Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Books! Time to call dibs Mother for yas

I'm hopefully going to go through this in the next day or so and organize the list, but scroll through, and if you see anything you want, let me know and I'll try to get it to you.  And if you couldn't tell, the title is first, then the author.  

Silas Marner--George Eliot
Selected Writings--Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Good Soldier--Ford Maddox Ford
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland--Lewis Carroll
Dubliners--James Joyce
Herzog--Saul Bellow
The Grapes of Wrath--John Steinbeck
The Broom of the System--David Foster Wallace
Revolution: International Dimensions--Mark N. Katz
On The Wealth of Nations--P.J. O'Rourke
Dracula--Bram Stoker
The Tender Bar--J.R. Moehringer
Kissing the Virgin's Mouth--Donna M. Gershten
Never Let Me Go--Kazuo Ishiguro
The Remains of the Day--Kazuo Ishiguro
You Shall Know Our Velocity--Dave Eggers
The Sound and the Fury--William Faulkner
American Psycho--Bret Easton Ellis
Blindness--Jose Saragamo
Middlesex--Jeffrey Eugenides
Frankenstein--Mary Shelley
Christ the Lord--Anne Rice
The Hobbit--J.R.R. Tolkien
Nervous Conditions--Tsitsi Dangerembga
Cracking India--Bapsi Sidhwa
Rats--Robert Sullivan
Selected Short Stories--D.H. Lawrence
Crime and Punishment--Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fury--Salman Rushdie
Nature Girl--Carl Hiaasen
Skin Tight--Carl Hiaasen
The Romanov Prophecy--Steve Berry
All Quiet on the Western Front--Erich Maria Remarque
Hard Times--Charles Dickens
The Awakening--Kate Chopin
The Great Gatsby--F. Scott Fitzgerald (2 copies)
Pride and Pejudice--Jane Austen
The Known World--Edward P. Jones
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay--Michael Chabon
Mary Barton--Elizabeth Gaskell
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them--Al Franken
Between a Rock and a Hard Place--Aron Ralson
The Great Influenza--John M. Barry
I Am America (And So Can You!)--Stephen Colbert
Dune--Frank Herbert
Dune Messiah--Frank Herbert
A Time to Kill--John Grisham
A Room With a View and Howards End--E.M. Forster
The Quiet American--Graham Greene
The Heart of the Matter--Graham Greene
The Power and the Glory--Graham Greene
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency--Alexander McCall Smith
Tears of the Giraffe--Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Beautiful Girls--Alexander McCall Smith
American Dream--Jason DeParle
Holidays on Ice--David Sedaris (1 copy left)
Agnes Grey--Anne Bronte
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays--Henry David Thoreau
The Screwtape Letters--C.S. Lewis
Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars--Albert Marrin
The Metamorphosis and The Trial--Franz Kafka
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Strange Tales--Robert Louis Stevenson
Beowulf--Seamus Heaney (translator)
Facing Your Giants--Max Lucado
The Hunchback of Notre Dame--Victor Hugo
Interpreter of Maladies--Jhumpa Lahiri
The Namesake--Jhumpa Lahiri
Imperial Ambitions--Noam Chomsky
The Clumsiest People in Europe--Mrs. Mortimer and Todd Pruzan
Genghis Khan--Jack Weatherford
Chronicle of a Death Foretold--Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Long Way Gone--Ishmael Beah
Frankenstein; Dracula; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--Shelley; Stoker; Stevenson
A Confederacy of Dunces--John Kennedy Toole
Invisible Man--Ralph ellison
Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture--Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
Ragman and Other Cries of Faith--Walter Wangerin, Jr.
The Unofficial Colts Trivia Book
Banana Republicans--Sheldon Rampton & John Stauber
Confessions--St. Augustine (Henry Chadwick, trans.)
Handbook of Youth Ministry--Donald Ratcliff and James A. Davies. eds.
The Lutherans in North America--Nelson
Building Faith...One Child at a Time--Peters
On the Divine Images--St. John of Damascus
The Merchant of Venice--Shakespeare
As You Like It; The Tempest; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Twelfth Night--Shakespeare
Democracy Matters--Cornel West
A Visit from the Goon Squad--Jennifer Egan
Slaughterhouse-Five--Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bike Riding

