Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mad Ramblings

I have not really updated the journal for awhile. This is not because I haven't been reading. I have. It is not because nothing has been happening. It has. I think I'm just a little overwhelmed with life right now. So I don't know where to begin.


Vertical Limit, by Pam Whithers.
Part of her extreme sport series. This one's about rock climbers. YA/Canadian/male interest.
I was lying in bed with vertigo while reading this, so she must have done something right. I think it is kind of like Matt Christopher for older readers and might have good appeal. But not really my thing.

Exposure, by Patricia Murdoch
YA/Canadian/Grim/bullying is bad
A decent message book about the evils of bullying. Except for the fact that it is short, coming in at 102 pages, it will be good for young teen subject-based book reports and will therefore have to be in most library collections. It is definitely teen, based on the content, though the size might tempt people to give it to younger people - so maybe reluctant readers?
As far as messagy books go, I quite liked it. The characters were believable, and I actually kind of cared what happened. Plus it was a quick read.

Gray Horses, by Hope Larson
Graphic Novel/listed as YA but I think it has older appeal
Not sure why this was on my Canadian YA reading list, as the artist is American (though she currently lives in the best city in Canada - Halifax). A lovely story of a young french exchange student to Onion City who meets several interesting characters and has her picture taken regularly by a sort of photgraphic stalker who seems harmless. And she has dreams about horses and some other stuff. It kind of reminded me of the movie Amelie.

I can't remember if I've read anything else. The world is floating too quickly to keep up.

I've been listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in the car. I only read it once, very quickly, when it first came out. So, a lot of things seem new. I really like it this time. And the ending is proving even sadder the second time through. Jim Dale is a fantastic reader. I'd like to hear how Stephen Fry does with the British version (as I am a fan of his in general - he is Jeeves after all).


I've bitten the bullet and joined Curves - I am now officially working out again. So far it is going ok. I can deal with 30 minutes 3 times a week. And you can dress in faded track suits and you don't stand out because the rest of the people do too.

I think a really exciting program for alumni of my program at university might soon get underway, where we will be discussing in greater depth some texts we surveyed. With our professors who are also interested. Finally - a chance to get back in the intellectual arena! I really hope we can make it work. God bless technology.

I've had my first Christmas dinner of the year! Yay A! Your turkey trial run was a hit! You'll do brilliantly with the real thing. The soup was especially terrific. Squash and Pear! Who knew! But, I also always love the mashed potatoes with whatever it is that goes in them - cream cheese? Yummy!

Work = chaos! Take for example today. I was supposed to start work at 1:30. But, I had to be in an orientation session for a new task from 1-4. Then I had another meeting from 4-5:30. But, in the meantime I ran into someone who needed me to do something for tomorrow that I hadn't known about. So, as soon as I got back to the library just after 6, having eaten in the car on the drive across town, I got started on that. Then I had 2 hours of interviews for volunteers in a program from 7-9. There are giant stacks of things I have get through, like catalogues, reference checks, reports, and more, on my desk. There are more interviews, plus programs tomorrow and the next day, plus I have to be on the public service desk most of the day. It is just impossible. I need Hermione's time turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Also, a few weeks ago I went to an event for librarians where various publishers were displaying upcoming publications. Which was cool. And helpful. And, I won a gift pack door prize! It was a delightful basket with yummy chocolate and candy and some books. But, it turns out, at least one of the books is terrifying.
Getting Serious About Marriage: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness. Sounds almost innocent. Then I turned to the back cover to find out what it was all about:
"Singleness is a 'gift'; at least that's what we've been taught. But if singleness is a gift, then why does it make us feel so miserable so often? Does God really want his children to embrace a gift they resent so much?"
Ohhhhhhhhhhh no. I thought. And turned to the table of contents to learn more. Some select chapter headings:

  • Chapter 4: The Lack of Male Leadership: The True Cause of Protracted Singleness
  • Chapter 9 (in a section debunking "popular" myths about singleness): "Being Single = Knowing and Serving God Better"
  • Chapter 10 (in the same section): "Single = Celibate"
  • Chapter 12 (in a section called "Getting Serious about Getting Married"): Saying No to the Dating Game
  • Chapter 13 (same section): Inspiring Men to Biblical Manhood

The author "lives in Florida with her husband ___, and their two children. Besides being an author, ____ proudly wears the badge of homemaker. Prior to her marriage she graduated from the University of Alabama law School and then worked as a litigation attorney and an advocate for various conservative causes." (my emphasis. Also, my removal of names, they shouldn't be published).

And that is supposed to make be feel bad about being single? Not that being a homemaker is bad. I like homemakers. But I don't want an evangelical one telling me that my life is not as worthy as hers.

The dedication: "for my daughters... May you grow up into a time when godly suitors abound."

Bear in mind - this thing was published in 2006. And now it is on my bookshelf. I feel dirty. But, I won it, so I feel bad getting rid of it. Also - do I want to put it into the hands of some other unsuspecting soul? And I can't throw it out. I'm a bibliophile. Ewwww.

To conclude:

My house is a disaster. My building's new superindents seem questionable on the friendliness front. My skin is a mess. The weather's been gross. I don't know how I'm going to get through the next 2.5 weeks of balancing my own job and the meetings and training for another. Turning on the news leads only to heart palpitations and feelings of dread. There's already been snow. I'm clearly leading an evil life for not being bothered about settling down with a "godly suitor". Blech. But. The leaves are still beautiful. And today it was warm. And I have clean socks to wear tomorrow. Life's not so bad.


kidletsmum said...

Poor J! You have been so busy. It makes me feel anxious just reading what you've been doing. Fuming mad when I read about your nasty prize. Bibliophile or not, I'd be trashing that book!!! Try to do some deep breathing. And keep wearing those clean socks!

ru said...

j, i am with k. ditch the book - but toss it in the recycle bin so that it may be turned into something more worthy! i too am a bibliophile, and i too have been in a position where i felt obliged to remove from the public arena books that carried more potential for harm than good (to my mind - which is, of course, inherently flawed, but still...).

also, only two weeks of duelling-madnesses left. at least at the end of those two weeks, it will only be one single madness pursuing you!

the breadth of your involvement stuns and shames me, and i wish i were more like you.

MadJenny said...

Recycling might be a good option.

But first - I have to share another brilliant selection from the text itself. Her idea of an alternative to dating - having your parents set you up with an appropriate young man of whom they approve (but it is not arranged marriage, she swears):

"I am proposing that limited and guarded access to women produces responsible, wise, and efficient decision-making from men, while unlimited and unchecked access producs complacency and generally unwise behaviour - exactly where we are today. Anything that is too widely available is generally thought of as invaluable. Think about fashion trends. The latest thing sported by celebrities is only popular when it is hard to get. Once everyone has one, no one wants it anymore".

There you have it ladies - play hard to get, and you might get married - nobody wants a slut. And, men won't ever marry you if they can have you without marrying you. And for goodness sake - don't move out of the family home before marriage unless you are planning to be a spinster. Welcome to the 1950s! It is a beautiful time to be free-thinking!

O.k. That's all. The more I read the gruesomer I feel. Into the blue bin it goes.

K - I miss Restless - hope you and the fam. are well. Have the poor baby kitties found a new home?

r - awww. I've always rather wished I could be more like you and be all laid back and funny and get along with everyone, and get all creative with everything and such. So, there you have it. Let's swap!

Maggie said...

Oh, I know *exactly* how you feel! I seem to be in chicken-running-around-without-its-head mode too. ;)