Pretending Your Life Is Better Than It Is & Reading Petronius During a Storm

Lightning at sunset, June 24, 2015

Lightning at sunset, June 24, 2015

It rained on Wednesday morning.

It rained all day.

It rained all night.

By 2 a.m. Thursday, I was jittery.

The thunder roared constantly.

I turned up the fan to drown out the thunder.

I could still hear the thunder.

I worried about the cats. One  was in hiding;  another mewed from a corner behind a door.  I  scooped her up and pulled a quilt over both of us.  It was too warm, but it calmed us.

We were terrified.

If we just get under the quilt…

But the thunder is really, really loud.

I was so nervous.

Satyrica Petronius 61Wxl+AAhVL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I read a few pages of Petronius, because I just received my copy of an excellent new Latin edition, The Satyrica of Petronius: An Intermediate Reader with Commentary and Guided Review (Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture Series) by Beth Severy-Hoven.  It is a superb alternative to the other Latin Petronius texts, which include M. G. Balme’s heavily-adapted The Millionaire’s Dinner Party,  and Gilbert Lawall’s Petronius: Selections from the Satyricon, a very disappointing edition that provides so many notes that it is virtually translated for the students.

I was very happy to find Severy-Hoven’s book at Amazon, because it is so, so difficult to find Latin texts.  Her commentary and background essays are also appropriate for undergraduates and high school students.

By the way, those who dislike Charlie Hebdo would really  hate the vulgarity of Petronius!

Junked Garage! Or the Wreck of the Linden


On June 17, 2014, a storm with 70-mile-per-hour winds blasted through our city.  It ripped up a linden tree and pitched it on top of our garage.

Our back yard looks magical, doesn’t it?  All that pretty green. But there is a scrunched garage beneath it.

IMG_2935We wandered outside bleary-eyed.  No power.  No coffee.  No, no, no. Nothing.

I couldn’t face reality.  I rushed to the coffeehouse.  “Two Epic Sumatras please.”

We sat down and waited for the tree guys.

IMG_2965They worked hard and fast in an emergency.

IMG_2972Trees were down all over the city, but our wrecked garage was voted “worst of the month” by the insurance inspector.

IMG_2976When the tree guys heard another tree creaking across the street, they cut it down gratis.  They were like firemen.

garage and treeWe had to look at the garage whenever we sat in the back yard all summer.  I stopped sitting in the back yard.

IMG_2988 The garage contractors finally demolished and removed the remains in August.

They began building the new garage in mid-October.

It was a very cold end of October when they finished.

Climate change, my dears.

We feel much better now that the garage is built.

And to quote R.E.M.’s “Half a World Away”:

Oh, this lonely world is wasted
Pathetic eyes, high-alive
Blind eye that turns to see
The storm it came up strong
It shook the trees and blew away our fear
I couldn’t leave it here
To go it alone, hold it along
Haul it along and hold it
Go it alone hold it along

And here’s the video: