Monday, October 31, 2005


My birthday is quickly approaching. My fiance's parents, sister, fiance, and my parents are taking me to a huge book and music warehouse in Columbia, Maryland for my birthday. Yipee! I MUST get well. The store is a few hours away, and this cold could make for a rather long car ride.

More on the trip later.


I don't know how to put a stop to this sort of invective blogging. You can read all about it at in an article titled "Attack of the Blogs" by Daniel Lyons.

I am concerned about how blogs may have a dire effect on the outcome of the next presidential election, but I don't think it can be helped. The only laws that I would consider tightening are slander/libel ones. I don't think that blogs or speech should be censored. People who lie should pay the price.


So, I am home sick, and am on the verge of ripping my throat out because it's so sore. In order to stave off the madness, I've decided to take the opportunity to catch up on some reading and posting.

So, a few weeks ago (or posts I guess), Odious at Odious and Peculiar posted a list of the 100 Best Novels, bolding the ones he had read. Well, he was appalled at how few of them he has read, something his Kate is relishing as the beginning to a good-old-fashioned-reading contest. I happen to know for a fact that both Kate and Odious are incredibly well-read, so I think I need to take a look at this purported list and see how frightfully short I fall of measuring up to it. Plus, I'm going to the bookstore this weekend (a trip for my Birthday) and it would be great to generate a list of things to keep an eye out for while there, but I really relish just digging in and not looking for anything...more on that later. The bolded, I've read.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov

12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
13. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell

18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

23. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
38. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

40. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
41. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
51. My Antonia by Willa Cather

52. Howards End by E. M. Forster
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
57. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
59. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
66. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles

68. Light in August by William Faulkner
69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
72. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias by Gertrude Stein
79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
85. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
87. The Bostonians by Henry James
88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
93. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
100. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

So, I am appalled by how much Faulkner I've read when, forgive me, I find him boring, and how little E.M. Forester, Woolf, and Fitzgerald I've read when I find all them incredibly engaging.

Also, there are a few that I think I may have read, but my sickness haze is clouding my memory. I think I may have read Lord Jim, Tropic of Cancer, and a couple of others, but, since I can't say for sure, it wouldn't be right to bold them.

Oh, and I am dismayed at how few I've read.


My blog is worth $5,080.86.
How much is your blog worth?

Friday, October 28, 2005

100 Greatest What?

Time has published another best of list...(Do all nations produce so many lists, e.g., 100 best metal songs, 50 hottest celebrity moms, 100 one-hit-wonders), but here's a list that actually catches my attention: 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. It's an interesting list. I can't say that I agree with all of the list's author's selections, frankly, there are some on the list of which I haven't even heard Shame on me.

For a fabulous play on the list check out The Morning News. He has consolidated a number of reviews (from I believe) of the books on the list. It's pretty terrific. E.g., one person writes of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961) "Obviously, a lot of people were smoking a lot of weed in the '60's to think this thing is worth reading" or of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath "While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt." HEEHEEHEE.

Distilling someone's life work down to a sentence: it's an art form.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Playing with One's Self

Well, as per usual, I haven't posted for a significant period of time, and I can't make good on my promises to post more regularly. So, no promises this time. Don't bother leaving nasty notes. I know I'm bad.

Anyhow, I think the purpose of prayer, in answer to Joe's question, is to bring one closer to God. You have to think of Him in order to bring yourself closer to his will, and you have to invite him into your life in order to know him.

There appear to be different types/forms of prayer. Some people live and work in silence, engaging in active prayer through work. For some people prayer can be verbal, and it can take a specific chant-like form, i.e., Nicene or Apostles Creed and/or nonstructured form. Structured prayers often tell a story of the christian faith. For example, consider the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God,
the father, the Almighty,
maker of Heaven and Earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from True God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Creed attempts to summarize the tenants of Christian beliefs, and in essense rejects/excludes other ideas as unwholesome and philosophically unsupportable. For example, Jesus is True God as much as God is true God because they are one--hence, a mystery is born.

I pray because I want to know Him.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Swimmin' Dinosaur

As an aside, scientists may have discovered a new species of dinosaur. It swam. You can read about the discovery at this Yahoo link. What a neat find for a student (if it turns out to be true).

Friday, October 14, 2005



I am Charlotte Simmons is a wonderful, but scary read. Joe, you said I reminded you of Charlotte Simmons. She doesn't do something too terribly foolish does she? Will I still be flattered by your assertion when I've finished the book? Even if I'm not, thank you for recommending it. It's terrific thus far.

I'll post a complete review when I've finished it, but, in the meantime, let me say that, if American higher education is really as Wolfe describes it to be, then the United States is destined for ruin. Perhaps our liberal democracy is destined to crumble as Rome's did. In Locke's Second Treatise, he describes the law of nature as reason. If American Constitutionalism is predicated on a Lockeian view of human nature, and if Wolfe has captured the common experience of college life, then we're in deep doodee. Or, as one of my client's said (in what Wolfe refers to as Fuck Patois): "Fuck, fucking fuckers fucked. Oh, shit, Ms. Sorry."

I'm not nearly as pessimistic as this post makes me sound.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Advertisers Welcome; Penus Enlargements NOT NEEDED

Why have I suddenly become so popular with spam advertisers?

I very much doubt that those persons who are in need of/desire penus enlargements are interested in reading about my opinions of Tom Wolfe's book: I am Charlotte Simmons, but then again....

I picked the book up in an airport on my way back from a wedding.

Congratulations Nikki and Jackson. Your wedding was beautiful, as were both of you. It was a treat and a delight to be able to see two of the smartest, nicest people that I know both find and enjoy each other so thoroughly, as you two obviously do. Congratulations and Bless you and your marriage.

It was also just wonderful to see my old friends. Thank you for making Bill feel so welcome. We had a marvelous time. Virtually every moment spent in Santa Fe, I was filled with wonder and gratitude. I was incredibly fortunate to become friends with a group of amazing, gifted, and kind people as an undergraduate at St. John's. I miss you all and will treasure the time we spent together over the last week along with all of my fond memories of undergrad.