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Yoga Korunta

Life & Politics

Location: United States

One learns, as nothing endures but change.

30 June 2006

Book: Zed

Elizabeth McClung's novel is keeping me up.

Zed is having a bad day. She's twelve and there's someone around who's killing kids, which she doesn't have time for. Already today she's knifed a rapist, traded with half the drunks and addicts in town, talked to the dead, bargained with a sociopath, and extracted crucial information from a mental patient, and she hasn't even left the building. Welcome to the Tower, an urban development project no city wants to lay claim to; a place to steer clear of if at all possible, but if you can't, you'll fit right in.

Zed is a vivid, claustrophobic, at times nightmarish novel about madness, survival, and crumbling institutions; it is an epic set in the sqalor of an inner city, where rules are abandoned, and it's every man (and young girl) for him or herself. In the spirit of J.G. Ballard or Iain Banks, this is a novel of verve and feverish, expansive imagination.

27 June 2006

Tuesday's Word: regret

regret2 entries found for regret.To select an entry, click on it.
Main Entry: 1re·gret
Pronunciation: ri-'gret
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): re·gret·ted; re·gret·ting
Etymology: Middle English regretten, from Middle French regreter, from Old French, from re- + -greter (perhaps of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse grAta to weep) -- more at GREET transitive senses
1 a : to mourn the loss or death of b : to miss very much
2 : to be very sorry for intransitive senses : to experience regret- re·gret·ter noun

It begins to express grief.

23 June 2006

Retro Electric

Friends Charlotte and Randy wanted a light/fan/heater unit installed in their bathroom. This would replace the unit which was removed from the ceiling after it began to spark. R and I checked the service panel to open the breaker which controlled the bathroom's electricity. "Hmm, maybe we should have another beer before undertaking this project!"

To be continued...

Book: One Night in a Bad Inn

ONE NIGHT IN A BAD INN by Christy Leskovar, reviewed by Laurel Piippo, 1334 Sacramento Street, Richland, WA 99354. Submitted May 16, 2006

"It all started when I heard that my great-grandmother was accused of murder."

Now there's an opening sentence to stop readers in their tracks and lure them to read Christy Leskovar's eye-popping family history, ONE NIGHT IN A BAD INN.

Actually, it all started in 1976 when Leskovar was a junior in my American Lit class during the US Bicentennial celebrations. While the nation focused on our national heritage, the class assignment was to celebrate personal histories by interviewing relatives and writing a family history. Leskovar laughed, "Four A ++++s weren't enough. I had to keep going."

Leskovar's G-rated school essay came full circle 30 years later with the X-rated tale of her villainous great-grandmother Sarah Hughes, who couldn't destroy the dignity and beauty of her daughter Aila, Leskovar's grandmother. Sarah, sent to finishing school to be a perfect lady, and a strange great-grandfather who abandoned his family, created a family of skeletons yanked out of the closet by the persistent Leskovar.

The poised, impeccable Sarah "practiced the social graces with the confidence of a well-bred lady." Her elegant facade masked "an alcoholic nymphomaniac," flatly stated one of her granddaughters when Leskovar started investigating the curious life of her great-grandmother.

The contrast between Leskovar's beloved Grandma Aila and the outrageous Sarah piqued Leskovar's curiosity. Aila stars in this non-fiction narrative, a beautiful rose who rejected her mother's illegal and immoral behavior, determined to be a REAL lady. She survived the cesspool of her environment in a triumph of character and strength that inspires Leskovar to this day.

Sarah and her husband, Arthur Hughes, moved westward to Montana, homesteaded near Forsyth, and had five children. Their childhood was interrupted when Sarah and the hired man were charged with murdering Arthur in the early 1900s.

Leskovar called the court house in Forsyth and asked, "Do you have a record of Sarah Hughes being jailed for murder?"


Leskovar pondered that and called back, "Do you have Sarah Hughes jailed for anything?"

"Yes." (I'm not telling another thing! Read the book.)

While her mother spent 14 months in jail, Aila lived in an orphanage with two younger siblings. Her teen-age brothers had to fend for themselves. Later, one brother died of peritonitis because Sarah was too cheap to call a doctor in time, and two ended up in jail after Sarah ordered them, "Get money. I need money."

Sound like something out of Charles Dickens! The characters are just as memorable.

