Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The All New Captain Underpants Extra Crunchy Book O' Fun 2

2 X The All New Captain Underpants Extra Crunchy Book O' Fun 2 by Dav Pilkey
Weight: 1 oz
Method of Disposal: Recycling

I will miss all my Captain Underpants books :( These have been used and must be retired (aka recycled).  Better now than later.

The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep

The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep by John Hulme and Michael Wexler
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Donating

I received this book in 2007 and have finally read it, 8 years later.  It does not feel like eight years at all.  I struggle to believe it.  Maybe life speeds up once you finish college (or school in general depending on you as a person) because there is a less tangible timeline.  People may talk about marriage, kids, retirement as a timeline, but everyone does these things at a different time, if at all.  It is not like 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade where all of your peers seem to be doing it.  If they aren't, you probably wouldn't know about it because school is where you make friends.  There may be a few homeschoolers in the neighborhood, but they still have goals that are tied directly to the law.  Most people are the same age, even if they get held back a grade.  It all seems so far away.  Even thinking of "being held back a grade" is so alien to my current life that I almost do not know where that thought came from.


How many times do I wander down that road?

I finally read The Seems, and I was under-impressed.  I thought it had some unrealized potential, but the authors did not seem to know their audience.  The authors would reference music and artists their audience were likely never to have heard of.  I thought maybe they wanted to teach them/expose them to great art but that, in and of itself, felt cocky because they had not earned the right to introduce.  By mentioning great artists they immediately placed their own book alongside of them all and quite clearly came up short.

The story itself would often get bogged down in meaningless details and when the "fixers" fixed the world it was always anti-climatic.  Who am I to talk?  Either way, I do not recommend it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Kingmaker

The Kingmaker: Advanced Readers Copy Brian Haag 2003
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Recycling

No offense to this author.  I am just recycling his book because the entire cover is missing, and it is in rough shape.  If I read this one I do not remember it.  I am afraid I did not, which means I must have, somewhere down the line, taken it from the bookstore and screwed it up for everyone.  No one else was able to read it, and I wasn't able to recommend it.  Very responsible, Little Laura.

I miss getting advanced readers.  Sometimes, I think I should get a job at a bookstore one day a week, but there really are not many left and they get further and further away.  It is depressing.

Annual Editions: Homeland Security 04/05 by Thomas Badey 2003

Weight: 1.1 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

My life has been taken over by the most obnoxious puppy.  She has been doing zoomies around the house for the last THREE HOURS.  If all the other pups in the house fall asleep she is sure to knock something big and loud over to wake them up again.  They get to barking, and I worry Harriet will wake up.  It sounds like the herd that killed Mufasa in The Lion King and, somehow, Harriet has not stirred.

She eats books, photos, and shoes.  Her favorite thing to do is to get a roll of paper towels or toilet paper and roll the house.  Then she pounces on the paper and tears it into tiny shreds.  She tries to take on the broom when you try to take on her mess.

If you are not paying attention she will launch herself through the air and fly straight into you, regardless of if you are holding a drink in your hand or have the laptop precariously on the arm of the chair.

Will she ever go to sleep?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dav Pilkey

The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby (2002)
2 X The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book O' Fun (2001)
Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People (2006)
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (2001)
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Donating

I love Dav Pilkey.

I also love Captain Underpants.

I developed a fascination with all books Dav Pilkey while working in the children's department at Barnes and Noble.  I liked to read anything that was popular with the kids to see what they may or may not be picking up.  I liked to know what they liked versus what their parent's liked.  I enjoyed seeing the adult observations that were innocently masked by childlike humor in Pilkey's books.  In one of these Captain Underpants books the characters observe that when you are tiny your parents make a huge deal out of your going to the bathroom, smiling and praising you.  Then, years later they yell at you for talking about it out loud. The characters find the adults to be unpredictable and unreasonable.  It is amusing because it is also true. The whole point here is that you should read Captain Underpants if you read nothing else by Dav Pilkey.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself  by Michael A. Singer
Weight: 12 oz
Method of Disposal: Selling

I probably need this book now more than ever, but I really struggle to get into books like these.  I tried it a couple times, and I read most of it.  I see it is a bestseller, and I am happy to think of it helping so many people, including the wonderful woman who gave it to me.  My dear friend, Linda, who has moved up north and who I am not sure if I will see again. 

