Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MY KID COULD PAINT THAT

Gentle Readers,

Last night I watched the documentary My Kid Could Paint That.

Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, the documentary follows little Marla Olmstead through success with her art work and through attacks that other people - namely, her father - did more than just get the paints out for her.

I think I would find the documentary troubling if the parents were livin' large off the bucks Marla has brought in.

But they seemed to be a nice normal family living in a normal house. They weren't out spending the money. Reportedly, it has gone into Marla's college fund.

I think the one mistake the parents made was allowing people to do so many articles and tv shows about her. Their lives would have been much easier if the people who showed and sold her work at their galleries had simply said, This is a wonderful local artist.

But of course, when she was successful, then people would have been going nuts to find out who Marla was.

I think when someone is successful, especially if that someone is a child, a lot of jealousy will crop up and the dream-stealers will come along in full force saying, That's baaaad. She's not doing that herself. She can't really paint.

If her dad gave her some direction, so what? Everything is derivative. And schools today go overboard forcing children to work in groups because supposedly Business says that public school graduates don't know how to work together. Let's support some possible team work between dad and daughter - although Mark Olmstead's paintings look absolutely nothing like Marla's. (A friend once told me that the one thing her daughter learned from working in a group was that she didn't want to work in a group.)

I wish I had been smart enough to give my kids some nice big canvases and plenty of paint and said Go for it. Be as a big and creative and colorful as you want.

What a lovely way to look at art and colors and childhood.

Love,

Lola

Saturday, April 17, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Happy Birthday (plus one month) Daddy. I miss you now more than ever. I wish I had told you every single day that I loved you and appreciated you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

SHE WORKS HARD FOR HER MONEY

Gentle Readers,

I regret to inform you that I am exhausted.

I put in at least 32 1/2 or maybe even 33 hours this week.

I am way behind on the following:

1. sleeping
2. watching tv
3. sleeping while watching tv
4. napping
5. watching movies
6. napping while watching movies

I am tired because I actually stayed awake during the census training. Yesterday one of my colleagues conked out and snored.

At least it wasn't the supervisor.

Love,

Lola

I'm hurt. That darn Dr. Heckle who was my follower for a couple of days and then jumped ship has a link on the WorkForced blog. What did Dr. Heckle do to rate that? I actually like WorkForced. I recommend reading Don Joe's current post on email. But whatever you do, don't click on that link to Dr. Heckle. Heckle, my two followers and I are out to get you.

But wait - WorkForced is one of my followers. Oh, 'tis a conundrum.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WE LOST DR. HECKLE

Gentle Readers,

I am so disappointed. For a couple of days I was up to three followers because someone new named Dr. Heckle had joined us and was even making some amusing comments on my posts.

But I just turned on the computer and alas, no more Dr. Heckle.

What a world, what a world, where people pronounce themselves followers and then drop out when the dirty question comes along - namely, how do people wipe in China and India if they don't have toilet paper?

Or was Heckle offended because I did not follow some blog protocol?

I guess I'll never know because I took a look at Heckle's blog, and I don't think I want to follow it. I just have so much room in my life for following. In reality, I'm a leader.

And as a born leader, tomorrow I finish my training as a crew leader for the census. Soon I will train the people who will pay you a little visit if you didn't mail back your census form.

I never thought I would work for the government. Never thought they would have a job that fits my abilities. I think I can handle this in spite of the fact that we couldn't get answers to some of our questions because our trainer/supervisor couldn't get answers to his questions.

I will do what I have done successfully many times in the past.

I will make it up as I go along.

However, that does not mean I will falsify information. I would never do such a thing. The census really is important. It decides how states will be represented in Congress and it brings funding to areas that need it, and probably some that don't, but that's life.

Love,

Lola

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

STILL ON THE TOILET

Gentle Readers,

If you click on View My Complete Profile, then you will see that one of the blogs I follow is called Meditations In An Emergency.

The author, Mysterg, has been travelling for quite some time now and in his most recent post he wrote about his visit to China. He has many, many questions about the Chinese, such as Why do they walk so slow?, but you can read those for yourself.

I found one question to be particularly interesting. He wants to know why the Chinese do not use toilet paper. Someone wrote in a comment that Indians (not Native Americans, people in India) also do not use toilet paper.

