December 16th, 2007

storyteller doll

One chore done

Not that anybody else cares, but I finally finished the shelf paper. Annoyingly, one cabinet was about a half inch wider than the width of the paper off the roll, meaning I needed to measure and fit two pieces.

I have another cabinet related annoyance, by the way. Namely, the clearance between the counter tops and the wall cabinets is just a little bit too low to allow my spice rack to fit there. I think I can hang the spice rack on the wall. I'm not really crazy about that as a solution but the only other real option is buying a new spice rack that will fit. Which is kind of wasteful.
storyteller doll

Jewish Living magazine

I picked up the premiere (Nov / Dec 2007) issue of Jewish Living magazine the other day, when I was in Waldenbooks satisfying a craving for a crossword puzzle book. My take on it is that they're trying to be a sort of hip lifestyle magazine. There were a few interesting articles (e.g. one on Jewish girls adopted from China and how they were or weren't incorporating the Chinese heritage into bat mitzvahs, one on Jews with tattoos, and one on A. J. Jacobs and his Year of Living Biblically project and resulting book). The recipes were a bit too creative. If I'm ever un-lazy enough to make latkes from scratch (vs. buying frozen ones), it's my mother's I will make, not ones with ginger and sweet potato, as good as that actually sounds. There's also a bunch of celebrity gossip stuff, which isn't really my thing.

Overall, it was reasonably well done and I will probably buy it again. I might even decide to subscribe. But there is no reason to save it. I'll pass it along to my mother when I send her her birthday present (which I already have, but need to finish reading. I'm mailing it early since I'll be in Fiji on her birthday, but I want to wait until after Christmas because the post office will be less crazy.)
storyteller doll

A Plea to Earl Bettinger

Earl Bettinger is "the husband who..." and I figure if anybody can talk some sense into Lilian Jackson Braun, he can.

I just read The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers. Given my annoyance with the series, I am not sure why I bothered to, except that it's sort of traditional for people in my family to read books before giving them to one another. And I had picked it up at McKay's for my mother for her upcoming birthday.

This book, like others in the series, was shelved in the mystery section. And, sure enough, there is actual crime. There are, in fact, two cases of arson, a major robbery, and one probable murder. Now, in the early books in the series, Koko provides clues which Qwill interprets and Andrew Brodie uses to solve the crime. They're very cute even if you hate the whole animal detective thing.

In this one (like the last several) Koko yowls a bunch, but he doesn't even so much as knock a book off a shelf to provide a hint. Everybody dismisses the murder and the arson gets blamed on hooligans from another county.

Lack of detection does not make for a satisfying mystery.

So, please, please, please, Mr. Bettinger. Take the keyboard away from your wife. Wrap her up in a nice cozy afghan, put her in a rocking chair, settle a cat or two on her lap, ply her with cocoa (or something stronger if needed). Put do not under any circumstances allow her to write another book. And give her the following message:

Thirty-one (28 novels and 3 short story collections) is enough. Stop now and maybe I will forgive you for the hitchhiker who disappeared several novels ago and was never mentioned again. Stop now and I will forgive you for limericks that don't scan. Stop now and I will forgive you for not knowing that you can take cats to Paris. But whatever you do, stop now.