Concert Review – Leo Kottke

My daughter, Carrie, won two tickets to hear Leo Kottke last night at the Capital Theatre in Yakima. We met each other at the theatre, entered the darkened auditorium and sat down amid a very small crowd. From the first song he played on his twelve string guitar, we were mesmerized. Truly, he sounded like three guitarists! I’ve attached a link from youtube that does not begin to do him justice. You may want to look for an album by Leo – you won’t be disappointed!

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s on your desk today?

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?

– Laurence J. Peter

When I saw this quote, I looked at my own desk. I remember once hearing someone speak about the fact that the appearance of your purse is an indication of your spiritual life – neat and tidy or chronically chaotic. I don’t agree at all. Could it not be that the appearance of your purse, car, desk is only an indication that the “owner” of those places is busy with things that are far more important than lining up your staples and post-it notes. I saw a magnet that said “A clean house is a sign of a dull woman”. That statement is equally wrong in another way. I do not wish to judge other’s on the basis of the organization or lack thereof of their possessions and I sure don’t want people to judge me on that basis!

Here are two pictures of our office at the store. The first is my desk taken earlier today. The other is our manager’s desk, taken with his permission.

Notice the little cubby underneath my desktop, full and messy. If I can’t see something, it just doesn’t exist. So, the important things need to be visible. The vegetable hospice or bin in my refrigerator often contains unrecognizable items. I have lovely, flowered files at home which hide bills that need to be paid. If the brown shoes in my closet are pushed back too far, I don’t have any brown shoes and I go and buy some new ones. So, there, you have my reasons or excuses for what may appear to be sloth. Send me a picture of your favorite horizontal surface, whether desk, countertop, car interior or drawer. Whether it is shipshape or slovenly, we promise not to judge.

Published in: on April 20, 2008 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review — Leatherheads

We went to see Leatherheads tonight and had a popcorn supper. This is a LOL movie – perfect for the end of a long week. This one will remind you of “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?”. If George Clooney isn’t careful, he’ll be typecast as a Likeable Scoundral. Clooney plays an aging football player in the mid -1920’s. Trying to keep the sport alive during a time when professional football teams were disappearing, he holds his team together by his charm and wit. When a young fellow, played by John Krasinski, is lured away from his college team in his junior year to save Clooney’s faltering team, the trouble begins. Krasinski, a war hero, creates a following both by his patriotism and his incredible skills on the field, taking the troubled team to sudden fame. Enter Renee Zellweger, the young reporter who is looking for a promotion to assistant editor at a Chicago newspaper and who is tasked to get that Big Story by ruining the reputation of the young hero. Of course, this task gets a bit complicated when she finds herself drawn to both Krasinski and Clooney. This romantic comedy is a lot of fun. I give it a five out of five rating because it made me laugh, was not entirely predictable and kept my attention even though I’m really not a football fan!

Hey, I figured out how to make items in the blog clickable, so if you click on the title above you should be taken to a review site where you can read more about the flick.

On the home front, I watched an osprey swoop down and nab a frog this evening! So very cool! I was hoping to paint the fence tomorrow, but since it is predicted to be cold and blustery, well, oh drat, I’ll just need to read a book or two. Halfway through Siddhartha which I really don’t like much and just started our book groups new pick, In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham. Stand by for a couple of book reviews soon.

Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 4:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I just finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Sherman Alexie is a Seattle author who won the National Book Award for this book. Some store staff and I attended a banquet in Portland on Saturday where Alexie was also awarded the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association 2008 award. We met him and he signed a book for each of us. He barely made it to the ceremony because of the crazy mix of spring weather. Hail, snow, rain and a little bit of sun gave him a schizophrenic drive down I-5.

This really is a good book – a novel based on Alexie’s life, growing up on the Spokane Reservation. One line in the book has stayed with me. Describing the small town on the edge of the reservation he says, “…it’s a hick town, I suppose, filled with farmers and rednecks and racist cops who stop every Indian that drives through. During one week when I was little, Dad got stopped three times for DWI: Driving While Indian”.

What is daily life like for a 14 year old, on and off the reservation, not really feeling like he fits comfortably in either world? Arnold, the main character, had attended over 40 funerals in his short life. Most of those deaths were somehow related to alcohol abuse. He often hitchhiked to school when there was no money for gas or his Dad was too hungover to drive. In spite of these things and more, Arnold, persisted in his quest to be more than he could be if he stayed close to home. He attended a “white” school and eventually played basketball against the reservation boys he had grown up with. There is some subject matter that might be troubling – as a bookseller, I would only recommend it for 14 and up. Many adults are reading it. I liked it, though I squirmed a bit. I’ve never been inside the mind of a 14 year old boy before and this book took me there. I’ve emerged a little more understanding of both his gender and his race.

Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 4:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Blogging Irregularity

It occurred to me that folks may interpret my silence in several ways. I could be very busy. I might be suffering from writer’s block. I might be depressed. My computer could be broken or the Internet down. I’ll let you guess. I hope no one has been frustrated by the stale content here in my blog. I have several blogs that I like to read, but it frustrates me to visit their site and find nothing new, so here I am to catch up a bit.

Ok, I’ll admit to a bit of depression. Sophie, our granddaughter, moved to the Chicago area last week. Her absence is sorely felt by me and many others who have been delighted to watch her grow these first five years. I looked in the toy cupboard yesterday and was overwhelmed with missing her because there were her dollhouse, her puzzles, her favorite books. I know we’ve been blessed to have her near up to this point but I am very sad today. I am open to suggestions on how to be a good long-distance grandparent.
Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm  Comments (1)