I am mystified by this. I used to live in such a rural area that I hung out with a bunch of retired farmers. They called themselves farm wives, but By God they drove trucks and tractors and worked in the fields and canned vegetables and washed and ironed and fed everybody and had babies and raised the kids, so I think they deserve a special name for what they did. I don't know what it should be, but these women were pretty darn amazing.

They all grew up on farms and from time to time the subject of outhouses came up because none of them had bathrooms in their homes until they were adults. They also said there wasn't any toilet paper in the outhouse - they wiped with the Sears Wish Book.

Now I sincerely doubt that in China and India they have LL Bean and Victoria's Secret catalogs in the bathrooms for wiping purposes.

So if they don't have toilet paper and they don't have the Sears Wish Book, then how in the heck do they wipe?

I can understand drip drying, but some unmentionable areas require more cleansing.

And what if you're from North America or Europe and staying in a hotel that caters to folks who are accustomed to having toilet paper? Do they not have toilet paper there either? I don't know where Mysterg is staying, but I pronounce myself utterly confused by this conundrum. And I am definitely not going any place where they don't provide me with toilet paper. And I will not accept a catalog as a substitute unless I have no other choice.

If anybody can explain the world toilet paper situation to me, I'd be thrilled to know the answer.

As you can tell, it doesn't take much to amuse or confuse me.

Love,

Lola

My farm women also spoke very casually about having polio as children. One of them had post-polio syndrome and suffered from such pain in her feet that she often sobbed when she stood up. Thank you, Dr. Jonas Salk, and please have your children vaccinated. Vaccinations do not cause autism, and I am the final word on the subject.

Monday, April 12, 2010

HOLOCAUST DAY

Gentle Readers,

I just realized today is Holocaust Rememberance Day. I can't let the sun go down without remembering the millions who died, and the millions more who somehow escaped death but suffered so horribly.

I once wrote a newspaper article about a woman from Ukraine who told me how the Nazis came to her village when she was a teenager. She said that overnight the Jewish families in the village disappeared. Then she and the other young people who were not Jewish were ordered to come to the village square.

She was afraid to go. Her grandmother told her to do whatever she was told to do and she would be all right.

And so she did. She obeyed every order as quickly as she could, no matter how hungry, exhausted, sick, or humiliated she was.

She was sent to Germany as slave labor. She survived the war and met a handsome young GI when the Americans finally arrived in Germany. They married and she became an American. By the time I met her, her hair was white, her handsome GI had been gone for many years, and she was so lonely.

She visited high schools and spoke to the students about how important it is not to use drugs. She said she would have given anything to have a crust of bread when she was their age, so they certainly had no excuse to use drugs.

I took my daughter along when I interviewed her. My daughter was 14, I believe. She sat across from this woman, who stroked my daughter's beautiful long hair and looked at her so lovingly. She talked and talked and told us stories. I could tell she was desperate to keep us there, to have some company, but eventually we had to go.

A story closer to the Holocaust that I've told before in my message center and will no doubt tell again is about the day my daughter, my husband, and I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. I didn't want to go. We were in D.C. for a Van Gogh exhibit and we couldn't get in. My daughter wanted to go to the Holocaust Museum and I didn't because I already knew so much and had seen so many pictures and it was just too much.

But that day I encountered a real face from the Holocaust, not just a photograph. We were in a room with bunks from Auschwitz, these horrible wood frames with slats that people were crowded into. A woman was patting the wood frame and crying.

A young woman who worked at the museum asked her not to touch them. She said with a heavy accent, "You don't understand. I slept in these."

And there was the Holocaust right in front of me.

Outstanding books about the Holocaust abound and there's no better place for a young person to start than The Diary Of A Young Girl. It was the first book I read that taught me something about the true faces of the Holocaust.

I saw a documentary some years ago on PBS about what happened to Anne Frank after she and her family were taken from their hiding place. Anne and her sister Margot survived for a time in a concentration camp. A woman who was in the same barracks said that Anne and Margot became ill. They slept near the door and when someone opened the door, Anne and Margot would cry out "Shut the Door!" because it was cold.

But then their cries became weaker and weaker until finally Anne cried out alone and then no one was left to cry out. She died two weeks before the camp was liberated.

Lord, I ask you, let her be remembered forever.

