– Just fine, thanks. We don’t yet know when she’ll be coming home from the hospital, but everything else is going swimmingly. She ate a hearty dinner–as hearty as institutional cuisine gets, anyway–and walked fifty feet on the arm of a nurse. Tomorrow she starts physical rehabilitation.
– I’m on dialup for the duration, which makes it difficult for me to read my blogmail. Please don’t be surprised (or offended) if you don’t hear back from me until early August.
– I wore one of my Hip Black New York Outfits to the hospital this morning (all my other clothes were dirty). When I left to get some lunch, a nurse asked my mother, “How does it feel to have a priest in the family?”
– Here are the headlines on the front page of last night’s local paper: (1) “Rain Brought Much Relief for Farmers.” (2) “Life-Saver Award Goes to Officer.” (3) “Smalltown Resident Gets the Price Right” (i.e., she was picked as a contestant on The Price Is Right). (4) “Sometimes You Spell Allergy Relief, S-H-O-T.”
That’s how I know I’m back in Smalltown, U.S.A. And glad to be.
– Further proof that there’s no place like home: I can walk in total darkness from one end of my mother’s house to the other without bumping into anything. (I can’t even do that in my own apartment!)
– I brought a big stack of books with me to Smalltown, and so far I’ve been chewing them up at a rate of approximately one and a third per day. Here’s what’s on my nightstand:
The Worlds of Herman Kahn: The Intuitive Science of Thermonuclear War, by Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi (yes, I read Louis Menand’s New Yorker review).
Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, by Penny M. Von Eschen, and Bix: The Definitive Biography of a Jazz Legend, by Jean Pierre Lion (I’m yoking them together for a Commentary essay).
J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys: The Real Story Behind Peter Pan, by Andrew Birkin (I’d been meaning for years to read this book, and when a friend asked me the other day whether there was any truth to Finding Neverland, I decided it was time to put up or shut up).
Elia Kazan: A Biography, by Richard Schickel (now in bound galleys, out in November).
A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry, by Czeslaw Milosz (no special reason, except maybe that Ms. Searchblog admires him so extravagantly).
At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past, by A. Roger Ekirch (sent to me by a former prot