Category Archives: Book

You Do You Part Two

I’ve written a few clever things about the folly of mocking other people’s hobbies or interests. This is not another clever take.

Soap operas, sporting events, reality tv, crocheting, video games, reading, stamp collecting, or having a skeleton display in your yard two months early (excluding serial killers). Putting up a Xmas tree in July. All of these are stupid to some people. It’s likely you love doing something that makes others roll their eyes. I know one woman who is so weird that she attends Billy Idol concerts. On purpose. (I put the last joke in for John K.)

The same is true about complaining about each holiday appearing early at retailers. It’s shocking news, I know, but they wouldn’t do it if sales didn’t justify it. We can laugh and ridicule the stores for doing so, but practically speaking, it wouldn’t happen if human behavior weren’t driving it.

If someone wants to put up Halloween decorations in September, good for them. A Xmas tree in August? Even better. It’s their life, time, and money. If you snark, we’re going to comment on your large belt buckles, commemorative plate collection, or shelves filled with what-knots or tchotchkes. (I included that last word for oddballs from Pennsylvania.)

A considerable portion of the adult population watches reality tv or sporting events. Taken from a certain context, both are equally ludicrous on a couple of levels. If you enjoy them, you don’t think so. That’s the point. We won’t vote you off the island; we might not let you on the boat, but we won’t banish you.

If you want to careen around with your cellphone and collect Pok√©mon, even if you are seventy years old, go for it. We’ll try not to run you over on our bicycles or cars.

If you’d rather sit on your couch and relax instead of going out and about to socialize, then do it and enjoy it.

If you want to watch grown men and millionaires throw inflated balls around while wearing absurdly tight pants, please do. I mean, it seems perfectly normal if millions of people do it, right? We don’t question your time or masculinity. Not to your face, at least.

Xmas trees in the fall are normal. So are Halloween decorations two months early. Valentine’s candy in January? You bet. Nothing says “love” like diabetes-inducing sugary treats. Except, of course, for doing the dishes without giving an Emmy-worthy “Did you notice?” performance afterward.

Get excited about whatever you enjoy and enjoy those things without guilt.

The next guy is just as full of crap as you are.

We can revel in that.

Just please stop complaining about seasonal merchandise appearing early in stores. It’s not going to lessen or abate in your lifetime.

Just like you can’t drive in traffic without BEING traffic, you can’t participate in capitalism without contributing your own version of “Xmas in July” at your favorite store.

You just don’t see it as weird to some people.

Because it’s not.

It’s just you doing you.

Keep up the good work, y’all.

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Neglected Worlds Neglected Words

With a couple of exceptions, I now only own 3 books. I recently passed on my favorite to someone who might discover something new, even though the words, though translated, are ancient. I don’t know how many books I’ve obtained, only to pass them on to someone else. If I do that, you should know that I found it to be meaningful and want someone to have that same feeling.

Books are worlds. Anyone who disagrees isn’t a bibliophile. I am. You wouldn’t know it by the number of books I own. Having beloved books is certainly a comfort. “I’ll grab one and re-read it,” so many say. For the most part, we don’t follow through. Life is too fast, there are too many distractions, and who has that kind of time? We all do. We just rarely make it. Also, there are so many great books being written, especially by first-time authors. If I miss a book and want to drown in it again, I will find a copy at the library or in one of the new or used bookstores here in NWA.

I love the sight of a mass of books, especially if they are haphazardly placed. This usually means the owner’s fingers often pluck them from their respective perches and read them. The same is true for worn pages, coffee stains, or signs of wear. Books are like us, wrinkles and aged experience. Their contents don’t change, but how we behold them when we take the time to read them certainly does. It’s amazing how many times I’ve reread something only to find that I have changed even though the letters I’m reading have not.

Books aren’t possessions, though we treat them as such. They are like cats, beholden to no one. They are also like cherished photos, ones that sit in closets or under beds, sealed away for safekeeping; they’d rather be seen and touched and remembered for what they are. Time will desiccate the living hands who neglect them.

They are old friends. Though unvisited, they wait for us, timeless and frozen in amber.

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Things You Probably Didn’t Know – Dr. Seuss

Think of the name “Dr. Seuss.” Pronounce it in your head.

You’re wrong. Almost everyone pronounces it wrong.

He took the pseudonym from his mother’s maiden name.

All his close friends and family pronounced it to rhyme with “Joyce” or “Zoice.” If you are saying it like “Soose” or to rhyme with “Zeus,” you’re wrong.

There are multiple reasons why Dr. Seuss went along with the mispronunciation. You can look it up if you’re interested.

You’ll also discover the heart-breaking suicide of his first wife. She knew that Dr. Seuss was having an affair with one of her best friends, while significant health problems were affecting her.

Not that I ever get writer’s block, but he’d sit in a room of hats and try one on to stimulate his creativity.

Depending on whom you ask, he might have coined the word “Nerd” in his book, “If I Ran To The Zoo.” That book is no longer printed, among several others, for reasons based on perceived prejudice. He also wrote and illustrated a book for adults about seven naked ladies.

“Green Eggs And Ham” was written on a dare that he couldn’t write a book with fewer than fifty words.

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Where The Crawdads Sing

“Writing a book demands so much specificity, in disagreement with the obvious truth that our most profound moments and memories call to us from inside the gauzy shrines of cheap childhood blankets, our tiny, unlearned hands clutching portals to the world disguised as books. We remember the creeping heat of a wood stove in the middle of a room, the silence before grandmother could shout at us for slamming the screendoor, or the interval between day and night when the fields slowly darkened as lightning bugs began to dance, granting us momentary amnesia from the remembered itch of an army of mosquitoes. And yet, we ran outside to greet them, no matter how hot the air or tired our bones. Another moment awaited, even if the moment drummed its fateful fingers to get to us. If you find a book that effortlessly draws you into another state of feeling, you should add it to your list of gratitude. If it does so while not shying away from the lesser of our human failings, it is okay to weep for the time when the book will be finished and its last page revealed.” – X

I see no need to mention the plot of the confines of the book I’ve mentioned.

These words speak, as did the words of the book.