Love always,

Lola

BATHROOM BOOK

Gentle Readers,

Dr. Heckle very kindly agreed to sit on the toilet that was out with the trash near my house, but unfortunately, Heckle dear, the toilet is gone.

We have to concoct another scheme.

I have long wanted to get a group of people together at Lowe's and have them sit on the toilets (trou down) and get in the bathtubs and showers (sans all clothing) that are on display. I would photograph them and create a bathroom book. The photos are of people pretending to be in bathrooms and you put the book in your bathroom so people can browse while they're relaxing on the throne or soaking in the bubbles.

I am not out to create porn. I want a normal guy with a spare tire pretending to scrub his back in a shower; a woman wrapped in a towel emerging from a dry tub; rows of toilets sat upon by people all reading the same magazine or maybe working on those crossword puzzle books that some folks seem to enjoy so much -- pencils in hand, all in the same position. Everybody on the same page. Or maybe recreating The Thinker.

The possibilities are endless.

And imagine the hilarity of running around to get the photos before we got booted from the store. Maybe Home Depot wouldn't mind. I've never been in a Home Depot and seen anybody who seemed to care about anything.

Dr. Heckle, are you with me? Anybody else? Bueller? Bueller?

Love,

Lola

Just so ya know, I took my oath today and swore to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution as an employee of the 2010 Census. And because census info is confidential, I have nothing more to say. Even if Don Rumsfeld himself water boarded me, I would not divulge anything.
not
one
single
thing
except maybe to Dick Cheney because I don't want to have a hunting accident 'cuz you know that guy Cheney shot in the face worked for the census and he had all the dirt on Democrats. You knew that already, right? Right?
oops - i think i just violated my oath of office

Sunday, April 11, 2010

TALKIN' TRASH

Gentle Readers,

It is trash night in our neighborhood. That means tomorrow morning between 6 and 10 three trucks will pay us a visit.

One picks up the plain old trash. The second recovers recyclables (ours includes plenty of beer cans and bottles, thanks to my son). The third picks up what I call yard waste -- bags of leaves, branches . . . .

But on Trash Eve, some items disappear. It is well known around here that if the dog peed on your chair and it's not worth cleaning, or if the vacuum cleaner is broken and not even your mechanic son can fix it, you put the chair and the vacuum out with your trash and someone else will come along and pick them up within about 20 minutes.

Well, tonight I strolled around the corner during my evening constitutional with my favorite black Lab mix, and to my great delight I found a toilet! Out with the trash! Honestly, who throws out a toilet? And in this case, will one man's trash be another man's treasure?

I want desperately to find someone to sit on it, perusing a magazine, while drivers whiz by and ask, "Martha, was that a man sitting on a toilet in the street?"

Martha of course replies, "Don't be such an old fool. You need new glasses."

And I will take photos of it all before someone comes along and ruins the scene by making do with someone else's toilet.

Love,

Lola

Saturday, April 10, 2010

AMELIA AND UP IN THE AIR

Gentle Readers,

I recommend Amelia, which didn't get very good reviews.

Although the movie is kind of choppy at the beginning, it is a lushly filmed biopic, cinematographically beautiful. The love story between Amelia Earhart and her husband, George Putnam, is quite moving, maybe all the more so because Amelia didn't exactly have traditional views of marriage or a woman's role in life. I don't know if she really had an affair with Eugene Vidal, father of Gore, who adored her.

But I do know that the last twenty minutes of the movie are absolutely gripping, even though we know Earhart and her navigator are not going to find Howland Island. I also learned some interesting details about those last minutes, which I will not include here because I don't want to be a spoiler.

But instead of thinking of the crash that was to come but is not depicted on screen, since nobody really knows what happened, I'll think of Amelia as remaining Up In The Air, the second movie I watched recently. Actually, I couldn't sleep last night and I finished watching it at 3 a.m.

George Clooney is great as Ryan Bingham, as are Vera Farmiga as Alex and Anna Kendrick as Natalie, whose attempt to become a much smaller and younger female version of George's character is very amusing. Melanie Lynskey, who is so charming and engaging as Ginger Whitacre in The Informant, also has a small part.

Ryan Bingham lives up in the air, except when he's in an airport making a connection with his next flight. It's when he finally makes a human connection that his life and the movie depart from what I thought was going to be a sophisticated romantic comedy. One of my criteria for an especially interesting movie is one that doesn't follow convention.

