Saturday, June 16, 2007

Smorgasbord Saturday

Drink a lot of soda? Drink Coke products? Well, as you may have noticed all of the Coke products (at least in the 20 ounce variety) have new lids. Much smaller. Much lighter. Much more annoying lids. Check them'll see what I mean. I'm having trouble with them.

News from the U.S. Postal Service--on August 31st, 2007, a new postage stamp will be released. Unveiled this past week by Vice President Cheney in the presence of the Ford children, the Gerald R. Ford stamp is a beauty. I plan on buying a sheet or two.

Have some extra time this summer to read? I would highly recommend a series of books--all the same topic really--by Cronkite, Graham, Bradlee, and Brinkley. The memoirs of the media giants are wonderful and the coverage of Vietnam is a stark contrast to current trends in the media in regard to Iraq. Just this morning I finished reading Brinkley's memoir and I was thoroughly intrigued by his coverage and commentary on political conventions. For you political buffs it's a must.

Yesterday I was in Idaho Falls for a doctor's appointment and picked up the new Big & Rich cd. I know, you are all rolling your eyes, but I must say this is the best of their three albums. They must have taken the hint that listeners wanted to hear their more mellow stuff (none of the "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" circus music) and they delivered. "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" is a great album with a couple of decent collaborations and some pretty smart, somewhat religious lyrics. I say religious because this album seems to capitalize on the Catholic undertones that their second hit, "Holy Water," brought to listeners. Really a decent album and unlike the first album (and parts of their second, "Coming to Your City) I didn't feel like it was a trainwreck I couldn't look away from. I was actually impressed. My favorites: "Lost In This Moment," "Faster Than Angels Fly," the title song, and a great remake of "You Shook Me All Night Long." It's just hard to believe that the tame Rich, formerly of Lonestar, has become the solid partner in this bizarre group.

I work in a library. So what do I do on my day off? I visited the public library. I generally do this on Saturdays when I'm feeling well and am in town. I spotted an interesting installment in the "Dummies"series--this one by the baseball great Joe Morgan. "Baseball for Dummies" looked like an interesting read just by the cover and I certainly know my stuff when it comes to baseball. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read something by Joe Morgan.

In other book related news, this past week while discussing my ongoing short story project (I think I've mentioned that I am trying to gain a better understanding of why I, and so many other readers, struggle with short stories) I mentioned to my co-worker, a former librarian, that the short stories of Virginia Woolf are nutty. More so than her novels that I love. He marched upstairs in the library to find a copy of her "Monday or Tuesday" collection and he returned with a gorgeous edition that I'd never seen. After a little research we discovered this wonderful publishing company called the Hesperus Press. I was, of course, interested immediately by the name--I assume taken from Longfellow's great poem, and the subtitle on their website, "et remotissima prope" (from the latin--to bring near what is far). After perusing their website both my co-worker and I were VERY impressed by the titles available and the beautifully designed covers. The England-based company has a limited, but impressive listing of books, all of which have great new forewords. My level of appreciation and awe for this company spiked as I read the last listing in their catalogue--"Zastrozzi." For those of you with no interest in literature, Percy Byshhe Shelly wrote two novels prior to publishing his works of poetry. His lesser known novels are not readily available, but Hesperus has his first, "Zastrozzi." Unbelievable.

I am going to have some time on my hands beginning Wednesday afternoon, so I am hoping to get caught up on the posts I have been talking about for awhile (i.e. the one on the charter school). Keep an eye out.

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