Wow, I'm so dependent on the internet. Our cable was out for over 24 hours (ack!), and since we are connected to the internet by cable modem, this did not only affect our TV (which was no problem), but it kept me off the internet (which was a big problem).
First of all, my parents called me about a half hour after the cable went out. They had just left our house, having driven down from the Bay Area for a weekend visit. They were on highway 5, near Magic Mountain, and the traffic was at a dead stop, and had been for about 20 minutes. What was going on, they asked me. Could I turn on the TV or the radio and find out?
I turned to my normally trusty computer, and it was no go. Not connected to the internet. And of course, turning on the TV, I saw that the cable was out. So I turned on the radio. But there was no info on any of the traffic reports. Turns out the highway was semi-closed--the highway patrol was leading cars, 500 at a time, over "the grapevine", a mountain pass that sometimes closes during storms. But I was unable to get that information myself--I had to get it from someone with DSL :)
Anyway, no email, no blogging, no internet for 24 hours made me rather cranky. But I'm back...
I’ve been tagged for two memes, Eva’s Meme, and the Eight Random Things About Me meme. I saw Eva’s meme when she created it, and I thought it was really cool, because the questions were so interesting and involved! So I’m happy Iliana tagged me for this one, so I can answer those great questions now.
Aloi also tagged me for The Eight Things About Me meme. It’s one I’ve definitely done before, but which I will do again now. Not only do I like the idea that this has been wending its way around the internet for months, if not years, I also like that I have been given another chance at answering its questions—maybe I will be more interesting, or say something new, in my answers this time. I hope the meme continues on and gets back to me again, eventually!
Here’s Eva’s Meme:
Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? Off the top of my head, I’m going to say Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (sorry Aloi! Her really interesting review is here). Though I enjoy Atwood’s writing, something about what I’ve read about this dystopian book has turned me off. And that’s despite the incredible reviews. But I’ll probably shake off my irrational dread and read it (and like it) anyway.
If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be? Predictably, I’d probably have tea or dinner with Elizabeth Bennett, Anne Elliott and Elinor Dashwood. But then again, I thought maybe I should mix it up a bit, and rather than having Austen heroines together, I should throw an Austen heroine in with someone from another time period, or another genre…hmm…how about Anne Elliott, Atticus Finch, and Sherlock Holmes. This got me thinking, wow, would these characters even have enough in common to have a meal together? I mean, maybe it’s better to stick the Victorians together…
Okay, this is obviously overthinking it. But it did lead me to a list from NPR, the 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900, which was interesting. I was happy to see The Dog of Tears, from Jose Saramago’s Blindness, on the list. But I digress…
(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? Moby Dick seems to be the most common answer I’ve read, and it works for me, too.
Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it? When I was younger I used to pretend I’d read more of the great Russian novelists. I’ve never read Dostoyevsky, but I hinted that I had, always thinking to myself that I would get to him eventually. Not so far!
As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book? Nope, can’t think of anything. But like Robin, I’ve had the opposite experience, where I’ve read something intriguing about a book, and brought it home, only to find that I’ve read it before. Whoops!
You’ve been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP) Hmm…it’s a tough call. Even though I should probably go with something more remedial, I'm going to say Middlemarch, because you get social commentary, an engrossing narrative, and some characters you love and some you love to hate.
A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? I’m going back and forth between French and Spanish, but I have to say Spanish. There are so many books I wish I could read in the original languages, but I think the preponderance of those books are in Spanish.
A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick? I guess I’d have to say Persuasion, by Jane Austen. It’s one of my comfort reads, a book that I reread every once in awhile anyway. And it’s not that long, so it wouldn’t take up much of my reading year ☺
I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)? The book blogging community has “pushed my reading borders”, too, in many ways—I’m reading new genres and participating in challenges, for example. But I think the most important thing is that I am finding people who are passionate about particular books that I had never even heard of before. I’m really widening my reading horizons by taking bloggers’ recommendations.
That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free. At one time I might have conjured an old-fashioned library straight from an ancient castle, but now I’d go for comfort. I want lots of natural light, a beautiful view out the large windows, comfortable seating, all my favorite books and more—books recommended by friends, books I’d love to read some day, books I may never read. Oh yes, and unlimited and extremely fast internet access ☺
Now for Eight Random Things About Me:
1. I only speak one language—English—and I wish I spoke more languages. I would love to speak Spanish, French, Italian, or maybe Japanese. However, I’m not willing to put in the time now, maybe because I know how much easier it is to learn languages when you’re younger. I’m afraid my aging brain will let me down!
2. I do most of my reading in bed. After the kids are asleep, I don’t watch TV or do the dishes, I get into bed and read. My TV watching has really slowed over the last few years. Who has the time? I feel like a favorite TV show is a big commitment I’m not willing to make. But my reading keeps on at a steady pace, because I’m willing to get into bed a little early.
3. I may not watch much TV these days, but one of my favorite indulgences is to go to a matinee movie and have popcorn and soda for lunch. Maybe candy, too. I love the feeling of leaving the theater after a daytime movie—the slight disorientation you feel coming out of a darkened theater into the daylight. It is such an indulgence, and it doesn’t happen often, but I do love it.
4. I love my Mac. I don’t even know how to use a PC. Back in the old days, when I worked in an office, I know I used a PC, but that was in the days of MS Dos, and the whole thing was a mystery to me. Obviously I’m not computer savvy. I wish I knew more about the technical side of blogging. If anyone has any blogging resources (for dummies) to recommend, I’m all ears.
5. I’d love to take a course on digital photography. I love to take pictures, but again, I wish I knew more about the technical side of photography. Maybe I should take a class in digital photography given in Italian. Then I could kill two birds with one stone.
6. I make a mean pecan pie. And I’m willing to share the recipe.
7. I like to eat breakfast food for dinner.
8. I wish my husband and kids liked long car trips as much as I do. I look back fondly on my family vacations spent driving to Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, Disneyland…
Now it’s time to tag people. But since I’ve seen both these memes on so many of my blogging friends’ blogs already, I’m going to take the easy way out and say, if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged. I mean it—do these memes, they’re fun! Then let me know, so I can visit and read your answers ☺