Today I have a book to read, a daunting and impossible book that I have never yet managed to read right through, but maybe I will today. English majors will know immediately that I’m referring to the blockbusting, doorstopping, mind numbing novel called Ulysses by James Joyce and, yes, today is Bloomsday.
The illustrated guidebooks to America’s country inns are irresistible. Every house looks unique, a veritable paradise for the discerning traveler. However, you can read all the guide books without ever grasping what it will really be like. So here, based on extensive personal research and some sleepless nights, are the essential elements of the country inn experience. If you don't get all of these, demand your money back.
There are few things more satisfying than watching squirrels being baffled. It used to happen every day outside my window. They climbed the slippery pole, and tried to work their way around the large metal baffle that blocked their way to the bird feeder. I felt an ignoble a sense of triumph about defeating such small and brainless creatures, and sometimes I would go out like a fool to scatter a few seeds on the ground as a kind of apology. But things have changed.
Memory is one of the great mysteries – what we remember, what we choose to forget, and how our memories change with time and age. There are hundreds of books on the subject, most of them quite difficult to understand and none that offer any clear answers. But even if we can’t yet understand the science of memory we can see how it works in everyday life.
Each spring, thousands of proud and impoverished parents watch their children graduate from colleges all over the country. The ceremony is called "commencement," because it signals the beginning of adulthood, financial responsibility, real work, dull parties, and all the other horrors of grown up life. It's a scary time for the graduates, comparable to going over the top in the trench warfare of World War One, and facing the enemy for the first time. That's why the graduate schools are full. These days especially it makes sense to stay out of the firing line as long as possible.