Saturday, September 18, 2010

Collections - More Books

Reading has always been difficult for me ( I feel there may be a touch of dyslexia )and I read incredibly slowly. Hence, I was a reluctant reader and worked hard to mask my poor reading skills. I finally decided that, since I was a teacher, I had to read. At first, I read all non-fiction. If I had to read, at least I would be learning something. Later, I branched out and learned to enjoy reading, but there is still an element of the need to learn from what I read.

My art books are both an attempt to educate myself about the great art of the world and a reflection of the galleries I have had the opportunity to visit on my travels.

Painting of the Louvre Art/Paris
The Great Masters of European Art Art
The Majesty of Spain Art/Travel
The Prado Art/Madrid

I love to hike or paddle. Like everything else I do, I tend to keep of log of when, where and how much I do. Seeking out new hikes always provides me with new adventures. I collect guides for such events, but honestly, I don't really use them much. The pleasure seems to be in the availability of them to use.

AMC River Guide Paddling
Animal Tracks New England Hiking
Audubon Guide for N.A. Mushrooms Hiking
Berry Finder Hiking
Green Mtn. VT Long Trail Hiking
Hiking S.C. Hiking
Hiking the Monadonock Region Hiking
N.C. Hiking Trails Hiking
The 2 0z. Backpacker Hiking
The Audubon Society Guide to N AM. Birds Hiking
Track Finder Hiking
Tree Finder Hiking
Winter Tree Finder Hiking
Peterson Guide- Rocks and Minerals Hiking

every time we take a trip, our first step is to gather 4 to five travel guides to read up on where to go and what to do. I stopped counting at about 50 of these.

Sometimes I feel pretty ignorant. How can I understand how I feel about a topic when I really don't know anything about the topic. These books reflect that need.

Freud For Beginners
Lenin For Beginners
Quotations For Chairman Mao Tsetung
Buddha For Beginners
Marx For Beginners
The Forgotten Art of Building a Stone Wall
Einstein For Beginners

Stone walls and Goldsworthy ... what can I say ... I love it.

In the Company of Stone - Snow
Wood - Goldsworthy

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Collections - Favorite Authors and Books

There is a difference between the books you read and authors that you love to read and the ones that you actually save. I love to read Kingsolver and Atwood , but rarely consider those books keepers. Same situation with female authors. The vast majority of what I read is by females authors. But, that is not necessarily reflected in my book collection. Not sure exactly why. Here are my keepers. I will let them speak for themselves.

Charles Bukowski - Absolutely my favorite. Kinda like chowing down on a mouthful of dirt. Gritty, but bursting with down to earth flavors. Chuck crams the gun in your face and lets you have it right between the eyes and then tells you that you asked for it.

Charles Bukowski - Slone (Biography)
Ham On Rye Bukowski Novel
Pulp Fiction Bukowski Novel
Betting on the Muse Bukowski Poetry
Bone Palace Ballet Bukowski Poetry
Tales of Ordinary Madness Bukowski Poetry
The Most Beautiful Girl in Town Bukowski Poetry

Jeanette Wintersen is my favorite female author. Who else would tell the love story of a web-toed, red-headed daughter of a Venetian boatman who falls in love with Napolean's chicken cook? Don't get me wrong. Just because you read someone doesn't always me you understand them. But, I try.

Art and Lies Wintersen
Art Objects Wintersen
Gut Symmetries Wintersen
Lighthousekeeping Wintersen
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Wintersen
Powerbook Wintersen
Sexing the Cherry Wintersen
The Passion Wintersen
The World and Other Places Wintersen

McCabe is so dark ... and surreal.

Breakfast on Pluto McCabe
Carn McCabe
The Butcher Boy McCabe
The Dead School McCabe

Marquez has an incredible range in his work. The 30 year love story in Love in the Time of Cholera is one of my favorite love stories.

Love in the Time of Cholera Marquez
News of a Kidnapping Marquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude Marquez

Doyle's Barrytown triology not only described the intricacy of the 13 year old boy's mind, but also gave us The Van and the Commitments.

