Mar. 16th, 2017

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1. Making dinner, with any luck it will be ready before 8PM. Started late, due to laundry. Haven't been feeling up to snuff. Sinuses, and serious gas pains yesterday. So serious, had chills, nasaeuous and felt faint. Drink chicken broth, and bone broth, and ate less today, seemed to help. I'm convinced it was this new healthy snack I tried that I can't remember the name of.

2. Finished Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut -- it's an odd book, part sci-fi, part philosophy, part history, and part auto-biography. Vonnegut uses various means throughout it to discuss his feelings about the bombing of Dresden during WWII. By the way, apparently more lives were lost during the bombing than with the atomic bomb. 135,000 people were killed. Not a building was left standing. The entire city decimated. So, the book is sort of philosophical memoir on how Vonnegut and his friend dealt with that horror. Both apparently were there when it happened.

I'm glad I read it now and not when I was much much younger. I don't think I would have understood it if I'd read it in the 1980s or 1990s. Now, it resonates in various ways. No way of knowing for certain one way or the other.

When I was in the 6th grade, people were reading it for the "explicit" content or " dirty words" but didn't understand the content or metaphors or references. The sexual content is about how people are "dehumanized" in our culture and turned into "objects on display". The book is in a lot of ways a critique of our culture, and anti-war.

I like it better than Joseph Heller's Catch-22, which is also an anti-war book. I've read three, MASH, Slaughter-House Five, and Catch-22. All look at it from a different perspective, deal with different wars, and more or less say the same things -- war is absurd, meaningless, and unjustified.
There is no such thing as a good war.

It's weirdly comforting in a way...because it talks about how little control we have over the course of events. We just control how we choose to react to them.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it -- in some respects it is highly relevant to what is happening now. But it is written in a jagged, stream-of-consciousness style. The protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, jumps around in time. Actually, this is among the few novels that I think handles "time travel" well. And there are references throughout made to a science-fiction novelist that Billy loves, named Kilgore Trout. So not sure it is to everyone's taste, and you may well need to be in the mood.

I don't know what I'll read next. There's a book for a religious ed course that I'm taking through my church -- regarding how Unitarian Universalist's view Jesus Christ entitled : Christ for Unitarian Univeralists - a New Dialogue with Traditional Christianity by Scott McLennan . My own feelings regarding Christ and God and religion are rather complicated. I'm not an atheist. I never will be.
I understand people who are, and that's okay, but I'm not. I think it's a personal thing that we have to decide and know for ourselves. And what we know, believe in, or understand has a lot to do with how we think and ingest and evaluate information. It's important, I think, to understand that prior to engaging in discourse with others, particularly folks with opposing views. I'm learning not to judge views that are different or opposite of my own. Even though, at times, it is very very hard.

Also, may read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Or another romance novel. Mood is a factor here.
One for weekend reading -- book for class. And one for commute....it's hard to focus on the trains sometimes or in transit. Sometimes you need a light book. Slaughter-House Five was a bit too deep in some respects for that purpose.

3. On Television Front...I'm watching various television shows, too many to list. I deleted "Emerald City" -- had eight episodes saved and realized I'd never watch it, so I deleted it. Was cancelled anyhow.

The Catch -- is at least different and entertaining. Plus it has John Simm, Peter Krause, Mirrelle Enois, Gina Torres in the cast. Add to that, Kate Atckinson is the co-creator/show-runner.
It's twisty and fun.

This is Us is a nice family drama, a little sentimental in places, and at times feels a bit too neat or contrived, but I'm really enjoying it and love the characters. It's by Dan Fogleman.

Nashville is much much better. Completely different than last year. It reminds me a little of Thirty-Something, but then it does have the same writers now. There's some real moments in it, and the music is top-notch.

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