Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

53.& 54. charlie's literary chocolate factory and a vat of vanity

if i were a literary prick, like many of the people in my literature classes, i would tell you how i re-read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl because of the deep, second layer of meaning that Dahl origiinally intended for an adult audience of this youthful tale.  i would tell you that i read to capture the essence and meaning of the westernized child and how they have become spoiled and wrotten by today's society in a way that is irreversible.  if i were a know-it-all future literature teacher of america, i would tell you i re-read Charlie to gain another insight into the chikl psyche so as to better understand how they take in early literature and compare my reading today with my interpretation of yesteryear.  BUT I'M NOT a literary prick, nor am i a know-it-all future literature teacher of america, so i'm going to state outright that i read this book because it is one of my favorites, even if (probably because) it is intended for a younger audience.  my brain needs a break sometimes, and i like to imagine willy wonka's magical chocolate factory with its pink candy boat soaring down a chocolate river.  who doesn't want to imagine something so fanciful and amazing?  i love roald dahl for creating his fanciful yet somehow realistic worlds for me to imagine as a child and again as me, as i am right now.  literary analysis as they do in college classrooms is bullshit.  it doesn't do a damn thing but give us more to blabber about and get/give grades on.  sometimes you just need to read the damn thing for enjoyment.  i am so sick of college because of these pricks and know-it-alls (who all have way too much to say on EVERYTHING) and their high horses.  they are ruining my school experience, not enlightening me.  if any of you people reading can identify with these bastards that commandeer classrooms, i'm asking you right now to please knock it off. 

on a lighter note, i also read a magazine that had as much verbiage as a book, and was just as thought-provoking and informative, so I am counting the August 2010 issue of "Vanity Fair" as my number 54.   this is also on the same brain wave as literary pricks and high horses, however i like to think of vanity fair as high brow.  i felt so classy buying this magazine rather than that trashy crap (that i love) that i usually buy.  i also learned a lot from this issue: for example: frank gehry is a famous architect who used a fish as a model of movement for inspiration; angelina is thinking of giving up acting (yeah right); saudi arabia is an interesting place for foreigners- hard to penetrate, but once in, very welcoming; and finally, betty white's 'most treasured possession' is her golden retreiver.  i only wish they had told me what his or her's name was.  i would like to know what betty white names her dogs, i think they would be amusing and cute.

Monday, August 30, 2010

52. in the kitchen with God's wife...

The Kitchen God's Wife, by Amy Tan
this was a heartbreaking book.  men can be truly horrendous (that's all i got from this book.... just kidding).  i honestly had a really cool insight into this book last night, but i was so close to finishing it that i thought i would wait to write about it until i finished it.  big mistake.  because guess what? now i've forgotten what it was.  if i remember, i'll be back, don't you worry.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

51. Fourth coming

The fourth in the Jessica Darling series, Fourth Comings, by Megan McCafferty

this is appropriate to record my reading of Fourth Comings today of all days because i am precisely in the mood of neurotic, over-thinking, over-analyzing jessica darling.  i just want to know where he is.  what he is doing.  but most of all, if he's okay.  i have spent my entire summer spending no less than 12 hours a day by someone's side and the second day after my car drives away from that home, we stopped talking.  not because we are angry or over each other or anything like that, but because i had limited availabilty to talk to this bf who my parents dont know about as i was at home to celelbrate my father's bday.  so i called and left him messages- his phone was turned off, i'm assuming because the power was dead.  when i pulled out of my hometown, i ccalled- the phone was on, but no answer.  i left messages.  i kept trying to call (like an insane person, but he knows im not, and he sometimes does the same thing, and we love each other so we know it is out of love not insanity that we keep hitting redial).  nothing all day yesterday.  fine- he was (and still probably is) busy.  nothing all night.  no answer at any time.  he hasn't been online since the day i left, according to skype info.  and he still hasn't called back.  nor have his friends replied to my text asking if they'd heard from him (i know, i'm crazy..... forgive me).  i just want to hear his voice and talk to him and see how he is doing/what he's been up to lately/ how ramadan is going.... you know, the usual.  i can barely focus on anything.  it's kind of sucky.  plus it's already one of those sucky saturdays where you lay around in your own filth too late, and eat crap that doesn't belong in the breakfast section of your diet, and take an afternoon shower, and do nothing even though it is nice outside.  maybe that's because i don't have anyone to do anything with.  where are you babe?  i miss you so much. 
and thus ends my jessica darling-esque freak-out.  damn i am still freaking out.  what if something happened to him?  i just need to take a deep breath. maybe watch some more office?  maybe go on a walk (by myself)?  damn, this town sucks right now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

50. pretty little liars

49. everything is illuminated in the dark

Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated
I am always intrigued by how much darkness amplifies things.  Waking up from a scary dream in the dark is much more terrifying than waking up in light.  The sounds you hear outside and inside are much louder when it is nighttime.  Even your sight seems to increase in the dark- little things you never noticed during the daylight are much more noticeable when they are ensconced in shadow.  Feelings seem to also seem much more intense in the night hours.  But is that because the rest of the world seems to be asleep (or wide awake when you want to be asleep.... aka the partying neighbors)?  And there is less to think about because you are left to your own devices?  I am currently left to my own devices and I am a little upset.  I should be snuggled up and snoozing right now, but i am not.  do certain things, like darkness, illuminate other aspects of life?  Does the past illuminate the future (or vice versa)?  Does the absence or presence of family/friends/loves illuminate our own selves?  In my mind this is what Safran Foer was trying to ask.... maybe I'm wrong. 
Good book, though.  The past and the future and the friends and the family and the lightness and darkness and absence and presence of sound illuminate ourselves and our true identities.  And there is nothing we can do to change that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

