So it’s November 1st and time for me to participate in both the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I am more than prepared to participate. I was please in terms of NaNoWriMo last year, because I hit 36,000 words out of 50, 000. I do want to come out this year with a manuascript to submit this year. I am going to write on the other aforementioned projects (the Angry Gondals, Gollumdas Monogatari, et. al), but my focus will be the reloaded Blanche and Rose.
So it will be interesting to see me write and them post about writing daily.
Admittedly, I had not read a lot of Studs Terkel. In school it was far safer to stick with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet than it was to deal with 20th century fiction. His work was about regular people too (often Shakespeare is lauded for creating realistic and enduring portraits of both ‘high and low born’ in his work), only we saw their blemishes as well as their beauty. They were people we knew and even talked about more than the important and the powerful. Scrappy and knowledgeable, this renaissance man was not just and author, but a radio host, a star of his own tv show and an activist. I knew more about Studs Terkel as a colorful figure that did interviews on shows like ’60 Minutes’ and talked about the nebulous old days. Perhaps when I am not reading about the latest upgrade of Adobe’s Creative Suite, I’ll pick up one of his books and read it and enjoy.
Michael Crichton’s death was a surprise to me and apparently everyone who was not close to him. Much like a character on a show called ‘ER,’ he waged a private war with cancer that he unfortunately lost. He wrote books that were interesting to say the least and that showed a certain range. I must admit that I was not as big of a fan of the Jurassic Park books, not because they were not good, but because I believe that there is a gene on the Y chromosome that makes a person love all things ‘dinosaur’. As a female, I don’t get a Y chromosome and therefore am unable to appreciate dinosaur things on that level. I learned about 6 years into its run that Michael Crichton was the creator of and the executive producer of the long running medical drama ‘ER.’ It took a bit to reconcile that the guy who was responsible for ‘Jurassic Park,’ was also the guy responsible for a show where viewers tuned in to see if Dr. Doug Ross and Nurse Carol Hathaway were finally going to get married. I remember being told that ‘ER’ was based on Crichton’s years as an intern and a resident. The earlier episodes do feel like a window upon those worlds, with its outlining of process amid the MTV-esque jump cuts as the unfortunate citizens of Chicago wheel in and out of the ER. I noted with a grim irony that it was fitting that this was the last season of ‘ER’ since its creator has now passed on.
John Leonard’s passing was both unexpected and the one that I felt the most, in so far as one could feel about someone who was not family. I knew of him primarily through CBS’s ‘Sunday Morning,’ a news magazine that profiles topics at a slower pace for those who have the time for more than the highlights. Leonard’s reviews of books, tv shows and movies were knowledgeable and acerbic. The fact that my mother enjoyed him definitely had high stock value with me since media critics were not people she paid attention to. Since I had been busy of late, I had not missed Leonard’s reviews as much as I might have, but I remembered thinking at times that something was missing from the show and I could not put a finger on it. I learned today that John Leonard left the show to also do battle with cancer-in his case lung cancer. While I enjoy the observations of Nancy Giles and David Edelstein, I will deeply miss the witty skewering and the alliterative praises of one John Leonard.
Three men gone. Two who would have liked more time and one who was ready to go. All who when their time came could look back and say that they did all right.
-how I can find ways to distract myself from the mountains of things I need to accomplish that I could not accomplish while I was sick.
-that time is zooming by too fast for me: it’s already Veteran’s Day.
The Korean War is often times called the “Forgotten War” because it had the misfortune to be sandwiched between World War II and Vietnam. I think World War I is more of a forgotten war since we don’t think of it as much as we do the others and we have a vague idea that it started with the assassination of some royal person in Austria. In school, World War I (WWI) was usually passed over so that we could speed the 1920s and then spend some time in the Great Depression, before we hit World War II (WWII).
According to the article posted at Yahoo, for many of the WWI veterans (‘many’ being an ironic term here) this will be their last milestone celebration of what was known to them as ‘Armistice Day.’
The article can be found here:
What we now call ‘Veteran’s Day’ was known as ‘Armistice Day,’ which commemorated the end of WWI at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. As time went on and more wars sadly were fought, this holiday became ‘Veteran’s Day’ and is a day usually set aside for honoring all veterans.
Until September 11th and then until the beginning of the wars in 2003 in Afghanistan and Iraq, Veteran’s Day had more resonance for those who lived through past wars. Those who were a generation or two removed were taught by example that this day was a day off to sleep in or catch up on things. I remember that news broadcasts would make “drive by” mentions of Veteran’s Day, such that you hardly knew it even happened.
It’s different now, with more veterans from the late Boomer, Gen X and early Gen Y generations swelling the ranks. I also think that many of us are realizing that those who came before-the WWI, the WWII and the Korean vets-are leaving us all too soon and they still have stories to tell.
Though the veteran that I had in the family died long before I was born, I did take a moment at 11:00am to think about him and to reflect how he would have thought about how all of the stuff he took as a Black man in the army of WWII would have been worth it since his granddaughter got to grow up in a world with more possibilities than he had and got to vote for a man of African and American descent without any problems. He would have been pleased to know that in recent years, the country whose freedom he defended, even though it was not always good to him, appreciate even more than before the duty and sacrifice that he and his fellow soldiers of all races made on their behalf.
And now for the totally unrelated-I can’t resist a good Sulu vs. Kirk grudge match: