• Today happens to be my birthday. 36 still counts as mid-30s, right? It’s not such a bad place to be, I think. My day was fairly low key; it’s a busy teaching day for me, so Hobgoblin and I will celebrate more tomorrow. He did give me my present today, which is a Garmin bike computer with GPS (this one, if you are interested), which will be lots of fun to use on bike rides and for training. He also got me a gift certificate for a massage at the local massage place in town. Yay!
  • I got some books as well. A friend of mine sent me a whole stack, including The Old Religion by David Mamet, The Public Image by Muriel Spark, Shroud by John Banville, and Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson. This last one I’ve already read but didn’t own, so now I have my own copy.
  • Oh, and I got home from work today to find that Hobgoblin brought home cupcakes! I had one tonight and will have another tomorrow. Yum.
  • In other news, I have now finished Stevie Smith’s Novel on Yellow Paper and am trying to figure out what I will say about it for the Slaves of Golconda discussion this weekend. I’m not sure yet. We’ll see.
  • This means it’s time to pick a new novel. I’m not entirely sure what that will be, but I’m thinking maybe Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. A friend of mine said she has been enjoying it a lot, and I think I might read along with her.
  • Another friend recently lent me Sarah Vowell’s book The Wordy Shipmates. The back cover says “To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Sarah Vowell investigates what that means — and what it should mean. What was this great political enterprise all about? Who were these people whoΒ  are considered the philosophical, spiritual, and moral ancestors of our nation? What Vowell discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoe-buckles-and-corn reputation might suggest.” Sounds interesting, right?
  • And now I’m off to watch another episode of Brideshead Revisited. Three more to go.


Filed under Books, Cycling, Life

22 responses to “Notes

  1. Happy Birthday!

    The slaves discussion of Novel on Yellow Paper should be interesting, I think’s it’s an interesting but not entirely succesful novel and am looking forward to hearing everyone else’s thoughts.


  2. Happy happy birthday, Dorothy! Do hope that the celebrations keep going, well into the weekend. Lovely presents and lovely activities planned, I see. I’ve been really enjoying the Stevie Smith, I think because she sounds so much like some of my students talking. I’m very much looking forward to the discussion!


  3. Happy birthday! Cupcakes, novels, and Brideshead Revisited – sounds like a lovely way to spend the day.


  4. Happy birthday! From the sound of it the celebration is off to a great start. The Vowell books sounds interesting. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about Novel on Yellow Paper for almost a week and still have no idea. Where do you start with a book like that? It should be a good discussion!


  5. Happy birthday! Yum, the cupcakes… I couldn’t concentrate on the next bullet points once you told us about that one.


  6. Happy Birthday! I hope you and the Hobgoblin have something fun planned today. I think I am forever going to associate cupcakes with bike riding (though I’m guessing the cupcakes were just goodies in honor of the day!). I just ordered a Sarah Vowell book (a different one–of essays), so I’ll be curious to hear what you think. And I am still reading Stevie Smith–I hope to finish by Sunday, so I might be a little late joining in.


  7. Happy Birthday (a day late, but I always like it when my birthday drags out a week or so…). You’ll love The Wordy Shipmates. It’s terrific!


  8. A belated happy birthday, Dorothy.


  9. Never too late to send well wishes, so here I am: Happy Birthday, Dorothy! Trust you had a great time, and all those wonderful gifts… and above all, the great gift of youth!


  10. bardiac

    Happy Birthday! The Garmin sounds FUN! I hope it is!

    Is the Stevie Smith of this novel the same Stevie Smith whose poetry I admire so much?


  11. Sarah — oh, I’m definitely looking forward to it too. I’m curious about why you think it’s not entirely successful. I came to a similar conclusion, although I’m not sure I have good reasons for it.

    Litlove — you make me wonder whether I’m not loving the Smith as much as I thought I would because this ISN’T a voice I ever hear or can recognize as genuine. My students don’t talk that way πŸ™‚ I did have a great birthday and yesterday’s celebratory day was great. I bought a stack of books!

    Claire — oh, thank you! It was a great day and the day following was a lot of fun too πŸ™‚

    Stefanie — yes, and the celebrations yesterday were great too. I may write about it soon, or at least I’ll write about my new books. Because of course book shopping was part of my birthday celebration!

    Smithereens — a friend made a giant cupcake for me! Wasn’t that a great gift? I couldn’t believe my luck πŸ™‚

    Danielle — you are right that cupcakes are all about cycling, at least as far as I’m concerned! As I said to Sarah, a cycling friend with whom I often do the cupcake ride made a giant cupcake for me, which was wonderful. As for the Smith, I hope you jump in to the discussion even if you haven’t had a chance to finish it, because once you’ve gotten a taste of the voice, you know a lot about the whole book. There’s not much development or change.

    Lilian — thank you!!

    Emily — oh, yes, birthdays that go on and on are wonderful. And I’m glad to hear you like the Vowell so much! Actually, I know you’re a fan and wasn’t surprised to see your comment.

    Anthony — thank you!!

    Arti — I did have a great birthday, and thank you for calling me youthful! I did just have a student comment on how young I look, so that was nice πŸ™‚

    Bardiac — it’s so cold out I haven’t been able to test the Garmin, but I’m looking forward to it. And yes, it’s the same Stevie Smith. Tempting, isn’t it?


  12. A very happy birthday to you! I think Sarah Vowell is pretty charming…most of my experience of her is through NPR, and I can’t decide whether I like her despite or partially because of her extra-weird voice.

    Anyway, enjoy!


  13. Happy happy for yesterday. Wishing you a wonderful year of reading and riding.


  14. It’s tough to celebrate a birthday in winter, but I think you and Hobgoblin did just fine! I hope the Garmin makes your upcoming races a little more fun.

    What kind of cupcakes did you have? I am in the mood for coconut…


  15. Darn, I’m late to the birthday party and the cupcakes! Hope you had a wonderful day and wishing you a fabulous year πŸ™‚


  16. Happy late birthday wishes!


  17. verbivore

    Whoops, I’m late, but Happy Birthday anyway! Hope 36 is a wonderful year.


  18. Emily — I don’t happen to like Vowell’s voice on NPR, so I’m hoping when I read the book, I won’t be hearing it! I’m glad to hear she’s a charming writer.

    Charlotte — thank you so much!

    Debby — thank you! We certainly did have a fun day. The Garmin is great — I get so much data from it that is fun to look at. Oh, and the cupcakes were vanilla and chocolate. I like basic flavors!

    Iliana — thank you so much! I’d share my cupcakes if I could πŸ™‚

    Jodie — thank you!

    Verbivore — thanks! So far, 36 is going quite well πŸ™‚


  19. Oh, Happy Belated Birthday! Cupcakes sound wonderful πŸ˜‰ Hope it was a wholly marvellous day.

    I hope you read Olive Kitteridge, for selfish reasons – I feel I should read it since the author will be speaking in town this summer and I’m trying to decide if I should attend…I’ll be interested to see what you have to say.


  20. Cam

    Hope your birthday was happy.

    Of course 36 still counts as mid-30’s! I think you say you’re in your mid 3o’s until you’re about 43-44 if that’s what you want to do.


  21. Melanie — thank you! It was a great day. I am in the middle of OK now and am loving it so far. I’d love to see the author!

    Cam — Well, I’m not sure I want to say I’m in my mid-30s when I’m actually in my 40s, but I’m glad I can keep the label for now πŸ™‚


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