Monday, May 30, 2005

Books we love, and we love books

Jerry the Keeper challenged me to join the book survey.

How many books do you own?

I couldn't begin to guess. Eight big bookcases full, perhaps, if they were consolidated efficiently. That would be my books and T's combined, but at least two-thirds of them are mine. Most (but not all) of the computer books are his. Most (but not all) of the novels are mine. Several shelves of them are targeted for resale or donation or Bookcrossing.

What was the last book you bought?

I bought three books at Barnes & Noble this weekend:
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, new translation by Edith Grossman
A Poet's Guide to Poetry by Mary Kinzie
Knitting On The Edge by Nicky Epstein

What was the last book you read?

My Cat's Not Fat, He's Just Big-Boned, a book of cartoons by Nicole Hollander. It was a birthday gift. Before that, the last books with actual narrative structure were Custard's Last Stand by Tamar Myers, and Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith.

Name five books that mean a lot to you, and that you've read more than three times.

All of the Jeeves stories by P. G. Wodehouse - Nothing bad can happen to you when you are in Wooster's world.
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis - Ditto. Mame is the perfect antidote to depressing lit fic, or the evening news for that matter.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Lyrical and lovely. There is no excuse for not reading this book. Also a wonderful audio book for a long road trip.
The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson - I own and love all of my homeboy's travel books, but this history of the English language is the one I refer to most often.
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy - I got this one by accident when I forgot to send in a book club "regrets only" statement, and was blown away by Conroy's graceful writing.

Bonus: Two books I have not read more than three times and would like to get my hands on. The book collector prices for them are insane. If you find them in a used bookstore at working stiff prices, I would be much obliged.
The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson
The Art of Love by Kenneth Koch

Challenge five people to fill this out on their blog.

Jerry and Aser already got almost every lit blogger I know, except Kathy. If any of my non-blogging readers (Terry, Hope, Shel, Paulette) want to play, I'd be happy to publish their lists.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

At the used car lot

There are makeshift used car lots all over our neighborhood. The one over by the river has this beauty sitting out front:

A snazzy Desoto Posted by Hello

I screamed with laughter when I got close enough to see this sign on top:

It's Like New! Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The rainbow's end?

Lord, I hope not. Posted by Hello

Playing hooky

T won tickets to an Iowa Cubs day game, so we rearranged our schedules and spent the afternoon at the ballpark.

Playing hooky at the ballpark Posted by Hello
The Cubs were down 12 to 4 at the bottom of the ninth. People were bailing out, but we stayed because the weather was beautiful, and what else were we going to do anyway? Let's just get the inning over with and go home. And just then...

A Grand Slam!

Followed by a two-run homer!

They still lost, but by a much more respectable 12-10. And I saw my first grand slam ever. It doesn't get much better than this. Go Cubs!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

More peonies

As I predicted, yesterday's rain and today's sun resulted in the first of the pink peony blooms. The camera does not do them justice. They are actually a deep, rosy, almost-purple pink.

Peony in the sun. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Para-military exercises in the park

Last weekend, we took T's new camera to Water Works Park, which was thick with fishermen and geese. The geese were more attractive, but somewhat ellusive.

All is peaceful until the humans approach. Posted by Hello

This way, men - we're bugging out. Posted by Hello

Bug out! Posted by Hello

Go, go, go! Posted by Hello

Stay in formation, troops. Posted by Hello

Covering the rear. Posted by Hello

Flanking maneuver. Posted by Hello


I did not sleep much last night, and for no good reason. I was distracted with really minor things. I finally got up about 3:30 AM and wrote it all down to get it out of the way. I couldn't nap this morning because I was waiting for my car to come back from being detailed. Now I have dishes in the sink. And I really wanted to go to the yarn shop today, but that might not happen, as I am feeling pretty shaggy after 1.5 total hours of sleep. Maybe I can get a nap before T comes home from work.

The detailing was a birthday gift from T, by the way. I found the guy, and paid him, but T made the call and confessed about spilling mocha in the console, so he gets gift credit. Thanks, honey.

Today's "Get to know me" offering is:
Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammtical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

("Get to know me" Bonus: I also know the source of that picture. It is God from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Get A Grip on Star Wars

Full disclosure: I saw all three original episodes in the theater when they were new, and again when they were re-released before Episode 1 (4). Episode 1 (4) was so pitiful that I did not see Episode 2 (5). I haven't decided about Episode 3 (6). Maybe I'll go see it at a discount theater some hot summer afternoon.

