Top 10 books I’d want on a desert island

Screenshot from "LOST."

The ol’ desert island conundrum! Ten books is pretty lavish. If my husband and a dog were a given, here are the top 10 books I’d request that Charles Widmore send me on the island:

  1. The Bible. Naturally.
  2. In Search of Lost Time–all of it! You could read it for the rest of your life. (Marcel Proust)
  3. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy).
  4. To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf). It will always be new to me.
  5. Complete short stories of Anton Chekhov. Meditations on the human spirit when I am isolated from humans?
  6. Complete works of Shakespeare. We could perform on the beach!
  7. Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace). I haven’t read it yet, but I know it’s a magnificent tome, so it suits the other members of this list.
  8. Middlemarch (George Eliot).
  9. The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen).
  10. East of Eden (John Steinbeck).

You?

Friday thoughts

Our street at dusk
Our street at dusk, back when it was warm outside. My Flickr pro account expired. Boo.

Little things I am thinking about today:

  • My side business of calligraphy. I ordered my first set of business cards this afternoon and I feel very grown up about it. Thanks to the encouragement of Natalie, I’m going to drop by the downtown stationer, Rock Paper Scissors, and give them some samples.
  • Why my right hand is always freezing at work.
  • Kemp and Rose coming to visit next weekend and then our long-awaited trip to our old stomping grounds (a la Durham and Chapel Hill) the following weekend.
  • Lent, which is coming soon and which means that my consumption of sugar will have to end. Contemplating the desire to gorge myself on chocolate before it arrives. But I had a bowl of real oatmeal this morning with only raisins in it–no sugar at all!–and I felt very proud of myself. I think I can do it. I feel like my taste buds have been subtly prompted by my brain to reject overly sweet things lately, in preparation for this sugar fast. I thought the yogurt was going to kill me today it was so sweet. And that’s never happened before.
  • Getting a nice* camera. I wish the bank made it easier to create little folders in your savings account so I could start designating small chunks of money toward a camera fund. (*Canon DSLR)
  • Will I be the kind of old woman who hoards kitschy knickknacks? Is that a generational thing? Is it only indicative of women who grew up in the Great Depression? Or does that mean I’ll eventually fall into that category, having grown up in the Greatest Recession?
  • Grace, who is adjusting to her new life in Nepal now. She’s working with a documentary filmmaker for a month and then she’s off to the ashram/orphanage. Such a crazy girl. I miss her.
  • Throwing away even more clothes. I need to stop wearing things that are too small for me.
  • A weekend with Guion! He’s been busy with school stuff all week and I feel like I haven’t seen him much. I miss him. We’re going to go on dates around town and watch “Annie Hall,” maybe even finish “Lost” (at last!).

Happy Friday! Post for you on Sunday about my lifelong, tortured love affair with the Japanese language.

Dear Grace

Hey, sista shasty.

Dear Grace,

I love that you are an illegal migrant worker on a garlic farm in New Zealand. Location aside, it’s very Steinbeck of you. I wish you were here, but more accurately, I wish I was there. The coast looks like a rustic fairytale. Just don’t get picked up by the border patrol or anything.

I’m starting to think now that you may never see us or our place in Charlottesville. This is a depressing thought. You get back from Nepal in July, have a few weeks at home, and then you jet off to university. This leaves very little time for you to traipse around C’ville with me, stocking up at the farmers’ market and terrorizing the general Belmont neighborhood with our conversations conducted entirely in quotes from “Little Women” and “America’s Next Top Model.” I don’t want to dwell on it now, but after you’ve recuperated and readjusted to life in America, Priority Number One is getting you up here.

Things you have missed while you’ve been harvesting in the fields: Taza finally had her baby, but hasn’t named it yet (I’m personally pulling for Moonbeam Anthropologie Davis); “30 Rock” continues to be the light and joy of our lives, excepting only Reuben; Guion’s beard; fairly regular quantities of snow and ice; and my reluctant absorption in “Lost.” I know, I know. I swore I’d never watch it, but do you remember who I’m married to? We’re in the fourth season now and I am pretty much hooked, even though I want it to be over. Guion won’t tell me anything (even though I already KNOW that Locke becomes the Smoke Monster).