Ok, so I didn't start my bike riding plan like I should have yesterday.  I suck.  But I got on it today.
The problem is that my little brother has the bike that used to be mine.  So, I took the bike that used to be my older brother's.  Or maybe it was my older brother's brother's.  But now it's my mom's.  In a way it sounds cool.  It's a Gary Fisher, so it's pretty nice.  Definitely better than a Magna.  And could even be seen as an upgrade from my Schwinn that my little brother now rides.  BUT, it's a mountain bike.  It's got those super fat nobby tires and shocks.  Also, it's got pedals with clips.  So, when I'm out riding about my town, I look like I'm trying way too hard.  Even if it were a really nice road bike at least it would be a road bike.  I might look a little pretentious, but I'd look properly--if overly--equipped.  Instead I just look like I have no idea what I'm doing.  Oh, another important detail about this bike and the image that goes with it.  Being as it's my mother's bike it's got one of those big, wide bike seats.  You know the kind that, well--sorry mom--old people use.  Also, until I get a little piece fixed, I can't raise the seat, so it's set all the way down. 

Remember when it was cool to ride your little bmx low-rider bike around the hood with your knees nearly hitting you in the chin?  I don't either, but I'm pretty sure I saw that in some rap videos and also perhaps in Friday or maybe Boyz in the Hood. 
You know, like this:

So, imagine me like that, except without the wicked beat and fun lyrics.  Oh, and instead of pegs I've got an old lady seat and instead of mag wheels or hundred spokes I've got useless shocks and off-road tires.  But, I persevered.  I rode down to the park and did a few laps and pedaled around my neighborhood.

Riding gave me a bit of time to think.  After my initial trepidation, I thought, "I'm glad most of the people in the park are Indian."  Why?  Well, I realized I'm less worried about looking silly if I'm looking silly in front of people from another country.  If a local guy seems me riding my stupid looking bike he thinks, "That guy has a stupid bike."  And then he decides to shout sarcastically from his pick up "Hey, nice bike."  However, if an Indian guy seems me, he thinks, "Americans ride stupid bikes."  It's no longer my personal stupidity, it is the stupidity and strangeness of all my fellow countrymen.  I can't help it that my bike looks dumb to someone born in India, it's a cultural thing.  That's how I think about it at least.

I had other thoughts, too.  Like "Hey, look at that bunny," and "Is that my cat there in some other person's lawn?" and, "look, another bunny.  They're just so cute."  Then, riding down another street I thought, "Hey goth girl, why are you walking in the middle of the street?  And why is the strap on your purse-type-thing broken?"  Then, as I got closer and passed her by, "Why are you walking down this dirty street with your Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars in your hand instead of on your feet?"  At which point I got thinking about the awesomeness of Chuck Taylor, and cycle of popularity of his shoes--the first ever "signature" shoes--but I won't bother you with all the details.

When I got back home, I did something I do almost every time I ride for some reason.  When I was within a few yards, I swung my right leg off the bike and behind my left foot as i stood on the left pedal.  Then coasted in, standing on one pedal.  I don't know why I do this, and actually feel kind of dumb when I do.  Like I'm trying way to hard to be smooth.  It seems like something that Larry from Perfect Strangers would do.  Or maybe someone in a gum commercial.  Perhaps as he's approaching the Doublemint twins who are standing next to their tandem bike.  Roll up on one pedal, hope off the bike just before it stops, put down the kickstand.  Then, with a big, chewing gum-whitened smile flashing, pull off his bike helmet and run his fingers through his blonde hair.

 Hello girls.