Aila, an excellent student with ambitions to become a teacher, received a scholarship and prepared to leave home to attend Radcliffe. The humiliation of scandals, the physical beatings . . . the debauchery she witnessed would not damage her soul. She determined, "'I was not going to live like that. . . I decided I was going to be a lady."

Sarah destroyed her educational plans. Enraged, she pulled Aila's clothes out of the closet and ripped them to shreds. No college for Aila.

At age 19 Aila eloped with Peter Thompson and bore five children, one of them Pat Leskovar, whose son Jeff runs the Leskovar car dealership in Kennewick.

Christy Leskovar's search for truth took nine years. She visited Butte, Montana, where she was born, as well as Forsyth. She searched out her ancestral history in Wales and Ireland. She pored through records at World War I sites in France and Belgium where her great-grandfather Peter Thompson risked his life to save a buddy. The French awarded him the Croix de Guerre.

Being a war hero didn't make Peter a good husband and father. Leskovar describes his charisma and Irish charm, but his reluctance to support his five children speaks louder than words. Even so, Aila never criticized him or tried to manage him. Always a lady, she created a home environment of dignity and love, regardless of poverty and overwork.

Although Aila's granddaughter's research is meticulous, her style is easy and conversational as she tells the reader what is documented fact, what probably happened, and what she doesn't know happened. The book is a historical treasure, enriched with dozens of photographs, plus being a darned good yarn.

ONE NIGHT IN A BAD INN by Christy Leskovar, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Inc. 713 South Third Street West, Missoula, Montana 59801Phone (406) 549-8488, FAX (406) 728-9280

Laurel Piippo, dear readers, is my cousin.

20 June 2006

Tuesday's Word: Caribbean

Main Entry: Ca·rib·be·an
Pronunciation: "kar-&-'bE-&n, k&-'ri-bE-&n
Function: adjectiveEtymology: New Latin Caribbaeus, from Caribes: of or relating to the Caribs , the eastern and southern West Indies, or the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean is a terrific place to visit. This blogger has been in Jamaica and San Salvador, the suspected place of Columbus' landing. The islands are rich in history but are plagued with poverty, disease, and the ever present no-see-ums. The food and people are wonderful but watch out for pirates, especially lady pirates! Arrrgh!

15 June 2006

Oh, BB!

Bloggers, please check Rebecca Agiewich's book BreakupBabe : A Novel.

BB, you are so beautiful and smart! I will love you forever!

Now, bloggers, please go buy her book! Don't worry, I'm not mentioned. I never broke her heart. Go buy. Buy for your friends, your coworkers, your family, your pets-just buy!

13 June 2006

Tuesday's Word: conundrum

Main Entry: co·nun·drum
Pronunciation: k&-'n&n-dr&m
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
1 : a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun
2 a : a question or problem having only a conjectural answer
b : an intricate and difficult problem
Brig Bloggin'

How, dear readers, can one be fair and just when so biased against the intolerent? After all, should we not give equal time to those who promote racism, misogyny, or homophobia? No, we should not. This blog is rabidly prejudiced against pickpockets, horse thieves, child molestors, and Republicans. Those who promote hatred should avoid this blog. This advice be similar to that o'Lady Pirate Cap'n Dyke.
Posted by Yoga Korunta, card carrying member of al-Icia!

06 June 2006

Tuesday's Word: Hell

Main Entry: hell
Pronunciation: 'hel
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English helan to conceal, Old High German helan, Latin celare, Greek kalyptein
1 a (1) : a nether world in which the dead continue to exist : HADES (2) : the nether realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment -- often used in curses or as a generalized term of abuse b Christian Science : ERROR 2b, SIN
2 a : a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness b : a place or state of turmoil or destruction c : a severe scolding d : unrestrained fun or sportiveness -- often used in the phrase for the hell of it especially to suggest action on impulse or without a serious motive
3 archaic : a tailor's receptacle
4 -- used as an interjection or as an intensive -- often used in the phrase hell of a or hell out of or with the or in - from hell : being the worst or most dreadful of its kind- hell on : very hard on or destructive to - hell or high water : difficulties of whatever kind or size - hell to pay : dire consequences

Today, readers, is the sixth day of the sixth month in the sixth year! Weren't we supposed to have been vaporized by lightning bolts!?! Ha!

For some added fun go to Hell, Michigan. There is an annual race sponsored by the Pinckney Road Runners, which I've attended. See http://www.hell2u.com/. Your blog author has purchased land in Hell, so he has a place to which to retire!

Happy 666!

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