Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Big Read

If you missed my This I Believe radio rebroadcast, yes, you can listen to it online. Just keep in mind, this was written several years ago now. My story has evolved since then - still no Hollywood ending, unfortunately.
As I write this, the link isn't posted yet, but I'm sure it'll be up soon. (Look for August 27, 2008)

J~and I watched a good movie yesterday, about a comic book writer and file clerk and the quirky reality of his life. The movie is very creatively put together, funny, touching, and a true story. I recommend it: American Splendor.

While I'm thoroughly off the subject of this blog, I also came across this - The National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read. Apparently we're supposed to go through this list of great books, noting everything we've read (bold), everything we really really loved (bold and underlined), and everything we plan to read in the near future (italics).

Here's my list. I'd love to see yours.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
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 Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
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
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
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
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
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
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
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
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
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
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
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
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
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
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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On The Radio - Again

I am still alive!

You know that old "inner garden" metaphor I always talk about? How a person should strive to be aware of the state of his or her inner garden, tending to it regularly to make it a nice, inviting place? Well, my inner garden is a jungle right now, overflowing with string beans and cucumbers and peppers and kale and basil and tomatoes. There's plenty to snack on but no place to sit and relax.

Wait - that's my outer garden.

But the same is true in my work life: ongoing design clients ramping up work, new clients coming out of the woodwork, art sales, art commissions, a solo show in the works (my first in a real live gallery), a teaching gig (a prestigious one, but short notice). Not to mention delivery trucks every day lately, dropping off much needed books and new computer equipment — oh, glorious, sleek, long-awaited computer equipment — and in the mail (alongside all the bills) checks!

It's a bit overwhelming.

But in a good way.

I think.

As for babies, however, still, no such luck.

Except that J~ and I are turning to the pros for another round of medical advice. My latest doc explains her strategy toward increasing my fertility thusly: "My inclination is to clean up the garden before anything else."

Sounds right to me.

Speaking of sound: if you missed hearing me on the radio last year, you have another chance. My "This I Believe" essay is airing again three times. Apparently it got a "lovely response" and WRNI wants to give it an encore broadcast. You can listen in from anywhere in the world. Just go to the WRNI website and click on "Listen Live." It is scheduled to air on Wednesday, August 27th at 6:35 a.m., 8:35 a.m., and 5:44 p.m EDT.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


J~ and I took a stroll down our dead-end road the other day, and saw both of our infamous bunnies, Francis and Henrietta, side by side on a neighbor's lawn. A good sign? Who knows. But interesting, since J~ and I are turning to the old Babies or Not question once again, with renewed focus. We're simply not ready to let it go.