Friday, January 30, 2009

Random book meme, or amusing myself again

This is something I did a while back, but I did not get around to posting it. Anyhow, here goes.

The instructions:

* Grab the nearest book.
* Open th
e book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sen
* Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST

The line then:

"The real irony was that he was a medical orderly, not a front line soldier at all."

As usual, I don't tag for these things, so do it if it moves you. By the way, the line is from Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium, which I read last month.

Found via the Dirty Librarian.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gold diggers confronted by the reality of the recession

Welcome to another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. Today's piece comes from Gawker, with the headline "Gold-Digging Shrews Whine About Banker Mates." Imagine the horror that these women who pretty much do nothing other than live vapid lives on the money of their husbands or significant others may now be forced to actually work. Cringe at the catastrophic disaster of these "poor" ladies who now find their men may be a little short in the finance department. For the married ones, I guess they never heard the part of the vows about "for richer or poorer." Who thought they would actually have to face up the poor part? But don't take my word for it. The Gawker article has plenty of links to other places that have covered this terrible cataclysm.

  • Whining about a boyfriend that lost his job (as quoted in Gawker): "Overnight, he went from unavailable to downright clingy. He wants to have dinner every night. By dinner I mean staying in and cooking as Megu is no longer in the budget. AND, FYI DABA girls – chopping vegetables along side your man in a hot New York sized kitchen is NOTHING like the sexy kitchen scene between Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger in Nine and a Half Weeks... I’m bored and can’t stop thinking about my perpetually unattainable Euro ex-boyfriend who is recession proof courtesy of an offshore trust account."
Imagine that. The guy wants to have dinner at home, maybe cook with the lady. She may actually have to cook. The Humanity! By the way, for the peons like me, Megu is a fancy modern Japanese food restaurant with establishments worldwide. Definitely not in my budget (or most librarians' budgets for that matter). The poor woman may have to learn how to make do with a jar of Ragu instead.

The deal with the article is that a couple of these high maintenance "courtesans" have started a blog (warning: lot of whining in the blog, but some of it may actually make you laugh at the expectations these ladies have). Actually calling them courtesans would be degrading to actual courtesans who at least have other useful skills from dancing to singing to literature to cooking to being able to understand politics and economics (a subject that is especially useful right about now), plus an array of skills in the bedroom that probably put these "poor" women to shame. Let's then leave it as "gold diggers" as the people at Gawker do. Anyhow, if for some reason you do decide to go look at the blog, keep in mind the purpose of the blog: "So if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life, lighten your heart with laughter and email your stories" to the blog address provided. Again, for the benefit of peons like us, here is a link to Bergdorf's, a very fancy fashion store. Definitely not in a librarian's budget.

So, no sympathy here. Kind of makes me glad I am not a banker. And it does make me want to go home and hug my wife and say thank you for always being there for me through thick and thin. Love ya babe.

A hat tip to @ the Library blog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The 100 novels everyone should read (or so they say)

When it comes to book lists, I cannot resist taking a look. Here is a list of "100 Novels Everyone Should Read" from The Telegraph. Everyone should read these? Really? Is that not a bit pushy? Anyhow, following CW's example, who got it from someplace else (detecting a pattern here?):

  • The ones I have read are in bold.
  • The ones I started and did not finish are in italics. They expect me to actually admit that? Hey, I have no shame. If a book is not for me, it's adios and let's get a different one.
  • Books in my collection, read or not, are underlined.
  • As usual, any additional commentary and/or snark is mine.
So, here we go:

100. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.

99. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

98. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore.

97. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This has been on my TBR list for a while. I own one of those omnibus editions that has the five novels, so once I do get to it, I should be able to get through the whole thing, assuming it keeps my interest. I have mixed feelings since I tried to read Pratchett's first Discworld novel, and I ended up dropping it. I hear these two authors are similar, thus my slight apprehension. However, some folks have told me Pratchett gets better in later works, so I may yet take another chance on him. Adams has me curious since I liked the movie.

96. One Thousand and One Nights by Anon.

95 The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

94. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. I read this in graduate school. I used to own a copy, but it got purged in the "great weeding" prior to our move from Houston to Tyler. From the many things I had to read in graduate school, this was one of the few I actually liked.

93. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré.

92. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

91. The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki.

90. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch.

89. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. Another one I read in graduate school as an English major. Back then, I did not get a lot out of it. Odds of me going back for a second look are next to none since I remember disliking it back then.

88. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin.

87. On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I read this for leisure. I did not particularly care for it, and I fail to see why so many people make a big deal out of it. There are probably much better road tales out there.

86. Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac.

85. The Red and the Black by Stendhal.

84. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Another one on my TBR list. I bought one of those cheap Wordsworth editions.