That doesn't stop me from hopping briefly on the Star Wars goodies bandwagon. The first entry is dedicated to one of my esteemed colleagues (she knows who she is), but not for the reason you might think:

Your Amazing Yoda Sex Line

"Do me or do me not - there is no try."

Your Star Wars Pickup Line

"I will show you the true nature of the Force."

Your Star Wars Name and Title

Your Star Wars Name: Cheha Takio

Your Star Wars Title: Nnabac of Yrret

Star Wars Horoscope for Gemini

Like most Geminis, you are a playful little creature.
You tend to be extremely curious, craving knowledge but sometimes having a short attention span.
For the most part, you are charming and loveable.
But at times, you can seem scattered and high-strung.

Star wars character you are most like: Ewoks

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Signs of spring

First peony of spring Posted by Hello
There are some peony bushes right next to our garage. I think they are actually on our property, but our elderly neighbor's son takes care of them. At any rate, we had some rain, and we had some heat, and now we have some peonies. Only the white ones, though. The fuschia ones are still ant-covered buds. In fact, if you look closely, you can see a couple of ants in this picture.

(T took this picture with his new camera, a Fuji CoolPix that was on sale for some insanely low price at Staples this week. He wanted a beater digital camera, small enough to take on walks or bike rides. Watch for more pictures in coming days.)

Seeing these this afternoon cheered me so, I hauled the grill out of the garage and cooked dinner. We had chili-rubbed pork chops, taco-flavored turkey burgers, and grilled asparagus. And we have leftovers, because that grill flavor will stick around overnight in the fridge.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Katie, pensive Posted by Hello
Whatever was wrong with the camera is now fixed.

Mmm-mmm-Matzo Ball Soup

We went to the Jewish Food Fair at Temple B'nai Jeshurun today. It was on the chilly side - only about 50 degrees - so we ate inside. While we dined on brisket, kugel, and haroset, we were entertained by this year's purimspiel, "That 60s and 70s Spiel." It used a lot of parodies of old pop and disco songs. The highlight for me was when the king discovers that Esther is actually a Jew, and they sing together, "I've Got Jew, Babe." Of course, the highlight of any Purim-related activities here at Get A Grip On It is that I get to tell T, ""They're making fun of your wicked ancestor [Haman] again, but the pastries [hamantaschen] are good."

Literary side note: B'nai Jeshurun is the temple mentioned in "Niagara Falls All Over Again" by Elizabeth McCracken. What do you mean, you haven't read it? Go get it. It's a wonderful book.

Monday, May 09, 2005

What deadly sin am I?

Considering I said Yes to Chocolate every time it was mentioned in a question, I expected to be pegged with Gluttony. I'll accept this, though. If today is any indication, I am indeed living in Sloth Hell.
You scored 35 externality and 13 desire!

You are lazy, and that's really not so bad. According to Dante, the
slothful spend all of their time in hell running around. I don't know
about you, but sometimes I feel like I'm already there. Take your time,
enjoy yourself, have another pillow.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on externality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on desire
Link: The Seven Deadly Sins Test written by TheLadyEve on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Katie exposed!

It's warm and humid today, and Katie doesn't want to play or cuddle or even sleep on her blanket. Today, she is all about stretching out and keeping cool. It's not a bad plan.

Too darned hot Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

Another view of ISTP

The Assassin
You scored 4 IE, -4 NS, 4 TF, and 4 PJ!
You hate people, and are good at killing them. Young assassin's are good at killing pictures of people in video games.

Your prayer: God, help me to consider people's feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

Here's a better description of an ISTP

You might also like to try the Quick and Dirty Personality test

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 20% on IE
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on NS
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 41% on TF
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 37% on PJ
Link: The Extremely Quick Personality Test written by vincex on Ok Cupid

The end of an imperfect week

This has been a really long week at work. Not the people - they are great - but the data has been misbehaving all over the place.

So why should I even be surprised to see this next to my back door this morning?

Leaves of three, let it be! Posted by Hello

Yep, the poison ivy has moved from the feral place behind the shed, up to civilization. Terry whacked it out this afternoon, but there was already a new little sprig when I came home this evening. I see a trip to the Earl May in our future - possibly even tonight before joining the Knit Wits at Barnes & Noble for a little knitting and a lot of banter.