Friday, May 30, 2008

My Favorite Reads, Part II

Gone With the Wind
Authored by Margaret Mitchell
ISBN: 0 446 36538 6
1,024 pages

Do I really have to summarize the plot for you?

As far as I know, Gone With the Wind is the longest book I've ever read. My edition is a mass market paperback with teensy-tiny writing on teensy-tiny pages. I first read this book the summer between by freshman and sophomore years in college. I was so moved that I kept a small notebook with me at all times to write down my favorite passages. I've re-read it once or twice since then; no easy undertaking. The last time I read it, I walked away realizing it's a trashy romance novel set in the South during the Civil War (aka the Waw of Naw-thuhn Agg-resh-un).

Don't get me wrong, I love the movie, too, but the book is SO MUCH better (as always). The movie leaves out one whole husband and child of Scarlett's! Margaret Mitchell may have fudged the history a bit, but she paints an amazing picture of Tara and Aunt Pittypat's home on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, and I'm so glad I read the book before seeing the movie. No surprise - the characters are more developed in the book as well. Scarlett is such a bitch, but you can't help but love her. She's resourceful. She's crafty. And I'll never understand her relationship with Melanie (yeah, I suppose I should read some critical review, but why read a book about a book when I could read a "real" book?) or what she ever saw in Ashley Wilkes.

Rhett's a bit more smarmy in the book than in the movie; your parents would not be impressed if you brought him home. I feel like he's greasy and needs to wash his face.

I've read Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With the Wind, and I'm waiting for Rhett Butler's People to come out in paperback which apparently tells the story from Rhett's perspective. Both novels were authorized by Margaret Mitchell's estate. I don't remember being overly impressed by Scarlett, but it's on my to-be-read list for the summer. Maybe I'll change my mind...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Puzzling

For well over a year, I have struggled to complete a jigsaw puzzle I received two Christmases ago. After completing the Cow Country puzzle, I started a 1500-piece jigsaw puzzle with a nature scene of a mountain, a lake, and some lovely wildflowers. I easily pieced together the sky/mountain/lake/shore and the straight edges, but then spring (2007) sprung, and the puzzle remained rolled up in my closet until last winter, when I tried to complete the very difficult wildflowers. Nearly impossible.

I spent much of today "deep" cleaning my office/guest bedroom. I'm slowly making my way through the house - wiping down walls, moving furniture to vacuum under it, using the vacuum's crevice tool along the baseboards, dismantling the unsolvable puzzle, etc, etc. Quite cathartic, even if it was a bit warm (we haven't turned on the AC yet, but the high temperature today was nearly 80). As I moved the box springs off the bed frame in order to vacuum underneath, two things happened:

(1) the cloth backing of the box springs fell off, exposing the springs and some really yucky fluffy ball things (resulting in an awful trip to the Walmart fabric department to purchase 4 yards of cheap yellow flannel)
(2) I found 4 pieces of the puzzle

As C helped me clean up the mess, we found 16 more puzzle pieces in the box springs and even farther under the bed. I have no idea how they got there - there must be some black hole in the mattress (probably the same one you "sink" into when you lie down on the bed). I am convinced that those pieces would have been the keys to solving the rest of the puzzle.

Argh.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Unsolved Mystery

Brace yourselves, dear readers. An awful, horrible, reprehensible crime has been committed against KG and C.

Somebody stole our grass clippings.

AGAIN.

I mowed our lawn for the first time two Sundays ago filling 5 yard waste bags. I set them out by the curb, as our trash collector will also pick up yard waste every Wednesday for an additional fee. When I left for work on the following Monday, I noticed there were only 4 bags at the end of the driveway. It was early in the morning (yes, 8:03 is early for me), so I thought nothing more of it.

Then, bless his heart, C mowed again Monday night filling 3 yard waste bags full of clippings. They were GONE when I left Tuesday morning.

Seriously? Grass clippings? Why not just ask us, or better yet, mow the lawn for us?

We have weird neighbors. I am so not amused.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Soap

As a college freshman living in the residence halls a decade or so ago, I had to purchase my own soap for the very first time. Generally speaking, bar soap and communal showers are not a good combination, so I began using liquid body wash. As a student on a tight budget, I was delighted to find Suave Skin Therapy Body Wash Clear Moisture Formula for Normal Skin (pink label) with its pleasant but not overpowering scent. You might say I'm a loyal customer - while I enjoy Bath and Body Works and other perfumed body washes - I always default to Suave for Normal Skin.

Until Sunday night, that is.