I have also been eating kale three or four times a week, so you should be proud of me. You’re right; I’m in love. It is the greatest vegetable in the world and yet it’s the cheapest one at Harris Teeter. Well done, Capitalism/Nature.

Thanks for being my sister. Harvest strong. I love you and I pray for you daily. Come home soon.

Kiss kiss,

A.

Monday Snax

With every day that passes, I become more and more excited that January is almost over. I know a lot of dearly beloved people who have January as their birth month, but I’m sorry, guys: It is by far the worst 31 days of the year. I will forgive it once it’s gone. However, the bright side of January is that it has given me ample time to read, drink tea, and–yes, I admit it, world!–watch “Lost” with my husband. He’s doing a pretty good job of convincing me that it’s addictive. We also bought a coffee table yesterday, which was pretty exciting, because I think it means we’re done with buying furniture for our apartment. Mainly because nothing else could possibly fit

Snax in a white bowl of pomegranate arils:

Sit. Stay. Parse. Good Girl! A Border Collie–who knows 1,000 words–teaches us about language. A quote from the article: “Chaser proved to be a diligent student. Unlike human children, she seems to love her drills and tests and is always asking for more. ‘She still demands four to five hours a day,’ Dr. Pilley said. ‘I’m 82, and I have to go to bed to get away from her.'” (New York Times)

Space Invaders: Why You Should Never, Ever Use Two Spaces after a Period. Slate Writer Farhard Manjoo, I LOVE YOU. FINALLY. Someone is talking about this! “What galls me about two-spacers isn’t just their numbers. It’s their certainty that they’re right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the “correct” number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces.” Me too, same as me, I’m the same! Please. If you are a repeat space offender, read this article. Spread the word. (Slate)

Same Books, Three Ways. Cate’s excellent post about how she’s chosen to display her books as she’s moved. Beautiful! (The Charlotte)

Fashion of the Future. Probably the best video I’ve seen all week: Fashion designers from the 1930s predict what clothes we’ll be wearing in 2000. Totally amazing. (The Charlotte)

Life on a Farm. Brief thoughts from Grace as she begins her stint on a New Zealand farm. (Como Say What?)

Figure-Figure. Lovely pairings of photographs and paintings. (Miss Moss)

Look: Napping. I’ve never been one who was actually able to nap; I feel guilty for napping. But these photographs could almost change my mind. Everyone looks so peaceful. (Where the Lovely Things Are)

Morbid Curiosity Leading Many Voters to Support Palin. “A recent poll shows 62% of Americans say they don’t want to vote for Palin, but just kinda have to see what what would happen.” (The Onion)

Dogs in Ginza Wearing School Uniforms and Glasses. Japan, this is taking your little dog obsession too far; too far, I tell you! (Tokyo Times)

However, Since You Are Twelve… “We appreciate your interest in the Marine Corps. However, since you are twelve, you won’t be eligible to be a Marine for a while.” (Letters of Note)

New Game! Is it Etsy or Anthropologie? Hah. Loves it. And it can be very hard to tell. (Regretsy)

This Is the Brooklyn We Live In, This Is the Brooklyn I Remember. A beautiful post about growing up in New York City and then raising your own kids there. It makes me think about what a different life she and her daughters must lead, compared to those of who weren’t raised in the greatest metropolis. (Sweet Fine Day)

Postscript: Reynolds Price. A thoughtful eulogy for North Carolina writer Reynolds Price, who passed away last week. (The Book Bench)

7 Common Investing Mistakes. A place to start, at least. (Wise Bread)

Light Locations. Such a beautiful photographs of such peaceful, bright space. I want to create rooms like this in a house one day. (Ill Seen, Ill Said)

Bruce. I feel like there’s a great short story in this. (FOUND Magazine)