Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Everybody get grokked tonight

In which we bring together a cast of characters as strange as the guests at The Leaky Cauldron

Tonight we own the neighborhood, me and Sammy and a few birds, it’s like an apocalyptic TV show where everybody gets raptured and all the cars are sitting there empty. I like it. The clouds kept trying to overtake everything today but right now the sun’s claiming the sunset and the day’s last breeze is tossing the trees all around. I’m not even mad that we went to the library to pick up a couple books on hold and I didn’t have my library card and damn I forgot I could have just used my app, because then I had an ice cream cone, chocolate dip, from Zesto’s. And now I’ve already sprawled on the Adirondack chair for an hour and watched episode three of Parade’s End, so far the best one of all, Benedict Cumberbatch spends most of the time looking as if 1) he has a stick up his rear and 2) he is about to cry, which are not mutually inclusive, at least among the Brits. I also had to look up Rebecca Hall for being amazing as Sylvia, only to discover I’ve seen her in several things. Stella is here too as usual, and Sam Smith, and we’re thinking about a story on All Things Considered called ‘Grokking and Greebling’: ‘Grok [says Max Nichols] is a word you would use to describe someone mastering something. Someone who has grokked something is someone who's kind of learned everything there is to know about that thing, and deeply understand it. We use it in game development and game design specifically, to talk about players who have essentially learned a mechanic in the game, one example would be jumping in a Mario game for instance, to the point where they can use that action as if it's just an extension of themselves. They don't need to like, think about using it - they just do it.’ That sounded pretty cool because it hit me that it’s like reading, like books, for me. I suck them in and then they become part of me and I deeply understand them, only with books, your understanding grows and changes, which is why I can read ‘Little Women’ over and over, and it’s different every time, at every age I read it, or -- or ‘Gone with the Wind,’ or something like ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany.’ And even Harry Potter, and how appropriate it is to think of him today, when J.K. Rowling has gifted us with a new story, hilarious and totally in tune with the wizarding world, I would hug her if I could and say thanks; I told someone the other day I wished I could do a summoning charm and they totally knew what I meant; I’m seeing Harry references in lots of other books and I think we’ve all totally grokked Harry. All is well, right?

I suppose we must pay a little homage to her, too

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