Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Pipe Joint



I woke up ridiculously early this morning. Our clocks changed on Sunday, falling back an hour, so when I woke up at 4:30 a.m., my body thought it was 5:30, which is at least closer to when I'd normally get out of bed. I lay there for a while but couldn't fall asleep again, so I got up to steal a shower before Dave. Now here I am, dressed, and it's only 5:39 a.m.!

This time change has really messed with my internal clock for some reason. I could barely hold my eyes open last night as we watched "The Great British Bake-Off" and indeed I nodded off during the showstopper, waking only in time to see that Sura's raw cake batter sent her home. (I think we may be an episode behind?) It was only 8:30!

I'm tempted to join the chorus of voices calling for an end to British Summer Time and Daylight Saving Time. People say, "Oh, but if the clocks don't change, children will have to wait for the school bus in the dark." Well, I remember waiting for the school bus in the dark, even with Daylight Saving Time, and it didn't kill me. And are there still agricultural reasons for this change, given that we now have sophisticated farm equipment and artificial lighting? I'm skeptical. But admittedly, I've never worked on a farm.

On another topic -- when I routinely walk through Golders Hill Park with Olga, we always pass this object (above). Usually it's swarming with about a hundred kids, but when we passed it on Sunday it was basking in splendid isolation, so I had a chance to take a good autumnal photo. I always thought it was a big pipe joint, put there for kids to play on. But when I looked more closely I realized the "pipe joint" had a raised floor, and that seemed unlikely.

Turns out it's a sculpture called "Gazebo" by British artist Wendy Taylor, from 1983. Wendy, I apologize for thinking your sculpture was a pipe.

So Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. I'm hopeful that as conservative and religious as she is personally, she'll wind up being open-minded enough not to become a monster a la Clarence Thomas. She seems like a genuinely decent human being, free of the character questions that plagued Brett Kavanaugh -- so that's something. (I'm trying to be positive, here.) We'll see how it goes.

Yesterday at work I wrote about my latest Newbery read, "...And Now Miguel." I wasn't crazy about it, and when I looked at Goodreads to see how other people described this 245-page novel about a shepherd boy in New Mexico, I found possibly the funniest review I've ever seen on that site. Hopefully Goodreads user Julie won't mind if I republish it here:

As we approached page 121 of this read aloud last night, my 10-year-old slowly slumped forward on the bed, a finger plugged in each ear. She didn't say a word, just slowly fell forward in silence.

I pulled her left finger out of her left ear and said, “What's up, honey?”

She looked up at me with glazed eyes and said, “I can't listen to one more word of this story.”

I looked over at my 12-year-old, who was busy sketching a picture of an animal (not a sheep), and, without looking up, she said, “It's over, Mom.”

Over?

Over for Miguel? The boy who wanted to grow up quickly so he could be a shepherd of his father's flock? The boy who aspired to climb the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of his native New Mexico, circa 1953?

“Over, Mom. Over.”

49 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Why didn't you snap photos of children swarming around the big pipe joint? I am sure that their parents would have been delighted. What a great honour to have your child's picture taken by a bona fide member of The Royal Photographic Society!

Mary said...

Julie's book review--or rather her children's commentary--is hilarious.

My life so far said...

Out of the mouth's of babes.

Ursula said...

As Gazebos go it most definitely will look better with children clambering over it. On its own it is ugly, with no charm, no redeeming features.

There is plenty of merit in you, the photographer, documenting the stark contrast between the tree (nature) and this soul less (wo)man made piece of holes, seemingly plonked there accidentally. Maybe the truck carrying it ran out of petrol. And the driver thought "This is as good a place as any".

U

Ursula said...

If Steve had [with kids swarming] we wouldn't have seen the structure (pure nature - please do use French pronunciation for maximum effect), would we?

U

Susan said...

That was definitely the best book review I've ever read. We are 'falling back' in time (please, god, no) this Sunday and I am not looking forward to it. I'm an early riser and it's going to wreak havoc with my mornings. That is definitely an 80s piece, isn't it? At least it's interactive. I am only very slightly hopeful that the new SCJ will face decisions as a judge and not as a religious, conservative mother of seven.

ellen abbott said...

I like daylight savings time. I'm not an early riser and I like an extra hour of light in the evening. I hate switching back and forth though. pick one and stick with it, preferably DST.

The kids know.

Ms. Moon said...

That's hysterical!!!!
"Over, mom. Over."

Sharon said...

I'm glad we don't take part in daylight savings time. Another hour of sunshine here during the summer would be murder. I love that book review. I can even relate. My friend loaned me the Mary Trump book "Too Much and Never Enough". I started reading it but put it down and just couldn't bring myself to pick it up again. I finally gave it back to her over the weekend. I already know he's an awful person, I don't need to know any more about him. I just want him gone.

Red said...

The review may be funny but it makes a good point.

Ellen D. said...

Funny review! Here in the US we will set our clocks back this weekend coming up.
I hope your positive outlook on Amy Coney Barrett will be true. Most of what I read here doesn't seem very optimistic about her at all. Holding my breath for the upcoming election - hoping for a huge BLUE win!

robin andrea said...

I think the whole time changing thing is an absurdity that has to stop. Why not just ask people to go to work an hour earlier in summer? What's the difference?
That book review is the BEST.

Edna B said...

We get to turn our clocks back this weekend. That sculpture does look like a big pipe. To me, at least. This sort of stuff just does not do anything for me. Does it have a meaning? If it does, it escapes me. I do love the trees in the photo though. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

The Bug said...

