Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Meandering Reading Update

The good news about this week is that my absence from blogging has been indicative of my preference for reading over the internet. Since that's been a little rare lately, I decided to run with it. I'm still plodding through Schindler's List at a somewhat steadier pace than I have been, but it's still slow going. I have, however, reached the final eighth of it, so that's a good sign that the end is near.

I've been alternating it with a few rather engrossing magazine articles including one from New York magazine about Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee and steroids as well as a nice breakdown of Super Tuesday and what the future looks like for the American presidential race at this point from The Economist. If I haven't mentioned my love for The Economist lately, I must say that I appreciate that it can be counted on to provide some fairly trustworthy news and smart analysis, the kind of which doesn't seem to emerge so often from the wildly scaled down reporting in what we (or I) suppose to be "news" magazines in America. I like to believe that I'm a thinking American who wants to know more about what's going on in the world and it feels as if The Economist treats me as such while magazines like Time seem to get fluffier and fluffier. Or maybe reading The Economist just makes them *seem* fluffier. Sure, I could get quality news from the internet, but I prefer the feel of the magazine in my hands and the fact that I can carry it around whereever I may go. Okay, that's the end of magazine snobbery. For now.

I sit here now wondering if snobbery is indeed a word. In a last ditch effort to find out definitively without trying too hard, I've clicked the spell check button on Blogger only to be reminded that it's not working. Which leads me to a question. Do a lot of you actually use the spellchecker in your blog? This is assuming you use Blogger, otherwise I don't even know if your blog edit page *has* a spellchecker. I've seen the non-working of the Blogger spellchecker has been troubling a few bloggers, which made me notice something about myself. I don't use it. Unless, of course, I'm worried that I'm using a non-word. I re-read my entries and edit them the hard way. Is that unusual? I usually don't find too many screw-ups (that aren't intentional) anway, but it just struck me as funny that it doesn't even occur to me to use the spellchecker. I am my own spellchecker! Oddly enough, spelling something wrong would really bother me (despite my disuse of the spellchecker), but I don't seem to have any problem with over-abundant and awkwardly constructed parenthetical phrases nor does it bother me that I have a tendency to use lots of sentence fragments (for example, the above "Unless I'm worried that I'm using a non-word."). Sure, I could write it correctly, but I like how it sounds. It sounds like it's coming right out of my head. Which it is. Maybe my blog is meant to be read aloud? Okay, that's the end of spellchecker and standard grammar pondering. Aren't you wildly tempted to fill me in on all the terrible errors I've made in this post now? =P

Last but not least, and possible the most coherent of everything in this post, a meme! Susan tagged me for this one, and it seemed fun and easy, so here it goes!

The Rules:

1) Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2) Open the book to page 123
3) Find the fifth sentence
4) Post the next three sentences
5) Tag five people

Well, there are a couple of books sitting near me. I hesisitate to spring some painful image from Schindler's List on people without due warning, so I'm going to use my mom's current read: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.

She was twelve years old, lying still like this, waiting, shivering in the narrow bunk with polished mahogany sides. Her mind was a blank, she felt she was in disgrace. After a two-day crossing, they were once more in the calm of Carteret harbor, south of Cherbourg.

I'm going to break the fifth rule and not tag any specific people, but it's a fun and easy little meme, so if you haven't done it yet, I invite you to do so!


  1. I admit that I rarely make time for magazines. I do subscribe to a few, none that could outright be called news magazines, although some do cover news to some degree. I tend to go for my book and save magazines for when I'm in between books and cannot chose what to read next or if I don't have a lot of time in between appointments and need something quick to read in the meantime.

    I do use a spell checker; however, not the one Blogger offers. I forget its there unless someone mentions it.

  2. So...did Roger and his wife use steroids while he was in New York? This is a huge controversy in Houston and I'm surprised that most Houstonians seem to believe that Roger probably is guilty of everything he so adamantly denies.

  3. The Economist, huh? I'll have to check that out. The Times has become such a sad little joke...

    And I will occasionally try to use a spell checker when I'm not all that sure about the spelling of a word. For the most part, however, I'm pretty confident I get things right, as long as you don't count typos.

    As for Roger...

    I've been around enough to have heard several athletes declare their innocence only to be proven liars. I guess we'll see. The whole scandal is beyond sad and I hate the fact that it is tarnishing my beloved baseball.


  4. LF, I use magazines to fill in between books too, that or when I need something that doesn't require all my brain cells while the TV is on, because heaven knows, I can't sit and *just* watch TV. Sometimes they help me out when I'm in a bit of a reading funk, too.

    Sam, New York's got nothing to say about Roger's wife, but according to McNamee, it all started with some HGH in New York and went from there. I have a hard time believing either one of them - McNamee comes off as pretty shady in general and Roger's got a lot to lose. The article also had an interesting visual aid (ah, visual aids! How convincing and circumstantial are ye!) which charted a "typical" Hall of Fame pitcher in terms of age and ERA and Roger's skills had a pretty late surge that I doubt can be totally attributed to McNamee's brilliant workout plans... I mean, people get older and there's all that wear and tear on him from pitching for so many years, and suddenly he's as good or better at 42 than he was at 34? So, yeah, I doubt we'll ever know the real truth, but things sure don't look great for Roger. =/

    CJ, do check out the Economist! The whole steroid scandal is definitely a bummer. I agree that it's hard to watch this kind of crap tarnish my favorite sport. It's a shame that records set by great players throughout baseball's history are being broken by cheaters, and it's a shame that players who could have been/were good without steroids started using them and in so doing started to cast doubt on their own talent for the sport. I hope these issues can be worked through, and that there will be a fresh start for baseball in the nearish future.

  5. Megan -

    Did you follow Clemens' testimony today? How sad was that entire spectacle?

    I'll be checking on The Economist as soon as I can.

    Now, I'm really curious about your answers for the non-fiction meme I was tagged for. C'mon over and give it a go, please?