Monday, August 27, 2007

Moby Dick

I have friends visiting in September for a long weekend. I can't wait and with the varied diets that we all need I'm planning now for the food. I love company. I love cooking for them. Cooking just for myself is dull, cooking for others is fun. So I'm going to cook fancy. To do that yesterday I went grocery shopping with last week and this week money and was able to put over 40 meals in the freezer. No recipes to post since it's nothing you haven't already seen here. My basic staples. But I also bought the ingredients for granola. I'll put that up when I make it in the next few weeks. Now that I'm set for me for a good long time I can start buying the things I need for that grand weekend. Wild Oats here I come.

The library didn't have The Tale of Two Cities. I was looking around and almost picked up The Great Gatsby which I have read several times. But I found Moby Dick. On Morning Addition every saturday Leann asks a person what they are reading. At the end of the segment she asks "what would you read if you have all the time in the world" My answer has been Moby Dick.

When I was in college I transferred from the biology department to the art department after my third year in school. And before you think that a bad choice since my biology degree was almost done, let me point out from flunking the math and chemistry and upper level biology courses and taking them twice, and a for a few 3 times, to pass I was barely past the freshman biology courses. It was high time I left that college since it was obvious to everyone but me from the beginning that I was never going to get through any chemistry classes and unlikely any of the upper level biology ones.

So I hit the art department with all of my electives done and only art classes left. Taking more than 2 art classes a semester just wasn't possible while working full time like I did. But I needed to take at least 9 credit hours to be a college student and keep my job. So I took every literature class taught by Mr. Gillespie.

Literature classes had a fairly light load of only meeting 3 hours a week and reading one book every other week with only a paper for each book as homework and a term paper for the final. So writing a paper every other week, a paper about my own observations, was a breezes against the right and wrong of chemistry or the full out long hours that had to be putting into painting. It's not that writing papers is easy for me. It's actually a struggle and I knew that I needed to read each book twice to understand it but Literature taught by Mr. Gillespie was something I looked forward to. Even after all of his years teaching he still had passion.

When taking American Lit from him we read some short stories by Herman Melville then moved on to Emily's poems. Mr. Gillespie was sad that Moby Dick was too long to read in class and even sadder that such a good book was not being read at all. That maybe pretty soon nobody would read it and it would be lost along the way. Exstict as a book. That stuck with me and I picked it up from time to time but never made it past the first page. But it was always the book I would read if I had all the time in the world.

Well with books on tape I do have all of the time in the world. I listen to something all day long anyway. Why not a book instead of the TV or the radio? There is nothing nicer than knitting to a good story. And Moby Dick is good. And funny. I would never have guessed. I'm laughing along with (and sometime at) this book more than any of Douglas Adams'. I thought I would make it through the first few chapters then put it aside after giving it a god try but I'm loving it. Already I'm thinking to the next time I'll 'read' it.

After all I was working on homework and concentrating and missed the why of the mystery men in the hold. Herman talks so much I was sure they would be explained again later so I didn't rewind. Well instead I have had harpoons explained to me 3 different ways, the ways to draw whales explained twice, the weather in china, the way to eat whale steak, what whales eat, how to name them, how to fall asleep while on watch, but not why these extra mystery people are in the hold. Hilarious!

I'm now well past that part and am waiting eagerly for them to pop up again. But I am sad of the foreshadowing in this book. Not subtle Herman. It's sad to know who is a goner by the end of the first disk. And did you say? Is Mr. Starbuck single? Not many hansom quakers in this part.

Ernest Hemingway is next and he will bring shorter clearer posts.

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