02 July 2024

reading list update, jan -- jun

as i watch the continued degradation of our republic by a rogue supreme court, i've done a little reading, some of it oddly reassuring --- the first one was particularly apropos --- now working through Brands' Founding Partisans: Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, Adams, and the Brawling Birth of American Politics

***Dennis C. Rasmussen, Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America’s Founders (2021)

**Roger Crowley, Spice: The 16th Century Contest that Shaped the Modern World (2024)

Ramin Setoodeh, Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass (2024)

*Robert D. Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (2005)

***Dennis Romano, Venice: The Remarkable History of the Lagoon City (2024)

Derek Wilson, Charlemagne (2006) [poorly written]

Michelle P Brown, Bede and the Theory of Everything (2023)

***Irene Vallejo, Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World (2022)

Hamish Coghill, Lost Edinburgh (2008)

*Michael Fry, Wild Scots: Four  Hundred Years of Highland History (2005)

**Michael Fry, Edinburgh: A History of the City (2009)

Ian Mortimer, Medieval Horizons: Why the Middle Ages Matter (2024)

Paul Stephenson, New Rome: The Empire in the East (2021)

Ernle Bradford, The Great Betrayal: The Great Siege of Constantinople (2014)--reread

Robin Waterfield, Plato of Athens: A Life in Philosophy (2023)

James R. Gaines, Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment (2005)

Karen Armstrong, The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts (2019)

Rowland J. Mainstone, Hagia Sophia: Architecture, Structure and Liturgy of Justinian’s Great Church (1988)

*Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle (1839)

*J├╝rgen Osterhammel,  Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter With Asia (2018)

Victorino Matus, Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America (2014)

***Hershel Shanks, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount: From Solomon to the Golden Dome (2007)

**Olivia Williams, Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London (2014)

28 May 2024


the copyedit phase of the project is done! two hard weeks on my part, significantly improved by the end --- the stupid thing has had a couple of serious edits before this --- all have made it better --- i won't see it again until the proofs or whatever --- publication late this year or early 2025 

i'm still a little impressed with the universe that it threw me this bone to enjoy in my dotage, even if i gave the copyright away and won't make anything off it --- i fkn loved doing it --- to be published by an academic press was something that crossed my mind a time or two, but i don't have a phd and what not, and so, like the rest of my life, serendipty brought me to it


16 March 2024


great opening lines:

 ·         In the beginning, and what not.

 ·         . . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces.

 ·         I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills.

 ·         On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.

03 March 2024

07 January 2024

twelfth day of xmas

the crazy juggler has been gone for most of three weeks    now, but he's coming back monday, if he doesn't get     stranded in chile or wherever --- i thought kenneth was gonna die tonight when mary troy (one of his besties) was over here --- i'm sure the neighbors thought i was killing the dog, what with all the baying for joy and what not --- he might really die of joy when he sees the juggler again --- me, too

31 December 2023

read, read, read

another year of indiscriminate reading, not quite as prolific as in some years past, mainly because of the time spent working on the woodruff chronicle ---


Rashid Khalidi, The Hundred Years” War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistence, 1917-2017 (2020)

Liz Cheney, Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning (2023)

***Peter Frankopan, The Earth Transformed: An Untold Story (2023)

Jonathan Kennedy, Pathogenesis: A History of the World in Eight Plagues (2023)

**Joshua Hammer, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, and their race to save the world’s most-precious manuscripts (2016)

**Richard Ovenden, Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge (2020)

*Ben Wilson, Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind’s Greatest Invention (2020)

Adam Rutherford, How to Argue with a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and don’t) Say About Human Differences (2020)

**Barbara F. Walter, How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them (2022)

***Jeff Sharlet, The Undertow: Scenes From a Slow Civil War (2023)

**Hugh Howard, Architects of an American Landscape: Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Reimagining of America’s Public and Private Spaces (2022)

**James Crawford, The Edge of the Plain: How Borders Make and Break Our World (2022)

Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer, Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies About our Past (2022)

*Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra, A Life (2010)

**Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (1972)

14 December 2023

happy holidays

so, smiley left today for another stupid cruise, which they have styled a cruise to antarctica, which is on the big guy's bucket list, so they're taking a cruise to antarctica --- i'll see him again a couple of days after epiphany next --- in the meantime . . . . .

i have five pounds of delicious catholic fruitcake from the trappist monastery in kentucky and an endless supply of vodka from mac's down the street, and dog, and a shitload of books to read, so i will survive

13 December 2023

passages redux and done

one of the only bits of monumental sculpture salvaged when st paul's cathedral in london burnt down in 1666 was this of john donne, which had been installed within a few months of his death in 1631

as of today, i have a living will, a dead will, and beneficiaries installed for this and that, but have not yet arranged for disposition of my "remains," as it were, nor for any death mask or monumental sculpture --- 

29 November 2023


today marks the eleventh anniversay of iris's death, in her own bed in the wee hours of the morning --- and tomorrow is dead john's birthday --- so here we are

14 November 2023

Dame Judi Dench Masterfully Does A Shakespeare Sonnet | The Graham Nort...

it's been a minute

i have so neglected this stupid blog --- not that there is anything wrong with that --- i type and post pictures when i feel like it, and when i got something i need to bitch about in semi-public i guess --- but i got nothing really to bitch about beyond the tired old few: trump and blood-relations and friends who continue to support republican politics --- for me, that is a deal-breaker for any relationship ---- otherwise, life is really fine --- nightly visits from the juggler for snuggling and what not --- he is a total fool but at least very smart and semi-sane, and just about the kindest man i've ever met --- and i love him a lot --- 

UGA press's publication next fall of the coochee history remains on track, and i have wound up the columbus woodruffs' family history project to their satisfaction, and mine --- i might rework it into something publishable, should i get in the mood to do that, but for now it's their's  with a fork in it --- 

meantime, i continue to watch the toulouse requiem, as i call it, most evenings

and the animals continue to aggravate me

28 August 2023


all of the cats and dogs in my house have always gotten along --- at some level, body heat is body heat

from sinclair with kitty bob

to hershey sinclair dueteron with frieda

to guinness and dex

to kenny and dex

06 August 2023

dog days of summer

great storm rolled through while ago --- 40 mph winds maybe and a lotta rain

Dog days bright and clear / Indicate a good year; / But when accompanied by rain, / We hope for better times in vain

coochee is resting or gestating or whatever, quietly --- but i'm deep in the weeds with the woodruff project

the juggler continues to keep me up late, almost every night, and almost always keeping it festive --- which i like lots better than bailing you-know-who out of foreclosure, for the umpteenth time --- some things fester to a head, and i think my relationship with him is near that point


08 July 2023


this made a lot of people happy during the covid lockdowns --- still does


07 July 2023

coochee redux

i have not appreciated the value of a literary agent until this coochee project — that was sorta built into NPS projects  i don't know what they paid her, but I don't think I could've/would've plowed through all the forms and permissions and what not that she has, which are just about done — left to my devices, it would have wound up in three-ring binders from kinkos  the narrative has survived relatively unscathed, i'm glad to say, but the fact that it is going to see print at all is to her and SNCA's credit entirely —