83. Germinal by Emile Zola.

82. The Stranger by Albert Camus.

81 The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I have an old paperback copy. I remember it as a bit of a challenging read at times, lengthy, but I did feel very satisfied when I read it. I may revisit it soon.

80. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey.

79. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

78. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

77. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I had a copy at one point, but I can't seem to find it. It's possible it went out with the "great weeding."

76. The Trial by Franz Kafka.

75. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee.

74. Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan.

73. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque.

72. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler.

71. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin.

70. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

69. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino.

68. Crash by JG Ballard.

67. A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul.

66. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

65. Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.

64. The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz.

63 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. I own an omnibus that also has Frankenstein and Dracula, so I read all three together.

62. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

61. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk.

60. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. This is my all-time favorite novel. As far as I am concerned, if you have read this, you can pretty much skip a lot of the stuff on this list; you don't need to read anything else. This novel is that good. Anyhow, I own a copy that belonged to my mother, which though tattered, I am certainly holding on to. I have read it a few times, and I will be rereading it soon.

59. London Fields by Martin Amis.

58. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño. I have been hearing a lot about this author, so it may be time to go read some of his works.

57. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse.

56. The Tin Drum by Günter Grass.

55. Austerlitz by WG Sebald.

54. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

53. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I owned a copy of this, but "bookcrossed" it ages ago. It is not the most readable of novels, but it is a necessary reading. If you want an idea of what will happen (especially to women) if a theocracy ends up gaining power in the U.S., read this. It would not be pretty. I think it should be read as a strong warning.

52. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. A book that I hated, and as I have said before, Salinger owes me for the time I lost reading his overrated tripe.

51. Underworld by Don DeLillo.

50. Beloved by Toni Morrison.

49. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

48. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin.

47. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.

46. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark.

45. The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet.

44. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre.

43. The Rabbit books by John Updike.

42. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I read this and Tom Sawyer in 6th grade English class. Had to reread Huck Finn at some point as an English major, but I can't quite recall when I did it.

41 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. Another of my favorite writers. I own a two-volume complete Sherlock Holmes set.

40. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Another English major graduate school reading.

39. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I read something else by Achebe in graduate school, but can't quite remember what it was.

38. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. Ditto on this being a graduate school reading.

37. The Warden by Anthony Trollope.

36. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

35. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

34. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. I have read some of Chandler's short fiction, but never one of his novels. I will have to remedy that soon.

33. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.

32. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell.

31. Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky.

30. Atonement by Ian McEwan.

29. Life: a User’s Manual by Georges Perec.

28. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. I just could not get into this. I owned it (bought it at the same time I got my copy of The Three Musketeers), but went out in the "great weeding." Odds are very slim I will try it again.

27. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

26. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.

25. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.

24. Ulysses by James Joyce.

23. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Read it as an undergraduate. I hated it, but one does what one has to do as an English teaching major.

22. A Passage to India by EM Forster. See my note above for #23.

21. 1984 by George Orwell. I taught this in high school, so I don't feel a need to reread it anytime soon (I can practically recite a lot of it even years later).

20. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne.

19. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells. Read this eons ago, which means I need to reread it.

18. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh. I had to read something else by this author in graduate school.

17. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Same for Hardy.

16. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. And same for Greene. Overall, I did not particularly care for "canonical" Brit. lit. in graduate school. That is probably why I took more of an interest in minority literatures and science fiction. I read some Greene, but this was not it. Another author I barely recall.

15. The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse.

14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

13. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I have read Great Expectations and had to teach it at one point. It pretty much turned me off Dickens. It will probably be years before I give this author another chance.

12. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Another undergraduate reading.

11. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

10. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I read this in high school during my senior year, in Spanish, and in the original (not some abridged edition). I am quite proud of that, and once was enough.

9. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

8. Disgrace by JM Coetzee.

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

6. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

5. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Undergraduate and graduate school reading.

4. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. Graduate school reading.

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Graduate school reading.

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot.

Total read: 28

When I specify that I read something in college, it usually means it was inflicted on me, so to speak. When it comes to "classic" British and American literature, I do not have good memories of most of it. I always found writers from other parts of the world to be better, usually more engaging, and more diverse in their subjects. Back then, I found things like Teatro Campesino, the works of Suzan-Lori Parks, a few other drama pieces, and novels and works that were more unconventional to be the things I wanted to work with had I continued towards a doctorate; I had an exceptional professor of dramatic literature who was very inspiring and ignited my interest in that area. Also, I wrote a paper on a science fiction novel which I presented at one point. That would have been another option for me had I continued, and in fact, sci-fi is still one of my scholarly interests (as well as just for leisure). Most canonical stuff was just too boring and ordinary for me. What does that say about me as an English major? Maybe that I prefer different things, that I want to look at literature when it pushes the envelope, and that there is more than just the usual gang on dead white authors. But that could be the topic of another post. Anyhow, as that wise man said, "every book its reader, and every reader its book." I am at peace with my reading preferences by now, and unlike a lot of people, have no sense of guilt or shame for not having read X or Y so-called classic book. If I need to know what the book is about (for a book I don't care for), a good internet search solves the problem. Life is short, so go find what you like to read, and as Joseph Campbell would say, go follow your bliss.

