Sophie’s World

I almost finished Sophie’s World today. It’s amazing to me how a book can have such high worldwide sales and be so little known in the U.S. That’s probably an indicator of just how egocentric we are as a nation. I should have the book finished by tomorrow, and I will write a review for this site shortly thereafter.

Other projects on the burner include redesigning the West Side Books website, reading and reviewing several different books, finishing the first draft of “Sphere of Success,” revising “Saint and Cynic” and trying to find a home for it, doing the homework for Melanie’s class next week and critiquing a long story for the Writer’s Circle group for the week after that. Oh yeah, painting, wainscoting, and wallpapering, too. Oy.

It’s probably not smart for me to rattle off a ton of things like that. It’s daunting. It’s like saying, “I need to lose 150 pounds in three months,” when a more realistic goal would be to lose 15 pounds in three months. That said, let me revise my project list.

  • This week, I need to write a review of Sophie’s World and complete a basic redesign of the West Side Books website.

  • The week after that, I need to work on “Sphere of Success” and “Saint and Cynic,” as well as doing the homework for Melanie’s class.

  • The week after that, I need to critique the long manuscript for The Writer’s Circle.

  • Home improvements can come on the weekends.

Well, I didn’t drop anything from the list, and I only slightly reworded it, but it does seem a little less daunting now that it’s broken up into weeks with specific goals.

Somewhere in there, after I get broadband tomorrow, I will need to work on the network at home, but that’s almost a relaxing activity for me.

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Painting and prepping

Okay, almost the whole upstairs is now painted. I ran out of paint and had to rush to Lowe’s before they closed, but we got enough to finish the bedroom upstairs and got all the furniture back in so we would have something to sleep on. All that’s left upstairs is touch-up work, which my wife says she will finish this week.

I’m glad she said that, because I will be very busy this week. John from Dante Spumante did call, and I told him I would play with them on Tuesday. He wanted to know when we could rehearse, but I told him we might not have a chance due to my tight schedule. Today, I painted. Monday, I’m supposed to attend the monthly Old Possum’s writing workshop. Tuesday is gig day, and I have to work both Monday and Tuesday during the day. That doesn’t leave much time unless I forego the Old Possum’s workshop. I don’t want to do that, but it looks like I might have to.

Wednesday, I have the Writer’s Circle writing workshop, and Thursday is the day for Melanie Tem’s writing workshop. It only happens occasionally that I have three workshops in one week, but when it does, the whole week feels swamped. Friday is relatively clear, except for a potluck and BBQ at work, but that means I will need to make something Thursday night after the workshop. Oy. Saturday, my nephew is getting married, and then we are driving to Colorado Springs to see Dot Com open for Jack Russell, the former lead singer for Great White.

Sunday, we get to start painting the downstairs. Joy.

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Come home, Son

The Rockies beat the Cubbies 2-0 last night, and I finished painting the stairwell in its entirety this morning. Did I mention that I hate painting?

In the early evening, I went to the airport to pick up my son, who had spent the last four weeks with his Mom in Texas. I’m very glad to have him, and eternally guilt-ridden that he has to split his time between his parents because we couldn’t make it as a couple. It’s not his fault; if anybody’s, it’s mine, because I’m the one who asked for the divorce. But he’s the one suffering. I tell myself that he would be suffering more if we were together, though. I think that’s true …

While eating a late dinner at Gunther Toody’s, I got a phone call from Brad the Drummer, giving me a heads up that John from Dante Spumante was going to be calling me in the morning to see if I would be able to play with them on Tuesday night at Cricket on the Hill in Denver. I haven’t played much since we started working on the house, so I dug out the guitar and played along with the CD of our performance at Herman’s Hideaway on July 23rd. I hope John actually does call tomorrow.

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Southern Cross and Primer

We worked more on the house last night; the upstairs hallway (and all seven doors in it) are now painted and my wife primered (?) over some stenciled roses in the bedroom. Tonight we’re going to a Colorado Rockies game, so we won’t get any painting done. But tomorrow, while she’s at work, I will try to get the stairwell painted. I read more of Sophie’s World last night, and I also got a couple of books in the mail that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. Where the Southern Cross the Dog (Fairwood Press) and Veil of the Soul (Yard Dog Press) are chapbooks by Trey Barker, a writer-stagehand-musician-former radio personality-funny guy in Illinois. I’m especially looking forward to Where the Southern Cross the Dog, because the stories in it are inspired by Mississippi Delta Blues. When I complete each, I will post a review on this site.

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Sophie’s Snowman

We actually did do a lot of work on the house last night. All of the tile behind the stove is now gone, and the ceiling in the hallway and stairwell is now a dazzling shade of white. Overall, I’m pleased with my Wagner Power Painter; I will certainly use it on the remaining ceilings, and I’m thinking about using it on the walls as well. There is one spot in the stairwell that we will have to roll by hand with an extension, but that’s a small thing compared to painting an entire flocked ceiling with a roller.

There is one disadvantage to using a paint sprayer to paint the ceiling; by the time we were done last night, I looked like a snowman.

As far as intellectual creativity goes, I spent my lunch hour today reading more of Sophie’s World. I’m enjoying that book, and will write a review of it when I finish. The writing style seems a tad anachronistic, but I’m not sure whether that assessment is fair to make. The book does have similarities to Lewis Carroll, and that could be coloring my perceptions of it. It could also be that the writing is more stiff and archaic in translation than in the original; I believe the work was originally written in Norwegian. At any rate, occasionally modern day references will pop up that feel a little out of sync with the writing style, but that’s hardly a reason not to like the book. It probably has more to do with the baggage I’m bringing to the book than anything else.

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