Thomasina in Tom Stoppard's mind bending time warping play, ARCADIA, observes that when you stir raspberry jam into vanilla pudding it will first swirl in streaks but ultimately will turn the entire pudding pink. If you stir the pudding in the opposite direction, the jam will not separate back out again.
--LIFE MOVES ONLY FORWARD--NEVER BACK!--
How does one see a life honestly and
accurately from the inside?How does one
manage this phey have been raped at the age of fifteen? Moore’s story
starts with unruly unstable relatives and abusive unstable and suicidal parents. With
that background to start with Moore had almost no normal home life. The family moved so often that Moore seldom was in a school
for more than a few months at a time. Set free in this environment in her early teens she fell victim to the kind of drug and alcohol abuse that was already a common
factor in her parent’s lives. The final straw was being pimped by her own
mother for $500 at the age of fifteen.
Moore does see now that
many of her problems with relationships, sex, marriage, and motherhood stemmed
from a sense of helplessness, inadequacy, and guilt fostered by her mother’s actions and failures.
Thus her story is another spoke in the wheel of the "Me too" era in which women find themselves trying valiantly to rid themselves of the sins that were never theirs in the first place. The man who raped her was clearly another Harvey Weinstein.
As luck would have it, Moore was able to
parlay some early modeling jobs into an acting career of real significance. Yet each step along the way was often made more difficult by difficult relationships and returning alcohol and drug dependency. One area she never really deals with how the financial
success issue and her choice of profession intimately connected with her problems. For instance, it is pretty obvious in the book that the money
allowed her to fund debilitating habits without ending up a fowl of the law,
Many people raised in the environment she was raised in have ended up incarcerated before they could dig themselves out of the holes they had dug themselves into. Might there have been fewer issues if she had not chosen to marry men who were also famous actors and had their own problems?
I found some of the stories of the films she
made interesting, but on the whole this didn’t keep the telling of her life story from being as much celebrity voyeurism as a warning to avoid the mistakes I
made.Ultimately for me it was certainly a
warning that having a lot of money to throw at problems doesn’t necessarily cure them. I do certainly
wish her peace now and a continued career in the arts.
T'was a simple reference from the weather man. There would be snow at higher elevations.
Run for the long lens.
Unfortunately I don't have my photo editing program on the computer out here in AZ. so I can't work on removing the power lines. But look closely at the little white sticks just above the top power line and to the right. Them there sticks are the towers atop Mount Lemmon, the highest point around here.The snowy hills we can see are actually in front of Mount Lemmon, which is further away though higher in elevation.. Below is a photo I took in 2015 when we did drive up to the top.
It is a gorgeous drive from the Tucson Valley and there are plenty of stopping places.
One of the interesting views gives you a look at Thimble Peak. It is an easy marker to identify the separation between Bear canyon in front of the thimble and Sabino Canyon which is on the other side of the thimbe.
Climbers are sometimes around to test their skills on some of the formations.
Or you can just gaze down into Tucson from above.
My daughter and our two grandsons were on this particular drive.
If there has been a recent rain you can also see some waterfalls.
It took me two weeks to get through A Very Stable Genius and now I have polished off a new mystery in a little over two days.
Murder in Belgravia by Lynn Brittney
This is a first adult detective novel for Brittney who
has a long history with books for young adults and children. She sets her story
in London during WWI and infuses it with a lot of material about the fight of
women for the vote and general recognition within the war economy.
A police inspector named Beech is assigned to
investigate the murder of a young Lord of the land who has recently returned
with war injuries and some major personality changes. The victim’s young
wife has been found battered and bleeding near the body but Beech doubts the general
conclusion that the woman has killed her husband.
The Inspector gets permission from his superior to
look more deeply into the crime and also to experiment with using some females
to assist in the investigation. The current police force is all male, like so many
other occupations, and there is a beginning recognition that they may have to admit women as the manpower shortage
increases.Beech locates a female physician
and a female lawyer to join his small male group and they are all off to track
down the killer. The search moves from the posh homes of Belgravia to the more
seamy parts of the city where prostitution and drugs enter the picture. You can
now guess that the ladies will be instrumental in finding the solution to the
The prose is competent though not as dense or descriptive
as someone like PD James, but it does take you through the streets of London
effectively. As an Anglophile of long standing, I am a sucker for anything set
in my favorite city in the world and I relish being taken to familiar locations
as the action progresses. This was a fine fun read and I would look for more in
the series if the author continues to write them.
In spite of the lockdown orders we have been able to take advantage of Sabino Canyon's open spaces. This week we did spy the first red bud on a so called Christmas Cholla.
The Phainopepla is the most common bird we see in the canyon. The male is almost all black and getting a decent picture of them is difficult. The one below is perhaps the best one I've taken this year.
Also quite common is the mourning dove. They are easier to photograph and we hear them almost every daybreak.
The most common cactus we see other than the saguaro is the prickly pear and you can see several here..
This is a closer view of a single pad that seemed to me to be shaped like a little mitten. It is cute but I
don't think you want to shake hands with it.
Prickly Pears grow by sprouting new pads out of old ones. You can see one just getting started here.
Here's one a little further along. You can see the typical shape forming.
Here's another first flower spotted. Jan called it a Salsify
I occasionally like to remind you that the canyon is dependent on rocks and this is a nice example of a common one associated with the formation of the canyon. It is the beautifully layered metamorphic rock called the Catalina Gneiss..
