Monthly Archives: April 2013

Those English teas

Day before yesterday felt decadently like an English novel because we had a leisurely lunch on a patio overlooking a garden with visiting relatives, and lots of light conversation.  Less like the two English novels I’ve read in as many months, however, than many other English novels. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell, and The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot have much in common.  There are landed gentry among the major characters, but the stories are mainly about middle class women and their struggles with the class system, male domination, and victorian moral attitudes.  Both are fine, poignant novels, although you need to get past a great deal of religious content in Ruth, but it was worth it.  Some terrific characters in Floss, just as real and funny as life can be.


Some of you may have missed this recent announcement.  Doesn’t it just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over?

Join us for the 142nd NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center in the heart of downtown Houston, TX, May 3-5, 2013!

With over 550 exhibitors covering over 400,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, educational seminars, celebrities, and fun filled special events, bring the whole family- there will be something for everyone! Spend the day exploring the products from every major firearm company in the country, book the hunt of a lifetime in our exclusive outfitter section, and view priceless collections of firearms in our gun collector area. You’ll also see knives, wildlife art, shooting accessories, hunting gear, ATV’s, and much more!”

I don’t see anything about helping the families of innocent victims put their shattered lives back together. . . They also have this advisal:

“Texas generally prohibits the open carrying of firearms. During the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, conceal carry firearms are permitted in the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.”

Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any safer.


I was disappointed in Stendhal’s The Red and the Black.  I was expecting something a little more along the lines of Les Miserable. Although Stendhal painted a vivid portrait of French society and politics in the latter part of the Restoration, there were large parts of the novel that became tedious in describing moment-by-moment details of Julien’s vaccilating romances. The point of view constantly shifted, which diluted the force of the novel. There were subplots that led nowhere. Even given the fact that the genre was romantic and picaresque, some plot twists were too implausible. I wish I could say I recommend the book, but I can’t, except possibly for extreme Francophiles.