BTT ~ If the Corn and the Mashed Potatoes Touch, the World Will Implode!

Follow-up to last week’s question:

Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

Okay, I was not going to do Booking Through Thursday this week, I was going to start back on them next week, but I have to tell on myself… after all, confessions good for the soul, right? 

I am obsessive about keeping things separate (except when it comes to the laundry, then everything gets shoved in the machine with as much hatred for the chore the clothing and washer can take without breaking).  I get panicky if my food touches.  I swear, if they’d make good china like the lunchroom trays, I’d eat off those.  My dad used to grouse about it at dinner, “It’s all going to get mixed up in your stomach anyway!” and I’d answer, “Yeah, but I don’t have to look at it there!”

So YES, oh god yes! my books are separate.  Not just TBR and Read separate, but ARC and review piles here, audio books there, books on deck there, manga up there, Mt TBR here and here and there, unreads that aren’t yet TBR’s way over there, the kids’ books are in the living room so they can’t go near my books and spread their cooties to them… each kid has their own specific, all-yours books in their rooms, coffee table books over there… I used to seperate them even further according to genre, but my TBR shelves have become a free-for-all from acquiring so many so fast that I had to give that up.  

So, do I qualify as mildly anal or OCD? 

Oh, forgot to tell you, I alphabetize my canned foods, too.

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Viral Video Wednesday and 19th Wife Winner!

Happy hump day everyone 🙂  First thing’s first:  As promised, today’s the day I announced the winner of The 19th Wife giveaway.  Despite her misgivings at being the first entrant, because Mr. Random Number doesn’t like the number 1, rhapsodyinbooks is our winner!  Congrats to ya!  If you’ll send me your address, I’ll be happy to forward it to David Ebershoff so he can get that in the mail to ya 😉

And now on for Viral Video Wednesday 🙂

This week’s topic is DINOSAURS.  You can post any vid that deals in any way, shape or form with Dinosaurs, whether they be extinct reptiles or crotchety old men, or even obsolete technology.  And you know me, mine will be weird and wacky or funny.  So, on with the vids!

 

This first video is one of our absolute favorite at our house.  To give you a glimpse of our family dynamics, I’ll just tell you that, after the first time we watched it, we identified who each of them were.  The T-rex in here is Sam (my oldest, who is 16), then the middle character is Maggie (my youngest, age 10), and the non-dinosaur character is  Gwen (who is 15 today, Happy Birthday to her!). 

Maggie, btw, is physically incapable of belching… seriously, you can imagine the colic as a baby… so all gas is converted to the outboard motor, if ya knowwhaddamean.  She is proud of the fact she can fart on command, and actually takes the stance this little dino does… which is why that is her character.

And now, the real reason dinosaurs are extinct!

One of the first video game-to-movies was Super Mario Brothers.  We have the VHS of it, and watch it on a regular basis.  It’s one of our favorite movies, especially since John Leguizamo is in it and the Princess is played by Samantha  Mathis (my oldest daughter’s name is Sam, remember?).  I love the song Walk the Dinosaur originally by Was (Not Was), which was used in the movie. 

Here’s the music video from the Super Mario Brothers movie, with scenes from the movie and performed by George Clinton and the Goombas.

While watching the Walk the Dinosaur video, Sam came home from summer school and started going on about the movie, which always leads back to the best scene in the movie:  Mario and Luigi’s escape from the elevator-full of goombas. 

Dancing and music are primal, and Luigi takes advantage of that fact in this next vid clip:(the song, btw, is Somewhere My Love)

And one of my favorite TV from when I was a teen was The Dinosaurs. The Sinclairs was your typical 80’s family… 60,000,080s BC, that is.  The dad, Earl, worked for the Wesayso Corporation pushing down trees, while Fran, his wife, stayed home and took care of the baby.  Robbie and Charlene, the Sinclair teens, went to school and had typical teen concerns and attitudes.  It was a wonderfully fun show that ran from 1991 to 1994 (not long enough, IMHO)… Next stop for me is Netflix.  I’ve gotta put this one in my queue!

By request, Maggie wants next week’s VVW topic to be:  Mash-ups!  For those of you who don’t know, mash-ups are videos made with parts of two or more movies and are made to seem like one show.  Like Harry Potter video with South Park audio track, or like Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?‘s recent post of Buffy vs. Edward (which is what made Mags ask me to do mash-ups next week.)

So now it’s your turn… Share your favorite Dinosaur vids!

