Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Random Whatever

"The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it."  ~James Bryce

 I have a friend who asks me, every time I see him, "What are you reading now?"  Lately I've been reading romances, and when I tell him that, he gets this sort of indulgent look on his face.  He is, by his own admission, a bit of a literary snob.  I do have my standards, you know.  If a romance is not well-written, I believe it's not worth reading.  And I tell him that.  I like a good story with quality writing, and it doesn't hurt if it has some romance and/or humor and/or mystery.  I've read literary novels; some I've enjoyed and some I haven't.  I don't care how facile a writer's use of the English language is, if it ain't a good read, why bother?  Some Pulitzer Prize winners are just plain boring (which makes me wonder about the people who read them), and if a book is boring, I won't finish it.  I used to finish every book I started, prided myself on it in fact, then I finally realized that life is too short to read bad writing.  That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.  Apparently, I'm not the only one.  Read this blog post that I ran across just this morning:  "How I Stopped Being a (Literary) Snob."   The blogger didn't get into the quality of writing, but he acknowledged that your mass market paperback is just as worthwhile as anything else.

A couple of weeks ago, we were told about an event that was supposed to have a bunch of bluegrass pickers playing, so we arranged to go.  When we got there, they were playing a rousing tune, an instrumental.  As the evening went on, however, we discovered that the music was all bluegrass gospel.  Now I have nothing against gospel music, and I love the older, gospel quartet, foot-tapping stuff I used to hear back in the '60s.  But they weren't playing any of the good stuff I remember.  Most of it was new stuff that I had never heard before, and frankly, it just wasn't that good.  Just because it's religious doesn't mean it's good music.  Well, it is good in that the words are usually heartfelt, but it doesn't seem to be good poetry, if you know what I mean.  We stayed for a little over two hours.  The pickers were quite talented, but there was only one good singer and he sang right after we sat down, but I was hoping for some good Appalachian mountain music.  Oh well.  Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't.

Wow! I'm just full of complaints, aren't I?  I'll try to be more positive.

I'm positive I had a good time at the party we went to on Saturday.  Aside from the food (including some super-yummy banana pudding), the highlight of the evening was the game of Tifton Jeopardy!  Our friend Bret likes to do this at parties and it's lots of fun.  He prepares all the questions, makes up a game board with Post-Its, gathers up some prizes, and directs people to organize themselves into teams (Jeopardy! by committee).  Our team came in second.  Of course teams change with every party.   We were supposed to have Redneck Jeopardy! at another recent party, but for various reasons, that didn't happen.  Julie and I were all set to be on the same team because we each come from a long line of rednecks and thought we could do well.  Maybe Bret will do that one another night.

"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book."  ~Author Unknown

I have been reading (so what else is new?).  The latest reads are:

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg.  Charming, engaging, lovely.  Beautiful story.
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins.  Also charming, engaging, and lovely.
Par for the Course by Jenna Bayley-Burke.  Fair to middling.  Lots of melodrama.
Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie.  Funny, romantic, good read.
Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins.   This woman is such a good writer and storyteller.  She deserves to be on the best-seller lists.
Maid for Love by Marie Force.  Not bad.  I'll read more.  Parts seemed a little far-fetched, but it's fiction.
Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews.  Mary Kay never disappoints.  Mystery, romance, humor.  Great!
My One and Only by Kristan Higgins.  Do y'all get the idea I like Kristan Higgins?  Another wonderful read.

This coming Monday, August 29th, is the birthday of Henry Bergh, born in 1813.  He is the founder of the ASPCA.  I would encourage everyone to contribute to this wonderful organization. Also adopt a homeless pet.  They need loving, forever homes.

Happy August!  And take care.  Hugs to your pets.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME

 It's my birthday.  I turned !@#$%^&*+ years old at 1:15 this pm.  A bunch of my Facebook friends and family have already wished me happy birthday.  Richard and I went to a party on Friday that had absolutely nothing to do with my birthday.  About 9:30 pm, the party ordered pizza.  Our hostess had provided nice and tasty hors d'oeuvres (or however you spell it; I can never get it right except by accident). 

On Saturday night, we had a small dinner party.  I meant to take pictures and forgot.  (That should tell you how old !@#$%^&*+ is.)  We had, as an appetizer (see? I'm not going to try my spelling again), spanakopitas, or as our wedding guest (so many years ago) called them, collard tarts.  Of course, they don't have collards in them!  What were you thinking?  Richard used the traditional spinach and feta. 

For our main meal we had crab cakes with remoulade sauce, shrimp and tortellini, broccoli salad, and rustic bread.  For dessert, I made a zucchini cake and cream cheese icing.  The cake broke (alas!) as I was removing it from the pan (I hate that particular pan), so we served the frosting on the side:  a very rustic slice of cake with a dollop of cream cheese goodness. 

It was a fun dinner party.  We sat around the table until about 11:00 pm with never a lull in the conversation.  My kind of party.  When everybody left, Richard washed up and I put away the food and dried the flatware (hate water spots!), and then we collapsed into bed. 

On Sunday, I curled up with my Kindle for a while (until the battery was low and I had to recharge). 

I also watched a Braves game (and took a nap during).  They lost.  But they did win the first two games of the series with the Marlins.

Tonight I get to find out what Richard got me for my birthday.  I always like what he gets me, so I have no worries.  We usually have pasta for dinner on Mondays, but I'm going to insist on something a little more exciting.  After all, it IS my BIRTHDAY, for heaven's sake!!!

Happy birthday to Me.....