Tag Archives: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Blankety Blank

21 Jul

My mind is blank, and I can’t think of anything to write about. I have tried every prompt that comes to mind – checked my documents; clicked through Inspiro; surfed the television guide; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All of that, and my mind is blank.

Let’s see, I woke up this morning and looked at Twitter. As you probably know, it was filled with news of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. I don’t know what to say about that, and whatever I write has probably already been written. Somehow, I feel that the more it and other tragedies are tweeted and televised – the more unreal they become. We read and watch with fascination more than horror. Perhaps, we have become too accustomed to such events, or we have become a “reality show” culture and watch true events the same way.

I didn’t turn on the news. Instead, I watched the Tour de France. Does that make me cold and uncaring? I’m not sure, but I really didn’t want to watch carnage.

After watching some cycling, I took a shower and logged into WordPress. I saw some interesting posts by the people who I follow and read a few. Soon, it was time to head for lunch.

I eat lunch every Friday with my dad, brother and some of our friends. Lunch is always in the backroom of Gondola Restaurant. As a result, we have come to be known as the Gondola Mafia. We talk about local issues, politics, economy, sports. It seems that we cover the same topics every week. In fact, I have been counting how many times I hear the same stories and complaints.

When lunch was over, I returned home and read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a great book that I started yesterday. I should be finished soon and will post about it. It is an amazing story that has impacted everyone reading these words.

I read while I waited for the delivery of a piece of furniture. I needed a new bedside table and got one earlier in the week. The store said it would be between 3:00 and 5:00. I was prepared to wait until 6:00, but they hit the middle at 4:00.

Eventually, I turned on the news and caught up on the events in Colorado. It is a tragedy, and I wish the information providers would show respect and let the police do their jobs instead of trying to be the first to know everything. On top of that, I am probably too cynical, but I am not comfortable watching the two guys running from president falling all over themselves in an attempt to show the country who could be the most sympathetic.

So, that was the extent of my day. Maybe, my mind is blank because I killed too many brain cells with a day full of blankness.

Reading for the Road

2 Apr

Once again, I will be going out-of-town this week, but, unlike the quick turnaround to New Orleans, there will be plenty of time to read. However, I don’t want to spend ALL of the time reading and am going to limit myself to one book. These are the four of which I must choose.

The Woman in Black – I saw the movie but have heard that the book is much better. With that in mind, I picked it up at Target. It has all of the qualities of a good travel book – paperback and not very thick.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – I also got this one at Target but heard of it a long time ago. Henrietta was a African-American woman who attempted to make a living by raising tobacco. Unknown to her, doctors took her cells and have used them through the decades to develop vaccines, map genes and…well, the list goes on and on. Advantages: It’s history and a paperback. Disadvantages: It seems serious for a road reading.

Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports – As a kid, I couldn’t wait until the Halftime Highlights on Monday Night Football and begged my parents to let me stay up to watch. It wasn’t for the films. It was to hear Howard Cosell. Anyone who watched sports in the 1970s knows what hearing Cosell was like. If his private persona was anywhere near as interesting as his public one, then this will be a good book. Unfortunately, it is a hardback and does not seem very convenient for the road.

Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion – Obviously, this is a history book, but it also covers my area of research. Each chapter chronicles the life of a person important to expansion, and several of them are from Tennessee. I’m not a fan of all of them, but you don’t really have to like someone to read about them. It’s a hardback, so I don’t know.

Decisions. Decisions. Life is full of decisions.