29 April 2008


Yet another "What is wrong with people?" rant. What the heck would cause a father to kidnap his own daughter, lock her in a secret basement room for 24 years, and rape her repeatedly, fathering seven children (one of whom died and he burned the body)? Sick, sick, sick.

I hope his sentences run consecutively (can they do that in Austria?) because it sounds like the longest individual penalty is 15 years for rape although they are looking into murder through failure to act in the case of the dead infant. This slimebag should be tossed in a deep hole with a bucket and maybe some bread and water if the jailer is feeling charitable.

Methinks I need a library card...

So tell me again, why do I buy books? I could just as easily save money by checking books out from the library (as this would prove my mother absolutely right, you're not allowed to tell her that I might finally see her point - thankfully, she's not prone to surfing the Web, either), although with gas prices the way they are it might cost more just to drive to the library because it is farther from my house than the mall. Mom used to complain that it was pointless to buy me books because I would have them read in a day; ten books from our weekly trip to the CR Public Library would last me about three days followed by four days of whining about "having nothing to read." I think she was relieved when I graduated to books longer than sixty pages because they lasted longer.

Back to my point. I picked up two "easy" reads because my little brain was swimming after reading Beloved (I also knitted quite a bit to get Sethe out of my system). Our little group at BN is reading Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster (yes, that is the whole title) for May so that was book #1 and then I snagged I Was Told There'd be Cake by Sloane Crosley which I'd been eyeballing for some time. Give you three guesses to figure out how long it took me to read Lancaster's book....give up? FOUR HOURS total. That's it. This is why my mother is right and you can't tell her - I bought a book and finished it in only four hours (I also read about half of the Crosley, too, during that time). Maybe I should have checked it out from the library instead....nah, I hate how library books make my bag smell like old glue. And besides, bookaholism can't be cured by just going to the library (the local library is also undergoing renovations and has yet to lure me in to apply for a card).

Bitter is the New Black was a good book and I'll have to pick up the next two (Bright Lights, Big Ass : A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? and Such a Pretty Fat : One Narcissist's Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer) because the writing style is really engaging. Even though Lancaster is a self-described condescending hag, I do identify with her (there are many days where I was thinking the EXACT same thing she said to someone in her book but I didn't say anything for fear that my grandmother would appear and haunt me to death) and I was righteously pissed off that no one would hire her. For anything. Because I've had people hint that I'm overqualified for a job (working at the bookstore is a good example; by the way, newsflash, ALL of us working at the bookstore are overqualified to work there). As if being overqualified somehow ranked higher than the need to eat and find shelter.

Thank you to Netflix for allowing unlimited Instant Viewing - it helps with the insomnia because I can watch movies in bed now.

Current book-in-progress: I Was Told There'd be Cake, The Black City, Villette, and The Shakespeare Wars
Current knitted item: Pretty red scarf
Current movie obsession: I finished Enchanted (really cute movie, Disney actually has a sense of humor, but I wanted to slap Amy Adams after a while because the crazy, wide-eyed cartoon thing gets kind of old in live action shots), watched the Timothy Dalton-Zelah Clarke Jane Eyre (gets the award for most bland ending ever, although kudos for making Timothy Dalton look beat-up for once), A Midsummer Night's Dream (with the awesome Helen Mirren as Titania), and Clash of the Titans for variety (still a good movie even though the effects look super dated now); Sweeny Todd is sitting in the DVD player right now (mmmmm, Johnny Depp)
Current iTunes loop: John Mayer (I'm trying to will spring to appear)

25 April 2008

Ha! I'm not the only one

The College Board's National Commission on Writing just released a survey of 700 students - nearly 2/3 of the students said they blended e-communication styles into their written school assignments.

Guess I'm not the only one who noticed that teens really do write poorly. And I can't understand half of what they write.

Scary thought: Richard Sterling (a prof at UC Berkeley) thinks that capitalization could become obsolete because "when his teenage son asked what the presence of the capital letter added to what the period at the end of the sentence signified, he had no answer." HEY!! I use capitalization to help delineate parts of written language. Grrr.

[Side note: I have a headache because the barometric pressure is playing havoc with my sinuses. I'm going to lay on the floor of my office for a bit.]

Current book-in-progress: Last night I read more of The Shakespeare Wars, pretty interesting about the textual infighting amongst Shakespeare scholars
Current knitted item: Pretty red scarf (yesterday someone asked if it was a dishcloth - like hell it is because a) it's made of really nice alpaca/wool yarn and b) it's about 2 feet long)
Current movie obsession: Michael Clayton (I must be jaded from too many cop/legal shows because it's not really catching my interested although Tilda Swinton is quite good)
Current iTunes loop: KSUI

24 April 2008

I finished Jackie's socks

Yippee! That second sock really flew (I wonder why the first one took so long) so no Second Sock Syndrome here. Sorry no pics because I gave the socks to Jackie before I remembered to find the camera. Oops.

Now I think I'll make a pair of socks in Mountain Colors Bearfoot for myself. Mmmmm...

Current book-in-progress: The Black City by George Sand for BNBC May, Notes from Underground, and At Swim-Two-Birds (there must be a disorder that's known as reading ADD because I can't concentrate on any one thing)
Current knitted item: Pretty red scarf; I might have an idea for the obnoxious tan neck warmer
Current movie obsession: Criminal Minds Seasons 1 and 2 (Mandy Patinkin is AWESOME and Thomas Gibson isn't too bad, either; Shemar Moore is just HOT); Enchanted just came from Netflix
Current iTunes loop: audiobook of 1984

14 April 2008

Feasibility? Really?

So...like anyone who lives in Iowa City and is from the Chicago area/likes to visit the Chicago area/has friends who are from the Chicago area you know that train service bites. The Amtrak goes through Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which is about 45 minutes south of us. And has a much smaller population (no University of Iowa, either). Much bemoaning this fact everytime one would like to visit something in Chicago but dread having to drive there. I'm partial to the Art Institute, the Adler, Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Just to name a few.

Today the Cedar Rapids Gazette announced that Amtrak had done a feasibility study regarding service from Chicago to Iowa City, etc., via the Quad Cities.

They did???? Did the Amtrak representatives actually speak to anyone in the Iowa City area to see if anyone is interested?? I didn't see anyone. Might actually be helpful to speak with the natives to see if we are CHOMPING AT THE BIT to have Amtrak service.

The results of the study will be announced on Friday morning at the Iowa Memorial Union on campus. Joy.

Current book-in-progress: Would anyone believe that I'm still working on Beloved? Vilette and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (I have got to get an acronym for that) are still in the picture as well as The Gunseller (Hugh Laurie, the man can write and act) and whatever else I can procrastinate with
Current knitted item: Pretty blue sock (working on the ribbing) and pretty red scarf; the tan neck warmer refuses to start itself (humpf)
Current movie obsession: Watched Charlotte Gray with the BN crew (Birdsong doesn't exist as a movie as yet); very sad in some places but we were all punchy from having worked all day at the crazy store so we were making fun of some of the situations (Michael Gambon-Dumbledore references kept popping up). Great quote - "Beth, you took French, what's 'Un, deux, trois, cherchez la pas' mean?" "one, two, three...."
Current iTunes loop: John Mayer and the audiobook of 1984