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Everything posted by Penguin

  1. Thank you, and I will take you up on that...soon. I have to admit that I would at this moment feel guilty hanging out with a friend before my DH and son get the same opportunity. They are both suffering more than I am from the isolation, I think.
  2. My reading time is currently diluted by podcasts, movies, YouTube, and any number of distractions. Looking at my Goodreads account, I think I finished the following since I last checked in: The Last Shift by Philip Levine. Levine is one of my favorite poets, and this was his final book before he died. But it was not my favorite book by him. The Goodbye Girl by Neil Simon. I hated it! The characters, the dialogue, the storyline...yuck. LA Theatre works, as always, made a fabulous audio production but that is the only nice thing I can say. I never saw the movie, so I can't compare the two. Neil Simon is now 50/50 for me because I loved Lost in Yonkers. But he was so prolific that I don't think I can fairly judge with just two plays. Tove Jansson: Work and Love by Tuula Karjalainen. This was a fantastic biography about the Moomin author. It is a beautiful book, filled with her paintings and sketches. And there was a lot of detail about art history in Finland from (roughly) the 1930s through the 1950s, because Tove Jansson was primarily a painter in those years. What's Your Pronoun: Beyond He and She by Dennis Baron. This is a great book if you are a grammar geek, or are into linguistics or the history of language. I learned SO much about pronouns! There was a section on pronoun usage within the LGBTQIA+ community, but there is way more to this book then current pronoun usage. For example: Jane Austen used the singular “ they” 75 times in Pride and Prejudice. The suffragettes argued that if the inclusive HE meant both HE and SHE when a woman was charged with a crime based on a statute written with the inclusive HE, then the inclusive HE should also be applied this way with voting laws. I must temper my enthusiasm for the book by saying that it could have used A LOT of editing. Parts are repetitive and only worth skimming.
  3. I'll just say count yourselves lucky if you have IRL friends who will make these sorts of accommodations. My local IRL friends have stopped behaving like the pandemic exists, so I am not going to see them any time soon. Phone calls and Zoom is all I've got until I can travel to NC where I have a group of friends who are using current best practices. But that would mean traveling from a state that is doing well to a state that is on the rise. Blech.
  4. I really have not known how to come back to this thread, as it seems too lightweight and even frivolous now. I would like to say that I hope that your city gets whatever changes it needs to become a good place for everyone who lives there.
  5. Well, since it is MY birthday that is the one coming up, that might dampen the eye-rolling and are-you-kidding-me looks. We'll see 🙂 ETA and since we have all decided that we feel safe singing together at home, it does feel like a bit of a disconnect. Sigh. Sometimes thinking about this stuff sends me in circles. I don't want to derail the thread with birthday cake - sorry. @Heartwood, I don't plan to shake anyone's hand ever again. Good riddance, and I won't miss hand shakes. I really like hugs, though. And I fret about the future of hugging.
  6. Thanks! I don't expect this idea to be met with warmth and enthusiasm, however, lol. I may never again be able to eat a birthday cake at someone else's house, Quill.
  7. To the bolded: Ack. I hadn't thought about that one yet and we just had a family birthday. Well, my birthday is next week and I will declare the new policy 🙂
  8. I don't dwell in the land of regret, either. Nostalgia is OK but I really try to live my life looking forward as I just don't find the look-back super helpful. I don't even find that what I learned from my mistakes is particularly useful info for passing on to the next generation since they are living under different conditions. Except for music. I am definitely stuck in the past when it comes to music 🙂
  9. Most of my reading this week has been with a self-imposed deadline, but I really don't like the pressure. I finished Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings as an audiobook right before the library took it back. My previous exposure to Maya Angelou was miscellaneous poems and video clips, and some general knowledge. But this was the first book by her that I read. Honestly, I did not know until after I finished the book that she had written SEVEN autobiographies. I'm not sure that I want to read all seven, but I would certainly like to read more. I don't love all memoirs about childhood, but I usually love memoirs about childhood by poets. Earlier this year, I listened to Soldier: A Poet's Childhood by June Jordan which was also wonderful. Since June Jordan isn't as well known as Maya Angelou, I'll give her memoir a little shout-out here. This week, and this morning, I am binge reading a book for my Danish book club Zoom meeting: Hvor Taler du Flot Dansk! by Abdel Aziz Mahmoud. The title translates to Wow, you speak good Danish! and the subtext is "Wow, you speak good Danish... for a Middle Easterner." Abdel Aziz Mahmoud is a journalist, and has been in Denmark since he was a toddler. Born in the UAE, his parents were refugees from Palestine. It is a reasonably interesting memoir about integration and Danish society. I also, with no deadline (!), listened to another play from LA Theatre Works. This time it was The Graduate (play adaptation by Terry Johnson). Now, I have to admit that I have never seen the movie, so I can't make the comparison. But I know the premise and the song! I don't know what I expected, but none of the characters were likeable. That doesn't mean that I didn't like the story - I did. I just mean that there was no one to root for. Kathleen Turner was Mrs. Robinson - she had the role in the West End Production and reprised it for LA Theatre Works, and she was the perfect Mrs. Robinson. Another reason that I like these productions is that there is usually a short interview with either the playwright, a performer, or the director included. An interview with Kathleen Turner was included at the end of this one.
  10. I'm not unhappy with my 20s. I had a lot of fun and did a lot of traveling. I finished both undergrad and grad school. I got married at 24 and had Kid #1 at 27, Kid #2 at 29. I worked full time until I was 32, so I was not home with my kids in my 20s. That was complicated, but I think it was the right choice for that time, especially since I stayed home for the next 20-some years! Considering that I didn't really plan my life in my 20s and it just unfolded while I muddled along, I can't complain. If I could change one small thing, I wish that I would have started dance and/or yoga then. My 20-something body would have been able to do all the things.
