Carrie – Dewey Decimal Fiction King

I love this book and I adore the original movie.  It exposes, however, one of my worst character flaws…my total lack of self confidence because of my weight.  You see, while I’m watching Carrie cracking apart beneath the weight of peer pressure and an insane mother, all I can think about is…why is she so upset with her life?  At least she isn’t fat.

I cannot say that I didn’t harbor dark fantasies similar to the prom blood-fest at the end.  I was so rejected in high school that I was miserable.  I hid away in my books and fantasies while all the skinny girls got asked out on dates, or so I assumed.  Boys didn’t look at me; they made snorting sounds at me.  I never went to a prom.  Back in the 70s, most kids were thinner than they are now and I stuck out like a sore thumb.  There were no Lane Bryant stores or Weight Watchers meals.  I drank TAB for years after it was released by Coca Cola, relieved that I could drink soda without expanding my waistline.

I am now hyper-aware of weight discrimination issues.  It aggravates the crap out of me that the Women’s department in every store seems to be buried in the back somewhere so it cannot be seen or found.  Forget that the majority of women are size 12 or that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14, fat people…especially fat women, are persona non grata in this society.

I’ve got too much pride, however, to allow my weight to dictate my life.  That’s why I decided NOT to seek out a man because I was fearful that my self-esteem issues would cloud my judgement and I’d marry someone just to prove to the world that I was wanted.  That’s not a good recipe for matrimonial bliss.  My family tree is riddled with female leaves that have wilted due to male domination and abuse.  Not for me. 

I hope I find a companion some day.  He’ll have to learn to deal with my assumptions that men just aren’t interested in me because I’m not a Victoria Secrets’ model.  But I have lots to offer a guy.  I’m organized, self reliant and MORE than willing to send him off to meet with his friends, male OR female.  And….and this is a big and for me because I’ve lived with my best friend for 30 years and she is of no use in this department….I love science fiction movies.  Love ’em.  I love Fast and Furious movies and action movies.

So if I was Carrie, I’d have told mom to shut the hell up and take a damn pill.  I’d have bought some jeans, put on some makeup and joined the “in” crowd.  We know they’re all idiots, but at least high school would have been more fun for her.

 

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Ulysses – Dewey Decimal Fiction Joyce

I am not someone who likes to admit failure, but I failed to read this book.  A few years ago a dear friend of mine, a fellow reader, joined with me to begin reading the top 100 books of the 20th century.  These lists are out there, everywhere.  We plowed through Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby.  I remember thinking that The Grapes of Wrath had the most powerful ending of any book I’d ever read.  But when Ulysses came up, I choked.

It made no sense to me.  Now that I think about it, if anyone decided to record my thoughts for a whole day, that wouldn’t make much sense either.  Perhaps it was the SIZE of the book that contributed to my lack of desire to keep trying to read it.  I was so frustrated, then I’d note that there were about a zillion pages to go and depression would set in.  I have a rule, I give books about 50 pages and if I’m not into it, it goes back on the shelf.  Life’s too short to waste time reading books that don’t entertain or teach me something.

I read up on the book and found out that it had been serialized in its first release.  Perhaps that would have been better.  I would have had time to digest each of the 18 parts before slogging through the next.  I’m a huge Dickens fan, but I’m the first to admit that reading Dickens from start to finish can be tedious.  I try to imagine what it was like 150 years ago when readers devoured Dickens a chapter at a time, with NO way to read ahead. 

Perhaps this is what leads so many of our children to fail at reading.  I read a news piece today that 25 percent of Columbus City School children did not pass their 3rd grade reading test.  I was reading college level books by the 4th grade, but not everyone enjoyed a wild love affair with books that I did as a child.  Perhaps this quarter of our 3rd graders haven’t been given the right books to read.  So much is in competition for a child’s time.  I visited a friend today and watched two little boys playing video games, and they weren’t educational.  But who knows how I would have grown up if I had been able to play interactive games on my television?  I’d like to think that the siren call of my books would drown out the gunfire, but I just don’t know.

I may give Ulysses another try.  Perhaps I’ll read it over the course of 18 days or weeks and try the serialized approach.  I guess I’m not much of a modern woman.  🙂

World Book Encyclopedia 2014 Yearbook – Dewey Decimal 030

I was still in high school when a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman knocked at our front door on Forest View Drive.  He must have been good because I bought a set.  I still have it, and EVERY yearbook from 1979-2014. 

I don’t use them, of course, although they are fun to rifle through during impromptu “remember when” sessions.  No, I’m a Wikipedia gal through and through.  There are librarians who hate Wikipedia; there are teachers who won’t accept a Wikipedia reference.  Tsk tsk.  But more on that later.

Seeing all those yearbooks lined up on my shelves illustrates just how many years I’ve been an “adult.”  I graduated high school in 1979.  Those books are full of the events that have occurred since then.  It’s also amusing to bounce back ten years and remember what people were all up in arms about.

I am cataloging the 1997 Worthington Suburban News articles for the Worthington Library and I get such a kick out of how little things have changed.  Seventeen years ago people were still bitching about elections, schools, crime….seventeen years ago people were pitching a fit about how much noise Ozzfest produced at Polaris Amphitheater.  George and Harriet were adding a wing to their Old Town Worthington home, and the neighbors were pissed because it would make the house look out of place.  Road Runner was a brand new way to surf the ‘net.  What fun!

I don’t know what I’ll ever do with them.  I’m leaving all my books to the Steubenville Public Library, but hopefully by then hardback encyclopedias will be WAY out of vogue.  For now, I’m content just to let my collection grow.

