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Today in My History

2000: Things I Know Very Little About
2001: Getting to the Bottom of Things
2002: Living by the Numbers
2003: Age of Aquarius
2004: "Keep Away"
2005: Transitions are Always Difficult

2006: Not a Fashion Maven
2007:  The Historian
2008: Misbehavior in the Polling Booth
2009:  Psychic Woman
2010:  Big Food
2011:  If You Were a Tree

Bitter Hack
Updated: 11/2

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 11/1
"The Year of Magical Thinking"

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mail to Walt


4 November 2012

Well.  Now.  Where were we before I engaged in a 3-day exercise in narcissism (like a personal blog isn't the epitome of narcissism!)   I have decided, BTW, to finish my story.  Since I posted it here, I've been going this way and that with where to take it.  I think I've figured out what I want to do, so I'll work on it.  When it's finished, I'll post the end of it.  Don't hold your breath!

We are two days away from the end of our long national nightmare.   No matter which candidate you support, you have to admit that the escalation of political ads, talking heads, polls, robo calls and all of it has been a long nightmare.  I've decided that I"m tired of listening to Chris Matthew, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, Jim Leherer, and any other talking head so I'm going to spend election night on Comedy Central, where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be covering the election.  I'm sure I will get just the same level of information, and it will be more fun.

And then, depending on which candidate wins and which you supported, either our nightmare will finally be over completely or just beginning all over again.

One day without seeing an ad for Dr. Ami Bera alone will be like six hours at the seaside.

It was a fun week at the book store.  Sales have been kind of slow on Thursdays, apparently, but they were brisk this week.  I think Peter had 4 sales Thursday morning and I had about 20 in the afternoon.  I also made the acquaintance of a woman whose name I have known for all the years I have been in Davis.   We know a lot of the same people and she was a deightful person.

She is a member of one of the book clubs in town that has been going on for years.  Over the years I have encountered either friends or neighbors or co-workers who have been in long-term book clubs and who just rave about how they have changed their lives, how they made their best friends there, how they were more like support groups than book clubs.  They sit around and drink wine and talk about each other's lives and what they are all reading.  Each time someone brought up the subject of their book club, I always said, rather wistfully, I thought, that I always wanted to be in a book club.  And unanimously they change the subject. Kind of like flunking "rush" at the local sorority.

I fear it's a bit too late to find that kind of rapport and lifelong friends in a book club as I would have if I had been invited to join one in my 30s, though my two meetings with the club in Sacramento were nice and I recognized a couple of people at the second meeting, though I don't remember anybody's name yet.  Still it was nice to be able to talk books with other people reading the same thing.

This was the book I read at the store while I was there this week.

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It's actually a book I've had here at home for along time, but never got around to reading it.  But we were going to see the stage version of the book and I thought it would be a good opportunity to read it.

Didion's husband died of a heart attack suddenly one night as she was mixing the salad for dinner.  The book details her travel through grief during that first awful year, a year in which her daughter was also dying of many infections in many hospitals (she finally did die the following year).

The book (which won a Pulitzer prize) is raw and filled with emotion, but also contains a lot of wry humor, as Didion laughs at herself for some of her feelings -- like her reluctance to give away her husband's shoes several weeks after his death because "he'll need them when he comes back."

We saw the play, adapted by Didion herself, which is very faithful to the book.  The incredible Janis Stevens, a local treasure, plays Didion in this one-woman play. 

I've read several reviews of the show when Vanesssa Redgrave did it in New York.  You can pretty much tell which critics have had personal experience with a painful death and which have not.

Obviously I felt uniquely qualified to review this play...perhaps too qualified, since I find that there are so many things I want to say about it, but am limited to 750 words in a review.  Bottom line is that seeing the play was an extraordinary experience, and it was very sad that there were only 20 in the audience. 


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Walt and I (and the dogs) enjoy "Says You" on the radio in the living room on Sunday afternoons.

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