First off, I've nearly finished reading L'élégance du Hérisson, which has a number of articulate thoughts on the nature of art, the role of literature and what grammar is really for. During French class, the younger protagonist's teacher tells her that the purpose of grammar is to speak and write well.
"Alors là, j'ai cru avoir une crise cardiaque. Je n'ai jamais rien entendu d'aussi inepte. Et par là, je ne veux pas dire que c'est faux, je veux dire que c'est vraiment inepte. Dire à des adolescents qui savent déjà parler et écrire que la grammaire, ça sert à ça, c'est comme dire à quelque'un qu'il faut qu'il lise une histoire des W.-C. à travers les siècles pour bien savoir faire pipi et caca... Moi, je crois que la grammaire, c'est une voie d'accès à la beauté. Quand on parle, quand on lit ou quand on écrit, on sent bien si on a fait une belle phrase ou si on est en train d'en lire une... Mais quand on fait de la grammaire, on a accès à une autre dimension de la beauté de la langue."
Then there's this: Penguin launched its Decades series this month, with five titles each representing the best novels of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. What brought it to my attention is that the designer of the 80s covers is none other than John Squire, former guitarist of brilliant band The Stone Roses. I've only read two of the books (From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming from the 50s and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess from the 60s).
Also, I discovered through Pam the site 1000 Awesome Things. I can't list 1000 things that make me happy - well, I could, but I'd be typing all night! - but I've got five to start with:
The smell of old books.
Coming home and looking up the stairs and seeing my two cat's faces looking down at me.
A big latte, an empty notebook, a Pilot G-Tec-C4 pen in brown, and an hour before work.
My two nieces, nephew and goddaughter.
Springtime smells that remind me of Turkey.
And, the other day, I found this: library cats!
And finally, Ten for Tuesday Jobs. To date, I've had the following:
1. Envelope stuffer. When I was 16, working for my dad. Doesn't everyone start out that way?
2. Dairy Queen. When I was 18, and wanted to work somewhere where I enjoyed the products. Every day. At half price.
3. Second Cup. After being rejected by Westmount Stationery. You snobs! (I was looking for the clip from Fawlty Towers for that quote, but can't seem to find it.) I stayed here for two and a half years and never tired of drinking coffee or smelling the lovely smell of a new bag of beans.
4. EnRoute. Air Canada's in-flight magazine. The beginning of the aviation or security-related jobs...
5. Les Ailes de la Mode. Not that I knew anything about fashion, I just tracked the advertising. Saved some furniture company from putting out an ad that spelled Hemingway with two n's. They tried to argue with me, too!
6. GarLin, a security consulting company. Ah, Arnavutköy. Where else can you work in a converted villa that faces the Bosphorus? And knit shawls on the side for the Crazy Lady's Place?
7. United Nations, Part One. Involved in both aviation and security. How did I get into this, when my degree was in arts?
8. United Nations, Part Two. Joined a new section last year.
9. Translator. Mostly from Turkish to English or French.
10. Writer! My real job. The only "career" I've had nearly my entire life, and the one that gives me the most pleasure.