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Classes of Life


The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje“That was the overall lesson I learned on the journey. What is interesting and important happens mostly in secret, in places where there is no power. Nothing much of lasting value ever happens at the head table, held together by a familiar rhetoric. Those who already have power continue to glide along the familiar rut they have made for themselves.”

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

Quote – No Reformation


Cat in a Crimson Haze by Carole Nelson Douglas“She would shudder at the least, and accuse me of depraved appetites, but then it is not the first time I have so charged and it will not be the last, if I have anything to say about it. Depraved appetites are the last to go, being the most fun” – Midnight Louie

from Cat in a Crimson Haze by Carole Nelson Douglas

Louie’s got that right. He was talking about catching and eating raw fish (he’s a cat). Is chocolate depraved? That’ll probably be the last thing I’ll let go…

A Quote and a Paraphrase


Thoughts from today:


“That girl…she wasn’t normal.” “No one is normal. That is human.”
From the TV show Grimm. Original line said “that is Portland”


“Remember your ancestors, dream of your descendants, and work hard while you’re living.”
From The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

That is a good life philosophy.

Happy Birthday, Dad


It’s my dad’s birthday. Here is a quote from Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (translated by Lucia Graves):

“Do you think I could ever be a father?”

“A good father?”

“Yes. Like yours. A man with a head, a heart, and a soul. A  man capable of listening, of leading and respecting a child, and not of drowning his own defects in him. Someone whom a child will not only love because he’s his father but will also admire for the person he is. Someone he would want to grow up to resemble.”

I have a good father. Happy birthday, Dad

Book Addiction


This is from Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies:

“…that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books…Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books…as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines – not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master’s call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality.”

Hmm, Davies described me before I was born.



Mother talking on the phone with her son:

“Do something for me, Simon.”


“Be careful. You’re the only second son I have. Take care of your Fiona, but be careful.”

“I can do that. Don’t worry, Ma. Please.”

“Now that’s a useless request for a mother…”

From The Search by Nora Roberts

She has mothers pegged, all right!



The Waters Rising by Sheri S. TepperHere’s one I’ve found recently that is so true!

From Sheri Tepper’s The Waters Rising:

“To my mind, the worst thing about death is not knowing how the story ends.”

Hear that, Jim Butcher and Carole Nelson Douglas?

Shree has some reading quotes over at her blog as well.



Side Jobs by Jim ButcherThis one tickles me. It’s from Jim Butcher’s wise cracking Harry Dresden:

“To give Molly credit, she might have been nervous, but she had learned the job of wheelman – sorry, political correctioners, wheelperson – fairly well.”

Political correctioners – that’s good.

From “It’s My Birthday Too” in Side Jobs



Zero History by William GibsonCurrently I am reading William Gibson‘s Zero History. One of the major characters is a recovered drug addict. This character is getting ready to travel from London to Paris, wishing he had a book to read.

“He’d look for a book in Paris. Reading, his therapist had suggested, had likely been his first drug.”

I certainly know how he feels.

Thomas Jefferson – Kindred Spirit


From John Adams by David McCullough:

“In the bookshops and stalls along the Seine were volumes in numbers and variety such as Jefferson had never seen, and his pleasure was boundless. To Madison he would describe the surpassing pleasure of ‘examining all the principal bookstores, turning over every book with my own hand’… There were weeks when he was buying books every day. In his first month in Paris, he could not buy them fast enough…”

I can certainly empathize with that!

Heimlich Maneuver


While I don’t tweet much, I do follow a few Twitter groups. One of them is the National Library of Medicine tweet.

Today they mentioned that the Heimlich Maneuver was first published in a medical journal in 1974.

1974? Is that all? I thought it was older. By the time I started working in a hospital in 1977 it was a standard practice.

Quote – Timeless Truths


“The woA Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porterrld is full of happy people, but no one ever hears of them. You must fight and make a scandal to get into the papers. No one knows about all the happy people.”

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter, copyright 1909

Today we can expand “papers” to television, internet news, etc. That of course means that I hope I never make the news.