Meme Me

Meme via jaysaint via travellight

Four jobs I have had in my life
Frozen food packer, Loader at an insulation warehouse, cake making supplies order fulfiller, ballpark extra in The Babe

Four movies I would watch over and over
Joe Vs. The Volcano, The Hudsucker Proxy, When Harry Met Sally,Rushmore

Four places I have lived
Chicago, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Atlanta

Four TV shows that I watch
Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Arthur, Curious George

Four places I have been
Juarez, Mexico; Bentonville, Arkansas; Paris, France; Venice, Italy

Four people who e-mail me regularly
Stacey, Kent, …, …

Four of my favorite foods
pizza, chocolate mousse, raw carrots, twizzlers

Four places I would rather be right now
home, home, home, the beach

Four things I am looking forward to this year
the beach, better health, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Obama winning the presidency

Four favorite authors
Neal Stephenson, P.G. Wodehouse, Nick Hornby, Sarah Vowell

Book Log – The Little Warrior

The Little Warrior by P.G. Wodehouse

Another fine Wodehousian tale of a riches to rags to the stage to riches.

Apparently, in the early 1900’s, it was nothing to just walk into a Broadway show and get a part. At least, Wodehouse would have you think so. I suspended my disbelief, as is often necessary in a typical Wodehouse tale where in all of New York and London there are only 8-10 people who keep running into each other in preposterous situations.

Quote I liked:

“Fibs, my dear,—or shall we say, artistic mouldings of the unshapely clay of truth—are the … how shall I put it? … Well, anyway,they come in dashed handy.”

There were a couple others I bookmarked, but they just don’t translate out of context.

Book Log – Persopolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persopolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

This is a graphic novel about a woman born in 1969, growing up in Iran during the tumultuous times since. Full of tragedy and humor, this is a great and all-too-quick read. It really hits home given that she is approximately my age. Making comparisons between her life and mine in 1979 is very sobering.

I’m somewhat embarrassed that it takes what is essentially a comic book to get me to better understand the history of that region. But, hey, whatever works.

This book works. I look forward to the sequel. Hurry up with that, won’t you

Book Log – Mike and Psmith

Mike and Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse

I believe the first Psmith novel, where Mike and Psmith meet at a small private high school that they’ve both been “sentenced” to for separate reasons.

From the introduction by Wodehouse:

This was the first appearance of Psmith. He came into two other books,Psmith in the City and Psmith, Journalist, before becoming happily married in Leave It to Psmith, but I have always thought that he was most at home in this story of English school life. To give full play to his bland clashings with Authority he needs to have authority to clash with, and there is none more absolute than that of the masters at an English school.

I think you had to have gone to an English school, because I liked the Psmith, Journalist and Psmith in the City better. Not to disparage this one, as it was a fine read as well. The main reason I clipped that is to remind myself that Leave It to Psmith exists out there somewhere, though not on Project Gutenberg.

Psmith, on being introduced to Mike:

“Do I look as if I belonged here? I’m the latest import. Sit down on yonder settee, and I will tell you the painful story of my life. By the way, before I start, there’s just one thing. If you ever have occasion to write to me, would you mind sticking a P at the beginning of my name? P-s-m-i-t-h. See? There are too many Smiths, and I don’t care for Smythe. My father’s content to worry along in the old-fashioned way, but I’ve decided to strike out a fresh line. I shall found a new dynasty. The resolve came to me unexpectedly this morning. I jotted it down on the back of an envelope. In conversation you may address me as Rupert (though I hope you won’t), or simply Smith, the P not being sounded. Compare the name Zbysco, in which the Z is given a similar miss-in-balk. See?”

Book Log – Psmith in the City

Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse

The character of Psmith grows on me, but I fear that I’ve run out of Psmith books.

