Citizen 13660

13660 was the number given to the author family as they were inducted into the japanese internment camps.

This book is unusual, different from any other book I’d read because it was highly illustrated. Mine Okubo wrote the book about her experience in a Japanese internment camp. She is a talented artist, and naturally, she didn’t stop being a talented artist in the internment camp.

What’s with camps? Concentration camps, gulags, internment camps…It seems like the WWII era was all about camps. Everybody had to have one.

Okubo made drawings of the things that happened in the camps. She starts the book before the camps, a really dramatic place to start. She lived in the San Francisco area and was just about her business. It was hard for her to believe that the camps would be happening.

But they did.

She drew herself into almost all the drawings. The pictures are very cartoon-like, and have the same sort of impact as a comic book. THe expression on her face (it’s hard to draw the right expression!) tells so much about the story. Her writing is very factual, Since the story is so dramatic on it’s own, she doesn’t need to get on a soapbox about how she felt or how it was wrong or what should have happened.

It’s a great book. It’s probably a really great book to give to Jr. High students or high school students to learn about history. Because the book is presented plainly, and with a lot of respect for the reader. You are definitely allowed to make up your own mind.

I am far more interested in history when I can associate a story with it. This book does that very well.

The Professor and the Madman

This book is mostly about the Oxford English Dictionary. The title is talking about the relationship between one of the main editors and one of the main contributors who happened to be in an insane asylum.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I would have been excited to read a whole book about those topics separately, but together I think it really worked.

I didn’t know about the history of dictionaries before I read this book. I knew that the OED was the biggest dictionary, but I didn’t really understand why.

Now I know. THey set out the catalog and define every single word in the language. Oh my god! And without computers!

So it took a lot of volunteers to do it. That’s where the madman comes in. W.C. Minor had killed someone in a delusionary state, and ended up in an asylum for the criminally insane.

But he was a highly educated man, and wanted to help out this dictionary project. He had a lot of free time.

For me, one of the most poignant things about this work is the practical story of how to live productively under the constraints of mental illness.

I hate it when I’m sick. I have all these things I wish I could do. But my body is too weak for me to run around and do them. I feel like my body has let me down.

I can not imagine how frustrating it would be to not be able to rely on your mind. I have to be honest, it scares me. Maybe that’s part of the stigma of being insane. People are afraid it might happen to them.

But it’s not fair to the people who suffer under this difficulty. We, the rest of the community should be compassionate and help the people who have this problem.

The Hours, especially the movie, kind of deals with mental illness too.Virginia Woolfe talks about her struggles to find fulfillment and balance in her life and yet protect herself from her own mind’s machinations.

Minor found this incredibly great outlet, working on the dictionary. He was a great asset to the work, and left behind a marvelous legacy. It would be wonderful if other mentally ill people were able to do the same.

The book was a really quick read, and very informative about dictionaries. The story of the madman Minor made it really more personal too.

You are so money!

My super cool and smart girlfriends came over to visit for the weekend.

One of them had to visit her brother. She was going to surprise him by showing up at his party unannounced.

But my other friend had never been to Hollywood. We had to go all over and see the walk, and browse the hooker shoe stores and vintage clothing shops.

We kept seeing places that were in the movie Swingers. It turns out that my favorite club The Derby is in it.

So, now I have to rent Swingers.