Monday, January 21, 2013

WHERE DO YOU PUT THE PENGUINS?


"The ice melts, where do you put the penguins?"
— Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue


That kind of describes the employment landscape for many of my cohort.

Cooder enjoying freshly pressed pillowcases.

































So, I FINALLY started knitting something again. Yep, pulled out the blue wool I unknitted and started on a scarf. M, E, and I are watching The Beasts of the Southern Wild and it is a little too compelling to allow me to get the hang of a knitting a(n easy) lace stich, so I will put it aside. But I haven't even tried to knit anything in a couple of years. So, baby steps here.

It is snowing, but only a powdered sugar dusting thus far. Predictions have us at 16 degrees tonight. I hope Cooder is in a cuddly mood. She is sitting by desk, presently, very expectantly. Could be the food bowl upstairs is empty.

I don't feel as well today as I did yesterday. Lower energy. Sneezing frequently. Runny nose. The beginnings of what I hope is not a nasty cough. And my voice has dropped about an octave. I didn't sleep very well last night and still arose at a reasonable hour, thinking I would nap. But nap I did not. By the time I wound down enough to doze, going to bed early seemed the better plan. More sleeping  medication. At least the splitting headache did not occur last night (nor tonight).

I finished John Schwartz's Oddly Normal and I do not recommend it for the general reader. For my money, Schwartz's narrative and sense of the dramatic do not add up to a compelling read. He is a journalist, after all, and the professional detachment does not serve what is supposedly a memoir. This is not to say the book is without merit, but it is without pleasure.

Sidebar: For those keeping score, I am up to six books completed in 2013. Although I wouldn't say I was "getting into" Telegraph Avenue, I am making progress and not miserable. I found it a companionable narrative for

Making cookies! The first batch I can remember making in about a very long time. Just now, I remembered that I made some when I lived on 17th Street in Brooklyn and that must have been around 2007. It was the sugar cookie recipe my mom started making when she was in the seventh grade, about 1940.


At any rate, there was sour cream in the refrigerator that was likely to go bad unless put to some (debatedly? debatable?) better use. And in the spirit of using food supplies, I used up some citrus as well. The cookies were (are?) sour cream-lime-toasted coconut with orange-toasted coconut buttercream frosting. And, in a rare fit of sanity, I only made about three dozen, freezing the rest of the dough. If I baked them all, M, E, and I would likely have to eat them all, thus ruining our campaign to come down off of all the holiday sugar.

Back to Joe's War and the astonishing perfidy of the Allies. I really did not know how terribly Czechoslovakia, pretty much the star democracy of pre-WWII Europe had been thrown to the wolves that were Hitler and his henchmen. (This next quote actually reminds me of the current economic climate and Wall Street banker/corporations.)

Edvard Beneš was the second president of Czechoslovakia in the 20th Century. This was what he had to say two days after Chamberlain and Daladier, primarily, sold the country down the Styx:


It was not Hitler who defeated us but our friends. . . . In spite of everything . . . I believe in the ideals of democracy and humanity. True, in many ways, I have been disappointed. I have been wrong. I have now come to realize that the big powers and great nations, even in the present times, do not consider small states and small nations. They treat them as they find it convenient at the moment.
. . . It is a hard decision, to accept the conditions and save the country, or go to war and be massacred . . . we can retreat without losing honour and prestige, preserve the state, and hold, as it were a mortage against the western states . . . waiting . . . for a future accounting. This will certainly come, for the big powers have not solved anything by sacrificing Czechoslovakia, and events will go on. 

Almost halfway finished with this book; it is a long one.

Many sneezes and a runny nose later, I should to bed.

I tried to get a photo of Emmylou but she still won't stay still.










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