Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for February 2009


with 7 comments

On Friday afternoon I was sitting at the computer in the den when the lights flickered.  A friend called and then two or three minutes later my across-the-street neighbor called.  I stood up to look over at his house to see what he wanted.  As I peered across the flames in my front yard I couldn’t quite make him out.  Wait!?  Flames!?  On the front bank, 50 feet away and moving towards our house?! Ah!!!

Assuming (correctly as it turned out) that our neighbor had called 911 first and then called me  I didn’t waste time actually answering his call.  Instead I ran to the hall closet while yelling for a napping Charity to “Get up!  Get up!  Get up our yard’s on fire!” (Turns out the word fire was required for her to actually start moving).

Dumping our cleaning supplies across the floor I shoved an empty bucket underneath the bathtub spigot.  As it filled I could hear the fire truck approaching.  I ran outside and dumped the water on flames closest to the house.  The Carolina blue fire truck pulled up, the firemen hoped out and quickly sprayed the front embankment with dirty water from the truck dousing the fire.

All in all it only burned about a 10 foot diameter circle 50 feet from the house but it was quite disconcerting to see.  We think that that the electrical transformer directly above fire probably sparked and started the fire given that our light’s flickered, as did our neighbor’s.  The power company paid a visit to the transformer later that night and has hopefully solved the problem!

All ended well except that the firemen used a rake to make sure the fire was out and beheaded several of the daffodils.  I’m thankful they were the only casualties.

Written by furthermusings

February 16, 2009 at 12:06 am

Posted in At the House

Interpreter of Maladies

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lahri coverIt’s late on this Tuesday night and despite the press of sleep and of grading I wanted to steal a few minutes to write a bit about the book I’ve just finished, Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri.  Most of the short story collections I read are hand-me-downs from Charity and this one is no exception.

Lahiri has a nice ability to capture details and decor that make Boston Boston or rural New England what it is.  Her stories are clear and descriptive.  Each story has Indian characters, foods, and clothes.   Most also involve first-generation Indian immigrants to America, often academic settings, which is is a world I can connect to.

A couple of years ago I read The Namesake, which I liked but I liked this book more.  That may be because I have higher expectations for novels which I expect to cast a spell that I sit under for days.  With short stories I expect less magic and more vignette.

Lahiri does vignette well, writing about a particular moment or month of the characters’ lives.  You are introduced to them, they have an experience, and then at the end of the story they continue on with their lives; an interesting, even poignant, incident but not a personal transformation.

I wonder if that’s a fair characterization of short stories vs. novels.  Any thoughts anyone?

Written by furthermusings

February 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Reviews

Colors in the Neighborhood

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This afternoon, under the warm sunlight of these first days of another Chapel Hill spring, I cut behind the empty pink house next door on my way home.  The house has been empty for nearly a year.  On the whole its yard is a tangle of vines, dead trees, and patchy yard, but as I cut through gravel parking lot that is the backyard a bright spot of color caught my eye amongst the empty beer cans and dusty gravel.

How these little jewels have survived the years of uninterested renters is beyond me but I’m thankful for this burst of beauty on my way back home today.


(Clicking on either picture shows a larger version.)


Written by furthermusings

February 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Posted in At the House, Pictures

Inside of the Orange

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The other afternoon I was cutting up an orange and caught a peak of the light through it.  I love to eat them but I rarely notice how beautiful they are.

orange and finger

center of the orange

Written by furthermusings

February 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Posted in At the House, Pictures

The Stump

with 3 comments

Today was our first really nice day of spring here in Chapel Hill.  Despite my hacking cough I ventured outside with Charity to work in the yard in the warm afternoon sun.

I pulled a few weeds. Charity was somewhat more ambitious. Don’t mess with my Honey.

The Stump

Written by furthermusings

February 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Posted in At the House