She used to come to my work with boxes of gifts and photos of things she had enjoyed during her lifetime.  She always had stories and to this day we will sometimes stay on the phone for hours, though I think we are less and less able to do that lately.  We still have late night texts and a shared love of dogs to keep our relationship strong.

I hope this book brings the next reader whatever it is that they are looking for.

The Story of English

The Story of English : Third Revised Edition by William Cran, Robert MacNeil and Robert McCrum 2002

Weight: 14.4 oz
Method of Disposal: Sold on www.half.com

Selling this book brings back memories of college and Guthrie classes in particular.  I always respected him even though I did not do all that well in his classes.  I am confident that the one I did the worst in was History of the English Language, which is the class I bought this book for.  I really enjoyed the lectures, and my dear friend Liz helped me out when I was drowning.  She also passed me notes to cheer me up if I was feeling a little inadequate and moody.

It was a strange feeling to enjoy something so much but still struggle so hard to do well.  You might be able to tell that I am not a master of grammar.  Not like my friend Liz.  She was always playing with the language, making jokes, writing masterpieces.  I admired her for it, and I was jealous all at the same time.  Actually, I still do, and I still am.  Mostly, though, I just feel lucky to know her and to have been able to attend Guthrie's class and learn as much as I could.

I am sad to let this book go.  For as long as I have kept it I have always imagined I would be able to dive back into it one day and learn some of the things I might have missed while in college.  Unfortunately, my job keeps me incredibly busy and at some point I have to recognize how unrealistic it is to believe I will be reading this book again anytime soon.

I do wonder who purchased it.  A student?  Someone with a general curiosity?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

703 Books, 451.80 LBS

Selling Books

Comparative Studies in Religion and Society: Terror in the Mind of God : The Global Rise of Religious Violence 13 by Mark Juergensmeyer 2003

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down : A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman 1997

Voice of Witness : Underground America : Narratives of Undocumented Lives

Weight: 3 lbs
Method of Disposal: Selling

This is that incredibly sad moment when I need to sell books I have not even read yet.  I have avoided this moment as much as possible, but the moment has come to let go and hope for the best.  I am just thankful someone bought them.  I hope one day to be able to check these three out of a library or borrow them from a friend one day.  The other good news is that somewhere, out there, people are still buying books.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mythology The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling

Mythology The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling C. Scott Littleton
Weight: 6.1 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

Life is a lot like this hefty, over-sized guide to mythology.  It seems like a good idea, it is made up of a lot of interesting stuff, depending on how you are feeling it can look nice or just flat out overwhelming.  The more time you spend with it the more it just feels like a burden and the less interested you are in flipping through the pages, collecting new experiences.  At some point you realize you are going to forget everything anyway and, in the meantime, it just collects dust and weighs an awful lot.  Nothing ever changes.  It is the same old story with the same old binding and no matter how much you want to make it something else you cannot.  And, in the end, it is not worth anything to anyone, including you.

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness Francois Lelord
Weight: 4.5 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

I quite innocently picked this book up a couple months ago.  I read on the cover that it was an international bestseller, but I had no idea that a movie had been made.  In the form of a book I found Hector's search for happiness endearing and was sometimes able to relate.  I am not so sure I would feel the same about a movie.  I can see that being trying.

This book did not take me to new mental planes or offer me some before-now-unkown-but-so-essential truth, but it amused me.  I would absolutely read Hector and the Secrets of Love, Hector and the Passage of Time, and Hector and the Wonders of Friendship if I were to stumble upon them at a fair price.

