December 30th, 2010

20111112, Marilee

Still no Van

Last night I got offline early enough that I read the paper while the evening news was on. Then I watched a DVD and checked what I'd taped to see if either of the Storage Wars were new. They weren't, so I just watched the end of L&O:SVU for a while. Then I thought Spirit could take a trip down the hallway and see how she liked the bed this time. She was very nervous this time, not like last time, and when I let her go and she got off the bed, she headed toward the wall and not the door. She bonked her nose on the edge of a bookcase and then carefully let her whiskers take her to the door where she bonked her nose on the door jamb. As she started down the hallway, Junie started getting ready to chase her, so I put my elbows on both sides of her and grabbed her paws. She stayed until I let her go and Spirit was back in her bed by then. I think Spirit is absolutely blind now.

I got a call from the body shop today -- their tire supplier brought them the wrong size of tire -- and I won't get the van until tomorrow (the tire supplier has already pulled the right size and will bring it first -- at least that's what they said).

I posted before that a textbook used in Virginia has a lot of errors. Virginia asked professors to check that book and others -- both from the same publisher and others -- and they found pages and pages of errors. Most of them, though, are about the Civil War.

We have two new cheetah cubs at the Smithsonian Conservation Center out in Front Royal. Two mothers each had one, but one mother is taking care of both. Apparently cheetahs usually have more in a litter and it takes more than one to bring milk. The older mother, who'd had a litter already, was given both cubs and things are going well. This is the sixth cross-fostering in North America.

A food writer for the WashPost has made a batch of casserole recipes without cream-of-soup and "cheez".
20111112, Marilee

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Another funny book with serious bits. Thursday has to go on a tacky TV show, supposedly no-holds-barred, and then everybody in the auditorium -- SpecOps, Goliath, Toast, etc. -- tell her she can't talk about things. In the end, she talks about dodos and takes a bite of toast. The woman who is SpecOps PR, Cordelia, wants her to do a lot more but Thursday really doesn't want to.
Thursday is called to meetings with superiors while Landen waits in a cafe across the way. The superiors give her the worst reviews possible. When she goes across the street, Landen is missing.

Thursday finds out that Goliath has "eradicated" Landen and she can't have him back unless she gives him Jack Schitt (stuck in The Raven in the last book). She insists she can't do that. She tries what she can to get him back.

Thursday is taken to Jurisfiction -- a place where people, some real, some fiction, fix problems with books. She's taught how to move in and out and between books, primarily by Miss Havisham, from Great Expectations, and uses it herself when she's being pursued by both Goliath and Chronoguards. Her father keeps turning up and asking for her help; she takes the pink packet and says she'll try to find out what it is and stop the apocalypse.

During the book, Thursday meets a young woman three times and she eventually realizes that it's Aornis, Hades' sister, who wants to kill Thursday. Thursday is trapped by both the Chronoguard and Goliath, but Miss Havisham gets her out. Then Thursday goes to her uncle's laboratory; Aornis traps Thursday and her cousin inside and the pink stuff is death. It turns out that the pink stuff is Dream Topping, strawberry flavor, and it's been fixed to change everything to soup. Her father arrives, takes the Dream Topping to the beginning of the world.

Thursday is really upset. She's pregnant, has lost her husband, and her dad has died. Then she visits her mother and finds her dad. He wants her to move in time to be safe until the baby is born. She decides to go into the Well of Lost Plots.

An odd thing is that early in the book, John Smith says he's a new SpecOps. Near the end, a John Smith asks her a question where he would have to know too much about her. Hmmmm
20111112, Marilee


An upscale couple in Chicago come from different backgrounds -- George is from the South, and Madeleine grew up all over the world and has an English accent. Madeleine owns an "outsider" gallery and when she hears about an artist whose work she wants to see, George comes along because it's near his family.

The packet says the family is molded by the South, but the parents, at least, are actually molded by a mid-size Protestant church. The brother is not very bright and has a pregnant wife who wants to name a girl baby "Junebug." The wife is even less bright and talks constantly. The brother doesn't want the baby, although his wife quotes a book that says he will when he sees it.

As you might expect, George slides back into that culture while Madeleine goes off to see the (very icky) artist. She tries to fit into George's family, but the mother doesn't want her. At one point, during a church potluck, George sings a hymn. Madeleine had no idea he could sing. The artist is pulled away by a New York agent.

The sister-in-law starts with cramps and the mother and Madeleine agree that Madeleine won't go to the hospital. George drops her at the artist and she manages to get him back to her agency. The baby is born dead, at least partly because of things the sister-in-law refused to do, and her family is falling apart. George wants to get out and when they leave, he tells Madeleine that he's glad to get away.

While the main plot is that Madeleine is in the wrong place, it's more subtle than that.

I liked it.