Cologne

Would really love to hear what the two ladies I wrote about here have to say about the events in Cologne and elsewhere on New Year’s Eve, especially the fact that the Mayor of Cologne blamed the victims. 

One of the ladies I described in that piece is quite young and goes to slut walks and such. I would be curious to see how she is going to square the circle of her need to portray the wearing of a niqab as something noble, with her (quite justified) belief that rape victims should not be blamed for what happens to them based on their clothing. I’m sure both she and the other woman about which I wrote will find a way to excuse the perpetrators, because leftists, when stuck choosing between Islamism and women’s rights, generally go for the former, oddly enough.

New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Always keep New Year’s resolutions.
  2. Get up early and get right out of bed and meditate for ten minutes before starting day (but only after coffee). Am already doing that this morning.
  3. Lose weight. Get more fit. Before this happens: 
  4. Cut down on wine intake, no matter how stressed I am. Find other ways to handle stress, such as herbal tea.
  5. Do something creative/career-oriented every day, and not just watch old episodes of ’70s TV shows on YouTube.
  6. Be more patient with other humans and also with myself.
  7. Be less gutless.
  8. Be less of a ridiculous person.
  9. Don’t buy any more lipsticks/lip glosses until have used up all the ones I have, which are myriad.
  10. Remember I am lucky to be alive and healthy (touch wood).
  11. Be a better girlfriend to Significant Other, who puts up with me for reasons I will never understand.
  12. Help as many animals as I can.
  13. Try to be as vegan as I can.
  14. Read Finnegans Wake (and don’t put an apostrophe in the title, even though I really want to. Joyce wanted the title that way, and yes, I realize it means something).
  15. Fight my natural introversion and actually go out sometimes to see friends and family instead of merely maintaining relationship with them over social media.
  16. Remember that life is just a bowl of cherries. Don’t take it serious. It’s too mysterious:

It is…not, but try to believe it is! Happy 2016, dear readers.

January 1, 2016

Born on this day in 1449, Lorenzo de Medici, “Il Magnifico.” He wrote — among other things — the following words:

Quant’ e bella giovinezza,

Che si fugge tuttavia!

Chi vuol esser lieto, sia:

di doman non c’e certezza.

If you know any romance languages, you can probably figure that out, but just in case, it says (more or less), “How beautiful is youth (or how beautiful is it to be young)/which nevertheless disappears (runs away)/Be happy all who wish to be/of tomorrow there is no certainty.”

Basically, “enjoy life while you can.”

I am currently reading this book, from which I am learning a good deal. Tim Parks’ non-fiction are always terrific. (Not saying his novels aren’t terrific, I just haven’t read any of them — yet.)

Update: Ok, I just finished the afore-linked Tim Parks book and it includes his translation of the bit of poetry above. His translation is, obviously, better than mine. Here it is: How fine youth is/Though it flee away/Let he who wishes, enjoy/Nothing’s certain tomorrow.

Best Christmas Movies

People might say such a list is subjective, but when it comes to the number one spot, it is decidedly not.

1)  A Christmas Carol, the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim. This is the greatest Christmas movie ever, the only version of the Dickens tale you need watch. Any other is inferior. This is so. There is no debate. If you disagree you are wrong. There is a colourized version which I would suggest avoiding.

2) Whistle Down the Wind. 1961. Young Hayley Mills, youngish Alan Bates. An unusual tale, very beautiful, about children and their ability to believe. Bonus marks for use of “We Three Kings,” an under-used carol and a brief role for Richard Attenborough (un-credited, I think).

3) The Bishop’s Wife. 1947. What is not to love? David Niven, Cary Grant, Loretta Young, Monty Woolley, Elsa Lanchester. A Bishop, an angel, faith, love and sacrifice. Sophisticated, smart, with plenty of humour.

4) Miracle on 34th Street, 1947 version. Wee Natalie Wood (her best role!), Maureen O’Hara and a wonderfully sophisticated look at marketing. The only good thing about the remake is Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle.

5) For this spot I’ll give a short list of honourary mentions: Three Godfathers – a John Wayne directed by John Ford Christmas tale, unusual, clever and quite touching; It’s a Wonderful Life (a movie one doesn’t really “get” when one is young — you need to have failed a lot to appreciate it!); I’ll Be Seeing You (I find this to be a major tearjerker); Holiday Inn/White Christmas (if only for the song and dance); Christmas in Connecticut (with a very funny Barbara Stanwyck and the ever pill-ish Dennis Morgan); The Sound of Music (yes, I know it isn’t a Christmas movie and it even has Nazis in it, making it extremely unfestive, but I love to watch it at Christmas).

And thus ends my list. I am certain I have forgotten some, but I urge any of you who have not seen the top three to do so, pronto.