Thoroughly Thursday - the "333rd Day" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the 333rd Day Edition. Each week, I often spend an unusually long time trying to figure out what the name and image should be for that “edition.” What I realized was that this week is a welcome pause after the gluttony of Thanksgiving and the craziness of the Hannukah-Christmas-Kwanzaa-Omisoka-Festivus-NYE festivities. I’ve decided that we need to make this week special somehow. So, as November 29th is the 333rd day of the year, and only being “half-evil,” I would like to elect it to be the “Day of Mischievousness,” a final day to pull pranks, have rubber band fights with co-workers, and be charmingly sarcastic before devoting ourselves to the Holiday spirit. Let me know what you think.
What I’m Listening to - The Geopolitical Consequences of Ghouls
During our amazing Thanksgiving road trip, I decided to listen to World War Z by Max Brooks (son of Mel). Inspired by The Good War: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel, World War Z tells an alternate timeline of humanity’s devastating battle to contain a zombie plague through dozens of first-person perspectives. From the initial outbreak to the Great Panic to the final victory over the mindless horde, Brooks chronicles the critical elements in a decade-long struggle that nearly wipes out the human race. Less a horror novel than an incredibly well-considered thought experiment on the geopolitics of a global pandemic, the success of the book led the US Military to ask Brooks to assist in examining future potential crises with their leadership. The story is fantastic, but the unabridged audiobook, which won an Audie Award in 2007, includes voice-acting from such luminaries as Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, F. Murray Abraham, and Alfred Molina, among others.
What I’m Watching - The Labyrinth of the Great Library
Over the weekend, while laid up with a head cold, I started searching out obscure, old movies on YouTube. I found a fantastic short film by French director Alain Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour and Night and Fog) called Toute la Mémoire Du Monde about the activities of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris in 1956. Part documentary/part meditation on memory and the limits of knowledge, it is surprisingly compelling. The cinematography and lighting are gorgeous, with long, sweeping shots of the Byzantine levels of bookshelves, displays and catalogs and the army of people that kept it all running.
What I’m Reading - A Tiny Place to Call My Own
I’ve always been fascinated by the “tiny home” movement, which in a very un-American way, suggests that you/I/we can live happily in a “house” the size of a large area rug. Over Thanksgiving, I read The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams. Williams was a mid-career professional living in Portland, OR when she collapsed in 2006 from undiagnosed congestive heart failure. Deciding that she needed a radical change, Williams sold her full-sized house and moved into 84 sq.ft. cabin perched on a trailer. Partly a do-it-yourself guide, partly a meditation on “living small,” Williams writes about our ideas of materialism, success, happiness, and what “home” means when you whittle it down to the essentials. You can read my full review of the book here.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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