Sunday Papers

June 28 NYTimes, on my July 9, 2015 blog post.

“My mother’s utter devotion to the art … of book-selling - or more exactly, the selling of book-loving - and her belief that books and reading mattered, mattered more than getting home at suppertime to be there with a casserole between her oven mitts: That devotion was passed to me almost intravenously.” 

NYTimes, photograph by Sally Mann I am milking this for all it is worth. I posted to Facebook, Twitter, and my book club pals, but I'm just loving this article and loving this quote:

It is from the NYTimes Book Review section, an interview with photographer Sally Mann, quoted above.

Posted on 6/21/15

Sunday's come and go so fast around here. Lots to enjoy in this, the longest daytime of the year. Ah! Sweet Summer. Here are some nuggets from recent papers, Brain Pickings, and my out-and-abouts.

Here's something I think you'll enjoy:

Student Design Award Winner - Curiosity: Exploration and Discovery from RSA Student Design Awards on Vimeo.

I saw this on Brain-Pickings, where I also liked an interview with Neil Gaiman (who grew up in libraries) on How Stories Last:

Stories should change you — good stories should change you.

Maurice Sendak, The Big Green Book by Robert Graves

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from 'The Big Green Book' by Robert Graves. 

Lucas Aoki

This is not my artwork. It is the work of Lucas Aoki from Argentina. It is from a funny and creative sketchbook I found here. It is also a reminder that, if you love to peek into sketchbooks (journals, drawers, and your sister's diary), you have hundreds to fascinate you here and possibly in your own city when sketchbooks tour the country. I wrote about it here.

And there is this creative and playful take on book covers  from May 3 NYTimes.
I think this looks like a whole lot of fun. I may have to try it. Stay tuned.

NY Times photo by Ray Defara

With the U.S. open in our backyard, golf is on our minds. I smiled at this quip from The Onion, quoted in today's Seattle times:
Bubba Watson horrified to learn two-thirds of Earth covered in water hazards.
Go Cubs..

Recently in the papers and  posted on the blog, April 29, 2015


When women pass 50, in some ways, their lives get better,” Ms. Fonda said. “It’s like: Who cares? What do we have to lose to not be brave?
OK, I admit it. I'm over 50.

illustration by Jessica Fortner

" 'We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost,' the writer Ray Bradbury said in a 1990 interview...'There's nothing better than to walk around Paris and not know where in hell  you are,' "

Stephanie Rosenblum states in her essay, "You can't go wrong." Not only in Paris, she says, but in any city "if one hopes to have the kind of chance encounters that make a vacation more than a game of hopscotch around landmarks."  I am such a proponent of this concept that I enjoy solo wandering, hopping the Metro toward any direction, perhaps doing some research first as to things I might find in out-of-the way neighborhoods. I like to get off at any stop (I've done my crappy or dangerous neighborhood homework first) and stroll aimlessly around, perhaps looking for something in a photo I saw or just discovering. When I can, I do the same in any unfamiliar city. Paris is perfect for this: fairly compact, easy to hop on a Metro, something to sketch or photo on almost any street. Okay, I admit I keep my iPad or map in my bag in case I get hopelessly lost (which is, in my opinion, hard to do in Paris, but easy in lots of other places) or need to refresh my sense of direction. And I do this venturing out in the daytime. I will always remember the first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower I had as I wandered about on my first trip there. I was somewhat disoriented at the time, not worried about it, but aware I wasn't sure of my location. Literally,, as I turned the corner, there it was, a total surprise, the top half peeking over the buildings. A moment of unexpected glee I will always remember.


"We live in a culture so preoccupied with happiness...that we forget grief is not something merely to get over, something over which we "achieve closure," but a human undertaking, a slow, sticky process of allowing our love to take another, more remote, shape."  Meghan O'Rourke. 

From NYT Book Review, another memoir on love and loss and grief. There have been several lately. Any of us who have had a painful loss, even as a friend or family member helping the coping process, gravitate toward these memoirs, whether or not the loss is fresh. The process of grief is such a large part of life. I think this will be on my read list. 

The Light of the World, A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander.  Book review written by Megan O'Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye.

Posted on the blog, March 24, 2015

These new entries, from yesterday's papers, will be added to the Sunday Papers Page on this blog, where I write:
Whenever my friends and I get together for lunch, especially if it's been a while, we begin to make an agenda of catch-up items. We don't want to miss any news and views!  Or, if we meet often, we're likely to bring with us our latest clippings - physical or virtual - to share. Let's just say, in either case, we rarely if ever lack for conversational topics. Call this my Did You See? opportunity I'd like to share with you over lunch. Are you going to have wine? Let's split dessert.
"It turned out that, for all the intricate calculations people like to use to complete their bracket, some pretty simple math goes a long way." (Yay, math!) 

Then: Your mother.
Now: Auto-correct.

Then: Marzipan
Now: Kittens in Sinks

Then: God
Now: Free wi-fi

Probably true.  
Loose Ends, Henry Alford. 

Well...okay. I'm posting this Maureen Dowd opinion essay not because of its relevance (but it is) but for this image. Oh, I have seen THAT face!

Amy E. Lrice/Getty Images

4. And, for all of the Smell of The Printed News Lovers like me:

"Print readers love print. The affinity they have for it is astronomical..."

