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Writer's Block: Morning Decisions

The eternal breakfast dilemma: Sweet or savory?
Maybe it's all those years working at the the Waffle House .... but it started before then, really, because one of the reasons I applied in the first place was that I didn't like breakfast.

Most days I skip breakfast altogether and eat leftovers for brunch around 10:00 or 10:30.  That frees the precious time when I'm trying to get the kids out of the house for school, and gives me an excuse to procrastinate right after the initial morning email check at the office.

But when I do want breakfast, the food choice centers around the drink selection. 

If coffee is the beverage du jour, then I want sweet stuff, the sweeter the better.  Chocolate-iced custard long johns accompanying my drive-thru booth latte.  Cinnamon crunch "bagels" with hazelnut coffee.  Pecan caramel rolls with dark roast.  Campfire percolated coffee with little powdered sugar donuts. 

But if a Diet Coke is what I want, it's savory all the way:  cheeseburgers.  Leftover chili with cheetos.   Salads with crisp, stinging homemade vinagrettes.  Eggs poached hard with bacon and cheesy biscuits with sausage gravy.  Cold pepperoni and mushroom pizza.  This is really more typical for me, which is why I still fit in my jeans, I guess.

Book meme

rebl1969 's meme.  

What was the last book you bought?
I don't buy many books anymore ... if my Moleskines don't count, Preserving the World's Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis would be it, and that's like a year and a half ago.

Name a book you have read MORE than once. Where do I stop? Everything Marguerite Henry and Walter Farley ever wrote, all my Nancy Drew books, our set of encyclopedias (yes, all of them, one end to another, several times), Susan Sontag's On Photography (more on that later), all the Narnia books, Different Seasons and The Stand by Stephen King, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the Harry Potter books, most of Philip K. Dick's books, most of Ayn Rand's books, most of Richard Sennet's books, the Dune series ...

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it? The first one I remember was Atlas Shrugged, which I read twice the summer before sophomore year of high school.  I took away from that the need to be myself regardless of public acceptance.  ZatAoMM taught me the necessity of viewing everyday tasks as beautiful in their own way.  On Photography changed the way I look at art and how I compose in the viewfinder.  The last volume of the Narnia series provided me with a frame to view religion, that evil acts performed in God's name are nonetheless evil, and good acts performed for their own sake, or even maliciously, are still good.   I say the Litany Against Fear from Dune instead of the 23rd Psalm.   and there are so many more, more than I can name ...

How do you choose a book? (eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews) Most of the time the Husband checks books out of the library and I scab from his stack.  I also read almost everything the Boy brings into the house, anything Artie brings to the office, and things Mom stacks up for me at her place.  Occasionally I choose something for myself, usually based on recommendations, NPR interviews, or authors I like.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction? Fiction, absolutely.  but I do read a lot of non-fiction as well, mostly urbanism, science and biography.

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot? Plot.  Bill Gass is a great example of beautiful words that flow nowhere.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book):  My son is actually kind of named for Alec from Walter Farley's books.  Also Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia,  Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged,

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it? the last actual book I finished was ... what?  I don't remember.  Surely it wasn't Daniel X, that I reviewed in August?  No, I've read something since then.  I also finished an audiobook of the The Golden Ocean by Patrick O'Brien and another audio book of On the Banks of plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder at about the same time.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in? lots of them.  most recently, Omensetter's Luck by William Gass and St. Louis Plans, a collection of essays that turned out to be hideously dry, even for academic writing.  everything Jane Austen and Henry James ever wrote--i have tried and tried, just can't do it. 

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment? My mom's first novel in a huge black binder, the red-bound first volume of Carl Sandburg's biography of Abraham Lincoln, The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, The Red Badge of Courage (on CD), Accelerando by Charles Strauss, The Master Butcher's Singing Club by Louise Erdrich (also on CD), a couple of Warriors manga books, and a stack of back issues of Architecture and Architectural Record.

I tag ... dahlink .  Another librarian.  Maybe a rare public post?  and anyone in the stlouis group who wants to play along.


Word Up

Blog-Word! for clearview_stl
Your word buddies:
Created by Grahame


Animals are so unpredictable ....


Writer's Block: Romance!

What's the most romantic thing you have done for someone?
Was it the giant heart Valentine, (approximately 36" x 48"), or simply remembering the 29th of every month for the last 22 years

Hard to say.

Writer's Block: Perfect Sandwich

Describe your perfect sandwich, layer by layer.
Proscuitto crudo and a ball of fresh mozzarella stuffed inside one of those little hollow crusty Italian rolls from the Alimentari around the corner from the Piazza Navonna, the one mere steps from Pasquino's constant commentary.  Add chunks of summer tomato purchased in the Campo di Fiori and cut with a tiny, pale yellow Victorinox knife.  Eat sitting at Bruno's feet.

Another Spin

Always a little behind the eight ball ... I finally mailed my cover mix CD to rebl1969.  As mentioned previously, this was ridiculously difficult because I have become so out of touch with the music world.  I mean, I hardly know the names of the songs/bands on the CDs in the changer!  The fact that there are over 1200 of them and they're the Husband's babies probably have something to do with this, but stil ...

So, here's the list:

Kiss - Do You Remember Rock n Roll Radio (Ramones)
Save Ferris - Come on Eileen (Dexy's Midnight Runners)
Shinehead - Jamaican in NY (Sting)
World Bang - When Doves Cry (the artist who's changed his name so many times nobody knows what it is now)
Robert Plant/Allison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone (Everley Brothers)
Cake - I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)
the Ataris - Boys of Summer (Don Henley)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Havana Affair (Ramones)
Afghan Whigs - Lost in the Supermarket (the Clash)
Unknown Artist (street musician) – I Can See Clearly (Bob Marley)
Pink Floyd - Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
Chet Atkins & Mark Knoplfer - Imagine (John Lennon)

I know that others have some of the same songs, but considering this is the first mix I've completed since cassettes, I'm proud to have done it!!  And the cover is way cool ... always about the Eye Candy, I am.


Writer's Block: My First Car

I called it the Pinto that Ate Cleveland.  A shit brown station wagon with a guess-a-gear stick shift transmission, I bought it from a lady living in one of the little houses squished between St. Vincent's and War Memorial Stadium.  It had been her father's--at that time it seemed more people inherited Pintos than bought them.  The original manual was in the glove box, in a vinyl case with an MG logo and a registration card from Ohio.  I thought this was a sign my next car would be the MG I'd always wanted.