48. The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
Creepy, but cool.  Lots and lots to think about.  I wish I would have sat down and written about it right away, but I didn't, so I'm working from memory here.  Luckily I scribbled down some brief thoughts on the book right away, so I'll just transfer them here (they might not make a whole lot of sense, but we'll see....)  while this book had some definitely creepy shit in it, it was a fascinating read.  dan brown is kind of sick to think up some of those cultish, murderous things that happen in this thriller, but he's also some kind of genius to be able to piece together ancient mysteries like this (i liked the da vinci code too).  anywho, here's my chickenscratch on the book that i just found:
if God is man- then He is not fair becaues humans can use the power of knowledge for good or evil.  If God is man, who says what "good" is?  Man can literally materialize things with their minds- the created becomes creator.  literally.  all religions encompass the idea that mand and God are created by each other....

*what does this mean?  i have no idea, but run with it, i'm curious to see what we all come up with here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

friday the 13th

i dont want to think a lot tonight, which is a moot point anyway, because i think i am incapable of any sort of coherent thuoght.  all i know is that i am a woman estranged.  on friday the 13th.  m y bouy (yes, i meant to misspell boy for buoy, because he really does keep me afloat) has gone rafting.... otherwise knkonw as party the night before, hungover splashed in the face with glacial water the next mornign.  i hnope that he is driving safely as we speak.  he is my buoy.  my safe harbor in the storm of life = he keeps me afloat.  there are weird noises coming from outside and i do'nt like being left alone, do you? does anyone?  isn't our purpose on this earth to make something of ourselves so that somone can see that and join it and just love one another.  why all this co-creating.  people are co-creating houses, children, apartments, food, wardrobes.,,,, when did we ever create our own and put oour own personal stamp on it before the requirements for approval became "we" stamps.  not that there's anything wrong with the we stamp ..  i love slinging them out on friends and neighbors- we like such and such or on coworkers, we have plans to see this tonight and then stay up late a grope.  ha ha just kidding i would never say that to a coworker.  or really anyone outside my close perrsonal group of friends (you know who you are)  i am in love with him and we love each other are like the two best zingy couple comments i can make right now,,, except there are nutritional myth busters coming at me from my computer from someplace that i truly cannot locate the source, but i am enjoying these debunks.  anyway, see you later.  we are going to bed.  except that we are not- we are going to bed in two separate places which makes me a little sad :( i will miss my habibi this evening) love u baby! 
**goodnight world!**

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

47. a journey to the east

The Journey to the East by Herman Hesse
I sat down and read this book cover to cover in an hour and a half at the library.  It was fairly little, with big print, so I picked it up, recognizing the author's name and going for a quick classic.  It was one of those books that seems to have some kind of bigger meaning that you know you aren't picking up on because it is so basic. Instead of relating my boring anecdotes, I will just type out the (lengthy) but cool quotes:

"I agree with Siddhartha, our wise friend form the East, who once said: Words do not express thoughts very well; everything immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish.  And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another."

"The whole of world history often seems to me nothing more than a picture book which portra7s humanity's most powerful and senseless desire- the desire to forget.  Does not each generation by means of suppression, concealment and ridicule, efface what the previous generation considered most important?"

"I imagine that  every historian is similarly affected when he begins to record the events of some period and wishes to portray them sincerely.  Where is the center of events, the common standpoint, around which they evolve and which gives them cohesion, something like causality, that some kind of meaning might ensue and that it can in some way be narrated, the historian must invent units, a hero, a nation, an idea, and he must allow to happen to this invented unit what has in reality, happened to the nameless."

"Brother H. was led to despair in his test, and despair is the result of each earnest attempt to understand and vindicate human life.  Depsair is the result of each earnest attempt to through life with virtue, justice and understanding and to fulfil their requirement.  Children live one one side of despair, the awakened on the other side."

So what am I missing?

Monday, August 2, 2010

46. letting go- by being a blonde!

Letting Go, by Mara Fox
Alright, it's a cheesy romance novel, so what?  it's the summer time.  which means every one needs a little cheesy romance.  everyone needs to let go in some sense of the word.  i let go of my dark hair recently- i am now a blonde!  i can't even believe it- yesterday morning when i looked in the mirror in the morning i didn't even recognize myself for a second.  tell me that's not a freaky thing to do!  other than that, i'm trying to let go my death grip on old ways.  the old me used to be quite clingy.  and possessive.  and lazy.  but i'm trying to buck up and let go a little bit on the things in life.  if they are really so good for me, God will keep them close to my heart right?  and a little hard work never killed anyone *knock on wood*.  so, dear reader, if there is in fact anyone reading this, what are you going to let go of?