A Star Called Henry Doyle
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha Doyle
The Woman Who Ran Into Doors Doyle

I read Gunter Grass for one reason - The Tin Drum and Oscar, the boy who willed hmself to stop growing.

Crabwalk Grass
The Gunter Grass Reader Grass
The Tin Drum Grass

Say You're One of Us Akpan
The Inquisitor's Handbook Antunes
Alias Grace Atwood
Moral Disorder Atwood
Girl Talk Baggott
The Secret Scripture Barry
Dinosaur Man Baur
Queer Bourroughs
Digesting the Child Within Callahan
Education of Little Tree Carter
Pig Tales Darrieusseeq
Geek Love Dunn
The Vagina Monologues Ensler
Before Women Had Wings Fowler
Ellen Foster Gibbons
The Prophet Gibran
The End of Alice Homes
The Blindfold Hurstvedt
A Prayer For Owen Meany Irving
The Underground Man Jackson
Eat Me Jaivin
The Wives' Tale Jerome
Sailor Song Kesey
Animal Dreams Kingslover
High Tide in Tucson Kingslover
Et Tu, Babe Leyner
My Cousin, My Gastrointerologist Leyner
Teeth Marks On My Corn Cob Leyner
Einstein's Dreams Lightman
There Are No Secrets Lowenthal
Becoming a Man Monette
Frieda Mujica
The Boy Murr
Martin and John Peck
The Shipping News Proux
The Dark Room Seiffert
Cock and Bull Self
Darkness Visable Styron
Last Orders Swift
The Ogre Tournier
After Hannibal Unsworth
The Hide Unsworth
Slaughterhouse Five Vonnegut

Monday, September 13, 2010


Been thinking a lot lately about collections. Probably due to the possibility of moving and the fact that I have been looking at what is in the house. Have come to the conclusion that what one collects may say something about him. Not sure what that really is. Brings up lots of questions. Do you collect for yourself or for the impact it has on others? How do you display what you collect? Is that for others as well? I have this idea in my head that when I die someone will scrutinize my collections to better understand who I really was, or who I wanted them to think I was. Secretly, I fanticize that some niece or nephew will want to read all of my book collection or view my favorite videos, etc. Like I said ... sometimes I fantacize.

Nevertheless, I am going to start with my cookbook collection. I love to read recipies, but I don't really cook that much. The need to travel also impacts my interest in collecting cookbooks. Here goes!

A Man and His Meatballs - Ingredient
A New Way to Cook - Method ----- all about healthy eating
All About Braising - Method
Best-Ever Curry Cookbook - Indian
Brazil - A Cook's Tour - Brazilian
Brazilian Cooking - Brazilian
Café Brazil - Brazilian
Cajun Cooking - Cajun
Classic Palestinian Cookery - Palestinian
Contemporary Italian - Italian
Contemporary Japanese Cuisine - Japanes
Coucous- Indian
Eating Cuban - Cuban
Good Tempered Food
Indian Market - Native American
Jack Daniel Barbecue Cookbook ------ a favorite for bbq sauces
Justin Wilson Hometown Louisiana Cooking - Cajun
Latin Chic - Latin
Latin Cooking - Latin
Latin Ladles - Latin
Lemongrass and Limes - Thai
Korean Cooking - Korean
Makan-Lahl - Malasian
Meze Cooking - Greek
Morrocan Cooking - Mid Eastern
New Jewish Cooking - Jewish
New Soul Cooking - Southern
New Wave Asian - Asian
North African Cooking - African
North Carolina Barbecue Method
Nuevo Cubano Cooking- Cuban
Oranges and Lemons - Ingredient
Our Latin Table - Latin
Pacific Flavors- Asian
Portuguese Cookbook- Portuguese
Portuguese Cooking - Portuguese
Real Stew - Method
Sauces - Method
Scandinavian Cooking - Scandinavian
Simply Shellfish- Ingredient
Slow Cooker - Method
Soup - Method
Spanish Cooking - Spain
Steam it - Method
Tapas - Spain
Thai - Thai
Thai Cuisine - Thai
The Carribean Cookbook - Carribean
The Foods of Viet Nam - Vietnamese
The Lebanese Cookbook - Lebanese
The Ottoman Kitchen - Turkish
The Taste of Mexico - Mexican
Turkish Cooking - Turkish
Venetian Tastes - Italian
Vietnamese Cooking - Vietnamese
Viva Italia - Italian
Wok and Stir Fry - Method

