Two pair jeans (one black, one blue), four pair shorts, two pair capris (one I will wear on the plane), one short skirt. One pair of shoes (lace-up, usable for gym or hiking), two pair sandals (one brown and I can walk miles in them, one black and slightly dressier). Assorted T-shirts, one sweater, one fleece pullover, one cotton pullover, one sleeveless turtleneck. Fleece jacket. Goretex jacket. Nine days, Oregon in summer, visiting both sides of the Cascades (the rainy side and the high desert side).
Yup, I overpacked again. And the worst of it is, I still can't figure what to wear to go see Much Ado About Nothing, outdoors at the replica Globe Theater at night - it needs to be slightly dressy, I think, and warm but not winter-warm. Hence the sleeveless T-Neck, which may be all right with either the short skirt or the black jeans and a jacket. I think.
I've had a bit of a dehydration thing going on, which is why I haven't been writing here much. After doing some errands Sunday that involved walking between stores I was feeling a bit off so went and drank lots and laid down a while. (When you live in a desert, you learn to recognize the feeling of dehydration quickly.) I was feeling a bit better by Sunday night.
Yesterday, I was not quite 100% so decided to erg instead of rowing; the difference is that you can work out just as hard on an erg but if you start feeling awful you can stop and get off, which is harder to do in a boat if you're a couple of kilometers from the beach at the time. And also, no bathrooms in rowing shells. That turned out to be a mistake - not the erging, but the working out at all. I was feeling progressively more disengaged on the way into work, which is not a good feeling to have while driving at 75 per. I gave it an hour or so at work and still didn't feel better so I did the drive back home and spent the rest of the day resting and drinking water and Gatorade. In this climate, the latter is as necessary as sunscreen. Given the amount of Gatorade we go through in my house, I ought to look up who makes it and go buy stock. This morning I made the intelligent decision to skip going to the gym and am now feeling all right except for a lingering headache.
While I was resting yesterday I also learned to crochet, more or less, and made one small square in single crochet and one in double. There's no doubt crochet goes faster, and it's much easier to unravel when you'e made a mistake, or rather knitting and crochet are equally easy to unravel but with crochet it's much easier to get the loop on the hook and start up again. With knitting it's too easy to lose one of your loops and then you've slipped a stitch. I think I like knitting better, because it's easier to do on automatic and to read a book while you're doing it, and because I like the texture of the finished piece better, but I can imagine doing crochet for small things like trim or for dishrags. We currently use hand-knitted or crocheted dishrags given to us by Rudder's grandmother. They work well because of the texturing and they make me happy because of the connection. So now when they fall apart if I don't have any more from her I can make my own, and the connection will still count even if the physical piece comes from my hands instead of hers. We're going to be seeing the grandparents as well as the parents next week, so I'll get her to show me how to knit better and then I can even make the same pattern of dishrag she does.
Which 'The Dark Is Rising' Sequence Main Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Interestingly, I stayed Merriman no matter whether I picked Loyalty, Courage, Honesty, or even Justice as the greatest virtue in the last question. Isn't making everyone else forget all they've been through a form of injustice?
The archives are up! Not all of them are visible yet - I imported them with Draft status and I have to convert to Publish status individually (just a matter of selecting from a pull-down menu -- there's a "bulk edit" widow, so at least I don't have to open each entry.
I did use a script to get the entries off Diaryland and set up in the right format, but the dates didn't come across right in most cases so I've had to go back and fix that by hand, hence the lack of yesterday's entries. It was interesting, though because in the process I got to watch the last three years of my life unfolding. I note that in 2001 I was leg-pressing only about 50 lbs less than I am now, which is a little depressing. On the other hand, there have been times in that period when I've been working with (slightly) lower weights and lighter reps, so that partly explains it. A more gratifying fact is that at that time I was writing about how my fingers were numb "but deserved to be, because I had rowed just under 10 km that morning in the single." Yesterday I rowed 14 km -- could have gone farther but I was out of time. I also got to read about unemployment, re-emplyment, travels, and lots of books. Oe thing that surprised me was how high a percentage of my titles were quotes from books or songs. I spotted at least three cribbed from Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now, which makes sense since I'm writing about the vagaries of my own life. I also found a lot more typos than expected. I tried spellchecking but gave up less than halfway through because there was just too much of it.
The line-wrapping is a bt screwed up, but I won't bother fixing that. Unfortunately one result of that is that a lot of the links are messed up, and I will fix those over time. I suppose I will also have to change all those links referring back to my Diaryland site, but that will be a slow process.
Meanwhile, Rudder's just come home, so I have more important things to go do.
I spent some time today trying the clayrhino script to import my ahives from Diaryland, again. This time I was able to get the script to run all the way through, and it seemed to work except that more than half of the dates didn't come through. They were listed as 12/31/1969. Being stupidly trustul, I spent hours, literally, correcting those dates by hand. I finally decided just now that it might be smarter to try importing a small subset of entries before going any farther. That woud have been a very good thing to try several hours ago, as it turned out; once again, Moveable Type wasn't able to read my file, even though it seemed to conform with what their Help file told me to do. It understood the boundaries of each entry, but tried to cram an entire entry in the Title field.
My next theory is that maybe the carriage returns are funny on the Mac or something. I'm going to try mailing my sample file to a PC, editing the plain text in Notepad, and importing that. Tomorrow, not today.
Monday, 6/21: Rowed 12,600m in the single; 80% at low rate with 8x7on, 7 off at each end of the lake. Also walked approx 1 mile.
Tuesday: Gym. Usual erg piece at 1612m in 9:43, plus erged 2017 in 10:57 after weights. Took leg press up to 175, calf raise to 235 or so.
Wednesday: Rowed 10,500m in the single - drills and starts. Didn't download start data, but several start times got into the 1:40s for splits - fastest I saw was 1:43.
Skipped Thursday - tired and had 7AM telecon.
Friday: Telecommuting so could row longer. 14,100m in the single - 3x4'3'2'1'2'3'4'(5) at rates of 20,24,28,32,28,24,20. This puts me over 500 miles for the year -- halfway to 1000 mile goal with another week left in June!
If I do ever get my archives moved over here, I will regret this entry because I'll have to redo it. In the meantime, though, I want a table of contents of the poems I've posted in the three years I've been keeping an online journal - I do have a spreadsheet on one computer, but this will be more accessible.
LATER NOTE: Updated as of 2/18/2005.
