Angsty, stressful week! No more of that.
I took a very last-minute trip to Tallahassee, Florida, escorting a friend. The day ultimately went well, but on the way home the flight from Tallahassee to Tampa was probably the most exciting of my life. I walked out onto the tarmac, and the plane was TINY. Eight windows on a side, double propellers. They tried to start the engine as we passengers walked up, and it just coughed pathetically the first two times. I felt like cheering when it finally caught on the third try. Inside, there was one seat on either side of the aisle. When I say tiny--I was sitting in the left window seat, and from there I could reach over and touch the right-side window. The guy I thought was the attendant turned out to be the copilot, and he retreated behind some incredibly flimsy plastic doors, leaving us passengers to our own devices. Literally--some guy played on his smartphone the whole flight. If we had all crashed and died, I would've been extremely cross with him.
It seemed touch and go whether we would get off of the ground, but we made it, even if it was only to slew around wildly for most of the flight. The cabin wasn't pressurized, and there seemed to be a very small hole in the wall right next to my seat, through which shockingly cold air poured. Every so often the propeller on the right made an alarming hacking sound. At some point the copilot opened the flimsy doors, and we could watch them in the cockpit. This was particularly interesting during the landing--I thought that process was mostly automated, but this time it took two guys constantly pulling levers and possibly looking just a little bit worried, going by the expression on the backs of their heads. But we did land successfully, even if it did sound like the landing gear snapped off in the process. No one else seemed concerned, so I decided not to be, either. ( Speaking of airline pilots...Collapse )
Been on an unbelievable old movie kick lately, thanks to my wonderful roommate, who came well-equipped with a very large collection of old Hollywood when she moved in. I definitely have an increasing appreciation for the films of the 30s, 40s, and 50s! I'm currently reading Errol and Olivia
by Robert Matzen, which (obviously) tells the story of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, stars of some of my very favorite old movies, The Adventures of Robin Hood
and Captain Blood
. Spoiler alert: Errol was a perfect jerk, and both of them were desperately unhappy. Guess Hollywood really hasn't changed much.
I had lots of time to read on Monday, as I risked life and limb in various aircraft. I read Long Ride Home
by Louis L'Amour, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
by Anne Fadiman, and The Four Loves
by C.S. Lewis, all in one day. (It was a very, very long day.)
The L'Amour western was nice and easy, and I hadn't read any of his books in ages. I first got hooked on Louis L'Amour westerns when the tiniest, sweetest, little old lady at church revealed that she possessed every book he'd ever written, and proceeded to lend large quantities of them to me. The mental image of this geranium-and-knitting-loving lady reading L'Amour's descriptions of bloody gunfights and brutal brawls still cracks me up a bit.
Fadiman's descriptions of herself and her reading could have been descriptions of me; it was hilarious to read her spot-on characterizations of voracious readers and how ridiculous they can be at times. And, I hope, how fascinating. I highly recommend all my readerly friends check this one out. :)
Lewis is brilliant, as always, and I sort of wish I hadn't saved him for my last flight home when I was already so tired, because his thoughts require a fair bit of digestion. Lewis puts things in ways I hadn't thought to consider them, and even if I don't necessarily agree with him, he's certainly mind-stretching. And eventually I do find myself agreeing on most things. It's only some of his generalizations about women that irk, and I think maybe he just didn't meet enough interesting and intellectual women during his lifetime.
Right now I'm also working on Go Down, Moses
by Faulkner. I know. I have a masochistic streak. I'm 185 pages in and am still a bit hazy as to what exactly is going on, but I certainly do prefer it to The Sound and the Fury
, that's certain. Will report!