Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Spaz Report

I'm sitting in my office, which looks a little more like the inside of a tornado than an office but we won't go there, yet. There's a squirrel climbing down the oak tree outside my window and another one sneaking up behind him. The cat's asleep. My bee sting of two days ago itches. And, I don't feel like writing. At least, not yet. So, you get an update on reading and writing (and possibly arithmetic).

I'm totally spazzed, today, because I lost my mind and decided to move the futon from our office to the den -- mostly to keep my husband from buying a new sofa. I want to use the available space to shift things around before filling up that room (which you may recall has been recently carpeted after two years of being down to concrete) and moving the futon gives us room to paint the office. Yeah! Starting yet another project when we have half a kitchen and 90% of a den. What more could a girl want than to end up with 2/3 of an office?

Normally, if I can't sleep because of the husband's snoring, I go to the futon. Last night, I couldn't sleep because of the husband's snoring. But, there's no curtain in the den window because we're still finishing up the trim painting and that freaks me out. So . . . no futon, long night. Yep, totally spazzed.

I'm on the verge of finishing The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice and have both enjoyed and been horrified by the ideas it presents about the concept of "community" and how Facebook and other social media (including blogging) lack important aspects of true community. And, yet, at this point I think he's saying that there's a certain amount of contentment that one gets from blasting info about one's life on Facebook, conversations on Twitter, etc. The "church" aspect is losing me a little. I should maybe not have read bits of this when I was sleepy and might do a little rereading before I review, but in general the book is mostly psychology and quite fascinating.

Yesterday, I listened to and enjoyed BlogTalkRadio's interview with the authors of A Climate for Change and thought it was very well done. I sent in a question for this particular interview, so if you listen in you can hear my question and author Katharine Hayhoe's reply. And, if you can't fathom parting with the money to buy the book, A Climate for Change is currently available in full, online, especially pertinent for those of you aren't North American and therefore can't sign up to win a copy. You can also purchase it as a download for a reader, if you're one of those people who have moved with technology in a way that makes my nose wrinkle.

I'm going to just do a quickie review of The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton, right now, this very minute because I felt like the best descriptive term I can come up with is . . . nyeh. Disappointing to have such a pitiful grasp of the English language, but at this very moment you'll recall that I'm spazzed, frazzled and basically wiped out. So, you get what you get.

The Bible Salesman is about Henry, a fellow who acquires free Bibles, which he sells door-to-door. He meets a thieving, lying, dangerous man named Preston Clearwater, who convinces Henry he works for the FBI and hires Henry to help out with his car-theft ring. Henry likes the money and loves the idea that he's helping the FBI, but he falls in love along the way and the whole FBI thing starts to lose its fizz. Eventually he puts two and two together and comes up with 9, which leads to a pretty exciting and satisfying ending. It's just that . . . maybe it was me, but I kept falling asleep while reading this book. I think I can give it about a 3.5/5.

Nano-wise, the writing on my bad sci-fi has gone well for the first three days -- which, of course, were really days 9-11 of National Novel Writing Month. I skidded to a halt at a total of 9,271 words, last night. Not bad for 3 days' work, but the LOL cat, above, describes my sentiments at the end of the day.

This has really been a tremendously slow reading week, but I've read about 100 pages of The Foundling by Georgette Heyer and find myself besotted with the Duke, who was born a sickly baby and coddled to the point that he's getting tremendously feisty. I love Heyer's feisty characters.

And, my husband has now cooked 4 of the recipes in How to Lower Your Cholesterol with French Gourmet Food by Chef Alain Braux, (<---another Amazon link that doesn't benefit me, just in case you want to dash over to buy a copy). Kiddo gobbled up the pork chops, returning for seconds (moist, amazing, cooked in wine and topped with apples, celery and cheese) and I made my husband go back to the store to get more portobello mushroom caps to make a second round of stuffed mushrooms. Our pumpkin cheesecake is chilling.

The book is about 2/3 health book and it's the most interesting book on lowering cholesterol that I've read -- actually, I don't believe I've ever finished reading any of those I've attempted in the past. It's enjoyable to read at least in part because the author occasionally talks about his childhood in France. Those musings, along with fabulous recipes and very readable nutrition advice have made this book a 5-star for both myself and the husband. I hope to write a full review by this weekend and I'll add a favorite recipe when I do.

I think that's about all the news, for now. How are you doing? Still no blog-hopping for me. I'm feeling a tad lonely, but it's fun writing bad sci-fi. You should try it, sometime. Seriously.

Happy, Happy Thursday (or Friday, for those of you on the other side of the world)!

Bookfool: Reader, writer, counter of words


  1. When I saw the title of your post, I wondered why you were writing about me on your blog. LOL I meant to listen to that interview yesterday and it totally slipped my mind, so I'm going to listen to it now.

  2. Kathy,

    Thanks for giving me my laugh of the day. :) The interview is so good. I love Katharine's Canadian accent, too, although that has nothing to do with anything.

  3. Those pork chops sound amazing! I have an old (1970's or '80's) French cookbook which I haven't cooked anything out of yet, but I can tell you that it definitely will not lower your cholesterol. I think that's why I haven't cooked out of it - most of the time I'm not in the mood for really rich food.

  4. Christy,

    I don't even like pork chops, but I could eat them regularly with that recipe. We just bought more pork chops last night, in fact, so we can cook that recipe again; it's going to be a staple in this house.

    The author talks about how the French got away from traditional cooking for about 40 years or so -- which would cover the time period in which your cookbook was published -- and was less healthy, higher fat and richer. Apart from the cheesecake (which is pretty heavy, but we couldn't get the organic brands he recommended), everything has been really light, so far.

  5. There's a great book called Bowling Alone which sounds a lot like Church of Facebook, but without the Facebook parts. It's about how people have lost a sense of community, and how things like church groups and bowling leagues don't exist anymore. Really sad, and kind of scary!

  6. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Don't be lonely; I love you! Sleep deprived, room deprived, 2/3 of a den or not.

  7. Connie,

    The title alone makes me feel sniffly. Bowling Alone? Depressing. I used to bowl weekly with my dad, when I was young (it was our special time together) so maybe there's a boo-hoo memory connection in there. Our only bowling alley closed. Interesting. I may have to look that one up. It *is* sad and scary that our face-to-face connections are fading away.


    Awwww, you're making me all snuffly, too. Thanks. Love you right back!! Husband actually politely moved to the futon in the middle of the night and said he liked it -- the sun woke him up at the perfect time. So, I get the bed, tonight. Hopefully, I'll get some catch-up sleep and *someday* we'll get that man a CPAC. He's been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but they told him he had to spend a second night at the sleep center to be fitted and he said, "Get real." Can't say I blame him.

  8. Your first picture is so funny. It reminds me of the Bad Cat Calendars. :)

  9. I'd love to see the recipe for those pork chops! I don't really like pork too much, but if these are good enough to want to make them again, I'd be willing to give them a try. Dang, I wish we carried that cookbook at our store so I could give it a peek.

    Happy writing and painting!

  10. Brittanie,

    Oh, good point! Yeah, I love that photo. I can't remember what the key words I used to find him were, but I was looking for something like "frazzled" in google images and that was my favorite image that popped up. :)


    I'll post the pork chop recipe with my review, since we've pretty much decided that's our family favorite (so far). I think the book is only available through Amazon. It's a self-pub. Although it's mostly health (about 1/3 recipes), there are only about 2 or 3 recipes that don't interest me and David's trying to convince me that I would probably even like the stew recipes. Stew makes me gag. So, we'll see. So far, it's been great.

  11. Thanks for your comment about stickers - I hadn't heard about that author, Bookfool, but well done to him. Whatever his reasons for not wanting Oprah's endorsement he did his readers a great service.
    As for Richard and Judy - they are UK morning chat show hosts and I've never even seen them, let alone have any idea what their tastes are like!

  12. Scriptor,

    I've been trying to remember who the author is that I referred to. I can "see" the book in my head, but I can't remember the title or the author. I agree; he did his readers a service. The interesting thing was that in the publicity backlash, a few people pegged him as "arrogant" for refusing the Oprah sticker. Personally, I don't watch Oprah and I prefer my books free of most badges. I don't mind award emblems, but those that are basically advertising for a club or a talk show irritate me.


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