COMMON GROUND

You know we’re making progress when, apparently, the #1 sitcom among Republican viewers is ABC’s (wonderful) “Modern Family.” Tonight at 9, if you haven’t already set your TiVo.

THE KING’S SPEECH

You still haven’t seen it? Seriously? It’s such a wonderful – true – story. About King George VI, though you don’t need to know a thing about British royalty to enjoy it.

AN UNCOMMON READER

This is a novella about King George VI’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth – and not true. A novella, as you know, is like a Shetland pony. Sort of a pony, but much shorter. And this one imagines that the Queen, after nearly 50 years on the throne, starts to read. Books. I don’t want to give any of it away. I’d just recommend you read it out loud to someone you love, as I did, because it is (and here I desperately search without success for a word more manly to make the point) delicious.

Better still, read it on a Kindle or iPad so you can tap words you don’t know and get their definition. Invigilate? Divagation?

My favorite part is the way the Queen speaks. Not with the royal we, but generally referring to herself as “one.” “One is not accustomed to this form of speech, but one comes quickly to be charmed by it.”

It’s a wonderful, imagined peek inside the head that wears the crown.

READING ALOUD – II

Last week’s read-aloud suggestionA Christmas Carol (“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. . . .”) – elicited this from one of you:

Marge Wright: “An idea I LOVE about reading out loud: There are groups that promote moms in county jails reading to their children who are on the outside. Think for a moment how that could strengthen the bonds between a mother and child. It works like this. A volunteer goes to the library and chooses excellent books for young children, and makes an appointment with the county jail to take the book and a tape/CD recorder. (I’m sure there are all kinds of details about which kinds of tape/CD recorders, etc. to prevent contraband.) The volunteer shows a book to the inmate and if she likes it, records the inmate reading it, including a personalized introduction and ending. Imagine how important this could be to a six-year-old waiting six months for mom to get home. It makes the mother feel better (and actually BE a better mother). It shows/reinforces an idea of how to be a good parent. Some parents were never read to and don’t know how important it is for their children. As the mother and the volunteer develop a relationship, the volunteer is better able to select the perfect book for that family. I’ve heard of some programs buying the book to mail to the child so he/she can read along at home with the CD or tape. There’s such a program in my county and I’m going to be a volunteer in the new year. It’s such a win/win/win situation.”

☞ Well, what about fathers, I asked Marge. “Hey, fathers can be right there at the microphone reading, too! In fact, they are! The national group, called Friends Outside, was started 55 years ago (by Quakers, hence the ‘Friends’). Here’s a press account of the Sonoma County effort.”

DEPO / CRME / YMI

On DEPO in October:

Suggested at $4.50 a year ago and a few weeks later at $3.02 – and a few months later still at $2.47 – our patience (obstinacy?) has begun to pay off, with the stock closing at $4.81 last night. Guru thinks it will be over $6 in a year. I wouldn’t rush to buy it here and have sold some shares in my tax-deferred account – but am happy holding the rest.

With the stock closing at $6.41 last night, I asked Guru “what now?”

Also, CRME, suggested last month at $4.60; last night $5.82.

“Hold both,” he suggested.

I forgot to ask about YMI, touted two weeks ago at $1.65, now $2.25. And it is certainly tempting to take a quick 35% profit. But the point of a speculation like this – to be made only with money you can truly afford to lose – is to shoot for a reward commensurate with the risk. So he would advise hanging on to this one, too.

 

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