Rupert Psmith of the Shropshire Psmiths (he added the silent P himself to the family name to start his own dynasty) is a wealthy force of nature, overwhelming adverse circumstances through sheer force of personality. In this novel,Psmith and his Watson-equivalent Mike Jackson take on early 1900s commerce in the form of a Bank in order to exact revenge on one of upper management for interrupting their game of Cricket some months prior.

Excerpt from Psmith’s first encounter with his boss:

‘Work,’ said Psmith, with simple dignity. ‘I am now a member of the staff of this bank. Its interests are my interests. Psmith, the individual, ceases to exist, and there springs into being Psmith, the cog in the wheel of the New Asiatic Bank; Psmith, the link in the bank’s chain; Psmith, the Worker. I shall not spare myself,’ he proceeded earnestly. ‘I shall toil with all the accumulated energy of one who, up till now, has only known what work is like from hearsay. Whose is that form sitting on the steps of the bank in the morning,waiting eagerly for the place to open? It is the form of Psmith, the Worker. Whose is that haggard, drawn face which bends over a ledger long after the other toilers have sped blithely westwards to dine at Lyons’ Popular Cafe? It is the face of Psmith, the Worker.’

‘I–‘ began Mr Rossiter.

‘I tell you,’ continued Psmith, waving aside the interruption and tapping the head of the department rhythmically in the region of the second waistcoat-button with a long finger, ‘I tell _you_, Comrade Rossiter, that you have got hold of a good man. You and I together, not forgetting Comrade Jackson, the pet of the Smart Set, will toil early and late till we boost up this Postage Department into a shining model of what a Postage Department should be. What that is, at present, I do not exactly know. However. Excursion trains will be run from distant shires to see this Postage Department. American visitors to London will do it before going on to the Tower. And now,’ he broke off, with a crisp, businesslike intonation, ‘I must ask you to excuse me. Much as I have enjoyed this little chat, I fear it must now cease. The time has come to work. Our trade rivals are getting ahead of us. The whisper goes round, “Rossiter and Psmith are talking, not working,” and other firms prepare to pinch our business. Let me Work.’

I just like the way he talks.

Libertarian Democrat… That’s About Right.

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Libertarians believe that you have the right to live your life as you wish, without the government interfering, as long as you don’t violate the rights of others. This translates into strong protections for privacy and property rights, and a weak to non-existent social safety net.

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Good Book Karma

I don’t hold my hopes too terribly high for what I can get from I mean, I’ve gotten some good stuff, but I don’t expect the super popular stuff to come through there. I’m like #153 on the waiting list for The God Delusion, for instance.

Also, specialized books I don’t expect to show up there. So, despite that I’m #1 on the waiting list for The 5 Keys to Value Investing, I’m not holding my breath that it’ll show up at my door any time soon.

Also, I’m not sitting forlornly by the mailbox in anticipation of Good Vibes by Jay Cronley, which was the basis for the under appreciated Richard Dreyfuss movie Let It Ride1. Largely because it is out of print, and you can’t find a copy for less than $140 anywhere. And that’s for the mass market paperback.

But, you put your wishes out there, and you never know what might be granted.

For instance, over the course of a few days, I’ve been notified that I’ll be getting Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, the highly regarded graphic novel that I understand is being made into a movie. When I listed it, I was around 25th in line for it. Perhaps the movie increased the number of books in wide circulation. Also, How to Draw the Human Figure: Famous Artists School, Step-by-Step method, one of the consistently recommended books on drawing. This I didn’t expect to get because of its specialized nature.

Also on their way are What Are The Odds? : Chance in Everyday Life, an out-of-print book recommended by a friend, and The Cobweb, the last Neal Stephenson book left for me to read, until he writes another one. I wasn’t in a hurry to get this one, because it’s under his pseudonym Stephen Bury, which actually represents two authors. The other co-production Stephenson did, Interface, was a big disappointment. We’ll see.

1 Seriously, I love this movie. I love this movie like I love Joe Vs. The Volcano, which, like Let It Ride is a love that is doomed to be shared with no one but my brother.