Back when my wife and I were still courting, she made some disparaging remarks about mystery writers in general, and Raymond Chandler in particular. By way of rebuttal, my college roommate and I talked her into reading The Big Sleep aloud to us.
Suzanne started in with a tone of utter cynicism, even disdain. The thing is, when my wife talks like that, she precisely captures the mood of Raymond Chandler. She sounds, in fact, exactly like Lauren Bacall in the movie also called "The Big Sleep."
Pour water into a glass until there is as much glass above the water line as below. An optimist tells you it's half full. A pessimist says, "Half empty." Only the engineer gets it right: "This glass is improperly sized."
There's a lesson here for the management of our expectations.
Back in 1996, the library district planned to build a (roughly) 40,000 square foot building in Highlands Ranch by the year 2000. But based on financial projections, we thought we'd only be able to "finish" 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of it.
About a month ago I was doing something I don't do as often as I used to. I was reading my 11 year old daughter to sleep. These days, Maddy reads just fine, and fairly quickly, all by herself. But reading to your kids isn't just about books. It's about spending some extra time together. It's comforting.
I had chosen a book recommended to me by a friend. It was called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling, a female author from Great Britain.
In retrospect, it was not a wise choice to lull a child into slumber.
Some moments in life are both surreal and wonderful.
For instance, a few weeks ago, I was sitting in Bob Schultz's Prairie Canyon Ranch "Happy Days" Saloon, with some 16 other characters. We were playing poker with a mound of silver dollars (rounded up by Woody Shenk, President of Norwest Bank in Highlands Ranch). We were tossing down shots of pure apple juice, and on occasion, even the hard stuff: root beer. Outside, a shrill wind whined and whirled.