Recently in Quiz Results Category

I have not posted memes or quiz answers in a very long time, and have no intention of resuming after this post. However, because Enbretheliel asks so nicely and is in need of our prayers and good wishes and acts, I offer this small mitzvah--an answer to her tag:

1. Do you associate reading particular books with the places you read them or events of the time you read them?

Unfortunately, in one case, quite vividly. I think I was reading Stephen King's Four Past Midnight or a collection of his short stories--I know it by looking at the cover, when my mother died. I never finished the book.

On a happier note, but a sadder book, I read Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner on a flight home from Sacramento California.

Similarly, I finished my most recent read of The Sound and the Fury on a flight back from Boston.

2. Do you remember the books you read or do they fade quickly? Or do you remember some better than others? How about remembering details like character names, not just overall plot?

Some books remain with me and pluck at me. Chief among those are Henry James's The Golden Bowl, which struck me as a very odd predecessor to the absurdist dramas of Samuel Beckett. It seemed to me that throughout this entire book there were four or five disembodied heads that swirled around making life miserable for one another.

Tom Sawyer is another. I think of Aunt Polly looking over her glasses and under her glasses, but never through her glasses for so small a thing as a boy.

Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance haunts all of my reading--most particularly the hair collector and the beggar-maker.

As a general rule, however, I forget most of a book and retain a sense of it or a scene or two. For example, I remember very clearly the climactic scene from Silence by Shusaku Endo. Same with near the end of The Violent Bear it Away, l was stunned by Flannery's venturing into the world she did.

But I've gone on too long. Suffice to say that some books, stylistically or incidentally remain firmly in mind, while other evaporate out of my head almost immediately.

3. Have you ever forgotten you've read/own a book and borrowed/bought it again?

All the time, particularly with unmemorable books that sound as though they ought to be memorable.

Not that I remember, if you don't mind such a perversely ironic answer.

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Ten Favorite Cities

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TSO listed his, here are mine:

Washington D.C.
San Antonio
San Diego
Everglades City (hardly even a town, and lovely)
Naples, FL.

Well, I guess I don't have ten. I do have a short-list of ciities I would like never to go to again, or in the event that I've never been there, to be spared that ordeal:

Atlantic City
St. Louis
New Orleans
Las Vega
Los Angeles

And may favorite near neighbor city:

Victoria, British Columbia

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Five quotes that describe you or your belief systems from the Random Quote Page

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity. --Bill Vaughan

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it. --Groucho Marx

If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. --George Carlin

Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address. --Lane Olinghouse

Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. --Georgia O'Keefe

And then some sundries I just wanted to keep around:

"Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped."Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

"I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life." J. M. Barrie

"A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." H. L. Mencken

"The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.'" Aaron Copland

"There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking." Thomas A. Edison (And Edison's own association with and sympathy for anti-semites and proto-nazis certainly goes a long way to proving this point.)

"One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar." Oscar Wilde

"Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying." Ronald Reagan

"If you scatter thorns, don't go barefoot." Italian Proverb

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Oddest Food

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Okay, I've freighted your mind with weighty issue enough today. So a poll, answer, if you please in the comments box:

(1) What is the oddest food you've ever deliberately eaten? (We're not counting swallowed flies or accientally ingested spiders here--this is food that you chose to eat.)

(2) What food do you really, really like to eat but many people around you find utterly revolting?

My answers:

(1)This is a tough one. On the plant side I've had stewed nettles, fiddleheads from maidenhair fern, and the cabbage palm "cabbage" and the stewed seeds of a local ground-cover cycad (I think--although it strikes me that they would be likely to be filled with taxine, so perhaps it was something else). On the animal side I've had fresh nautilus, Cassiopeia jellyfish (served as a sort of dried chip), scorpions, a bread made primarily from bees (and yes, surprising it was sweet), and most revolting of all holothurian. Google it and look for a picture. (In grad school we used to have "phylum feasts" to see how many phyla we could cover in one meal and throughout our career. My brave and intrepid little group managed a great many of the more common phyla--we balked at a few because of the rarity of the animals.

(2) Stewed okra, pickled okra, fresh okra, fried okra, gumdoed okra, fricasseed okra. People think of this as a southern thing, but I got into the habit from my Grandma who lived in South eastern Ohio at the time. She took me out to her garden and showed me one of the loveliest flowers I had ever seen and told me it was the flower of the okra plant. And later that season I got to eat my grandma's fresh cooked okra--yum!

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Book Meme

1. One book that changed your life: Honestly, I'm not certain there are any, the closest might be Tom Sawyer or Winesburg, Ohio.

2. One book that you've read more than once:
See above and add to it Turn of the Screw by Henry James

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:
(excepting the Bible) Tom Sawyer or perhaps Robinson Crusoe (might be something useful there).

4. One book that made you laugh:
The Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde

5. One book that made you cry:
The Kite Runner and I was on the plane-trip home--how embarrassing.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
A really good ghost story like those of M.R. James--either a collection or a novel.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
The Kinsey Report

8. One book you're currently reading:
The Book of the Dead

9. One book you've been meaning to read:
Gilead--tried three times now to get enough of a running start to get through it--failed miserably.

And I pass this on to TSO, if He's willing, Brandon S., who could answer in the comments, and Zippy, if he has the time and inclination.

