Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Do I have to blog in the summer?

So I make this sort of quasi-goal to blog some--- to keep the "creative juices" flowing during the break. And then I promptly ignore it. I blog twice last week and then I go AWOL. Sheesh.

So what have I been doing instead? Well, let's see...

1. pulling the hose around the yard. We don't have automatic sprinklers, so I get to keep the ole' green stuff wet. Since we're trying to sell the place, we can't have the yard all brown and crackly.
2. doin' laundry. Keri's a little under the weather, so I'm trying to help out. Besides... who says it's her job anyway. I wear clothes from time to time, too.

3. reading. Okay... some reading. Not much. Not NEARLY as much as I'd like, but doing some reading. Still working on that second Fforde book. Laundry and hoses are interfering a little.

4. floggin' kids. Not actual flogging with a whip or anything. Just trying to help them get their homework done, etc.

5. watchin' some old shows... getting "caught up" with ER and Lost and Reaper.

Anyway, here I am again, though. Maybe I'm not a lost cause entirely.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brainy Silliness

Brainy silliness. That's what USA Today calls Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair (yes, his name does have two "f"s). I think I agree. Steve Poppino, the reference librarian at CSI (the college, not the show) recommended it to me awhile ago when he and I were discussing my upcoming mythology course. I took it to graduation at CSI last week (savvy graduation attendees always take a book and a bottle of water to graduation--it is usually sweltering and always... um... not-yet-scintillating), and I was having a hard time describing it to people in the faculty processional line with me. "What's it about?" they asked me. "Um... it's about... um..." I said, with the cool whit of an action hero. I wish I had seen the USA blurb on the back of one of the sequels. I might have quoted it verbatim to my curious colleagues. "Richly crammed with jokes, ideas, and action. Brainier silliness is hard to find."

Or, I could have rattled off the blurb from the Wall Street Journal review, "Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion, and bibliowit. The Eyre Affair combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer." And here's the kicker (ha), "But its quirky charm is all its own."

Fforde really loves books, and what's he's done, you see, is elevate books and all things literary to the status of ... of... something high in status. What I mean is that everyone in Fforde's imaginary world loves books in some way. Everyone is obsessed with Shakespeare or Chaucer or Milton or Bronte or Melville (gotta get an American in there somewhere). The protagonist is a LiteraTec, basically a literature cop. Matters involving original manuscripts and the "true" authorship of the Bard's plays are front and center on the national and personal stage. How cool is that.

There are something like five of these cool books, and I've only read the first. I started the second yesterday.

You see, don't you, that I turned in grades last week, I made my obligatory appearance on campus yesterday for my last "contract" day of the term, and I am now on vacation until the end of August. Just like I did when I was in jr. high, I went to the library and checked out a couple dozen books. No, really. I checked out 13 books. Do you think I can finish them before they're due in 3 weeks. We'll see.

Ah, sweet summer. Now if it would only warm up a bit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm a follower (sometimes)

I think I care too much about what other people think. Actually, I KNOW I care too much about that. Perhaps that tendency is also related to the tendency I have to do what other people do--to follow. Instead of fearing God more than man, I often let my fear of what others will think or say influence me to do dumb things. And as a friend of mine at the Redwood Center pharmacy used to say, Don't Do No Dumb Stuff (DDNDS). But I do anyway. I do.

So.. there's this craze you may have heard about. . . blodding, or flogging, or something. I'll have to give it a try some time. Apparently a few people are doing it.

Here's something that my friend Mark Brown did the other day. Sounds fun:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Our second child, Joshua, had just been born. In fact, he was born during finals week of the Spring quarter and I missed the final exam in Wilfred David Samuels class. He let me make it up. Cameron was born during finals week of Spring SEMESTER three years later when I was in Wilfred David Samuels graduate class. He let me make that one up too. Cameron's middle name is David, after him.
I was also all-but-done with my BA ten years ago. I had just one more class to complete, which I did a whole year later.

2. Five things on my to-do list.
Clean and re-stain the deck
Clean my office.
Drop off some pictures to a client.
Finish my talk for Sunday.
Get ready for the 11-year-old camp on Friday.

3. What snacks do I enjoy?
Pretzels and chocolate, preferably together.

4. What would I do if I suddenly became a billionaire?
Get out of debt.
Get my family members out of debt.
Buy a farm and put my kids to work on it.
Buy a Mini-Cooper.

5. Three bad habits.
Putting stuff off...

6. Three places I've lived.
Neola, Utah
Los Alcarrizos, Santo Domingo
Pocatello, Idaho

7. Jobs I've had.
Courtesy clerk (glorified name for bagger/stacker/hauler/lackey) at Stewarts Thriftway in Roosevelt, Utah
Air Sorter at UPS, Salt Lake City
Computer/electronic rentals for my Uncle Kirk, Salt Lake City

8. Things people don't know about me.
I've been pulled over for drunk driving (you guess whether I was really drunk or not)
I'm a certified pharmacy technician (or I was-- my certification has lapsed, no doubt)
I taught swimming lessons and water safety for several years.

9. Five people to tag with this.
Nobody is going to read this. No tagging, therefore.

See... I'm a follower. Mark did it, so I have to.