Monthly Archives: April 2014

Jeannie Out of the Bottle

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Jeannie Out of the Bottle
Jeannie Out of the Bottle

Jeannie Out of the Bottle is actress Barbara Eden’s autobiography, written with Wendy Leigh in 2011.

Ms. Eden has always been a sweet, but level-headed actress and singer throughout the decades — hard to believe she in now in her early eighties, as hard to believe that I am now in my late fifties (and have made it through this far, yet).

What drew my attention to this book was an advertisement in out city’s newspaper that offered free tickets to an event that Ms. Eden would be headlining. Her book was mentioned, and I picked it up on a whim since much time has passed since I last indulged in a tasty tattle-tell tell-all entertainment-world bio. The result was much less a salacious accounting of Hollywood through the decades and a more-or-less informative documentary about how-things-are-accomplished in the entertainment racket. When I finished reading, I was convinced that I wanted to meet her, but by that point, her event had wrapped up the evening before. Alas. And alack, too!

Ms. Eden has earned my full respect for how she has played her hand all throughout. Like me, she has had her hands full of challenges; like me, she has had her own ups and downs; and like me, she has encountered many trials along the way and has risen above them. Regrets — we’ve each had a few, but then again, too few to mention. We both did what we had to do — and saw it through without exemption.

Barbara Eden is such a class act, that even Don Rickles never laid into her when he had a chance; and when offered a million dollars by Playboy for a nude-shoot, she turned them down without a blink¬†(even though her family needed the money). But when it comes down to belly-button exposure, she was not a prude; it was the network’s skittishness, instead.

The only seduction that she succumbed to was saying any cuss words in a written performance (many, many years later…) Unlike Barbara Eden, I can cuss like a sailor when provoked — evidently one of the few differences we share.

I have lost many people along life’s path; Barbara had a stillborn childbirth, and her other son was a drug addict for many years, who eventually overdosed. We somehow learn the skills to continue on. And we do:

¬† The wonderful thing about my business and about my life is that I never know what’s around the corner. I’m very lucky to like what I do and to be able to work at it so happily and for so long. I’ve always considered my career to be a great joy and a great gift. I love it, and long may it continue. (page 262)

A true class-act, indeed, I reiterate.

In the final analysis, we both have grown throughout life’s challenges. As well, life will enfold, all in the blink of an eye…

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

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Mohsin Hamid has written the ultimate self-help book for one who wishes to extract the true elixir from life.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

As a young man pursues wealth by cornering a piece of the bottled water market throughout the years, the character “You” finds the true meaning of existence.

This novel parallels the format of well known self-help programs; each chapter presented here echoes what other formulas, too, suggest (but each with its own especially clever spin):

  • Move to the City
  • Get an Education
  • Don’t Fall in Love
  • Avoid Idealists
  • Learn from a Master
  • Work For Yourself
  • Be Prepared to Use Violence
  • Befriend a Bureaucrat
  • Patronize the Artists of War
  • Dance With Debt
  • Focus On the Fundamentals
  • Have an Exit Strategy

… all the while chance encountering “the pretty girl” along the way, as she herself follows her own program towards unmitigated success.

Not quite what Lori Greiner and other Shark-Tankers would suggest, but all-in-all, life unfolds to the inevitable no matter if you rise, or if you fall; inevitably you will at least go the route of the later (just ask Everyman).

“You” was always most rich when he and “the pretty girl” finally put away their quests for success that kept them apart.

If you can, please get the edition with this shown cover (or at least look carefully at it ) — the whole story is encased by this single drop of water.

From the last page:

…But it does not matter now. She is here. And she comes to you, and she does not speak, and the others do not notice her, and she takes your hand, and you are ready to die, eyes open, aware this is all an illusion, a last aroma cast up by the chemical stew that is your brain, which will soon cease to function, and there will be nothing, and you are ready, ready to die well, ready to die like a man, like a woman, like a human, for despite all else you have loved, you have loved your father and your mother and your brother and your sister and your son and, yes, your ex-wife, and you have loved the pretty girl, you have been beyond yourself, and so you have courage, and you have dignity, and you have calmness in the face of terror, and awe, and the pretty girl holds your hand, and you contain her, and this book, and me writing it, and I too contain you, who may not yet even be born, you inside me inside you, though not in a creepy way, and so may you, may I, may we, so may all of us confront the end.

Take that, Sartre!!

Manuscript Found in Accra

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Manuscript Found in Accra
Manuscript Found in Accra

Each Paulo Coelho book is more dear to me as the last for the mere charm and gentleness found in tone, aside from the may other noteworthy features — such as wisdom and spiritualness.

In Manuscript Found in Accra, Coelho presents his story as a long lost manuscript from 1099 during a siege of Jerusalem during the Crusades. A copy was handed over to Coelho on 30 November 2011.

In it, a wise man, known only as the Copt, answers questions proferred to him from the town’s people. The Copt addresses rumination regarding:

  • Defeat
  • Solitude
  • Change
  • Beauty
  • Love
  • The Past
  • Sex
  • Consequences of war
  • Elegance
  • Work
  • Miracles
  • Anxiety
  • The Future
  • Loyalty
  • Enemies & weapons

…and more.

All is here — Read, heed, and:

…scatter your seed wherever you go, because we can never know which seeds will grow and flourish and enlighten the next generation. (page 187)

As an hearkening to the wisdom shared with us from the Christ during this season of rebirth, may this understanding never die away from our canon — else we shall surely perish.

Downton Tabby

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Meow, M'Lord...
Downton Tabby

NO, this is NOT a typo error. This parody really does exist, and I highly recommend it to both Downton Abbey fans as well as to cat lovers (indeed, the Venn diagram of the two barely leaves an inter slice).

As evidenced from above, the parodied renderings are very high caliber, worth owning the book aside from the textual parody. Chris Kelly has put in a fine performance here.

As for the text, like an other lampoon, the jokes are hit-and-or-miss, in this case, mostly hit — especially the witticisms and cuts from the Dowager Countess Feline, just like in the real program.

All that is sorely overlooked is Carson on the group shot. I perhaps may need to return to Wodehouse for a good, stiff butler.

I have returned…

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..although I’ve never really went away.

Although I have not posted any book notes, I have been continually reading.

Late in January this year I developed a severe case of shingles and I am just now getting caught up with my many other activities such as posting to Jimaruni.

But that is not the whole story — George R.R. Martin is the main reason , providing 1100+ pages for Book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire. Finally, I am caught up in the series, and although I look forward to the next installment, hopefully it will not arrive this year so that maybe I can add about a hundred Victorian novels to the list in lieu of the ever-bloated saga.