Dated Travel Guides

The Atlanta Dog Lover's Companion Marilyn Windle (1996)
Georgia Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places 3rd Ed William Schemmel (1996)
The Hiking Trails of North Georgia 3rd Ed Tim Homan (2001)
Survival Kit for Overseas Living: For Americans Planning to Live and Work Abroad 3rd Ed L. Robert Kohls (1996)
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Recycling

It is sort of strange to have so many 3rd Editions in this pile and so many books published in 1996 that I got at very different times in my life.  I would have enjoyed almost all of these books for a long time if things did not change, but I am a little scared to rely on the advice of a guide book that is 19 years old.  I know I lament about it all the time, but how did that happen?! When did the 90s get so far away?!

Too Damaged

The Elements of Style Strunk and White
Great American Short Stories
The Little Black Book of Cocktails
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
The Other Side of Truth Beverley Naidoo
Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures Mary Baker Eddy
Waiting to Exhale Terry McMillan
Waiting to Fly Ron Naveen
Weight: 8 lbs
Method of Disposal: Recycling

All of these books have been destroyed in some way since we moved here.  I did not throw them out right away, hoping I could salvage them, but I have not been able to.  Elements of Style smells terrible.  I cannot tell you why.  I console myself with the fact that I know I own other copies.  This was the one I got for my high school AP English Class.  It was the first Strunk and White I ever laid hands on.  I was hypnotized by "inflammable" being the actual word for what we commonly think of as "flammable."

I obviously have other copies of 1984, but this one was the coolest by far.  It was purchased from the bargain section of Borders in the 1990s.  The words were spliced with art work in an overly large edition of the classic novel.

I've not read Waiting to Exhale and feel like I should since I saw the movie with Whitney Houston all those years ago.  I was really looking forward to reading about penguins in Waiting to Fly...I could care less about the Scriptures...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cookbook Purge #2

Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking Julie Sahni
The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook Chris Hardisty
The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook Louise Hagler
Food Combining Made Easy Herbert M Shelton
Old Fashioned Cook Book Frances Childs
The Pampered Chef: All the Best
Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook Sarah Fritschner
Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery by Alan Hooker
365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian Kitty Morse
Weight: 10 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

I am fairly confident that the last time I moved I got rid of a ton of cookbooks.  I probably got rid of any that were not vegetarian, and I probably went on a similar rant about how I need to just be honest with myself and acknowledge I NEVER use my cookbooks.  Ever.  I have (once in a blue moon) used a bartender book or made a dessert from a book, but I do not think I have ever made a dinner.

So, this time, we are only keeping the ones that Harriet will use.  She is the predominant cook in the household.  And any on juicing/bartending.  Maybe next time we will get rid of those too!  All I know is that I just spared my back and neck that 10 lbs. And to think I would have lugged them over there just to put them in a cabinet, collecting dust, until the next move.


Four Letter Word: Invented Correspondance from the Edge of Modern Romance (2007)
Mr. Doyle and Dr. Bell: A Victorian Mystery (2004)
Nastybook (2005)
Annual Editions: Violence and Terrorism (03/04)
The World of the Celts (1993)
Weight: 5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

                                                   5 more pounds I do not have to move. 

I really did enjoy Four Letter Word when I read it several years back.  I did not read Mr. Doyle and Dr. Bell, but I am trying to be realistic in recognizing that I will not.  Nastybook was a fun young adult read.  The Terrorism book was terrible, as are most in that series.  And The World of Celts is interesting, but HEAVY.  For realz.


Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood

Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood  by Naomi Wolf
Weight: 11 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

Do you hear me now about how many of my books are pre the millennium?!  I am not sure if I just read this book too late or if I just was not feeling it, but I was not impressed.  It may be because I did not read it as a teenager, which is when I bought it, but later as a women's studies major that graduated 8 years ago.  It felt disorganized and not all that insightful.  I am sorry Naomi.  I have many of your books and jumped at the chance to meet you when you participated in some sort of panel with the Dove campaign years ago. 

