Monday, March 31, 2008
The Buffalo Soldier
Nancy Amanda Redd
New Kings of Nonfiction.
Ira Glass, Ed.
Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies
Looking Back: A book of Memories
North River: a novel
Started but didn't finish.
Meditation Now or Never
A good step-by-step guide, but if the title is to be believed, it is "Never" for me. I'll read it again when I'm ready to take on the practice in earnest.
Didn't even start.
The Moments Lost: A Midwest Pilgrim's Progress
(I'm having trouble with formatting, so sorry I can't do the bullet points this time.)
March 21. None. Exhausting last day of work before Spring Break. Ironically the most exhausting thing was dealing with the Postal Service, who had me on hold for an hour and made me call back two times to get the information I needed.
2 Letters back! Both from Sara.
March 22. LEX Letter. What's your favorite food to fix for yourself when you're home alone?
March 23. LEX Letter. Tired of kids and grandkids? Ready to discuss serious subjects? Paint drying. Grass growing.
March 24. LEX Letter. Prefer movies on the big screen? Enjoy the previews as much as the movie? What makes a good movie good?
Letter back! Sara.
March 25. LEX Letter. Favorite cities, travels, rivers, campgrounds?
March 26. No one.
March 27. Sara.
March 28. People who own my favorite undeveloped property in my neighborhood.
March 29. None. Dealing with end of spring break and the fiasco.
Postcard back! Sara.
March 30. Sara
March 31. Art & Sole. Business letter.
Do you want to respond to one of the LEX listings? You can, without becoming a member. Write a comment and I'll tell you how. If you like to write, you should become a member, it's easy and not expensive and fun.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Maybe you don't have anything to say, and that's totally fine. But I'm guessing when you read a post, you think to yourself, "Interesting," or "I never knew that." or "What?" or "She spelled "reclaimed" wrong and wrote "of" when she meant "all" and she incorrectly uses quotes within quotes." Just take a second and throw that thought into the comment page.
Before I had a blog, I never commented. I was a bit shy and it felt weird putting my thought up there. I was worried I wouldn't spell something right or didn't have anything profound to say. Now I just comment as a matter of course, on almost every single post I read, especially if I am personally acquainted with the person who is blogging. You may not want to comment on every post, but once in awhile would be nice. I would love it so much.
I would love it so much that I'm starting an incentive program. The first five people who comment on this post and say something--anything--about any of the previous posts on this blog will get a little something homemade by me in their mailbox. If this is successful in the future I will embed prizes in blog posts. Or, random posts with more than just a Sara comment will get prizes. Don't be shy. Comment today.
p.s. Matt Johnston is exempt from this program. I know he doesn't read this blog (which I find a small failing in the boyfriend department) but I have a feeling if I tell him I am doing this he will wander over and comment. Nice try, Matt. You might want to read regularly.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I've liked every book I've read by Pete Hamill and this was no exception. Delaney was a terribly sympathetic and likable main character and Hamill injects humor and warmth into his story while supplying an underlying tension that kept me reading. This was a book I kept putting down as I got closer to the final pages, because I didn't really want to finish it.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Q: Do you plan ahead or wing it?
A: Plan as if you need to schedule every waking minute, and then, once you get there, set aside the plan. By doing all the planning as if you had control over all aspects of your trip (which you do not) you'll have enough knowledge to make good decisions when things start going haywire (which they will.)
I've never minutely planned everything, or even very much, for a trip because I didn't want to turn into the anal, planned-every-minute girl. But because I don't plan every minute, I often have no idea of what I could be doing while on the trip. This seems a great combination. Go Charles Veley. I guess dot-com millionaires are good for something after all.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I went great guns at the beginning, but the last few weeks tapered off into nothing. I started Parkour classes and those take up five hours of my Saturday with which I would otherwise have been doing Lint things. I accomplished some good things in that time:
- Divided my closet into summer and winter wardrobes.
- Donated all clothing that I didn't like
- Realized how few clothing items I love
- Explored some new consignment stores and reacquainted myself with some old favorites.
- Bought eight items of clothing and accessories.
- Tried on 30 pairs of pants. Found one that fit.
- Read a lot about style and wardrobe assembly
- Learned a handy trick for checking pants to try on.
