Saturday, August 27, 2016

Late August update

Late August always tends to be a wistful time around here—the students moving back conjures up feelings of panic (because the pace of life is inevitably about to quicken) AND excitement—there’s definitely a buzz in the air.
I like to make the last few days before the semester starts as slow and contemplative as possible.
Long breakfasts with reading and pleasant music and lots of backyard bird watching. Also I’m trying to get some house-cleaning done and figuring out a schedule for it during the semester.
Actually figuring out when to do things takes up a lot of my time.
As does figuring out a way to rein in my internet time—I’m as susceptible to the time-suck as many people more than half my age….(yes I even “tumblr” on occasion…) I find dipping in to various of the internet subcultures quite interesting: the bullet journal subculture, the studytumblr subculture, “booktube”—people who post videos book reviews on youtube, etc
Over the summer I also had fun with duolingo--the language learning app.
Here’s a list of books I’ve been reading this summer:
Pema Chodron: When Things Fall Apart - have always loved dipping into her works.
The first volume of Karl-Ove Knausgaard My Struggle—sometimes I don’t have the patience for
Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before: The reliance on anecdotes often from her own life slightly irritates me, even though though she has some good life-hacks in there. 
Elizabeth Gilbert’s: Big Magic: another vexing mix of helpful/inspiring/uplifting and annoying.
Lynda Barry: What It Is: I find her work oddly moving—it swirls something up inside me—probably to do with fear/lack of self-confidence—but also oddly inspiring and uplifting—have been sketching (badly) because of her! Really want to get her “Syllabus” book.
A fantastic article about Annie Dillard by William Dersiewicz (after reading up on Dillard I found out she is married to Robert D. Richardson, whose wonderful book on Ralph Waldo Emerson: Mind on Fire I really want to go back to.)

And finally Marilynne Robinson. Have started Gilead and am enjoying it immensely. Was pleasantly surprised (but then not) that Obama is a fan. She reminds me a little of a more? religious American George Eliot. I can’t wait to read her other works esp. Housekeeping. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Random thoughts on Masterpiece's Endeavour

The weakest part of the show Endeavour are often the crime cases themselves—silly, contrived etc.
What keeps me coming back, beside the lovely images of Oxford or the many shots of a pensive and brooding Endeavour chewing on his pencil while listening to what are often my own fave pieces of classical music, are the little quotidian interactions between Endeavor and Thursday, or the glimpses we get into Thursday’s family-life: the sandwich toppings, or when he looks disappointingly into the chocolate box and proclaims who ate the Savoy truffle?  (A quick google brings to light a new-to-me Beatles song of the same name AND the fact that it’s one of the chocs inside of a specific assortment of Mackintosh chocolates.
The references to bloater paste in this last episode had both Bill and I running to our Kindles. I knew it was probably some sort of weird fishy thing.  
One last cultural reference—his name always reminds me of growing up in Australia, where we were told again and again about Captain Cook and how he commanded the HMS Endeavour on his first voyage of discovery to Terra Australis