Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Page 123 Meme

Oh, that worked well, my plan to go to bed early and read a book.
I slept until 1 a.m., when a large thump woke me up. The house I'm sitting is not in a particularly safe neighborhood, so I jolted wide awake, even though, of course, it was just the cats.

(Frizzy Logic has been discussing ways to eat cats, and I think I might experiment with one of these I'm caring for. The vacationing owner doesn't really need all three, does she?)

Anyway, after that I tossed and turned till dawn, thinking about the vid I'm trying to construct (or whatever you do with vids--I am still learning the vocabulary).
I also thought, the time has come to respond to being tagged by two people: Sally of Already Pretty and Matt of Longburn.

Here's how this meme works:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next 5 sentences.
5. Tag 5 people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The book I was reading last night was The Writing Life (1989), by Annie Dillard. It only runs 111 pages, so I am going to post 5 sentences from page 103 instead.
I find Dillard a bit overly reverential, a bit precious (e.g. "the page, the page, that eternal blankness, the blankness of eternity..."), so I was pleased that the sentences display a rare glimpse of humor:

"Later I learned that some stunt pilots tune up by wearing gravity boots. These are boots made to hook over a doorway; wearing them, you hang in the doorway upside-down. It must startle a pilot's children, to run into their father or mother in the course of their home wandering––the parent hanging wide-eyed upside-down in the doorway like a bat."

Oh--I'm supposed to tag 5 people. So: other bloggers who read my blog, consider yourselves tagged!


Rudyinparis said...

Here's mine:

However, public employees, who constituted a sizable portion of the city's middle class, did not share in the general feeling of prosperity, especially as once affordable neighborhoods were steadily priced out of reach by white-collar types.

-While America aged by Roger Lowenstein

This book just came out--I heard the author on MPR and then purchased it for our collection here at work. The first section is particularly interesting, as it examines the UAW, GM, Walter Reuther and how GMs pension plan is causing the collapse of the company. The role of unions, collective bargaining, etc. I'm always interested in Walter Reuther. He was way ahead of his time. He wanted GM to go with him to Washington and make an case to Congress that the federal government should take ownership of retirement pensions. That it was the role of government, not corporations. GM refused. And now they are very sorry they did. The quote above, which is referring to the mid 80s, though, is about the NYC transit system which was organized by the (Communist) Transport Workers Union.

Rudyinparis said...

I should say, how the pension plan is *contributing* to the collapse of the company, as GM has a lot of other things to worry about, in addition to it's pensions. {snort}

momo said...

OK, will do

fresca said...

Thanks for playing!
It would be interesting to see these nuggets gathered all together, they tend to be pretty intriguing. (Or I suppose people don't post ones that aren't--I tried a couple other books that were also piled on the bedside table before I settled on Dillard's as the best. I am truly "reading" all the other books, too, insofar as I read books anymore. I treat them more like the web now, browsing and carousing...)

bink said...

Ok, I'm reading a potboiler called The Secret Supper sent to me by your Uncle Tony (we share a love of mysteries).

"Consider this, my lady: the true teachings of Christ to mankind could only reach us after Our Lord overcame the ordeal of His Passion and underwent His Resurrection with the help of God the Father. Only then did He become fully certain of the experience of the Kingdom of Heaven. And when He returned from the dead, whom did He first encounter? Mary Magdalene, the only one who had the strength to await His return, disobeying the orders of both the Sanhedrin and the Roman officials."
"We women have always been braver than you men, Master Luini."

Make of that what you will...

Anonymous said...

Yet, he notes, the nocturnal traveling self always eventually emerged into consciousness, recovered an identity never long lost in the uncharted inner world of sleep: "Within a few seconds memory came to me like salvation from heaven to draw me out of the nothingness from which I could never have emerged by myself; in a flash I passed over centuries of civilization and by degrees I would put together from glimpsed images of oil lamps and shirts with turned-down collars the fundamental components of myself."

(That's only one sentence, but I think it's equal to five!!!)

The above is from Germaine Bree's >The World of Marcel Proust< which I was reading again last night. It's the chapter on the Invisible Narrator.

PS: I don't think Frizzy Logic should own a cat!! And, please, Fresca, don't even use the word "experiment" when discussing cats!!! Thank you.

fresca said...

Good stuff:
Try reading them all together as if they came from one text!

Sorry if I upset you, Barrett--I know how you love the kitties. IT was only an "experiment" in love!

(But I expect people with a sardonic sense of humor, like Frizzy Logic, are in fact ideal cat owners.)

ddip said...

From the nearest book to my desk at home (it was either this or a gardening catalogue, which isn't really a book):

"Supta" means "lying down." In this asana, one reclines back on the floor and stretches the arms behind the head. 1. Sit in Virasana Two. 2. Exhale, recline the trunk back and rest the elbows one by one on the floor.

fresca said...

Lying down is my favorite thing! Thanks.