Dykes on Dykes: The First Interactive Dyke-Cartoon

Dykes on Dykes: The First Interactive Dyke-Cartoon by Katrin Kremmler and coproduced with Indina Beuche
Weight: 14 oz
Method of Disposal: Recycling

It really pains me to throw this one out.  That is why I have kept it so long despite the fact that it was used as a chew toy by some foster dog and whole mouth fulls have been torn out.  I will never forget that it was sent to me by my brother soon after he was married.  It was so lesbian and so something I would have been drawn to on my own.  I was more stunned than I probably should have been that my brother bought me something lesbian.  That he thought to do that. 

It is not that it would be difficult to know this about me--that I will watch or read all things lesbian/bisexual/queer/trans/etc.  That I crave it.  It is just not one of my fascinations that the family generally pays attention to when they are gift giving.  I cannot do my feelings and thoughts of that day justice.  Just know, that it meant a lot to me and I fully intending on keeping this book until the end of me, had my other passion (pups) not have interfered with that plan.

Georgia: A Guide to Backcountry Travel & Adventure

Georgia: A Guide to Backcountry Travel & Adventure by Jeff Samsel
Weight: 14 oz
Method of Disposal: Recycling

Another book that just needs to say goodbye to this planet and stop taking up space in anyone's home.  I am sad that this one is no longer valuable.  It is a guide from 16 years ago even if I have never got over the fact that the nineties are actually that far away.  It was just yesterday, man!  Why do 60% of my books predate the year 2000?  Is the information they contain still accurate?  Should I just stick to fiction from here on out?

The Science of Self-Realization

The Science of Self-Realization by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada

Weight: 8 oz
Method of Disposal: Tossing
This one has been chewed on by critters, and so I do not think it is safe to sell, donate, or give away.  It isn't in great shape but, even if it was, I am not sure I would know what to do with it. 

When I was in high school I worked at a smoothie shop in the mall.  I met all sorts of people while I was working there and a lot of them were up to no good.  There was an overwhelming number of adult men and women who were interested in sleeping with a kid like me.  And I do not mean sleeping in the adorable, sweet sense.  I really believe I had more adults interested in me then than I have in all the years combined that I have actually been an adult.  It is disturbing.

If I was not ducking and dodging those creeps, I was trying to get free stuff from the Truth kids on my cigarette breaks or chatting it up with the folks handing out books like The Science of Self-Realization for a small donation.  My mother always warned me, "don't let them brain wash you."  "Don't trust those people."  And I never did, but a free book was a free book and, no matter what the topic was, I wanted to read it.  And I did, though clearly it did not have the impact on me it should have because I have completely forgotten it all these years later.  I have, however, never forgotten that mall and the people who hung out there.

Just this week I was sitting at my desk at work when one of the women who felt like we "connected," insisting "age did not really matter" all those years ago walked in the building wearing a FedEx outfit and had me sign for a package.  I guess I am too old for her now.  She didn't think twice about it or try to charm me in any way.  She had absolutely no idea who I was or that I knew her secret.  If I got her name now and made a phone call would it do anything for anyone?

1987-88 Information Moscow: Western Edition

1987-88 Information Moscow: Western Edition
Romaine Fielding Enterprises, Inc.
Weight: 2 lbs
Method of Disposal: Throwing Out

We are preparing for another move AND we are incredibly (and depressingly) broke so I am going through all my old books again and trying to thin out the herd.  I am grasping for financial straws and hoping that if I put some of them up for sale online that another random soul who likes to read actual books will scoop them up.  Keep your fingers crossed.

