One From Column A and Two From Column B

ImageI recently read a book; a psychological thriller I later learned.  While it was well written, I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like it at all.  Why?  Because it was about the horrible mind games people can play with each other.  I like psychological thrillers, mind you.  I really enjoyed all the Girl With Dragon Tattoo, etc.; and they were pretty rough books.

But this particular book made me so sad because it dealt with a married couple who simply could do nothing but hurt each other in new and vicious ways.

You see…I love the stuffin’ outta Devoted Spouse.  Here’s just one reason:  He labels our Chinese take-out boxes with our initials so when I want to finish what I ordered, I don’t have to waste time opening all the boxes.

So, in a way, reading the terrible book was good for me because it reminded me how loved I am!  sigh…


The Stuff Headaches are Made Of

There I was reclining happily in bed with my Darth Vader-masked spouse by my side and my trusty canine at my feet.  Life was good.  I was soaking up the latest Kellerman mystery, when I came upon a word that surprised me.  The author said something like this…”the apartment complex was shaped like a rhombus.”  I nudged the masked wonder next to me in the ribs and pointed to the word “rhombus” on my Kindle and said to him, “Huh?  What’s that?”  Devoted Spouse responded, “It’s a geometric shape.”  I said, “Hmmm, I thought it was a monkey.”  “No,” Devoted Spouse replied, “that’s a rhesus.”  “No, I said, “that’s a peanut butter/chocolate candy.”  This went on for awhile.  He put his CPAP mask back on and I was on my own again.

I used the little pointer thingy on my Kindle to space down to the word “rhombus” and the definition was “parallelogram.”  Well, now we’re talking.  I remember from 10th grade Geometry what a parallelogram is.  I read on.  I went back to the word “rhombus.”  I stopped reading and imagined in my odd little head a building shaped like a parallelogram.  It made no sense.  I leaned over the masked man and waving my arms to get his attention, I yelled, “This makes no sense!”  He un-masked and rolled his eyes.  I told him I understood a parallelogram.  “So a rhombus is a type of parallelogram?” I asked.  “I still don’t really get this.”   He got out of bed, walked around to my side, reached into the nightstand, got out paper and pen, and proceeded to draw a parallelogram for me.  “Aha!” I proclaimed.  “There’s no way on God’s green earth that an apartment building would look like that…it would fall over on itself.  What a stupid description!”

I returned to my reading knowing full well the apartment building in question looked exactly as I pictured it in my mind and not as the author described it.  Devoted Spouse masked up again, EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer put her head back down, and life was good…sigh…

English 101 Again

courtesy of

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  Sometimes just a word can do the trick.  The correct word, mind you.

Those of you who follow me know I become crazed when someone butchers the English language.  This does not include differences between my Canadian or British friends – go ahead and toss in an extra vowel where you will, or change spelling.  I won’t quibble.

Today I found validation and vindication!  And of all places, I found it in a novel.  This novel has been on my bookshelf for quite some time gathering dust.  I discovered it the other day and realized I had not read this particular book.  Turns out, it’s a very good novel.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.  And then I find something that simply shakes me to my core.

You see, for many years I have been trying in vain to explain to people that the breed of bird one sees frequently in North America is the Canada goose (or Branta canadensis).  If there is a single bird in your yard, it is a Canada goose.  If a few more of these majestic birds gather in your yard, you have a flock of  Canada geese, NOT Canadian geese. STOP CALLING THEM CANADIAN.  Pluralize the ‘goose’, not the ‘Canada’.  Ack.

This has finally been validated for me in the novel Amagansett by Mark Mills.  On page 262, one of the characters is questioned on what he hunts.  He replies, “Canada goose.”  Yippee Skippy!!  Finally, someone other than myself understands this point.

I’d like to meet this author and thank him!  Truly, you have no idea how many times I have struggled with this issue in a conversation.

