Friday, October 31, 2008

come home! All is forgiven!

You don't realize how much you value an appliance until you lose it.

I have learned that I can live without a microwave. Oh, sure, it's handy, but not essential. On the other hand, a week without a hot water heater seven years ago means that I still breathe a quiet prayer of relief each time my shower is warm.

At the moment, I have no computer. This is the second time in less than two weeks that I have brought it into the shop (I'm at the library)and been told to wait. Oh, sure, blogs are fun and I like the easy access to the BBC, but I hadn't realized just how much I have come to rely upon e-mail. Wow.

Anyway, the library has Internet access, but I appear to be the only person who is typing. I'm waiting to be asked to be more quiet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday morning

The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama, their first Democratic candidate ever endorsed for the presidency. The Indianapolis Star editorial board split 4-4 and so didn't endorse anyone. I'm pleased, but I still think McCain will prevail.

At least the election hasn't been dull.

Sam continues to thrive on his meds. He and the terrier next door (confusingly enough, he's names Sammie)spent a good ten minutes racing each other along the sides of the fence this morning, with occasional pauses for competitive peeing. I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

It's a stay at home day for me, so I have opted to wear mis-matched socks. Consider it my moment of rebellion against the conformities of the world... such as letter grades. I've noticed that deans take a dim view of writing "student read the book but obviously did so at 3 AM after doing tequila shots" instead of "C."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a prediction

Prediction: Obama will carry the popular vote. McCain will carry the Electoral College. Violence will follow.

I'm not saying that I like this prediction, just that too many of my friends, even in liberal bastions such as Massachusetts, adore Palin and think Omaba will look out for "his race" before the rest of us.

On a happier note, only two more weeks and then the election will be over and I can comfortably shoe-horn it into my life as a historical event rather than as a day to day situation. So much easier to bury something unpleasant....

The Electoral College was designed to prevent Americans from being swayed by a personality and to ensure that cooler, leveler, more educated, more affluent white men would be the final voice in choosing a president. Somehow I'm not sure that Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin had this in mind at teh time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

saw this coming

Joe the oft-referenced plumber owes back taxes and doesn't, technically, have a valid state license to be a plumber. Please tell me that the election is almost over -

Thursday, October 09, 2008

left or right?

A friend has the impression that McCain and Obama are both left-handed. I had to admit that I don't have any idea. Can anyone out there in the blog world confirm or deny?

Monday, October 06, 2008

banned books

Pulled this from Harriet's blog - I always feel somehow derelict that I haven't read more banned books.

As I will be spending the afternoon working in the library, here is a meme in honor of the end of Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association, this is the list of the 100 most frequently banned and/or challenged books for 1990-2000. The instructions are easy: bold the ones you’ve read (it doesn’t have to be recently – a lot of these are children’s books) and pass the meme along. If you are reading, TAG – you’re it.

Heather has Two Mommies is actually a very beautiful book.

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I think English profs keep assigning this book solely because it is so often banned...

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice(Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Giver by Lois Lowry
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein

Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boyby Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughtersby Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Why on earth would this book be banned?

The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sonsby Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shortsby Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What?by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Again, another English teacher book...

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford

Again, eh? How is Waldo ban-worthy?

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Here’s the list of the 10 most banned/challenged books for 2007:
And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
TTYL,by Lauren Myracle
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Thursday, October 02, 2008

musings on the debate

9:16 PM Palin is kicking Biden. She has studied her 3'5 index cards, and has nailed the folksy charm. If the debate were a drinking game, and I had to drink every time she said "darn" I'd be deeply intoxicated by now.

Biden knows McCain's record better than Palin. She's still nailing him to the wall.

a quick fantasy

(phone rings)

"Prof lemming! It's PBS - this is an emergency, we need a history teacher! Gwen needs some quick questions to start off the debate tonight and you're the best!"

OK, enough of my fantasies. 10 History Questions I wish would be asked tonight:

1) What rights does the ninth amendment protect?

2) Who served as president before James Buchanen?

3) What were the causes and effects of the Spanish-American War?

4) Was it legal to be a Baptist and live in Virginia in the 1700s?

5) What happened during the Oklahoma Land Rush?

6) Why did Nixon go to China?

7) Who ran the country when Woodrow Wilson had a stroke?

8) Why did the United States boycott the 1980 Olympics?

9) Which happened first, the Boston Massacre or the Boston Tea Party?

10) Why is Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill?

Despite what I think of McCain's choice of Palin, tonight is historic and I honor it.