Saturday, November 29, 2008

Meming My Life Away, Looking For A Better Way…

Pete used his "Get Past Impenetrable Meme Shield Free" card and tagged me with this meme. Fortunately for me, that was the only card in circulation.

7 Random or Weird Book Facts Meme

1. I was never good with libraries, especially when I was in school. I'd go to research a paper on French Impressionism and wind up reading a John McDonald novel instead. Or, I'd actually make it to the Monet section, but then I'd start to wander and three hours later I had skimmed through five books on 18th century piracy. Eventually I'd get the paper done and turn it in late, but it would be riddled with irrelevant facts like: swashbucklers didn't buckle their swashes, they swashed their bucklers.

2. Another problem I had with libraries was they let you take books home for free, but then if you didn't bring them back by a certain date—a date that was allegedly "stamped right there in plain view, man"—they charged you money. I eventually figured out you could reduce the amount of overdue fees by keeping the book for several months, at which time they would wipe your overdue fees clean and charge you for a new book instead, which was considerably cheaper. Then you could clandestinely return the book in the overnight drop box, lay low for about six months while continuing to default on your payment, and by that time they'd have switched to some new tracking system and would've lost all record of your debt. Then you could start over from scratch. Kind of like foreign aid.

3. One of my favorite books growing up was The Wind In The Willows. Starting in the fifth grade I read it every Spring Break for like four years in a row.

4. I used to hold the irrational belief that I had to finish reading every book I started, especially the ones that clearly sucked, like somehow it was good for me or it'd make me a better person. Not anymore. I have no problem abandoning a piece of crap. And I don't set it aside in hopes that someone else might find something of value inside its pages either. I throw that fucker right in the trash and spit on it. Life's too short, man.

5. Another ridiculous thing I used to do was read paperbacks without ever creasing the spine. I don't even know why I did that. It's not like it was enjoyable. You had to hold it up to the light just right because there was only about 30 degrees to work with.

6. For the last year or so my 7 year-old daughter has been writing a series of stories featuring a character named Baby Bunny. They run about 2 to 3 pages (30 – 40 words), are fully illustrated complete with cover, and she does the whole thing in PowerPoint. She prints off about 10 copies, then sells them back to all our family members at $2 a pop, which more than covers the printing costs. Except it's not her ink.

7. Back in the day, while running with the quote unquote wrong crowd, my friends and I used to shoplift Tom Clancy paperbacks. It's not something I'm proud of, but I did learn a lot. For example, it's extremely difficult to walk nonchalantly with a 900 page piece of over written garbage down your pants. But it did inspire one of our all-time favorite catchphrases: "Is that The Sum Of All Fears in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" We eventually moved on to Grisham because he didn't chafe as bad.


JaneyV said...

Ingenious methods for pulling one over on the library system. Lessons like that you don't learn at school!

Re the shoplifting. Never did it myself but I knew a guy who fed himself in College by shoplifting. His trick was to go foodlifting with his wheelchair-bound best mate, who apparently could put and entire frozen chicken up his jumper in full view of everyone and nobody questioned him because he was, y'know, disabled. If you thought Tom Clancy chaffed can you imagine how uncomfortable having a frozen chicken up your sweater is?

Robin S. said...

Then you could start over from scratch. Kind of like foreign aid. This just kills me. I also remember having library books so overdue it was pitiful.. Those pre-computer days had a lot going for them. They really did.

I love your little girl's book writing and selling - that's so cool, ink loss and all!

Tom Clancy down your pants - I'd have paid to see the video of you guys walking out of the store like that.

Wonderwood said...

Kind of like foreign aid. Very nice.

By the way, the link you posted regarding the Kondratieff Wave Cycle sent me on a an interesting research journey that eventually landed me at the website. I now subscribe to two of the newsletters and I'm watching the markets, doing a little experimentation. It is an interesting theory and if these guys are right, the next six years or so should be quite interesting, if not downright scary. Check it out if you haven't already.

I appreciate you posting that link. I've learned a lot in the last couple of weeks, and although the predictions are dire, I feel at least a little more informed and have some ideas for what to do should things go to the extremes that are painted as a possible scenario. No one knows with certainty what the world is going to look like in a few years, but if you have some probablilities, at least you can try to plan. Thanks, dude.

Wonderwood said...

oops, that's

blogless troll said...

Rock on Wood. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

ChrisEldin said...

Wind in the Willows?

Shut! Up!

I love that book.

McKoala said...

Indeed, you are random and weird.

Oh, sorry, was that the books...

I can only see one flaw with your carefully crafted library system, and that would be that you then couldn't go very often.

However, I suspect the reading of the Wind of the Willows was the most wholesome way you ever spent spring break.

pjd said...

Wind in the Willows... ironic that it was that book that appeared in my short story as the pot stash.

I didn't even realize I had a "go directly to meme, do not pass GO" card to lay on you. Glad I used it here.

Foreign aid. Exactly. And ink supplies.

Phoenix said...

How many writers can write 7 random things book related, make every one of them a hoot and not even mention their own writing? No, really. How many? I'm doing a paper...

I, too, had spineophobia. And novelterminum. Luckily, there is a cure. I only hope you haven't pass the afflictions on to your kids.