Monday, February 18, 2008

"Damn! I Thought That was Closer."

I'm officially giddy now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Sweet Babboo!

True love as expressed by Linus and Sally...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This 'n That

I know, I know. I haven't posted in a REALLY long time. No excuses really, other than ennui.

So, while I wait to compose a thrilling new post, one that is sure to generate many comments, here is a quick update of my life.
I have just gotten over two weeks of a bronchial nightmare that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I took a grand total of 5.5 days off from work which is unheard of for me.
Somehow, during my visit to the doctor, I lost my debit card. I cancelled the card immediately yet for some reason it takes 7-10 business days to replace it. I am suddenly, painfully, aware just how often that I used the damn thing on a daily basis.
I am currently reading Treasure Island during my morning commute. What a fun novel. This is a good, fast read made better because the copy I have was a gift from a friend.
I am also reading The Three Musketeers as translated by Richard Pevear. I have seen 2 movie versions of this novel as well as the Disney short but I have never read the book. This book (first published in 1844) has everything - swashbuckling, intrigue, romance and deeds of derring-do. The translation has all of the wit, romance, and rollicking pace of the original French that make me smile, laugh and cheer for the good guys even as I'm reading it.
Through my Lit courses at Northeastern University I have learned that the translator is a very important aspect to consider when buying a classic novel. While the extra research can be time consuming I have been thrilled with my selections of books thus far. I am thoroughly enjoying reading the classics and perhaps for the first time I can clearly see why certain novels have been labeled as such.
I just finished reading Schulz and Peanuts - A Biography by David Michaelis. This was a Christmas gift from Katie that I had dropped broad hints about. The book followed Charles "Sparky" Schulz from his childhood through his death on February 12th, 2000, at age 77. Eerily, the last Peanuts strip ran the very next morning in the Sunday paper.

This novel portrays Schulz in all of his glory, warts and all. And I am fine with that. I did not expect that Schulz was a boy scout or a saint. To me there was no way that a man who instilled his strip with such humor and sadness couldn't help but be filled with his own neurosis. It is a fascinating look at the man who created the comic strip that most moved me to pick up a pencil and draw something - anything - in the first place.
Charles M. Schulz was the cartoonist that I wanted to be when I was 4 years old. I remember always having Charlie Brown paperbacks in the house and I would draw pictures from them ad nauseum. Peanuts was a brilliant creation. Even as a youngster I remember feeling the sadness that permeated the Peanuts strip. There was always a pathos there, just underneath the surface of the text or the drawings. Until Snoopy (and his elaborate fantasy life) came into his own and took over the strip it was always the tale of Charlie Brown who was just trying to get through the day without being reminded that no one really liked him. The depth of Charlie Brown's own sadness, Linus' sincerity, Lucy's crabbiness and Schroeder's dedication to his craft were all reminders that Charles Schulz was a man of deep convictions, profound sadness and gifted with rare insight into the human condition. I have loved very few comic strips in my lifetime and Peanuts is still in the top three. In fact, since no one asked, my top three are:
  • Peanuts
  • Calvin & Hobbes
  • Bloom County
Given the above ramblings obviously books or gift cards to book stores are ALWAYS a good gift for me.
Please make a note of this.