And if you need some reassurance, go remind yourself of The Reader's Bill of Rights.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A book list, this one from Australia

Angus & Robertson is an Australian book chain, and apparently, like other places, they have a Top 100 List. I came across this via Ruminations. As it is one of those lists with mostly super pop authors, I am not expecting to "do well" on it. But as I am always curious, and I can't seem to resist a book list, I am highlighting the items I have read. Any snarky comments are mine.

The list:

1 Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling (nope. To be honest, I have no interest in Mr. Potter, so I am not likely to pick it up. However, if it is your cup of tea, go ahead and enjoy. Just don't try to "convert" me. It won't work, and I will think you are just one of those obsessive people to avoid. My daughter reads them and seems to like them. We will be looking for a boxed set for her next time we need a gift. Yes, she already asked for it.)

2 Twilight - Stephenie Meyer (Not yet. I am curious enough I just may pick it up. However, I am not thrilled with the recent trend of vampire stories being chick lit with darkness lite).

3 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

4 The Obernewtyn Chronicles - Isobelle Carmody

5 My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

6 To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee (I mentioned in another list where this was featured that I already know the story, so I have no incentive to pick it up. Unlike a lot of people I know, I was never forced to read this in school either).

7 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

8 Breath - Tim Winton

9 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

10 Break No Bones - Kathy Reichs

11 The Power Of One - Bryce Courtenay

12 Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

13 Magician - Raymond E. Feist

14 The Bronze Horseman - Paullina Simons

15 Mao's Last Dancer - Li Cunxin

16 Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden

17 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

18 Cross - James Patterson

19 Persuasion - Jane Austen

20 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

21 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

22 The Secret - Rhonda Byrne

23 Marley and Me - John Grogan

24 Antony and Cleopatra - Colleen McCullough

25 April Fools Day - Bryce Courtney

26 North & South - Elizabeth Gaskell

27 In My Skin - Kate Holden

28 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

29 A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

30 The Other Boleyn Girl - Phillipa Gregory

31 Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult

32 Atonement - Ian McEwan

33 Shantaram Gregory - David Roberts

34 Pillars Of The Earth - Ken Follett

35 The Pact - Jodi Picoult

36 Ice Station - Matthew Reilly

37 Cloudstreet - Tim Winton

38 Jessica - Bryce Courtenay

39 A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle

40 The Princess Bride - William Goldman

41 Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs

42 Anybody Out There? - Marian Keyes

43 Life Of Pi - Yann Martel

44 Seven Ancient Wonders - Matthew Reilly

45 People Of The Book - Geraldine Brooks

46 Six Sacred Stones - Matthew Reilly

47 Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards

48 Brother Odd - Dean Koontz

49 Tully - Paullina Simons

50 Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

51 The Catcher in the Rye - J.D Salinger (I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Salinger owes me the time I wasted on this piece of overrated tripe.)

52 Eragon - Christopher Paolini (My daughter has read this series as well. She is making me curious enough to consider picking it up. And it is now another one she wants a boxed set for.)

53 Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

54 It's Not About The Bike - Lance Armstrong

55 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

56 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

57 The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho (I've also read The Fifth Mountain, and Veronika Decides to Die. All very good. And I prefer to read Coehlo in Spanish.)

58 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (also read Animal Farm.)

59 A Fortunate Life - A.B. Facey

60 The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

61 The Notebook -Nicholas Sparks

62 Water For Elephants - Sara Gruen

63 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

64 The Host - Stephenie Meyer

65 Dirt Music - Tim Winton

66 Eldest - Christopher Paolini

67 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (another piece of overrated sappy tripe. And I read it in Spanish. Why Ruiz Zafon has suddenly become so popular is beyond me.)

68 It - Stephen King (I've read other Stephen King novels, just never this. I have to fix that gap sometime soon.)

69 World Without End - Ken Follett

70 Emma - Jane Austen

71 Temple - Matthew Reilly

72 Little Women - Alcott Louisa May

73 Lean Mean Thirteen - Janet Evanovich

74 Scarecrow - Matthew Reilly

75 American Gods - Neil Gaiman (Gaiman is one of my favorite authors.)

76 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (when people say "literature," they mean quality writers like this guy. Garcia Marquez should be required reading. He is that good.)