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Green Machine - The Time That ... I called KP

I told myself that I was saving up unsatisfactory behavior for my last National Guard drill weekend. The truth is that my behavior was pretty consistent all along … unsatisfactory every drill weekend. It is just that they never seemed to do anything about it. So, my appearance when I showed up was no great shock. My uniform was soiled and wrinkled. It had been for months! My boots were a disgrace. Nothing new! However, the lack of pockets on my uniform was new. We had torn them off in the restaurant on the way down. The piece de resistance was the tear in my pant leg from the knee to the crotch. That happened in the restaurant and coincided with our need to leave at the owner's request.

Imagine how I felt when I was told that someone else had been given KP in place of me. Worse yet, I was told that I would be required to go to the field with the troops. Turned out into the wilderness to wander for forty years, so to speak. I would not take this lying down. I marched myself (marching was not my usual thing) to first formation and plopped myself down right in front of the TOP. Never mind that he was attempting to address the company at the time. I informed him of the affront and vowed that I would never go to the field. A debate ensued. He was hysterical and irrational and proved himself to be the bully that I had expected. I, on the other hand, countered his every argument with pure logic and common sense. My final point ended the discussion once and for all. I said, “TOP, there is a General in the field today. Look at me. Do you really want me in the field where I might be seen … or talked to?" He paused, ever so briefly, and sent me to the kitchen, not to do KP, but to hide myself.

Everyone in the mess hall seemed to be up tight. A special meal for the Company Brass was in the works and everything had to be just right. They were smoozing two young Privates to convince them to re-up for two more years in the Guard. The Privates were eating up the attention like a piece of chocolate cake and swallowing the bait … hook, line and sinker. Let me tell you something about me. I am not the kind of guy to sit on my butt, hiding in the back of the kitchen, when there was a crisis. Somebody had to do something!

That somebody turned out to be me. My plan was to create a diversion. I inserted myself into the serving line. Slopping food onto a tray can be a lot of fun, especially if the tray is held by an officer. Do you believe in divine providence? Neither do I. But, I am a faithful fan of dumb luck and, as luck had it, I looked into the vat of baked potatoes. Staring back at me was a huge baked potato, split open from the heat … foam and black gunk oozing forth. I had discovered the proverbial rotten apple of the potato barrel. I snatched it up with my tongs and waited patiently for the arrival of the first officer.

What happened next was a chain of events, replayed over and over for the next half hour. An officer walked down the serving line. I placed the rotten potato on his tray. He discovered the potato and complained to the mess sergeant. The potato was thrown in the trash and the sergeant apologized. I retrieved the potato. Next …

About ten serving later, even the mess sergeant knew something was up. Suspicion settled around me like dust on a dirt road. Needless to say, I was accused and was banned from the serving line altogether. Idle hands, they say, are the devil’s workshop. While sitting in the back of the kitchen, I had a thought. I grabbed the lids from two of the large kettles. No one paid any attention to me when I strolled past the special serving table where the Brass was laying it on thick for those unsuspecting Privates. When I was directly behind the TOP, I summoned all of my strength and smashed my make-shift cymbals together, mere inches behind his ear. Simultaneously, I shouted at the top of my lungs, “Hey TOP”.

I found out something that day… officers do not have a sense of humor. The pupil's of everyone’s eyes regained their normal shapes. The startled looks were put away and replaced with angry glares. I quickly realized that the lids that I had so innocently chosen were from the boiled potato kettles. I surmised this from the bits of potato scattered across the Company Commander’s face, glasses, and uniform. I did not say, “Gotcha”, for I reasoned this was not the time.

It is lonely in the storage room of a mess hall. And a storage room is no place to spend your last day in the National Guard.