Friday, June 09, 2006


You might remember the letter game that I participated in a few weeks back, go and read my friend Sal's entry on the Letter C. I think he did a fabulous job!!! Of course, I'm biased as he was my best friend in SF. After my brother I miss him the most from my years in The City.

I'm tired today. Wednesday night I did something extremely stupid. I ate this chocolate bar. The entire damn thing. The problem here is that the caffeine kept me up damn near all night. The only caffeine I ever get is from chocolate and I'm usually very circumspect and eat only one or two squares of this really lovely chocolate, but the hazelnuts were speaking to me on Wednesday and the next thing I knew the foil wrapper was empty and I was unable to sleep. I'm a dumbass.

And then last night was the nephew's graduation ceremony. He was right, it did only take an hour, but then there was the hanging out afterwards to take pics, to say nothing of the traffic of all those people trying to leave at the same time. I had driven there with my brother, and he ran into somebody from work, so we chatted with her for a while until the traffic cleared out. In the end I hit my bed around 10:30 way way way past my bedtime.

And my weekend is scheduled to the hilt once again. Tonight I'm going with the Libertarian to see The Proposition the movie written by Nick Cave who, of course, also wrote the score. I have a feeling that I'm going to be absolutely spent after seeing it as every review, even the good ones, talk about how violent is. I'm not a fan of violence, but I'm a HUGE fan of Nick Cave, so I'm going. A couple of years ago when he was touring to support his album, No More Shall We Part, he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It was simply bizarre, as Nick's musical style is not usually showcased on network television. I had missed it (being way past my bedtime) but my friend Jason taped it, so I got to see it. He did "15 Feet Of Pure White Snow" which is a great song, and I would have loved to have been in the audience that night just to see the reaction. Dame Edna was on the show that night, and I just loved when the cameras showed the guests milling about the stage during the credits because I got to see Nick greet Dame Edna with a very collegial kiss on the cheek. For some reason that just cracked me up.

Anyway, after the movie I have a party to attend, so I'll be dragging the Libertarian there. That'll be strange as when people see a man and a woman (or a guy and a girl) arrive at a party together, there are thoughts of couplehood and that is so not the case. Ah well, we'll see how it goes as we usually end up arguing about politics and how stubborn I am.

Tomorrow I have to get up early (dammit) to go to the Lansing yarn store. I'm taking my cousin to pick out yarn for the afghan I'm going to knit for her. She's moving into her own apartment in a couple of weeks and I told her that I would make one for her. I want her to pick out the yarn she wants and the store is having a 20% off sale! Woohoo!!! That'll help. And then I have to drive to downtown Detroit to the Pure Detroit store to pick up a present for EGC and then tomorrow night is Knitting Club night at EGC's house.

Sunday is will be a good day because I'm getting the hideously long and misshapen mop of hair on my head cut. I haven't found anybody to go to the Detroit Festival of Arts with (Martha wants to go tomorrow, Ursamajor has too much to do to get ready for her big Yellowstone trip), but Pamela might go, depending on how everything goes (her mom was scheduled to have a heart catheterization this morning). Sure, I could go alone, but that's not so fun. Ah well. I can always watch Babylon 5. ;-)

When I posted on Monday about getting a lot of my new book read because I was stuck in that damned airport for so long, Beth shared that she finished The Shining on a long layover and that inspired to me to think about books read on planes. Lately, I've been knitting on planes because that way the people sitting next to me and talking up a storm don't bother me, but I had felt like a slacker over the measly four books I had read in May, so I was determined to finish a book over the weekend.

The one book that I think of when I think of reading on planes is Aztec by Gary Jennings. This was the first HUGE book (1056 pages) I started that I really wanted to finish (I had started a Michener before that, but couldn't get into it at all), even though it was taking forever. I had mostly read books of about 300 pages before this, and when you read 300 pages of a thousand-page book it doesn't really feel like you've gotten anywhere, and that's a tad discouraging, no matter how fabulous the book was. Anyway, I believe I started this book in 1988 and took it on a trip that February to CA to visit my aunts who live there. I flew to LA first and then had a flight up to SF to visit another aunt. The flight from LA to SF took an eon because we sat on the plane on the ground for at least an hour due to inclement weather (I think it was significantly longer than an hour, but it was so damn long ago, I can't remember exactly) and during that time there was nothing else to do but read my book. That helped me get over the hump and I was able to finish the book on that trip (if not on that particular plane). I absolutely loved that book, but I do have an Aztec fixation. When Gary Jennings wrote his next two books I picked both of them up and I found them a much quicker read, perhaps I was used to his style by then.

I'm always amazed by people who get on airplanes with absolutely nothing to do, and they just sit there staring straight ahead. I'd be bored spitless sitting on a plane for even an hour with nothing to occupy my mind or hands. My carry-on bag is always chockfull of things to keep me busy and out of trouble. Back in 1988, I didn't just have my book, I also had my drawing supplies, and my diary. Normally, I take more than one book because I read pretty quickly and don't want to get stuck with even a half hour on a plane with nothing to do. These days I always have knitting (usually more than one project), a book (or two) and an electronic game.

