After all, it is February 2, and it’s Ground Hog Day. Sausage would be the perfect meal–it is ground hog, after all.
My late father had another way to celebrate Ground Hog Day. February 2 was also the birthday of James Joyce. So, Dad’s edict to his classes was this: If the groundhog saw his shadow, the class would read Ulysses. Whether he ever carried this out, I do not know. (Reading–and giving up on–Ulysses is a common college rite of passage, especially in a liberal arts school.) I made several attempts to read Ulysses, but it was almost impossible for me to get past the big capital S at the beginning until I worked at Medco, and listened to the unabridged Recorded Books edition. Both narrators–a man and a woman–were Dublin natives. Joyce’s story takes place on June 16, 1904, and is set entirely in Dublin. His boast was that if the city were completely demolished, builders could use Ulysses to rebuild it.
Susie bought a snow shovel today. To earn extra money, she wants to go around the neighborhood and shovel snow. The only problem is that there has hardly been a dusting of the white stuff this winter. It’s only been recently that the mercury has been below 40 degrees. We have had some bitterly cold days, but the snowfall is miniscule.
I am now a week caffeine-free, and I exhibited some great self-control last night. We ordered in from Pizza Hut, and the deal that we selected featured a two-litre soft drink. We ordered Sierra Mist, but the woman on the phone said they were out of it. So we bit the bullet and ordered a two-litre of Diet Pepsi. And when it came, we gave it to the family next door.
There have been no withdrawal symptoms except for the first day. I’ve almost constantly had a water bottle in my hand at work, and I refilled it endlessly. Last Friday, though, I looked like Frank Sinatra in The Man With the Golden Arm, without any help from Eva Marie Saint. (That’s a movie I highly recommend. Go to http://www.liketelevision.com and stream it. I’m surprised it’s in the public domain.)