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All the wisteria seems to be blooming this week, dangling from trellises like pastel-colored clusters of grapes. I don't remember ever seeing wisteria when I was growing up in southern California, so maybe it doesn't grow there. There seem to be a lot of flowers that grow here that I don't remember from when I was a kid -- jasmine, cherry blossoms, tea roses -- but some of that might be cultural. Maybe in Orange County they go more for the tidy kinds of flowers. I don't know. Or maybe I just wasn't interested in flowers when I was young. All I did was read. I don't remember there being many plants in our area at all. Palm trees. Grass.

It rained all morning again, but -- again -- the sun came out after a while. I headed out to run errands once it looked like I might have a chance of staying dry ... and I succeeded! Had lunch at Venus -- using my birthday gift card -- and it was fabulous. I ordered fish (sole). I love fish, but don't get to eat it often enough. Then I went to the library, went to Charles Schwab, went to shop (unsuccessfully) for cat food, etc.

Finished up The Reader today, listening to most of it while I was walking around, running my errands. There was a big reveal -- well, the way it was written, it felt like it was supposed to be a big reveal -- that I figured out way early in the book. By the time it was explicitly stated, I was rather bored. But there was also a lot of interesting stuff about Nazis and modern-day Germans and how the appalling photographs and stories about the concentration camps can become just flat clichés, losing their impact, losing their ability to communicate truth, how people can become numb and indifferent even about the most horrible things, and how just being aware of this numbness doesn't necessarily change it. Thought provoking.

I didn't understand, though, why it would have taken our (German) hero "weeks" to obtain a visa to visit Auschwitz in 1965. Was this because of the communist government in Poland? Was there tension between Poland and Germany at this time? I find myself once again aware of my own ignorance of world history. It's frustrating. I visit Wikipedia often, but sometimes it doesn't help.

Next I am going to listen to The Heretic's Daughter, by Kathleen Kent. It's about the Salem witch trials. So I'm going from Nazis to witches. Or rather, supposed witches, because I believe this story is more about hysteria than actual witchcraft.

And I'm going to start reading a book -- can't remember the title -- which is a sequel to one I read last week, about pixies and werewolves and whatnot. I'm getting to the point where the supernatural teenagers thing may be nearly out of my system. I blame it all on Twilight, which seduced me with its poorly written angst and its star-crossed romance. Soon I will be reading "real" books again. Sorry ... that was just the English major in me talking.

That's one of the things my therapist and I talked about today: my tendency to be very judgmental about my own reading choices. I think it's fine for someone else to read frivolous books, but when I do it, I feel embarrassed. Like I should be reading Jose Saramago and Salman Rushdie and Michael Ondaatje and Louise Erdrich and Robertson Davies and Jane Austen and Tom Stoppard and Wallace Stegner 24 hours/day. I don't know why it should be embarrassing for me if I don't find it silly in others, but I'm working on it.

Tomorrow morning I get to go in for a blood draw ... huzzah! Yeah, right.

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