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A Meme A gain

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Probably as a ploy to see if I were paying attention, Erik tagged me. So here's my response:

Four Jobs
1. Children's Librarian
2. Night manager at Sewer Line Maintenance
3. Museum cataloger and photo developer
4. My present position

Four Movies I Would (and do) Watch Over and Over:
1. Harry Potter (any of them)
2. Miss Congeniality
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
4. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

Four Places I Have Lived:
1. Pensacola, FL
2. Norfolk, VA
3. Fairfax, VA
4. Columbus, OH

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch: (Don't expect sophistication here)
1. Jimmy Neutron
2. Spongebob Squarepant
3. Fairly Odd Parents
4. Rachel Ray (Sometime Iron Chef America or Good Eats)

Websites I visit daily (well, not quite daily, as I usually go a couple of days a week without even checking email):
1. Listed Blogs
2. Library Thing Library Page
3. Yahoo/Google/search pages
4. On-line Books Page

Favorite Four Foods
1. Olives--any size, any shape, any color, stuffed with just about anything
2. Pizza
3. Macaroni and Cheese
4. Chicken and Dumplings

Four Places I Would Rather Be:
1. Key West/Dry Tortugas
2. Naples, FL
3. La Jolla (but not anywhere near town)
4. San Antonio, TX

But the truth is, on a permanent basis, nowhere else on Earth. I love where I live.

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The Seven Meme

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Not that you really wanted to know:

1. Seven things to do before I die

* Visit Uluru and Shark Bay
* Visit Romania/Transylvania
* See my son happily married/otherwise engaged in vocation
* Visit Stratford-on-Avon
* Weave a cloth/tapestry
* Play the digeridoo
* Visit Chichen Itza.

2. Seven things I cannot do

* Sing
* Home repair.
* Speak Latin.
* Car maintenance.
* Care of living things--plants or animals.
* Paint.
* Keep patience with rude people.

3. Seven things that attract me to my spouse.

* Her sense of humor.
* Her practicality.
* Her friendliness.
* Her patient endurance in trial.
* Her patient endurance of me.
* Her intelligence, good taste, ambitions.
* Her kindness and softheartedness.

4. Seven things I say most often

* You're the greatest! (To Sam)
* Sweetheart. (Sam and Linda)
* Thanks be to God!
* Cunieverse world (don't ask)
* What do you think? (And not with an attitude--cultivating a response from within rather than reliance upon external resources)
* I love you.
* You can do this. (Said a lot at work AND at home. Coupled with its complement, "You can't if you don't try.")

5. Seven books I love

* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
* The Great Divorce
* Story of a Soul
* Dark Night of the Soul
* The Golden Bowl
* All of Nathaniel Hawthorne--every word.
* All of Flannery O'Connor--every syllable.

6. Seven movies I watch over and over again (

* Legally Blond
* Miss Congeniality
* Scrooge
* Christmas in Connecticut
* Sunset Boulevard
* Citizen Kane (I'm utterly mesmerized--my wife--mystified and bored)
* Working Girl

7. I have a poor success rate at passing these things one and as this is rather old now, most have probably done it. I don't recall seeing this at TSO's however--so TSO, if you're so inclined.

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I Confess

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Sometimes a meme becomes pandemic. Suburban Banshee--long may she wail--has tagged me for this.

I confess . . .

. . . that responding to this meme rather frightens me (can't say why.)

. . . I actually enjoy holding hands during the Our Father, largely because it so much forces me out of who I normally am

. . . that at one time I did a bad job of discerning a vocation to the Carthusians (praise God!--Camoldalese would have been another possibility had I been aware of them)

. . . I think some people (including myself) think waaaaaaaay too much sometimes

. . . not particularly liking the prose and poetry of Chesterton and Belloc (love some of his poetry), but really, really liking the person of Chesterton

. . . monastic life and complete solitude hold a real and everpresent appeal (though they do not compare with the joy of the Vocation of Marriage and Family)

. . . to viewing blogs and associated projects as having possibilities as apostolates

. . . to being a far nicer person on-line than I could ever hope to be in person

. . . to liking Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, Sponge Bob, and the Fairly OddParents far more than I ought

. . . to being TSO's number one fan and nuisance e-mailer

. . . wishing my blog could be more like Fructus Ventris, Sancta Sanctis, Happy Catholic, and Summa Mamas (but it just ain't gonna happen)

. . . wishing I could do what Tom at Disputations does so well (but then if I did, we wouldn't need Tom, and that would be a terrible shame)

. . . a scrupulous attempt at Orthodoxy which stems from coming from a Protestant background

. . . not really understanding what many traditionalists think or want

. . . not really understanding what most progressives really want

. . . not really understanding why we can't all just get along

. . . to owning no fewer than 41 different Bibles (different translations, different annotations, different assemblies of similar translations, including at least two four column parallel Bibles)

. . . and to having read or studied every one of them

. . . and to still being ignorant of the majority of God's word

. . . being an ardent fan of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Henry James and a whole slew of people who bore most people silly

. . . to having won an award for poetry composed in the manner of Finnegan's Wake (First place--a complete set of the critical edition of the works of James Joyce, commentary by Anthony Burgess on Finnegan's Wake and Ulysses, and a guide to Dublin)

. . . to being a complete tea-totaler, having had in my entire college career three alcoholic drinks

. . . but nevertheless liking the strawberry margarita sorbet at a local ice-cream chain

. . . Carravagio, Monet, Renoir, Dali, Tanguy, and Magritte are my favorite artists

. . . I get an enormous fit of the giggles every time I think that someone actually paid money for most of Robert Motherwell's "art" (that should get a rise out of Erik)

. . . getting a rise out of Erik amuses me far more than it ought

. . . loving the St. Blogs community inordinately for what it consitutes in the real world

. . . having grown tremendously because of my exposure to the many opinions, minds, and persons of the people at St. Blogs.

TMI, I know, but this allows me once again to consider the things I am thankful for.

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