Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Always wanting more

What I would really like to do today is set myself in my living room and read for hours. Possibly follow that with a nice crisp walk without my dog dragging me and killing my legs. Then, I would hop back into my chair after an awesome PB&J and read some more. This is what I would do if I lived in an alternate universe. Instead, today I am at work, summarizing housing statistics, writing letters to people who have violated code, and answering lots of phone call questions about zoning. Super fun. On my way here, I realized that the truck I passed did not have a tailgate but did have a board in its place, spraypainted with the following: " Chebrolet". At the point of not having the back gate on your car, is it necessary to attempt to put their logo back up on that rusty, mangy-looking vehicle if you are not familiar with the English spelling of said brand? I think not.

I finished Watchen by Moore and I wasn't crazy about it. I liked the flow of it because of the pictures and the fact that it already had filled in the descriptives with the images, but the story itself was not a favorite of mine. It isn't an epic fail, and I'm glad I read it, but again, not my fav.

I am almost through The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. It's actually very good. It is considered Young Adult, but the writing is not dumbed-down and feels very realistic. I can only hope that it does not get churned out in theatres with someone like Mandy Moore in the teen lead (ironically, I realize, two Sarah Dessen novels were the basis for the movie How to Deal). The depth of the characters is real and you cannot help but feel a twinge of high school nostalgia for the memory of your own crushes by way of the heartthrob/tortured-artist Wes. I would not hesitate to pick up another of Dessen's novels and would recommend this particular book to anyone from twelve years old into adulthood. It just captures you.

Probably the next book (and probable final book of March & my 50 book challenge) is I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusack. He wrote The Book Thief, also recommended. I've only read a chapter or two but the characters and the narrating voice from the young man is pretty hilarious and very similar to what I'd expect the inside of a 20 year-old boy's head to sound like. More on that later.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Look Out for UFD's (Unstrapped-Flying-Dressers)

I decided yesterday was a great day to use my hour and a half of comp time so I left work in the late afternoon. My buggy puppy required a new bag of food, and we get a discount after spending a trillion dollars at this animal feed store, so I set off on the highway in pursuit. I am safely cruising within reasonable speeds, and this pick up with random bedroom items almost side-swipes my driver's side. Why he had difficulty staying out of two feet of my lane, I have no idea. Perhaps it was the desk chair with the frantic wheel/windmill-action that distracted them.

I slow down to avoid said pick up truck. A minute later, a drawer comes flying through the air and I have to swerve into the lane on my left to avoid it. Sorry old crummy van coming up behind me! Seriously dangerous. I see the truck weave back into my lane ahead. I am anticipating my exit, so I move all the way to the right. Just before the exit, traffic slows. This is normal, considering it is almost rush hour and it is Chicagoland on a weekday. Another few hundred feet and I see masses of reds and yellows, and whites splayed all over the four lane highway. Splintered wood and shattered fragments of dresser being avoided as cautiously as possible by all highway drivers. I couldn't help but laugh because it was just a ridiculous sight to see, but noting my drawer near-miss, I couldn't help but wonder how the drivers who almost got crushed by a flying dresser avoided major crashes. I didn't see an accident, so I assume things were alright for most. It was just nuts.

I had to swing by my husband's work afterward to do yet another errand. In regaling him with this tale, much arm flailing and face scrunching occured along with a whine about how I wanted to kill everyone on the road. Outside of his office it must have looked like we were fighting between hugs. I already apologized for yelling about his whistling the NCAA tournament song repeatedly, but that is another story.

I finished The Nine: The Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. I started it last year and never made it through before I renewed it and still didn't read it. I am so glad I picked it back up. I concede, I was a bit of a constitutional law geek in college, but that doesn't mean this reads like a textbook. Personal details about each Supreme Court Justice from the Rehnquist Court & new justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts were shared. Some of the personal stories were hilarious to me, and I had to recite them to my (mostly but politely) un-interested co-workers. The history of the court appointments by the recent presidents and the case history came with the story and flowed through. It is inconceivable how anyone can sit by and not realize how important many of the decisions made by the judicial system are to us and our daily lives. Granted, some people don't even realize that we have a judicial branch in government, but I digress. This is my glowing review for a book that wraps up human nature, American history, and lots of true drama into one little convenient package. Read it and be informed.

I am one-half a book away from claiming my fifth-place victory in the Winter Book Challenge. I had to re-read a book with "Love" in the title, because I didn't find a book with a place in the title. (I've abandoned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, sadly. It was too dull for me to get through.) My choice is Random Acts of Heroic Love - by Danny Scheinmann. It's relatively sad but beautifully written and my head is constantly full of pictures. Without giving anything away, one character wakes up in Ecuador to find his girlfriend died in a crash they were in. He is struggling to become whole again but remembers her constantly. The other character is re-telling his past experience fighting in WWI. There is supposed to be a connection between the two men and the very different time periods but I have no idea what it is yet. Like I said- the language envelopes and wraps you up in the story. I'm going out on a limb and saying, I like this.

Off to make a police report about our stolen mail. Again, another story. I secretly hope that whichever kid is stealing our movies shows up with our stolen baseball tickets at the game. Surprise! We are notifying the police when we get home and you're going to jail for a felony crime! Sorry about your high school graduation- you probably weren't going to make it anyway...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not too much happening here

The BBC put out a list of 100 books and claims that the average person has read six of the selections, modern and classic. I went through my list and found 33 books read, and another 21 I currently have on my TBR list. Apparently it was determined to be false statistically, but I wouldn't count that too far from the truth. Many people don't read and it makes me sad.

In other news, I want to pass out at my desk because I am so tired. The time changed back to “steal-an-hour-from-you-time” so I can’t fall asleep an hour earlier than I am used to, yet have to get up an hour earlier. I also stupidly pulled a muscle in my back/side/under my lung by picking up my dog this morning. I cannot breathe in deeply without a wincing pain. It sucks.

I finished Brida, by Paul Cohelo. It was supposed to be a girl’s search for more by way of learning magic, but it wasn’t really magic, just a lot of communing with nature, which some people would say is the real thing anyway. It was not my favorite, but written well. I would rate this a "meh".

I am also working my way through Count of Monte Cristo, which I love more with each page. Also reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (slow at this time) and The Nine – awesome book about the Rehnquist Supreme Court. I will talk more about those later I expect. This is your fearless leader, signing off.