Christmas From a Stepladder
Yeah well, our flat in Prague hadn’t been painted in 16 years and was looking a bit worse for wear—nothing serious, but a little patchy and so I found myself at the top of a stepladder on Christmas Eve. I told my wife that in 16 more years I would be 103 and had vowed to give up ladders on my 100th. So she was on her own from here on.
We don’t do resolutions, but have decided to move my Wake-up Call (the blog upon which you are getting this) back to its old Dark Side of the Moon moniker. The reasons are several, all of them personal: first of all, I miss the old site, it has some history for me, reaching back to 1999 and home to some 1600+ essays. Second, Wake-up Call doesn’t serve my personality, it’s very name is an effrontery to our bargain—me to write from time to time and you to support me in that effort
Point being, I hope when Dark Side of the Moon hits your inbox, you’ll not reject it as spam—it’s just the same old me
On other matters, I’ve been spending a bit less time on the Guardian, NYTimes and Washington Post websites and a bit more with a book in my hands. The horrors of the planet at the moment are simply too many to take in and a good book is like a quiet walk in the park, at least for me. My normal 50 books a year had dwindled alarmingly and I mean to correct that shortcoming.
Most all, but not everything slipped by my news nose
While I was swinging a brush, Volodomyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, made a lightning-quick visit to Washington, meeting with Joe Biden and then a joint-session of Congress where he got repeated standing ovations. The importance of that cannot be over emphasized, as congressional support was drifting.
Elsewhere, our hapless Republican majority in the House seems unable to elect a Speaker, a circumstance that effectively shuts down the government. Elsewhere further, Elon Musk has set a new record, this time as the first man ever to lose $200 billion of personal wealth. Apparently, his love-hate relationship with Twitter has no boundaries.
Reading-wise, Misha gifted me a book by Walter Tevis, The Queen’s Gambit. I am a chess player of lower-medium talent and much enjoyed the movie. What I didn’t know is that Tevis wrote the book 40 years ago and never knew it was made into a movie, as he died three years after its publication. No stranger to his books being made into movies, Tevis authored both The Hustler and The Color of Money. Unwrapping my gift, I smiled at Misha’s selection, thinking no one could possibly hold a deep enough love of chess to sustain an interest. Not so. The book is gripping and the movie follows it accurately.
And so we sail cautiously into the opening days of 2023, hoping the world will calm itself in times of very rough seas
I wish you all well, thank you very gratefully for your attention to what I write and promise something newly called The Dark Side of the Moon will appear in your inbox before long.
Be kind to it. Like an old dog, it has a long history and is eager to lick your hand.
Now, off to paint the bedroom…
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