Tuesday, July 29

Oh yeah

Update on Project iPod Library Recovery:
  • Last night - Stopped at Bowie.
  • Tonight - Expect to wrap up at Clapton


"Wasn't that a cool EQ?!"

Today we had a little California special, today we had an earthquake.

I was standing talking to a friend at the door of her cubicle when she looked up and asked "Is that an earthquake?". I hadn't noticed. Then I stood very still (the first thing you do when you think there's an earthquake) and said "Um, yes." She ran over to me. I put my arm around her and guided her away from the glass and kept repeating "You're ok, you're ok." All the while I was looking up at the exposed ducts and lighting swinging overhead. I quickly realized I'd never looked up and thought about where to go in an earthquake. It's all about avoiding getting hit by falling/flying objects. I got us over to a wall and told her to stand against it. She jumped out into a doorway with an "Aren't we supposed to get in a doorway?". I said "No, that's a old theory. It just exposes you to getting clocked from all sides." She jumped back against the wall. All of this happened while the earthquake kept on shaking. I then told her we were lucky that it was the "surfer variety" because those just sort of roll like waves. When you're close to the epicenter it feels like somebody has picked up your house/building and slams it down again and again. I often say "I don't get out of bed for anything under a 6.0" but I'll also say "being close to the epicenter sucks."

We then looked down the hall and saw an entire team running down the stairs and out the door. My friend said "Should we go outside? I really feel like I want to go outside." I told her she could go but that I didn't think it was necessary. By then the earthquake had ended. My friend grabbed her bag and made her way to the door. I found two other friends and said "Let's get lunch. I have to be back for a 1:00." We grabbed our bags and found the parking lot full of freaked out-of-staters. At lunch my friend checked her phone and laughed out loud at the text from her mother that read "Wasn't that a cool EQ?".

I later heard about a woman from Minnesota in a conference room for a meeting. After the earthquake she stood up with her fists in the air and exclaimed "Wooooooo! I just survived my first earthquake! That was cool!!!" Upstairs in our Electronics department a guy jumped up and shouted "Everyone GET OUT!" Another friend, who went through that leadership course with me stood up with her arms out and firmly advised "NO! Don't run. Remain calm. It's going to be ok." the "GET OUT" guy took off down the stairs while the rest of the people stood staring at my friend.

Earthquakes are funny in that you really get to see people's true colors. Some people remain calm, others just look crazy bewildered, others completely panic. While it's happening your brain is saying "What the hell? This is completely wrong." The toughest New York thug can be reduced to tears during an earthquake because it's such a bizarre and helpless feeling. It's the one badge of honor we Californians can wear with pride. If you've been raised on earthquakes you learn that often their bark is louder than their bite. Once they're over you can look back and sort of laugh about it. We laugh because we all know a giant 8.0 is bound to happen some time in our lifetime and, like being over an epicenter, that sucks.

Monday, July 28


About 25 years ago I heard one of my best friend's dad, Jack, suggest that his son "RTFM".  It's an acronym I have relied on ever since.  

Case in point:
This weekend my beloved MacBook crashed and crashed hard.  Every time I tried to fire her up I'd get a big empty blue screen.  I saw lots of pretty blue but no hard drive icon, no drop down menus, no tool bar, nothing.  Ordinarily it was enough to make me cry but lately I've been slightly more zen about these things.  It's hard to get too worked up over this sort of thing when there are still women living under the Taliban.  In fact that's another mantra of mine. When things seem to be getting tough, I think "Stop whining and remember it sucks more to be a woman in Afghanistan."  That always puts things into perspective.  

Still, after much nervous nail biting and time on Dad's computer I found some tips but none of them worked.  Finally I remembered Jack's suggestion to RTFM.  For God's sake RTFM, Lucy! What doesn't RTFM stand for?  RTFM means Read the Fucking Manual.  When all else fails RTFM has gotten me out of a lot of jams and this weekend was no different.  It's apparently become a well know phrase according to a quick Google search.

I dusted off my MacBook's micro manual and quickly realized I had no choice but to reinstall my system software.  See?  RTFM and it all becomes very clear.  Of course reinstalling system software typically means losing all contents of your hard drive.  Ouch!  I figured I could take it to a computer repair person who would likely come to the same painful conclusion but they would charge me to tell me what I already knew to be true.  Instead, I decided all I really cared about was the contents of my iPod and those files were, after all, backed up on the iPod itself.  I also realized I'm a terrible Auntie because a good Auntie would have been traumatized over losing pictures of her niece and nephew but that loss was nothing compared to the iTunes situation.  Bad Auntie!  Bad Auntie!!!

In the end it was only a minor pain the the arse.  I had to find the right version of iTunes to sync with my iPod (I'd apparently not updated it in a while so the version was a mystery since I couldn't find the info on my iPod.)  I then had to upgrade a few apps but the real difficulty was trying to recall all of my Bookmarks.  Sheesh!  People, I'm telling you right now, go print out a list of your favorite links because you will not remember them when you need them.  Also, don't be cocky, like me, and think having CDs is a good system to "back up" your music.  I've been ripping my CDs, in alphabetical order, to iTunes all night and I'm only up to the Beatles. It's a bummer.  I'll be ripping for weeks.  (Btw, Shandon, I'd be forever grateful if I could once again borrow Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" along with your Keane and Kasey Chambers, if you don't mind.)

I did learn something new about iTunes.  If you need to completely rebuild your iTunes Music Library, iTunes will sync all of your previously purchased music for free.  The CDs I own, and have previously uploaded, are not considered "secure" so they won't sync those.  Annoying!  I'd say I own about 99% of the music on my iPod but I guess the Fleetwood Mac, Keane and Kasey Chambers is contraband and Apple refuses to be an accessory to my crime.  Lame!  I'm a 41 year old woman not a high school teen who has never actually purchased music in their life.  In fact I've purchased most of my music numerous times.  First I bought stuff on vinyl then again on CDs.  God knows they are working on newer technology to make my collection obsolete once again.  Greedy bastards.  Oh, and the other bummer is that the fun Scrabble game and my copy of Under The Tuscan Sun (purchased to help with those especially torturous flights) were not recorded in my iTunes "purchase history" so those don't seem to be downloading to my computer.  I suppose I'm expected to re-purchase them again.  Naturally I emailed Apple to complain.  We'll see what kind of reply I get.  

It sucks to be a woman in Afghanistan, it sucks to be a women in Afghanistan, is sucks...

Friday, July 25

Here's a Tip...

Next time you watch the Exorcist and your friends go home and leave you to sleep in the creepy see-through house, don't turn on the dish washer. You will forget you turned it on and it will make a very scary low moaning noise that will scare the holy crap out of you and make you jump out of your skin. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

Wednesday, July 23

40 Year Old Virgin

I work with a guy who may possibly be an honest to God 40 year old virgin. Seriously. He's a nice guy and even sort of cute but he is a self admitted nerd and apparently shy with the ladies. Today, in a conference room full of about 25 people, the upcoming Comicon Show came up and all eyes were on this poor guy. Everyone just assumed he could answer the question. To his credit he takes the teasing well and is often self deprecating but sometimes I feel sort of sorry for him. Another friend of mine, Lucy, who happens to be in love with him and is therefore an unbelievable flirt, was sitting next to me and noticed the guy sitting struggling to eat his lunch in his lap because there weren't anymore chairs at the conference table.

My friend Lucy: Hey A, do you want to sit at the table? (Scooting over to make room)
A: I'd love to sit at the table.
Someone else: Yeah, let A sit at the big kids table.
My friend Lucy: Do you want to sit next to me... or do you want to make a Lucy sandwich? (Motioning between us.)
A: (Mumbling almost inaudibly) It might finally make a man of me.

Awwwwww. Now isn't the the saddest thing you've ever heard? Poor baby.

Tuesday, July 22

Yet another reason...

So, we've established several examples of why I love my brother: 1) giving out packets of condiments to the lame costumes wearers at Halloween, 2) his introducing me to the Grape Lady and 3) just this past Sunday his exhibition of a new fun trick. His kids weren't eating their dinner. It's no wonder, they'd been gorging on snacks and m&ms all day but they claimed to have plenty of room for a Fat Boy. The adults were enjoying dinner in the dining room while the kids were watching tv and eating in the next room. (Life at Grandma's is good for the kids.) After about 10 minutes my brother walked in to find their dinner barely touched. As punishment he tuned the tv to C-Span and left the room with the remote in hand and a grin on his face. Oh, that's harsh! He later shook it up a bit by leaving it on the Spanish language channel for a while. Funny? Yes. Did it work? Si!

Now on to why I love my Mom. My Mom traveled the world before she married my Dad. She had many, many fun and unique adventures along the way. While Mom is a smart woman she was a bit of a naive Southern belle back in the 60's. She once accidentally found herself skiing on the Swiss Olympic Ski team's training course in the Alps. Oopsie! On the other hand, while living in Libya, she quickly discovered that she could circumvent time consuming inspection of her bags in customs but simply lining the top of her suitcase contents with maxi pads. The male inspectors would freak out every time they saw the pads and immediately shut her bag and tell her to move along. Mom and her friends said it worked every time. But the thing I love most about Mom is that even in my 41st year of life, I'm still learning new things about her. Just tonight, for instance, I learned that she once chose to read Exodus while casually sunbathing on a Libyan beach. Does anyone see the problem with this scenario? My mother reading Exodus, in public, in an Arab country, in the 60's? She says she didn't think twice about it until every American on the beach eventually strolled by her, give a rapid double take, rushed over and urgently whispered "Are you insane?!" It's not as though she didn't understand the climate in Libya towards Jews. She would receive her American magazines with holes in them because mail inspectors would cut out articles and pictures of all Jews. Even Elizabeth Taylor was cut out of publications because she married a Jew. Mom was clear on the issues of the day. She told me that one guy in the Air Force hated living in Libya so much that he eventually he took things into his own hands (and a big chance) by returning to Libya with Israeli bonds in his bag. A customs inspector took one look at bonds, snapped the suitcase shut and sent the man to the get-out-of- Libya-now line. The Air Force tried and tried to get him back in the country but it never happened. The guy was soon transferred to another base far away from Libya.

Now, on to why I love my Dad. Tonight I heard a very loud screeching noise. I live in a woodsy area so while strange noises are not unusual they do typically require some investigation. Eventually I wandered to the back of the house and asked Dad what the racket was. "Oh" he said "it's my recording of the (fill-in-the-name-of owl-breed-whose-name-escapes-me-here)". He went on to excitedly tell me that he was in the process of uploading all of his bird calls to his iPod "so whenever I want to call a bird in, I'm all set!" Ya just gotta love that kind of enthusiasm.

On the other hand, I wasn't very thrilled with Dad yesterday morning. I took a day off yesterday and stayed up way too late Sunday night assuming I'd be sleeping in yesterday morning. Dad had other ideas. At 7:30 am, as I was deep into my lovely sleep, Dad decided he had to get into the attic. This wouldn't be a problem except that the attic door pulls down on an extremely loud and squeaky spring door right outside my bedroom door. Needless to say it woke me up and I never got back to sleep. He also doesn't seem to believe me when I tell him that anything using water will turn my shower to ice water. I was shot with ice water 5 separate times Saturday morning alone. As I groggily woke up too early yesterday morning I accused my dad of running a wannabe Guantanamo Bay facility in our home. A home according to me "deprives me of hot showers and sleep all weekend!" Of course, this analogy just made him laugh and probably encouraged him to torture me even more in the weeks to come.

Still, I love my crazy family.

Friday, July 18

Strange Days

Yesterday was a bizarre day for me.

First, on my way to work, I got a ticket for the first time in about 20 years. I was strangely calm and barley annoyed while the cop wrote me up for not stopping at the red light on the on ramp. It's probably the most weenie ticket one can receive but I was in that spaced out auto pilot mode that I couldn't even argue with the guy. I had no idea if I'd stopped or not. I was the only car on the on ramp and there is sometimes a red light and sometimes not so who knows what the heck I did.

When I pulled back into traffic I quickly realized something very bad had happened on the road ahead. Traffic was really awful. I just settled in and figured I'd make some work calls. I then found that my dumb new Bluetooth had a dead battery. How do you know when the battery is low anyway? It was a completely wasted use of trapped-in-the-car time. I later saw a Smartcar pull up alongside me and it literally me do a cartoon like double take. It might as well have been a shopping cart it was so wee. Of course, right next to it was a brand new Navigator. Why on earth would anybody still be buying those dumb things? With and average of 13 MPG you'd have to be nuts to drive one. Does anyone really have that kind of disposable income these days? Their license plate may as well say "Fool" on it. If they want to throw away money they may as well toss some into my sunroof while they're at it.

I finally got to work at almost 10:00 am. I sat down at my desk, knocked out a few emails and before I knew it found myself rushing off to an 11:00 meeting. When I returned I found a frantically written note taped to my chair asking "Where are you?! We're leaving with out you." from my lunch buddies. What time was it? Well, my internal clock was all out of whack, since I'd arrived so late, and it was apparently 12:15. What?! I managed to catch my friends as they were pulling away in a company carpool van. Meanwhile, my boss had been desperately trying to call me and I couldn't figure out how to turn off the Bluetooth mode on my phone so I could use it like a normal person when my friend slammed on the brakes and I went flying forward. I'd neglected to buckle up and I accused her of trying to kill me. She managed to startle me a few more times before and after lunch by making sudden stops. I was beginning to feel on edge.

After lunch, I got back to my desk and another friend was looking at some of my stuff. I had my scissors lying on my table when she picked them up and somehow managed to flip them out of her hands sending them crashing against the metal of my cubicle wall. Again, I was completely startled. What was going on?! Why was everyone spazzing out so much?

I finally decided to just leave early to do a store check and get away from these maniacs. Of course my Blackberry died while I was in the store and I didn't get the email that this morning's 9:00 am "One on One" meeting with my new EVP (big, big, big boss) had been postponed 'til next Friday. You mean I could have slept in more? Bummer.

I realize others have far greater problems but it was just one of those off days. Do you know what I mean? Everything just felt off.

When I finally got home I popped in Shandon's DVD of To Kill a Mockingbird. Almost immediately I felt better. Ahh, what a wonderful movie. It was the perfect anecdote to my strange day.

Wednesday, July 16

Why do I love my brother?

Well, he's my little brother but I also love my brother because he introduced this to me and it just doens't get old.

He also leaves the best part of the audio on my voicemail from time to time. It never ceases to crack me up.

Yes, I realize we'll burn in hell for being so evil but some things just plain crack us up.

Sunday, July 13

Confession time

I've been a bit quiet on this blog for the past week because I've been in one of my reading kicks. Tuesday and Wednesday night I read Little House in the Big Woods for the first time in over 30 years. I completely understand why I loved it so much as a kid. All of those fascinating details about life at that time was a marvel to me as a 8 year old as well as a 41 year old. I love those stories and plan to re-read the rest of the series this year.

I read Garden Spells on Thursday and Saturday. It was ok but not great. That being said, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it. If you've read Practical Magic than you've pretty much read Garden Spells. I did, however, fall in love with a quirky character named Evanelle. Evanelle is delightful senior citizen with a compulsion to give strange things to folks that they will need in the future. She can't tell them why they'll need her odd gifts but says if she doesn't it's like trying to not scratch an itch. She hands out Bic lighters, shirts, mango slicers among other things and the people in town accept them knowing sooner of later it's exactly what they'll need sooner or later. I really liked Evanelle. Well, I liked Evanelle and the apple tree. You'll have to read the book to understand what the heck I'm talking about.

Now here is my big confession: today I read a book for the first time that I should have read back in the 7th grade. Today, for the very first time in my life, I read To Kill a Mockingbird and I LOVED it. I loved the style of writing, I loved the story and I loved the characters. I can't remember the last time I so thoroughly enjoyed a book. I enjoyed it so much I didn't leave the house today to avoid any long term interruption (Yes Shandon, a whole day of reading!). I did some laundry, and hosed off my car after yesterday's bizarre storm dirtied it and I read my new favorite book. I realize I'm not exactly going out on a limb here when I say I loved the book but it's true. Why on earth I waited so long to read it is a mystery to me. I've carried the shame, of not having read it, with me for years. I've probably mentioned this before but when I graduated from college I was annoyed that I'd gotten through a decent education without having read some pretty essential books. I set about crossing a bunch off my to-do list. I read Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, The Sun Also Rises and The Diary of Anne Frank back to back. God knows there are plenty more that I need to read but somehow To Kill A Mockingbird escaped my little to-do list. I've owned a copy of it since high school but never picked it up. What a fool I've been! My only solace is that I know I read it when I could truly appreciate it. Who knows how I would have received it back in the 7th grade. I remember my first day of school after we moved back to my current home town the entire class has just read To Kill a Mockingbird and were watching the film in two parts in the auditorium. I believe they were watching the second half when I started school. Seeing the second half of To Kill a Mockingbird is no way to be introduced to it. I've, of course, seen and loved the film many times since and knew I should read it but it never seemed to happen. I know lots of us have at least one huge book that all well rounded readers "should have" read by now and haven't and this was mine. I'd say I'm happy to finally have it off my to-do list but I'm sorry I'll never be able to read it for the first time again. I'm sure all of you read it in Junior High but if you haven't read it since then I strongly encourage you to do so. What a wonder. Harper Lee I love you!

Saturday, July 12

Letdown of a lifetime

I've never been less impressed in my life.

Tonight, out of the blue, lighting and thunder storms hit our neck of the woods. The showers were brief but the lightening and thunder has been going on for some time now. I was in the living room with Mom when we heard the Emergency Broadcast Signal's scratchy burps from the tv. The sound used to be a piercing screech but they changed it to series of even lower tech sounds a while back. I'm so familiar with them that I pretty much ignore them which, of course, defeats the purpose. Anyway, I heard the annoying signal followed by, for the first time in my life, an actual alert with a set of instructions directed at us. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not as though I want to have Emergency Broadcast Signals directed at me and my home but I've always been curious about them. Who hasn't? Why was I disappointed? Because the voice on the tv sounded like it was coming from a Jack in the Box drive thru speaker circa 1970. We could make out the occasional name of our canyon and several areas all around our home but could not make out much more. Were they kidding? This day and age and my life depends upon the scratchy ramblings from a shack in the middle of God knows where? All those tax dollars that disappear from my paycheck and that's all I get? What a rip off! It was so bad that we switched to The Weather Channel which conveniently had the full text of what we'd supposedly been read moments earlier (with an exciting bright red background!). It was telling us to move to higher ground to "protect life and property". Um, ok, that might have been helpful to understand the first time around. I shudder to think what would happen if I ever have to depend upon the signal for clear instruction.

I eventually shrugged, stood up and walked to Dad's office to tell him of my intense disappointment. He stood up , stuck his head out the window and said "My God. These people always overreact." That's pretty much his reaction to all emergencies. He would have been a great farmer during the dust bowl era. (Oh, but guess who moved funds out of IndyMac Bank the day before yesterday? My Dad. Way to go Pops, I'm impressed. You really would have been great during the Depression! Of course I can't seem to be able to shake the image of George Bailey talking folks out of pulling money out of the Savings and Loan. *shrug* Oh well.)

So that was it. All my life I've waited to see what happens when that signal goes off and it's not "a test, this is only a test" and it's nothing but a tremendous let down. The only bright spot is that it reminds me of the time when I told my 5 year old brother that you couldn't change the channel during an Emergency Broadcast Test or the tv would explode. Franky, I'd forgotten all about my warning until about 5 years later when I caught my brother turning the channel and frantically running away to hide behind the sofa. Oops! It seems he'd been terrified of Emergency Broadcast Tests all those years but the curiosity finally got to him and I caught him in the middle of his bold defiant move. Needless to say I laughed my hiney off. Ahh, the joys of being an older sibling.

Now, please go back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Monday, July 7


I've been obsessively messing around online on a fun site called goodreads.com. I've been busily building my virtual library. In doing so I've had to sit and think about some of the books I've read including many from my childhood. God only knows how many books I've read. I wish I'd kept a list but I didn't. Instead I'm having to build my list completely from my very spotty memory. I tend to associate books with where I was in my life when I read them. I recall not only where I was when I read them but what was happening in my life when I read them. For this reason it's been a real treat to go back and recall the books that float to the surface of my mind.

The Little House Books, Are you There God? It's Me Margaret, The Amityville Horror, Mommie Dearest? I remember them vividly and loved them all. I recall a bunch I read in high school and college then I skip forward to those I read more recently. Trying to remember them has been better than flipping through a scrapbook.

My all-time favorite list changes from day to day. I know this because last Christmas my dear friend Tony emailed me to ask what my favorites were. I promptly responded with a list and forgot all about it. For Christmas that year, Tony decoupaged a wooden box with copies of the covers of all of my favorite books along with my list of favorites. He filled the box with hand made Ex Libris cards. It's one of the best gifts I've ever received.

My favorites at that time were:
  • All The Presidents Men
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Other Boleyn Girl
  • The Little House books
  • The Poisonwood Bible
The only change I'd make today would be to remove The Other Boleyn Girl and replace it with In Harm's Way or David Copperfield or Washington Goes to War or so many others. It's always such a tough question to think about much less answer. Still, I've had a of of fun reeling in the years of my life as a reader. It also reminds me that I've got so much more to read but, I assure you, I will be keeping a list from now on.

Friday, July 4

Uncle Roxy

Remember how my niece is obsessed with my marital status? Well I finally got to the bottom of her obsession.

Last night we spent a lovely evening at my nephew's All-Stars Baseball game. It was a perfect balmy night but the game ran looooong. So long in fact that it finally ended when the sprinklers started during play. It was hilarious! During the game I had a nice chat with with my niece and nephew's other grandmother. She is a widow and was telling me that both of her granddaughters want her to get remarried. We were laughing at the idea when I mentioned Little Miss' constant pressure on me to get married. She explained that Little Miss has realized that she has two aunts but only one uncle. She wants another uncle and was wondering how to get one. Her grandmother explained that Auntie Lucy would have to get married in order for Little Miss to have a brand new uncle.

I had a chance to discuss the matter with Little Miss later in the evening:

Lucy: So, I hear you're hoping to get a new uncle.
Little Miss: Yes.
Lucy: Well, I have an idea. What if, when I buy my new house, I get a new puppy and you call him uncle.
Little Miss: Yeah! But I don't want to call him uncle. Let's get a girl dog and name her Roxy. (I have no idea where the name came from but I admit that I like it a lot.)
Lucy: Ok, and will you babysit Roxy when I have to travel?
Little Miss: Yes!
Lucy: And I don't have to get married?
Little Miss: No.
Lucy: Ok, you're on.

And so it was settled. I feel certain Roxy and I will live happily ever after.

Tuesday, July 1

Summer Reading Challenge

I've decided to make this the summer of finishing all of the books I'm still in the middle of. My poor nightstand is straining under the weight of not one but two stacks of books I'm either about to read or need to finish reading. Enough! I need to wrap those unfinished books up.

Typically, I start these books on a planes then get distracted by a movie on the way home and never seem to find the time to finish them. Why not just bring one of the unfinished books on the plane? Well if I start out with a half finished book, what will I read on the way home? I don't want to carry two books around so I just keep starting them on work trips. I know, I know, it's silly but it's the spot I find myself in. Sometimes I avoid the books altogether and depend upon the kindness of Vanity Fair instead (the big glossy, gossipy one, not the book).

By the way, these unfinished reads are not books I dislike. In fact, they are all books I've enjoyed very much. That's why they wait on my nightstand. I have every intention of finishing them.

My little summer reading project began on Sunday night when I finished Love in the Time of Cholera. Man what a lovely read. It was another one I read half of on the way to NYC several months ago. I'm so glad I finished it. The last 30 pages or so are so satisfying.

The project continued last night when I finished The Glass Castle. I really liked that one too. What a bizarre family. Those poor kids!!! It helped knowing from the beginning that the author turned out ok. Still, I found myself sighing heavily, rolling my eyes and even muttering the occasional "asshole!" when the parents were being especially clueless, irresponsible and neglectful.

I told Mom about The Glass Castle and she asked "How can you stand to read all of those terrible books?" She's still troubled by the foot binding I mentioned from Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It's a legitimate question, how do I stand all of these sad stories? Well, I read Eat Pray Love not so long ago. That was a rather optimistic adventure. Tonight's book to finish is Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth and it's incredibly uplifting. Of course, there are those that linger and upset me. For instance, I still worry about poor little Maryanne Mulvaney from We Were the Mulvaneys. I swore I'd never read another damn Oprah book after that one. Of course I've caved since then. I hate to admit it but Oprah was right about that book. It really was excellent. And what about those kids dragged into the Congo from the Poisonwood Bible? Now that I think about it, I read about a lot of terrible parents. I suppose it's because I have really great parents. Maybe that's how I stand it. I really do read some depressing stuff. Let's not forget about Year of Wonders. But that was awesome! I'm sorry but who can resist a story that spins around the plague? Not I! Hmm, what else has been a downer? Oh, The Other Boleyn Girl was a good time but also terribly depressing in terms of how women were treated then and throughout history (and talk about terrible parents!). There's also The Worst Hard Time but technically I've not wrapped that one up either (I know! Shandon, can you believe it? It was yet another victim of a flight.). Maybe I'll finish that one over the weekend. It's about the dust bowl during the Great Depression (and no, for those not in the know, it's not about a college football game). Man we think we've got it tough these days? We've got nothing on those poor folks! The worst that seems to be happening to us is that we've overindulged and now reality is setting in. Aww, poor us.

But I digress...

I've also agreed to read The Grapes of Wrath before a discussion in September. I've never read it but I'm pretty clear that it fits in nicely with the themes of my other recent reads. Maybe I need to throw in a little Nancy Drew between these books to lighten the load. I also have to finish Pillars of the Earth. The only book that I plan to be in the middle of for a while is Julie and Julia. I'm savoring that one. It's such fun and so easy to enjoy in tiny little bites. It will be in the nightstand for a while and it's not depressing!

Once all of these are read I plan to read the following:
Of course these are only a few of the hundreds I want to read. I've got to start somewhere though, right?