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Marilee J. Layman

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May 22nd, 2011

12:05 am: Bookgroup 10th Anniversary

I did finish the book last night. I was so sleepy and nodding off at 2am that I set the alarm to 4am and slept for two hours then finished the book. I forgot to reset the alarm for noon, but I woke up by myself at 12:30pm and actually got to the library early.

Our 10th anniversary was actually last month, but we didn't meet then because so many people would be gone or otherwise busy -- Easter was the next day -- so we had cake today. We went out to a place I'd never gone, Bungalow Alehouse, and there did seem to be a lot of kids for a place that has a gazillion brands of beer. The beer people at our table (three of the six of us) kept passing theirs around and commenting. I thought the steak & cheese sandwich was good, but the restaurant is toward the east end of the county.

They had sports monitors all over the walls, plus a giant monitor showing the Preakness. That's at Pimlico and Pimlico lost money last year because they said people couldn't drink there. So this year, not only could people (most 21-30) drink, but they were encouraged to by an ad (and actual actor/costume appearances in bars) for Kegasus. (Of course, Pegasus was a winged horse while Kegasus is a centaur.)

I picked up a new book at the library today (and there's people waiting for all four copies -- took me two months to get this one) called The Warmth of Other Suns : the Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. It's about how blacks moved from the south to the north and northwest for better lives, and at the same time, changing the country.

I was online until I wanted to watch two shows and now I'm back. I did the grocery list while I was watching the TV and may take time to read part of yesterday's paper tonight.

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12:22 am: Cities in Flight by James Blish

My copy of this is the first omnibus from 1970 -- my first book from SFBC -- and I really loved it back then when I was 15. Now? Too lecture-laden and very boring. All of us who read it back then don't like it now and I was the only one in the 12-person group who actually finished it.

There's four short novels and they are in chronological order in the omnibus, but they weren't written in that order. The first book isn't bad, and they discover anti-gravity and the machines that do it are called "spindizzies"; they also discover an anti-agathic med so people can live as long as they have the meds and don't get killed. The first colonists go out. At this time, the Believers are gathering to be saved.

Earth loses the spindizzy and then finds it again and the next three books are about what happens to New York, New York when they take off. They planned to do work for people on planets, but that doesn't turn out well, and then they have to fight back a fundamentalist religious group -- the Web of Hercules -- before the high-level city people die and make new universes. They think.

It's rare for us to agree at this level. The people who didn't finish the book couldn't stand reading more (books were thrown) and I finished it but didn't like it any better.

(Just imagine the jokes and laughs we had with Believers and the Web of Hercules on May 21st!)

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04:20 pm: Three Days-worth of Newspapers

When I finished my solitaire last night (losing lots of games and just assigning it to my long day), I didn't read any newspapers, I just went to bed at 2am. I read the extra bits (84 pages!) on the new book I checked out and then slept from 3:30am until 1pm.

I watched the tape of Meet the Press while I went through Sunday's paper and then rearranged all three days of newspapers back in order. Now I'm washing sheets and then will do some of my laundry. I had planned to do the adapter today, but it's dark out. I'm home most days next week, though, and I'm sure one will be okay.

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