At the very least, I will purchase his next book.  I am vindicated…sigh

Book Title Meme


My friend Sandy from It’s A Jungle Out There coaxed me into trying a Book Title Meme.  Sounded intriguing.  Here are her rules:

Using only books you have read this year (2009) answer the following questions.  Try not to repeat a book title.  It’s a lot harder than you think! (Actually, Sandy, it wasn’t hard at all — it was a blast!!)  So here are the questions with my “book title” answers.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed answering these questions!  And yes, every answer comes from a book on my 2009 Books Read page.

Describe yourself:  Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson

How do you feel?  Desolate Angel by Chaz McGee

Describe where you currently live:  The Winds of Dune by  Brian Herbert

If you could go anywhere where would you go?  Haunting Jordan by P. J. Alderman

Your favorite form of transportation:  The Web by Jonathan Kellerman

Your best friend is:  A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton

You and your friends are:  Old Friends from Far Away by Natalie Goldberg

What’s the weather like: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

You fear:  A Year of  the Flood by Margaret Atwood

What is the best advice you have to give?  Cut and Run by Ridley Pearson

Thought for the day:  Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

How I would like to die:  Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

My soul’s present condition:  Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright

That’s it!  I did it!  Now you give it a try – use the books you’ve read this year to answer the questions then link back to me here.  Have fun!

Mama Taught Me to be Nice Even if I Want to Smack Someone


from LOLcats

I spent a good part of my Labor Day laboring away at my schoolwork.  I couldn’t have chosen an easy Masters Program like a Master of Arts in Needle Threading or a Master of Science in Dog Behavior; no, I had to go the Theological route and this program contains a very complicated number of courses that one simply cannot breeze through.  It takes research, and with my tendency toward ADD, I will read something in a text which references a passage in Scripture and then I’m off to my bible to look that up and then I don’t understand it and I’m online looking up something else and that reference sends me to another resource book I may have on my shelf and this routine can go on and on and on and I end up only reading one or two pages of a text in the course of a hour.  Whew – it’s exhausting following all the branches on this tree of knowledge upon which I’m perched. (Ooooh I liked that sentence.)   Now, part of this education involves my having to find resource material in the form of tons of reference material and other books — books that cost alot of money — money that I don’t have because I quit my job 2 years ago when I was making mega-bucks as an overpaid defense contractor and am now anxiously awaiting returning to some type of work as my retirement fund is beginning to resemble the polar bear population (as in rapidly dwindling). Again, here goes my ADD acting up and I’m starting to get off subject.

Which (though that was a rather wordy intro), leads me to today’s subject:  bookstores.  My 6 faithful readers know I am an aficionado of – in fact I had a little tiff with them recently over a returned book and the fact they took a hefty deduction out of my refund for only-they-knew-what reasons – as I explained just how much money I give them on a regular basis and the access to Twitter I had where I would quickly tell the world how they were treating me unfairly and that it might possibly show up in my blog, lo and behold, I got not only the refunded deduction, I got the entire book refunded (and it was admittedly my fault for ordering 2 instead of 1 which I explained to them).  That put back on my good list of bookstores.  I like them because I can order source and reference material for school (which, being of a religious nature is sometimes difficult to find).  I also like Barnes & Noble (or Barnes & Nibble as Devoted Spouse calls them because we frequently stop for a coffee and a little scone after browsing) and Borders – but both of them are expensive even with frequent buyer discounts.  Anyway…

We have always had a Half-Price Bookstore in the Dayton area.  But recently the store moved a little closer to me in my very own suburb of Beavercreek.  This location is much larger, hence more books to peruse and yes they are half price.  The only problem is you take your chances on finding the book you want — they may have it; they may not.  I used to go to the old location and it was never overly crowded so I could take my time perusing the Religion section for texts and references and, of course, the mystery section for all my favorite mystery writers.