While doing this, I came upon the Moscow book.  I typed the ISBN in multiple times, never even paying attention to what the ISBN belonged to.  I grew increasingly frustrated every time the search would uncover nothing.  Finally, I paid attention to what I was doing.  Can you believe I moved a 2 lb information guide from when I was two years old with me in the last move?!?!  If you know me then you are probably not surprised.  Well, it is not happening again.  Tonight is the last night me and that book are spending together!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

American Nature: Our Intriguing Land and Wildlife

American Nature: Our Intriguing Land and Wildlife

Weight: 3.6 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

I feel another big change about to happen and so it seems important to cut off some more weight and as quickly as possible.  I never imagined that this project would take me so long, but I have a lot of books and very little spare time when I get home from the animal shelter.  I do not know how so many people are able to balance their work and home lives.  It seems to be something I am incapable of.  Work is all-consuming.  I think it is challenging when you work with living animals and each move you make effects them in some kind of way.  It is hard to stop, knowing there are so many out there needing help and attention.

This book came to me through one of the foster parents at the shelter.  She gave it to me along with many other wonderful gifts.  Unfortunately, she has moved now and, though we still text, we are not able to talk as often as before.  It was nice to look through it one more time before disbanding it, but I know the gift giver would understand.  It was when she was trying to decrease the amount of stuff she had that it came to me.  It is also possible that she is more of a free spirit than I will ever be,

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Bark by Lorrie Moore
Weight: 8 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving on an airplane leaving Iowa

I have never been afraid of flying, but recently, on my last few trips, I have found the takeoff unnerving.  I have admitted this to my partner and thus made the bad feeling worse.  Like acknowledging it made it okay for me to feel it and so I felt it more than ever.  I read during takeoff and landing to keep my mind off of the turbulence, the height, the speed, and my complete lack of control over the situation.  This lack of control use to be why I liked flying.  I read fiercely and do not like being distracted from it for too long.
I was disappointed this time to find that the book I had brought was one I had already read.  I do not often read books twice.  Mostly because I have too many lying about that I have never picked up.  I feel like I will never get through them all if I start reading books more than once.  I read one story after the other, finally remembering them halfway through, and then figuring I should just power on and finish them, but all along feeling disappointed they were not brand new.
At least it was Lorrie Moore.  I love her.  I still laughed out loud a couple of times.  I still questioned the moments I could relate to her sad, reserved characters but was also bemused by the humanity of it all.  This book was a gift I got for Christmas this year.  I did not think I was ready to give it up, but after reading it again, I feel like I am ready to share it with someone else.  But what really happens to a book left on a plane?  Do they throw it out before the next flight?  Does a stranger find it?  I hope someone is able to enjoy it—an employee or a passenger.

 I know I should not buy any more books.  That’s the deal, right?   But I am going to have to since this is a rare opportunity to go to one of the best bookstores in the nation.  Prarie Lights in Iowa City.  I have been waiting for this moment for awhile now.

On an unrelated note, hello and glad to see you.  I am taking a little break from life and excited to be able to blog with you again.  I hope you are doing well and your health is good.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster: Life-Changine Stories and Practical Suggestions
Allen and Linda Anderson
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Bringing to the shelter for staff and volunteers

I read this book the second I got it, and I loved it.  I kept it since then so I could study it and learn it in case it would apply to my work and life passion for rescuing animals.  I am recognizing now that all of the information I have collected, read, and watched about saving animals would do more good if more people had access to it.  I cannot force anyone to read it, but they may want to pick it up if it was available.  I know I use to love reading my old manager's copies of Animal Sheltering Magazine.

This particular book is about the people who took care of the animals following Hurricane Katrina and what was learned from that experience.  It is written in hopes that in future natural disasters we will be more prepared to handle the outcome and to prepare for it before it happens.  I absolutely recommend it.