VVW ~ Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

Hello and Happy Hump Day!  Woo-Hoo!  And who doesn’t like a good hump?  Today’s Viral Video Wednesday has a few new things about it.  First, we have a button!  WooT!  I’ve got a few other pics to turn into buttons, and if you’ve got one, lay it on me! 🙂  Second, if you look at the bottom of the picture header of this blog, you’ll see a Viral Video Wednesday tab.  I’ll be keeping the current week’s VVW there, and you can add your blog in the comments so I can check out your VVW posts, too 🙂  The third change to VVW is, at the end of my post and on the VVW page, I’ll let you know what the subject of next week’s VVW so you’ll have a week to hunt down some fabulous vid clips for your own VVW posts 😀

And now, on with the vids!

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The famous comedian W.C. Fields once said, “Never work with children or animals” and the reason for his sentiment is clear:  They will upstage you and steal all the laughs!  If you’ve ever tried to have a conversation with the pastor at the carry-in, only to be interrupted by your four-year-old, “Mommy, Pastor Bill does TOO have a watch… See!  It’s right there on his arm!  Pastor Bill, did you buy that at the dollar store with the $3 Mommy put in the offering last week?” then you KNOW that kids can chime in was some really hilarious stuff every now and then.  So this week’s VVW is dedicated to all those darned funny things the little whipper-snappers say!

Poor little Colin suffers from two things endemic to childhood…  Like most children, he absolutely adores being the star of the home movies, and he struggles with the correct pronunciation of some words more than others.

I first saw the following video on “The Ellen Degeneres Show”  It’s always funny to watch a child when they realize where they’ve gone wrong in a conversation… that little “A-ha” moment when they take one step closer to understanding their world.  

The next video brought back memories of my oldest daughter’s trips to the dentist.  An utter dentophobic, she had to be given the red liquid sedative (Versed) AND the piggy-nose (nitrous oxide) to get her into the chair, then she had to have a TV headset playing Powerpuff Girls to keep her mind occupied while the dentist did anything inside her mouth.  Even routine teeth cleanings could disolve into a puddle of tears on the 5 foot overstuffed Pooh Bear in the waiting room.  So I completely understand David’s behavior.

What do you get when have an adorable little boy with big brown eyes telling Knock! Knock! jokes? Well… I have girls, so maybe that’s why I never got this…

And I think I’ll end here with the following video.  Before you slip that DVD of Jackass Unlimited into the DVD player, remember that little pitcher sitting next to you is taking it all in, and will recount the whole scene to Pastor Bill at the Mother’s Day after-service dinner a couple weeks from now.

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Do you have a favorite kid vid?  share it with me in the comments, or better yet, post your own Viral Video Wednesday “Kids Say the Darnedest Things!” at your blog and leave the link in the comments so I can visit!

Next week’s Viral Video Wednesday topic:  Stalkers

Read-A-Thon: Slogging along…

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Arguments quelled and quieted for the moment… after meds have been given, I might add. Apparently, Sam only had about 10 minutes left in the movie when Gwen demanded her give her back the player. I can sympathize, it would piss me off, too, but it’s all working to convince me to buy those TVs for their rooms.

Part of Sam’s appeasement is that I told her she could have an hour on the computer after I write this post.

Reading Update: I’m on page 479 in Empire Falls, with 4 more pages to go.

Is this my hour 1 or hour 2 post? Do we count the hour at the beginning or the end of the hour?

Read-a-Thon: First Post!

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Good morning, everyone 🙂  This is my first post of my first read-a-thon… YaY!

I’m starting out where I left off last night in Empire Falls, a book I really do like, but it seems like I’m never going to finish…

ever.

So Hour One: Sam, 16, and Gwen, 14, are fighting like cats and dogs. Gwen wanted her DVD player back so she can watch something and demanded Sam give it back. Now Sam is yelling “Shut up!” at her and throwing plastic eggs, while Gwen is bawling loudly. I sooOOoo want TVs for each of their rooms! *sigh* It’s going to be a fun reading day. Sam’ll be going to her friend’s house in a couple hours, and spending the night there. YaY!

K.. as to reading: I’m on page #467 in Empire Falls, 16 pages to go.

see ya at 9!

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

Title:  The Last Battle

Author:  C. S. Lewis

Paperback:  767 pages

Publisher:  HarperCollins

Publish Date:  2001

ISBN:  0066238501

Miscellaneous:  The copy I have read is in a complete book.  There aren’t 767 pages in The Last Battle alone.

 

 

 

“Look!  What’s that?”

 “What’s what?” said Puzzle.

 “That yellow thing that’s just come down the waterfall.  Look!  There it is again, it’s floating.  We must find out what it is.”

 “Must we?” said Puzzle.

 “Of course we must,” said Shift.  “It may be something useful.  Just hop into the Pool like a good fellow and fish it out.  Then we can have a proper look at it.”

 … He flung it down in front of Shift and stood dripping and shivering and trying to get his breath back.  But the Ape never looked at him or asked him how he felt.  The Ape was too busy going round and round the thing and spreading it out and patting it and smelling it.  Then a wicked gleam came into his eye and he said:  “It is a lion’s skin…. We’ll make this skin into a fine warm winter coat for you.”