77 P.S, I Love You - Cecelia Ahern

78 All That Remains - Patricia Cornwell

79 The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch (saw the lecture online).

80 Past Secrets - Cathy Kelly

81 The Persimmon Tree - Bryce Courtenay

82 Husband - Dean Koontz

83 Plain Truth - Jodi Picoult

84 Wicked - Gregory Maguire

85 Spot Of Bother - Mark Haddon

86 Always And Forever - Cathy Kelly

87 The Road - Cormac McCarthy

88 Cents & Sensibility - Maggie Alderson

89 Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

90 The Shifting Fog - Kate Morton

91 We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver

92 Everyone Worth Knowing - Lauren Weisberger

93 Hour Game - David Baldacci

94 Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay

95 The Woods - Harlan Coben

96 Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

97 Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

98 Scar Tissue - Anthony Kiedis

99 Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali

100 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

Not even close. Just seven, and given the content, not likely to improve. Oh well, there is always the "Muy Macho Reading List." So, how about you, how many have you read?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Doing the 99 Things Meme

I have not done one of these things in a while, and it seems like an amusing thing to do as a year closes and new one starts. This is as seen in Ruminations. The instructions:

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

The items then (with the usual snarky commentary as needed):

1. Started your own blog. I have this one for the fun stuff, The Gypsy Librarian for the professional stuff, and Alchemical Thoughts for things I am not quite sure what to do with. Alchemical Thoughts was also a way to try out the Vox system.

2. Slept under the stars. I camped as a Boy Scout. I also did some camping when I lived in Indiana.

3. Played in a band.

4. Visited Hawaii. I did this when I went to my brother's wedding. He was in the Navy, and stationed there at the time. He is the one who now lives in Australia. I loved the place (actually,weather-wise and environment-wise, it is very similar to Puerto Rico). But I was not too thrilled with the bad plane ride there.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity. No, but I do give to charity when I can.

7. Been to Disneyland/world. I have been to Disney World (the one in Orlando, FL). Would like to see the one in California, but I still prefer the one in Orlando.

8. Climbed a mountain. El Yunque peak in Puerto Rico.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.

11. Bungee jumped. I definitely do not want to do this.

12. Visited Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. Not sure what I would like to learn, but I would be willing to try something someday.

15. Adopted a child. I already have a child of my own, so no intention to adopt another.

16. Had food poisoning.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. I have been in NYC, and I went by the Statue on boat. At the time, the Statue was closed to the public, so only got to see it from afar.

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. It's called a "mental health day." People should use them more often.

24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon.

28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. I have done both.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language.

37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied. Hmm, this is a trick question. Way I see it, if I can pay the bills, feed the family, and do some small fun thing now and then, I am set. Having said that, I could use some more moolah.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke. I did this at the end of my student teaching. I can do a mean "La Bamba" if you get me at the right time (and so could the assistant principal back then who sang a duet with me).

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant. I am not sure if people do that sort of thing anymore, but I would like to think I would if the opportunity presented itself.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.

55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.

58. Taken a martial arts class. I took a demo lesson once when I visited a friend's dojo. This is one of those things I would love to do if I could find the time.

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies. Not me, but my daughter sells them every year.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood. I did it quite often in my early college days. I have not done it recently.

65. Gone sky diving.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a cheque.

68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. I still have the case with my original Star Wars action figures.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar. It's not that much of a big deal.

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.

75. Been fired from a job.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone. I have been very fortunate in this regard. I have had stitches a couple of times, but no broken bones.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. I want to learn to ride a motorcycle, but not speed in one.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car. My first car was new. Now with a little more experience, I think gently used is the way to go.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible. And it was the Catholic version (with all the books the protestants leave out).

86. Visited the White House. I have been in D.C., just not to the White House. Anyhow, the Smithsonian is way cooler.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. Chicken.

88. Had chickenpox. I got it right after that cruise (see above). Apparently someone had it in the boat and passed it along. A bunch of us came down with it.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous. The governor of Puerto Rico (at the time. I was a kid). I have also met a few writers.

92. Joined a book club. Not interested in this (I know: I am a librarian admitting that. Go figure).

93. Lost a loved one. Mom passed away this year. Prior to that, an aunt and my baptism godfather (I also have a confirmation godfather. He is still alive and kicking. The thing about being raised Catholic: you have plenty of family to watch over you).

94. Had a baby. Actually, my wife did; I just helped (wink wink).

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone. Still do.

99. Been stung by a bee. And by wasps too; they hurt like hell.

I noticed a lot of things I want to do fall under travel. Given that I hate plane trips as they are now (lousy service, bad airports, surly overzealous security, so on), it seems my odds are slim I will fly overseas. Anyone out there is welcome to try to convince me otherwise. I do hear international flights are a bit more bearable than the crap that passes for domestic air travel. The flight I took to PR for mom's memorial was certainly a good example of what is wrong with American air travel, but I am digressing.

As for tagging people, I don't do that. If it moves you, go right ahead.