Saturday, October 13, 2012

Today's the Day: 24-Hour Readathon

It's here.  The Dewey's Read-A-Thon is today, and I'm about to get started.  Once again, I'm a bit late getting going, but I have the coffee and the stack and I'm ready.

Last spring, I had a list and a plan, but this time around, I just have a stack and some ideas.  I'm going to try to finish James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain and Toni Cade Bambara's The Salt Eaters today.  I have a foothold started in both of those, so I think I can do it.

It would also be great if I could use the time to read a hundred or so pages of Infinite Jest, since that has been shelved since I started classes and ran out of time.

I'm also supposed to read the second Canto of Byron's Don Juan for my class on Wednesday, so I may crack into that if it gets to be slow-going and I need a breather from the prose and a sense of accomplishment.

I have a bunch of other books as well (obviously)--some Margaret Atwood, Louis Chu and a book about "Medical Detectives."  So I've got quite a bit of variety: hard-core lit. and some contemporary stuff.

We'll see how it goes.  Time to get started...

4:00 p.m.  How It's Gone

Well, the Scotsman Robert Burns was definitely right when he said, "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Gang aft agley,/ An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,/For promis'd joy!"

I had a few chores to do this morning before I could start reading, and then I got caught up in making lunch.

For many people, lunch is simply lunch, but I should have known when I thought to myself, "Let me go into the kitchen and look at something...", that I was on a slippery slope.

I love to cook.  I think it may be an addiction.  I like cooking better than eating, actually.

So, one Homemade Moroccan Spiced Pie later, I was ready to read.  Or so I thought.

I made the mistake of checking email first.  All week long, I have been embroiled in an Eddie Bauer Bruhaha.

As God is my witness, if I had known what I was getting into when I tried to order two shirts and a pair of shoes, I would have gone both topless and barefoot for the entire week--and it's been quite chilly this week.

"Customer Care Specialist," my ass.  I have been passed around among 15 such "Specialists" over the past week, and I still don't have what I ordered.

I do, however, have a couple of back-ordered items that I cancelled TWICE, two weeks ago.  And they have generously offered to send those to me AGAIN.

At one point in my electronic correspondence, I was tempted to write, "I'M MISSING THE READ-A-THON, YOU BE-FRIGGED IDIOTS!!!", but I did not.  I felt it would be over-the-top.

So, I've taken a shower, I've got a (at this point, much-needed) glass of wine at the ready, and as God is my witness, I WILL get Baldwin and Bambara done today.

"You have failed no one, Grasshopper; only your own ambition." 
--Master Po, Kung Fu (1972)

11:30 p.m.  Redemption

I finished James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain.  Parts of it were really interesting, and reminded me of a cross between Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Steinbeck's East of Eden.  

It's focused on the spirituality and potential salvation of John, the fourteen-year-old protagonist, and tells the story of his parents' lives and conflicts.  The bulk of the novel is organized around a Sunday service that takes place on John's fourteenth birthday.

Personally, I preferred the narratives about John's aunt, his father, and his mother.  

I'm going to work on Bambara's The Salt Eaters now, and although I doubt I'll be able to stay up late enough to finish it and blog again, I'll see how far I get.

All in all, a good ending to a Read-A-Thon that got off to a delayed and somewhat bumpy start.


  1. Coffee + snacks = Great start! Have a blast with the readathon today! Rah, rah, ree! Kick 'em in the knee ... and keep reading! Go Team Smarties!!

  2. Gah: customer service headaches shouldn't be allowed to interfere with way! Hope the rest of your night is more satisfying. Enjoy! (Team Smarties)


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