Although convention is turned on its ear (I didn't see what was coming even though I usually know who the murderer is within ten pages of reading a mystery), Ryan Bingham is changed by his experiences. And I felt changed too.

I got down on my knees (I'm usually not a knee pray-er) and asked God to show me what I'm supposed to do with my life. I don't know yet, but I certainly feel a great sense of peace today.

I will learn in time.

Love,

Lola

DOG 1 SQUIRREL 0

Gentle Readers,

Last night I was sitting at the computer when I heard THUD outside. Knowing that my silky soft bad boy collie was in the back yard alone, I figured I'd better check on him.

And there he was, standing over a poor pathetic little squirrel that must have made the thud when he was taken down. I told Naughty Child to "Come" and "Leave It". He turned away for just a moment and then turned right back and gave Mr. Squirrel a good shaking meant to teach him a lesson.

I could see the squirrel was still alive, though barely twitching. Bad Boy and I then got into an argument that eventually led me down the steps of the deck to have a serious talk with him.

He finally obeyed and scurried into the house. I hoped the squirrel would somehow rouse himself and crawl out under the gate, but a few minutes later he was one dead squirrel, beady little eyes staring but not seeing, and I used my pooper scooper to get him into a garbage bag so someone wouldn't carry him into the house and deposit him on my lap as a gift.

I made some noises of disgust as I scooped squirrel, but I didn't cry. This type of thing was once upon a time a husbandly job, but I did it, and I didn't scream or cry.

I sent my son a text telling him about it and asking if I should save the squirrel and prepare a hearty stew for him. He said, "Sounds great." Maybe he'll give up being a vegetarian when he's faced with the happy prospect of succulent squirrel.

One of my sisters was awakened one night when her dog put a dead squirrel in bed with her. That's why I don't have a doggie door. My neighbor said her dog brought a deceased squirrel in and put it on a pillow. I guess the dog thought the squirrel deserved a nice rest.

The strange thing about squirrels here is that they aren't very big. They are surprisingly skinny.

I do believe the rats are larger.

Good night and good morning.

Love,

D F W

Friday, April 9, 2010

SETTLEMENT COMPETITION

Gentle Readers,

I had a nice long talk with my lawyer today.

I think we're finally past all the fa-la-la lawyer crap with my husband's attorney and we're about to get down to business.

My lawyer actually seems to take me seriously. He says reaching a settlement is not like buying a used car. We aren't going to go back and forth with numbers. He says my husband's offer is way too low (I told ya so). He calculated what I should receive based on an established formula.

And that's that.

So there.

We have a hearing coming up in a few days and I believe we'll start to see some progress then. I'll keep you informed to the best of my ability, but I can't let you see my cards so no sneaking around to look over my shoulder.

Love,

Dumped First Wife

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SAINT NO MAYBE

Gentle Readers,

I hereby nominate Anne Tyler for sainthood.

I just finished Noah's Compass and I absolutely loved it.

Liam, the protagonist, has a touch of Macon Leary in him - particular about grammar, a wee bit fussy, a tiny bit like . . . me.

Macon, of course, lives in my favorite Tyler novel, The Accidental Tourist. This book is touching, funny, clever, poignant. I think of the Leary family playing Vaccination and I never fail to smile.

The movie based on the book is quite good, too.

I'm also extremely fond of Saint Maybe, A Patchwork Planet, and Ladder of Years.

However, I think Tyler's masterpiece is Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant.

It's so beautifully written it's almost more than I can bear.

So, here's to you Saint Anne. Long may you write.

Love,

Dumped First Wife

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

MIRACLE ARM

Gentle Readers,

If you did not see The Colbert Report last night on Comedy Central, I highly recommend that you try to catch it when the show reruns this evening at 7:30 EDT. The episode is also available online at The Colbert Nation Web site, which you can access by clicking on the link.

Stephen's guest is Dean Kamen, CEO of Deka Research and Technology and the inventor of an advanced prosthetic arm. Kamen explains that the Department of Defense came to him and asked that his company invent the arm for soldiers who have suffered amputations.

The interview includes footage of an amputee using the arm and hand to eat, which Kamen said the gentleman learned to do within ten hours. Kamen also said that the man's wife told him that her husband was feeding himself for the first time in 19 years.

