Brain Workouts

Shear Greek

The re-start of school and all the fresh promise of a new year have me hankering to get back to my intellectual improvement through reading the classics. I picked up Plutarch’s Lives this afternoon (current month’s reading in my Great Books group) and dug into the life of Theseus. He was the mythical founder of Athens and probably is best known for slaying the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull creature, in […]

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Come Read a Spell

I have not been particularly prolific with the blogging because I am working on a top-secret Christmas gift that takes most of my computer’s resources. I’ll tell you about it after the 25th. This has not stopped The Big M from being busy using his own computer’s resources, however, and tonight he discovered something alarming. I’ll back up for a second. You may have noticed that this blog is more […]

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Missing Mom

“I thought it was an easy read.”—Book Club member It’s interesting how the same book can seem different depending on the reader. Sometimes it’s different to the same reader at different times. Occasionally I re-read books from my past, and the unchanged text becomes a mirror reflecting what has changed in my experience. Experience colors interpretation. This month’s book club selection was Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates. As others […]

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The Exuberance of Youth

When I was a teenager I’d get in the car to go out with my friends and immediately the thrill of possibility would course through my bloodstream. Someone would begin the mantra and we’d all join in – “The night is young and so are we!” I didn’t know what we’d be doing and I didn’t care because everything was fresh and exciting. That’s how I still feel about books. […]

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I Think a Change Would Do Me Good

The moon is high in the western sky. It’s been out in the daytime the last couple of days, and as I look at it I keep noticing that the dark spot has a familiar curve to it. It looks like this: I’ve been wondering if it’s from the moon that the Chinese got their yin yang. The moon is light in darkness and is itself a mixture of darkness […]

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NaNoWriMo

Feliz Dia de los Muertos! Today is All Souls Day, a Catholic holiday known as the Day of the Dead in Mexico. In honor of the holiday, here is The Boy’s painting of a skeleton: I love the glitter. It feels apropos that today is el dia de los muertos because I am almost brain dead at this moment. November is National Novel Writing Month. (See sidebar.) It has been […]

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To Be or Not to Be

For the past few days I’ve been reading several things at once and trying to think through stuff about purpose and the role of religion in life and the result for now is that the gray matter feels like a scrambled lump of swirly confusion. It’s giving me sinus pressure. I’ll let you know when I sort things out. In the meantime, I want to comment on something I read […]

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God Bless Texas, Part Dos

The Big M informs me that my previous post was off-putting in its jingoism. That’s tough to hear. Jingoism implies “an extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of a group to which one belongs, especially when the partisanship includes malice and hatred towards a rival group.” Yikes. Look, I love Texas, but I get that not everyone does. I’m on a search for Truth, and the Truth is that Texas […]

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God Bless Texas

Did you know that Gen. Sam Houston was a protégé of Gen. Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of our United States? I wonder what ol’ Sam would have thought if someone had told him that his name would be the first word ever spoken on the moon. What’s got me thinking about Houston? I mean, besides that U2 is playing in concert there tonight and I’m missing it? I’m reading […]

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In Search of Lost Time

I have been extraordinarily tired this week. I love to read Proust when I’m tired. Who is Proust? you say. I’m assuming you are asking this because you are normal and don’t go seeking out 19th-century French memoirists to read. Marcel Proust (Prooooooost! Imagine how beloved he’d be as a football player with a name like that.) is known for his novel-in-six-volumes, In Search of Lost Time. (The real title […]

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