Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weird Conversations, a Meme, the Cost of Prayer and eAt MoRe cHiKin--WARNING, long post!!!

Some weekends are like that . . .

I still haven't felt like blogging or writing reviews--not sure what's up with that, but I sat down a couple of times and just stared at the screen, this weekend. However (this part is bizarre and unprecedented . . . at least in recent years), I did go on a cleaning frenzy. The "office", formerly eldest's bedroom, is now quite tidy. And thanks to some pretty amazing weather, today (60's, sunny, a hint of breeze), my front yard is looking neater. No need for help from the Mormons; just stick that strapping 16-year-old behind the other rake and . . . well, it still takes more time than what's required for the job to be completed by 4 Mormons because the yard is big and there are just two of us, but we've got improvement and we're happy. My handsome youngest, a few months ago, so you can visualize the kiddo with a rake:

Obviously, he didn't inherit my shrimp genes.

There really ought to be a book in this, somewhere . . .

Eldest Kid Antics, or something like that. Eldest called home complaining that his truck was making a "loud humming noise; I mean, really loud." He wanted his father's advice, but the Huz was en route home from places far. I asked Eldest to describe the noise, when he was hearing it, how it started, blah, blah, blah. And, it sounded like a tire issue to me -- either that or just the pitch of the pavement. Was there any construction going on? Could it be just the pitch of a new surface? "No," he said, "it can't be the road. It's really, really loud." I won't go into the whole weekend saga, but let's just say he spoke to his father and they bounced around ideas and he somehow managed to convince himself that it was a major engine problem . . . then he looked at his tires. And, they looked a bit . . . flabby. One air-pressure gauge and tire-filling run later and --miracle!-- the noise is gone. I'm so smart it kills me. Kidding, kidding.

Meme time! I begged Kookie to tag me for this one. Eva is the creator of this meme.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Easy . . . The Kite Runner. It sounds so utterly depressing that I just haven't talked myself into reading it, yet, although a friend sent me her copy and eventually I'll give it a try. I'm actually always hesitant to read the latest "in" book and tend to wait till hot-selling books are no longer getting a great deal of buzz, before I read them, but this one really makes me cringe.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Well, I'll tell ya . . . I don't usually latch onto character names and hold them in my memory, so this is a rough one. But, I'll say Tom Sawyer and Elizabeth Bennet go on a Mediterranean cruise with Loki, the prankster god of Norse mythology. Imagine the fun.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realize it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Oh, wow, another hard one. I tend to just set aside books that don't work for me and give them another try later. If a second or third attempt doesn't work, they're swapped or given away and I erase them from my mind. However, I've attempted Gone with the Wind three times and never gotten past page 50. I can't say it would bore me to death, but the timing certainly wasn't right.

Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read when in fact you've been nowhere near it?
Honestly? I can't say I've ever done that. But, there may have been times that the opposite was true -- I forget I've read a book until someone begins to talk about it and I realize, "Oh, yeah, I read that eons ago." I just realized, recently, that I read A Christmas Carol a long time ago. And, for years I've thought my life had a big Dickens-shaped hole that I desperately needed to fill.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to "reread" it, that you haven't? Which book?
If I have, it's slipped my mind.

You're interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you recommend and why? (If you feel like you'd have to know the person, go ahead and personalize the VIP).
That's hard because I really do think you have to know a person to get a feel for his or her taste, but I'll cheat a little and say The Count of Monte Cristo or The Three Musketeers. I've always thought either would be a great to use as a learning tool in school because they're intelligently written and rife with action. I was shocked to find that Alexandre Dumas was strictly a "money writer" and churned those chunksters out like muffins. Anyway, I have to go with Dumas because too many people have already used To Kill a Mockingbird and I don't want to be dull.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: You will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language to you go with?
Spanish. Ever since a friend-- born in Spain and enthusiastically bi-lingual-- sat down beside me in the high school hallway and read poetry to me in Spanish (then explained how much the poem lost in the translation), I've longed to learn Spanish. I'd gobble up everything Pablo Neruda has written.

A mischievous fairy says you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books, as well). Which book would you pick?
Desiree by Annemarie Selinko. I've read it 4 times and would happily reread it yearly. You can read bits of it, here. I'd reread The Count of Monte Cristo annually, also. Oops, more cheating.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What's one bookish thing you "discovered" from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art--anything)?
Well, let me think. I've discovered I really dislike challenges because I'm far too spontaneous. I want to read what I want to read when I choose, as opposed to feeling obligated to stick to a list. But, I've also discovered that I love spooky books. Two years ago, I would have walked over fire to avoid anything scary, but Carl's RIP Challenge changed that. It's the only challenge I actually eagerly look forward to.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead--let your imagination run free.
Okay, I really like the library in Arundel Castle (West Sussex, England), but I can't find a photo. Darn. And, truly, it's too big for one little scrap of a family, so I'll say mahogany book cases with the classic sliding ladder, a few hardcover copies of favorite books but mostly crisp trade paperbacks. Plushy leather chairs and sofa, a marble fireplace, tables and a large desk that match the book cases. Oh, and I'd prefer that all the book cases contain glass doors to discourage dust. Lamps, lamps, lamps everywhere. I have quite a few autographed books, but I'd love to own more. There should be lots of windows to let in loads of light during the daytime hours and French doors to a veranda overlooking a broad expanse of trees, flowers and a bubbling river. You can really get carried away with this one. Back to my normal foolishness . . .