I'll finished the Alex Zanardi book yesterday. What should I read next? My Hitchcock/Truffaut book or should I continue with the racing theme and read the Senna book I got for Christmas two years ago or The Lost Painting?

What do you do on airplanes? What book do you think of when you think plane travel?


At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger Scott said...

That chocolate bar looks delish! Man you do a lot of reading. I'm so jealous. I just picked up a hard copy of Old School, and I found a collection of Wolff's short stories. I just love him, what can I say? Schprock says you sent him a copy of the book. So you've read it then I take it. I really think he is the best I've read.

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Scott - They're both incredibly yummy. I know you're excited about the hardcover Old School. That is a find!

Yes, I had read it, but will have to read it again since I don't remember being as excited about it as you are. I definitely liked it, but it didn't induce me to go out and look for more of his stuff.

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Anonymous Ursula said...

Bryan and I both want to see that movie as well. What time are you going? Maybe we can join you.

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

Is that why I can't sleep? I often eat a whole chocolate bar before bed. I usually read on a plane, even if it's just to Chicago. I'll whip out some music on longer flights. I don't know if 1000 Homo DJs would be appropriate though...

If you can't find anyone to go downtown on Sunday let me know. I've got the day off and nothing planned yet.

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jason - Yeah, the chocolate might have something to do with it. Have you considered a walk before going to bed? That should help too. 1000 Homo DJs not appropriate??? How can that be?

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger trinamick said...

I've only taken one trip by plane, but I brought along a crapload of reading material. And I take a CD player with me to drown out the drunk idiots behind me.

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger MW said...

Kat: "What do you do on airplanes?"

Me: With only two previous exceptions, I don't get on airplanes.

First exception: I as born in Germany to American parents. My mom and I flew to the U.S. when I was four months old (my dad followed a few months later, after getting out of the army). Second exception: When I was about 13, my brother and I were invited to take a short sightseeing tour around our home county in South Dakota on a small, private plane. The pilot (a local man, and the husband of my mom's boss) turned off the engine at one point, and we just coasted. I immediately got very mouthy and angry, telling him to turn it back on "RIGHT NOW!!!" while he just smiled and ignored me for a few seconds (it seemed like forever). I believe my brother enjoyed the coasting experience (or else hearing me holler).

As time went on, I realized that I am a one-in-a-million guy and pretty darned unlucky in some situations, so I don't like to tempt fate by getting on airplanes. You needn't waste your time ridiculing my cowardice. I've heard it all before. :-)

Coward that I am, I rode the bus from Kimball, Nebraska, to San Diego, California -- and back again -- in 1995. That was a nightmare I will NEVER repeat. I spent the vast majority of my time during that endless ride (both going and returning) writing a letter to a friend in reply to one I had received from her just before I left. It is an extremely long letter, and I photocopied it so I would have it for my diary.

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Trina - You're like me. One book is not enough! You just never know when something will lose your attention.

MW - Why does this not surprise me in the least? Maybe you should stay in NE since it's kind of the middle of the country (although a bit more west than east), so all trips around the country via Greyhound will be about 5 days (or whatever).

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger MW said...

Luckily (????), I don't do much cross-country traveling. ;-) Everywhere in this country is pretty much the same as everywhere else in this country, as far as my observations have gone (malls, strip malls, fast-food joints, suburbs, interstates, eight-lane highways, the same movies in identical theaters, the same TV networks, the same motels and city parks, etc., etc.). That bus trip in 1995 was a once-in-a-lifetime fluke (to interview a World War II prisoner of war). Until gas prices got too high, I did take lots of regional road trips to visit with family and friends -- or just to say I did it (Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and, on rare occasions, Colorado).

At Friday, 09 June, 2006, Blogger mr. schprock said...

I remember plane trips and vacations more by the books I read than by what we did.

I loved Old School and have now started The Big Over Easy. It's hilarious. I feel like I'm watching a movie more than reading a book. You pick out the coolest books, Kathleen.

At Saturday, 10 June, 2006, Anonymous Suzy said...

I hoard about a month's worth of New Yorkers, and take them on the plane, along with at least two books and my iPod. I fear boredom. When I used to fly from SF to London every year, I was amazed by all those people who got on an 11 hour flight with no reading materials or music. What are they thinking?!

At Saturday, 10 June, 2006, Blogger Beth said...

Oh yes, chocolate, my greatest foe.

I couldn't sit anywhere and look straight ahead. I even write while watching TV. OK, I'm good at the theater though. LOL

At Monday, 12 June, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

MW - You have to get off the major arteries of a city to find the things that aren't like every other city. I fear that franchises are killing the things that make each city unique.

Schprockie - I had a feeling you'd enjoy The Big Over Easy.

Suzy - One of these days I'll have an iPod.

Beth - Chocolate is all good. ;-)

At Tuesday, 13 June, 2006, Blogger MW said...

My reply to your reply to my reply: Homogenized (but not yet Pasteurized) USA



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