Monday, May 23, 2005

Book meme! (not quite ready for symposium review!)

Had you been at Camp Mariah on the Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY, oh, around 4 pm yesterday, you would have seen the very odd sight of a grown woman, closer to 40 than 30, wearing a purple drysuit, turning somersaults on a lawn in a light drizzle.

It had just all been so much fun, and this was the kind of lawn that makes me wish I'd stuck with my adult tumbling class until I at least obtained a credible cartwheel (instead of the flopping over halfway-there cartwheel I tend to do). Well, somersaults were always my thing when I was a kid & I was feeling very kidlike after messing - about - in - boats all weekend...eventually it got to the point of "Dignity be damned" & I dive-rolled.

Just twice though. hee hee.

dang...that's good. Just thinking about that is bringing the good stuff about the symposium back. I have this tendency to look back over my performance at anything like that the day after and thinking more about the things I could have done better, or at least the things I would have liked to have had go differently. Actually I think that's a useful trait & part of why I make a good sailor, or kayak instructor, or whatever I need to be that requires learning skills fast & thoroughly - but at the same time it does mean that I spend more time kicking myself for not being better at whatever-it-is than most people do. So by today, the 'yakphoria was wearing off & the self-critique was setting in.

Juat to add to that, I had a rough day at work today - there was an urgent check request that I'd thought was taken care of 2 weeks ago & the check just made it out of AP on Friday...AAAAGH! So I started out the day putting out this massive fire; had to go to the boss's boss to get some backup for it (thank goodness I not only have a good boss, but also a good boss's boss, which becomes really important when your boss is on vacation and you start out the day with some understandably upset marketing people...) and then there were a bunch of questions about Travel & Entertainment forms that I've been slowly catching up on over the last month, and so by noon or so the weekend was seeming very far away & I was so deep into "I suck, I'm doing a rotten job, I'm letting my boss down, I'm putting all these people into a bad situation" that somehow those "I suck" filters got to working on the weekend, too - I don't know, the dealing with AWOL checks was maybe even more jarring in contrast to the weekend of intensive teaching (and learning too, it never just goes one way for me - I think if it ever did it would be time for a new sport). Sometimes a double life, even a not-so-secret one, can be tough in some very odd ways.

Anyways, by the end of the day, I had managed to find the missing check & get all caught up on the T&E's (which, to cut myself a little slack, by this time weren't that far behind, the ones that there are questions about now were the ones that went a while ago during the real backlog that happened while the old biz mgr was leaving), plus do all my usual stuff on Monday - but it was a long slog of a day & it left me in a rotten mood where all I could think of was the stuff I could've done better. But then just talking about getting silly enough to turn somersaults reminds me of the better stuff that got me to the level of exuberance where I couldn't resist that soft green lawn for one more second. It really was quite a weekend.

But I still think I'm going to mull things over for a couple more days...right now I'm going to do the book meme that Loup tagged me with!

Of course I STILL owe Wenley an answer about being a Navy brat from 20 Questions, don't I...

well, I think I'll do this first just because it is fun!

Question 1. What is the total number of books I've owned?
Oh, jeeze...well, let's say that there are roughly 400 in residence here right now; I probably gave a couple hundred non-keepers to the HousingWorks bookshop in Soho at one point (I thought I was going to move back to Hawaii at one point when after September 11th and leaving Manhattan Kayak Company I felt like I had nothing worth staying for anymore) - plus there have been a lot of one-time schlocky airplane (I'm a pretty literate person but I swear my taste in books goes straight to heck the minute I go through the security check) reads that ended up staying in the seat pocket - plus whatever I had when I was a kid. I'm still going to say probably around 2,000 though - I had a major library habit as a kid that kept the purchases down (and dang, I should rediscover that), and I am a re-reader and a re-re-reader, so it's not that often, really, that I buy new ones.

Question 2. What was the last book that I bought?
I'm not going to count the Access book or the Higgins Financial Analysis for Business, work books don't count. I think that would make The Kite Runner the last one. There is a fun little leftist/anarchist/socialist coffeehouse in my neighborhood, and they carry a small but interesting selection of books. I love indy bookstores - I never buy anything fun at B&N 'cause I walk in there, I look at all the kazillions of books, and I freeze and run straight to the old tried n' trues - Fitzgerald, Twain, Wharton - maybe Asimov or Bradbury if I'm feeling a little more sci-fi-ish, or, er, well, Clive Cussler or maybe Terry Brooks if I just want cotton candy for the brain (drat you MH for introducing me to Clive in the first place!). At an independent bookstore, I get much more adventurous because indy bookstore owners tend to pick better & more interesting books - quality not quantity, right? Anyways, I was home on a snowy weekend this winter & wanted to read something new, and decided to go support my local indy bookstore, and this one ended up coming home with me. Fascinating book actually. I recommend it highly.

3. What was the last book I read?

Heh heh heh. That would be The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill. I read a lot of kids' books these days - working in children's publishing, there's this thing called the giveaway bin - it's by the elevator so it invites rifling through on the way home. I don't take a lot for myself, more for friends, but if I pick up a young adult book & the story grabs me, I'm not above taking it. This one I just loved 'cause the protagonist of the story is one very competent & intelligent (but sometimes headstrong, and occasionally shy & embarrassed) young princess - you first meet her out on horseback, hunting a werewolf in the forest - she does find her quarry, and although it bests her in the fight, the werewolf (who turns out to be a very important character in the story) spares her because she faces her defeat & seemingly inevitable death so bravely that she wins his respect & instead of killing her, he backs off, bows to her like a courtier, and runs off into the woods. Stayed good on through the whole story, too. This one's a keeper.

Hm...getting late. To Be Continued! Next installment is "5 books that mean a lot to me" - well, seeing as the first one is my maternal grandmother's All New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook which means so much to me because every time I open it I can almost see my grandfather, you'll understand why I think this final question deserves its' own posting.

I'm so glad it's "5 books that mean a lot to me", not "5 books that mean the MOST to me". The latter question I think would freeze me up possibly even worse than walking into a Barnes & Noble.

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