Saturday, April 19, 2008

600 Books

I am turning 23 next Saturday. I did the math, and realized that, if I read one good book per month, and live to be 73, I only have time to read 600 good books before I die, hopefully of liver cancer.

I'll probably read other books than the big 600. If I wanted to, I could read a book a week, on average. The book a month estimate is for good books. I've read a lot of books in my life, but I think I've only read about six good books in my life:

The Prince

The Art of War

Mere Christianity

The Everlasting Man

Fear and Trembling

The Sickness unto Death

I'm realizing there's a huge difference between plain old books and good books, the sort of books by dead people that are read more than a hundred years later. The Radical Reformission, or Blue Like Jazz, are a couple of books that I really like and have found to be quite helpful, but I don't think they'll be read in a hundred years. They aren't built to last. People are going to read The Republic or Critique of Pure Reason, until the end of the world, and maybe even after that, because they say something no one had said before in a timeless way. 

I want to read good books, because most of the things I say, have been said before me, more eloquently.

What are your suggestions for really good books, the ones that are going to be read a hundred years from now, that say new things that haven't been said before? (I've mostly mentioned non-fiction here, but fiction that's about something big is super, too.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Different kinds of sticky

I hate being sticky. I despise it. It drives me crazy. When I get my hands sticky, I have to wash them, a napkin is no good (a wet wipe will do, though). 

When I was in first grade, my first grade class went on a field trip to the Baltimore Zoo; we were there all morning. Leaving the zoo, we ate lunches our mothers packed for us in brown bags. Well, I packed my own lunch. Mom always made me pack my own lunch. That day, I had peanut butter and jelly, and a bit of jelly got on my hand, and although I could get the jelly off, I couldn't get the sticky off. I couldn't wash my hands, because we'd already left the zoo, we were picnicking in a little park outside the zoo. I was afraid I would have to ride all the way back to school with a sticky hand, so I stuck my hand to the bus seat. It was late spring, and a rather warm day, so my hand sweated the sticky off. Sweat is better than sticky, but only a little.

When I eat pancakes, I use syrup sparingly, and, lifting each bite off my plate with my fork, I let all excess syrup drip off. Syrup likes to form long, stringy bits, and those get stuck on my chin; that was pretty bad when I was a child, but is now even worse, because I like my beard to remain soft and fluffy, and not sticky.

Today, I got bananas. I like bananas when they're a little green, because bananas that are too ripe are too sweet for me. The banana I ate today, though, was a little too green. The peel didn't peel evenly, it was tough and broke in places, and where it broke, it released banana sticky, which isn't a dirty sticky or a horrible sticky, but an irritant nonetheless.

There are other kinds of sticky, too, like milk sticky, which is gross, or the sticky left after taping something with duct tape, and removing the tape. There is pine sap sticky, which I normally need to wash my hands a few times for to get rid of.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Trader Joe's has for sale oblong cookies labelled as "dunkers". I immediately procured for myself a package, thinking, "I will dunk these cookies!"

I love to dunk cookies, it's a relaxing bedtime ritual. I have long had problems with circular cookies, though, when it comes to dunking. Cookies that are too large can't fit into the mouth of the glass, and have to be broken in half, which I find rather unpleasant. Cookies that are too small are trouble, too, because I either can only get half of the cookie dunked or I get my fingers sticky with milk, which is gross. I had basically given up on dunking cookies.

I find Trader Joe's dunkers to be vexing. I have no idea if I'm dunking the cookies because I saw that their shape is suitable, or because the packaging label instructs me to dunk them? Did Trader Joe's design them to be dunkable, or did someone in marketing see oblong cookies, and simply label them, "dunkers"? Am I eating them because they're legitimately good cookies, or because I feel like Trader Joe's cares about me and my cookie consumption style, and so has made "dunkers" for me?

The cookies themselves are oblong chocolate chip cookies, with a good, solid layer of chocolate on one side; something like a larger, open-faced, chocolate-chip Milano. The cookie itself isn't very sweet, it's more of a cracker than a cookie, but, when combined with that chocolate layer, it's satisfying, but still less sweet than, say, a Chips Ahoy. I have no idea if I like the cookies, because Trader Joe's recognizes my refined taste and so does not simply dump extra sugar into their cookies, or if I'd prefer a sweeter cookie. Do I prefer these cookies because they are dunkable and have a refined flavor, or because they're from Trader Joe's, and I'm a sucker for anything from Trader Joe's?

Their Indian food is really good.