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Violet Crown

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Violet Crown last won the day on November 17 2019

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About Violet Crown

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    Onward Thru the Fog
  • Birthday August 24

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  1. The girls and I love Aqua Sphere swimsuits, but they seem to have stopped making suits and now only make goggles and such swim gear. But the discontinued suits show up in a search deeply discounted, and we ordered Wee Girl one in her size. I need to buy her the next size up, and a replacement for mine.
  2. Congratulations @Junie! How exciting for both of you! Only 17? I hope the Virus hasn't too much interfered with her plans. Last week I finished Kafka's Amerika and have started on Henry James's first (second) novel, Roderick Hudson. James used to say it was his first novel, memory-holing its unworthy predecessor, Watch and Ward, which I read a couple of years ago and which was indeed dreadful. A very Jamesian sentence from only the second page: It's no wonder James failed as a dramatist. Can you imagine his stage directions? "Then turn the frill of your sleeve, in such a way as to convey all the latent difficulties of the situation, which nobody will say out loud, but which all the characters present, as well as the audience, must understand clearly--with all the implications, in the context of European-American social tensions--from that point on." But I'm only a hundred or so pages into Roderick Hudson, as gardening has taken up most of my spare time. Gardening in Texas spring is a game of 'plant it fast, mulch it deep' and hope neither the heat nor the flooding spring rains kill it. I planted a couple of trees in the fall -- a tree won't survive a spring planting because there's not enough time to establish its root system before the summer drought -- and I have my fingers crossed for their first summer, but they look good. When I went to buy mulch and compost (our city makes them both and sells them cheap: your yard trimmings and, um, "bio-solids" from the water treatment plant, don't ask), I paid while a clerk looked on from a distance, drove over to the unmanned loading area with my receipt, and loaded up on my own. I understand they don't want to risk transmission, and it was hospitable of them to trust me to load up what it said I'd paid for, but I would have appreciated some employee help with the lifting.
  3. Oh the memories! My older brother sneaked me into that -- neither of us looked remotely old enough, but hey it was the 70s, who cared? -- and neither of us were bothered by the premise. Decades away. Remember the tv series? With Gregory Harrison?
  4. It wasn't exactly that cover, but the one we have chez Crown does have the Gorey art. Off to check YouTube!
  5. Good to see you here! Looking forward to seeing your book report. I've never seen or heard the musical, but I've read the book. Actually it's a favorite for dramatic readings around here. Our class was required to memorize "Macavity the Mystery Cat". Didn't quite prepare me for The Waste Land though.
  6. Some of those mid-century paperback covers are wild. I saw a stack of old Faulkner paperbacks at a garage sale once, and thought how one could get a very odd idea of Faulkner's novels, going by the bodice-ripper covers.
  7. Great vintage cover, @Junie! Is that a photo of your personal copy?
  8. Movies: Our family movie this week was another Jacques Tati film, Jour de Fête. Tati (a sort of French Chaplin or Keaton) is a postman in a sleepy rural village when a carnival comes to town. One tent features a film on the American postal service and its amazing techniques for rapid mail delivery, and Tati takes it as a challenge. Very funny. French with subtitles. Dh and I watched a strange gangster film, Mikey and Nicky, from 1976, with Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, and Ned Beatty. Some violence (by 1970s standards) and language. Entirely character-driven; the plot is minimal and you know exactly what's going to happen--so do the characters, which drives the movie forward until by the end, the tension is almost unbearable, even though not much has actually happened. Recommended, for those who like this kind of thing.
  9. Chaucer = Renaissance? More, Bacon, Sidney, Jonson, Beaumont & Fletcher, Spenser, or Milton spring to mind, rather, as representative of the English Renaissance. Chaucer epitomizes medieval England. This week I finished Colette's My Mother's House (for the Mother's Day challenge). It's Colette's childhood memoirs in a series of long anecdotes, and even in translation they're polished jewels of fin-de-siècle French rural memories. This is a book that ought to be more read; I think it must be Colette's reputation for raciness that's kept it hidden. These are earthy sometimes, but not risqué. Strongly recommended, friends. Currently reading Kafka's Amerika, randomly chosen by Middle Girl. If you've felt you should read Kafka but he just seems too dark, this is his "comic masterpiece." It's the misadventures of a German Czech in New York. Now Kafka had never been to America, or much of anywhere else, so everything is a little "off" from the start (in the first paragraph, the protagonist Karl Rossmann sees the Statue of Liberty, holding her sword aloft). And from there it's an exercise in the picaresque absurd, with the well-meaning Karl blundering through a sort of dream-fugue American landscape of giant houses with endless inescapable corridors, confusing and inextricable conversations where social blunders mount and multiply, and futile circular introspections. The atmosphere of the book is paranoid, claustrophobic, and neurotic. But funny! Off to sift through Renaissance poets and playwrights....
  10. Yes, this. I inherited my dear grandmother's daily use dishes, and her dinner plates, bowls, and cups are much smaller than modern dishes. A set of Scottish (!) hard cork place mats showed up in our Central Texas thrift store, which fit the size better than our US fabric place mats. A thrift-store box of 60-70 year-old tarnished plate fixed the problem that our flatware looked too big next to the smaller dishes. I wonder if everything has just gradually increased in size without anyone really noticing.
  11. @Lady Florida. Congratulations on the new house! In the midst of all the CoronaCrisis, too. Well done. On a less exciting note, my new refrigerator is arriving tomorrow, to replace the 22-year-old Amana that now freezes half the food, spoils the other half, and drips water in an unending drizzle from the top onto the food (and floor) below. Trying to figure out the logistics of food transfer. Yesterday I finished Cicero's Murder Trials, and am now devoting myself to Colette and her mother, in-between final grading. If you've never read Colette, her life and her writing are both exactly as you would guess from looking at her. No wonder she had a Perfect French Mother.
  12. Interesting! I've seen the Charles Boyer/ Ingrid Bergman version a few times, but didn't even know there was a prior version.
  13. At the risk of going beyond the purview of the BaW thread, I wouldn't mind adding Movie of the Week while we're all watching more video than usual. I'm bookmarking the Shakespeare Lori D. links to. This last week we watched several excellent and family-friendly movies: - Playland, directed by and starring Jacques Tati -- a gently funny critique of "modern" Paris - Invention for Destruction, a Czech half-live action, half-animated film based on pretty much all of Verne's novels - Red River, my favorite John Wayne movie
  14. Mission accepted. In-between Ciceronian orations I'm going to read My Mother's House, by Colette.
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