Sunday, March 01, 2009

Multiple Choice

You live in a place where it rarely -- but occasionally -- snows. Where do you keep the snow brush for your car windows?

a) inside the car
b) inside the trunk
c) inside the house
d) who the hell knows, I'm never going to need it anyway

That picture's from about an hour ago -- it's come down considerably more since then, and things are pretty messy. I ventured out, without any reason except that I'm stir crazy spending 20 hours a day in the house. But cars are sliding, the roads are dangerous, and places are starting to close up. A few years ago I would have shrieked "it's just a little snow! This would be nothing in Colorado!" but now shutting down seems like the smart option. Atlanta's not prepared for snow, much as Colorado isn't prepared for a tidal wave, and it's scary out there. Seeing a pickup truck with a "Southern by the Grace of God" bumper sticker skidding in front of you makes staying home appealing.

* * *

I went to another hockey game last night -- second in a week, and add in a Cirque du Soleil performance and I'm starting to rejoin the world of the living. Last night's game was a corker -- a comeback performance, rowdy fans (and a lot of Hurricanes fans in the house, making it more fun), and some great hockey. It's not exactly news but Ilya Kovalchuk is one hell of a player -- and they better do everything they can to keep him next year. Without Kovy, the Thrashers are an AHL team.

Also: Rich Peverley, who I freely admit I never heard of before last week, has scored ten goals this season -- three in the two games I've seen. He's not Czech, but he's close to getting the PPA seal of approval.

* * *


#22 -- "Illyria Reborn" by Dymphna Cusack

After I returned from my Albania trip a few years ago, I went nuts and bought every out-of-print book about the place that I could find. They've mostly gone unread, because there's only so much you can read about Albania before it gets a bit repetitive. So I just got to this one now.

It's an interesting period piece from the mid-1960s, with some unintentional laughs. Cusack, as far as I can tell, was pretty sympathetic toward the Soviet Union and its followers -- and this travelogue has a certain rose-tinted glasses feel to it. Communism (the word never appears -- nor does the name Enver Hoxha) has brought fantastic things to Albania and made it a modern, forward-leaning country! Now, some of that is undoubtedly true -- I don't know if her statistics on improved literacy and electricity are exactly correct, but I imagine that the general message is fairly accurate. But the Albanian regime was one of the more repressive Communist governments (though at this point, it may not have been as bad as it would be), but there's nary a hint of that throughout. Everyone's happy as hell.

One really odd note: this book was written in 1966. Cusack's trip occurred sometime before then; the dust jacket says 1964, but I think it was actually 1960. In 1960, Albania split with the Warsaw Pact. But that's never mentioned, six years later. Just lots of examples of grand Soviet-Albanian cooperation and how the USSR is helping Albania progress.

It's an interesting book, and gives a rare look at what the country was like in the Communist years (I've read plenty about pre- and post-Communism, but not much during). But it leaves a lot out, too. And in any case, probably no one else is gonna read this unless they're as Albani-crazy as I am.


Brushback said...

The garage is the best place for the snow scraper, if you have a garage that is, but I always keep my scraper in the trunk and then I'm screwed when the car ices up and I can't get the trunk open.

gsdgsd13 said...

No garage here, alas. Mine turned out to be in b), but I only found it on my second try, after a fruitless and curse-filled search of the hall closet. It didn't get cold enough to ice over today, so the biggest problem was (twice) all the snow on top of the lid dumping inside the trunk when I opened it. And to think I tell people I miss snow.

Cranky said...

"Seeing a pickup truck with a 'Southern by the Grace of God' bumper sticker skidding in front of you makes staying home appealing." --nice.