- Fizzy Thoughts: September 2006

Banned Books Week

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Celebrate your freedom to read...Banned Books Week September 23 -30, 2006


Darn, I forgot to wear my black stocking cap

I just broke into a house.

Okay, okay...it was our rental. And the house was open. But the renter had locked herself out of the bedroom. (I guess she forgot to unlock the door the next morning and then later closed the door while on the wrong side.) Luckily, the window was open, so I pried off the screen and crawled through the window.

Evidently she's a little paranoid. She closes the bedroom door and locks it at night, because she's scared someone will break in. Since she lives in one of the cheapest looking houses on the block (call me slumlord) I doubt she has much to worry about.

So I broke into a house and did a good dead all at the same time. No one told me breaking and entering was part of a landlord's duties, though.


Antiquities, a book and a movie

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm finally getting around to last weekend's events. I did all sorts of stuff (for me). In order, here's the rundown...

1. Getty Villa
Friday, my mom and I took a bus tour down to Malibu to see the Getty Villa. The villa is a museum full of Greek and Roman antiquities, and the building itself is modeled after an ancient villa that was buried when Vesuvius erupted. When Getty proposed the idea of a villa/museum, it was considered pretty radical (read loony) at the time. Today, it makes perfect sense. The villa was cooler than the art, especially the peristyles (aka the garden areas). Here are a few pictures:

I could live there.

3. The Thirteenth Tale
The weekend wouldn't be complete without a book! On Saturday I finished what might possibly be my favorite-ist book of the year. This is a book for those who love books! It's also got a really good mystery and some good twists to it.

4. Black Dahlia
On Sunday, my mom and I went to see this movie. Good, but a little (okay, a lot) gory in parts. It was very film noir.

So there you have it...my eventful weekend!


Public Service Announcement

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I moved over to the new beta version of Blogger...obviously, you can still find me and everything looks pretty much the same. However...

Evidently, I can't post comments as "softdrink" for the time being. They're still working on that little feature (actually, it's a big feature which one would think would have been worked out prior to going beta, but I digress). So I may be popping up as "anonymous" for awhile. Maybe I'll start a second blog using the old format and be "anonymous softdrink."

Why move to beta? Because I couldn't get half my pictures to post, which was frustrating as all get out. They've fixed that little quirk in the new version, so I've (partially) forgiven them for not letting me post comments as myself.

Other than that, the beta version is pretty darn similar. You can play with the look of your blog a little easier, too.

That's all...HB is off being a Moloch, so I'm going to crank up the heater (yes, it's freakin' freezing here in MB!!) and go back to my piles of books.


Move along...nothing but another short book review

No, I don't always read at this pace. I also go through periods where I slack off on journaling the books I've read. So it's probably a relief to know you won't be seeing this every day:

The End of Vandalism, by Tom Drury.

This book is a collection of stories, more than it is a novel. Although the stories do flow together and the characters appear throughout the book. There's really not much in the way of plot, though. It's more about life in a small Midwestern county, where not a whole lot happens other than daily living and strange characters abound. In a way, the book style reminds me of Kent Haruf (Plainsong). The setting and the dialogue are familiar...small town life and stilted conversations. But the occasionally hilarious observations and true to life characters made it worth reading. I'm going to pass this one on to my mom and uncle... my mom will probably see similarities to Dufur (aka BFE Oregon, where I spent 5 years of my young life) and Uncle Bill will, I think, appreciate the writing.


Blind as a bat

Monday, September 11, 2006

I just got back from the eye doctor. My eyes are so dilated it's a good thing I didn't get pulled over by the cops! In fact, they're so dilated I can't see very well. Hopefully, it'll wear off soon so I can go read a book...and also so I don't look like I'm strung out on some drug.
My eye is still not a happy camper. We think I've become intolerant to contacts, which is a major bummer. We're going to try one last thing before giving up. I have another week of antibiotics and flooding my eye with eye drops, then I'm going to try daily disposable contacts for a few days and then go back to see how my eye looks. If it's still irritated, then bye-bye contacts. :-(
On a positive note, I was eligible for frames, so I get a new pair of glasses. I love the ones I got last year, but they are a little too narrow and interfere with my field of vision at times. So if I'm going to be wearing more of my glasses, at least I'll have a pair I can see out of.
However, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the daily disposable contacts will work because I so do not want to wear glasses all the time.


