Thursday, September 27, 2018
Dickens, and Some Unsavory Subjects
I've decided I'm going to read "Oliver Twist." Somehow I've never read it -- in fact I'd never read any Dickens until I tackled "A Tale of Two Cities" about eight years ago. I enjoyed that, and so far I'm enjoying Oliver too. Despite his typically verbose Victorian style, Dickens is a good writer. I've even toyed with the idea of trying to read all of Dickens, but that might be going overboard. The man wrote voluminously.
I've already mentioned my goal to get to "Barnaby Rudge," in order to read some less-famous Dickens and see how it compares. But I suppose before I do that I should broaden my experience with more famous Dickens, like "The Pickwick Papers" and "David Copperfield."
There's a lot of reading to be done.
In other news, just FYI, I have blocked exactly 999 pornographic Facebook accounts from my mom's feed of "suggested friends." I know this because last night -- while blocking more -- I counted them. (You may recall that several months ago my 81-year-old mom inadvisably friended a few unsavory people by accident, and even though we quickly de-friended them, it has forever changed her "suggested friend" algorithm. I've been trying to delete-and-block to shift it back to suggesting normal people. Sometimes it seems like it's working, and sometimes not.) I have removed but not blocked dozens and dozens of other "suggested friends," mostly from the Philippines, North Africa, Viet Nam, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia, where my mom has never traveled and knows no one. Dave and my brother both think we should just delete her account and start over, but my mom doesn't want to do that.
It's probably silly that I'm so focused on trying to manage this ridiculously minor problem, but I suppose it feels like one of the few ways I can help take care of her from this great distance.
Finally, Dave and I are having more household maintenance drama. Our wastewater drain, which connects underground to the sewer at the street, appears to be blocked. Water is bubbling up into the area where we store our trash cans and flowing onto the sidewalk. It's not a pleasant situation. I reported it on the 17th and the maintenance company said they'd get moving on it, but since then nothing has happened and yesterday Mrs. Kravitz sent me some justifiably angry texts. So today I'm going to get on the phone and switch into high-pressure mode to get the situation resolved. Maybe I'll threaten to call the health authorities, because while it is very Dickensian to have raw wastewater flowing in the street, I'm pretty sure it breaks the law.
(Photo: Swans and peas in Cricklewood, early this month.)