- Realized I need to shop constantly, not just twice a year.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Zachary, Samuel John, Anna Elena, Miles Lincoln, Connor, Wren, M. Mackenzie, Sage Aradia, Sorrell, JanCarlos, Jamison, Ava, Nigel, John Alan, Karynne, August "Gus", Maggie, Hyden, Krisandra, Oscar Matthew, Milo, Porter Jay, Elijah,Samuel, Jackson, Silas, Eleni, Alejandra, Leah, Ace, Carson E., Pasha, Mariella, Hazel, Sullivan, Ten, Cleo, Arden, Zoe M., Valen, Mason, Jackson Lee, Tuesday Louise, Carte, Jasper, Olivia, Gabriel, Violet, Maha Hanna, Zoe, Delilah Rose, Skyler, Rhionne, C.T., Jasper "Jack", Tapley, Alexandra, Madeline, Mia, Grace, Kassia, Karla, Hazel, Coen, Elawyn L., Natalie, Uma, Ezra A., Benjamin, Alexandra, Tobias, Cole, Aidan, Selah, Edme, Isabella, Ezra, David,Maya, Alice, Hudson, Joseph Dodge, Chiara, Dhruva Krishna, Rachel, Orion, Sam, Nicolas, Zoe, Zora, Lily, Nora, Evan, Lucy, Landon, Maya, Molly Donyale, Phoenix, Aiden Theo, Simona, Joran, Justice, Alec, Emmett, Jasmine Nicole, Rose Helen, Coleman, Tenzin, Jackson Green, Max, Lily Ann Mason, Colin Foley, Zachary W., Isabella, Charlie, Lucian, Umoya, Jibril, Anika Jaz, Helena Rose, Nicholas Richard, Jeremy Palmer, Ukiah, Ira "Bird", Lyla R., Jude, Cole "Spike", Prashant, Milena R., Gabriel, Soren, Clara D. C., Isaac, Brendon
Thursday, March 20, 2008
- March 11. Sara. Letter.
- March 12. Sara. Letter.
- Letter back! Nestor Ramos.
- March 13. LEX Letter. Do you blog? Where? What about?
- March 14. LEX Letter. Charm bracelets. Tell me the story behind your favorite charm. If you don't have one pretend you do and tell me the fictional version of your favorite charm.
- March 15. LEX Letter. 1.5 miles from an empty mailbox.
- March 16. Jenna. Letter.
- March 17. LEX Letter. Let's write topic letters. Simple start: five favorite T.V. shoes and why. Initially, no politics or religion. Your topic next.
- March 18. LEX Letter. College student living in Savannah, Ga. Send me your tips on surviving college life.
- March 19. None. Bad mood.
- March 20. LEX Letter. Thirtysomething writer looking for a penpal who can be supportive like the perfect bra in a world where gravity wins.
Thanks for writing! Always nice to hear from someone who enjoys my work. Actually, you're the first. But I imagine the second will be pretty nice too. Mostly I just get mail from people who are upset because I've mocked some movie in which they were an extra. The time I said Cher was built from wax and car parts, some lady offered to spit on my grave.
I sent off a big packet of five letters to the letter exchange on March 19. It will be interesting to see if I get any letters back. It's a little weird writing letters to people you don't know. But I excel at blathering on both on and off topic, so it isn't too bad. I really need to work on my handwriting. I hope people can read my blathering. Perhaps I should have had a year of resolving to write neatly before my year of letter writing.
Do you want to write to any of the LEX Letter people? Tell me by posting a comment and I'll tell you how you can, even without being a member of LEX. Though you should be a member of LEX. It's very fun.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I wanted to take a picture of the dental arts building before it goes, as it always seemed like such a nice little upright building.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
"As far as I'm concerned, we're living in an age of great nonfication wiritng, in the same way that the 1920s and 30s were a golden age for American Popular Song. Giants walk among us. Cole Porters and George Gershwins and Duke Ellington's of nonfiction storytelling. They're trying new things and doing pirouettes with the form. But nobody talks about it that way."
I loved almost all of the pieces in this collection and reading it, I lamented that I don't have time in my life right now for a subscription to Harpers and Atlantic Monthly where I used to read great nonfiction like this all the time. I can still remember reading the World Series of Poker article. I was completely absorbed and not only do I not play poker, I don't really understand the rules of the game. The way the article was written, however, pulled me in. How far would James McManus make it in the World Series? From that point on, any reference to poker in my life was immediately linked to that article.
In this book, I particularly enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's titled "Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg." Do you know Lois? I wouldn't be surpised. I also liked "Losing the War" by Lee Sandlin. In 50 pages Lee Sandlin gave an overview of World War II and challenged me to think differently about the D-Day invasion. I'm ashamed to say that "Host" was only the second or third piece I've read by David Foster Wallace though I have read a lot about him. I love his footnotes (see rant in the review of "The Year of Living Biblically") and his footnotes within footnotes were particularly delightful. I think his writing style most emulates how people read things on the internet.
Great short nonfiction informs people without the time or inclination to immerse themselves in a subject, for it provides enough information to get them asking questions. When done right, it successfully transports the reader to another world.
Friday, March 14, 2008
B's stunning hat:
I's sassy shirt:
M's spotted skirt and hat ensemble.
B's fabulous purse. That would be a four-square ball she has repurposed.
P's lovely headband/hat.
M had a fabulous dress made for her. The front:
The excellent sleeves in the back.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The writing is smart and funny and perfectly captures the dramatic, self-centered, grandiose thoughts that are so cringe-worthy when rereading your own journals, but so delightful when someone else is thinking them. A perfect example from "Why Jordan Can't Read":
"Love is when you look into some one's eyes, and suddenly, you go all the way inside, to their soul... and you both know, instantly. I always imagined I would fall in love, nursing a blind soldier. Who was wounded in battle. Or maybe while rescuing someone in the middle of a blizzard, seconds before the avalanche hits. I thought, at least, by the age of fifteen, I would have a love life. But, I don't even have a "like" life."
The only thing better than the writing is Claire Danes' delivery.
The characters are also incredibly realistic for a television series. The main character is confused about who she wants to be, the "bad girl" isn't one dimensional and the "maybe bi" character doesn't collapse under gay stereotypes. The parents don't just flit in to deliver the moral message once per episode, they have their own struggles and bad judgments during the crucial split-seconds of parenting.
And the clothes! My god, the clothes! There was a whole ugly floral thing going on in the 90's I had completely blocked out of my brain. It's wonderful to see what was actually being worn. And the flannel! And the baby doll dresses with the little clip in the back! And the flannel baby doll dresses! In episode two Rayanne is wearing a flowery long skirt and black Converse high tops, a look I wore at least once a week through high school and during college.
I'm excited to see what happens as the series develops. And I rejoice that complete series are released on DVD.
Do you blog? Where? What about?
Others that sound interesting to me:
- Charm bracelets. Tell me the story behind your favorite charm. If you don't have one pretend you do and tell me the fictional version of your favorite charm.
- Define the good life.
- How does understanding your family history contribute to your sense of self?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I did not properly realize that a lecture by a children's book author would be attended by so many children, but of course they were there in droves. I arrived later than I planned, because I was trying to load a spreadsheet into Google Docs for the other blog, so when I got there, the only seat I could find was waaaaaay in the very back of the balcony. Here was my sitting down view.
And here is my standing up view. There is Lois, down there on stage. And doesn't she look great? I know, I couldn't see her very well either. I hoped that she wasn't going to make a lot of use of that screen, as I had to sit straight up and lean to the left too get a view of it.
But she did. And I was glad she did as she gave a nice lecture about how she gets ideas for her books. She used photos from her life to illustrate the lecture and it was delightful. Those of you who don't have access to a Lois Lowry lecture can get the book Looking Back: A Book of Memories, as it covers a good amount of what she said.
I was very interested to lean that she based A Summer to Die partially on her sister's death. Also, that she had four children before she was 26. She also told a delightful story of the strange meeting between her and author Allen Say.
I also had no idea that Lowry is a photographer and her images appear on some of her books. We got to see the picture that is on the cover of Number the Stars. Lowry used to do portrait photography especially of children, and when she contacted the parents of one of her subjects to see if she could use the image on the cover of the the book, the parents told her that she would have to ask the child, who was all grown up by that time. We also got to see the picture she wished she could have used for the cover of The Giver (there was a band aid problem) and the pictures she took for the covers of Gathering Blue and Messenger.
When she got to the question and answer part, I learned the reason why the same edition of a book will be released with more than one cover, thanks to an observant child in the audience. It turns out that the publisher will put different covers on if it is going to put the book in two categories, say adult fiction and young adult fiction. Fascinating.
Monday, March 10, 2008
What's that spell? Sore!
Yep, that's what I am. Really, really sore. But it's an interesting sore, and not like any I've had before. Generally, when I start some new venture, I end up sore, but the soreness in very localized. Last fall, for instance, I ill-advisedly did 30 lunges when I had been doing none and I ended up unable to sit or stand without grunting. My hamstrings and quads hurt for more than a week. I was, however, able to easily grab a can off the the upper reaches of the cupboards without any trouble. Or usually when I start a weight training program my arms end up hurting while I can walk around with no problem at all.
Sunday I woke up and before I even moved I knew I was sore. Getting out of bed, I felt the whole extent of it. I am sore from my neck to my feet. I feel like cartoon characters must feel when the steamroller rolls over them and they get pumped back up with air. Everything hurts. And everything hurts about equally. Reaching up to get something? Ouch! Sitting down? Ooof. Turning my torso to the right or left? Eeek.
I practiced my rolling tonight in the backyard and there seemed to be much more grunting than there was on Saturday. This might be because there was no music playing to cover up the grunting, but I have a feeling it is because the whole act of squatting, curling and rolling causes wincing.
I have a card making box with blank cards, (I just use the Avery kind you can print on your computer printer--though I never print them on my printer), crayons, markers, glue, construction paper, pastels and scissors. I actually enjoy making the cards, though the results are sometimes a bit uneven. That happened with Allegra's card. I wanted to make a sun on the front of the card and so I cut out a big round orange circle. I then cut out many tiny orange sun rays and carefully arranged them and then glued them onto the card. I glued the orange circle on top, admired my work, went to write something on the inside and discovered I had glued everything to the envelope.
- March 1. Amanda. Card.
- March 2. Hafidha. Card.
- March 3. Deborah. Card.
- Email back! Teresa.
- March 4. Teresa. Letter
- Letter back! Leath.
- Letter back! Nicole.
- March 5. Allegra. Card.
- March 6. I think I wrote someone this day, but I didn't make a note of who. I'm nothing without my notes.
- March 7. Forgot.
- March 8. Leath.
- Letter back! Sara.
- March 9. BroMAunts. Easter inquiry.
- March 10. Dana. Letter.
- Letter back! Sara.
The other happy thing about these 10 days is that I got some good letters back. Honestly, there is nothing nicer than finding a letter in my mailbox. It's better than chocolate.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
This week, the "my workout" featured Adam Dunlap, who spends four hours a day doing parkour. In the feature, he explains what parkour is, and if I could ever get the article to pop up in the very lame Oregonian's search engine--there. Here's his explanation:
"Also called free running, parkour began about 20 years ago with a Frenchman named David Belle. Practitioners are called tracers or, in London, where it's popular, traceurs.
In Dunlap's words: "Tracers interact with their environment using only their bodies to overcome obstacles in their path. Whether it be a 12-foot wall, a 10-foot drop, cars, rails or other natural or man-made obstacles, a tracer learns the appropriate techniques to overcome even the most difficult terrain."
How I explain it: running and jumping.
Here's a YouTube video of a female doing it:
And here's Adam Dunlap himself.
I've been feeling better lately, with much more energy and looking for something to do. I don't want to start another weight program, and I've been building up the bike muscles again, but frankly, I've been feeling bored. The Oregonian feature had a few links about parkour, which I notice did not show up in the online version, and so I took a look. It turns out that Adam Dunlap himself is teaching parkour, and an 8 week class was starting on March 8. I emailed him to see if there was still space available and there was so I decided to do it.
The first class was today. Adam gave me a discount because I'm the first woman to sign up--it's a sport that attracts adolescent males. So the discount was nice, but then I was worried it was going to be me and a bunch of 17 year olds.
I took the Max and then a bus and then walked (the gym is all the way out in office-park hell Beaverton). When I got there I found my classmates were: an 11 year old boy, a 12 year old boy, a 17 year old boy, a 20 year old guy, a guy around my age and me. The class was so much fun! First of all the gym is really cool. It has some treadmills, etc. and some dumbbells, but the majority of the gym is a big open space with some fun things along the side wall. If you click on that link above, there are some pictures at the bottom. They have a double staircase and a bunch of things that I'm sure have real names, but I would describe them as, railings, sort of parallel bar railings, some varying platforms to jump up to and down from and some u-shaped things to jump over and run under.