I found it quite moving and amazing.

Love,

Dumped First Wife

Thursday, April 1, 2010

GET TO KNOW BARTLEBY

Gentle Readers,

Today I offer information about Bartleby, a character in a short story of the same name by Herman Melville. Since I posted a poem based on Bartleby yesterday, I want to introduce you to this interesting fellow. I believe he's going to show up in another poem before long.

In "Bartleby," Herman Melville uses symbolism to develop the theme of the devastating consequences of man's total withdrawal from a society that is already isolating and unaccepting.

When the story first appeared in Putnam's Monthly Magazine for November and December, 1853, it was

BARTLEBY, THE SCRIVENER
A Story of Wall Street

Perhaps the original title is the more appropriate of the two, for walls play a significant role in "Bartleby." The lawyer/narrator describes the setting: "My chambers were up stairs, at No. --- Wall Street. At one end, they looked upon the white wall of the interior of a spacious sky-light shaft, penetrating the building from top to bottom." Furthermore, "the view from the other end of my chambers . . . commanded an unobstructed view of a lofty brick wall, black by age and everlasting shade" that "was pushed up to within ten feet of my window panes." The lawyer realizes that the view is "deficient in what landscape painters call 'life'." In like manner, the office "building" is the sort that is "entirely unhallowed by humanizing domestic associations."

Appropriately, the walls also have an important function inside the office. The lawyer describes the interior of his chambers: " . . . ground glass folding-doors divided my premises into two parts, one of which was occupied by my scriveners, the other by myself. According to my humor, I threw open these doors, or closed them." Although these interior walls are somewhat different from those outside the office, they do allow the lawyer to separate himself from his employees--and to isolate them--when he chooses to do so.

The lawyer himself is also a symbol. He does "a snug business among rich men's bonds, and mortgages, and title deeds." He is a name-dropper: "I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat; for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John Jacob Astor's good opinion." Furthermore, the lawyer embodies man's detachment from his fellow man. The walls of Wall Street are more than acceptable to him--they are desirable. He enjoys the "cool tranquillity of a snug retreat," and although he belongs to a profession prone "to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort [has he] ever suffered to invade [his] peace." He does, however, allow his peace to be invaded by his problematical scriveners, Turkey and Nippers. Turkey works well during the morning, but following "his dinner hour," the drunken Turkey's "business capacities" become "seriously disturbed." Nippers, on the other hand, works poorly in the morning because of "indigestion . . . , while in the afternoon he [is[ comparatively mild." Nonetheless, Turkey is "in many ways a most valuable person," so the lawyer is "willing to overlook his eccentricities." Nippers, too, can be tolerated because he is "useful" at least part of the time. But no character in the story seems to have a home or family. The lawyer is on his own, and, apparently, he expects that others should not need any human attachments either. He is interested in his employees only in regard to the work they perform.

And their work is wretched, for "copying law papers [is] proverbially a dry, husky sort of business." The lawyer admits: "It is a very dull, wearisome, and lethargic affair. I can readily imagine that, to some sanguine temperaments, it would be altogether intolerable." He even states that if Nippers "wanted anything, it was to be rid of a scrivener's table altogether." Yet the lawyer never attributes his employees' less than ideal performance to the fact that their jobs are tedious and low-paying "at the usual rate of four cents a folio (one hundred words)."

The lawyer, Turkey, and Nippers function moderately well--until Bartleby arrives. "The good office . . . of a Master in Chancery [is] conferred upon" the lawyer, and he needs "additional help." "After a few words touching his qualifications," the lawyer hires Bartleby, who seems to be quite "sedate." Bartleby works in a "corner by the folding doors" where there is "a small side window" which "commanded at present no view at all." The lawyer states: "Within three feet of the panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above, between two lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still further to a satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice." The purpose of the screen, then, although it can be moved, is to segregate Bartleby.

And we soon see that Bartleby exemplifies the ignored, overlooked worker. He toils alone, performing "an extraordinary quantity of writing." Day and night, Bartleby writes "on silently, palely, mechanically," performing the work that must be "closely written in a crimpy hand." His corner is his "hermitage." But then, the lawyer calls Bartleby in "to examine a small paper with [him]." Bartleby responds: "'I would prefer not to'." In the course of the story, Bartleby uses the phrase "prefer not to" in some form twenty-three times. He prefers not to answer question; he "prefer[s] not to be a little reasonable"; he "prefer[s] to be left alone"; but most of the time, he simply "prefers not to. Through Melville's use of this "prefer not to" motif, Bartleby develops into a symbol of "passive resistance."

