THIS ‘N’ THAT

1. The big story of the week is the closing down of the Hostess bakery. No more Twinkies, Ho Ho’s or Ding Dongs. No more green cupcakes on St. Patrick’s day.

I must admit that in these latter years my Twinkie consumption has lessened as I noticed a measurable decline in Twinkie tastiness. The sponge cake was too grainy and the cream had lost its fresh gooiness. The cupcakes likewise had a coarser cake and the frosting was leather-like. Though never a Ding Dong fan I dipped into the occasional Ho Ho.

Even as I write this I hear that community outrage has prompted the re-opening of arbitration. Who knows where this will all end. The big question is will the Twinkie defense now be a footnote in legal history?

2. I watched the original Star Trek on TV when it first came out in the 60’s and William Shatner has always been an interesting figure to me. A while back I watched a documentary he made in which he interviewed all of the Star Trek captains and then the other night I saw another called “Get a Life” about the Trekkie conventions and meetings. No, he did not mock them as the title suggests.

The documentary gave an interesting look at the people who attend Star Trek conventions and how the series touched a mythological nerve in the cultural psyche (as did Star Wars). Lots of people came dressed as ST characters, complete with elaborate hand-made costumes. For many, individual characters became life role models.

It set me to thinking who I might like to be. Data? Q? Ohura? Spock? Deanna Troi? Ryeker, Picard? So many great characters and great stories. I think I’ll vote for Deanna’s mother. One of my favorite stories was “Who Mourns for Adonais?” Who would you like to be? What story is your favorite?

3. From the Opinionated Reader: I don’t think I’ve ever gathered a more disappointing selection of books than I did at the library last week. Almost all without exception let me down. The mysteries, in particular, were a fiasco. I hate ‘cute’ settings and characters. I don’t like animals who are the detectives. I don’t want a lesson in Amish culture, I don’t want to read about middle-aged women who sleuth on the side while baking cookies. It makes me appreciated Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers all the more. Ok, I am leaving out some really good ones, I know.

The spy book I had turned out, not to be short stories, but ‘ excerpts’ of great spy stories. So I was given enough story  to be intrigued but there was no denouement. It was the mashed potatoes without the gravy, the turkey without the cranberries.

One book did shine. It was “One of Our Own” by Willa Cather, a Pulitzer Prize winner. I have become a Cather fan in the last few months. I love her prose, her description of life on the great western prairies at the end of the 19th century, her sensitive eye. She had a great sense of environment and the setting is frequently a powerful but silent character – it reminds me of Dickens in that respect.

I’m going to give “The Book of Sand” by Borges another try. He has such an international reputation that I entered the book predisposed to like it but… he plays too much with time, dreams, illusions, etc. for me. I am easily confused and look for sign posts and direction in life which Borges is not inclined to give.

Meanwhile, I picked up an ancient paperback at my son’s yesterday and while the turkey was cooking delved deeply into “The Princess of Mars,” a John Carter adventure by Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan. What a hero! It is very well-written for an adventure story, fast paced and imaginative – a perfect boy’s adventure.

The library is closed today but I shall stop by on Saturday for a new supply of reading matter. If you happened to have read any on the list, drop a comment.

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19 thoughts on “THIS ‘N’ THAT

    1. Red shirt! I always thought you were a risk taker.

      Yes, I read Cholera. What a great book! Also, 100 Yeas of Solitude. I enjoy reading books by foreign authors as it gives you such a great insight into their culture and perspective. Marie 🙂

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      1. Got it! I could never figure out why they always beamed down their most essential personnel – like the ship could function without Captain, First Officer, and Doctor… But then there was always Yeoman Expendable who beamed down with them, and who was the first to get iced by the alien plant/animal life.

        On at least two occasions, however, principals were killed (McCoy by a knight on horseback, Chekhov by a gunslinger, one of the Earps). They were restored to life, of course.

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  1. The original Star Trek was a wonderful series despite its many flaws, and I bless Lucille Ball for insisting it be taken on. Interestingly, the TV executives on seeing the pilot episode demanded “Lose the guy with the pointy ears”. In fact Spock was the only character to make it from the pilot to the series. The only other actor from the pilot to appear in the series was Majell Barrett – Nurse Chappell, the continuing voice of the ship’s computer, and Deanna Troi’s mum in STNG.

    Spock was always my favourite, mainly because his calm counter-balanced the very hammy acting of the rest of the crew. William Shatner was a total ham – but somehow that worked perfectly, and of course he was remarkably handsome in his own way. Walter Konig was a ham too, and James Doohan’s Scotty – well, you give the part of a Scotsman to an Irish Canadian???

    But it all worked so beautifully. I adored nurse Chappell, one of my first TV-star crushes.

    There are so many of the original series episodes that I loved – I couldn’t name them, or if I did I would confuse the titles. In retrospect I loved the moment on the cloud-city of Stratos when Spock says something like “Truly the most remarkable example of sustained anti-gravity levitation I have ever seen, Captain!” One could only think “Cue for entry onto the set of a young woman wearing not very much but with an admirable uplift” – and in walked Droxine!

    Many years ago I wrote two femslash stories about Janice Rand and Uhura, by the way!

    They are currently showing the original series on TV here in the UK, digitally remastered, and I am thoroughly enjoying it, refamiliarising myself with the likes of Harry Mudd (Roger C Carmel) and Kang (Michael Ansara, my favourite Klingon). They’re also showing Voyager, and STNG on another channel. I would slay for Seven of Nine’s figure!

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    1. Great info! I loved Kang too, and Harry Mudd, the Trouble with Tribbles, etc. Wasn’t Majell the wife of Roddenberry? I loved the original series, Next Gen and Deep Space. Never got into the final two. Another huge SF favorite was Babylon 5 – it was a religious experience as was the remake of Battlestar Galatica. M

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      1. Kang and the three other Klingon captains from the original series – Kor and Koloth – appeared in the episode ‘Blood Oath’ in ‘DS9’. That’s Michael Ansara, William Campbell, and John Colicos.

        Babylon 5 pulled together some Sci-fi superstars such as Bill Mumy (‘Lost in Space’) and Walter Konig (‘Star Trek’); and of course the lovely George Takei appeared in ‘Heroes’. Oh yes, William Shatner was ‘The Great Giant Head’ in ‘Third Rock from the Sun’ – the role in which he discovered his talent for comedy.

        I loved Babylon 5, but more for the supporting cast. Peter Jurasik was wonderful – a tragic anti-hero – as Londo Mollari. The late Andreas Katsulas as G’Kar. And actually Walter Konig shone as Alfred Bester. I also loved Stephen Furst’s role of Vir Cotto, having loved him in ‘Animal House’ and ‘St Elsewhere’.

        Oh I could go on…

        M

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      2. Now you’ve made me want to see Babylon again! It’s been years. A group of us would get together every week when the show was on to watch it together. Remember when the whatchamacallits took off their suit and turned out to be angels- of a sort! Holy cow, Batman. M:)

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  2. gina wander

    Your post made me laugh. I think I would want to be a courtesan in the 18th century. I guess that isn’t a star trek character but oh well!

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