  11. I still do not have a pulse oximeter and I would like to rectify that. They are getting easier to find, so maybe I can be a bit picky. What brands and/or models do you recommend?
  12. Negin, It seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it books. I loved it, but I love memoirs. And, having grown up both Catholic and around alcoholics, I could relate to it.
  13. Margaret, we rented a lovely cabin in a rural area for Thanksgiving. When we went for a "country walk" the road was flanked by either woods or Amish farms. The scenery was nice, but that walk wrecked my nerves! When walking by the woods, there were always gunshots - it was hunting season. When walking by the farms, dogs would come rushing forward toward the road. Since the farms were Amish I presumed that there were no electric fences, so if I could not see a fence I felt very scared of these dogs. And then there were the horse droppings in the road to watch out for. I just wasn't fun or relaxing for me.
  14. I am finally starting to get my reading groove back. I wasn't able to read much from mid-March to mid-May, but one thing I discovered and enjoyed was LA Theatre Works. Their audio productions of plays are a high caliber, and they have a lot of freebies but apparently they also take them down - most of the ones that I listened to have now disappeared but are replaced with a new batch. You could also check your library - I found some on both Overdrive and Hoopla. So far, I have listed to: Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon The Sisters Rosenweig by Wendy Wasserstein Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley Park Your Car in Harvard Yard by Israel Horovitz Lips Together, Teeth Apart by Terrance McNally An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. They do stay up longer than a week, though. A couple weeks, I think? @Lori D. I keep trying to catch - but keep missing - the National Theatre weekly releases. And from what I can tell it doesn't look like you can go back later and stream them for a fee, either. -- Congratulations, @Junie I hope you get that graduation party with the third one 🙂 I love throwing parties. Meanwhile, I am super happy to read that your daughter's plans are not completely derailed. Best wishes to your recent grad!
  15. Thank you for your updates - I really appreciated them. I can't find any info on our Sunday morning Farmer's Market. I don't know if there are plans to have it or not. I did manage to find a CSA that will deliver downtown, and I am eager for that to begin. It was supposed to start in May but got delayed to June.
  16. You know that question "Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?" My answer is "I prefer the city!" I live in a city, my most memorable travels have been to cities, and in my daydreams I live in a very big city. If my whole perception changes, that's going to be very unsettling. I have finally started going out for walks, but it is still stressful. I'm sure I'll get used to it. People have a habit of lingering in front our door to the street, and that really stresses me out.
  17. @Farrar I am about an hour north of you. Many of our weekend tourists come in from your city. In turn, many of our residents commute to your city by train. One of my favorite things to do is spend the day in your city. You can probably figure out from that where I am, but if not feel free to PM me. Normal life for me was walking to the library, live theater, free concerts in the park, cafes and restaurants, and my yoga studio. I loved the busy streets and the noise. We don't have a yard, but fortunately our apartment does have a nice terrace. By chance, my 83 year old mom has been self-isolating with us, so we have kept a very tight isolation bubble. We haven't been inside a store of any sort since March 13, and I have not interacted with anyone outside of my household since this began. Masks are required within shops, but most people take them off the second they are back out on the street. Everything I love about living in the city is currently either gone or now it frightens me. I'm having a hard time reckoning with that.
  18. I'd like to hear from fellow city dwellers about how things are going in your area. I live on one of the busiest streets of a small, tourist city. Our state started to reopen last week, and the foot traffic has increased considerably even though sit-down dining is still closed. Retail is open at reduced capacity. Bars are still closed. I've only lived in this city for three years, but I have been living in a downtown setting for about 10 years now. Generally speaking, I love city life. Of course, it has been eerily quiet for two months now and I really missed the energy of the city. But now I am nervous about all the people that are soon going to be swarming the streets. Once everything opens up, it will be hard to even get out the door in a socially distanced manner.
  19. If this was already posted upthread, consider it a reminder! The Chronicle of Higher Education is keeping a running list of fall announcements. Some of the announcements contain concrete info and others are as useful as the McSweeneys piece.
  20. What are you using for your filter layers, Pen? — My local (mere blocks away) shop is charging $12.99 per yard for beautiful batik fabrics. I order online and she drops it off at my door the next day. Sometimes the same day. Yes, I am extremely lucky!
  21. Alas, CATS was only on YouTube for the weekend. But hey, we still have Peter Ustinov doing a version of "The Naming of Cats" in Logan's Run (1976). For those not familiar with Logan's Run, it is a Sci-Fi film where everyone over 30 must die. These two, played by Michael York and Jenny Agutter, are on the run from the domed city and encounter Peter Ustinov living in the ruins of DC.
  22. Indeed it does! It is delightfully illustrated by Edward Gorey. ISBN 0-571-20746-4
  23. Do you by chance have the same edition that I have? lol I haven't read it since my son was in middle school, but now I'd like to give it another go. The version that aired on You-tube was filmed in 1998 and is available on DVD if anyone is interested.
  24. @Junie The Agatha Christie cover makes me think of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
  25. Hello, BaW friends. I have not checked in for a long time. Sorry. I hope everyone is doing well. But I also have not had a whole lot of reading to report, thanks to the pandemic. I'll go back through my Goodreads account and see what is worth mentioning. @Robin M I also watched CATS over the weekend. Even though I am a bit of a Broadway nerd, I had never seen CATS and I enjoyed it immensely. It seemed very 80s to me.
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