Friday, March 11, 2011

You never know

A funny thing happened.
My Father sent me an article from the New York Times Sunday Supplement.

It was about marginalia, the marking up and commenting not merely in the margins of books, but throughout the text, underlining sentences, adding little flourishes of one’s own, including but not limited to stars, brackets, and all manner of marking for reference at a later time.

The writer of the article infuriated me by lyrically extolling his nasty and destructive habit of marking up the pages of books. In fact, to me he sounded overly self congratulatory, actually boasting to writing as much in the margins as there may have been on the original page. To me, this is extreme hubris, and as I understand it, hubris is already extreme.
That he owned the books he had virtually destroyed seemed to me to be beside the point. How distracting to borrow such a volume and try to read through his copious blather? He described just such an incident, and that he needed to borrow back the book while the lendee was still reading. He said that she felt the clean book was somehow lonely.

In my mind this man is a negligent desecrator of the hard work of both author and editor and that instead of creating his own notebook for those meanderings of his mind he preferred to massacre the pristine pages of a new volume.
He even gave historical reference in his defense, possibly not noting that in the 18th and 19th centuries, one did not necessarily have the requisite quill and foolscap at the ready.

I was about to turn the page to finish the article when I discovered that the article sent to me was about soup, and the story about the marginal writer was merely on the outside of the folded pages.

I will probably never read the end of the article, and in any case had read enough of his outlaw ways with the written word. Instead, I will read the soup story intended for me, and perhaps make some nourishing and delicious chowder or stew on this cold and rainy spring day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's in a Name?

I've stopped remembering names.  I don't know how it happens, but some time in the last year I just quit.

I read a lot of fiction.  Not romance, or historical fiction, but genereally sub-humorous prose with zany characters if I can find it.  I like Tim Dorsey and Carl Haiisen ( can never spell that right) but also a lot of women writers, too many to mention.  Once I went through a series of baseball and even golf novels, but that's immaterial here.

The thing is that I am reading along and I cannot keep the characters straight.  I pick up the book and look in mid sentence where I left off, (I can remember where I left off, that's interesting), but I do not remember the story line, or who these people are.  I have to say that if left to my own devices I will read 3 or 4 books a week, and that often the character names overlap so that there may be the same names in consecutive books, or even similar story lines which is purely coincidental, but it adds to the confusion.

I look at the page and wonder is Rory the doctor with a disabling disease, or is she the housewife living multiple lives in another dimention?  I don't really know until I have back tracked a couple of pages or just gone forward to see what she does next.

The last book I read had so many characters that I treated them as I had when I read the "Russians" in my youth.  The names were so cumbersome I just used the first inital, and raced past those crippling amalgams of consonants jangling in my mind.  Eventually, in a burst of inspiration I quit reading them altogether. The book I was reading did not have difficult names, just too many to keep straight.

I forget the names of neighbors and people I meet sporadically, like at once a year parties.  I may have spoken to them for an hour, but guaranteed, I will not recall their names 5 minutes or a year later.  They, however remember mine, and I have no idea why or how they do.

I will remember your name if I have known you for 20 years or so, but last night in a dream, I forgot the names of some very dear friends.  It could be that I have not seen them for years, and they did not look like themselves as sometimes happens in dreams.  I woke up troubled.

I'm kind of worried, but most people say we are all forgetting things, and there is some stress to consider.

The thing is, if you run into me and I appear not to know you, just introduce yourself again.   I will remember you or be happy to meet you.  Does it matter which?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Ms. Information

I've been looking for work sporadically although I am in dire need.  The Etsy is slow going and no computer in the house does not help.

I was wandering aimless in Chico's the other day.  I'm not really a Chico's kind of person, more like Salvation army, (the Sal) these days.

I was approached by two sales women, and told them that I had no idea what I was doing there.
Somehow, the next thing I knew, one of the girls told me she was nervous about her upcoming wedding.
"Well, what's the problem?" I butted in once more where anyone else would fear to tread.
She told me they kept adding to the wedding list, and it was out of hand.
"So, tell your boyfriend (of 10 years) to put all new people on a list and have a separate party after the big day." 
She liked that a lot.
"I wonder if you could give me another opinion," she continued, "the girls made me register for gifts but we have been living together for 10 years and I have everything, and don't know what to do with all the new stuff!"
Easy, I told her, just keep all the new stuff and donate all the old stuff unless it's heirloom or something.
"Wow", she said, you should wander in here more often!"  "Not only will I have great new stuff but I will get credit for doing good for others!"  " I love that."
Just another day for Ms. Information I thought.  How can I make money doing this?
Let me know if you have a problem or a solution.
I'm open to both.