You ever have one of those days where you sit down at your computer and your mind goes blank? The sad part is that yesterday I had all kinds of ideas for blog posts running though my head. A small voice said, “you should write them down so you don’t forget.” It was such a quiet small voice that it was easy to dismiss. “I don’t need to write them down. I’m so excited to write about these things I couldn’t possibly forget.” Right.
I know I finished Hearts and Minds and want to write about that. I also finished In Defense of Food and want to write about that. But there were other things too, good book things. I’ll get to the book reviews in the next couple of days. Today I shall meander, the result of me not writing down my great ideas.
I have a ton of stuff I have to read for school tonight about how information databases are structured and the differences between headings and descriptors and how it all affects the way we search for information and the results that are returned. I started reading the slew of assigned articles last night. They are interesting to a point before they start to get repetitive and my eyes get tired of looking at my computer screen.
Back when I was asking how everyone kept track of the books they’ve read I mentioned that Apple didn’t have a database comparable to Microsoft Access. I’m still not sure that they do but they are trying. It turns out that Apple owns Filemaker and they have just released personal database software called Bento. I downloaded the free trial just in case it would be better than Excel. It’s pretty and easy to use and if you don’t know anything about databases and wanted something made just for you, this would be perfect. You don’t have to worry about setting up tables or creating primary and foreign keys, or any of that, you just point and click to add fields and pictures and all kinds of other things. But I didn’t like it all that much. Maybe if I had the time to spend getting to know it better I could make it do what I want, but initially, not so very impressed.
Did you hear the Pulitzers were announced today? The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz won for fiction. I’ve heard good things about the book from several of you. Did it deserve the prize?
Finally, I come to end of my meander, to say that I started reading Goldberg: Variations by Gabriel Josipovici at lunch today and now I am learning why those who have read him, rave about him so much. I’m only on page 15 and I am in love. I made myself read slowly because this is too good to rush through.
Goldberg is a writer and he has been hired by Mr. Westfield to read to him at night until Westfield falls asleep or the birds start singing at dawn. The first night the two men end up talking and one of the things they talk about is books. Westfield wants to be read a book that is interesting and new and Goldberg doesn’t understand since the object is for Westfield to fall asleep. Westfield explains:
A new story, a story which is really new and really a story, will give the person who reads or hears it the sense that the world has become alive again to him. I would put it like this: the world will start to breathe for him where before it had seemed as if made of ice or rock. And it is only in the arms of that which breathes that we can fall asleep, for only then are we confident that we will ourselves wake up alive.
This is going to be very good reading.