 …As soon as he was alone Shift went… into his little house.  He found needle and thread and a big pair of scissors… Then he came down the tree and shambled across to the lion-skin.  He squatted down and got to work…

 Late in the afternoon Puzzle came back.  He was not trotting but only plodding patiently along, the way donkeys do…  “Come and try on your beautiful new lion-skin coat,” said Shift.

 … The skin was very heavy for him to lift, but in the end… he got it on to the donkey… No one who had ever seen a real lion would have been taken in for a moment.  But if someone who had never seen a lion looked at Puzzle in his lion-skin he just might mistake him for a lion…  “If anyone saw you now, they’d think you were Aslan, the Great Lion, himself.”

 

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, pages 671-673

 

Thus begins the great deception and the beginning of the end of Narnia.  Shift the Ape manipulates and bullies Puzzle the Donkey into believing that Aslan himself wants them to go to the people of Narnia and claim Puzzle is really the Great Lion, and to rule the land through this pretense.  Puzzle has been used by Shift for so long (under the guise of “friendship,” though “servitude” might better describe the Donkey’s side of the relationship), that he is unable to stand up to the damn, dirty Ape (nod to Heston and “Planet of the Apes” hehe).

It is through this false-Aslan that Shift enslaves the land of Narnia, using the Animals as slaves and threatening anyone who dares to question his authority with the Wrath of Aslan.  “He is not a tame lion” is repeated over and over to fill their minds with terror, and, even when they know this new “Aslan” is the opposite of everything they’ve always been taught is the nature of the true Aslan, the Narnians are unable to throw off the Ape’s bonds and fight back.

Even when Shift brings in Calormene soldiers and announces that the Narnian Animals are to be sent to work, and all their wages are to be paid to “Aslan’s” treasury, for only “Aslan” can care for their true needs.  Compounding a lie with a lie, the Calormene Captain and Shift tell the Animals that Tash, the Calormene god to whom men are sacrificed, and Aslan are one in the same; two different names for the same person.  This new god is called “Tashlan,” the meshing of the two names.

When Tirian, the last King of Narnia, calls on Aslan to rescue his country, the Great Lion is silent, so Tirian, remembering how children from another world had saved Narnia in it’s darkest periods of history, calls on the friends of Narnia to come and save his land.  And, after a vision-dream of the seven legendary Friends sitting down to dinner and seeing the phantom of Tirian among them, he is surprised by the appearance of Jill and Eustace.  Along with Jewel the Unicorn, who is Tirian’s best friend, the two children and a Dwarf named Poggin, the stage is set for the last battle of Narnia.

 

In the shadow of the trees on the far side of the clearing something was moving.  It was gliding very slowly Northward.  At a first glance you might have mistaken it for smoke, for it was grey and you could see things through it.  But the deathly smell was not the smell of smoke.  Also, this thing kept its shape instead of billowing and curling as smoke would have done.  It was roughly the shape of a man but it had the head of a bird; some bird of prey with a cruel, curved beak.  It had four arms which it held high above its head, stretching them out Northward as if it wanted to snatch all Narnia in its grip; and its fingers – all twenty of them – were curved like its beak and had long, pointed, bird-like claws instead of nails.  It floated on the grass instead of walking, and the grass seemed to wither beneath it…. [They] watched it… until it streamed away… and disappeared.  Then the sun came out again, and the birds once more began to sing….

“I have seen it once before,” said Tirian. “But that time it was carved in stone and overlaid with gold and had solid diamonds for eyes…. [It was in] the great temple of Tash… carved above the altar.”

“What was it?” said Eustace in a whisper.

 

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, page 712

 

 The entrance of the Calormene god Tash takes this final fight into the realm of the supernatural, as it becomes the epic battle of the ultimate good, Aslan, and his antithesis Tash:  Life versus Death.

 The message of The Last Battle, I believe, is this:  We are not always meant to win the good fight, only to FIGHT the good fight.  Early on in the book we know this is a lost cause, the side of evil will prevail, and the heroes’ lives  will be forfeit.  But, even then, Aslan will have the final say.

 In The Last Battle, Lewis also addresses two major questions of Christianity.  First, how can a person who has known the goodness and greatness of Christ turn his or her back on Him, choosing, instead, their own will.  Second, what of those people who have never heard the Gospel and therefore had no chance to believe?  Will He condemn them to Hell?

 Missing for the Friends of Narnia is Susan, and somehow I knew this immediate when I counted eight helpers of Narnia, but only seven Friends of Narnia.  Somehow I knew the missing person was Susan.

 

“Sire,” said Tirian… “there should be another… Where is Queen Susan?”