I give fair warning, some of these suck. Some are jokes. Some are not. Some, I will go so far as to say, don't suck.
|3/9/2001||Ice Fog Dance|
|3/9/2001||Sarah Whistled When She Walked|
|5/1/2001||Just Don't Tell Me How to Do It|
|5/15/2001||Not All There Is||6/14/2001||Parodies of Frost|
|6/21/2001||Hands, Hands, Hands|
|8/3/2001||I've Been Slimed|
|8/20/2001||Notes on Shopping|
|10/01/2001||Sept 11 Attempt|
|12/14/2001||The Why of Flight|
|1/14/2002||Change is Crackling|
|2/22/2002||The Only One Who|
|2/22/2002||A Day on the River|
|3/4/2002||My Last Girlfriend|
|4/18/2002||A Life in Brief|
|4/29/2002||The Sleep Cycle|
|6/22/2002||The Perfect Guest|
|6/24/2002||The Curdle Fair|
|8/15/2002||Talkin' Ashcroft Blues|
|8/20/2002||A Reply to Service|
|9/19/2002||Turn the World Over|
|2/3/2003||Death Comes in Clouds|
|2/11/2003||A Mother's Loss|
|7/06/2003||The Preflight Gavotte|
|10/29/2003||Riding the Wind|
|12/15/2003||A Ghostly Banner|
|2/23/2004||San Francisco, February 2004|
|6/22/2004||I Have Not Chosen Sufficiency|
|6/22/2004||Ocean In My Eyes|
|11/4/2004||On Chief Seattle's Land, A Century Later|
|2/11/2005||Peace is Not a Gift|
I've been told that if I don't update here every couple of months, my journal
access might go away, followed by the journal itself. So until I figure out how to
transfer archives, or have time to do it the manual way, I will be writing here
every so often. It probably won't be anything exciting, though.
yes, I do know about Markus at Clayrhino's script to import from Dland - I just
couldnÕt get it to work. It kept dying on me; I suspect the 36 archive files
containing over 1200 entries just plain overloaded it.
Since some people I know in "real" life read this, and I wouldn't want My Brother the Writer worrying about whether I had an unhappy childhood again, I probably should comment on the previous poem. Melissa commented, in part, "Only you can answer this, think this out to its end."
My answer to her was:
Oh, no, I know the answer - it was the poem wanted the question asked, not me really. The answer is, that life really was the default, the easy choice, the one my parents would have liked me to make. And I really would have hated it. I'd have ended up half a person, like a nautilus unable to move into a bigger chamber (which, I think, is what happened to my parents, though they're not necessarily unhappy about it). The other woman I wrote about is real, too, but I think for her that is just the right-sized life.
But the question in the last stanza is true, too. I certainly have chosen to make things harder for myself than they absolutely needed to be -- but for me, I'm much happier erring in that direction than the other way.
As I was thinking about that this morning on the water, though, I started thinking about poetry in general. (Water is soothing, and also, setting my mind to worrying one problem while my body works on rowing seems to work for me.)
Poetry exists to tell a truth, sometimes one that can't be told or would be difficult to tell in prose. Good poetry tells a universal or at least widely applicable truth. I'm not claiming any merit for my own except that of conscientous effort, by which I mean that I do always try to use my words to tell a truth. The thing is, it's not always my truth. Sometimes it's what I think is someone else's truth, or it's only a part of my truth or it's my truth but from a different perspective. For example one of the very first pieces I posted in a blog was "Sarah Whistled":
Sarah whistled when she walked,
Tangled bits of tunes that tailed
Away behind her like a banner
Floating on a trailing wind.
No matter now that she's far gone,
I seem to see her when I hear
Tuneful snips of tangled song
Set dancing on a trailing wind.
Sarah is me, actually; I was imagining the point of view of someone who is fond of me, who might find the habit endearing. They might equally find it annoying, of course; that's the nice thing about not having to tell all the truth. Or to go on to better poets (and ones not so obviously stealing from Leigh Hunt), Robert Browning in Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister or Edward Arlington Robinson in Richard Cory though they were talking about something universal, were not showing it through their own viewpoints. Even Emily Dickinson, the most personal of poets, had obviously not died when she wrote "Because I Could Not Stop for Death".
What I'm taking a lot of high-flown words to say is, don't worry, I'm happy. I asked the question, but I do know the answer -- which doesn't mean it's not worth taking out and re-examining occasionally. If I'd stayed in Northeast Philadelphia I would be rattling the bars of my cage and dreaming of escape.
I just catalogued my 1001st book! I still haven't gotten to the ones upstairs, which include textbooks and SF paperbacks.
And there's a dust storm outside! If we're lucky, we mght even get a spot of rain - the last time we saw any of that was about February. (Literally.) I do hope we're in for a very rainy rainy season.
There must be an infinitude of lifelines
I could have followed,
A universe of forked choices.
Somehow, though, there's a default;
Oddly, not the one I took.
Another seems most obvious,
Now in retrospect as well as then.
I can see it more clearly than any other
Sometimes more clearly than my own. It goes:
Just well enough in high school, Then on to the state college. Choose a reasonable major, anything, Not a passion but a suffiency. Graduate and get a job (not career), Changing emplyment once a decade or so. Marry a nice enough Jewish boy, Produce the prerequisite children, And live, of course, not far from my mother, In a nice house, on a nice street, in a nice neighborhood, in a nice life.
Another brown-haired little girl I knew
Did choose that nice life.
She sleeps now two doors down the street
(It was her parents' house)
And my mother grandmothers her son,
Which gratifies everyone concerned.
As far as outside I can see
She's happy with her choices.
I think I would hate her life.
But would I?
Would there be adventure enough
In choosing the nice Jewish boy,
In raising the nice Jewish children,
In choosing the synagogue, the job,
The schools, the supermarket, the vegetables?
Have I chosen a life full
Of unnecessary challenge?
Dammit! It looks like I won't be able to telecommute tomorrow after all; there's a meeting I really ought to be here in person for. Somehow a day spent at home, no matter how much I get done, has much less of the oh-no-here-we-go-again factor than a day in the office. I considered just coming in for the afternoon, but that rather defeats the whole not-driving point.
I thought new knitters were supposed to drop stitches all the time. Why do I keep getting more stitches on the needle than I'm supposed to have? And is it true that crocheting goes faster but uses more yarn? I can afford more yarn if it saves me time.
As you may have noticed, I didn't make it to the SpaceShipOne launch today. I couldn't find anyone to drive up with me, and I wasn't sure it would be all that visually exciting, since the actual rocket motor part was planned to happen some 50,000 feet up after the craft had been boosted by a larger airplane. I am very pleased to say that Rutan managed just fine without my presence - there's a Reuters story here and a more detailed one from the Beeb , as well as one at Space.com. I am not so pleased with the news coverage; I didn't hear anything about it while it was happening, though it is now - finally - on Reuters top stories. I imagine it will be up there for about twenty minutes before some further coverage of threats of beheading edges it out. (Later note: I was right, but there are stories up all over Yahoo's Aerospace and Space news sections.) I wish they had covered it in more detail, as far as I'm concerned, Burt Rutan is the kind of hero who improves the future for our whole species.
Speaking of the news, I do not really think (most of the time) that Bush is the sort of heartless ghoul who would be glad of an atrocity if it helped his campaign. I would much prefer to believe that he is anguished at the very idea of a beheading. (Let's just ignore his record on the death penalty as governor of Texas, for the sake of argument.) However, even granting him the most feeling of hearts and the noblest of intentions, there must be some small imp in the back of his mind who notes the recent news and whispers, "There's another score for our side." I can't think of anything more likely to stiffen my country's resolve and make a majority want to keep forces in Iraq than vile and bloody attacks on American and allied civilians. I don't know what these particular terrorists are planning, but they're obviously not basing their thoughts on any knowledge of our history or character. Then again, my pick for most effective act of rebellion by an Arab group comes form a Tom Clancy novel: one of his books had a group of Palestinians sit down in front of the Israeli army and begin singing "We Shall Overcome". In Arabic. In front of TV cameras. I think that might actually work as well as it did in the book. I'd certainly like to see it tested.
I don't know much about the Korean national character but .... I've seen Seoul, and I've seen pictures of Seoul during the Korean war. Anyone who can get from the latter to the former in a few decades isn't lacking in strength of mind.
Oh, and speaking of Presidents, can we please put the flags back up already? This isn't like a standing ovation; no matter how long you leave them lowered, he's not going to come back out.
A bit of unpaid advertising here, because I think it's deserved. Kudos to Real Simple magazine, which in its current issue's article on dresses actually has a short woman in the "best for petites" style, a plump one in the "best for plus sizes" style, a chesty one in the "best for large bust" style, and so on. They don't look like professional models, and they're not all white, either. Also to Whirlpool, who (according to Reba McEntire in their own ads, admittedly) donates a fridge and a range to every house Habitat for Humanity builds (I love Habitat's "sweat equity" model). And to the guys at Armordeck who did our backyard redo includig a propane grill for a reasonable rpice and who thus made tonight's extremely tasty dinner (grilled shrimp and asparagus, 5 min of prep time nad about 8 to cook) possible. The other advantage to the grill is that Rudder now cooks about twice as much as he used to -- or at least more of his cooking is real cooking, not just packaged stuff.
Disclaimer: I have no connection to any entity mentioned in this entry except Rudder. Oh, and the shrimp and asparagus I ate for dinner.
Today I learned to knit. Well, if you take those words very literally I did. I do not yet know how to purl, for example, much less make yarn into anything you'd want to own or wear. I am the proud creatrix of a swatch of knitted Shetland wool about 20 stitches long by 4 stitches deep. It's a start, especially given the instructions I was dealing with.
To back up, I have been a very *very* good girl since Rudder left. Last night after work instead of vegetating, I did the food shopping so I wouldn't have to do it later in the weekend and so I would have snacks for today. This morning I went to the gym to make up for skipping Thursday. Afterward I came home, showered, and drove up to Jerome, a old copper mining town, then a ghost town, now full of galleries, hippies, bikers, and some wonderful glass and other art. The town ins hung on the side of a mountain; there are stairs from one street to another and some of the older buildings have literally slid downhill. My favorite gallery was Raku, not only because I loved their art but because the upper floor has a floor to ceiling window with a mind-blowing view straight out over the Verde Vallley to the Mogollon Rim and Sedona's red rocks. I came home with a lot of jewelry (dichroic glass, of course), a silver barrette, an 8" high wooden cat that is also a puzzle, a tiny cat made of feathers sleeping on a pillow (because it was only $2 and one of my coworkers will love it), and knitting needles (bamboo, circular), Shetland wool, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting. Also a Dar Williams CD, The Green World, and a bottle of rose from the local winery. Despite the weighty haul, though, I think my favorite part of the trip beside the cool wind was the music in each store. Hardly any of it was anything I can hear on the radio; I heard Johnny Cash, Dar Williams, Patsy Cline, Willy Nelson, some of the Beatles' more obscure songs, and a band in a bar covering Lyle Lovett's "She's No Lady, She's My Wife". That was almost more fresh air for me than the actual desert mountain air. (The title of this entry, by the way, is from Kate Wolf's song "Old Jerome", which is about the town, though I didn't hear it today.)
The knitting, you will have surmised, was begun courtesy of the implements of construction and book I bought in Jerome. I do not recommend the Idiot's Guide - I bought it because I liked the idea of a book that describes how to knit and crochet both, but this is one of the instances when that series' name is unfortunately apt for one of its books. The book would have benefited greatly from an editor who knew left from right; I never did figure out how to do double casting on at least partly because of one illustration where the caption said to hold one strand of yarn in the left hand and the other in the right hand -- while the picture showed both in the same hand. Fortunately, there were instructions for two other ways to cast on, but that leads into another complaint. This book is a bit too theoretical; it has three ways to cast on and two or three ways to do everything else. It's a bit confusing for someone who's just learning -- better to show one way and just mention the existance of others, introducing themlater or in an appendix. Also, there are only general instructions, no patterns to actually make something. The guy at he shop where I bought it was extrmely helpful though; apparently his wife is the real stitching guru (I suspect some of the scarves I saw in a few galleries are made by her) but he was able to give me some advice, like using circular needles even for flat pieces (easier to put it down and not have anything slip off). He also played me samples of several songs on The Green World because I was trying to decide whether to buy that or Dar's live album, and he insisted on giving me his wife's card so I could email her with any questions. I will send them feedback about my issues with the book, if I can figure out how to make it not sound like a reflection on their shop.
I was especially proud of myself because a lot of this all was outside my comfort zone: doing stuff instead of collapsing after work, going to the gym when I knew I'd be walking around hills are day are minor things, but doing a 2 hour drive solo always makes me a bit nervous even though I've done longer ones. Pushing myself to do things that make me uncomfortable but that expand or reinforce my capabillities feels like a virtue, somehow.
Tuesday, 6/15: erg and weights. Usual erg piece, 1620 in 9:34, plus an additional 2207m after lifting.
Wednesday, 6/16: 12 racing starts in the single, with bungee - approx 11,500m.
Friday, 6/18: double with She-Hulk. 3 sets of 3x 1'on, 1' off, start, middle, end of race sets, 5' rest between sets.
Saturday, 6/19: erg and weights: 1500m + 2x10 for a total of 1819 on 10:16, plus extra weights because of having more time on a weekend day. Also, walking hills in Jerome.
As I type this I'm wearing a bathing suit, rafting shorts, and a Cool-max shirt I use for rowing, hiking or the gym because it's so lightweight. That wouldn't be at all strange except that I'm in my office. I was going to change until I realized that changing *out* of shorts and *in* to more proper clothing at 3 o'clock on a Friday was just wrong. I did put the shirt back on as a nod to professionalism.
The wettable duds are, of course, because of the company carwash, which for the record did not involved coercion either to wash or to wear skimpy clothing (it wasn't that kind of carwash because it's not that kind of company) but did involved much spraying of hoses, not always directed at cars. I'm still damp and very glad I wore the bathing suit.
