Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Two Things

This morning I decided to start the day by reading scripture: Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. This slender little book is holy writ to editors and writers, and I read it like a born again Christian reading the gospel: “Oh yes! Oh, sweet Jesus, yes!” My grammar is far from perfect, but I love reading the rules and the examples of perfection. I was pleased to note that in a series of words, “red, white, and blue,” for example, there needs to be a comma before the and, but in the name of a business or partnership, like, say, “Women, Women and Song,” the comma is not used. That's the kind of thing I worry about, and I was relieved to see that the authority on punctuation said that the way I always wrote the trio's name was acceptable usage.
Of course, I have also come to believe that punctuation is an art as much as a science. How you punctuate is the way you apply your verbal brush strokes. I still believe that periods, commas, question marks, and exclamation points go inside quotation marks, not outside, although I'm aware that that is subject to personal and cultural opinion. My personal opinion is “outside,” and that's how I'm going to do it.

There are few things so pleasant as a cool evening after a hot day. We open the windows and let the refreshing breeze soothe us awake from the torpor of the mid-day heat. I have always regretted that the price for such a delicious evening is to live through the blazing day. But there it is, summer again, with its rewards and punishments.
Today was hot and I felt like I'd run a marathon even though what I really did was sit on the couch with ice on my bad knee, folding laundry and watching the last two episodes of season 2 of “Breaking Bad.” This series is not an upper, but it is so well done.
Then when Rick came home we watched the 1974 movie, The Taking of Pelham 123. A remake of this movie is opening in theaters right now, with Denzel Washington in the Walter Matthau part, I believe. It was fun to see several actors as their younger selves: Matthau, Jerry Stiller, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo. It was also fun to see 1974 again – the clothes, the hair cuts, the cars.
Having turned in almost four hours of television watching, I didn't really think I should feel worn out, but I did. Then the sun went down, we opened the windows, and now, at almost midnight, with a cool breeze passing through and frogs and crickets whooping it up out in the night, I feel downright alert and energetic. Just in time to go to bed.

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