In other news, H and I picked up an adorable little dog running down the highway today.  He had a piece of a tether attached to his neck, is unneutered, is very skinny, and is covered with fleas and ticks.  The poor guy.  All he has done is slept since he made it back to the house.  He ate out on the sidewalk when we caught him. He was running up the sidewalk when H's boss called us.  We love him already and are optimistic that his life is about to get a whole lot better once we get him the appropriate care.  We are currently calling him "Andy" and "The Tick."  Trust me, they suit him.


Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure
By David Rosenfelt
Weight: 13.6 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating to AKS

This book puts my crazy to shame.  He calls the 25 rescues he drives cross country a small amount considering the numbers they had in the previous years.  How do you give 25 dogs enough attention?! Even if they are almost all seniors, you do have a lot more money than me, and your partner is game.  Maybe it is something you have to see to believe.  They take in mostly large dogs too.

This book was a gift from a dog enthusiast friend of mine who was moving up north.  If it weren't for her, I do not imagine I would have ever stumbled on it.  The author is a mystery writer and, clearly, a dog lover/rescuer. 

And after giving you that brief synopsis, I better go to bed.  It is almost 4 am and after taking care of my personal zoo tomorrow morning I need to be back at the shelter to help take care of that whole crew.  If I am not careful, I will be asleep in a kennel having hoarding nightmares.  Sleep tight everybody!

Human Sexuality

Annual Editions: Human Sexuality 05/06 by Susan Bunting
Weight: 15.2 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating to the AKS

I am up late and the American Kidney Services truck is coming tomorrow to pick up more donations, which makes me feel like I should blog and get rid of some more books.  In the case of this particular book, I am sad that I have held onto it for so long.  It was an assigned textbook in college and so I think I held onto it all this time thinking that if I revisited it that I would learn something or remember something I had forgotten.  When I got a pneumonia I picked it up and forced myself to read each, painful, less-than-insightful article.  I am really kind of shocked that this was an Agnes grade book.  It was useless.  For me anyway.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Postcards from World War II: Sights and Sentiments from the Second World War

Postcards from World War II: Sights and Sentiments from the Second World War

Robynn and Matt Clairday 
Weight: 14.4 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

The ideal honeymoon involves The United States Postal Museum and an Air and Space museum (one housing a shuttle) if you ask me.  I've been to that magical place with the stamps, mail trucks, and Owney the dog once.  It was amazing.  I bought this book of postcards there (amongst too many other things) and just got around to reading it a year later.  Sure, it is full of patriotism and propaganda, but it also has actual notes written by soldiers to their loved ones, and the voyeur in me thrills at that.  I love reading other people's mail.  Since that is a felony, the only way for me to live out this dream is to read published letters and dream......

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Weight:4.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

I do not know what finally drew me to this book when I was out sick from work earlier this week.  If this sticker was purchased around the same time I bought it a minimum of 15 years ago and have no idea if I ever took another look at it.  I was so different then.  I had lots of disposable time and income, whether I knew it or not.

I was shocked to open the book and have these tiny photos of my two best friends at the time flutter to the ground along with a Chapter 11 bookmark.  Shocked and pleased.  I sent a card with several to Noelle on the left who I never see enough but still love and then texted this photo to Sarah on the right who I have not seen in years but will always love.  Both of them mothers now.  Both of them so different, but still so loving when I talk to them.  It made me miss my friends, and it made me anxious to get out of bed and back into life.  I have so many people I want to catch up with!

As for the book itself, it was fantastic.  I read it in one night on the floor of my dad's house while Harriet slept off the hospital visit in the bed to my left.  It was human, direct, unflinching, unapologetic.  People are here and then they are not.  They do all sorts of good and bad things in between, but no one knows what the next second will bring.

MaddAddam Trilogy

Oryx and Crake (x2), The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam
Margaret Atwood
Weight: 50.4 oz
Method of Disposal: Sent one home with my mom and donated the rest

My mother gave me this Atwood series for Christmas after having heard about it on NPR.  It sounded very interesting and, given her previous work, it seemed like it was practically guaranteed to explode my mind.  I did not realize it at the time, but I had also purchased the first book in the series at some point in my earlier life because I found an older edition in my library later.