I'm also noticing I still write bathing suit, the word I grew up using, which is odd because these days I generally seem to say swimsuit. The latter makes more sense, that being what I call what I do in said suit. It confused the hell out of me when I first came across references to bathing and bathing machines in Alice in Wonderland and other English books. (Actually, the whole idea of bathing machines still confuses the hell out of me. Victorians were weird.) I think, though, that I've changed the word I use mostly due to the influence of news anchors and advertisers, who always (in the USA) use the term "swimsuit".
When I was younger, the two other locutions I noticed them saying differently than people around me did were matters of pronunciation; route pronounced as "rout" (we said "root") and coupon pronounced as "koopon" (we said "kyoopon"). I think I flicker between root and rout depending how I feel, what road I'm actually talking about, and who I'm talking to. Koopon still sounds weird to me, though. Otherwise I don't have much of a Philadelphia accent these days; I don't say wooder for water, keeyan for can, or ayout for out. Hardly ever, anyway.
It'll be calmer next week. It'll be calmer next week.....
I keep telling myself. Anyone want to bet?
At least tomorrow I get a free lunch (recognition for the people who were in yesterday's Big Company Event) and I get to hang around in my bathing suit all afternoon (Management Car Wash, for charity). Question: how high up the chain does a manager or director have to be before turning the hose on him or her becomes a Bad Career Move? Does it make any difference if it's 105 degrees out? And if I'm wearing shorts do I have to keep a T-shirt over my bathing suit? (See previous reference to 105 degrees.) (It's a one-piece, cut for swimming laps rather than showing off. I'm being conservative.)
The good thing about next week is that it ought to be a lot quieter, with our big event at work over and the boss out all week, and then at home with Rudder away. The bad part, of course, is that "Rudder away" part. Also, he's going to Rotterdam. Excitement for me is getting to go to another part of Phoenix.
Except that we're going to Oregon on vacation in about two weeks. And there was that little matter of Antarctica six months ago. OK, I'll stop complaining now. Good night.
I do Not like Yahoo's new "improved" email. They may have four times the space, but it's running four times slower. I hope that's temporary.
LA, I don't think you're a lightweight fluffhead, but I also don't think booklists are meant to be a competitive thing. There are books on that list I'll never read. Some might be excellent but are just something I'm not interested in, and some, I suspect, would suck. There are entire bookcases full of books I've read not on that list and I'm sure the same holds for you and any other reader. I just do lists occasionally because it's fun thinking about the books I've read. The sole advantage to not being a student these days is that I hardly ever have to read anything I'm not interested in -- and if I do, I'm generally getting paid for it.
What I really don't care about is whether I've read more than other people - with a couple exceptions. There are some cases in which I do care just what other people have read. As Maria implies, you can learn a lot about someone from seeing what books are part of them. If I've read something I think someone else would love, it's one of life's great pleasures to recommend it -- and it's an even bigger pleasure to have someone recommend something that I end up loving. And if we both love the same books -- or don't -- or love them for different reasons, we can have all the fun of discussing how and why and whether and therefore.
Apparently today they're unveiling the official portrait of President Clinton that will hang in the White House next to all his predecessors. NPR was interviewing the artist who painted the portrait, and the interviewer asked, "Can you describe what the portrait looks like?"
I was really waiting for the artist to respond, "Er, Bill Clinton."
Friday, 6/4: 14000m in the single, including 12 racing starts with bungee on the boat.
Monday, 6/7: 12, 200m in the single.
Tuesday: 1651 in 9:18 on the erg - the usual warmup for weights, 1K + 300 cooldown + 2 x 10 erg squats -- then weights. Pulled a thigh muscle.
Wednesday, 6/9: 11000 in the single, 4x11, first two with bungee on, 3,2,1,2,3 min at 22, 26, 30, 36, 22 spm, then 24, 28, 32, 28, 24 spm. Second two without bungee, 24, 28, 32, 28, 24 spm then 36, 30, 34, 30, 26 spm. Difficult to handle the high rating with launch wakes messing up my set.
Thursday, 6/10: 1614 in 9:28 (usual warmup, then weights, then 2012m in 11:13.
Friday, 6/11: HALF MARATHON! 21097m in 2:12:35.6.
Saturday: Sawed down trees on the property.
Monday: 12, 500m in the single, 80% at slow rate. Average split 2:53.
We went up to ur property on the Mogollon Rim yesterday, for the first time since about January. The death toll, from bark beetles and drought is two large pines and three of four small ones. I hate cutting down trees. Even when they're thoroughly dead, it's like going to a funeral. And these were thoroughly dead and very dry, so they were easy to cut and jam into my pickup.
In the past we've had to cut some that were only dying (because it was inevitable -- there's no cure for bark beetles and we don't like to leave dry tinder up there between our visits. That feels like pulling life support.
Still, it was nice to get up there where the air smells like pine and there's always wind, where we can watch airplanes taking off, where the neighbors stop to talk to us and the temperature is comfortable for sitting outside. I wish we could figure out how to have careers that would allow us to live up there, that would be lucrative enough so we could build the house we want, with lots of balconies and a cupola to watch the trees blowing and the planes landing.
Oh, what the hell. I did a half-marathon on the erg this morning, and my brain is still only semi-functional. (The rest of me isn't too sorry about it yet but may be by tomorrow.) And besides, I like thinking about books, and lists of books.
I stole the booklist part of this meme from kiwiria, but changed the directions a little.
* bold those books you’ve read
* italicize started-but-never-finished
* underline owned but not (yet) read
* add three of your own
* post to your journal
The original directions say:
* bold those books you’ve read
* italicize started-but-never-finished or
* put in parentheses if you've seen the movie ;)
* underline the ones you actually like
* add three of your own
* post to your livejournal
I'm leaving out the movie parentheses because I just don't care enough about movies to bother - they're not central to my life the way books are. (Also, how would I classify The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where I've seen some but not all of the TV episodes and a bit of a cartoon of it?) And I'm not doing the underline-if-you-liked-it bit because it would be too hard to decide -- if 51% of it appealed to me, is that "liking"? If I liked some aspects but not others? Why would I distinguish like from dislike but not love from like? And so on ... it would take way, way too long for me to figure out.
So my version of the directions (similar to ones I've seen in some other journal, somewhere) are:
* bold those books you’ve read
* italicize started-but-never-finished
* underline owned but not read
* add three of your own
* post to your journal
I am counting audiobooks I've listened to as "read", but if I've only seen the movie it doesn't count.
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo (but in an abridged version)
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsythe Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George’s Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett (in progress right now!)
