Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gas Is Expensive; Irony Is Cheap

I intended to start listening to the audiobook version of the dead and the gone yesterday, but I was too engrossed in the Hurricane Gustav coverage to begin. Today, I'm too amused by Sarah Palin (did you know that for two years she was a member of the Alaska Independence Party, which, according to the NY Times, "has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede") to want to focus on all that dead and goneness.

I did spend a couple of days going through my outside storage closet, planning to cull all that sentimental attachment stuff that I haven't looked at in four years. It turned out I was sentimentally attached to each and every item, including two identically warped fliers for a Milli Vanilli concert. Then I took all my old movie magazines out of the storage closet and piled them on the top of my bookshelf in the den. But I didn't like them there, so I emptied out a cabinet in my bedroom, by putting what was there in the outside storage closet, and moved the movie magazines in. Just think of it as the circle of life.

Remember how I got interviewed by Susan Raab at ALA? Well, Susan Raab and I remember. Okay, maybe Susan has forgotten, but I remember. What Susan Raab most likely does remember, is that she interviewed fifteen other people as well. Here's a link to all sixteen interviews (mine is accompanied by a very very old publicity photograph):


I'm always sensitive to assertions that the science in Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone isn't quite as scientific as it should be, so I should be even more defensive to discover there's a thread on the subject at the Bad Astronomy And Universe Today Forum. But if I hadn't written those books, I never would have known such a place existed. So for the astronomically inclined amongst you, here's the link:


Here, from the Books For Kids Foundation newsletter is an item that has nothing to do with me but is well worth noting:

New Library Completed with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Books for Kids created a library for the Lincoln Park Community Center in
Maryland as well as worked on a special home project for ABCs hit show,
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,
a deserving family receives a brand new home. The episode featuring
BFK, which will be aired at 7 PM ET on Sunday, September 28th, is the
2-hour season premiere and not only includes the home project but also
our work with the community center’s library. The Lincoln Park Community
Center does very good work within the greater community, and also
served as a special haven for the wonderful family appearing on the
show. Be sure to tune in!

I'm off to google Milli Vanilli and see where they stood (and lip synched) on the Alaskan Secession issue. What a vice presidential candidate they would have made!


Jenna said...

I have a suggestion that works really well for me so maybe for you too. What you do with those boxes of things you can't bear to get rid of (but don't actually want them out and about where you can see them) is to pack them safely and nicely in a good box and tape up the box really well. Like so it would take scissors and ten minutes to get it open again. Then use a big black marker to put a date on it. It could be a year from now, or five years, or whatever you want. Then, when you come across the box after that date, if you can't remember what is in the box - throw it away unopened. (Or take it to Good Will unopened.) The reason this works is that you *don't open* it so you don't know what you're discarding. It really works, I swear it. One time I did this and for that whole year I kept thinking about this one item that was in the box. I remembered it was there. So when the date came up, I opened it up and took out that one item. Of course then I saw what else was in there so I taped it back shut, gave it another year, and then discarded it properly at the new date.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Jenna-

Your approach is a great one, but it won't work for me (alas, so few things in life do).

What turned out to be in most of the boxes was movie memorabilia. I used to be quite the collector when I lived in a house and had room.

I doubt that anything I'm keeping has real value, but add all the items together, and there's probably some potential money there.

Of course the rest of the items include my elementary school yearbooks, and their value is priceless.

But I did what I set out to do, which was clear enough space in the outside storage closet that I can move around in it without too much terror. And I can now get to my old movie magazines (mostly from the 1940s), so if I'm in the mood to read one, it'll be a lot easier to get to.

A good Bette Davis article is about my intellectual level these days!

Anonymous said...

Bette Davis was too much for the television set. After watching Whales of August via VHS, via said TV, the picture was forever gone.

Talk about star power. Personally, though, I blame Vincent Price.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous-

I blame nothing on Vincent Price, who, from everything I've heard and read about him, was a genuinely nice, genuinely interesting person.

Now that I think about it, all my friends are genuinely nice, genuinely interesting people, although none of them have Vincent Price's art collection (or movie credits).

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie Witness for the Prosecution three days ago while I was writing checks. I stopped writing and couldn't take my eyes off the movie. Holy Moley! Charles Laughton (sp?) and Tyrone Power were unbelievable and Marlene Deitrich... Wow! Then I found out the movie was based on a short story by Agatha Christie and that was just the icing on the cake.

Did you ever see it?


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous Glen-

Witness For The Prosecution is fun. I saw it fairly recently and enjoyed it a lot.

Tyrone Power is underrated as an actor. He's really great in Nightmare Alley (a truly nifty noir).

Yvette said...

The Bad Astronomy site is very interesting! How wonderful that you've stirred folks enough to merit discussion on this level! Of course, if they miss the point of the book (relationships, family dynamics etc) that is missing the forest for the trees...
Thanks for the heads up on the library makeover too! Always interested in communities that are behind our resources! (Yes, I am a biased librarian)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Yvette-

I don't think we should hold it against the Bad Astronomy forum that they didn't discuss the literary merits of LAWKI. After all, most literary forums don't discuss the astronomic aspects of books (except in their discussions of LAWKI and d&g where they discuss them all the time, le sigh).

Books For Kids is a great organization, and I'm pleased to see it's getting some TV time. I've never watched Extreme (or even Moderate) Home Makeover, because I know it would render me a quivery mass of jelly, but maybe I'll make an exception for that one episode (I'll just be sure to have a box of tissues by my side).