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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Up with the New and Up with the Old

Up with the New and Up with the Old.

All kinds of strange stimuli floating around me. I don’t know how many of you follow Saurkraut (I can’t consistently do internal links, but look at the list of sites on the right), but if you don’t, you miss a lot of real treats. She took on a real challenge this weekend and told her “fans” to just ask her any questions they wanted and she would answer them.
That is really putting yourself out there. I can’t imagine doing that myself. Can you imagine the blow to the ego if you made that offer and nobody asked any questions? (In my situation, I suspect that with my case of diarrhea of the mouth, there wouldn’t be much that any one would have a question for which I haven’t already posted the answer, and with the number of readers I have, there might not be anyone out there interested). In any case I could hardly wait to get her answers and they were as instructive, amusing and interesting (even challenging) as I suspected that they might be.

I then skipped to tracksy, my audience counter. It was really instructive. A lot of the new folks who have been flitting through the blog seem to be looking at the Mormon Missionary stories with which I chased away some old readers. Maybe I’ll go back to talking about my adventures in Finland. Who knows?

I was really fascinated to find that a couple of my posts had been translated into Spanish. There was a time, some fifty years ago when I proved that I could read enough Spanish that it was accepted as one of the reading /research languages approved for my PhD, so I decided to read my work as it had been translated, in Spanish. I was stunned to find that, in order to really make sense of my translated post, I had to cheat and go back to the original. One would think that I could remember my own work well enough to interpret the translation. Going back to those early posts was upsetting to me, because they were some of my early posts on being “seventy-plus years old” (To the uninitiated that’s what "three score and ten or more" means). Reading them was a little frustrating because they are so much better written than what I’m doing now. Maybe my spring is running down.

Going back to the blogs I follow, I found that Patrick, at “Born Again Redneck” (same deal on links) had tagged me. I haven’t been tagged for ages. That gives me the opportunity to answer questions just as if someone had asked them of me personally. That’s not quite Saur’s level, but it shows some interest from somewhere:

This tag relates to books:

First through seventh or eighth (Next year I am going to learn to count.)

One book that changed your life:

This has to be strange to some of you, but that book was Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament. In my senior year in high school I was taking an Old Testament class on released time from school, (you had to be there) and I found my self going through Ecclesiastes (sp?) to find material to flummox the teacher. (I was -- a challenging youth-- in that class and successful in my endeavor). One day the teacher snagged me and challenged me to make a decision whether I was a believer or just a trouble making teen. This, in turn, resulted in a process that I won't describe in this forum, but in that process I became a firm believer in God, and later, a witnessing and testifying (and often boring) "saved sinner".

One book you’ve read more than once.

It is difficult to list ONE book. My eldest son, who has books about a foot deep all over his apartment is fond of saying “A book that is only worth one reading isn’t worth reading at all”. And I, kind of, agree. I have a number of erstwhile professional books that are well read. All of Shakespeare’s plays; The Idea of a Theatre, (I think, by Gordon Craig, I gave away my theatre books and my memory is like Swiss Cheese.) Acting, the First Six Lessons , by Boleslavsky; Language in Action by S.I. Hayakawa; and a bunch of others

I have re-read all the Tolkiens I could find, the same with C.S.Lewis and Isaac Asimov. As, at least, an aspiring devout Mormon, I must include the Book of Mormon, the King James Version of the Bible , and a variety of other religious books. Like Patrick, the Jane Austens; unlike him, all of the Revolutionary and other war history novels of Kenneth Roberts; and Blue Highways. The book I have reread most often is not a novel, but a compilation of poetry, originally compiled for children, which is named Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickles, (which is the name of one of the poems in the book). Who compiled the book, I couldn’t say. My copy is so bedraggled that it is missing that information.

One book you would want on a desert island.
I’m torn between the Bible and ‘Watermelon Pickles, there’s a contrast for you, probably the Bible. Psalms, Job, and Song of Solomon would satisfy my direct poetry needs, and the rest would keep me sane and alive.

One book that made you laugh.

I can't remember the name, but it was written by Thorne Smith, and I laughed and laughed, and became a devoted reader of his work, and of almost anything else in print.

One book that made you cry.