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O’Brian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, V.C. Andrews
201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan
204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan
205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan
206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan
207. Winter’s Heart, Robert Jordan
208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto
212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
213. The Married Man, Edmund White
214. Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin
215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault
216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell
218. Equus, Peter Shaffer (I've read the play - don't know if there's a book version)
219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice
223. Anthem, Ayn Rand
224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
225. Tartuffe, Moliere
226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
228. The Trial, Franz Kafka
229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles
231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther
232. A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen
233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read
237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono
238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde
240. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
241. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
242. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
243. Summerland, Michael Chabon
244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
245. Candide, Voltaire
246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
247. Ringworld, Larry Niven
248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault
249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony
258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum (if this is the first one with Ozma)
259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde
261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde
261. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel
263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
264. A Yellow Rraft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris
265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
267. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
268. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock
269. Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland
270. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. O’Brien
271. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
272. The Cay, Theodore Taylor
273. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
274. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
275. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
276. The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan
277. The Bone Setter’s Daughter, Amy Tan
278. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child
279. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
280. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
281. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
282. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
283. Haunted, Judith St. George
284. Singularity, William Sleator
285. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
286. Different Seasons, Stephen King
287. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
288. About a Boy, Nick Hornby
289. The Bookman’s Wake, John Dunning
290. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
291. Illusions, Richard Bach
292. Magic’s Pawn, Mercedes Lackey
293. Magic’s Promise, Mercedes Lackey
294. Magic’s Price, Mercedes Lackey
295. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
296. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker
297. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
298. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love
299. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
300. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
301. The Cider House Rules, John Irving
302. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card (the novella, not the book)
303. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
304. The Lion’s Game, Nelson Demille
305. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust
306. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh
307. Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco
308. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
309. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
310. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz
311. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
312. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk
313. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
314. The Giver, Lois Lowry
315. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin
316. Xenogenesis (or Lilith’s Brood), Octavia Butler
317. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
318. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
319. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)
320. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill
321. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern [or William Goldman]
322. Beowulf, Anonymous
323. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
324. Deerskin, Robin McKinley
325. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
326. Passage, Connie Willis
327. Otherland, Tad Williams
328. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
329. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
330. Beloved, Toni Morrison
331. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
332. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin
333. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
334. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
335. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev
336. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
337. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
338. The Genesis Code, John Case
339. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
340. Paradise Lost, John Milton
341. Phantom, Susan Kay
342. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice
343. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman
344: The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
345: Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson
346: The Winter of Magic’s Return, Pamela Service
347: The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz
348. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
349. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
350. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime O’Neill
351. Othello, by William Shakespeare
352. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas
353. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats
354. Sati, Christopher Pike
355. The Inferno, Dante
356. The Apology, Plato
357. The Small Rain, Madeline L’Engle
358. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick
359. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater
360. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
361. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
362. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
363. Our Town, Thorton Wilder
364. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King
365. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass
366. The Moor’s Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
367. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
368. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
369. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
370. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
371. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
372. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
373. Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
374. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
375. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
376. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer
377. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
378. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
379. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston
380. Time for Bed by David Baddiel
381. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
382. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
383. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
384. Sewer, Gas, and Electric by Matt Ruff
385. Jhereg by Steven Brust
386. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
387. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
388. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
389. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz
380. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
381. Neuromancer, William Gibson
382. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
383. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr
384. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault
385. The Gunslinger, Stephen King
386. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
387. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
388. A Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman
389. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott
390. The God Boy, Ian Cross
391. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Laurie R. King
392. Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson
393. Misery, Stephen King
394. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
395. Hood, Emma Donoghue
396. The Land of Spices, Kate O’Brien
397. The Diary of Anne Frank
398. Regeneration, Pat Barker
399. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
400. Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia
401. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
402. The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg
403. Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
404. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
405. A Severed Wasp - Madeleine L’Engle
406. Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
407. The Mabinogion (Ancient Welsh Tales) - translated by Lady Charlotte E. Guest
408. The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
409. Desire of the Everlasting Hills - Thomas Cahill
400. The Cloister Walk - Kathleen Norris
401. My Antonia, Willa Cather
402. Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
403. The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
404. Conceived Without Sin, Bud MacFarlane Jr.
405. Pierced by a Sword, Bud MacFarlane, Jr.
406. Tully, Paullina Simons
407. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
408. Cat's Eye, Margaret Atwood
409. Earth Abides, George R. Stewart
410. Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars, Daniel K. Pinkwater
411. The Talisman, Stephen King and Peter Straub
412. Black House, Steven King and Peter Straub
413. Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Jean Kerr
414. The Golden Spiders, Rex Stout
415. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
415. The gift of Sex, C & J Penner
416. Dominion, Randy Alcorn
417 Trixie Belden and the secret of the mansion, Julie Campbell
418. The Shaman, Noah Gordon
419. Pope Joan, Donna W. Cross
420. The Bible (the Five Books of Moses, that is. I've only read bits of that upstart version
421. 84 Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
422. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Ann Fadiman
423. The New Lifetime Reading Plan, Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major
(As I said, I like book lists)
What a concept -- doing things on the side of town where I spend my waking weekday hours. Instead of rushing across town to drop my car off at the dealers (20,000 oil change and various-stuff checkup) and having Rudder come get me, then rushing to have him drop me off to pick it up tomorrow, I took it at lunch to a dealer 2 miles from my office. I was prepared to wait for it, courtest of Terry Pratchett and the local library, but as it turned out they have a shuttle service and were able to drop me back at work.
I sort of regret that, actually, not just for Hogfather's sake but because it turns out to be a really nice dealership with lots of new magazines, plenty of toys in their parts store (I want a miniature of my Mozzie-car) and even a customer Internet lounge. Instead I got to be doing productive work. (But I still may buy a toy car when I go back to pick mine up.)
It's a funny thing. I've been on various email lists since the mid-80s; I'm currently active on about four dedicated to discussions of different authors' books. They've all got a variety of people and it's been interesting to hear different viewpoints from people of different nationalities, genders, and opinions. For readers, book preferences can be an important part of identity, and so all of the lists tend to feature occasional discussion about how pleasant it is to talk to people with whom we have so much in common. It really is blessedly easy to hold a conversation among people who generally know what you're talking about, with whom you can use the shorthand of comparing things, people, or events to ones in books.
There is definitely a difference among the different lists, though. On one list and its offshoots, people may occasionally annoiy each other, but it's like being annoyed by your family: you know what they mean and why they think so even when you disagree. Even when it's an old gripe that's become as irritating as chalk squeaking on a blackboard, you're still squeaking in a common language and you can generally figure out their priorities and the bases of opinions.
Another list has a few people I'd love to meet for longer conversations, a few with whom I've got nothing in common but our favorite authors (these are not mutually exclusive categories) and a few with whom I've REALLY got nothing in common. There's at least two or three people there who I'd be happy just to listen to as they talked about their lives, because I could learn so much I could apply to mine. There are people there whose life choices and opinions are totally different than mine but who are good to learn from for just that reason, plus a high level of mutual respect. (A few in that category have journals listed there in my sidebar or one of my friends / buddies lists, as do a few with whom I've got a good bit in common.) Then there are some whose thoughts and priorities just totally baffle me, as I'm sure mine do them. In general on that particular list, I find them overly precious and twee and I suspect they find me abrasive and prickly.
