February 2nd, 2008

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Magic! And a mystery!

There is a convention of magicians in town. I learned this as I read Friday's paper and I noted that their public performance was timed to conflict with my plan to pick up Brian from the airport. That's where my friends in the weather department come in handy: his flights were all delayed so Victoria and I took in the show. It was really fun--and as we were waiting for the show to start a dapper gentleman reseated us from our perfectly fine row U seats to extra-spectacular row F seats, how about that?

Lots of classic magic plus a comic juggler who stole Victoria's heart, it went on for more than two hours and never dragged. On the ride home I asked Victoria what she thought of the show. She said, "It was a thousand times better than I thought it would be!" As you might see, there is an undefined factor in that evaluation, but she isn't known for cagey expression as a rule so I think she really liked it.

When I got home there was a message for me from the library, stating that my reserve had been canceled because the book was not in their collection. I am puzzled, because this is not a rare book at all. I first asked Columbus for it and they only had one copy. I was number one on the waiting list for months and then I got a notice that the book was not in their collection. Ok, I looked statewide and found a copy in Toledo and requested that. That's who contacted me last night to say they no longer had the book. It's a 1904 collection of Japanese ghost stories (and some bug essays), republished frequently and recently. I could read it online, but I wonder why it's so hard to put my hands on the book. It's Lafcadio Hearns' Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. Weird.