October 29, 2010

Old and Older: At the L.A. County Fair

 I love old stuff.  Old places, old cars, old houses. Old trains. Earlier this month, we went to the L.A. County Fair on its final weekend.  One of the first exhibits we visited was a collection of old trains.  The exhibit itself was sort of off to one side, annexed off, a quiet and relatively lonely area, compared to the the glitz and screaming lights of the nearby carnival zone.
 The peeling old paint, the bare bulbs.  It gave me a thrill and a chill that I always get, visiting and seeping in the spirit of old stuff.
 As soon as I saw this, my brain immediately started playing Judy Garland, singing "on the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," from her movie, The Harvey Girls.  Because old movies, and old MGM musicals, are also things I love best.

What's that? You say you can't stand old musicals --- they're cheesy, corny and unrealistic, and in real life, people don't ever just break into song and start tap dancing on tables?   I would banish you from my world -- except that, as it turns out, the love of my life, my soul mate, my dear husband, feels the same as you.

Ah well. Such is life, such is love.  The ying and yang of it, and all that.  I'm a night owl, and he's up before the sun.  I like looking back to the dusty, forgotten past, and he gets all tingly imagining the future.
 But, he does like old trains, too. 
Even if, as I'm snapping pictures of bare light bulbs, he's admiring, like, the engineering marvel that made those trains move. And stuff.

Old and older: that's us. Quite a team!

October 12, 2010


 A bit abashed to admit this, but lo these many years after earning both bachelor and masters degrees in English, I've finally gotten around to reading Jane Austen.  I'm just a contemporary American Lit kind of girl at heart, which is my excuse. But really, for a bookish chick who claims to be a bluestocking at heart, is there really any excuse? No.

It took me me a few days to get into Pride and Prejudice, but once I fully committed, I was hooked.  I think what I enjoyed most was the (re) discovery that human nature hasn't really changed all that terribly much in the 200 years since the book was published. Kind of the same delight that I felt when reading Shakespeare. (At least I DID do that as a good English major.)

A favorite passage, spoken by Miss Elizabeth Bennett:

"There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well.  The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense." 
Amen, sister.

Next up, perhaps Emma, or Sense and Sensibility.   I would like to read Henry James, also.  However, a few months ago I checked out The Wings of the Dove (I liked the movie, with kooky dear Helena Bonham-Carter), and felt completely illiterate trying to plow through the dense prose.

I highly recommend it, if you're troubled and can't seem to fall asleep. Works like a charm! 
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