“My sister Susan,” answered Peter shortly and gravely, “is no longer a friend of Narnia.”

“Yes,” said Eustace, “and whenever you’ve tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says ‘What wonderful memories you have!  Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.”

“Oh, Susan!”  said Jill.  “She’s interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations.  She always was a jolly sight to keen on being grown-up.”

“Grown-up indeed,” said the Lady Polly.  “I wish she would grow up.  She wasted all her shool time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age.  Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one’s life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can.”

 

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, page 741

 

Susan turned away from Narnia and Aslan and, instead, made vanity and things of the world her focus.  BUT, Lewis did not say she could not become a Friend of Narnia again.  Further, someone had to survive to tell The Chronicles of Narnia.

 As the Seven plus Tirian go “further up, further in,” they meet a Calormene who tells them of his meeting Aslan:

 

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him.  Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.  Both the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my fourehead with his tongue and said, ‘Son, thou art welcome.’  But I said, ‘Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.’  He answered, ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service to me.’ Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, ‘Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?’  The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, “It is false.  Not because4 he and I are one, but because we are opposites – I take to me the service which thou hast done to him.  For I and he are such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him.  Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.  And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.  Dost thou understand, Child?’  I said, ‘Lord, thou knowest how much I understand.’   But I said also (for the truth constrained me), ‘Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.’  ‘Beloved,’ said the Glorious One, ‘unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly.  For all find what they truly seek.’

 

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, page 757

 

 Honestly, it was impossible to review this book without incorporating the religious aspects of it.  That is not to say it can’t be enjoyed without being religious.  It stands alone as the heart-wrenching finale of a much loved and favorite literary classic series.  I couldn’t help but cry at the end; for the beauty, for the Friends, for all who had been were together again… and for Susan, who, by her folly, missed the train (if you’ve read this, or when you do read this, book you’ll get that reference).

 The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis is beyond words, and I sigh with a bittersweet happiness, as I have come to the end of my journey through Narnia.  I leave you with the last paragraph of the last book of Narnia:

 

“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.  And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after.  But for them it was only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page:  now at last they were beginning Chaper One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read:  which goes on for ever:  in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

 

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis, page 767

 

5 out of 5 stars.

hated it!didn't like itit was okayliked itLoved it!

The Sunday Salon -Tan Lines and Lemonade Stands

The Sunday Salon.com

For some reason, I feel this week has been very unproductive. I’ve really only read one book this week, Tan Lines. I finished Sana Krasikov’s One More Year, and I’m about halfway through The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deavers.

I did receive a nomination for the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award, finished my interview with Nam Le, author of The Boat. Technocrati set spiders loose, LT recommendations were discussed and favorite lines from books were shared.  But I still only read one book. 😦

Part of the reason for only reading one book is I can’t seem to keep away from the computer.  If I would just keep my happy butt off of it I could get some things done.  That problem will be remedied this week since Sammi, my 15-year-old, has come back from her dad’s and she’ll be taking over the ‘puter.  A second impediment to reading this week is people won’t leave me alone!  I no sooner than crack the spine and the phone rings or there’s a knock at the door.  Someone selling Amway products came by this week… Amway?!  I thought they were run out of the country back in the 80’s. 

Friday and Saturday I got nothing read… at all.  No, correct that, I got the same paragraph read… over and over… of Julius Caesar’s The Conquest of Gaul.  Mags had Vacation Bible School this week and Friday was the program for their families.  Then she was invited to go to Indiana Beach, so she had a Fresh Baked Cookies and Lemonade stand yesterday.

Okay, when did a child showing inititive and motivation become the equivelent to begging? My stinky-head neighbors (the ones I don’t like) treated her like a leper because she was hawking her wares. She gave up on the stand after an hour and took her products door to door (just on our block where I could see her). She made enough to go, but her friend never came and picked her up to go. What the heck happened to decency? If her mom had decided she couldn’t take a friend, or if she’d picked a different friend as her plus one, she could’ve called to let Mags know. People!

-)

Mags and Sam with their blue tongues 🙂

Then, of course, Sam came home and wanted to get her 3-weeks-attention last night. Mags missed her, as did their friend across the street, and they played until 10:30 to 11 o’clock last night.

So, here I am… nothing much in the way of bookish things to report. Last week was the fair, this week… not much excuse. Next week I’m gonna make it up and get three books done. I swear!! 😀

Oh, I almost forgot! My First Ever Giveaway!! has 691 entries. Prizes are now the $20 Borders gift card, plus two $10, and a $5 gift card. Another 9 entries, and I’m throwing in another $5, which makes the total prizes add up to $50. But, I’m thinking 700 entries is pretty monumental, so I’m giving the grand prize winner a mystery prize to boot. So don’t forget to enter!