Nonetheless, we clearly do have things in common since we like the same author (though we do have different favorites within her works -- one person mentioned loving what I think is her weakest book by far). I'm not sure what lesson is to be gained by this for me, except that presumably I should try harder to look for the common ground, love all my neighbors as myself, see the good in everyone .... sorry, it must be rubbing off. (It's probably telling that it took me another hour to come back here and write that I should also try to be less abrasive. ) I think the lesson would be a lot more interesting if I were an author, to see what a wide variety of people my stuff might speak to. How do you write to maximize that? Should you try or must it flow naturally? Do different levels speak to different people, or can very different people all appreciate the deepest level of a work? I'm thinking of movies here comparing Roger Rabbit and Harry Potter -- I think the former had different levels for different ages, while the latter has touched people of different ages in more or less the same way at least to some degree .... and I may have just answered some of my own questions.
The following, which I found over at Fresh Bilge: A Salty Journal, is from a speech Ronald Reagan gave in 1964, supporting Barry Goldwater:
Senator [J. William] Fulbright [D., Ark.] has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the president as our moral teacher and our leader, and he said he is hobbled in his task by the restrictions in power imposed on him by this antiquated document. He must be freed so that he can do for us what he knows is best. And Sen. [Joseph] Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government."
Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me--the free man and woman of this country--as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"--this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.
I can't draw any conclusions about Reagan as President from this; a man who had switched parties a decade before would certainly be able to alter his opinions in the following deacde and a half. But it certainly says a lot about the current news. For one thing, I'm glad Fulbright isn't currently in politics. More important is what it says about corruption by power. As I recall, LBJ was President at the time. And so there they were, wanting to remove the checks and balances restraining their man. Now the Republicans are in power, making similar claims. Once again, I can only thank the Framers of the Constitution for giving us a government not easily alterable by any party in power.
This is perilously close to schadefreude for my peace of mind, but I've been rather enjoying watching Bush alienating what I think of as his natural constituency. I ran into a firefighter today and asked her if her coworkers were still irritated with GWB over 9/11 (when in the first flush of response to heroism he promised them funding for improvements and never delivered). She told me that she thought that had died down but that firefighters do not support Bush. Why? Because he's since promised them funds for improvements and never delivered. I see a theme here.
Others are annoyed at him for other reasons. There are apparently some hunters annoyed with his environmental policies, because they would like their children to be able to hunt where their parents did. Now there are conservative Constitutional scholars dismayed at this new memo suggesting that the President is above Federal law.
It's a rough situation to be in. I've never been sympathetic to people who don't vote because they don't like either candidate -- it sounds to me like an excuse for laziness -- but I'm beginning to realize that may be a valid position for at least some people. There are people who won't and shouldn't vote for Kerry because they disagree with all of his positions and yet who can't support Bush for the reasons above and others. What should they do? It's a rough spot to be in for someone who really wants to participate in his or her country's future.
One possibility may be to vote Libertarian, for those whose opinions tend that way anyhow. I hear their candidate this year is a Constitutional scholar, which is a good start. He stilll won't win, but it might send a message to Bush and his party that they do need to change their platform a bit to serve their constituency - and what else is a platform for? On the other hand, that might have the same issues that voting for Nader does for liberals - you may like someone better than the candidate of your usual party, but you might still not want to help the opponent win. I don't really know whether Republicans (and those who usually vote that way) have the same opinions about Kerry that Democrats (and those who usually vote that way) do about Bush. Obviously they don't like him, as Dems didn't like Bush Sr. and Reagan, but I don't think it's as personal and pointed as feelings about Shrub are for so many people. Still, it's a difficult dilemma and I don't envy anyone caught on its horns.
The only problem with that is that I'm just barely on track to have done 500 miles by the end of this month, which would be half of my thousand mile goal, halfway through the year, iff* I don't miss any rowing workouts this month. Or, I suppose, if I miss one and do a weekend 10K or half-marathon, but I'd just as soon not. It's hard to justify a sick day off of work if I work out that morning.
*iff: Math term, meaning "if and only of"
PS: I guess the spirit has moved after all. I wrote this while falling asleep last night, but it was better before I forgot half of it and had to reconstruct:
Lips sample skin
Sweet and salt
Smooth and sculpted
In a space of time stolen from sleep.
My first reaction to Reagan's death, actually, was , "Oh, I thought he'd died a while back." Oops. My second one was pretty much the same as my reaction to everything else I've read about him in the past twenty years or so: "What's all the fuss about?"
I didn't particularly like him when he was President (I wasn't old enough to vote either time) but I can't say I hated him. He really was a great President .... if you were rich, straight, male, and not all that concerned about people who weren't. He never struck me as being all that bright, but that's not a major flaw in a chief executive if you have advisors who are. Unfortunately Reagan had this tendency to appoint people who either ended up getting indicted or who suborned the purpose of their agencies. Ham Jordan springs to mind, and James Watt.
Trickle-down economics strikes / struck / has stricken me as cruel: how long were poor people supposed to wait for that trickle to drop? And isn't it ironic that they are the ones who can't afford to wait? Still, as with the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, I don't believe Reagan was being malicious so much as oblivious to the pain of people whose problems were unlike his. That can do as much damage and cause as much hurt in the end and neither attribute has any business being part of a United States President, but still it's harder for me to get as upset over obliviousness as I do over malice.
I don't think Reagan should have gotten as much credit as he did for the fall of communism, just because I don't think any President has that much effect on the world. (Er, any President with enough of the rudiments of honor to be bound by our system of checks and balances, anyhow.) Still it seems likely that his influence and resolve at least helped.
I disagreed with a lot of his positions; I'm more concerned to make sure that a rising tide really does lift all the boats, not just the rich people's yachts, and that our freedoms extend to even those of us choose not to live like the Cleaver family. I don't think Reagan would have disagreed with those things so much as just not had them on his radar. I'm frankly baffled by some claims I've seen that he was one of our greatest Presidents. The people who knew Reagan are saying that he was a good man with a strong and unyielding code of morals whose Presidency was an epoch in this century. All in all that's not a bad epitaph.
And though I'm still a little baffled by all the fuss, well.... he could have been a lot worse.
I forgot to say that one thing I liked about PoA is that is was as funny as the books -- though of course the jokes all have to be visual in the movie.
My favorite thing was in the Start of Term Feast, when the choir was singing. I chuckled at the toads reedeeping on cue with the choir, but I was guffawing when I realized just what the choir was singing: the Witches' Chorus from Macbeth. ("Double, double, toil and trouble...")
Other comments I'd forgotten: I don't quite understand why Dumbledore would periodically spout odd new-agey sentences that weren't in the book and didn't make much sense. Unless it was to pave the way for his scene with Harry and Hermione in the infirmary, where he spouted odd new-agey things that did make sense in context.