The first book I read while I was sick.  It was the holidays and my mother was staying with us.  Harriet and her were watching a terrible television show (Reign) so I would read and bite my tongue about all the awkward costumes and poor historical portrayals.  Everything I had heard about the book had me riveted, but when I actually read it I was under impressed.  I could not decide if it was more about who I am now or about the writing itself.  I did not care for the main character and all the references to child pornography was making me feel queasy,  When I got to the end, though, I did want to read the second one and was disappointed (at that time) that it was not a book involving the same character even if I did not like him.  The second book in the series was by far my favorite (hanging out with a bunch of religious, nature-inspired, folks living commune style) so I thought the third might be the one with the most potential, but that one let me down too.  The end of the world has happened and in between the rapes, murders, and chases there are bright blue waving penises with innocent intentions.  Woohoo.  I was constantly right there with her and then let down.  Right there.  Let down.  To be fair, I had very high expectations.

My mother read the first one and then apologized for giving them to me, which seems extreme even now.  The idea of them was irresistible, and I read them all the way up until now.  It took me awhile because I was also reading other books and never getting well.  I went to the doctor for the first time since my coughing and breathing issues had started back in December.  I started using an inhaler all the time and could not sleep through the night without waking up in a breathless panic.  I continued going back to the doctor and eventually set up an appointment with the specialist.  I still ended up in the ER with IV fluids and medications being pumped into me at, what I found to be, an alarming rate. I cannot even begin to tell you how shocked I was when they said they were going to admit me to the hospital.  I had to leave all my work and friend plans behind and. just. lay. there.  But my beautiful Harriet stayed with me the whole time, and we "slept" together wrapped up on a hospital gurney, patiently waiting the 12 hours it took to get a slightly larger hospital bed.  She was scared.  I wished I could make her feel better.  We felt incredibly close.  Soon enough, we left the hospital and continued care at my father's house before coming home.  At that point, I took her crashing down with me.  Now she is coughing and short of breath.  They say hers is not a pneumonia yet, but I can see it following the same path as mine.  I sure hope she gets better soon.  I am worried, and she still wants me to feel better.  

I am behind at work, my chest hurts all the time, and I feel weaker than before, but I also can breath, which is really the main thing.  I am getting better and maybe it was all a blessing in disguise (for me, not The British One).  I've never been content to be a quitter (even as one) when it came to smoking, but I am officially over it all now.  I like breathing.  I like it so much and, when I do go out, I hope my chest is not exploding or dissolving into itself.  I hope I can catch my breath.  That if I cough something comes up instead of just hanging around, growing in size.

While I was in the hospital, I missed saying goodbye to a dear friend who moved to Connecticut for health and financial reasons.  She left gifts behind for me and Harriet, and we are texting more now that we did when she lived in Georgia, but it is not the same of course.  She told me today that she has emphysema.  Sometimes life feels like one gigantic lesson with people who actually play all the parts, and it is always unclear who the lesson is actually for since so many people are hurt (or helped) in the making.  I just hope that years from now, when she goes out, she is able to catch her breath and not feel that weight on her chest.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Moroccan Interiors

Moroccoan by Lisa Lovatt-Smith
Weight: 2.6 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating

This is a beautiful book of gorgeous rooms, windows, furniture, gardens, and tiles.  Flipping through it puts me in a fantasy.  I guess I am living in that space of non-reality when I get home from work lately.  You would think so based on my last two posts anyway.  I think I am just tired, recovering from being sick, and loving/hating antibiotics and steroids.

I could relax on a nice warm rooftop looking across the city.  I could swim in a pool surrounded by lush greenery.   I could fall asleep on top of nice, clean, white sheets not covered in dog hair.  On that note, it may be bedtime.

