Sunday, August 15, 2004

Workaholicism has been forced upon me for so long now that I can't remember what it's like to have leisure time. And here I sit on a Sunday afternoon, at my desk, supposedly getting ready to write about ethnic cleansing and U.S. national policy and my brain has suddenly turned to mush! I don't have a ghost's chance of making the deadline--the deadlines have been unrealistic and inhuman anyway. I got a week's extension on the last batch, so I automatically gave myself a week's extension on the second batch since I lost a week by extending the first. But still. I cannot research and write about such complicated issues so fast. I say I can't, but for the most part, I've been doing it anyway. An intercranial meltdown.

I've never been what you'd call a speedy writer anyway. I deliberate, I write and revise, then I deliberate so more.

This is all by a means of explaining where I have been since June 28th. I have been reading incessantly, but mostly about U.S. national security. And it has been fascinating to see the foreign policies of the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon administrations all fall into place. Oh, and don't forget Roosevelt and George W. Bush. It is astonishing how many of established U.S. foreign policies G.W. has dismantled. Appalling--in so short a time span.

I hope you skipped reading all that because now I'll get to the interesting stuff. What have I been reading this summer?

After the Plague, a collection of short stories by T. C. Boyle (crazy, but oh, so very good). To make matters worse, I have not been recording what I've been reading. I will do a search through my memory files and report back.

Oh, an excellent book! House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, which I read before I saw Fahrenheit 911. Unger's book is loaded with information gleaned from newspapers from all over. Using just journalistic sources, however, a reader can't be certain at all that they're accurate. Even so, if only a few are accurate, and I'm sure I can count on that, the Bush/Saudi connections are staggering to contemplate, in particular, the business connections and their ramifications for the political. If you've backed off from reading it because you find political books too dreary or too jam-packed with a boring recitation of facts, I recommend that you try Unger's book. I found that what he had to report was so compelling that I just had to keep reading.

And, I have caved in to the knitting sensation. Yes, I am knitting a sweater. I have not picked up a set of knitting needles since the 1970s, but I saw two women companionably knitting one afternoon on the comfy couch at Starbuck's and it hit me--what's missing from my work-crazed life right now is knitting! It's a very soothing pastime.


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