I do wish Lupin nad Sirius had been a wee bit better looking, but it's probably more realistic this way. Though Sirius almost had a moment there in his last talk with Harry when I could imagine he'd been handsome once. I'm just as glad there was less Snape, as (apparently unlike the rest of the female population) I have never found either deliberate cruelty or greasy hair particularly appealing. It may just be because I haven't seen Rickman in anything else, though.
The hippogriff was well done. I still hate the werewolf, though .... and I still wish Ron could have been a bit less sniveling. Save that for Draco.
Well, we were going to wait until next weekend but did end up seeing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban today. I liked it.... but as a dyed-in-the-ink fan of the books I do have to pick a few nits.
First of all, as irritated as I get with long movies, even I thought the movie was too rushed, especially in the beginning. I do understand why they had to cut a lot and I actually agree with all but on thing, but honestly I don't think I'd have understood anything before about the Hogwarts train if I hadn't read the books. It's fair to assume anyone seeing with will have the first two movies for background, so will recognize the Dursleys, but I'm not too sure about Aunt Marge. Maybe so, though; I'm notirously dense about movies and while I can imagine not knowing the plot at all, it's hard for me to figure what I'd know having only seen the movies.
The one omission I really minded was the explanation of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Without that there are so many unanswered questions: why is Sirius Harry's godfather? How does Lupin know how to use the Marauder's Map? Who made the Map and why did Filch have it? Why are Sirius and Pettigrew Animagi and how did they get that way? Why are Lupin and Sirius such friends in the Shrieking Shack? Why is Harry's Patronus a stag? Most crucial, how did Pettigrew betray James and Lily?
If you assume everyone's read the book, you can omit that, but that's not really a fair assumption, especially for the sort of people who don't read children's books (that would be, the sort of people I feel sorry for) but who do take their kids to the movies. It would have been worth adding another few minutes.
I did think it was a good addition having Hermione explain the difference btween werewolves and Animagi, so we know why Sirius is attacking Lupin. Speaking of Lupin as werewolf, though... yuck! He's just supposed to be a wolf, not something out of Mordor. I'd have liked seeing Sirius a more normal dog, too. There were a few other changes I didn't mind: I don't really miss the subplot with Ron's and Hermione's big argument. Given the time constraints, cutting that subplot made sense to me. The kids seemed much older to me than they do in the books, bu that's not a bad change either and it makes more sense of their general competence.
Loved the Whomping Willow. As always, I left wanting to move into Hogwarts. I didn't mind the new darker palette except that it made it a bit harder to convey the sheer joy in the wizarding world, I thought. The one place that did come across was in Harry's flight on Buckbeak. The whole ting felt very British to me, partly because of those grayer colors and partly because of the looks of the characters. There are some types, lilke Ron and the twins, you see a lot more rarely in the US, but an even more British thing to me was the looks of som eof the adults, particularly Messrs. Moony, Wormstail, and Padfoot. In a movie made in the US, they'd have been much prettier, with good teeth and clear skin, rather than looking like people who'd been through what they'd been through. (Though I would have liked to have seen the picture Harry had of Sirius all dressed up and cleaned up at his parents' wedding.)
I don't mnid Draco being a bit of a coward because I think he is, and I'm glad he ditched the weird vinyl haircut. I do mind Ron being so fearful, though. That's not how I see him in the books and I kept wondering what Harry would have wanted with the movie Ron who's afraid f everything. Or for that matter, what Hermione would have wanted, and she clearly did want. I liked the clarified Hermione/Ron subtext, especially knowing that JKR vets the movie plots. (I don't suppose this will put a damper on any committed Harry/Hermione shippers, especially since, as has been pointed out, they're only thirteen at this opint and only seventeen when they leave school. Who stays with their 13-year-old boyfriend, anyway?)
In general, I liked it a lot, and may even see it again. My only serious beef is the omitted M/W/P/P explanation.
The party actually went fairly well. We even had five people from my company show up -- there were a lot more from Rudder's place but mine were the first to show up and the last to leave. (Normally, they steer clear of our parties for the same reason I compain about my commute: it's a long way to drive.) This was actually our annual Mardi Gras party, postponed because it Feruary and March the backyard was under construction, so the food was Cajun and I scattered beads and doubloons around. We served beer, soda, water, Cajun-style brisket and Cajun deep-fried turkey, a vegetarian Jambalaya (not exactly authentic, but not everyone likes meat - and I did add trinity), as well as a couple of my party staples, a Mexican layer dip and a tomato-bread salad, chips, veggie nibbles, and cheeses and crackers. Other people brought coleslaw, Thai rice, crudites, bean dip, brownies, some cake squares with cherries on top that I need to get the recipe for, bean dip, a couple of bottles of wine, a key lime pie that never did get eaten, Golden Oreos (not half bad) and Italian ice -- prepackaged but very authentic and we Philly girls know our Italian ice. Also a case of Bud Lite, which we rediscovered just as we were congratulating ourselves on not having much light beer left. It's always hard to know what to do with that and the diet soda, since neither of us likes those. We can take the sodas to work, at least.
There was only one contretemp, when someone's little kid took a dump wthout bothering to get out of the pool first. I'd have to say his parents handled that about as well as an awkward situation could be handled, except for the obvious omission of putting a diaper on the kid in the first place. It was funny, though, as the father was attempting to be discreet about cleaning up both kid nad pool and the kid was hollering out, "I made poo-poo!" Discretion, apparently, is not a word taught on Sesame Street.
Other than that, I think I had a better time than at any of our previous parties in this house. Someone was even playing y guitar at one point. That was a bit odd, though: why would anyone memorize all of "Alice's Restaurant"? I'd bet even Arlo just improvises it each time.
There, see? I telecommuted today and didn't even write an entry here unti lI was off the clock (which is not to say I was totally dedicated every second... but I did get a lot done). Next on the agenda is the last-minute straightening for our party tomorrow. I'm trying to figure out how to get a cloth on the dining room table given that Rudder's piled it high with plastic plates, forks and cups.
I do hope enough people show up for it to be fun, and also so that we're not left with vast amounts of light beer and diet soda. The latter can be pawned off on coworkers later, at least, but I think my company would frown on my bringing in beer. In fact, I'm damn sure they would frown. Company policy says you can't even have alcohol in a car in the parking lot in a sealed container. However, given that shortly after I first hired on I ran into someone working there who had been more or less let go from my previous company for being abusive to me, I've had reason to be glad for their strict rules. (And at this place he was unfailingly civil. Apparently the rules work. Though even here he never did seem to bathe or change clothes.)
Once again I have been completely unable to rein Rudder in to what I'd consider a reasonable level of food, which explains why there are three turkeys and a brisket now defrosting in my refrigerator. It would have been two turkeys, but we couldn't find any over 13 lbs. He wants one to cut up and freeze for later, but still I hope our guest show up hungry. This is actually our annual Mardi Gras arty, more or less - in March when we'd noramlly have held it, our backyard was under construction, then when it was finally done regattas and work travel interfered. It will be a bit hotter than I'd have liked for the party, but maybe that means people will actually use the now-pretty pool. Generally what happens is that fewer people come than I'd hoped and no one goes swimming, but we all manage to have a good time anyway.
