Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Day Off - Literama

I took the day off. Did I do anything productive? Not a thing - not even going to a movie, like I had originally planned (I was going to see Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, but decided I just didn't want to until I could watch it with Kyle). I simply sat at the coffee shop and read, and read, and read. I read through breakfast, and I read through lunch - blueberry muffin and coffee for one, chicken wild rice soup and coffee for the other.

I really enjoyed the third book by Jasper Fforde in the Thursday Next series, The Well of Lost Plots. It was much better than the second in the series, in my opinion. I particularly liked it when they were discussing an upgrade to the book imagination system as a move from the 8-plot story system to the 32-plot story system. Obviously dated, otherwise Fforde would be talking about 64-plot story systems. With a 2+ gig memory space, you could really lay out some plots. I also enjoyed it when they discovered the missing punctuation from the last chapter of Ulysses and identified it by the traces of Guinness sticking to it. Funny.

Interlude: while I was at Dunn Brothers, I was sure this guy at the coffee shop asked the coffee folks which of them wanted to be "The Virgin of the Month". This greatly confused me, and struck me as something I should put on Overheard in Minneapolis. After I while I came to the conclusion that I'd misheard "Merchant of the Month". I'm going to stick with that.

Inbetween every few chapters of The Well of Lost Plots, I read bits of Orbiting the Giant Hairball. Dunn Brothers has a "take a book, and maybe leave a book if you have one or feel like it" policy for their bookshelf. Generally (as noted in a previous post), said bookshelf is full of right wing fiction and books about improving your relationship with Jesus (believe it or not, my relationship with Jesus is perfect...), but Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie was an oddity. It was particularly odd as only two days earlier I'd picked it up off the shelf at the corporate library and thought it looked interesting, but that I probably didn't have the time. I don't believe there's anything special to coincidence, but I'm gullible for repetition. The book is by a former Hallmark employee who talks about his opinions on corporate culture and how it can be improved. It reads like a blog and encompasses aspects of the few courses and books on managing I've read, from discarding masks at meetings, to giving creativity space to grow, to how creativity is subject to becoming institutionalized. It's enjoyable for me, because I've begun to have been involved with enough departments/groups over the course of my career that I can see aspects of it in my employment environment. Maybe that's not enjoyable...maybe it's just interesting.

Interlude: Eryn just got up and used the bathroom - we're moved to potty training for #1 and #2. I asked, "Are you going to poop?" She replied, "No. I'm pooping." Maybe it's only funny if you majored in English.

I discovered there's a fourth book in the Thursday Next series, so I'm going to finish off Jasper Fforde's whole series, just for the sake of completion. I'll consider it one 1600-page book rather than four 400-page books. I don't think I want to read his Nursery Crimes book(s), although he self-references within The Well of Lost Plots. Very Stephen King. I have to apologize to Mean Mr. Mustard, as I bought the first three books at Half Price and loaned (am loaning) them to him, but he'll have to library the final one. But before I dive into the last book, I found Schrodinger's Ball by Adam Felber at the library (while in search of the aforementioned fourth book). Yes, the same Adam Felber of Fanatical Apathy, if you're familiar with his blog. Eat your heart out, Mean Mr. Mustard.

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