 

The Complete Guide to Home Wiring – Dewey Decimal 621.3192

These are the kind of books that you buy when you buy your first house.  These are the books (if you’re smart) that will most likely be IGNORED.  I will paint, stain, stencil, sponge – hell, I even installed beadboard.  But when it comes to electricity, no thank you.  I call a professional.

I have nothing but respect for good electricians.  I had an outlet that kept winking out in my garage.  Three other electricians tried to figure out what the problem was.  The fourth, who was recommended by a friend, hunted down the problem and fixed it.  Turns out it was related to one of my exterior outlets.  Who knew???

When you find these special folks, you keep them.  You praise them and you tell all your friends.  True skill only develops over time.  Plus it is essential that the craftsman have a passion for his or her work.

I took my car into the shop once with a weird noise.  After a bunch of head shaking, the mechanics admitted to me that they would have to give it to “George.”  They apologized in advance because the repair would likely take extra time; seems that George took a methodical approach to troubleshooting car issues.  He was meticulous, dogged and slow.  George found the problem. 

Challenge is an essential aspect of my life.  If I’m not challenged by something, it becomes boring REAL fast. What did my first and favorite boss always tell me?  “There are no problems; only opportunities.”  A problem presents a challenge that will result in knowledge. 

As far as electricity goes, I challenged myself to ADMIT that I can’t do it all.  Funny thing, I can’t remember any repairman telling me that he knew how to build a website.  🙂

More Than Money – Dewey Decimal 170.44 CAV

I was mulling over retirement one day at work; I had years left to go.  I told a friend that I couldn’t wait until I could wake up and watch Fox & Friends in the morning.  He ripped me a new one.  Which just goes to show how much I paid attention to the news back then.  At that point I started paying attention and gave up Fox altogether. 

I’m a Democrat, but truthfully I should be an Independent.  I don’t believe in abortion.  I think we hand out too many freebies to those who have not earned them.   The one thing that keeps me from changing my status is my dislike for organized religion.  Shortly after Obama was elected, I was visiting some of my friends back home.  I grew up in a Republican environment; many of my friends’ parents are evangelicals.  One couple told me they’d gone to their minister to ask if Obama was the antichrist.  That did it for me.

I’m anti-hate and anti-greed.  Which brings me back to Neil Cavuto, the one positive segment in Fox’s lineup.  I just liked him.  He is a genuine person who makes sense to me.  Despite the chaos in the news, he always had something positive to say.  I bought his book and read it.  It showcases successful people who overcame unbelievable obstacles and earned their success.  It is SO easy to be jealous of others’ success; look at the hoards scrambling to get noticed on reality television.  More than Money focuses on TRUE success.  Thank you, Neil, for honoring those who have not forgotten how important true success really is.

Dictionary of Philosophy – Dewey Decimal 103 A581

This was a textbook for my Otterbein Philosophy class.  I don’t remember much about philosophy, but I remember the class.  I used to joke around with people about my GPA when I graduated.  I graduated Summa Cum Laude.  I explained, however, that the powers that be need to revise this phrase and call it “No Life Cum Laude.”

Our professor lectured on Aristotle and Plato, then gave us a test.  I studied 18 hours for this test and got a B.  Over 50 percent of the class flunked the test and the professor decided that his message had not been received and gave us another lecture, then another test which I aced.  I don’t know what anyone else got; I’m assuming most survived as there was no third test.

Philosophy was probably one of the hardest classes for me.  I may be philosophical, but trying to remember who believed what made me positively crazy.  When I aced the class, the Continuing Education staff told me I deserved a medal.  I do remember one particular paper that I need to excavate from my Otterbein box and post on my wiki.  We had to write a paper proving the existence of God.  These days I question His existence more and more; wisdom and faith come to blows in my mind at least once a day.

Cosmos – Dewey Decimal 520

I loved this series.  Keep in mind, when I watched it, there was NO DVR, no VCR – I had to make sure that my ass was in front of the television at precisely the right time every week or miss it.  And I did not miss one episode.  I wanted this book so bad that I ushered my parents into Walden’s and handed it to them to pay for (as a Christmas present).  My parents were not the best gift givers.  I gave up on my mother the year she bough me a lime green polyester pant suit.  OMG!!!!  I can still remember the horror of it.  Thank God for gift cards.

I remember when Contact came out.  I can’t remember who I was with, but we attended opening night and the staff came into the auditorium and announced that the show was sold out and that we had to get up and move to the center to let latecomers find seats.  I almost cried at the “For Carl” displayed at the movie’s finale. 

I joined Carl Sagan’s “club” for a couple years:  The Planetary Society.  I’m ashamed to say that I sold my newsletters on eBay a few years ago; made a tidy little profit.  I would have given them to a dear friend, but he pissed me off one year when I bought this Peanuts lover a Peanuts gift and he returned it to me because it had Woodstock on it.  Woodstock, it seems, is NOT TRUE A Charlie Brown Christmas because the stupid little fuzzball hadn’t been introduced yet.  But I digress….

I love science fiction (I’m watching Star Trek Into Darkness on my iPad as I write this) but that’s as far as it goes for me.  I read COSMOS – thank goodness for people like Carl Sagan who can write for people like me.  As fascinated as I am with outer space and the stars, I cannot fathom making a career out of them.  I’ll never forget this – I registered for an Astronomy class at Otterbein, rifled through the pages, then dropped the class and took Environmental Science instead. 

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve taken Calculus and Algebra and Geometry.  Statistics was fun.  But my brain is wired for images, not numbers.  My first and favorite boss once explained to me that he “thinks” in numbers.  He sees relationships and equations in his head.  Not me; I’m a picture girl.  And COSMOS is so full of pretty pictures.  🙂