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Tossing the Horses Overboard

I managed to escape from the Procrastination Army late yesterday night. It wasn�t that hard really. They kept saying they were going to do all sorts of dastardly things to me� right after they finished this last round of Play Station Golf.

Then they were distracted for several hours while they argued amongst themselves where to get dinner; whether to order in or go pick up, if they wanted Chinese or Thai or fried chicken. And that�s when I saw my chance. When the pizza guy arrived I slipped him a note scribbled hastily on a wadded up five dollar bill. He was more then happy to give me a ride back to civilization. Thank you, Pizza Man.

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I�ve noticed how good reading material tends to flow in a cycle. For about a month or two, a selection of half a dozen really amazing, informative and amusing books will come m way; either recommended by friends or I�ll simply stumble across them on a web site or while browsing in a book store. It was during one of these prodigious seasons that I found The Hearing Trumpet, which is now one of my all time favorites that I�ve read at least three or four times by now. There are many others of course. I recently read Green Shadows, White Whale by Ray Bradbury, about the six months he lived in Ireland writing the screenplay for Moby Dick with John Huston.

So I�ll read voraciously for a couple of months. And then, I won�t be able to find a decent book to save my life. No matter where I look, all I come up with is ratty old copies of Stephen King thrillers, or books that look like they should be really good but turn out to be just alright.

I was in the doldrums once again. Toss the horses overboard! Lighten the hold! Unfurl the sails!

So I decided to reread 1984, which is great, a classic, one of my favorites but a little too realistic these days. I tried reading Mrs. Dalloway. It�s very well written and I enjoy the language and description but for some reason I really couldn�t get into it. Elvira (el-vee-ra) says that�s because it�s a women�s book, an assessment I�m skeptical of but then, I haven�t finished reading it so maybe she�s right.

I�m just now getting into another bumper crop of whimsy and wahoo, with Kitchen Confidential and In the Devil’s Garden, which are about professional cookery and the history of forbidden food, respectively. Neil Gaiman, on his journal mentioned some time ago The Manuscript found at Saragossa, an old Gothic mind bender that sounds interesting. And Last night, while perusing Amazon looking for a decent translation of the 1000 and one Nights, I found an interesting little book called Cronopius and Famas. They�re both on my Amazon wish list so maybe someone will be nice and get one or the other for my Birthday, which seems to be blowing in on a warm summer wind that smells like ink and musty paper; anyone who appreciates books will know what a beautiful smell that is.