Friday, December 9, 2011

Winter's coming.

It’s been a wet spring, a crazy summer, a magnificent fall.

The flock of mourning doves at our feeder grew to nearly 15, and OtherKitty has been renamed to Finnigan. A cyclamen mite infestation nearly wiped out the African violet collection earlier in the year; the consolation acquisition was a six-foot hibiscus tree, which was supposed to have gone to my parents, but did not end up where intended. The tree is currently putting out tea saucer-sized red blooms, which shame me with their flagrant disregard for the freezing weather outside.

Winter rolls in. Every morning, the eroded slope, as seen from our office window, is covered in frost. “Silvered” wouldn’t be the right word for it, as it is dead-white of a piece of printing paper. Frost lacks luster, and I cannot wait for the snow that sticks. It is undoubted- the most beautiful shadow is the one cast by a person under a street lamp, onto a sheet of freshly fallen snow.

I miss those days of last year, when I would sit down before the computer with a great mug of black tea and write until my eyes hurt from the glare of the screen. It is the unfortunate truth that painting full time makes such writing impossible. It is also true, that there are snippets of time, early in the morning, before breakfast must be served, when I might make a choice of sleeping the extra hour, or writing.

I believe that I will resume weekly updates of my reading list on here, if nothing else.

Current audiobooks:

“American Lightning” by Howard Blum

Read by John H. Mayer
AKA: “Intrigue, thrill, and lack of cohesion”.
You wanted to listen to a thrilling tale about the dawn of 20th century? The politics, the crime, the battle of labor unions vs. capitalist overlords, the beginnings of the movie industry? I bet you did. Did you also want to listen to the author struggling to mesh two relatively unrelated stories together? I thought not. To add to that issue is my opinion that Mayer isn’t the best of narrators.

“Too Late to Say Goodbye” by Ann Rule
Read by Karen Ziemba
AKA: “Murder happens, someone dies”.
This one is a standard Ann Rule true crime story with good narration and moderate amusement value. Like Agatha Christie books, these have a fairly predictable storyline. Crime happens, crime gets solved. Good, solid listening for long hours of painting.

“Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall
Read by Fred Sanders
AKA: “Mexican supermen and a walking corpse, not in that order”.
Now this is an interesting bit of long-term journalism. It reminds me vaguely of “Three Cups of Tea”, whose author wasn’t entirely truthful, as it turned out in the end. As I’m only half way through this one, I’ll reserve judgment.