I love that review - hilarious! And I'm with Ellen - I'd like to just stick with one, and I would prefer DST because I'm not a morning person either. The time change didn't really bother me much when I was younger, but now it seems to take my body a couple of weeks to adjust. Ours changes on Sunday, and coupled with the election on Tuesday, I am planning to ask the boss to just shut the office down next week. Ha!

Allison said...

I'm happy that Arizona does not participate in DST. It does, however, confuse my laptop and the atomic clock in the kitchen. I have no hope that Barrett will be a good justice. Her membership in a cult does not inspire me with confidence that she'll be an independent judge.

Catalyst said...

Ah the critics. Always the critics. And at such a young age, too.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I, too, am hoping the end of daylight savings time comes soon. As for Gazebo: Yeah, it looks like a giant pipe joint. As such, it's fun. UC San Diego has an campus sculpture collection called the Stuart Collection. I love some of the pieces. Other annoy me. One is a marble water (drinking) fountain. It's setting is ugly with a long walkway leading to it. The artist however was indignant when it was referred to as a water fountain. (It IS a traditional looking water fountain.) It's called "Untitled." I always thought "Pretentious Git"! And he was paid for it! Maybe Gazebo artist is less pretentious and simply being ironic. It DOES work as a gazebo.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Argh! A lot of typos in my comment. Sorry!

John Going Gently said...

Your blog flommaxed me, then I realised it was LAST weeks bake off you were watching

37paddington said...

LOL, that is a fantastic review, though I don't think the author would much appreciate it. I'm impressed by this mother, reading to her 10 and 12 year olds. Now I just feel like a slacker mom because as soon as my two could read books for themselves, they were on their own.

Andrew said...

Given how late the sun sets in our country in the summer, I don't understand the need for daylight saving. The extra hour never worries me. It is when it is taken away that I don't like.

Alphie Soup said...

Remove the piece of brutalist sculpture and you would have a decent autumn photo..
I don't have a problem with DST where I live, a day or so either way and things soon settle down.
Alphie

Debby said...

My grandson had about the same response To My Side of the Mountain.

Elizabeth said...

I didn't realize your Daylight Savings Time was different than ours, which is this weekend! Also, I respectfully disagree that ACB is a decent person. I believe a decent person wouldn't have accepted a nomination from Trump during an incredibly divisive time. A decent person also wouldn't have brought all her friends and family unmasked to the Rose Garden and contributed to that super-spreader event. Finally, a decent person wouldn't have gone to the White House after her final confirmation and appeared with Dear Leader on a balcony, Mussolini-style. She's gross and a political opportunist.

lea said...

I agree!

lea said...

At the Art Museum here there is a large, upright round ring with a split at the top. My husband looked at it and said "It's a lock washer". So much for our art appreciation.
Love that book review!

Steve Reed said...

I never photograph kids, as a rule. That way there be dragons!

Steve Reed said...

I laughed so hard my boss asked me what I was reading!

Steve Reed said...

Right?!

Steve Reed said...

I think it might be cool in the private garden of a sleek mid-century house. In the park, though, I'm not so sure.

Steve Reed said...

I've never had as much trouble adjusting to a one-hour time change as I have this fall.

Steve Reed said...

Kids DO know. They tell it like it is.

Steve Reed said...

I laughed so hard!

Steve Reed said...

Ha! That's how I feel, too. I haven't read any of the Trump-critical books. I don't need to be persuaded!

Steve Reed said...

Absolutely! Kids are honest!

Steve Reed said...

You and me both.

Steve Reed said...

It's a mystery to me, especially in these days of modern lighting. It's not like any of us are working with candles or walking around with lanterns.

Steve Reed said...

I would be hard-pressed to come up with a meaning for that sculpture. I think it's just meant to be an interesting geometric construction.

Steve Reed said...

I barely noticed time changes when I was younger, but I am struggling with this one! Must be an aging thing!

Steve Reed said...

As I told Dave, the most discouraging thing about her is how thoroughly she does NOT represent the viewpoints of the vast majority of Americans. She's a member of a fringe group. We'll see whether she can be trusted to set aside those views and rule open-mindedly.

Steve Reed said...

I see future careers at the New York Review of Books!

Steve Reed said...

You've gotta be thick-skinned to be an artist. Kind of like being a blogger. You gotta take the punches.

Steve Reed said...

Yes! We're a week behind. :)

Steve Reed said...

My mom didn't read aloud to us after we could read on our own. I guess there's a certain school of thought that reading aloud can help kids with their own reading and verbal skills, but I'd say it only works when parents choose interesting books. :)

Steve Reed said...

I didn't realize you all even did a time shift in Australia, although I guess I'm not surprised.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! Well, just look at the trees and ignore the rest. :)

Steve Reed said...

Part of me thinks it's a shame that kids no longer identify with these older "classic" books. Then again, some of them -- the "Little House" books, for example -- remain popular.

Steve Reed said...

Well, she's certainly taking advantage of the opportunity, that's true. I'm not sure I can blame her for accepting the nomination -- after all, this is the pinnacle for anyone in the legal profession, and few people would turn it down. And she may have been under instructions not to wear a mask, since that seems to be the policy of this reprehensible administration. But don't get me wrong -- I'm not a fan. I'm just cautiously hopeful.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! But it's a really BIG lock washer!