Friday, March 15, 2013

Show & Tell Friday - The Ides of March Edition

The Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini
Ah, the infamous ides of March: the first month of the year in the original Roman calendar (the Romans celebrated the New Year from March 1st until today), the day in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar was assassinated by members of the Senate (thank goodness our senators are a bit more well-behaved … though some would argue, not by much), and the feast day of the year’s particular goddess.

Mostly, though, we know of the “Ides” because of Shakespeare’s bloody and fascinating play Julius Caesar. (What, you’ve not read it since high school–or at all? Get thee to a library!) He gives us an up close and personal view of the B.C. formula for taking down a dictator.

And people think a study of history is worthless. Pshaw.

On to today’s edition of “Show & Tell Friday.” Last week, I gave you a new book, a poem, and some great music. Today I’ve got some good stuff to share, too:

1) The Girls of Atomic City: the Untold Story of the Girls Who Helped Win WWII by Denise Kiernan

My grandmother was one of those “girls,” so this book holds special meaning for me and my family–especially my mother and her three sisters. My Grandmama Jean moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, just out of college, recruited to work there in the war effort. As a family, we’ve returned many times to “the Secret City” where my mom and aunts were raised, and where my grandparents met–he a scientist on the Manhattan Project (the atomic bomb). My sister and I bought this book for my mom as an early Mother’s Day present. I hope she reads fast, so I can get it next.

2) Have you heard yet about the “Harlem Shake,” a YouTube dance craze sweeping pretty much the world lately? Sure, it’s becoming a bit passe, but still a whole lot of fun to watch. Check out the students at Clemson University doing their version:
3) Hundreds of road bikers will descend on our little mountain town of Brevard, N.C. April 12-13th for the 14th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. Races include 100k, 60k, and 40k routes, the 100k race stretching down the Blue Ridge Escarpment into S.C. and back up the notorious Caesar’s Head State Park. Several events occur during the weekend, including access to locally-brewed beers and live music. There’ll also be a lack of parking space and lots of fit men wandering around town in very tight pants.

Brevard has become a mecca for road and mountain bikers alike; many of my friends and neighbors have become honestly obsessed with the sport, going on long rides every weekend and even weekdays. They are most definitely, as my buddy and neighbor Adria says, “All eat up with biking.”

4) And finally, some quotes for your Friday. Because I can’t resist quotes. I papered the walls of my college dorm room with quotes. (Apologies to Lisa, my roommate who put up with them.)

In addition to holding the Ides of March, the month of March is also home to Women’s History Month and Albert Einstein’s birthday. So, in honor of both these lauded events, some sayings:

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.” ~ Susan B. Anthony

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” ~ Dolly Parton

“About age thirty, most women think about having children and most men think about dating them.” ~ Judy Carter

“Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When the fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”~ Amelia Earhart

“I’d much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re first to be rescued off sinking ships.” ~ Gilda Radner

And these from Albert Einstein …

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Happy weekend, y’all!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Perfect Obituary

If you've not caught wind of this obituary that a Mississippi daughter wrote for her 80 year-old father, who passed away Saturday, you should.

The obituary has gone "viral," sweeping the Internet and making folks laugh, nod in agreement, and probably tear up a bit, all over the country. Not only is the daughter obviously a gifted writer, she obviously knew her daddy like no one else. The obit is full of sass and fun, love, care, and has that unmistakable sparkle that comes with being utterly genuine.

My husband told me about it on the phone today. Before he hung up, he said, "You'll wish you'd written it."

My favorite paragraph:

"He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words "veranda" and "porte cochere" to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil's Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest."

A big ol' pat on the back to Amanda Lewis for writing something that so many folks are enjoying, and for honoring her daddy, Harry, so well.

To read the whole thing in the Sun-Herald, click here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What a Weekend!

Just wanted to share a photo of the incredible Cherokee (or pre-Cherokee) arrowhead presented to me by a reader at a book event over the weekend. The picture doesn't do it justice--it is truly cool.

On a side note, I tend to wear this maternity turtleneck quite a bit, don't I? And I look tired. It's time to wear makeup.
For a full recap of the weekend's book events (two held on the very land where Keowee Valley is set), and news about future book travel, click here.