Openers: As I fortuned to take my voyage into Thessaly, about certaine affaires which I had to doe (for there mine auncestry by my mothers side inhabiteth, descended of the line of that most excellent person Plutach, and of Sextus the Philosopher his Nephew, which is to us a great honour) and after that by much travell and great paine I had passed over the great mountaines and slipperie vallies, and had ridden through the cloggy fallowed fields, perceived that my horse did waxe somewhat slow, and to the intent likewise I might repose and strengthen myself (being weary with riding) I lighted off my horse, and wiping the sweat from every part of his body, I unbrideled him, and walked him softly in my hand, to the end he might pisse, and ease himselfe of his weariness and travell: and while hee went grazing freshly in the field (casting his head somewhat aside, as a token of rejoycing and gladnesse) I perceived a little before me two companions riding, and so I overtaking them made the third. -- Lucius Apuleius, The Golden Asse, 2nd Century AD (exact date uncertain); translated by William Adington, 1566
I've Been Reading: My FFB this week was Six-Gun Gorilla, a fifteen-part serial from a weekly British boy's magazine in 1939. According to Todd Mason, there have been two comic book adaptations of the book; I'll have to get my hands on them. This week I read two good mysteries: Ken Bruen's The Ghosts of Galway and Mickey Spillane's The Last Stand. The Bruen was another excellent entree in his Jack Taylor series, taking Jack into further depths of heartbreaking loss. The Spillane celebrated the author's centennial and included two short novels, one from the mid-fifties and one being the last full manuscript he wrote. Good stuff, and a tip of the porkpie hat to Max Allan Collins and Charles Ardai for making this book happen. Sticking with mysteries, I also read a manga version of Sherlock: The Blind Banker, based on an episode of the Steven Moffet/Mark Gatiss created television show starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The story was written by Steve Thompson and the art was by someone who signed himself/herself "Jay." Originally published in Japan, the panels are filled with Japanese sound effect. Also, Martin Freeman's nose is gloriously overdrawn. Finally, I read A Year at the Races, by Robert P. Parker and Joan Parker, a coffee table book about the world of horse racing. A very minor part of the Parker oeuvre.
Tough News: Thursday my daughter was diagnosed with breast and lymphatic cancer. She's 45, has been a widow of 12 years, and has two daughters. We circled the wagons and Kitty, Christina, Jessamyn, and her two daughters have been meeting with doctors (I cowered in the waiting rooms) to be sure we are all on the same page. Coming very soon will be a double mastectomy, radiation and chemo, plus at least a year of meds. The cancer is one of the more aggressive types but also one of the most treatable. She has an excellent team of doctors and the hospital is highly rated. Jessamyn is in for a tough time, but her spirit and determination are good. About the cancer, she says,"I'm going to kick that shit to the ground!" She has started a remarkable blog to detail her experiences (Life Is a Roller Coaster at ajdowd.wordpress.com). Our current and (hopefully) on-going status: concerned, not fearful or panicked.
Schaudenfreude: Trump, Comey, Hannity...Does this make me a bad person?
Question: I watch The Gorilla, a 1939 B movie. How were the Ritz Brothers ever a thing?
Holes: A NASA Arctic flyover has captured an image of strange circular holes in the Arctic ice which have scientists befuddled. No one has ever seen anything similar before. The holes are in an area of thin ice and could be caused by warming, but no one is sure. My advice: Approach carefully, very carefully. I've seen a number of horror movies about things hidden in ice.
Earth Day: Yesterday was Earth Day. Here's a poem for children (and others) by Jane Yolen:
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
And just as I need every bit...
Of me to make my body fit
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
That's why we
Celebrate this day.
That's why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
I am the Earth,
And the Earth...is me.
Florida Man: A Florida Man was arrested this week for breaking into Taylor Swift's Soho digs, using her shower, and sleeping in her bed. Swift was not in the townhouse at the time. No word on whether he sang "Look What You Made Me do" while being handcuffed.
Endings: Today, April 23, marks the end of the world according to conspiracy theorists. The world will end with either a) the arrival of Planet X, or b) the second coming of Christ. So better not make plans for later in the week.
But, wait! Self-styled Christian numerologist David Meade has said, "Not so." According to Meade, the end of the world won't come until sometime between May and December. "Nibiru" (Planet X) "is here and the earth will be prepared for the next event on its calendar." But not today. So you can make plans for later in the week.
But wait! Meade has been wrong before -- numerous times! So what to do? Do you RSVP for Saturday's party or not? Decisions, decisions.