Writing an online journal is generally a mental sort of activity but this entry is a paean to the purely physical. People who like long distance workouts keep telling me they get their body moving and just zone out. I generally don't (one reason I don't do endurance well) but yesterday during my second lap I came as close as I ever have to that state and I can see the appeal. I was working hard, feeling my body move in rhythm, thinking desultorily about other things while I corrected details of my stroke, feeling strong and fluid and controlled. I could get to like that.
I rarely read about adults, especially women, who are not just working out but who are doing more than trying to look good or even feel good, who are striving to do something with their bodies rather than to their bodies. So this entry is a shout-out to all those who are trying to get faster or stronger, go farther or do better, those who know what it's like to push and try and sweat and sometimes see results. It's for all those women who regularly kick my butt in races and show me how much better I can be, and for all those athletes in college and high school who are young and enjoying their strength and skill -- I hope they grow to be old and still building skills and enjoying the rhythm and strength of their bodies. "There's nothing quite like six across and flat out" -- and knowing this is what all that training was for.
It's also for those who aren't trying to win any races, but who push their bodies so they can enter into the world outside, to see and feel and be and do what's out there, what's over the next mountain or around the next corner. And mostly it's for me and all the other bodies out there striving, seeking, sweating, and trying not to yield.
Friday, 5/27: 12.2 m in the single
Monday, 5/31: Memorial Day -- no work so I did three laps instead of the usual two. Yay me!
Tuesday, 6/1: ... but then vegged out on Tuesday's workout. The gym opened later because of the holiday anyway.
Wednesday, 6/2: 12.2 m in the single, with a bungee on the boat to add drag for the first lap.
Thursday, 6/3: Gym, erg, weights, more erg. Been getting up at 4:30 instead of 5 for the gym and it makes a big difference: about 12 exercises instead of 8, plus abs. The usual 1609m erg warmup (1K plus 300 cooldown plus 2x10 erg strength) plus another 2600 afterward: one min each at 2:50, 2:40, 2:30, 2:20, 2:20, 2:30, 2:40, and repeat.
This is for A. I'm putting it here because I don't want to go raising a ruckus in your blog, and I'm not linking for the same reason; here you can respond or ignore it if you wish.
I am not trying to tell you what to believe in or how to raise your kids. However, when you write that evolution is "not science", I do have to take issue. Biologists studying evolution create hypotheses, examine the evidence to try to disprove them, and tentatively accept them if it doesn't. As we get more and more evidence pointing in the same direction, we get less and less tentative. That is the scientific method and so that is science, by definition. To claim otherwise is to redefine the word, generally in terms vague enough to make it meaningless.
Evolution is as thoroughly proven as any other fact we know about this universe we're in. We still call it a "theory" because that is appropriate terminology with a very specific meaning in context. We also refer to gravitation as a theory, but if I drop a pen, it hits the ground every single time. It's true we can't watch evolution happening. We also can't actually watch trees forming rings but we know a lot about how it works from the evidence we see in the snapshot of the process we can examine. What we don't know is everything about why it all happens, or the ultimate cause, which is why there are scientists of all religions who do not find conflict between their faith and their work.
Some of the minor details are still being argued, but evolution itself is a fact, proven as thoroughly as anything else we know. Thus it is appropriate for teahcing in schools and other publicly funded institutions, at least in the US. A parent's right to determine what her child should be taught is also something society generally agrees on. As you say, that's what the TV's off switch is for, and if you want to homeschool or send your child to a private school you can do that. (School vouchers are currently a hot issue in the US. I don't have a strong opinion because I see arguments for both sides.) I do think your child will be at a disadvantage in the wider world if he or she grows up not knowing scientific basics, including evolution; one option might be to teach it along the lines of, "Many people believe this, but I don't and this is why," when he or she is old enough to understand the concept of differing opinions. (I.e. not at three -- I can see why you'd want to censor TV to put off that discussion a bit later.)
But science it is, by the definition of "science" itself.
The entry I was going to make can wait. I have a new project. Because on Monday, June 21, Burt Rutan (with more than a little help from PaulAllen) is launching the first private spaceship and the launch is open to the public.
I'm not entirely sure why I am so excited about this. Rutan's not stupid enough to let the world in to see the very first flight of an untested rocket; the craft has been on previous test flights, as high as 40 miles up. This flight will be suborbital, not orbital. It will go 62 miles up, well inside the (arbitrarily defined) 100-mile boundary of space. Still, this is outside the atmosphere. If Rutan's people can do this flight twice inside two weeks, they win the X Prize. It's not John Glenn's flight, but it is Alan Shepard's. And it's launching on June 21 at about 6:30 AM from Mojave, California, which is not all that far from here.
Rudder will be out of town and it's a bit further than I really want to drive solo, so I'm trying to get someone (or several someones) to go with me. If enough people want to go, we could even rent a bus. My ideal plan would be to leave at midnight, watch the launch, come home, and work half a day. Other people I've mentioned it to keep bringnig up the idea of spending the second half of the day at Disneyland. (These would be the people who either have more vacation time or who have fewer demands on what they do have.) I do hope htis works, though, whether it's me and a friend in a car or a whole busload of geekitude.
Anybody out there want to go watch history?
Squeee! I just bought tickets to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival on July 7! The Rudder 'Rents live in a nearby town but somehow we've just never been there at the right time to see one of the plays. They do have modern plays as weel but I wanted to see on of Will's, and Rudder cleverly reminded me to be sure to pick a night showing so we can see it in their Globe replica theater. The choices were Henry VI (part I or II&III), Much Ado or Twelfth Night. If it had been Henry V I'd have chosen that like a shot but Henry 6 isn't one of my favorite kings and I figured Rudder and the 'Rents might enjoy a comedy more anyway. Picking between Twelfth Night and Much Ado was easy, at least -- I chose the one available on the day we wanted to go. Between the play, a trip to the Oregon Coast, visiting with relatives, and getting to spend the Fourth of July in a town small enough that we can see fireworks and not get caught in a traffic jam afterwards, it's going to be a fun trip.
We'll also get to spend a couple of days with Rudder's grandparents. I may get his grandmother to teach me to knit; I've been thinking it would be a good thing to do on all those long drives to regattas. I can't read for long in a car and cross-stitch would be even worse. Knitting and crocheting look like activities I could do in a car seat without having to stare at them constantly. (I don't suppose they allow knitting needles or even crochet hooks on airplanes these days.) It might not be a bad idea to learn some basics on my own first, though. Can anyone out there recommend a good book for an absolute beginner? If I'm wrong about being able to do it as a passenger (that is, if I'd have to stare at it the whole time) I need to know that too.