Wednesday, September 17, 2014


To play along, just answer the following three questions ...

• What are you currently reading? The Patriarch by David Nasaw. The subject, Joseph P. Kennedy, led such an expansive and eventful life at that even though this book is massive (860+ pages), it's holding my interest. Right now it's the 1920s and he's left banking and Boston for Hollywood to a movie studio. If you're interested in the Kennedy family, I recommend this book.

• What did you recently finish reading? Leading Man by Benjamin Svetkey. A charming and surprisingly touching novel. Our narrator moves to New York with his childhood sweetheart. He's going to be a journalist, she's going to be an actress. Their love affair becomes a triangle when she is swept off her feet by a major movie star. Yes, there's tons of glamor in this book but there's also quite a bit about the nature of love, and how it's one of the few forces in life that can really change a person.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I've got Webb Hubbell's first novel, When Men Betray. It's a political mystery set in Little Rock. As a former aide to Bill Clinton and Mayor of Little Rock, he's well qualified to tackle this terrain.

To see how others responded, click here.


I'm in a bad mood.

Last weekend marked the second anniversary of my mother's passing. I find myself angry at her. I know she wished I was prettier, more conventional. I know she was continually surprised when people other than her cared about me. Yet she leaned on me consistently and rather heavily. Snatches of conversation that bear this out keep running through my mind. I try to dismiss these thoughts because 1) they're probably not representative of our entire relationship and 2) it does no good, since the dead win every argument. My shrink warned me, toward the end of my mother's life, when I made the conscious decision to not argue with her about things that this would happen. My shrink was right. (Maybe she earned all those letters after her name.)

I'm bored at work. There are a lot of reasons for this that I don't feel like cataloging right now. But the days crawl by and I'm more exhausted when I get home than I'd be if I was busy.

I'm worried about money. Again. My retirement accounts are fine, but my day-to-day finances are a mess. Bathroom Renovation Part II, a new sofa, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the holidays are all on the docket between now and year end and they're all expensive.

I miss baseball. Yes, the Cubs are still playing but they are playing very sloppy ball. It makes sense. After all, they're statistically out of it and are playing teams who are also out of it. I am very hopeful for next season, but we have get to slog through the remainder of this season -- and then winter and spring -- first.

So let's look at this another way.

The money stuff is a sticky wicket. I have expenses I have to handle and I have to figure out how to be smart about it. That's not a matter of attitude. But ...

OK, my mother and I didn't have a perfect relationship, but I know she loved me. I should concentrate on that. And I should count myself as lucky that at least I'm not racked with guilt about being mad at her. She was my mother, yes, and I loved her and miss her, yes. But we were also simply two women in a half-century long relationship. Conflicts are only natural.

This slow time at work may have advantages. I can work out longer at lunch time. Noodle around with some fiction. Be a better friend and write more consequential letters to my aunt, my cousin and my friend in the Keys.

The Cubs still have to play the Dodgers. Those games will should be good.

I've got to get my mind right.

Image courtesy of Ambro at