Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So Many Books, So Little Time

When I was at BYU in 1976, I got one of the Honor's Program Reading Lists and I set about reading. Many on that list are also included on the list below.
I gotthis on artemisandollie
The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. I find that hard to believe! How do you do?

1) Look at the list and "red" those you have read.
2) Green the books you love.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte :can't beat a crazy woman in the attic!
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee: the movie is wonderful, too
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte: Well....."Cathy"
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens :themes of a parental love and sacrifice
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot: love Ms. George Elliot, Silas Marner my fave of hers
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams: Junior College in the 70's read
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Raskalnikov, with an ax, in the parlor
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck: I love Ma Jode
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen J
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery W
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi Yann Martel: the "island" of complacency and all the rest!!
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen Love.
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens: isn't it always the worst and the best of times?
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck: tell me about the rabbits, George
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov J
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt .
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens: please sir...
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White: which animal are you?
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven- Ablum
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams: one of my very favorites!
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo:
One of my faves! Great Justice/Mercy themes

Monday, July 20, 2009

Carol's Visit

Carol Concidine and Cathy Baker: Together we pledged the Brownie oath, played Jr. High Softball in hideous, cotton, gym onesies and made our way through cheerleading, toilet-papering, test-taking, High School hijinks. We double dated, graduated, married and lost touch for a few years. Then Christmas cards and phone calls kept our friendship tenuously connected until, with children grown, I started mooching off her generous hospitality, staying with her when Shan and I would make our Summer explorations of L.A. She finally came to see me, leaving the sea breezes and ocean views of her cliff-side home in Rancho Palos Verde, this weekend.
" Oh! It's soo hot!!"
"Yes, but it's a DRY heat", was my oft times repeated reply through the weekend.
We started her whirlwind tour of my little corner of the world by heading downtown for a quick walk through Temple Square. I parallel parked, with Carol's expert coaching, very successfully! I was so excited with our accomplishment! I usually try to avoid any parking that requires backing up at a precise 49.5 angle on a busy metropolitan avenue!

Next, on up to cooler climes in Emigration Canyon and Ruth's Diner. The picture at the right shows Ruth, the founder, with her ever present chihuahua and cigarette hanging from her lip. We sat on the cool patio, under the sycamore trees and enjoyed a relaxing lunch and lots of laughs and talk. We had a lot of catching up to do, hadn't seen each other for 3 years but, as it is with good old friends, picked up like it was yesterday. You know what I mean!

We hit the sidewalk sale at Foothill Village, both deciding that we wanted to dress Chico's style. I told her they would have to open a "Chico's Grande", for plus sized women like me. If they did, I would stop dying my hair, cut it short and funky and only wear Chico's Grande and of course, black and white basics.
On Saturday morning we were greeted with the smells of melons, burning sage and kettle corn at the Farmer's Market. Carol was amazed at the diversity, the jewelry and the Israeli melons. We bought an Asian fusion lamb sandwich, a pastry and wonderful homemade mint lemonade and ate
them while being thoroughly entertained by the joyfully enthusiastic talents of our local gay and lesbian baton and rifle twirlers! What a show! We returned home with overpriced (but beautiful) food and happy hearts!
Carol helped Don and I assemble our new Sleep Number bed and got to see, first hand, marital dysfunction in action. We decided to cook at home, trying to replicate the funky Asian fusion burgers, so she went grocery shopping with me. On the way, to spice up the mundane, I took her up to the new Draper temple and the surrounding houses, many of which are gaudy, humongous, palaces. She was appropriately in awe of the blatant displays of greed. We spent the rest of the day sitting in the adirondacks, just talking and lolling about in the shade. That night, we sat on a cliff overlooking Draper park and had a bird's eye view of the fireworks. Very Pretty! The reverberation of the big booms, echoing off the mountains right behind us, was impressive!
I wanted to cap the weekend off with something special, so we headed up to the Old Mill Market Street Broiler for breakfast. I love that place! After crossing over Cottonwood Creek on the suspension bridge(whee!!) we were seated outside, shaded by a red umbrella. The mountains were beautifully green and gray, seeming to be right next to us, and the sky, blue and fluffy white! Wisteria vines climbed nearby and the creek's lovely music serenaded us as we ate dungeoness crab omelettes and orange rolls. It was heaven! Carol loved it and it was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for coming to see me, Carol! You are a good friend!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Own Private Death Cab

Tonight as the sun set upon the beautiful venue of Red Butte Gardens, a band was greeted by cheers as they walked out into the summer night and onto the stage. Please welcome... Death Cab for Cutie!
I like to imagine they opened with Bixby Canyon Bridge, one of my favorites. I was not in attendance. (Place sad face emoticon here) It was sold out. I would have driven up to Research Park to see if I could free-load and listen to the songs floating on the breeze over the foothills, but I thought I should continue to feverishly paint the bedroom (previously posted). My old friend Carol is coming to see me for the first time and I want her to stay in the nice, new room.
I opened the window to the summer breeze and as I painted, I listened to Narrow Stairs on Steve's little Sony boombox. I wish I could say it was almost like being there.
But have a listen and enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I know I need to post something, but I just can't want to. I have a few half-hearted ideas, nothing that draws me to the keyboard. I guess I have been enjoying "homemaking" too much lately to want to blog.
I used to be quite the creative home decorator. Really, I had one of those homes my friends would bring their friends to see. But when I started working full-time that all went out the window. Nine months out of the year, I don't really see my house. I go to work in the morning, come home, cook and house-keep, get on the computer and do all of this with a pair of blinders on. Then comes summer and I see my house again and I mean really see it and let me tell you, "love ain't blind"!
Poor house needs paint, a good thorough cleaning and a general sprucing up.
I'm fairly happy with my living and family rooms. The living room just needs a rug and I just can't decide on what I want. I'm so indecisive lately. When my two married kids moved out, their rooms became "dead zones", catch-alls of ironing, storage and mismatched furniture pieces.
I have begun my attack with Steve's bedroom, and with the hope that it will spur me on to completion , I am posting "before" pictures.
I've actually already begun painting the bed, dresser/hutch and picture frame. I have a vision, vague, but a vision just the same. I'll keep you posted.