Archive for the 'Homeschoolers' Category

Spengler, Lewis, Joe-of-the-wine, and katsudon

November 12, 2007

We paid a visit to our old haunts this past weekend, spending one day with each set of grandparents and another among dear friends on the occasion of a baptism. Good food was had by all concerned, and the children were most unwilling to return home. We comforted them, slightly, by reassuring them that we’d be hitting the road one week hence, as we’re visiting more family in the MD/DC area for Thanksgiving week.

The trip allowed me to visit a favorite used-bookstore, which was good, since they appear to be closing at year’s end. I scoured the shelves looking for must-haves, but only came away with two: an abridged one-volume version of Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West and a C.S. Lewis collection which includes Surprised by Joy, The Four Loves, The Business of Heaven and one more work whose name escapes me at the moment. I’ve started Decline of The West, though it’s slow going. On the one hand, it’s fairly easy to read about the signs of civilization’s collapse, then scan the headlines and start wondering when the new dark ages will begin. On the other hand, there’s all that Halloween candy to finish off, so let’s keep things in proper perspective, shall we?

Parts of it remind me of Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence, which also happens to be in the news a little bit this week because Barzun himself turns 100 shortly, and the old guy just keeps on cranking. Barzun is hopeful, I think. It’s convenient to say that Spengler is not, but he was writing in the dusk of pre-World War II Europe, so let’s cut the guy from slack. In any case, it’s chewy stuff and not to be seriously confused with the work of the other Spengler, who writes for the Asia Times Online.

We also hit Trader Joe’s, that we might stock up on cheap red wine and other comestibles. It feels like a guilty pleasure, but really, it’s not. Much of the food there is dirt cheap and darn good.

Lastly, I hasten to add that E. and I managed a date night (woohoo!), which found us at a tiny Japanese restaurant that must only be patronized by regulars. We haven’t been in there in months and the server still recognized us immediately, as she has on prior visits. If you’re in the mood for katsudon, let me know and I’ll think about telling you where it is.