Take the Cannoli

Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World by Sarah Vowell
Weight:7.2 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

Just finished this book and appreciated all the blasts from the past!  I enjoyed thinking about mixed tapes, people who remember Sinatra and when he died, a world before Bush and Obama.  It was also nice to daydream about being the kind of person who tries all sorts of things and travels all sorts of places writing essays.  I could be Goth for a day.  Could I then write about it and make someone care?  Maybe not but it is nice to dream...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles  By Thomas Hardy
Weight: 1.4 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating


I was one of the few students in my college-level English class that liked Tess of the D'Urbervilles.  That shocked me a little but what shocked me the most is that only two of us thought that Tess was raped in the book.  This story was incredibly sad and sometimes weighed so heavily on my mind that I thought my heart would break for Tess before I could get to the end of it, but people described her as annoying or deserving.  Boring or beyond their empathy.  I still find this uncanny.  I probably should have taken it as a sign of things to come.  Maybe if I had paid more attention I would not have been surprised to find I was surrounded by losers when I experienced my own rape.

Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting

Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting by Edgar A. Whitney, A.N.A, A.W.S
Weight: 1.6 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donating


When I think about being a child at my grandparent's house there are a lot of things I think about.  One of those things is meals.  My grandmother would make something--spaghetti was a typical kid favorite--and my brother and I would drink milk out of tiny glasses with stars decorating the rims.  There was a high chair in the corner with a blonde doll holding a gift in her hands.  It was the same chair I had my first birthday and first cupcake in.  On the walls were my grandfather's watercolors.  He had painted trees, and I would often find myself asking him questions about them.  He explained to me that in watercolor you did not really get the opportunity to erase and that you had to pay attention to each stroke.  I was very impressed and when I got old enough to paint I promptly decided never to do watercolor.  I bought oil paints and, though I loved the look of it, I realized it would take days to dry and by then all sorts of animal hair and dust would get stuck in the paint.  My house was not oil paint conducive so I moved to acrylics.  I have held onto this book and others like it thinking I might try my hand at watercolor one day, but I realize now that I probably won't.  I will, however, still enjoy looking at my grandfather's paintings.

Flemish Expressionism

Flemish Expressionism
High Museum of Art, Atlanta--October 3 to November 28, 1980
Weight: 12 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating

This book is having one last hurrah as I wake up my wife to show her individual, creepy paintings and unsettle her dreams.  The Flemish Expressionist were nothing to laugh at and more than likely you would not want to hang any of the paintings at the end of a dark hallway if you intended to walk down it.  Ever.

Be glad you are not married to me.

For those of you who wish you were:

The Disaster

All About Love by Bell Hooks
A Dogs Memories...Our Lives Together
Drawing the Head and Figure
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Transfer Printing by Guy Scott
Whipping Girl by Julia Serano
Weight: 3 lbs
Method of Disposal: Natural Disaster

My beautiful wife will not let me tell you the real story as to how all of these books came to be destroyed, but let me assure you it had nothing to do with snakes.  I am just on her laptop and have limited access to pictures.  I have just as much disdain for my destroyed books as I (albeit unnecessarily) have to that serpent right now.

Since I cannot tell you the real story, I will tell you this one.  There once was an expansive and magical library of books that was dusted daily and tended to by the most gorgeous of faeries.  The fairy's name was Lorelei, and she had just moved to a new settlement with magical unicorns and fireflies that were permanently stuck in the sky.  Everything was as it should be for months and months (despite having to work long hours at a job where she was deeply under appreciated) until a dark force came, without her knowledge, into her ethereal realm in the form of several spirits.  One by one the spirits took her books.  The ones that did not perish were still damaged and Lorelei angrily had to throw them out before their allotted time ( a time when she would record their existence and leave it on the world wide web).  She did this quickly and with much remorse, leaving behind her own form of disarray and despair (her office was left quite a mess).  She had no idea how to vanquish the spirits but reinforcements would be called in by that Ribbons girl that lived down the lane (in the same house).

To be continued...