Saturday, January 19, 2008

A bit of Saturday Satire

Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book

The Onion

Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book

GREENWOOD,IN—"Instead of spending hours on YouTube every night, Mr. Meyer, unlike most healthy males, looks to books for gratification," said one psychologist.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Teachers Have a Special Place in my Heart

I've always admired teachers, my sister is one and for the first year out of school, I also worked for the NYC department of education as a sub. and then permanantly in Special Ed. classroom.

Recently, I discovered that Dan Brown (UPDATED, he is not author of The Da Vinci Code, he's a different Dan Brown) penned a memoir called The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle. It takes a fine human being to teach, not just anyone would teach public school in the Bronx. Kudos to him on his new book, which he says has gotten great reviews.

This one's going on my reading list too!

The other night, I had trouble falling asleep and watched Independent Lens . REVOLUCION: Five Visions on PBS - a look at five talented photographers in Cuba who documented the struggles of Cuba.

The vivid imagery and a poem featured in the film captured my soul. I'd like to share it with you all:


Como un nadador que se ha perdido
Debajo de la capa de hielo,
Buscó un lugar para emerger.

… pero no hay ningún lugar.
Toda la vida nado con la respiración.
No sé cómo podéis vosotros hacerlo.

Estamos ciegos.
Cegados por el futuro.
No vemos nunca lo que está ante nosotros,
Nunca el próximo segundo.
Vemos solo lo que hemos visto ya.
Es decir, nada.

Al fin y al cabo no puedo ser el único
Que se ha dado cuenta.
Tan listo no soy.
Sólo se han puesto de acuerdo
En no hablar de ello.

Como caminan todos toda su vida sin
Conocer el momento siguiente,
Sin saber si con el próximo paso pisarán aún
Suelo firme o caerán en la nada.

Pensé que era el sueno equivocado o el mundo
Equivocado al que había ido a parar.
O quizás era yo el equivocado para este mundo,
Para este sueno.

…pero si resulta que solo soy vuestro
seuno común, que todos vosotros me habéis
sonado desde el principio, que nunca fui
otra cosa que el sueno de otros,
entonces os ruego mis queridos sonadores:
¡sonad a partir de ahora con otra cosa!

No puedo más.
No pretendo que os despertéis.
Por mi seguid durmiendo mientras queráis y
Dormid bien pero dejád de sonarme.

Y explicadme una cosa,
Damas y caballeros,
¿qué sucede con un sueno cuando
despierta el sonador? ¿Nada?
¿No sucede ya nada?


Like a swimmer who has gotten lost
Under a layer of ice,
I look for a place to emerge.

… but there is no place.
All life long I swim holding my breath.
I don’t know how you all can do it.

We are blind. Blinded by the future.
We never see what’s in front of us,
Never the coming second.
We see only what we have already seen.
That is, nothing.

After all I can’t be the only one to realize it.
I’m not so clever.
They’ve only agreed not to mention it.

How all walk all their lives without knowing
That following moment,
Without knowing if with the next step
They’ll still tread solid ground or will fall into nothingness.

I thought I had wound up in the wrong dream
Or the wrong world.
Or maybe it was I who was wrong
For this world, or this dream.

… but if it turns out that I’m only
your common dream, that all of you have
dreamed me from the beginning,
that I never was other than the dream of others,
then, my dreamers, I beg you:
from now on dream of something else.

I can’t go on,
I don’t expect you to wake up.
For all I care you can keep sleeping
as long and well as you want,
but stop dreaming me.

And explain to me something,
Ladies and gentlemen,
What happens with a dream
When the dreamer wakes up? Nothing?
Nothing happens anymore?


-from The Mirror in the Mirror, by Michael Ende. Translated by Juana Rosa Pita.



A quick futile search for this book by the German author of the Neverending Story lead me to find that the book is rare and out of print. The best price I found for it was on Abebooks for $121.00.

I hope it gets reprinted!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Second Sex

Simone de Beauvoir, one the founding women of the feminist movement would have been 100 today. As France starts a celebration this week of the centennial of Simone de Beauvoir’s birth, The Guardian reports that scholars are worried that too much attention will be paid to the philosopher’s sex life and not enough to her ideas. Gee, it doesn't seem like things change do they, as our media concentrates on Hillary's emotional assertions.

Here's your chance to take a look inside the head of woman far ahead of her time, I think we refer to that as genius or visionary, who would've thought those ideas lay inside that delicate, sensitive head.


She Came to Stay, (1943)
Pyrrhus et Cinéas, (1944)
The Blood of Others, (1945)
Who Shall Die?, (1945)
All Men are Mortal, (1946)
The Ethics of Ambiguity, (1947)
The Second Sex, (1949)
America Day by Day, (1954)
The Mandarins, (1954)
Must We Burn Sade?, (1955)
The Long March, (1957)
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, (1958)
The Prime of Life, (1960)
Force of Circumstance, (1963)
A Very Easy Death, (1964)
Les Belles Images, (1966)
The Woman Destroyed, (1967)
The Coming of Age, (1970)
All Said and Done, (1972)
When Things of the Spirit Come First, (1979)
Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, (1981)
Letters to Sartre, (1990)
A Transatlantic Love Affair: Letters to Nelson Algren, (1998)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Spring in January

Crazy weather seems to becoming more and more common, which reminds of the Prince song, Sometimes it Snows in April so beautiful...





So, it's about 67 degrees here in NYC, yes, crazy!! I saw a woman in a skirt suit wearing thong sandals, crazy I tell you!

Anyhow, if you have a bit of Spring fever, like me, here's a little head's up for you - Belong to Me: A Novel by Marisa De Los Santos will be debuting this April. Some of you may remember Love Walked In from previous posts.


from the Harpercollins' site:



Belong To Me



Marisa de los Santos' first novel was hailed as a book to "be passed from friend to friend with the words 'you have to read this.'" In her second novel, she illuminates the leaps of faith and twists of fate from which our human connections are made.



In Belong to Me, we meet charming, insightful Cornelia Brown, as she struggles to forge friendships with the woman in her new town and as she discovers that even the most joyful marriage can encounter unexpected, and sometimes frightening, hurdles. Across the street we find Piper Truitt, a blond, imperious queen bee whose complex inner self comes crashing to the surface of her picture-perfect life as she cares for her best friend, recently diagnosed with cancer. And then there is Lake, the feisty mother of sensitive, whip-smart Dev, who has seemingly moved to Cornelia's town so her son can attend a school for gifted students, but who actually harbors a deeper motive. As their stories unfold, these characters become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal, love and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined and that ultimately teaches them what it means for one human being to belong to another.

Soon to join my Bookpile

Barnes & Noble is having a great after holiday sale on books and calendars!


This was my order:
Aloft, Chang-rae Lee
Hardcover
ISBN: 0641679238
Online Price: $3.99
-$0.20
$3.79

Magic Seeds, V. S. Naipaul
Hardcover
ISBN: 0641841809
Online Price: $3.99
-$0.20
$3.79

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Gabriel García Márquez
Hardcover
ISBN: 0641871686
Online Price: $3.99
-$0.20
$3.79

Greed
Elfriede Jelinek, Martin Chalmers (Translator)
Hardcover
ISBN: 1583227571
Online Price: $24.95
-$1.25
$23.70

Not too Shabby, if I must say so myself.

Visa CC holders, can use the same coupon for max. discounts:
VISA

Shipping is free w/$25 purchase and delivered in 24Hrs in Manhattan.

The Orphanage is officially in theaters, has anyone seen it yet? I'm dying to go myself.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Leaving the Old Behind

 
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