eAt MoRe cHikIn:

I got a note from PDXposed host Jon's production manager, Julie (wave, wave) in response to my comment about finding out what he eats in order to stay so slim. She said chicken. Lots of chicken. And, steak on Sundays. Here's a Hawaiian rooster's response to that.

He's obviously showing off his good side.

One more story! My Bible study group just began a new session, yesterday, and I still owed the church money for the last Bible study book (having zipped out of town, repeatedly, I managed to acquire the book without paying for it). Kiddo brought my checkbook in the middle of the introductory video and I didn't want to disturb anyone, so I held my check until it was time to pass prayer requests down the row. One of the ladies looked at my check, within the pile of prayer requests and said, "Wow, those are some expensive prayers." Hahaha. Well, I thought it was funny.

Now, everyone pray that I can talk myself into writing a book review, tomorrow. Or, you can cross your fingers. Whatever works.

Bookfool, still dripping with joy from her day in the sunshine


  1. Wasn't it a beautiful day today? We spent the whole day downtown in the French Quarter and we couldn't have asked for more perfect weather! Good raking weather ;) I actually miss doing yard work now that we're still out of our pre-Katrina house...I never thought I'd say that!

    I actually just tagged you for Eva's meme! hehe...When I saw the title of your post, I thought "damn, she did that fast!" I love your answer to the second question...cracked me up! And I love your library. Looks like we have the same taste in those mahogany shelves ;) We can wish, right? We should start all putting in for the Powerball together!

    And that's a beautiful chicken! They were just running around in Hawaii? I'm going to have to try that chicken diet...I like chicken...

  2. Sunshine? Sunshine? I have vague memories of such a thing but it's been so long that I've forgotten what it's like...

    When will men realize that women are usually right?

    I loved that meme and your answers are great. All this talk about GWTW have made me want to read it again. I'll have to bug my sister for the hard cover copy my mom had.

    And seriously, are the chickens we eat roosters or hens or a mix? I don't know that I've ever known...

    I'd love to read review, btw, or even have you drop by my place. Heck, I'll take anything just so I know that things are still going okay down your way.

    And send some of the sunshine my way, would'ya please?


  3. Yes, Chris, it was a fabulous day! Not too hot or bright, not gloomy or cold . . . perfect. We had a gust and a bit of rain, not long ago, so it looks like the bad weather's moving in. Darn. You can come rake my yard, any time!

    Oh, you tagged me! Thanks. Funny timing. I didn't blog-hop at all, today, because . . . well, I'm a totally worthless bum. Or, maybe because I was overtired. Yeah, let's sign up for the powerball.

    Yes, chickens run wild in Hawaii. Some of them area quite colorful.

    I suppose I must eat chicken, too. Tell me if you find a great recipe. :)

  4. Sunshine, CJ! Maybe you'll get some, soon. In the meantime, page down to look at my current desktop background image. It's nice and sunny.

    Men will never know; it's a sad statement, but a true one.

    I looked it up: We eat both roosters and hens. Castrated roosters are called capons.

    You needed to know that, right?

    Things are going fine, our way. The latest news is that my mother may get out of the nursing home (and into my sister's house) by this coming weekend. She's excited about that. At some point, I need to drive her car back to OK and fly home, but I'm taking a break. I'd like to be here for a few more weeks.

    Will try to send sunshine your way. Not sure how well it will work, but I'll fan hard.

    Found this on Google Images. It's not a great picture of Arundel Castle library, but it IS a great library.

  6. I'm getting tired of hearing about all the great weather you guys!! Actually, the high today is 52, before it starts to plummet around noon. Tonight....bitterly cold winds with a low of 2 and a wind chill of -8 degrees. Man...I've got to find me some warmth, somewhere!!

    And yes, I could read The Count of Monte Cristo over and over again. It's truly one of my favorites!! Then again, I loved Gone With the Wind!! (of course, you really do need to get past the first 100 pages before it really starts to get good!)

  7. Tricia,

    I saw that one. There was a time, last year, that I came across a great photo of just the library but I can't find it, now, and I just didn't care for the athletic team prancing through.

    Yeah, it's a great library. It's a *jaw-dropping* library. Especially when you consider it's a personal library, not a public one!


    Now, now. You know we live through a miserable 9-month summer, just so we can get a handful of springy winter days, here, right? No need to feel envious. When the warm months roll around, remember how your kids sweat at Disney and you'll know how we feel while you've got a nice breeze and cooler temps. :)

    BTW, it's yucky and raining, again. At least we took advantage of our one nice day!

