Friday, November 11, 2005

On my mind

Books on the nightstand:
- Time and Again by Jack Finney (awesome book about a guy who's selected by a secret government agency to participate in a time-travel experiment which involves him living in the Dakota Apartment building like it's 1882 until suddenly he goes outside one day and it is 1882. Really, this is a cult novel that needs to be revived. Also, it's filled with pseudo-factual photos.)
- Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens (I want to re-read Bleak House, Hard Times, Dombey, Pickwick, everything dude)
- Steinbeck: East of Eden, Travels with Charley, Cannery Row, Cup of Gold all read recently. Next up: Sweet Thursday
- Vegas, by John Gregory Dunne
- Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell

Songs on repeat (feel free to mock, I don't care):
- Telescope Eyes, Eisley (Tyler, Texas: Represent!)
- Sugar Boy, Beth Orton
- Joga, Bjork
- My Doorbell, White Stripes
- I figured you out, Elliott Smith
- generally, Arcade Fire

• Not much to talk about movie-wise. I did see Proof and thought it was OK, but lacked a little of the internal conflict that should be present in the Paltrow character.

• In baseball news, I'm disappointed that Dontrelle Willis didn't win the Cy Young Award. I hope the Yankees get Johnny Damon. They really need mo better pitchers, but Bernie's gone and they just cut Tino so I assume some money will go towards hitters, too.

• Also, as a result of the Orwell and Dickens books I've become mildly obssessed with Britain's pre-decimal currency system (and the slang terms thereof). 1 pound = 240 pennies or 20 shillings. Check out the pictures of the half-crowns, sovereigns, farthings, and florins here.

4 comments:

Eric Busch said...

I wondered what this was. So maybe when your people get in touch with my people this evening, we can discuss farthings. Were they made of gold or brass, as Disney seems to claim in its classic animated version of Robin Hood, wherein the pubescent rabbit helplessly watches the fat tax-collecting sheriff-wolf requisition his birthday gift?

hillary said...

Which is the one that's a plus-one? i.e., It's equal to 21 shillings instead of 20. I'm thinking it's a sovereign, but may be wrong.

mattbucher said...

Not sure. Maybe a guinea? A sovereign was made of 22 ct. gold so they are now worth significantly more than a silver pound.

A half crown was worth 2 shillings, sixpence, which is slightly more than half a crown (five shillings), but easier to transact because of sixpence (and earlier threepence) pieces existed whereas fivepence (nickel) pieces did not.

hillary said...

I think that's right. It may well be a guinea.