Another day, another book

Last night I stayed up too late (11:30) finishing this book:

The Book of Bright Ideas, by Sandra Kring

I'm such a sucker for book covers. Sometimes that leads to crushing disappointment. This time it worked. That picture is Winnalee in a nutshell, although the book doesn't focus so much on Winnalee, but rather her best friend Button and Button's family.

Winnalee and her big sister Freeda roll into the small town of Dauber. It's 1961, and Freeda's wild ways are shocking to some, and a catalyst for change for others. For Button, life will never be the same after the sisters.
This was a good read...another book with great characters. I started it a few weeks ago, and then forgot about it. I read most of the book last night. And I smiled when I picked the book back up, because it had my Naploleon Dynamite bookmark in it!


What I've been reading

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It's 5am on a Saturday morning. I'd rather be sleeping, but since that wasn't happening, I guess I'll do some book reports.
Last week I finished three books, two of which were so good I didn't want them to end. In order of finish, here they are:

Revenge of the Paste Eaters, by Cheryl Peck. This book was passed on to me by someone at work, who raved about it. It was entertaining, but not quite as funny as I was expecting. The book is a collection of poems and essays, based on the author's life, but admittedly exaggerated in places. The funniest stories for me were the ones she wrote about her work, since she works for social services in some far away state (Michigan? Wisconsin? someplace along those lines...I can't remember). For some reason, this book was impacted by my mood. If I was in a good mood, the stories were funnier. If I was feeling ho-hum, the book became ho-hum.

Next up was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie, a Chinese author who has emigrated to France. He was "reeducated" during the Cultural Revolution, and "reeducation" is what this book is about. Two young men are sent to live in the mountains with a group of farmers. They happen upon a suitcase full of contraband (Balzac and other western literature) and a beautiful young woman (the little Chinese seamstress). How they all affect each other becomes the point of the story. I zipped through this book in about three hours, and I loved it. Much better than sitting through some boring professor lecture on the Cultural Revolution.

Finally, there's my favorite of the bunch, A Girl Could Stand Up, by Leslie Marshall. Elray Mayhew is suddenly orphaned at age six, and placed in the care of her Uncle Harwood, a macho photographer, and her Aunt Ajax, who is really Uncle Ajax and prefers to cross-dress and be an auntie. This is the story of their next ten years together, and the people who join their lives. The characters definitely make this book, as each one of them is quirky and full of issues. And the ending was totally bizarre, so it's right up my alley. I found this book in the bargain bins at the UW Bookstore in Seattle. I had never heard of it, and doubt I would have ever run across it otherwise.


For Kate

Monday, September 04, 2006

the surfboard picture:


softdrink plays Susie Homemaker

I spent all of Saturday and most of Sunday redecorating (and cleaning) the upstairs. My mom met me at World Market on Saturday to get the shelves. Then we came back here and put them together and lugged the couch up from downstairs. Of course, after she left I decided I didn't like the location of one of the shelves and I moved it across the room. Which meant moving other stuff. Anyway, here's the end result...

dining room (I have since moved the tall plant in the corner. It now lives in front of the short wall on the left that you can't see in the picture and a shorter plant took its place):

living room (I skipped one wall, but the window and chair haven't changed):

and the dining room and the space formerly known as the great empty wasteland:

HB and I are both very happy with how it turned out. HB said he liked the feel of it, that it felt homey. Of course, he'd just gotten home from camping, so anything with four walls and a bed would probably qualify as homey. ;-)

Here are the pics from last weekend's efforts...

the bedroom:

Our house is now a mixture of travel pictures (France, Italy) and ocean pictures (lighthouses, the sea and surfboards). HB complimented them all, though. It definately represents the two of us!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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