Thursday, December 19, 2002
For the past few years, I've been trying to unearth the name of my absolute favourite book from my childhood. It was buried in the synapses somewhere, underneath a tangle of ganglia, in the least useful spot. I even knew where in the library it was, what colour the cover was, and most of all, how it smelled. None of this was much help at Borders, however.
Just tonight, I remembered part of the name, hustled onto amazon.co.uk (as it was a British book), and found it. The whole series, as a matter of fact. It's called, 'The Children of Green Knowe
' (both the book and the whole saga). As heretical as it is to say this while at Oxford, I liked these books much better than the Narnia Chronicles.
They told the story of a group of children who went to live in an old house with their grandmother, only to discover that the house was peopled with all the children who lived there before. These books had magic, suspense, charm, and a rustic old mansion. How could I possibly have resisted?!
I'm going out to buy a copy of the first book tomorrow. Although it won't be as satisfying to my olfactory system, it might give me a little frisson of nostalgia this Christmas.
Oh, and there's a chance that you too might be reading the book, as there's a copy on the loose via Bookcrossing.com
(see the Brio archives for more info on Bookcrossing.com).
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Yes, there are good people in the world still. But what's most interesting about this story
is that the UK's transportation infrastructure is so terrible that it takes seven-and-a-half hours to travel 109 miles.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
If you had the option to pay a smallish fine or fight to the death with knives, which would you choose? Yes. Me too. Apparently, we're not all so sane
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Aha! Finally I know what happened to my Black & White CD
... that spin-ping-grind sound should have troubled me more.
Thursday, December 05, 2002
Eight years ago, while Teaching For America
, a poet came (uninvited by me, mind you) to my classroom in what the media-whoring principal at the school thought was 'good PR.' While visiting, he very kindly began a jeremiad against white people that ended in him pointing at me and asking students to give some thought to why their teachers were '...all white men.'
Apparently, Quincy couldn't quite grasp the whole TFA concept, and worse, hadn't noticed that not only was I the only white man in the school, I was the only white person of any gender at the school and, to a student, the only white teacher the kids had EVER had.
He also refused to talk to me, acknowledge me, or shake my hand when he left. Lovely man.Well, file this under 'You Reap What You Sow'.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Just tonight, as I walked home in the cold night air, I really started paying attention to the keen sense of direction that we humans seem to have, adjusting our paths along the sidewalk in response to the people coming towards us, using wisps of clues and cues and converting them into swift changes of direction. It's really a wonder that we don't bump into one another more. I got the feeling that some of this had to do with an in-built intuition that we all must possess, something that can process the angles of torsos, heads, and feet and generate a person-vector laid out onto the space in which we find ourselves.
Then, just as I'd been concentrating on noticing this background calculation in action for a few minutes, plotting out where the erratic drunk ahead of me was likely to go, trying to predict if that pregnant lady would bisect my own path, the crowd cleared enough so that I could see a homeless person sitting in the alcove of a doorway. Without a thought, I processed his immobility the same way-- and reported back to myself that he had no trajectory. And suddenly nothing I'd been thinking the whole night seemed more true than that one thought.