Oliver Sacks, author, "My Own Life," NY Times, Feb. 19, 2015

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.
This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

From Seattle Times:  Climate Haiku

Dr. Greg Johnson.
From an article in the Seattle Times,s 12/16/2013. 

Did you see this?  In the Sunday papers, June 22, 2014....

Okay, I don't think of myself as a sentimentalist, not much anyhoo, but these first two articles hit me right in my bony heart. One is a Modern Love essay and one was in the Wedding/Lifestyles section. The featured stories in these sections always surprise this somewhat skeptical onlooker and reel me in surprisingly fast. It's not that I'm against love. I love love. I'm just not much for Hallmark Channel versions of it. These articles usually overcome my skittishness and tell a nice story.

I was 31 before I got my heart broken...I had loved and lost plenty of times, but I had never let myself feel it. I numbed up....I fell for him so fast, and as if through space, no planet in sight. (But then), it was over...I would sob and wail in my car...crying in public, crying as I wrote in my journal at Dunkin' Donuts, as I biked home...but I marveled, too. I marveled at the feeling of being heartbroken.
          Modern Love, Lily King. NYTimes, 22 June 2014

'I think of myself as an intelligent, functioning adult,' says the writer Julie Klam, who has a daughter who just finished fifth grade. 'But my God. Do you know what a 'math lattice' is? No, you do not. The way basic math is taught now, it's not like A plus B equals C. It's more like A plus B, and then you run out for oranges, and then you take the subway. My daughter's recent assignment was like a buffet of confusion.' Several years ago, my fellow parents and i got so involved in an assignment that I suggested it would be best if we kept our kids home and just showed up for their classes.
            Opinion/Judith Newman, "But I WANT to Do Your Homework." NYT, 22 June 2014

The residents and shoppers of Abbot Kinney, the trendy Venice retail and restaurant strip, know her as the tall redhead who emerges in an evening dress and a big hat to police behavioral infractions big and small.  
   Scene Stealers, Brooks Barnes, NYTimes 22 June 201


An obituary for Dr. Lorna Wing, a British psychiatrist who researched autism and who gave autism in its mildest form the name Asperger’s syndrome.  "I do believe you need autistic traits for real success in science and the arts, and I am fascinated by the behaviors and personalities of musicians and scientists. One of my favorite sayings is that nature never draws a line without smudging it. You cannot separate into those 'with' and 'without' traits as they are so scattered."    NYT, June 22, 2014

Did you see this? 

David Brooks on two opposing philosophies for dealing with the perplexities of life. Posted on home page on March 2, 2014.

Love this piece on two historical essayists, Samuel Johnson and Michel de Montaigne. They were different personalities and subscribed to different, even opposing, ways to live, but each has some appeal to tackling modern life and its perplexities, as Brooks summarizes.

Montaigne recommended to accept change, "the flux." "Much of the fanaticism he sees around him is caused by people in a panic because they can't accept the elusiveness inside."  Greatness of soul is not so much pressing upward and forward as knowing how to set oneself in order and circumscribe oneself......if others examined themselves attentively, as I do, they would find themselves, as I do, full of inanity and nonsense....we are all steeped in it, one as much as the other, but those who are aware of it are a little better off...."

Brooks: ..."He was amiable, restrained, honest and tolerant. He was at ease with life, and even with death. If you don't know how to die, don't worry, he says. Nature will instruct you."

Johnson, on the other hand, feared insanity, frights of the imagination, fears and jealousies. He emphasized self-conquest, defeating one's own fears, tackling them head-on. His goal was self-improvement and "the moral improvement of his readers." His character was "marked by compassion but also a fierce sense of personal responsibility."

Brooks concludes: "we can each pick what sort of person we would prefer to be...Montaigne was a calming presence in a country filled with strife....Johnson was a witty but relentless moral teacher in a culture where people were likely to grade themselves on a generous curve."

Here is the entire commentary which I read in the Seattle Times today, March 2, 2014. So much rang true to me. Good fodder for thought and conversation.

Did you see this?

An article by Frank Bruni, Dec. 31 NYTimes.

I am struck by a Frank Bruni column in the Seattle Times today, first appearing in NYTimes on Tuesday. There are so many thoughts he expresses that I can buy into with hearty "yesindeedies"...
He begins with advice from his mom, "little of it original - she was hardly the first to caution against horizontal stripes....but much of it impeachable."  Whether or not you are a tweeter or Facebook user, I think you will find this article meaningful, especially if you are a reader.  You will also enjoy Reader Comments to this article.

A sampling:

"....What would she have made of a world in which so many of us, entranced by the opportunity for instant expression and an immediate audience, post unformed thoughts, half-baked wit or splenetic reactions before we can even count to three."

"...pauses are the spaces in which passions cool, civility gets its oxygen and wisdom quite possibly finds its wings."

"...I'd bet big on real reading, fiction or nonfiction, as a prompt for empathy and a whole lot more: coolheadedness, maybe even open-mindedness, definitely deliberation."

Did you see the piece  Tom Hanks wrote about typewriters? I think this should be written in Courier, don't you think?

"For less important doodles in text, the kind that go no farther than your desk or refrigerator door, the tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop. Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece."


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