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Showing posts from September, 2008

Hey Mister!

The first selection from my book group was Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian. This maybe the first non-fiction book I've reviewed here. (For now, we'll just say it is.) My conservative readers may say that this book is pure liberal trash but no it isn't. Sure, it ultimately supports a liberal point of view but it was compiled from interviews with a few dozen veterans of the current conflict and points out that several things that seem to us as wrong couldn't be helped because they weren't supplied translators, proper training or the situation didn't give them time to think it through properly. The cultural/language barrier seemed to be the biggest problem faced by the soldiers.

This was a perspective that I really didn't give a passing thought before reading the book. As a liberal, I was, of course, bothered by incidents related where the troops were ordered to perform acts to civilians, or the …

Music Activity

Today, my roommate and I were at Starbucks and I saw a new collection of Canadian artists called Northern Songs. I liked a handful of the choices but wasn't pleased by a few omissions. Googling the album to see what others thought. Doing so, I came across an assignment from a professor of Canadian studies at the University of Vermont (Where else would they have a major like that?) to come up with their own list of tracks. I would love an assignment like this so I'm doing it!

The original list:

1. Feist - "Mushaboom"

2. Pilot Speed - "Knife-Grey Sea"

3. Cowboy Junkies - "Sweet Jane"

4. The Band - "The Weight"

5. k.d. lang - "Constant Craving"

6. Rufus Wainwright - "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"

7. Sarah McLachlan - "Angel"

8. Ron Sexsmith - "All in Good Time"

9. Kate and Anna McGarrigle "Entre la Jeunesse et la Sagesse"

10. Great Lake Swimmers - "Your Rocky Spine"

11. The Be Good Tanyas - &…

Up From Under

I guess we'll start on Saturday. I had an alumni Homecoming celebration downtown. As usual, nobody from my class came but I was surprised as I entered that a friend from high school was there. It turns out that her sister is the director of Alumni Relations at my college. Somewhat weird I think although I didn't go that far way to college so that may explain it...

Sunday we were supposed to go out to eat with family as some of my aunts and uncles were going to be up but lunch was scheduled too early for us so my other aunt and I ended up getting our food to go before heading over to my grandparents. This turned out fine in the end.

We started a book group at my church that afternoon. I guess we'll be meeting monthly. I discuss the first book after I finish it which shouldn't be much longer.

Monday, my cousin/roommate, my aunt and I met my aunt and uncle who had been up visiting from Jersey. This went well until we got talking politics against my better judgment but what c…

I've Meant To Do This For Days. Really...

Two "major events" have happened to me recently that I thought I'd share with you all and I'll throw in a couple reviews too because, well, why not?

On Labor Day, I was invited to the seminary's picnic up at Camp Mechawana which is the state's Methodist camp. Though apparently built about 10 years before, it reminded me a lot of Pilgrim Lodge the summer camp I went for many years as a child. There was a good group in attendance but few of us from the Portland campus. The food was good especially this red-skinned potato salad. I'm not sure what was special about it. (Maybe the mayonnaise?)

The second piece of news I wanted to share was that my first royalty check arrived in the mail and I've officially sold 10 copies of Winter Storm as of July 31st. I guess retailers have 90 days to give the publisher the money from sales so the actual number of sold copies is probably much greater...

I recently finished The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. This is actual…