Sunday, November 30, 2014
Sunday Sundries, 26
1. We had a quiet Thanksgiving, Joyce and I. Our son and his family went to the Macy's Parade, then up to western Mass. to be with my mom and my brothers and their families. Still, I got to share a meal with the one for whom I've given thanks for forty-five years (anniversary #45 on December 20!). We had a large turkey (which we'll be eating for a week or so--and then the soup) + smashed potatoes + homemade cornbread + homemade cornbread stuffing + homemade cranberry sauce + carrots glazed with honey (julienned by Joyce!). No pie. We a couple of cookies (okay--more than a couple) from the local bakery + some Italian lemon ice. (Pretty nice, lemon ice!)
2. We saw a couple of movies this past weekend: Horrible Bosses 2 (a title whose first word says all) and an Indian/Canadian film Dr. Cabbie, about a young Indian doctor who moves to Toronto, where he can't get licensed to practice medicine, so he becomes a cab driver and is soon treating patients in his vehicle (including a birth). Joyce and I were both disappointed, though. It had such a great premise, but the screenwriters dragged into their script about every film cliche you can imagine. Still, the principal actor (the doctor, played by Vinay Veimani) was appealing, there was some dancing that was fun to watch, and there were some moments of true and affecting emotion.
3, This week I finished Joyce Carol Oates' most recent novel (I think?), Carthage, a story about the murder of a young woman whose body is never found but whose accused killer, an injured vet of our Middle Eastern wars--a young man once engaged to the victim's sister--finds himself convicted and in prison. The novel spans about seven years and shifts the point of view around to let us see what most of the major characters are thinking and feeling (Oates is masterful at this--always has been). Some powerful themes emerge: family, love, war, our voracious media, our penal system--all come under Oates' powerful loupe. I had a few problems with some of it. At times, I thought, Oates wrote herself into a corner. A young woman, for example, doesn't use the Internet for a long time because her computer's crashed (this explains her ignorance about some important events), but Internet access is so pervasive (phones, libraries, etc.) that I just didn't buy it (also, this young woman is very bright--compounding the problem).
Still, I've loved reading Oates over the years. I began in 1969 with her powerful novel them (it won the National Book Award for fiction in 1970) and have pretty much kept up with her novels and short stories ever since. Every now and then I'll wait a year and find I have three more books to read--just to catch up!
She's a wonderful writer, one of our best. Why she hasn't won the Nobel Prize is a mystery to me.
4. I'm finally emerging from the deleterious effects of The Bug That Assailed Me on My Birthday (Nov. 11)--and from the effects of the wisdom tooth removal last Monday (the 24th). Yesterday and today have been the first two days I've felt anything like the energy I had before Nov. 11 (which, itself, was a pale shadow of my pre-Lupron energy). Here's hoping ...