.

Other Graceful Moments

Gracefulness manifests itself as an effortless, subtle harmony between a subject and its environment. — Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Examples:

Enjoy, dear blog readers.

A Surgeon’s Life

Fascinating review by Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker of 18 May 2015 (Self is sooo behind in her reading!) of a memoir by London neurosurgeon Henry Marsh. It’s an unflinching look by Marsh at his medical career and the failures that haunt him (“It’s not the successes I remember, but the failures.”) Incredibly, so much of his success or failure depends on, not training, not intelligence, not skill, but luck.

Rothman compares a neurosurgeon’s life to a soldier’s. Both are “deeply shaped by” something called “moral luck.” To perform under the burden of this awareness is impossible unless Marsh can successfully control “his own emotions. If he can’t control how a surgery turns out, he will control how he feels. He tries not to let his feelings add to his patients’ fear and unhappiness; at the same time, he tries never to lie. He yearns for feelings that are strong but realistic, fully voiced but even-keeled.”

In writing his book, “Marsh has seemingly violated his code; he expresses many of the feelings that he’s worked very hard to keep hidden.”

Fascinating.

Marsh’s book is called Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery.

Subsequent research on Goodreads shows that it’s garnered a number of nominations and one prize: the J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography.

Stay tuned.

To the Last

Obama:  How do we make sure that we don’t change, even as we protect our people?”

— quoted in The Economist, 26 November 2016

Medicis: Masters of Florence

This is self’s first television series review in, like, forever.

She actually forgot she had a tag marked “television.”

She used to be quite religious about certain shows. Then her schedule blew up. Then America blew up. No, that’s not right. America is still here. Whatever.

Today, she binge-watched a Netflix series called Medicis: Masters of Florence. She must admit, she wasn’t really paying attention to the first episode, especially since Dustin Hoffman was playing a Florentine in an American accent. Then, he died. Which was excellent. Because that meant more screen time with Richard Madden.

There was some angst about Madden’s character (a Medici, of course) marrying a virginal looking woman who nevertheless tells her new husband: Your mother told me all about this other woman, blah blah. And then the nasty mother dies (She was the only person in the series whose death did not come at all as a shock. She had pustules on her face which meant either the Black Death or the Red Death, take your pick)

And self doesn’t know why, but she started paying attention from then on, because she really really wanted to know if Medici was going to leave his wife.

Not to mention, the name Brunelleschi kept recurring, and self really liked that Medici’s mistress flirts with him while he is looking at some architectural drawings, and the mistress’s hair is a kind of red that is set off perfectly by her green gown and green dangling earrings.

SPOILER ALERT!

Anyhoo, she watched all the way until the end (8 episodes) and felt so cheated when it all ends with a grand procession in which Medici is shown looking soulful and torn, and his wife is way back in the procession, self means waaaaay back, and the mistress is shown standing primly to one side with her hands calling attention to a belly that after three months is still as flat as a board, and self ardently wished for more of the series so she could watch more of this triangulation, and actually surmised that the wife might take religious vows and retreat to a convent, while the mistress remains in Medici’s arms and supervises the glory of the Medici name (while giving birth to many children).

She was quite surprised to see that she’d watched eight episodes, back to back (Woo! It helps that it is so cold outside!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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