We did a warm up, then did some things like ducking through railings, and bear walking on parallel bars and jumping up to the platforms and bear climbing up the stairs. It was hard, but very fun. My scalp was sweating and After that we took a fitness test and worked on crawling and rolling. It turns out I need a lot of practice crawling, and my roll over my right shoulder isn't so great, but my left shoulder roll is good. I got to demonstrate that for the class. After rolling, we did a cool down and that was it. I came home and took a bath but I can tell I'm going to be sore tomorrow. But that's okay. I had fun.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Aside from very informative text, there are also photos. Many photos of actual women. In the back there is a two-page layout of front and back naked views of several different women. There is also a spread (hee hee) of 24 different women's vulvas. Nothing is airbrushed, and the constant message is that your natural body is wonderful. It's like a more direct "Our bodies, ourselves," but with pictures.
I'm pretty savvy in the body department, but I learned a lot too. Third nipples? There is a picture and explanation. Pubic lice? Yep. Stretch marks? Picture. The pictures were my favorite part though I also enjoyed the true confessions from the author. Now that I've devoured this book, I'm waiting for the boy's version.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Terry and Laura's twin daughters are killed in a flood. Two years later, they take in a foster child Alfred, an African American, who is not sure what he thinks of rural Vermont. The neighbors, a retired college professor and his wife, take an interest in Alfred and give him a book about the Buffalo soldiers. The other main character is Phoebe, who becomes romantically involved with Terry.
Though I really liked all the other characters, I didn't like Terry for the majority of the book. This made reading difficult as I couldn't figure out how in the world this story was going to end. There was a dramatic event at the end of the story that perhaps sold the ending to me, but it involved a bit too much coincidence for my tastes.
Bohjalian does not use quotation marks. This is incredibly annoying at times, because quotation marks weren't just invented because the printer wanted more work, they were actually needed. At times I couldn't tell who was talking and had to go back and reread. Overall, okay book.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Pen pals. You remember those from when you were little, right? You had a friend from overseas and you wrote to them a few times and then never again, right? They were fun because they had funny terms for everything like "pen friend" and "girl guides" and "go on holiday." I need something like that, but an adult who wants to send mail, not email. Not surprisingly, given that no one writes letters anymore, it was a bit difficult to locate such a thing.
I did an Internet search for "pen pals mail" and came up with a lot of crap. Let me tell you what I am not looking for when looking for a pen pal. I am not looking for love, nor am I looking for love from attractive women. So pictures of attractive women displayed prominently on a pen pal web site are not something that would keep me reading. Nor do I like flashing things on web sites. You think they are fun, but I think they are trashy and I navigate right away. I am also not looking for a site that is jumbled and cluttered and looks like Aunt Matilda revved up her new fangled computer and haphazardly built a site. Note that those last two things often go hand-in-hand.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
The Mermaid Chair
Sue Monk Kidd
The History of Love
Ready to wear: an experts guide to choosing and using your wardrobe
Mary Lou Andre
Comeback: A Mother & Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back
Claire & Mia Fontaine
If the Creek Don't Rise: My Life Out West With the Last Black Widow of the Civil War
The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise From a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look
Started but didn't finish.
Secrets of style: the complete guide to dressing your best every day
Editors of In Style
I got started on this, but they spent too much time discussing how to disguise flaws, so my attention wandered.
I enjoyed this book. Randolph Duke had a nice section about "the line" which was good to read. He also had flattering name for body types. No "pears" were mentioned. I read through the work clothing section and wandered off when I got to casual wear.
Didn't even start.
Truth and Bright Water.
(The remaining books were checked out for research purposes and I finished the research portion of the Lint Project before I got to the books.)
10 Steps to Fashion Freedom: Discover Your Personal Style From The Inside Out
Malcom Levine & Kate Mayfield
Business casual made easy: the complete guide to business casual dress for men and women
Ilene Amiel & Angie Michael
The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece.
Sam Saboura's Real Style: Style Secrets For Real Women With Real Bodies
Chic Simple Dress Smart for Women: Wardrobes that Win in the Workplace.
Kim Johnson Gross