TBB Quote of the Day

After the hit man gets mugged in a dark alley in Denver (Denver! He kills the muggers of course. Thankfully, there are just two), existential despair:

He caught sight of himself in the other mirror, sitting naked on the bed. A small, whitish animal with a few tufts of hair. And hurt, too. As he watched, the injured face in the mirror contracted a little, seemed to clench and compress itself into a mask of despair. A sigh like a strangled squeak escaped from its throat. He said aloud to the face, “You sorry little bastard.”

The Butcher’s Boy, p. 39

Self does not know how Thomas Perry does it, but she feels empathy for this hit man — his alone-ness, his (of all things) vulnerability. The fact that he doesn’t have a name makes him more sympathetic, not less.

Stay tuned.

Before & After: Stories from New York, Edited by Thomas Beller

This anthology was required reading in son’s high school English.

The front cover:

The back cover:

A Photo a Week Challenge: Multiple Shapes

Self loves this challenge. Thank you, Nancy Merrill, for hosting A Photo a Week!

An Airbnb in Carmel

July Birthday Party

Sandy’s Garden

The End of Men, p. 9

Gee whiz, I have done it again. I have picked a novel to read that has everything to do with the zeitgeist (and I added it to the reading list way before Texas SB8, is that women’s intuition or what?).

On p. 9, Catherine and her very nice husband, Anthony, who already have one child, a boy named Theodore, discuss having another. The man wants it more than the woman. Here is Catherine expressing her ambivalence:

I go through phases. Sometimes I feel determined and ready. I can do this. Send me the needles, shoot me up, strap me down. I will do anything for a baby. Other weeks, the idea of all of those people and objects and wires and things being inside me makes me want to curl myself in a protective hunch. No, my body says. This is not right. Anthony’s more prone to baby-induced broodiness than I am. A friend’s snuffly newborn or his godchild doing something adorable will inevitably lead to an earnest declaration that we should just do it, let’s do it, what have we got to lose? Like tonight.

What do we have to lose? Everything, Anthony. I want to cry each time. Occasionally I’ll convince myself I can do this whole IVF thing but I can’t do it flippantly. For a man so keen on planning, he can be remarkably gung ho about the impact of IVF and babies or, worse, IVF and no babies, on our lives. I need an acknowledgment of the potential worst case scenario. I need him to understand how hard it’s going to be for me.

This husband will prove to be very important later, because men are dying off at an astonishing rate. In fact, this poor woman might be having to share: it’s like The Handmaid’s Tale, only opposite.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day, Last Saturday of August 2021

Nine of the twelve people who have ever walked on the moon came to Iceland first.

How Iceland Changed the World, p. 185

Six-Word Saturday Challenge: Golden Gate Park, Viewed from Above

This was from yesterday. Self went with a friend to see the Judy Chicago Retrospective at the de Young Museum.

It was a beautiful day, so we went up to the Observation Tower.

The Challenge Host is Travel with Intent.

Directly across the way is the California Academy of Sciences. Renzo Piano did the design. The living roof is her favorite thing. Six inches of soil were transported up there. The result: meadow. The Academy offers a naturalist-led tour that self highly recommends.

Here’s a view that shows more of the foreground:

How Iceland Changed the World, pp. 139 – 140

Self is going deliciously slowly with this book. She does not know how the author does it. He’s managed to inject surprise, page after page. Nothing is inevitable, as those quirky Icelanders keep demonstrating. Bravo for nimble literary work, Author Egill Bjarnason!

World War II:

The Allies — Britain and France — had been ousted from Europe, and the Nazis occupied the entire coastline from Spain to Norwway. The only thing standing in the way of a Nazi invasion of the UK were twenty-one nautical miles, the width of the English Channel at its narrowest point. Knowing the German Kriegsmarine could not get past the Royal Navy, Hitler decided to use his sea forces strategically. Instead of attacking Britain directly, the plan was to strangle its cargo routes, depriving the island nation of everything from food and clothing to oil and iron.

Control of Iceland would help. Hitler — a villain who spent his political career yelling so much that he needed polyps removed from his vocal cords, twice — ordered his generals to put together a plan to snatch the foreign port.

There Is No Heaven

The girl and boy train to an art museum, and while looking at paintings, the girl describes a painting she considers “Heaven,” but they do not actually look at the painting.

Then they sit outside and play with scissors. The girl brings scissors everywhere because she is into “cutting” (not herself, cutting THINGS). She cuts a big chunk off the boy’s hair: “an inch thick and four inches long.” The boy doesn’t feel any different after, and no one even notices. So invisibility is a theme.

On p. 57, in the endless dull monotony of summer days, comes a news flash of a boy in middle school who killed himself.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Six Word Saturday: To Read, Last Days of Summer

Posting this for Travel With Intent’s Six Word Saturday challenge!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Season of Agapanthus and Plums

Self is leery of an awful neighbor who’s been marching up and down with a leaf blower. But the agapanthus in the backyard are glorious! They’re growing right next to her plum tree.

She’s posting this for Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge.

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