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05/01/09

  07:58:00 pm, by Airycat   , 39 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Children's Books, Fiction

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

This is lovely, simple story for preschoolers. Parents, be prepared to read it again and again and again... Tiger's stripes are fuzzy, which will likely be another reason your child will want to to read and reread this story.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

  02:54:00 am, by Airycat   , 694 words  
Categories: Chitchat

"Thursday, Thursday" doesn't have quite the same ring as "Monday, Monday."

But it's been that kind of day. I have no idea what I've accomplished, or even if I've accomplished anything. When I sat down at the computer, I had a purpose in mind. I have no idea what it was. Somehow (I don't even know how), I got side tracked to my Listology and that led me to a search for a specific graphic, which got me looking at a lot of graphics and collecting some of them.

I spent the afternoon with Mom, looking at fabrics. We took the whole afternoon and got home after five, neither of us wanting to cook. We ended up sending Iqbal to get some Popeye's chicken. I'm sure it was no good for any of our diets, but it sure tasted good.

Looking at fabric made me want to get to some sewing. The ideas are packed in my head. There are fabrics in boxes, in the closet, and in a former kitchen hutch. I have drawers of fun and pretty notions. I have a sewing machine, and embroidery machine (on loan) and a felting machine (also on loan). I just need to sit down and follow through.

While over at Listology, I made a list of the stories that I have been going over in my head. I need to sit down (preferably without internet to distract me) and work on actually writing them. They're good ideas, but quite useless if they stay in my head. (Well, they do entertain me, anyway, but it seems that stories should be shared.)

There is lots of gardening to do. With that, it's not simply a case of setting my mind and doing it. Because of my back, I can only do some of it. I need to hire Alex or someone else to do it for me. If we hire the gardeners who do Debie's gardening, I need to make sure they understand what I want. Iqbal doesn't seem to get my ideas across to others.

And the house desperately needs some spring cleaning. Again, I can't do it all myself, but Iqbal will help me and maybe Alex will help with some of it. I did tell him that I would pay him to help me make my laundry room. We'll also be butting some furniture into semi-permanent storage. (Meaning not in the garage, which won't be a garage anymore, but a laundry room and exercise room and some storage. The laundry room is all that will get finished this year. Hopefully, next year we can finish the rest.)

Aaahhhhh!!!! I can't even write without getting distracted!!

What all this is leading up to is that I am not going to be able to read all the blogs I have to read. I'll skim through and read a few that catch my eye, but it simply takes too much time to read every blog on my friends list, my subs and sent to my Google reader. I feel bad, because if I friended you on LJ or subbed you on Xanga, I consider you my friend and I want to keep up with you, but there are only so many hours in a day. I'm not sure when I will start, but soon, I will be limiting myself to an hour in the morning (with a timer if need be!) and maybe three or four hours at night... maybe.

PLEASE!

If something important happens please leave a comment . I will read all e-mail and all comments come in to my e-mail. If a mutual friend has had some big news and hasn't been able to comment, please let me know.

I will continue to post randomly. I don't want to seem snotty, but those who comment are those I will read first, when I read, and I'll get to others as I have time. Please don't think I'm trying guilt you into commenting. That's not my point. I just think it's the polite thing to respond first to those who have responded to me.

As readers of my blog(s), my getting out and actually doing something will benefit you, in that, hopefully, I'll have more interesting things to post about.

04/26/09

  01:38:00 am, by Airycat   , 249 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Chitchat

Earning My Books

I honestly don't know how good a book reviewer I am, but I do try to give honest thoughts of whatever I remember. I really need to read with a pencil and notebook handy. I'm pretty sure some of the things I noted today are not all the same ones I noted the first day I started to read.

I just posted my review of Larry's Kidney here: 
LibraryThing
Airy Nothing
Amazon
Live Journal √ 
Xanga
Facebook
Alive, Not Dead √ (well, it'll show up there eventually)

There may be other places it shows up. Either my MSN or my Yahoo gets a blog feed from Xanga. Whatevah! I've done the review and I was happy to do it, I loved the book. Now I have two more to write -- one for My Sister, My Love by Joyce Carol Oates and one for A Day For Dying by Dorothy Simpson.

I need to get reading more, too. If I'm going to make 50 books this year, I'm behind, since I need to read four point something books a month and I'm one book shy of an even four a month right now. I may not know how to review poetry very well, but I have a few thin poetry volumes that should help me reach, and maybe go over, my 50 book goal.

So enough chatter for now. I need to look for my next book and get started.
__________________________
These little dealybobs ( √ ) are square root signs which is the closest thing to a checkmark as html allows here.

  12:04:00 am, by Airycat   , 562 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Biography, Memoir

A Delightful Armchair Adventure
Larry's Kidney by Daniel Asa Rose

I was hooked with the first line, "Huwwo?" Larry's Kidney, by Daniel Asa Rose, is indeed an "adventure of a lifetime (really) -- a madcap odyssey of the heart (and kidney) in the most exotic country on earth," as the back cover proclaims.

Larry is something else. Rose shows him as funny, exasperating, morose, kind hearted, unyielding, dictatorial, and expansive by turns, a moody man who is nonetheless charming and hard not to like. I believe that Rose shows Larry as he sees him, but he makes it clear in the book that he has a vivid imagination, so I'm not entirely sure Larry is exactly the man we're shown. Still, I think Larry would be someone interesting to meet, though I'd make sure not to cross him.

I loved the way Rose shows the people of China, very much as I might expect to see them myself -- quite confusing at first, then not as a people (plural), but as individual people, who still might be confusing due to language and cultural differences, yet people with whom it's possible to interact. I felt I was there with them as I read. (The fact that I was playing Chinese pop music as I read probably helped this a little.) And, though I don't go looking for it intentionally in what I read, I'm always delighted to see an example of my world vision* in reality, in the world today. For all his and Larry's cavalier naivety, before he returned home he saw (was made to see) some of the harsher realities and he still chose to remember the kindnesses bestowed upon him and Larry, to believe goodness was indeed goodness. Nobody ends up being a bad guy here. It's just that everyone sees things differently.

Rose's style reads/sounds as if he's there telling the story in person. I could hear his voice, so much so that when I later visited his website and heard him speak, I "recognized" it. It was exactly as I expected. I get a distinct picture in my head of Larry, but somehow, it didn't quite match the photo on the back cover. I think that's because a photo is still and we need to see Larry animated. I do take issue with Rose's description of Mary. Did he say she was fat?** I can't remember exactly, but he certainly gave the impression that she is. However, the pictures on his website show that she definitely is not fat. (I should be so "fat!") But, then, there is the Author's Note stating that he had to change some facts of the story to protect those who helped him and Larry, so maybe there is a bit of embellishment here and there to make every part an interesting story. Who knows? Who cares? If he says it's true, I believe the basic facts are true. It's just that he's not a "damn, dim bulb," writing a dull diary of facts. He wrote a story we want to keep reading.

 

*I see a world where all people accept each other as friends and neighbors and celebrate each person's uniqueness as a vital part of everyone's life, like threads in a tapestry. ~F. Shafer Junaid

** "a giant cleaning lady" "a larger figure than I expected" (p. 23 of my ARC)

PS: Since Clint Eastwood is too old for the role, I nominate Billy Bob Thornton to play Larry.

Larry's Kidney

04/21/09

  01:06:00 am, by Airycat   , 369 words  
Categories: Chitchat

Weird

Not really interesting weird. More of a blah weird.

Probably TMI, but you can...

...

I was supposed to get up early, but my stomach/intestines were mad at me, so I didn't make it. Tomorrow, or rather, later today, I get to have a colonoscopy. The test itself is no problem. I've had it before. The hard part the first time was having to drink a gallon of pure nastiness in three hours (while studying for a test, no less!). Now the drink is an almost tasty 8 oz. (kinda like a salty lemon fizz). The problem is that before taking that, one must have a nighttime dose of Milk of Magnesia. (Hence the mad tummy this morning). Then I had to fast all day. Fortunately not a complete fast. I could have non red juice and my Mandarin Mango Tea To Go. No calories in the tea, but the juice (white grape and orange for me) have given me about 2/3 my calories for the day. I'll spare you the details of the rest of the prep, but I don't look forward to it.

The worst thing is that tonight was a big TV night for me with three hour long shows. Do you realize how many food commercials there are during prime time? Too many. Usually it's the car commercials that annoy me because there seem to be more of them than anything else, but at least they don't make me think I'm hungry. (I say 'think' because I really am not hungry. It's more mental. I can't, therefore I want.) Even the burger ads were almost making me drool. Papa Murphy's is one of my favorite pizzas, not the meat one they were advertising, but still... And then at 9:30 or 10 my son decides to have dinner and I don't know what it was but it smelled soooo goooood. Earlier I saw a brownie in his room. It was probably stale, but I drooled anyway. I'd like even saltine crackers right now, but I have to wait until probably dinnertime tomorrow. I hope mom feels like cooking tomorrow... something really tasty. Thirteen or fourteen hours to go.

I think I'd better go read and, hopefully, get my mind off food.

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I see a world where all people accept each other as friends and neighbors, and celebrate each person's uniqueness as a vital part of everyone's life, like threads in a tapestry. -F. Shafer Junaid

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