Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quiet, cold, and blustery

It's been a quiet day at Nutwood, as well as in Spottersville. All the little elves are busy with their little elfin duties!

No elves here--we're just hunkering down trying to keep our asses from freezing off! Criminy, it's cold out there! I was happy to stay inside all day, but Ken braved the frigid temperatures to go get a haircut, and he was nice enough to stop at the store and pick up a few things. The tuna steaks are marinating (I'm doing blackened tuna again--we both liked it quite a bit), and I'll be roasting some asparagus, too. Mmmm!

Our friend Kimberley called and we discussed Vegas plans. They are happy about the Boneyard tour (where Vegas signs retire), cool with the Brazilian steakhouse (I think Kim said they've actually eaten there before, unless she was talking about Brazilian steakhouses in general), and they're really looking forward to a fun break after much craziness with their teaching duties. There is also much craziness in Vegas, but it's a fun kind of crazy, and I think we're all looking forward to some of that!

I'm in a quiet, reading kind of mood, and I finally finished the latest Stephen King collection of short stories, Just After Sunset. I had put it aside to read a couple of other things, and since it was a collection of stories, it was easy to go back to it. My favorite in the collection was "The Things They Left Behind," about those who perished in the Twin Towers...and those who survived. I thought it was a very poignant piece, and it is obvious that 9/11 had a profound effect on King, as it did the rest of us. If you like King, these are fun and sometimes thought-provoking stories. Nothing that really spooked me, but I'm kind of hard to spook anymore, especially through a story or a book. Probably the spookiest story in this collection was "N.," which was my second favorite. It had a definite Lovecraft feel to it, exploring how thin the veil between different worlds can be. It also used the letter as its base, i.e., letters written, notes taken in a psychiatrist's office, newspaper stories--I've always loved that form for a story or novel. It seems that it's a little more mysterious, letting the reader in bit by bit on the story, as well as an intimate glimpse of the writer's (the writer in the story, that is) state of mind.

King also included an afterword in which he talks about the stories and his thoughts, and I always enjoy that. He mentioned OCD several times, and while I forget which story included this reference, he also mentioned the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I was thrilled to see that, because it remains one of my favorites stories of all time. Is anyone else familiar with it? Lori? I have a copy of it downstairs, and I might have to read that again.

My next book is one from our book club, Loving by the English novelist Henry Green. I'm very behind--this was October's book! (I've already read November's, though.) I also have December's book, but I think that's going to be more of a January book for me! I keep thinking I'll get caught up at some point, but it hasn't happened yet!


  1. Thanks for not mentioning the cold garage workout due to the door blowing open (most likely because some knuclehead did not fully latch it after getting the paper :o)

  2. Our weather can't make up its mind these days. Cold, cold, warm, warm, warm, warm....cold. I haven't been able to start and get into any good books lately. I think I'm in a mood...

  3. My mom loves Stephen King Novels.

    Have a good week and stay warm!

  4. Hi Beth,
    Just reading about the blustery cold in your neck of the woods gives me the shivers. Speaking of reading (and shivers), I'm a Stephen King fan but I read your entry an hour and a half too late. I just returned from Borders where I got "White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga (one of my neighbors recommended it this morning).

  5. I'll have to tell my MIL about these books. She likes Stephen King. I love Nora Roberts & Sandra Brown. It's windy & cold here.

  6. I just received my copy of After Sunset from my book club. I am looking forward to reading it and I think that I will start with your favorite tale.

    I've read "The Yellow Wallpaper," and I think that it is one of the most intriguing short stories that I've ever read. When I was still teaching, I used to have my students in my Women's Lit class read and discuss the story.

    Stay warm!

  7. Glad you enjoyed the book. As you might recall from my post on it, I didn't care for the two stories you mentioned (the 9/11 story probably because I had such inflated expectations for it) but that's the beauty of a short story collection - there's something for everyone.


  8. I love books, I have gotten away from reading a lot since the fall. Guess I have a lot of things to do instead of read. I am currently reading "A County Called Home" by Kim Barnes. I like it so far. What other books are on your list? I am always looking for something new to read

  9. King's book went back late to the library and i never read one word of it. Maybe someday i will get to it. He is my favorite, other than Koontz.

  10. Happened to catch Ken's comment on the cold workout ... working in the cold? That is very gung ho! One to put in your memory banks on the better days when you feel blah about it. Just remember how you got out in the chill, and you will suck it up and get it done!

    You read fast! Will check out the King book of shorts ... and the Yellow Wallpaper story too! John King books would be glad to hook me up!

  11. I really enjoy Stephen King, well doesn't everybody. Sunday was a horrendous day here as well and of course that is my farm day on the weekend. Ice in the morning and bitter cold in the afternoon & night. I am really missing warm weather.

    Stay warm & cozy!


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