Typical WalMart Sunday night selection; as usual, the shelves were more empty than full. Alas, Suave Skin Therapy Body Wash Clear Moisture Formula for Normal Skin (pink label) with its pleasant but not overpowering scent was out of stock. I decided to try Suave's Skin Therapy Cocoa and Shea Butter Body Wash for Extra Dry Skin instead. I was sorely disappointed; it doesn't smell nearly as fresh as Suave for Normal Skin, but rather, more like a cheap vanilla candle.

Vanilla does not smell nice on me.

I'll deal, but I apologize in advance if I stink.

P.S. I was hoping to link this post to the Suave website, but it no longer features Suave Skin Therapy Body Wash Clear Moisture Formula for Normal Skin (pink label) with its pleasant but not overpowering scent as an available product. I am gravely concerned - could it be that it has been discontinued? Sweet fancy Moses. Dear readers - your suggestions for a new body wash are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Favorite Reads, Part I

In a previous post, one of my kind readers asked me about my mostest-favoritest books; in other words, those I don't plan to post on PaperBackSwap. Since the only other thing I can think of to blog about is my unending sacrilegious gas, I figured today would be a good day to start blogging about my favorite books, all of which come highly recommended. In no particular order...

Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife
Authored by Peggy Vincent
ISBN: 0 7432 1934 1
336 pages

Baby Catcher is one of those books I stumbled across while roaming around the Amazon and immediately loved. For my Law and Medicine course in law school, I was required to read and submit a book report on a non-law book related to health care. I curled up in bed on a Sunday (obviously early in the semester!) and finished it in one sitting; a classic sign of a KimmyGoat Favorite Read!

Ms. Vincent is a midwife in Berkeley who performed home births during the 1980s. Her book is a collection of birth stories; thus men, you've been warned there's lots of frank talk about vaginas and breasts and poop. Midwives have an interesting perspective on birth: all births are normal until proven otherwise. Refreshing, considering the "medical establishment" perspective that normal birth is a retrospective diagnosis. While clearly an advocate for midwifery and home births, Ms. Vincent is not preachy, and she recognizes that women and families must do what's most comfortable for them.

Admittedly, "ah don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies" (quoted from another Favorite Read), but I am fascinated by the process. Home birth is illegal in Nebraska, and I am saddened for those who want the experience and are healthy enough to endure it. Personally, I'm afraid I'd stain the carpet. I am, however, interested in exploring more about the local certified nurse midwives who practice with OBGYNs and deliver in hospitals. I learned from Baby Catcher that all people experience their pain and discomfort in their own way. There's no "right" way to have a baby, just as there's no right way to be sick. Also, when that time comes, my body will know what to do. I WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT. Amazing. That's an incredibly remarkable and empowering message for women to hear.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Berkshire Hathaway

Long time no post. My apologies - C's mom was in the hospital for over a week, though I'm happy to report she's now home. Thanks to all of you who sent good thoughts and prayers her way.

C and I attended the annual meeting of shareholders for Berkshire Hathaway yesterday in Omaha. Despite our complete and utter exhaustion (long couple of weeks combined with awaking at 5am), we had a good time and even rubbed elbows with ACTUAL BIG-NAME celebrities. The usual crowd was there, of course, Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, and Bill Gates, so it was pretty neat to be in the presence of such wealthy smartypantses (smartpantsi?). I don't remember the exact figure, but I think if you had given Warren $1,000 to invest 40 years ago, it would now be worth $27 million. Needless to say, there's a helluva lot of wealth in Omaha.

More importantly, we got to see Susan Lucci (Erika Kane) and Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt) of All My Children fame! IN THE FLESH!

The much-anticipated shareholders meeting includes a 1-hour movie featuring Warren, Charlie, and a bunch of other celebrities (e.g. the presidential candidates, the cast of Saturday Night Live), and this year was no exception. Warren (a big All My Children fan) visited Erika in prison (she's in the klink for insider trading) and they decided to switch jobs - Erika/Susan would be the Chair of Berkshire Hathaway, which I guess means that Warren would be hosting a talk show in Pine Valley called New Beginnings and having sex with Jackson Montgomery or Samuel Woods. Warren changed his mind after Erika/Susan announced she'd be paying dividends.

Maybe you had to be there. It was hokey funny.

Anyway, so we got to see Susan on stage and even though were were sitting far far away, it's apparent she's just a teensy tiny little thing.

As for Jill, we walked RIGHT PAST HER in the expo that featured the many companies and products owned by Berkshire Hathaway. C, as usual, missed her completely (well, technically he saw her backside), even though I might have left bruises on his arm from elbowing him so hard. She is very tall and skinny (no surprise there) and was wearing black capris and glasses. She and Opal basically have the same hairdo.

Much excitement, indeed. We then came home and took a 3-hour nap.