From The New York Times, about the material recently donated from the estate of Katharine Hepburn to the New York Public Library:
One episode she recounted was when, driving from Tulsa, Okla., to Wichita, Kan., she and her driver were arrested for speeding. Taken by the police to a lawyer’s office in Blackwell, Okla., Hepburn declared, "I have been arrested by this moron." Hepburn’s fury grew as they were unable to find a judge. "I said that I was sorry I did not have a week to take off," she wrote, "and if I ever found an Oklahoma car in Connecticut, I would flatten all the tires."
She ended up singeing her coat (probably a mink, Ms. Houghton [her niece] said) on a gas stove. "You must have paid $700 for it," the lawyer commented.
Hepburn wrote, "I am ashamed to say that I was cheap enough to answer: 'Certainly not. $5,500.' And he just looked pathetic, and I must say I felt awfully moronic."
Maybe it's the change in the weather, on a bright and breezy Friday in autumn when all my meetings miraculously got canceled. Maybe it's the fact that I have Bruce's new album awaiting its first listen on the hi-fi later today. Or my less-than-successful attempts to cut out the coffee this week.
Whatever the reason, learning on this morning's NPR broadcast (of course) that Al Gore had won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it felt like we'd received a call from our original universe, just checking in.
That would be the universe we lived in up until sometime in 2000, when something affected our Hubble volume, and we entered another plane of the multiverse and life started to seem more like a comic book written by a couple of 13-year-old boys, complete with the Supreme Court appointing the president, a dastardly attack on America's financial and military structure from an evil, international supervillain, which somehow became the pretext for an attack on another, unrelated country and...well, you get the picture.
Just like in keeping a journal (or in exercising regularly, for that matter), I'm not very good at maintaining good habits, if blogging could be considered a good habit. It's getting to the point where the "sorry it's been so long since I've posted" are the only posts I post. As always, I resolve to be more regular (if only to achieve my goal of daily writing-that-isn't-for-work), and think one way to do that is to ignore the need for every post to be a complete essay unto itself.
Not that they've been all that good, as essays, I realize, but having a complete thought, exploring it thoroughly, and making some kind of point always seems the ideal -- but as Voltaire said, "the perfect is the enemy of the good." ("Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien," which would normally translate as "the best is..." but such exactitude in translation is, perhaps, exactly what Voltaire was warning me about. I must ask him when we meet next.)
So a few random thoughts for now, if only to stake a claim for perhaps future posts. Otherwise, this blog is likely to revert back to its natural state, overgrown with kudzu and marauding bears.
There's a skunk at the garden party. Or to be more precise (apologies to V.), we have skunks in my co-op's garden. For non-New Yorkers, a "co-op" is an apartment building or complex in which you own shares in the overall "co-operative," but don't own your actual apartment. It differs in some legal ways from a "condo," but in practical terms, it means you have to be approved by the board before you can buy and they can sometimes impose rules that condos generally can't. (As I understand it, a condo you own "from the paint in." In a co-op, officially, you don't, but they generally treat it the same.)
Anyway, my co-op is actually five separate buildings, each divided into two sections with separate entrances, surrounding a 2+ acre (?) garden, which is obviously a rarity in New York City. A few weeks ago, they posted a sign in the elevator informing us that the management office was aware that we had a skunk in the garden and that a humane trap had been set, and the skunk would be removed (and released elsewhere?). A week or so later, the note in the elevator told us all that we had so far caught four skunks. I saw a fifth, dead skunk on a sidewalk about a half block from our co-op a week ago that someone had likely poisoned (as it was lying beside a snow shovel that had the remains of an orange, probably poisoned, on its blade.
If you follow anything going on in the Episcopal Church or the wider Anglican Communion, you know that there's a huge showdown underway between the U.S. church, the minority of fundamentalists in our church, and the fundamentalist Anglican archbishops (also a minority, but representating a majority of the world's Anglicans) of other national churches. It's getting both tense and ridiculous, but listening to the arguments on all sides, it's made me update my bias against Biblical literalism, which would be....
I've long felt that Biblical literalism replaced a worship of God with a worship of the Bible -- or bibliolatry, in other words. Despite the fact that the church created the Bible (or determined its canon and scriptural nature), and not vice versa. I've decided that, too often, even that doesn't adequately describe the ways literalism is used to pervert the Gospel of Christ. Pretty much these days, it's not even worshiping the Bible, it's worshiping a concordance of the Bible.
An excellent exposition on this was written by the Rev. Thomas Woodward at the Episcopal Majority blog, to which I posted a comment and then got into the kind of "Bible says/Jesus says" argument that this stuff generally comes down to these days.
I'm co-chairing a capital campaign at church this fall, and the preparation for it (including a four-color brochure and pledge cards) is taking up all my non-work time. But this is also the time of year that life picks up steam, anyway. Right now, for example, I need to quit adding random bullets to this post and go practice a few hymns on the keyboard, as I said I would play the bells before the service tomorrow. I'm also filling in for someone else as a torchbearin' acolyte. And next week, I have a Voices of Ascension concert to attend (at Carnegie Hall; normally they're at church), and a campaign committee meeting to attend. So as I say, the fall is picking up steam. As in "steamroller."