I went to the new location twice over this holiday weekend and twice I thought I might lose a limb.  There were so many people that they actually shoved one another to get to books.  What is this?  I know the economy is bad, but c’mon it’s just a book!  Today I loaded up some of my own books and sold them there and got enough money back to buy 3 new religious source books for my upcoming research paper.  Yay me.  The problem was I had to ask 3 gentlemen to move out of the aisle of books I was searching through — they weren’t looking at books; they were just hanging out in one of the Religion alcoves jabbering on about one author versus another, but not actually looking at the books and I was on a mission.  You would have thought I asked them to move a tractor trailer with their bare hands – it was that big a deal.  I politely asked that if they weren’t actively searching for books, to please take their conversation to another part of the store because it was entirely too crowded and I really was looking for a specific book.  Was I wrong?  I don’t think so.  One guy shot me such a look – had I not been in the Religion section I would have gone up one side of him and down the other but I simply smiled and said “Please”?  They started to leave, but I heard one of them call me a name on his way out the alcove and I found that upsetting.  No, what I found upsetting was my instant reaction to go after him and smack the crap out of him, but I remembered I was looking for Christian material and I was going to be Christian about it and turn the other cheek.  And I did.  As he was leaving that particular book area, I moved a little and showed him my cheek(s). I saw him on the sidewalk on my way out of the store – in fact, he tripped over the curb and as I walked past him I might have casually remarked quietly,  “God doesn’t like ugly.”

We’ll Just Pretend Monday Didn’t Happen This Week

I just wanted to have a nice quiet evening, maybe watch a little Big Bang Theory, eat a Weight Watcher’s ice cream sandwich.  That’s not asking too much.  It’s been such a stressful day of email issues and stupid cable people.  Errands that should have taken only an hour took several hours.  The highway was closed down due to a horrid accident.  Then Lawn Guy comes to the house, actually comes into my house to announce he just got out of the hospital and is still recovering from a MRSA infection.  Gah.  MRSA!!  There wasn’t enough soap available in the entire neighborhood to scrub Devoted Spouse and me after Lawn Guy left.  Ick, ick. 

So I didn’t think it was asking too much just to play some Hearts on my laptop while waiting for the arrival of Sheldon and Leonard on tv.  Then I heard the screaming from Devoted Spouse in the family room.  Trusty canine had struck yet again.  I flung the laptop onto the nearest end table, sprung out of the recliner, ran to the family room hollering all the way, “What in Hades is going on out here?”  only to discover one of my fairly new couch pillows in pieces.  The Golden Destroyer ate my pillow – Gah – just when I think she’s over this ridiculous dog phase of eating everything in sight, she pulls another EmmaLou stunt.  I threw her golden butt out the back door thinking she just had an unusual amount of canine energy and running around the yard would help burn it up.  So what did she do?  Chased rabbits into a patch of poison ivy.  Did I mention Devoted Spouse is highly susceptible to poison ivy?  So, now the trusty canine is back inside and I’m hoping she doesn’t brush up against the happy hubby. 

It’s simply too much for my feeble brain to handle.  I need a time out.  I’m going to go hide in my crap room and read my vampire story.  The one I bought today at Borders and told the clerk it was a gift for my daughter because I was too embarrassed to admit I’m reading this teen tripe myself.  Ack-ack. 

Calgon, take me away…

Read What You Want and Enjoy the Experience

A couple of days ago while blog surfing I came across a blog about books and reading. Since reading is my favorite hobby, I took a peek at what this fellow had to say. Partway through his blog I about swallowed my tongue. His main theme on books and reading was that we should only read those books which will educate us and provide brain sustenance. Anything else to him was wasting valuable life time. Huh? I scrolled down a bit and sure enough he had some reading suggestions — poetry, nonfiction, educational stuff. Not a mystery or a steamy vampire story, or a Stephanie Plum caper to be found. Nothing spiritually uplifting. No humor at all. How boring, I thought to myself. Reading is not just about learning; it’s about immersing yourself in another world and letting your imagination get the better of your daily reality for awhile.

Now, I’m not saying poetry isn’t a good reading choice; and I like nonfiction books as much as the next guy. But to sit down away from the craziness of the day and devour a few hundred pages of who-done-it can be a lovely way to spend a few hours. Who cares if you retain all the information? I have hundreds of books on my shelves and half the fun is re-reading them! I agree one should stretch the reading limit and try something new and different occasionally. But this man actually called fiction books mindless and he had some harsh words for those who read them.

Reading for pleasure; Devoted Spouse and I love to recline on our respective couches and while away a rainy afternoon with our noses in books. I think I’ll pick up a novel right now…