I am the vine and ye the branches -- bear fruit.

This was on a church sign of a Christian school for prom -- sorta the wrong message to send to those kids, eh? Watching the Trio channel again, and it's some sort of prom special.

Books I've read today:

Just Checking by Emily Colas. I respect the form of this memoir, which is more in the form of snippets of life, scenes from a hat than a true memoir. Colas has OCD -- she's afraid of blood, and germs and people grinding up hyperdermic needles and putting them in her food. It makes a mess her early adult life and ruins her marriage. But as much as I respect the form, it by nature doesn't allow for enough depth. I wanted more. That's all; I wanted more. But all in all, very witty and harrowing. Although I have my obsessive tendencies -- I actually twiddle my thumbs (sort of hooking my fingers together and rubbing my thumbs together making patterns in the skin), I have to have everything at 45-degree angles from the edge of the counter when I clean -- the lamps next to the speakers next to the candles; chopsticks, knives. When I'm in the car and I'm not driving my feet move in sequence to the openings in the edges of the road -- where roads cross and driveways and shop entrances. I know, I'm wierd. What are your idiosyncrasies?

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell. I love Sarah Vowell. Love her. She witty and interesting and smart and appeals so much to my nerdiness. Patriot is no different. Organized into essays, it's filled with social commentary, wit, sarcasm and lots of nerdy history. Yum! From Amazon.com, " Looking for insight into why she prefers Little Bighorn and Gettysburg to Martha's Vineyard, Vowell (author of the witty Take the Cannoli) calls her friend Kate, who works as a counselor for survivors of torture, who says, "That's how we try to make sense of the worst horrors. We use humor to manage anxiety." If Kate's right, then Vowell is managing her anxiety very well. Her best short, personal essays (anywhere from about two to 12 pages) focus on her ambivalent relationship to American history and citizenship: no one in recent memory has been as insightful on the direct pleasures and perils of voting, the misuse of Rosa Parks as a metaphor, the appeal of Canadians (who "ha[ve] this weird knack for loving their country in public without resorting to swagger or hate") and the relative merits of presidential libraries. Further undone, perhaps, by her devotion to such topics, Vowell also offers an eloquent defense of being a nerd: "Going too far and caring too much about a subject is the best way to make friends that I know." To wit, her hilarious essay "The Nerd Voice," which chronicles her political e-mail group as "the all-time nerdiest thing I've ever been involved in, and I say that as a person who has been involved with public radio and marching band."

and yes, I was in the marching band.

No comments: