Sticky Fingers–what I’ve been reading

Though I’m only halfway through this book, I’m ready to write my thoughts.  Maybe I’ll finish the book, and maybe there will be a ‘Part 2’ of my review.  But it’s just as likely that I won’t have anything further to say about it.

Sticky fingers cover

Great job by the writer, Joe Hagan, on detailing the life of Jann Wenner, the long-time head of Rolling Stone magazine.  Hagan held his nose and dug deep, aired out the smoke and weeded through the hype and delusions to reveal the actual person.  How the book came to be is almost a part of the story now:  Hagan was selected by Wenner to do his biography.  Hagan was given access to Wenner’s lifetime of files and writings, and had Wenner’s blessing to talk to anyone in Wenner’s past.  (Well, except the things I found out when reading that he didn’t consent to.)  Then, when Wenner didn’t like the book because it made him look bad, he withdrew his support for the book…which no doubt has added to the book’s intrigue.  “Well played,” I say as I roll my eyes.

Wenner comes across from his earliest years, as a cheater, user, backstabber and bully; and at the same time impulsive and pitiful.  I don’t want to retell stories that you can read in the book, so here is my general characterization of Wenner:

Think of a person who doesn’t bring a dish to a potluck dinner, then goes through the line first, and takes big helpings of the best food, and then doesn’t eat it all, criticizes the cooks, and knows no one will call him out for any of it.  Then he’ll do the same thing at the next potluck dinner, and the next.  While those around him graciously refrain from confronting him about his unacceptable behavior, he has moved on and is pronouncing himself to be a food critic, and invites the biggest names in gourmet cooking to cook for him in return for feedback and ‘promotion’.  Hungry for publicity, the cooks play along with him, when the whole time he’s driven not by the professional he’s held himself out to be, but by his fan boy desires for selfies with celebrities.  It’s pure absurdity.

We needed something better than what Rolling Stone magazine was from the start.  It was a publication that filled a void and for that reason, couldn’t fail.  Willing investors could always be found when Wenner’s reckless spending caused instability; which was a continuous state of affairs.  It didn’t hurt the bottom line that the writers and staff often weren’t paid as promised.  Wenner hired many people who were beginners, or were down and out, and not in a position to hold him accountable when he failed to make good on promises,…like pay for work done.  The magazine’s identity and credibility were doomed from the start, in the hands of an impulsive druggie fan boy.  From the start, he doctored articles and reviews to suit his desire to hurt or help friends and associates.  By maintaining its place in that generation’s music culture, the magazine occupied turf that could have otherwise been held by a legitimate publication that observes certain standards of journalism.

Music fans and music artists also should have something more legitimate than what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was when he controlled it.  Here I’m resisting the urge to rant further about the damage done to this institution, because honestly, rock and roll at its most basic is anti-institutionalization and anti-establishment.  Just because someone latched onto a tourism business opportunity and borrowed the rock and roll label, doesn’t make it rock and roll, or a hall of fame.

By the way, ‘Jann’ isn’t his real name.  His parents named him Jan.  He added the extra ‘n’ to appear cool.

I appreciated reading the professional critics’ reviews of the book on the Amazon page, almost as much as the book itself.  And there are a lot of reviews quoted there.  Lots of critics wanted their say about this book, or the subject.  For some reason, the book empowered journalists and critics to come out and say what they really think about the guy.  I guess I’d ask each of them why they felt the need to wait until now.  This biographer did excellent work; with a pitiful subject.

Where to find the book:

Things look brighter from here:  I’ve just been notified by the library that my reserved copy of “Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story” by Roger Daltrey is now available for checkout.

Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite

So that is my incentive to finish up with Sticky Fingers.  

Paris, someday soon.

In my mind, I have my day-trip to Paris all planned.  I’ll take an early train from London or Amsterdam, and spend the day seeing the sights on foot–the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Seine; and eat at a sidewalk cafe, and then catch the night train back.

I’d like to visit the Beat Hotel

And the Boulevard de la Madeleine

This book, Fall Irmgard, has strengthened my resolve to make the trip.  It is the only book I’ve ever won in a Goodreads giveaway, and lucky me, I won an exceptionally good one.  It is the first published novel by Rand Charles.Fall Irmgard2 a RSR

The story took place in occupied Paris in April 1941, a few months before the US entered WWII.  A young American woman named Addie Bridges, who had been working in Paris and loving it, was reluctantly trying to get back home while leaving France was still possible.  The German occupiers were getting in her way at every turn, while Parisians had all they could handle just trying to endure the Nazi occupation and keep their lives and livelihoods intact.  The book was a long, slow, captivating read.  The author enabled me to effortlessly visualize the scenes–the settings and the mannerisms of each character at every encounter.  Highly recommend for readers interested in that period in history.

Meanwhile over in the sewing corner, I’m trying to figure out what to make with this Paris-themed fabric:  Dress, skirt, curtains, or all three; … andIMG_20180720_071127065_LL b panel RSR

I’m savoring Paris-inspired music.

 

And Never Let Her Go

The difference between this and any other Ann Rule book, is that something made me pick this one up at the bookstore, take a quick look through it, buy it and read it.  Ann Rule has done important work in writing books about stalkers and murderers who outwardly appeared to be leading ordinary lives among us.  I find the books too haunting to read.  But something about this story made me want to know what happened.

And Never Let Her Go

As I read further into this book, I began wondering why I had never heard of this story on the news.  The Delaware Governor’s beautiful secretary goes missing and then the murderer turns out to be a well-connected, married lawyer from a wealthy family, well-known in the region.

The news story may not have reached me in real time in 1997, but in 2000, this book did a thorough, careful job of helping me get to know these people.  Anne Marie was tall, slender, kind, fun loving and beautiful.  Her doom was being at her desk when this man came to the Governor’s office for a meeting.  He pursued her the way an experienced man pursues a trusting young person.  He was practiced at cheating on his wife, and cheating on his girlfriends, one of whom was the wife of one of his law partners.  Before long Ann Marie was trying to figure out how to leave him.  That’s when he turned on the other type of manipulation, in which he made her think she owed him.  He stalked her as well.  When those tactics stopped working and he sensed she was getting away, he murdered her.  With the help of one of his brothers, he dumped her body at sea.

Anne Marie kept a diary, which would seem to make an open-and-shut case.  But no; it was anything but that.  When he was arrested and prosecuted, he manipulated family and friends from jail; trying to get them to lie for him.  He paid a thug to break into another girlfriend’s house to scare her into lying for him.  Meanwhile, he was setting her up to take the fall for his crime.

Maybe I was drawn to this book because I was close to Anne Marie’s age, and worked with some suits who thought they had perfected the double life.  I don’t know.  When I finish a book, I usually pass it on.  The ‘keepers’ that remain in my possession, take up less than a single shelf in my bookcase.  This is one of the keepers.

Read and watch more:  

Book:  There was another book written about Anne Marie’s murder, titled ‘Summer Wind‘.  It is a shorter book, but also did an excellent job telling the story.

Newspaper articles:  The Delaware News Journal recently did a story marking the 20-year anniversary of the murder of Anne Marie.   https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2017/11/15/thomas-capano-convicted-murdering-anne-marie-fahey-and-conviction-how-happened-one-turn-after-anothe/851736001

That newspaper story links to this in-depth report on the case and several key individuals.  https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2017/11/15/20-years-after-capano-arrest-juror-breaks-silence/839587001

Movie:  Ann Rule’s book was made into a TV movie, also titled ‘And Never Let Her Go‘.  It starred Mark Harmon.

The movie is available on DVD https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UAE7J0

I couldn’t find an official movie trailer, but here is a collection of scenes from the movie.

The movie contained a clip of this beautiful song, which made me search for the song and buy the album.

Twenty years before #metoo, and the outing of Matt Lauer and Bill Cosby (two of a growing list), we all knew there were people among us in our daily lives, shrouded in respectable suits and positions, underneath which they honored nothing but their desire at any given moment.  They thought they had somehow been endowed with an entitlement to take what they wanted, by criminal means if necessary, and have their colleagues and subordinates help keep it all in the closet.  They are still out there among us.  Don’t be their next target, and don’t be an enabler.  My wish is that Anne Marie never be forgotten.

I ran; I sewed; I read

I ran.  

This morning was my fave annual 10k trail run.  There were muddy creek crossings. STD creek crossing 2 2018

STD muddy hand

STD muddy legs

There was a dam to scale.  It was ‘dam’ high and steep.  STD dam wide shotSTD dam

And then came the descent.  STD dam top view

I stayed on my feet for the descent, but in my mind I was one misstep away from doing a spectacular tumble a la Gloucestershire Cheese Roll-style.

At the race finish, a little mud wasn’t going to stop me from savoring a delicious juicy orange.  STD orange

I sewed.  

When getting dressed for the race this morning, I noticed my HRM (heart rate monitor) was way too loose.  I cinched it down to its smallest, but it was still too loose.  The several-years-old elastic was giving out.  So, I quickly threaded the sewing machine with black, and cut a big 9-inch section of elastic out of the band.

Garmin strap repair 1

Then I sewed the shortened band pieces back together.  Garmin strap repair 2

I put the shortened HRM back on, and it was still too big, so I took it off, cut out another 6 inches.  And sewed it together again.  Then it fit, and I was off to the races…literally.  Garmin strap repair 3

I read.

Back home after the race, I plopped myself onto the couch and re-dedicated myself to reading A Confederacy of Dunces.  I’d started it long ago, and liked it, but then set it aside, forgotten.  Now it is one of the books in the Great American Read list, and it is my choice for the Read.

A Confederacy of Dunces

 

Can I do this?

I have to.  Every so often I need to find a new strategy for moving out the old and unnecessary stuff.  Where does it all come from?  I swear, I accumulate stuff even while on a purging mission.  Figuring out a preventative strategy, that keeps the stuff from entering my house in the first place would be the ultimate accomplishment.  Until then, I’m stuck with regular purging missions.  This looks like the one to try.  [40 Bags in 40 Days]  According to the ’40 Bags’ plan, I have until March 1 to form my strategy of purging a bag of stuff for each day of Lent.  Should I really wait that long?

Clutter is everywhere in my life at the moment.  In every room of my house, in my email inbox(es), in my ‘social media life’, in my office, and in my car.  My yard needs more of a cleanout before spring. And then there is my sewing project pile that is massively out of control.

Even my donation box is out of control.

donation-pile-rsr

It is this book.  Which I realized is just more clutter.  Sigh.  I did read it and get inspired…that year.  Sadly, there are some more ‘decluttering’ books further down in the box from other years.  This year I resolved to purge the decluttering books, rather than adding another one to the stack.  This way, others can benefit from them now, as I no doubt did at the time.

donation-pile-closeup-rsr

Everything in the box will go to Goodwill or the DAV, except for two items that will each go to separate drop off sites.

This knitting machine that I’d wanted my whole life has been the source of several experimenting attempts, but made only one complete garment in the entire two decades I’ve owned it.  *embarrassed*  It is going to the local non-profit creative studio.

knitting-machine-rsr

The warm boots will go straight to the homeless diner.  Someone needs a pair of warm boots.  Today.  boots-donation-rsr

Cleaning out is always a raw, unfiltered trip down memory lane.

“This shirt is the one I lent you,
And when you gave it back
It had a rip inside the sleeve
Where you rolled your cigarettes
It was the place I put my heart
Now look at where you put a tear
I forgave your thoughtlessness
But not the boy who put it there.”

It’s the start of the year, when a lot of purging goes on.  Very best wishes with your own projects.

Libraries, dresses, deer, rain and a rainbow.

This past weekend, I attended a meeting in the ‘Carnegie Building’, in the town where I grew up.  The building was the public library when I was a little girl.  I was sooo upset when they built the new, big modern library and closed this one.  That was years and years ago, when I had to ride my tricycle 10 miles uphill both ways, to get to the library.

(Image source.)Carnegie Library Lawrence

This was my first time in the building since it was the library.  These days, it is a meeting and reception venue.

After the meeting, I shopped the lovely downtown, just one street over from the library.  I stopped in a cool vintage clothing store, and came home with two great finds.  This madras dress will be excellent for bicycling.  I had to take up the hem about 3 inches so it won’t look dowdy with my proportions.

Before–with the new hemline marked with the ironMadras vintage dress-w

AfterMadras dress shortened-w

I wish I could wear the longer length.  But I’m not tall enough, and nothing will change that.

And then this totally awesome gem!    Vintage dress green & daisies

It needs no alteration…, as long as I don’t gain a single ounce.

On getting home that night, I did a run/walk on my 3.5 mile loop.

There was a rain shower in the distance.Rain cloud-w

Deer in my favorite cultivated field.Deer1-arrows
The six deer were hanging out at the edge of the field, but they headed into the trees when they saw me.Deer2

And then as I approached home, a rainbow.Rainbow

Some days are this good.

New year, new Janathon

How many emails did I get this week that said “New Year, New You”?  Each one offered a product:  makeup, exercise plan, clothing; a literal makeover inside and out.  No thanks.  I’m doing fine.  I resolve to be more organized this year, and to otherwise keep doing what I’m doing.  And blog more regularly.  It’s been awhile…no, okay, it’s been months.  But I’ve been busy while I was away.  I’ve missed blogging, though.

janathon-participant-logo

My first two days of Janathon were identical and routine for me:

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I am finally reading On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.  I’m forming my own clear opinions on this book.  I’m not sure I will have the courage to write a review when I finish reading it.  But I’ll try to say something; knowing whatever I say about it has probably been said before.  It is quite a polarizing piece of literature.  I now see why.

New shoes and the camera on my Kindle

It was that time again–to get a new pair of running shoes.  Hooray!  I’ve stuck with ASICS the past 3-or-so years, because they’ve done well for me.   And yesterday was ASICS day at our locally-owned running store.  ASICS were 20% off.  So, I got a new pair of turquoise Gel Cumulus shoes.

Tonight I was messing around with my Kindle Fire HD and realized there was what looked like a little camera on the lower edge of the frame.  So I went in search of the camera function.  One would think I could just search through the apps until I found one called ‘Camera’.  Not so.  But I did learn that there are two camera apps on the device.  One of the apps is just a little button in the corner of the Photo app window.  The other camera app can’t even be located on the device unless you first download a file explorer app.  But thanks to this video:

and this one:

I located both apps and figured out how to use them.

So then, I took the Kindle on a mile run/walk, in which I begin breaking in my new shoes.  I had intended to listen to a book, but instead got caught up in experimenting with the two camera apps.  The camera is front-facing, such as for video Skype and selfies–neither of which I do.

But I did take this new-shoe-selfie!

(I’m not that tan; it just looks that way because it’s getting dark outside.)

KINDLE_CAMERA_1404162683000

And then I had fun trying to aim and shoot some sunset scenes.  Not easy.  The camera itself is low resolution.  Only the hidden camera app had zoom and adjustable settings for lighting and subject matter.  That app also has a video option.  The camera within the Photo app appears to be totally non-adjustable.

KINDLE_CAMERA_1404162642000

KINDLE_CAMERA_1404162893000

KINDLE_CAMERA_1404162867000

KINDLE_CAMERA_1404163244000

The book that I did not listen to, is True Sisters, by Sandra Dallas.  I’m not very far into the book yet, but so far it is a rather dark story about Mormon women who made the trek with their husbands and families to Utah in the 1850s.  Much of the journey was accomplished without horses or oxen.  Instead, they pushed their belongings in hand carts.  One of the couples in the story first made the voyage from Liverpool, England to the US, to then make the journey across the US.  I’ve loved every book I’ve ever read by Sandra Dallas, and I expect this one to be no different.  But the story has me bracing for a lot of heartache that appears to be looming ahead for these hard-working, loyal wives and mothers.

Juneathon, day 9

It was a very rainy morning, but we ended up with a delightful evening, in which I was able to do a 1.2 mile run in the early darkness.  June nights are magical.


I like this article sooo much.  It attributes children’s fidgety behavior in part on spending too much time sitting still in the classroom, and not enough physical activity.  I do believe kids need active recess periods every day.  I remember coming home from grade school with grass stains, mud and wood chips embedded in my tights.

http://www.balancedandbarefoot.com/blog/the-real-reason-by-children-fidget

An excerpt:  “Ironically, many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement.  In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time.  Just like with exercising, they need to do this more than just once-a-week in order to reap the benefits.  Therefore, having soccer practice once or twice a week is likely not enough movement for the child to develop a strong sensory system.”