where the writers are
Poor Alan Greenspan, He's Shocked.

How on earth can Alan Greenspan be shocked to find out that there is greed and self-interest in the business world?  What planet has he been living on?  The stories of golden parachutes taken by executives whose companies then go on to fail have even made it to the newspapers I read.  And housing prices being unstable?  Did he not notice that they were going up and up and up and up, way beyond increases anywhere else?  Did he truly expect companies to be self-regulating, to have the interests of shareholders rather than the corporate bigwigs at heart?  Did he honestly believe that most traders or manipulators in companies were going to have the wellbeing of the little people as a priority?  Did he not hear the tapes of the traders in the electrical markets here in California laughing about 'Grandma Millie?'

There's a reason greed (avarice) is one of the seven deadly sins--it's been around as long as people.  I'm so sorry that Alan Greenspan didn't now that until now.

Note to Alan:  the other ones are Pride, Lust, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, and Gluttony.  Just in case you hadn't noticed.

On a more positive note, I'm having a wonderful time with library books.  I just finished Julie Andrews' memoir, "Home."  It covers her childhood through her early twenties in a manner simultaneously gentle and frank.  I would say it was a delight to read except that she had so many troubles to deal with, so I'll just say it was good to read, to learn about her, to be let into her life and her world in such a kindly fashion.  It is a treat for me to read books written by people with musical gifts: it's like peering through a microscope into a world I can reach no other way.  I have absolutely no musical gifts or talents or inclinations, so experiencing (however vicariously) the world of those who do is like being transported to Mars for an afternoon.  The writers are my Rosetta Stone, my ball of yarn in the labyrinth, my trail of pebbles in the forest.  They shed light for a brief moment on a world I don't live in but that I'm so glad to know exists to make mine that little bit richer.

Now I'm halfway through V. S. Ramachandran's "Phantoms in the Brain."  It is marvelous.  I've had several 'aha!" moments already, one in particular that relates to my inability to track side-to-side movements and the resulting vertigo.  I think if I ever win the lottery, I'll have my head examined by Dr. Ramachandran to find out just what is the glitch in my operating system.  That would be fun to know.

I'm also partway through Caroline Kenneally's "The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language."  That one got misplaced under a blanket in my room and so set aside for a bit, so to speak, until I came across it again.  It is almost as much fun as Dr. Ramachandran's book, so I'm going back and forth between the two, wishing I could read them both at the same time.

Next I have to read Paul Krugman's "The Conscience of a Liberal," as it's due in four days.  Since he won the Nobel after I  checked it out, there is likely someone or someones waiting for it, so I probably won't be able to renew it.  Note to whoever may be waiting: I'll read it as fast as I can, but somehow the twins don't allow for as much reading as I'd like.

Then of course the library is sending me notices that several reserve books are ready to be picked up.  And tomorrow I'm going with Mom to the Book Expo down in San Jose--truly, my reading cup runneth over!

Later this morning I'm going to the Unitarian church for a six-hour meeting called "Path to Membership."  My feelings on joining the church are a bit mixed.  On the one hand, the people seem so nice and the actual written beliefs of the religion are things I can wholeheartedly accept (although I have a bit of trouble calling it a religion as the idea of a 'godhead' seems to be missing), but the self-righteousness of some of it and the self-flagellation of so much of the music might just make me nuts.  Maybe if I only go to services once or twice a month and tell myself jokes during the most irritating of the 'hymns' I'll be okay.  If I was able to put up with Catholicism as long as I did, I should be able to deal with the Unitarian Universalists.  After all, I've lived through FatherH's sermons--the Beautiful and the Wonderful--and FatherD's monotone drone; the Unitarian services should be a piece of cake.

A