In a wonderfully comedic segment, everyone in the office starts "preferring." First, the lawyer discovers that he "had got into the way of involuntarily using the word 'prefer' upon all sorts of not exactly suitable occasions." Then Turkey suggests that Bartleby might "prefer to take a quart of good ale every day," and the lawyer cries, "So you have got the word, too'." Turkey replies: "'Oh, prefer? oh yes--queer word. I never use it myself. But, sir, as I was saying, if he would but prefer--'." The lawyer "tremble[s] to think that [his] contact with the scrivener had already and seriously affected [him] in a mental way." Soon, Bartleby's preferences--or non-preferences--take over the entire office, and he trains the lawyer not to bother him: " . . . every added repulse . . . only tended to lessen the probability of [the lawyer] repeating the inadvertence." But Bartleby is "useful" to the lawyer, so he "can get along with" Bartleby. Besides, humoring Bartleby allows the lawyer to "lay up in [his] soul what will eventually prove a sweet morsel for [his] conscience."

Unfortunately, though, Bartleby goes too far. He begins by "throw[ing] himself into a standing reverie behind his screen." Next, "for long periods he would stand looking out, at his pale window behind the screen, upon the dead brick wall" He "decide[s] upon doing no more writing." He is no longer "useful," so the lawyer tells Bartleby "he must unconditionally leave the office." He prefers not to go. The lawyer is "exasperated," but "self-interest" drives him to "charity and philanthropy." He allows Bartleby to stay, but "all through the circle of [his] professional acquaintance, a whisper of wonder was running round, having reference to the strange creature [he] kept at his office." In fear of the disdain of his peers, the lawyer decides: "Since he will not quit me, I must quit him. I will change my offices . . . . " The green screen is the last item to be removed, leaving Bartleby "the motionless occupant of a naked room." But even in his "new quarters," the lawyer is not so easily rid of Bartleby. The "landlord of No. --- Wall Street" pays him a visit, for Bartleby "now persists in haunting the building generally . . . . clients are leaving the offices; some fears are entertained of a mob; something you must do, and that without delay." The lawyer visits Bartleby and attempts to offer him new employment; Bartleby "prefer[s] not to make any change." The lawyer even offers to take Bartleby to his "dwelling," but it is too late. Bartleby prefers not to go; he has withdrawn completely from society. The lawyer escapes the city.

Bartleby's preferences now initiate a shift in the story's setting. He is "removed to the Tombs as a vagrant." When the lawyer returns, he visits Bartleby who is "in the inclosed grass-platted yards" of the prison, "his face towards a high wall." A few days later, inside "the surrounding walls, of amazing thickness," the lawyer finds "the wasted Bartleby," who now sleeps "with kings and counselors" where "prisoners rest together, . . . and the servant is free from his master" (Job 3:18, 19).

Later, the lawyer hears "that Bartleby had been a subordinate clerk in the Dead Letter Office at Washington . . . . Dead letters! does it not sound like dead men?"

While it is true that the lawyer is partly responsible for Bartleby's fate, he does undergo some change, which we see most clearly when he actually invites Bartleby into his home. This alteration is articulated in his concluding words: "Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!"

Although society may be isolating and unaccepting, ultimately, Bartleby must be held responsible for his own destiny. We should not set apart those who are different, but obviously, it is not very healthy for Bartleby to refuse to participate when he IS invited into a group. The folding doors and the green screen could be moved.


And, thus, Gentle Readers, I introduce to you one of my favorite themes in literature and in life: the interconnectedness of humankind.

Oh, but poor Herman Melville. The guy just couldn't catch a break. For awhile he wrote best-selling romances, but he couldn't make himself continue. He was no Nora Roberts (thank you God). He started writing short stories and novels with philosophical themes and his sales plummeted.

However, I attended an antiquarian book fair sponsored by the American Booksellers Association in Washington, D.C. during 1997. A work inscribed by this man who could not earn a living as a writer during his lifetime was offered for sale at the price of $30,000.00.

Love,

Dumped First Wife