Wednesday, May 18, 2005

43 to go
I finished books six and seven this week in my 50-book challenge. It was made a little easier by the fact if I moved much I couldn't breathe. Luckily, reading is activity that doesn't require movement.
A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett was thoroughly enjoyable brain candy. Much like one of Buffett's songs, it was pure entertainment with lots of sailing, fishing, flying and a host of unique characters. I've always liked Buffet. My mother had a copy of "Living and Dying in 3/4 time" on 8-track that had a great song about getting drunk with a bear. It seems like every pub band I saw in the '80s knew how to cover "Why don't we get drunk." And I always remember the story of the pirate radio station off the coast of Florida that played "Son of a Son of a Sailor" over and over. Buffett's books are much like his songs and I consider that a good thing.
State of Fear by Michael Crichton was a fast read with a predictable ending, but I enjoyed it. I read a review that said it shows Crichton's right-wing philosophy. The story is critical of environmental groups. But I didn't see it as an agenda. The message to me was even a noble cause can go bad when you want to win at all costs.
Next up: Conviction by Richard North Patterson.

Monday, May 9, 2005

Out of the closet -- musically speaking

Sid at Nude Highway Driving revealed his closet bands today. After seeing we share an affinity for Ratt and Enya, I figured it was safe to reveal my closet bands. And before you mock me, check out your own musical closet. You better not be hiding any Celine Dion in there.

1. Meat Loaf -- My love of Mr. Loaf came early, thanks to my mom's copy of Bat out of Hell on vinyl. I can and will still belt out "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" like I have musical ability. Come on, he starred in "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and that's kinda cool. And "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" still reminds me of late nights at my college paper, which leads me to no. 2.

2. Tone Loc -- 'Fess up "Funky Cold Medina" can still make you smile. And his version of "Wild Thing," getta outta here. I can't be the only one.

3. Cinderella -- I admit that in the '80s I liked hair bands and heavy metal. (see above concerning Ratt). I'm also a sucker for the power ballad -- and if have to explain that term, you need to watch back-to-back episodes of VH1's I Love the 80s asap. Cinderella had a great one, "Don't Know What You Got." I saw them in concert. Tom Keifer and a grand piano came down from the ceiling for that song, it was a great moment. I'm not afraid to admit I like Poison, Skid Row and Whitesnake too.

4. Garth Brooks -- Classic country like Johnny Cash is cool. Progressive country like the Drive by Truckers is cool. Garth Brooks is not cool, but I like him anyway. Throw Trisha Yearwood and him together on a love song and I'll buy the album.

5. Guns N' Roses -- Axl acts like a jerk these days, but I still like those early records. "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Patience" blinds me to the cheese factor and the attitude.

I'm sure there are many other, but these are my top 5. I also like musical soundtracks, Kid Rock and Leonard Cohen, so there. And there's plenty of cool stuff in my collection, but I'll save that list for another day.

Welcome to the jungle ... er ... blogosphere, dear
My husband has made a foray into the blogging world, Ken's Way of the World. Like me, he is opinionated but not in the same way. Oh btw, he won't let me correct his spelling or temper his words with my version of reason. He does have many other endearing qualities, however.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

45 to go
Books four and five in my 50-book challenge were good. But not as good as I expected if that makes any sense at all.
Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell gives insight into the thought process. It made me think of the experience of changing my first response to a question on a test to another answer that was wrong. The quick, first response is the right one for me much of the time. This book was full of anecdotal instances of the same type of experience. I really expected some insight into changing how I think. It was an interesting read, but I wanted more.
The Last Juror by John Grisham was a page turner until the last chapter where the loose ends were wrapped up too tidy and quickly. I like Grisham. He's one of my favorite choices for escapist brain candy. I expect a little more suspense at the end from him. I did like the small-town newspaper setting and thought the characters were interesting. Maybe that's why I was a little annoyed by the wrap-up.
Next up: A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffet