Friday, December 12, 2008

I don't know how people lived in Maine before electricity.

The company that became Central Maine Power began only 110 years ago, in 1899, and did not offer widespread service -- as the Central Maine Power Company -- until 1910. Even now, it's relatively easy to move "off the grid" in Maine -- that is, to move to a place where the power lines don't go.

I cannot imagine what that's like, and I don't want to.

The sun rose today at 6:33, and will set promptly at 4:00 p.m.; dusk will start a little after 3:00. I'm typing this with a 150-watt bulb blasting over my shoulder, and lights are on in three rooms of my five-room apartment.

We're having a real live ice storm; it started as snow yesterday, but is now a vile mix of sleet and freezing rain. It's pretty on the trees, but it won't be pretty if branches start falling and pulling down power lines.

Fortunately, I got a high-intensity headlamp -- the kind spelunkers use -- for my birthday. Thanks, Anna and Jen!

What I Read This Week

Steve Martin, BORN STANDING UP. I listened to this as an unabridged audiobook, read by the author; I wished it was longer. It's a frank, insightful memoir of Martin's career as a stand-up comedian that should be required reading for anyone who wants to make a living in a creative field.

Willy Vlautin, NORTHLINE. The topic of discussion at John Connolly's online book club this month; I'd have read it anyway, as it was a gift. The spare, powerful story of how 22-year-old Allison Johnson flees not only an abusive boyfriend but also her own destructive self, with the help of friends real and imaginary. The book comes with a CD of original music that serves as a soundtrack, and both are beautiful.

Richard Price, LUSH LIFE. A robbery-shooting on the Lower East Side of Manhattan may not be what it seems; as Detective Matty Clark investigates, he can't escape his own failings and he can't fight the flaws of the system. Not Price's strongest book, but even second-tier Price is better than almost everyone else.


Anonymous said...

WOW! You have a five room apartment?? I have room envy.

Richard B.

AnswerGirl said...

Two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. I don't know if the bathroom counts as a separate room, but it has a door.

norby said...

I really enjoyed Born Standing Up. I'm a huge fan of Steve Martin's films and I thought his book was much better than Chevy Chase's.

I'm planning on starting the Vlautin book as soon as I finish Deaths in the Grand Canyon-it's amazing how otherwise intelligent people will fail to listen to the advice of trail guides and experts when planning to hike in the Grand Canyon.

AnswerGirl said...

Chevy Chase wrote a book?

norby said...

Well, someone wrote a book about Chevy Chase, but they just made a mess of it. They tried too hard to get every little detail of his life in it.