Look below for the annotated version with links dipped in fresh hot chocolate for the good homebody feeling:
Really good reads:
#1 “Fuck the Bread. The Bread is over.” By Sabrina Orah Mark, Paris Review, May 7, 2020. “In February, as a plague enters America, I am a finalist for a job I am not offered.
“I am brought to campus for a three-day interview. I am shown the library I’ll never have access to, and introduced to students I’ll never teach. I shake hands with faculty I’ll never see again. I describe in great detail the course on fairy tales I’ll never offer.”
#2 “How the Buddha Got His Face,” By Aatish Taseer, T The New York Times Style Magazine, May 11, 2020. “For the first six centuries after his death, the Buddha was never depicted in human form. … How did the image of the Buddha enter the world of men? How does one give a human face to god, especially to he who was never meant to be a god nor ever said one word about god? How, in rendering such a man in human form, does one counterintuitively end up creating an object of deification? And what is the power of such an object?”
#3 “The Outside In,” By Tod Goldberg, California Desert Arts Council, May 11, 2020. The story begins like this:
“There’s a man standing in my living room.
“It’s just after nine in the morning, I haven’t left my house in a month.
“Maybe it’s less than a month. Maybe it’s more than a month. Time has begun to melt and shift in unusual ways, my dreams filled with my dead mother, telling me to come inside, that it’s not safe to play catch in the yard with the Hayworth boy, a memory from 40 years ago reanimated, night after night, as a neurological filmstrip. Outside, a bright blue late April, it is already ungodly hot. A driving wind howls through the pass, shakes my windows, squeals beneath our doors, swirls down our chimney. The dog stares at the ceiling as though it might lift off, then rushes out her dog door, where I’m not sure it’s any safer.”
#4 “The Other Side: America Faces 3 Simultaneous Pandemics,” By Kelvin Wade, Daily Republic. “The third pandemic has been with us the longest. It’s the pandemic of stupidity.”
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#5 On Saturday, Paul Vasquez, a man known to the world as “Double Rainbow Guy” passed away. Vasquez videoed a double rainbow in 2010 and his raw, unbridled response to its beauty has been seen by nearly 50 million people.
On Sunday we enjoyed a remarkable double rainbow in San Miguel, unlike any I’ve ever seen before. I wrote about it and its meaning for San Miguelians stuck at home. I did not hear about Vasquez’s passing until Monday. Somehow, I’d like to believe his passing and our double rainbow are connected. Maybe there were double rainbows all over the world on Sunday.
At the movies: Oldies but goodies
#6 “You Were Never Lovelier” Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth (1943) With Adolphe Menjou and Xavier Cugat, and music by Jerome Kern / lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Just another one of those silly song-and-dance vehicles for Astaire but wow, can Hayworth dance. But then, she was almost 20 years younger.
#7 “Holiday,” Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn (1939) Grant is a young financier who wants to get off the merry-go-round and find out who he really is. His wealthy fiance Julia (Doris Nolan) has other plans, including a desk job in her father’s investment house. Julia’s sister, Linda (Hepburn), turns out to be Grant’s kindred soulmate.
#8 Wealthy sisters cuffing it out over a soul-searching beau seems to be a genre all its own. Check out “My Man Godfrey” (1936) with William Powell and Carole Lombard. Powell is a wealthy financier on the skids (“the lost man”) who takes a job as a butler in an eccentric household.
#9 “The Amazing Adventure” (1936) Cary Grant is an independently wealthy wastrel who bets a doctor than he can live by his wits for an entire year without tapping into the trust fund. But he’ll have to do one thing he’s never attempted before — work. This is a story worthy of Mark Twain or O Henery.
#10 In a twist on this one — and based on a Mark Twain story — in “Man With A Million”(1954), Gregory Peck is a penniless American adrift in London who is handed a million-pound bank note by two eccentric brothers who have a bet on whether he can survive without spending it. The mere presence of the note opens doors and generates income without Peck ever having to spend it. It also proves a bit of a curse.
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#11 I didn’t want to bring this up but “unvoiced pharyngealized labiodental non-sibilant fricative” is a thing.
And that’s all I’m saying about it.