Friday, February 6, 2015


…Hello, Portland.  I’m headed your way.  In a minute, I am.

…I finished Denis Johnson’s, “Laughing Monsters.”  It was a real departure for him, and not a good one, in my estimation.  I understand the desire of some writers to stray from what they’re written about before, but this book was a long slog that was only interesting because of a few characters.  His other books—“Tree of Smoke” and “Jesus’ Son”—were astounding.  “Laughing Monsters” didn’t ever feel it had been written by him, but for some of his trademark whit.

…Some good news:  it looks like print book sales are making a (remarkable) comeback.  Yay!
U.S. print book sales in millions
2008 – 778 million
2010 – 718
2012 – 519
2014 -- 635

…I saw “American Sniper,” a film I’d been dying to see.  It wasn’t a perfect picture, but it was tense and intense, emotional, honest, painted a raw image of what war is like in Iraq as well as the psychological damage it does to soldiers returning to civilian life.  Bradley Cooper went all out trying in trying to portray Chris Kyle, the real-life American sniper with a confirmed 162 enemy kills.  He looked and sounded like him.  It was a strong performance.  Overall, it wasn’t an Oscar-worthy performance, in my opinion, nor was the film (I’d give it a solid B) Oscar worthy, but they should still have been nominated.  More than anything, it was an important movie for veterans and spouses and families and friends of veterans.  Having a brother who served some very, very difficult time in Viet Nam, I’m very appreciative the film was made, and the respect it showed our military.

…Okay, as I head out, I’ll leave you with some things to think about on the weekend:

“If you don’t know someone black, you need to meet someone black.  If you don’t know someone white, Hispanic, someone who’s gay, you need to meet them.  You need to meet someone who’s different than you.  Because it’s those differences that are driving us apart.” Ron Johnson

“A jury consists of twelve people chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.” Robert Frost.

“The secret of being tiresome is to tell everything.” Voltaire

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn¹t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore,
Dream, Discover." ­Mark Twain
“A journey of a thousand miles being with the first step.” Chinese proverb

“Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Plato

“If you would be loved, love and be loveable.” Benjamin Franklin

“The worst thing is to be somebody to nobody.” Mother Theresa

“As the body needs physical exercise in order to remain in fit condition, man's spirit also requires the spiritual exercise derived when he confronts his problems and combats life's vicissitudes.”  William Sahakian and Mabel Lewis Sahakian

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