Thursday, May 25, 2006

Drawing near the end

I love Natasha! Why? I don't know!!! Pierre, too. And I LOVE the philosophizing Mr. T continues to engage in as the French army flees and falls apart and the Russian army falls apart too, for good measure.

I have a mere 160 pages left to read.

I have a mere 16 days left in Korea.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Besides this, the entire staff of the Russian army was now reorganized...Very serious consideration had to be given to the question whether it would be better to put A in B's place and B in D's place, or to put D in A's place and so on--as if anything more than A's or B's satisfaction depended on this. - pp. 1183-1184

I dare say that reminds me of a Borders restructure or two!

Lately some of my friends and co-workers here have seen me with my tattered copy of The Book again, and this makes them ask the perfectly logical question: "Aren't you done yet?" Well, perhaps not perfectly logical, seeing as if I WERE done I likely wouldn't be carrying it AROUND now would I? But yeah, today was the first day in weeks and weeks --like maybe six or seven of them--that I've taken the book to work with me in my backpack and had time to read a bit in the coffee shop during my afternoon break. And there probably were things I could have been doing for the play as I sat sipping my cappuccino, but I read instead.

Also, I have received my first official "I'm done" from a friend back home who took the plunge, and that's scary. He totally kicked my butt! I still have 200 pages to go! I would like to point out that he needs to comment a bit on here though, now that he's DONE.

But only comment up to page 1200! Don't tell me what happens!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

I'm the decider!

Napoleon, with his usual assurance, not that what was right was right, but that whatever entered his head was right, wrote to Kutuzov the first words that occurred to him, though they were utterly meaningless. - page 1182

Of course, then the exchange that follows between them does nothing to bring about peace. But Moscow and the citizenry and the army -- and Tolstoy -- are still regrouping and reckoning with Borodino and the march of historical events. It's taking me an exceedingly long time to read this part. I'm on the page-a-day plan. I am just too busy. My afternoon coffee shop time is now entirely given over to doctor appointments, play preparation/rehearsals, or some combination of these. At night I fall into bed and am lucky to get through one page before falling asleep! So maybe I won't even finish The Book before leaving Korea!

But don't we all know someone like Napoleon?

Or, as Ani puts it, "everyone is a fucking napoleon." Well, not to put too fine a point on it:

Now you think, so that is the way it's gonna be
That's what this is all about
I think that that is the way it always was
You chose not to notice until now
Yeah now that there's a problem you call me up to confide
And you go on for over an hour 'bout each one that took you for a ride...
- Ani DiFranco, 'Napoleon'

Her song is actually about the music industry, although it's also about a lot of other things, of course.

We expats over here are intrigued by tales of massive immigrant protests and political uprising back in the States. I heard on the AP Radio News a wonderful Bush sound bite. In response to the new Spanish version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" he was saying people who want to be U.S. citizens ought to learn English. He said, "And they should learn to sing the national anthem in English!" And the way he said it was just so classically -- Bush! Faux folksy, adamant, a slight feel of bewilderment. I couldn't help wondering if he can sing the national anthem. No one can sing the national anthem! Or if he knows all the words. I remembered Ramona Quimby's "by the dawnzer's lee light" as she puzzles over it and decides a dawnzer must be a kind of lamp.

And so time marches on, as do we all. Armies are on the move; emperors are born and emperors die, and their empires often do the same, if it takes a bit longer.

To recap for those who missed it, I would like to point out that, yes, I have just quoted Leo Tolstoy, George Bush, Ani DiFranco, and Beverly Cleary in one blog post. Imagine all four of them as guests at one dinner table!