    I'm going to keep trying to get into GWTW, some day. 100 pages is a lot of warming-up time. The Count never fails to entertain. I picked it up to look for a scene, last year, and had to talk myself into putting it down.

  8. Glad you had a nice day and got to enjoy some time outdoors.
    I love your library. I'd have lots of lamps in mine too.
    So do you not eat much chicken?

  9. Good morning, Nancy. I really need to go on a cleaning frenzy, but the very thought sends me straight back to my book or the computer.

    As I was lying in bed last night, trying to drift off to sleep, I started thinking of some of the books in my TBR room that I'm not sure I want to read anymore. A couple of series I collected that I really don't care to read, but for some reason decided I should once upon a time. That will be my first cleaning project, I think. I just need to do it while I'm actually in a weeding mood. As soon as it passes, I'm doomed.

    I enjoyed reading your respones to Eva's meme. It sure is a fun one, isn't it?

    Have a great rest of the week, Nancy! And good luck with the review writing!

  10. Hello Ms. Bookfool!

    I have a minor in Spanish and although I'm not fluent, I would have to agree that there are lots of terrific books originally written in Spanish. I especially enjoy Gabriel Garcia-Marquez!

  11. Nat,

    I'm so glad we spent the day outdoors because the weatherman was right. It's raining, today. Well, at least we had one day of sunshine. :)

    No, I'm really not a big meat eater, although chicken and fish are what I tend to eat, if I eat meat at all. Ground beef turns my stomach. And, I'm iffy about pork. I could eat pasta and veggies till the cows come home, though.

  12. Good morning, Wendy!

    I usually scurry to the futon when the thought of cleaning hits me. LOL I know what you mean. It's nice having some clear space and we were all so, so tired of the book avalanches.

    And, same here on the weeding moods. They come, they go. I've just recently gone through some book shelves with an eye toward changing taste. I need to drop a few rejects off at the library, but I'm a little afraid of what will happen if I walk inside the donation corner. There's *always* some sort of treasure lurking.

    I think Eva's meme is loads of fun. I had a blast with that one. And, thank you. :)

    Thanks, Wendy, I hope the rest of your week is terrific, too! I'm still avoiding reviews, but I'll get irritated with myself if I don't make check marks on my do-list, soon, and that thought's likely to give me a kick in the pants. This I know about myself. LOL

  13. Amy,

    I am green with envy. I thought of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, also, but Neruda jumps out in my mind because of being read poetry in Spanish. That was a moment -- I'd relive that one repeatedly, if I could. :)

  14. Hahaha, I like the prayer request comment. I think it's funny, too.

    I should add the Kite Runner to my list of books I shy away from that other bloggers have said. I own it. My two best friends here read it and told me it's amazing. I just can't bring myself to pick it up. I think for me though, some of it has to do with humanizing the people that are trying to kill my husband.

    Eek, sorry to end on such a note.

  15. Nikki,

    I completely missed that association. Duh. Afghanistan. Husband. Yeah, I can see why you'd have a problem with that. I'll feel obligated to make myself read The Kite Runner, some day, but you know . . . you have no obligation to read anything at all that bothers you. That's the joy of being out of school and reading only for yourself. I've already decided this is going to be a 50-page decision year. If I get to that point and The Kite Runner hasn't grabbed me, I'll pass it on. Period.

  16. I could eat pasta and vegetables til the cows come home too, as long as I don't have to eat the cows when they get there. ;)

  17. Nat,

    Exactly. Cows are too soulful to eat. I know that because Simon says. :)

  18. Anonymous3:47 PM

    It's gorgeous today. I was googling for a pic of Arundel's library (didn't find one) but I did find a catalog of their books. Think I can get my hands on a copy of William Alexander's A History of Women: From The Earliset Antiquity to the Present Time published in 1779? I bet it would be a dry hoot. Or my answer to question #3 in the meme.

    Mothers are always right. Your son was thrown by it being a car. Sexist.

  19. Carrie,

    The Arundel library would drop your jaw. It goes on seemingly forever. I'll bet that History of Women is really quite a hoot, yep. I'd read it. You tell me if you find a copy. :)

    Actually, I get a bit of condescension from all the guys. The kids learned it from their father. Funny, since I'm pretty much always right. Hahaha. You'd think they'd have it figured out, by now!

  20. Your library sounds so, so good to me. I also avoid challenges and best sellers, though I did read The Kite Runner...and am one of only 8 people worldwide who did not love it. Oh well.

  21. Tara,

    You can probably tell I've spent a lot of time thinking about my dream library. LOL

    That's exactly what happened to me with The Thirteenth Tale. I hated it and felt like I had to drag myself through it, but there were only a tiny handful of other people who seemed to feel that way. I'm kind of relieved that you didn't love The Kite Runner. At least I won't feel like a total freak if I can't get through it. :)


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