I like this shot because it enables you to see the varied size of the blooms. The chicory, on the bottom, is a fairly large one and the so called Bastard Toadflax is about half the size of a dime.
Another of the fairly common type of bush cactus is the Staghorn
They can have varied colored buds or fruits. Sometimes red like the Christmas cholla
And sometimes pink or greenish.
Another new bloom we saw this week is called Chia. The buds are about the size of a quarter or half dollar sized and the flowers are very small indeed.
The endings of great saguaros are sad though. This giant will probably have fallen by next year.
We end on a hopeful note. After the rain the clouds are quite strange and lovely.
I have just plowed through, and plowed is an accurate
verb, A Very Stable Genius by
Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. My
overall feeling is that it is an effective depiction of Donald Trump’s approach
to managing the office of President of the United States.
There is nothing in the book that should surprise
anyone who has even marginally followed the news in the past three years. Your
own take on the events of the Trump presidency might differ depending on which
news sources you frequent, but the events themselves are basically not in
The book is organized chronologically and takes you from
the beginning of his presidency to the Mueller Report. The formal impeachment
inquiry is not treated. My sense is that the authors wanted to zero in on the
revolving door of presidential staffing.We get detail after detail on how the president chooses his underlings,
how he treats them, how he uses social media platforms and public rallies to
steer public response to his actions, and in particular how he disposes of those
who displease him.
As I write this the Covid-19 pandemic has taken over
the news and the Trump approach to this challenge seems to me to mirror the
management philosophy that this book chronicles.
Trump initially underplays the significance of
potential difficulties. He will also attempt to distract by putting some other alternate
event into the atmosphere. Think here of things like, “What about Hilary’s
e-mails?” or “Why haven’t those FBI agents been prosecuted?” His conservative echo chamber will then
reliably reinforce what he says or tweets. He gives himself ten out of ten ratings
while Jeff Sessions, James Comey, China, or the media are dependable villains
to be excoriated at will.
The authors show that time after time Trump does not
read briefing material prepared for him in advance of meetings and does not pay
much attention to daily intelligence briefings.He prefers to enter meetings without careful preparation and will either
avoid or belittle the opinions of anyone who offers material he does not like. He
does this according to Rucker and Leonnig because he thinks he already has all
the knowledge he needs in his own
head.When he does listen it is often only
to his cronies or his immediate family. He seems particularly suspicious of people in
the military or intelligence areas and apparently now in the council of public
Trump, the authors conclude, remains mired in
political blame, self-aggrandizement, lack of empathy, rampant nepotism, and gut
based decision making. These traits, they say, have consistently put the
country at odds with itself and our friends and allies.
Unfortunately, Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis
up to this time appears to be following the same patterns outlined in the book.
The Trumpian toolbox just seems ill equipped to handle a health pandemic. He remains
faced with addressing a scourge that knows no walls, no borders, no economic
philosophy, and no partisan political affiliation.
All we can do now is hope for some changes in the
recently finished this book about books and though it did peter out in the
later chapters, there was still plenty to chew on and enjoy.
Price first delineates
three areas of book study. The first is the disease some of us caught when young
and are still suffering from in our dotage—i.e. Booklover. Some from this category will move on to become
Literary Scholars and Teachers. Her
third area is the more rarified occupation of Book Historian.
of all kinds consider the author, the historical context, and the content as
they read, but the book historian specializes in the physical book—its shape,
its size, its construction and how the business of publishing has developed
A book can
take many forms. It can range from a fancy tooled leather-bound presentation
volume, to a traditional hardback, to a cheap paperback reprint, to a computer
file on a kindle or some other digital device. Those differences can lead the
book historian to a multitude of other considerations ranging from why a reader
chooses a specific type of delivery package to the world of typefaces, edition
histories, and even extra-textual marginalia inserted by
readers in a given volume over time. This might be called reading for dog ears and coffee stains.
Book historians can also delve into the economics of the
book ranging from how many copies, at what price, and in what form were printed
to the whole range of costs, advertising, distribution, inventory control, and
other aspects of the publishing business. Price makes
a case that the publishing industry has been a major initiator and contributor
to the history of business including product advertising, commercial sales, and
literally all current commercial distribution and inventory systems. She
contends that because books were among the earliest of all mass marketed
products that the systems to advertise them, market them, ship them, etc. were
the models for most of our later systems of commercial exchange.
She also reminds
the reader who wishes to puff up the intellectual contributions of books that the
majority of things inscribed on paper or clay tablets since the invention of written communication have been made
to throw away or be destroyed.She cites
Benjamin Franklin’s printing records and notes that forms, order pads,
receipts, note pads, and announcements of temporal events were the most common
jobs done by his business.And she claims
this continues to be true for the majority of printing businesses today.
Price gives no
credence to the purveyors of doom who would have you believe that the printed
book is dead. She notes that information
dissemination has always been on the cutting edge.Manuscript copies of oral material
represented a major advance just as the copying of those manuscripts by
faithful monks added to the spread of knowledge. Guttenberg’s press, of course,
signaled an exponential advance in time, price, and distribution of words, but
the computer era has simply added to the variety and the speed in which words are
spread. She admits that after the Kindle was introduced traditional book sales
took a dip, but now they are rising again just as vinyl records are coming back
in spite of the invention of the CD.
One of her
final chapters deals with a particular modern problem. Although it is easier and
cheaper than ever to buy or access books, it seems to be getting harder and
harder to find the time to read them. I
hope that will not be the straw that breaks the camel’s and the book’s back.