I am a living fountain who cries when he sees the color guard in parades, and I have cried at most of the books listed above (probably not Hayakawa). To pick one: It isn’t even listed above, but I have sobbed through the Diary of Anne Frank as a book, as a play I was directing, as an audience member to the play. I am beginning to tear up just thinking about some of the scenes.

One book you wish you had written:

Arundel, by Kenneth Roberts. And there are SO MANY plays.

One book that you wish had never been written:

I really can’t put anything here. There are books that I despise, but I am such a nut on open minds and freedom to think, that I can’t wish away anything from which others find value. I found my translation of the Koran to be a little boring, but largely supportive of good things. I never read Mein Kampf (sp) but it was the basis of so much hate that it verges on a winner (or loser) here, but who knows, if I read it, I might find something of value.

One book that you are currently reading:

In the period immediately following (and preceding, which explains the act) my retirement, my brain turned to mush, and I found my self unable to read anything that took thought or concentration. I reverted to pot-boiler mysteries of the type written by John Grishom, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich. They got me back to the reading table, and I find that I can occasionally read something that takes thought, if I intersperse it with----- stuff. The thinking book that I am now reading is Benedict Arnold’s Navy by James Nelson, and it is interspersed with chapters from B is for Burglar , by Sue Grafton.

One book you’ve been meaning to read.:

I have a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the first fifty or sixty pages of which are totally bedraggled from the false beginning process. There is something in me that says, that if I were a truly deserving PhD, and a scholar, I should be able to finish this book, but as I get forty or fifty (once I made it to 65) pages in, I find that the cats need fed, I need a shower, there is a zit that needs picking, or some other totally crucial activity that draws me away.


At 8:14 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

First - you asked on my blog if you were "supposed" to tag someone else. Well, that's the way the game is usually played but it is only a game and it's no fun if you're "supposed" to do something. How about tagging Saurkraut and a few others?

Was that Thorne Smith book by any chance "Topper?" I read that as a kid and laughed till I peed my pants.

Ulysses is easy but the only way that I could read Finnegan's Wake was with an Irish accent while sitting on the toilet.

Yopu're a good sport.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Kathleen said...

My favorite short story is What Men Live By - Tolstoy.

I never realized just how important my reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky would be to my life.

I was introduced to Russian literature in my junior year of high school and for some reason I developed a love/hate relationship that has lasted a lifetime. I have decided not to delve into the reasons for my fascination.

I too, have enjoyed CS Lewis and Tolkien.

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood was a seriously profound experience that stirred my thoughts about 'societal specific' judgments that hugely alter the existence of humans from one era to the next. It also tripped my interest in sociology and anthropology.

One thing I have never done is read a book with an Irish accent while sitting on the toilet. Kudos to Patrick! LOL

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

I was tagged by someone else awhile back and posted this but I'll post it here to for everyone's amusement.

1. One book that changed your life: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

2. One book that you've read more than once: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: An Island To Oneself by Tom Neale

4. One book that made you laugh: A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson (hysterically laughing at times)

5. One book that made you cry: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (why did Little Ann have to die?)

6. One book that you wish had been written: The Long Walk: One Man's Travels Around the World written by myself

7. One book that you wish had never been written: I honestly can't think of one. I suppose they all mean something to at least one person.

8. One book you're currently reading: The Last Run: A True Story of Rescue and Redemption On the Alaska Seas by Todd Lewan

9. One book you've been meaning to read: Any book that I haven't yet read on this list: http://blogoflists.blogspot.com/2005/04/100-greatest-adventure-books-of-all.html

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Patrick, Topper is only one, and probably the most sane, of the books written by Thorne Smith. He's like Kafka or Becket but with a sense of humor

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

Interesting reading. :)

I love Isaac Assimov and have tried to read most of his work, so we have that one in common. I've read "Texas" by Michener more than once, and learn something new every time I've read it.

Please don't tag me. I was tagged yesterday. Some of my readers don't seem to think I should take a break from politics. Lol! But then, the tag I was given was pretty stupid.


At 10:36 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

Oh, and I didn't tag anyone because I didn't want to burden anyone with it. :)

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Thank you, sweetie! I really enjoyed this insight into you!


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