Tuesday, February 27, 2007

book meme

I swiped this from Harriet - in case you wondered what to get me for my birthday... "People will insist upon giving me books." Harriet noted that it's a funny list, but I always enjoy looking at these - gives me ideas. (Most Harry Potters but only one Narnia)

Bold = books you've read?
italics = books you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole or wish you hadn't

1. The Davinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) gift from a student
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) Never again!!!
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51.The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
blew my mind
60. The Time Traveller�s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

Two Ayn Rand novels?

63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65.Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
incredible book
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69 Les Miserables (Hugo)
70.The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
(French and English)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) (I need to as I love the film)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78.The World According To Garp (John Irving)

79.The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80.Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)Even Austen screws up sometimes
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)

Would like to read this one - I sense a library run in my future

98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)

Not even if it was the last book on earth...

Monday, February 26, 2007

life in the fast lane

What with all of the nasty weather we've had of late, I am the last (and I do mean the last) to disparage someone driving slowly when it's dark, the roads are slick, etc.

However when the roads are clear, the sun is shining and I'm running late, I have little patience for people who drive 40 m.p.h. in a 55 zone. It's called a "speed limit sign" - have you looked at it lately?

Perhaps my Lenten resolution should have been to have patience with such people (OK, that will be next year.) The problem is that these drivers force the line of cars beind them (ten by my count today) to make a decision not perhaps best made early on a Monday morning; to pass or not to pass? Do we chance the head-on collision associated with passing? (Depends upon how late we're running, I suspect.) At the same time, at what point does the slow driver have a responsibility to pull over and allow the line of cars to pass by before resuming their speed? Assuming that this (twenty-something) woman had a reason for going fifteen miles under the speed limit (transmisson? low on gas?) shouldn't she notice all of the cars passing and pull over?

This subject was not, to the best of my memory, covered in Driver's Ed.

On another note: I have not seen any of the Oscar-nminated films. I have no doubt that Last King of Scotland is terrific. I still wish that Peter O'Toole had won Best Actor, after SEVEN previous nominations.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

two firsts

Everything is starting to melt, which of course means that the streets are safe, but the sidewalks are a mess of black ice. This is the time of year when I wonder why I like Indiana so much.

It was an exciting weekend, and I experienced two unexpected firsts: a pedicure (my feet feel so clean!) and I finallyheard "Thriller." Yes, somehow I managed to be alive during the 1980s and miss this song. Oh, I knew "Billie Jean" and various other hits off that album, but I'd missed the title track.

My reaction to "Thriller" bears a striking resemblence to my reaction the first time I heard "Hit Me Baby One More Time" - this is it?

Speaking of which, Ms Spears is selling her hair on eBay, or so I am told by persons hipper than I. I do hope someone is around to catch her when she finally crashes.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

swift as a coursing river

I woke up this morning with a horrible pit-of-the-stomach feeling that my class outline for today sucked. No amount of good humor or "yes, I hate the textbook too" would help. Crap. Crap crap crap and several other swear words

on the drive to work, reconfigured the whole thing in my mind, and then kicked some serious teacher butt.

Bear in mind that I am not "qualified" to teach college classes full time.

On a happier note, the roads are clear. I have been so impressed by the Indianapolis road crews over the last three days - I helped by staying off the roads (my first snow day in how many years?!) while they strapped snow-plows to garbage trucks and kept the roads clear.

A spcial thanks to the woman who helped push me out of teh frozen slush today. What can I say, I had an urge to recycle...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

yet another post about Indiana weather

The snow started sometime last night and kept right on going. I credit the road crews; at about 6 AM my street was plowed, presumably salted, and if I had suffered from a serious need (hospital, prescription refill, etc.) I probably could have made it to the main road and thus to the Walgreens. It would have been a slow trip, and I'd have prayed the entire way that I didn't see any other cars, but possible.

Then the freezing rain started in, the wind started blowing - the streets are covered again, and a step outside means thousands of needles slapping into your bare skin. Sam (who at least has fur) dashed outside and back inside in somehing less then twenty seconds.

Much of Indianapolis seems to have wisely chosen (or been ordered) to stay at home ans off the streets. At least we knew this was coming and could plan accordingly. Alas, this is terrifc weather to stay inside and grade papers, something I can do just as well either here or at the office.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

from the trenches

As is typical for this time of the semester, I have students who are ghosts - they show up on my roster, but have yet to attend a class, turn in an assignment or otherwise make themselves known.

It is a relief to tell the bureaucrats to cut them - a few less exams to grade, reports to file, homeworks to pile up.

Yet I wonder why, what happened, could it have been stopped, and my worries now carry extra weight in light of my own life. I got lost in the shuffle, in the larger world of four PhDs who forgot about me, ignored me, didn't remember that I told them I needed something. Did these folks get lost? Did they feel ignored? Or were they just so caught up in being young and foolish that they didn't belong in college in the first place? Far too may of these folks are locals - did they go home too often, watch the Colts and forget about class? IS it s local problem? An Indiana problem? Does my teaching style induce amnesia?

No Child Left Behind has left behind the best 25% and the worst 25% and focused upon the middle half who can get through, pass a test and not rock the boat. How do we teach the need to go the extra mile?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

the coffee pots

I'm still trying to work out the coffee pot ettiquette. The very benevolent woman who runs the department (i.e. the administrative assistant) is very assiduous about firing up the pots the moment she arrives in the building, sometimes even befroe she takes off her coat. She knows that some of us will need it... the question is, at what point do I make another pot? I assume that most of the coffee drinking takes place before noon, even on the coldest and snowiest of days. I also know that my need for a hit at 6 AM is other people's 2 PM addiction.

This is also an issue, as I've noticed that many folks take the last cup from the pot, but do not make another. Is this a rule? Is the administrator the only one allowed to make the coffee? Do we have a specific monthly (weekly?) ration and she doles it out?

If it is rationed, I say we take the extra out of the salary of the man with the office next to mine. He keeps spilling.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Rex & Peyton

Is the weekend over? Thanks goodness. Yay Colts, poor Bears (Rex Grossman can be so good and yet not so good, all at once) but I do love a local happy ending. I passed myself off as truly informed at the coffee pots this morning. I devoutly hope that the Pacers do not make the play-offs, as I don't think I could take the further strain.

Meanwhile, may I just say that I kicked some serious teaching butt today, even among the hungover masses. In fact, yes, I can say it and I just did. I love my job and to **** with my ex-committee members.

Meanwhile, I have finally heard a Brittney Spears song on the radio. Eh? This is what all of the fuss is about?