We’re home, we’ve been home for a couple of days, more than a couple even. The days have flown by in a blur of feeding and trying to catch pieces of sleep and much much cuteness. Zo
In about fifteen minutes we call the hospital to make sure there’s a bed available, then I’m going in to get this little beastie out of me. (She’s only a beastie because she won’t come out.) Hopefully she’ll be speedy, and be here in no time. I woke up to some contractions this morning, so who knows, things could get moving on their own, without the power of magical inducing drugs. That would be nice. Anyway, if all goes as planned, we’ll be home on Saturday, with the Zo
Ok, this is the neatest thing I’ve seen in the whole of today. Click here, then stare at the little dot for 30 seconds. Move your mouse over the picture, and your eyes will be tricked into seeing a black and white picture in color. It’s so super cool, I’ve done it 3 times already, and will probably do it again. Check it out!
Really. I’m stunned and shocked and not just a little sad. Why, you ask?
Take a look at this.
The super cool leaning forward thing that Michael Jackson and his dancing cronies did in Smooth Criminal (one of the best pieces of choreography ever in my opinion; not just the leaning forward part- the whole thing) was done with special shoes.
It’s like finding out the tooth fairy is fake, but worse.
I finished Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie about a week ago, and it was as good as expected. I’d seen the film/TV version, and it’s a great story with an unexpected ending. Well, unexpected if you’ve never seen it before. The actual book was very good, and had the perk of the narrator not being Hastings, as is usually the case (and is the case in the TV version), but a young nurse who is recalling her observations of what happened. This gives the story a fresh outlook, as we get a slightly different interpretation of Poirot rather than the same phrases Hastings always uses.
I also finished A Return To Modesty by Wendy Shalit, which was amazing, and which I will have to purchase my own copy of, as I’m sure the library won’t look kindly on me keeping theirs. Shalit looks at the Jewish laws of modesty, and then examines several factors and results of modesty not being seen as virtue in today’s society. (We’re talking both modesty in clothing and attitude.) Her findings are disturbing and depressing, and show the fallacy in the argument that modesty is just a male construct to opress women. (There’s a great chapter on male modesty tying into concepts of chivalry that really illustrates this.) I’m recommending this to a great many people; it’s an important challenge to the accepted status quo.
This was brought home even more to me when, after finishing the book, I read probably the most disturbing article I’ve ever read– a Rolling Stone article about the sexual practices of students at Duke. Here we have intelligent, beautiful young women who are thrilled and flattered at being “chosen” by frat guys to help haze new pledges by setting up scenarios wherein the girls demand the pledges perform sexual acts on them. As the article says:
“On the one hand, this was a powerful experience for the girls- they got to dominate the boys for a change. On the other hand, it was all done at the direction of the boys, for whom the party was designed.
‘The girls are doing it as a friendship gesture for these guys, but when you think of it, its really kind of demeaning’” said one of the frat guys.
Hmm, ya think?
To its credit the article points out the absurd wrongness of all of it, but the fact that this kind of thing is happening, not just at Duke, and that young women think that they’re being modern and free and liberated is just depressing. If my brain were more together I’d write more about it, but for now I will be satisfied to say, go read this book.
I most recently finished Company by Max Barry, a hilariously dark look at corporate America. We follow Jones, the newest hire at Zephyr, a company that doesn’t seem to do anything, or have any customers. As he tries to determine exactly what the company does and what his role in the company is, he gets deeper and deeper into corporate politics that are as absurd as they are realistic. The hilarity comes from the truthfulness of it all- the reason someone is fired is roundaboutly because someone else thinks the fire-ee ate their donut; the IT department is cut to save money, and then no one can be productive because the network goes down. Just exactly what Zephyr does and what Jones finds out makes this a great read. It’s stuck in my head over the last couple days, and I definitely recommend it.
Just finished: Company by Max Barry
Next up: Not sure
Welcome to my new blog home! Isn’t it pretty? I’ve been meaning to change things around a bit for a while, and when it looked like I’d secured a great blogging gig I thought that would be the time, but that fell through so I decided to strike out on my own. With the help of my darling husband (who is far more clever than I when it comes to these things), now I have my own new, neato blog. It’s a conglomeration of the couple of blogs I had floating out there, which will now all live in happy harmony here. So take a look around, check out some old posts if you like, (see the categories in the right column? You can even choose a specific topic there and only see those posts!) and check back in often, as I’m going to be attempting to post more frequently.
Just trying things out, nothing to see here.
This is a test. This is only a test. If this were a real post it would have something interesting to say. Maybe.
I really should just get in the habit of posting right after I finish a book. I don’t yet have that habit, so here are the last bunch of books I’ve read.
Flapper by Joshua Zeitz: This is a fantastic new book about the history and cultural context of the flapper trend in the early 1900s. Extrememly well written, very insightful, and very informative. I may need to buy a copy of this one.
If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Hard by Sheri Dew: Inspirational essays about the benefits of trials in our growth and development. Very good.
My Life at Rose Red by “Ellen Rimbauer”: A comfort reread, this is the book that “inspired” Stephen King’s Rose Red mini-series. Totally fake, but convincingly done, and based in part on the Winchester Mystery House.
The Algonquin Wits edited by Robert E. Drennan: Another reread. Those folks who gathered round the table at the Algonquin Hotel were funny people.
Spook by Mary Roach: I put off buying this when it came out in hardcover, although I’d been waiting anxiously for it, and I’m glad I did. It’s good, but not as good as her previous book, Stiff. I think that’s because she’s covering a topic that has no solid conclusions- the possibility of life after death, and what happens to the soul once the body has died. Stiff was concerned with what happens to the body after death, and that’s very quantifiable. Not so much for the soul. So this book just felt less substantial, whereas Stiff felt jampacked with information. Despite that, it was very enjoyable, her sense of humor is fantastic, and her random footnotes crack me up.
Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith: Some of you who read this blog consistently might ask yourself, why does she keep giving this author a chance when she keeps being disappointed by his work? I could ask the same question, but in this case, I’m glad that I tried this little book. Unlike Smith’s other two series, I really enjoyed this comedic, sarcastic look at a professor who wants more than anything to be acknowledged for his work in a tiny field. The short chapters in the book capture his comedic, naive, and sometimes embarassing experiences, and perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it more than the other books- the main character is likeable and fallible, rather than all knowing or condescending. Regardless, I’ll be looking into his other books in this series. (I think it’s a series, who knows.)
Reader’s Block by David Markson: I really don’t know what to say about this book. I enjoyed it, but I think I missed something huge, but then again maybe I didn’t. The book isn’t anywhere near a linear narrative, instead it’s made up of the thoughts of a writer (who refers to himself as Reader) as he attempts to construct a novel about a writer. Some of the thoughts are about the characters in the novel or where or how they live; most are random facts about long dead writers, many of them focusing on those who committed suicide, died early, or were anti-Semites. It’s unclear how many of these “facts” are true (especially the anti-Semite statements), and difficult to determine exactly where Reader’s thoughts are leading him. Is he considering suicide? Are the copious mentions of famous anti-Semites a reflection of his own feeling of persecution, or is he convincing himself that his prejudices are acceptable? (We never know if he himself is Jewish.) Likewise, we only get a framework of the story of the novel. It’s a puzzle to put together, an exercize in reading that I’m not at all certain that I performed properly.
Taking a break from the brain gymnastics, I’m reading Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie. Once I finish, I’ll go back to A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit, which I’m halfway through and which is incredibly good, but which again is making me think quite a lot, and my brain protests that these days.
Current total: 48
Just Finished: Reader’s Block by David Markson
Currently Reading: Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie