Archive for July 5th, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question:

What with yesterday being the Fourth of July and all, I’m feeling a little patriotic, and so have a simple question:

What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel?
At least to date. A “classic,” or a current one–either would be fine. Mark Twain? J.D. Salinger? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Stephen King? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

It doesn’t have to be your favorite book, mind you. “Citizen Kane” may be the “best” film, and I concede its merits, but it’s not my favorite. You don’t have to love something to know that it’s good.

Now, I know that not all of you are American–but you can play, too! What I want from you is to know what you consider to the best novel of YOUR country. It might be someone the rest of us haven’t heard of and, frankly, I think we’d all like to get some new authors to read.

In fact, while we’re at it–I’m curious about the geographical make-up of this meme. So, while you’re leaving your link to your post, tell us where in the world you are! (For the record, I’m in New Jersey, USA.)

I don’t think there is “a” great American novel. There are plenty of great American novels, but not one that I’d necessarily place above all of the others. Some I’d list in the category include:

  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell. I loved this when I was a kid, hate it now. But it’s still a great novel.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.  I’d probably rate this the highest of all the ones I’m listing, as I think it is superlative.
  • Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, both by Mark Twain.
  • Are we including plays? If so, I’d have to nominate Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, both by Arthur Miller.

Last Week’s Question (since I was feeling all puny and didn’t do last week’s):

Today’s question is suggested by Carrie.

What’s the most desperate thing you’ve read because it was the only available reading material?

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but the back of a can of bathtub cleaning bubbles.

If it was longer than a cereal box or an advertisement, did it turn out to be worth your while?

N/A, since it was shorter than a cereal box. It was very boring reading.

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Last night I was doing some clearing exercises. One of them involved writing down the names of people that have hurt you, briefly listing what they did to hurt you, and then going down the list, visualizing a conversation with each person where you forgive him/her, and tell that person to go in peace.  Another involved making a list of people that you’ve hurt, briefly listing what you did to hurt that person, and then going down that list, visualizing a conversation with each person where you ask forgiveness. Then you write that you have forgiven everyone on the one sheet, and that you have asked forgiveness and forgiven yourself on the other sheet before tearing them up.

One thing I noticed was that some of the things that have hurt me are some of the same things that I did to others. That was a painful but eye-opening realization. But it did feel good to do the exercises, and I know I will repeat them.

But something else happened. One of the people that was on my list of people who had hurt me was an old friend. She and her husband befriended us not too long after we moved to Texas. She, like me, was dealing with all the joys of infertility, and we really hit it off.  But some wedges got in the way and interfered with the friendship, and we ended up completely losing touch with each other for quite some time.  I don’t even know where they’re living right now.

But I had seen her posting on the blog where the family of my friend who passed away has been providing updates, and it brought to mind again not so much the hurt as the fact that I had really loved her and missed her. So last night when I was doing my exercise, I put her on the list, forgave her the perceived slight, asked her forgiveness for having held on to a hurt, and sent it out into the cosmos.

This morning I logged on to my email before I left the house to go to work. There was a lovely e-mail from her, asking my forgiveness, saying that we had been such good friends and could we remove those wedges and return to loving each other. She also talked about missing our friend J.

I couldn’t believe it. To have sent forgiving thoughts her way, and asking her forgiveness as well, and then fewer than 12 hours later she has reached out to me!

Moving on to other topics–yesterday was a really nice day. I slept in, since I’ve been feeling worse again lately. And then Soleil came over, and Joe took us to lunch at Red Robin and then to see Oceans 13. I haven’t seen any of the other Oceans movies yet, but liked this one quite a lot. And we didn’t get too much rain yesterday, so Joe didn’t have to dig any more trenches.

The rain on Tuesday afternoon was just ghastly. It was pouring when I left the office, and I made it a mile or two down the street before having to pull over and wait out the storm in a grocery store parking lot. The rain was coming down so hard and fast that I literally could not see anything. Once it let up, I began the arduous trek to the house. The right lane on the street I was on was completely flooded, so the sensible drivers were in the left lane. That meant it took twice as long to get home. But there were also less sensible drivers sloshing through the right lane, risking their own necks and sending surges of water through the unflooded lane.  Several of them ended up getting stalled out and stuck, but at least they didn’t drown.

When I got home, Joe informed me that he was not letting me go to rehearsal that night. A section of one of the freeways was closed because it was under water; one of the creeks had overflowed its banks. Rehearsal ended up getting canceled due to the flooded roads. I’m truly sorry about that; Joe reluctantly conceded that I could have gone because the additional rain he was expecting didn’t come. But I suppose it was just as well–I don’t know where everyone else was coming from, but many of the roads were hazardous.

And it continues to rain. This morning when I left the house it was sprinkling, and had obviously rained a good bit before then. Joe has to go out of state next week, and will be gone for 3 weeks or so. So if we get more floods threatening to rise up above our foundation, I guess I’ll be the one out there widening the trenches he’s already dug. It’s insane. This is the most peculiar summer I recall seeing here.

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Stolen from Becky

Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following.

  1. Famous singer/band: Fine Young Cannibals
  2. 4-letter word: flip
  3. Street name: Fainchen Ave. (It’s in Iowa)
  4. Colour: fuschia
  5. Gifts/presents: Fahrenheit by Dior (perfume)
  6. Vehicle: Flying Ford Anglia
  7. Things in a souvenir shop: fridge magnets
  8. Boy name: Frank
  9. Girl name: Felicia
  10. Movie title: Freaky Friday
  11. Drink: Frumenty
  12. Occupation: File clerk
  13. Flower: Freesia
  14. Celebrity: Fergie
  15. Magazine: Fitness
  16. U.S. City: Fargo
  17. Pro Sports Team: Fresno Grizzlies (Minor League baseball)
  18. Fruit/vegetable: Figs
  19. Reason late for work: ran out of Floo powder
  20. Something you throw away:  friday’s newspaper (on Saturday) (recycle, actually)
  21. Things you shout: Fark!
  22. Cartoon character: Elmer Fudd

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