My Favourite Parts of Then Again by Diane Keaton


For Christmas, the Robeau got me a Kobo.  I'd been eyeing e-readers for a few months, mostly because the subway is so crowded there's no way to read on my commute.  Can't hold the handle, the book and turn the pages at the same time. Can't do it.  The e-reader has really solved that problem.  I've read more in the last three weeks than I have in the last year.  I feel like I'm rekindling an old relationship, one that used to mean a lot to me.  I mean, I still read all the time, even when I'm not reading books.  There's a constant stream of newspapers, magazines and blogs in my life.  But books.  Books are special.  It took Lenny and her love of reading books and this little Kobo to remind me of that.  2012 is going to be the year of the book!  I'm planning on recording my impressions of the books I read here.  Not reviews, just the bits that I want to remember, so the experience of reading isn't too fleeting.  Like a book club for one.

The first book I read on my Kobo was Then Again by Diane Keaton.  I've always admired her as an actress (being a nut for Woody Allen) and as a personality.  Her memoir is singular and unique, just like she is, as it weaves together her life story and her mother's using excerpts from her mother's many journals.  The photography in the book is just great too.

These are my favourite parts:

Beet Head,

Humans are clean slates. There are no qualities indigenous to men or women. True, there is a different biology, but all defining choices in life affect both sexes & a woman, any woman is capable of defining herself with total FREEDOM. Therefore women are anything they choose to be & frequently have chosen & defined themselves greater than men. Don't be fooled by THE ARTS! They're no big deal; certainly no excuse for people acting like jerks & by that I mean, so what if up till now there were very few women artists. There may have been women far deeper than, say, Mozart of Da Vinci but contributing their genius in a different socially circumscribed context. Note how I switched from pen to pencil at this moment because in Lelouch's film,  A MAN & A WOMAN, he switches from color to black & White - So I underline my point using the same symbolism - Very clever? OK, then, very stupid.

- Woody


Grammy didn't say much when George got skinny. The morning he keeled over and died, Grammy didn't cry. "He never gave me a dime. Not one dime." That's all she said. I thought of the money-tree cards. I wished I hadn't spent all those dimes. I would have given them to Grammy so she wouldn't be so angry about George. After all, he died. I was sure George meant for her to have as many dimes as she wanted. And even if he didn't, he always tried to pay his rent on time. Grammy's response was hard for me to decipher. Why wasn't she sad? It wasn't nice. What it was was cold and unattended, like her duplex on Range View Avenue.


When Mom and the kids joined us we built sand castles. Riley taught me how to make them correctly. She'll end up in management. She's your kind of girl, Dad.


I can't remember the day Dexter stopped saying "Member." "Member how Josie threw up in the car?" "Member the bird's nest we found?" No more "members", Dexie. There was the afternoon she didn't want to dive for plastic elephants at the bottom of the pool. Goodbye, elephants, and crocodiles too. There was the day Duke stopped watching Kipper and Thomas the Tank Engine videos, and the day he forgot to beg me to play "Come into my house." Goodbye, little cardboard house. There was the last day we sang "Gillies Mountain" as we tooled along in my big black Defender. That was the day I cranked the volume high as it would go, so we could scream out the words "I took a trip up Gillis Mountain on a sunny summer day." Goodbye, Gillis Mountain. Goodbye. You'd think the accumulation of so many little goodbyes would have prepared me for the bigger ones, but they didn't.


These are the days of derelict debris and a mounting stockpile of nonsense.


I asked Dexter and Duke if they thought their grandmother might have been seeing something she'd never seen before. They both agreed she must have been looking into something on the other side of new.

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