Everything That Rises Must Converge

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Overwhelmed by the number of soldiers returning from war with mental problems, the Army is planning to hire at least 25 percent more psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.

A contract finalized this week but not yet announced calls for spending $33 million to add about 200 mental health professionals to help soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health needs, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.


Another note to Harley

Harley is the pseudonym for a friend of mine who's a literary scholar of new fiction, last name Davidson he often jokes. He pointed out that the title story of Russian Lover seems to end in what he calls "very late-20th-century ambiguity." That is, it ends without the reader knowing if the girl writing all those letters to her ex-mother-in-law (now that's a whole lot of hyphens for someone who no longer wants anything to do with you, that girl might very well say) actually sends any of them. Does he every really pay her back for all the damage he caused her?

I'm supposed to tell him, but this is what happens with characters: if they don't say it, you want to somehow protect their privacy. So an invented girl has now decided to invent her own concealment, and there's nothing I can do about it.
Context is everything.
The word of the night was willowy. As in: Well, I'm not his type. He goes for those willowy, ethereal types.
Women aren't willowy, said my friend. Maybe they don't have a lot of meat on them, but they're not tangling their roots all in the sewer lines or breaking up the foundation as they grow. 
Don't be so sure, I said.


Carla Aurich, Tableland, 2005


can't wait

The marshmallow experiment (1960s) tested the ability of four-year-olds to defer gratification. After being given a marshmallow, the labcoats promised the kids a second marshmallow--but only if they could wait 20 minutes before they ate the first one. The experimenters then tracked the same kids as adolescents. And found that those children who were able to wait 20 minutes for the promise of a 2nd marshmallow at the age of 4 turned out to score higher on aptitude tests.

So where would you be on the marshmallow standard? and what is your marshmallow?