Wednesday, April 30, 2008

But It Seemed Like Such a Good Idea...

Somebody, please remind me not to do these things in the future:

Set up a challenge at a blog domain with which I’m completely unfamiliar. This was not a swift move when I’ve barely managed to figure out the most basic ins and outs of the blogging domain I’ve been using for nearly two years now. It’s an even worse idea when one considers the fact that this new blog is going to involve multiple users.
Why It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: I wanted to share the ecojustice challenge with colleagues and friends. I’m not so sure I want all those colleagues and friends reading Telecommuter Talk. I thought it might not be quite as easy to make the connection to the two if one was at Blogger and the other was at Wordpress. I’m probably right, since most of my colleagues and friends know nothing about blogging, but it isn’t fail proof, and I probably could have been just as successful keeping the two separate if I’d just used Blogger. Also, I really do want to learn my way around Wordpress and thought this would be a good way to do so. Wrong: what would have been a good way to do so would have been to create some simple blog that nobody reads meant solely for play and experimentation.

Take a Cat to the Beach: It’s not so much the taking him along on the trip part. He’s a wonderful traveler who doesn’t try to choke himself to death when we put him on a harness, and he loved the hotel room. It’s the mistaken idea that a cat might actually like to, you know, go down by the water the way a dog would, especially when a motorcycle decides to come roaring by at the same time. I’ve seen a cat’s tail double in size, but I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen one quadruple in size, and if you ever wondered what someone’s arms might look and feel like if they’d somehow managed to escape after having been fed to the lions, well, you can ask Bob.
Why It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Anyone else read any of the Norton books by Peter Gethers? That man (despite the fact he once wrote me a very nice letter in response to a letter I wrote him) ought to be sued for false advertising the way he so blithely writes about a cat who traveled all over the world, basically riding on Gethers’s shoulders most of the time it seems. Gethers must somehow make use of a secret subliminal writing technique that lures readers into believing this is, somehow, something any cat, given enough love, can be trained to do. He doesn’t state it. In fact, he even insists that his cat was perfect, but it’s hidden there somewhere.

Order a 700+-paged trilogy through ILL at my local library: The due date is less then three weeks away. The fine is $1.00 for each day it’s overdue.
Why It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the time: I’m not supposed to be buying books (I have a 4 books-to-read deficit at this point, given my plan to read at least three books I own before buying a new book). My friend raved about this one to me, and he’s never failed me yet, so I was, of course, dying to get my hands on it. My own library system didn’t have a copy of it. This was the only way to read it without buying it. I wanted to see how the ILL system works. Lots of good reasons, really, that all seem absolutely ridiculous as I try to figure out how many pages I need to read a day before this book is due.

Go to the huge Lancaster County library book sale when in four-books-to-read deficit mode. I now have to read a mere 37 books before I can buy anymore (make that 40, because I just ordered a copy of Much Depends on Dinner for the ecojustice challenge). Yes, I bought 11 books. You would have too if you’d seen all those paperbacks for a mere fifty cents a piece (on the first day of the sale, first thing in the morning, no less, when there was still a grand collection. In CT, those kinds of prices didn’t kick in until the third day when the only things left were ancient Harlequin romances and textbooks). Oh yeah, and it doesn’t seem I’m going to be making a dent in that deficit anytime soon when I’m going to be reading a 700+-paged library book for the next three weeks.
Why It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: It didn’t. Under no circumstances whatsoever is attending something like a huge library book sale where paperbacks go for fifty cents a piece ever a good idea for someone like me. Still, I seem to do it every single year. As a matter of fact, Bob and I went to this same sale last year, because he happened to be here for his interview exactly a year ago, and we stopped by it on our way out of town.


Anonymous said...

I have every sympathy with the blogging awkwardness, and I laughed a lot about the cat at the beach, but there can be absolutely nothing wrong with buying cheap books. Books insulate walls, they prop up wobbly tables, they are infinitely versatile! All will be well.

Rebecca H. said...

I can't resist the library sales either -- and unfortunately, we're entering into library sale season soon. I like your goal of reading three books for every one you buy, but I can see it would be nearly impossible to stick to it!

ZoesMom said...

I don't think books bought at library sales actually count in the same way that buying new books do. Paperbacks for 50 cents that you actually want are hard to come by. I think you should adjust your ratios accordingly.

BTW, I am no WordPress genius, but I am pretty handy with these types of things so if you need help on that blog or this one, let me know. I offer free completely non-abrasive tech support. :-)

Eva said...

hehe-you make me laugh! And I had a difficult time switching from blogger to wordpress, so I understand your pain. I had to take our family cat on a road trip from San Antonio to northern Colorado. It wasn't a great idea, which I knew at the time, but I didn't have much a a choice. The worst idea, though, was when I was worried because he hadn't used the litter box in over twenty-four hours, so I decided to take him for a walk (on a harness) along the side of an interstate. A small interstate, but still. He didn't forgive me for almost a year!

Anonymous said...

I totally relate with your blogging awkwardness: whenever I cross-post on the Curious Singularity blogger site, it seems that I have to learn everything again! Makes me feel old :(

Maybe you can compensate your 40 books to read by mooching out a few you don't like anymore??

Thanks for the great laugh about the cat. Don't blame the writer though, it's called "suspension of disbelief"!

Susan said...

I agree. Buying 50 cent books don't count towards your read three books first rule, because they are extra books that you obviously don't have and need and are cheap and will read at some time :-) Only new books apply to your terrible rule. Terrible, because I've been buying books -used and new - at a singularly inspiring rate this year so far. Somehow they come home with me. My excuse? I have to get ready for next year's challenges!!!
And I can't post on Renay's site for the herding cats challenge, something keeps happening to blogger,- which blogger then tried to pretend I didn't exist. Very scary!! so as for switching to a new blogging site? *shiver*

Anonymous said...

My goodness, Emily. You certainly capture that "what was I thinking" feeling. I'm so with you on the used book sale part! And I'm intrigued by your ratio of buying new to reading existing books. Sounds like you've got a bit of catching up to do. Luckily you'll have fun doing so! Best, TJ

Anonymous said...

i love love love love LOVE library book sales and because of my love for them I deem they don't count in your total because the money goes to a good cause and so really, it's like charitable giving. I deem your deficit significantly shrunk...

Emily Barton said...

Litlove, oh you're right. So many good uses for all those books. How could I possibly think it was a mistake to buy them?

Dorr, oh yes, the best thing about summer in CT is all the library book sales.

ZM, ratios duly adjusted...

Eva, oh man, you ARE a brave soul to have taken a cat on a harness on a busy highway!

Smithereens, guess what I'm doing this weekend. Yep, taking a box of books to donate to next year's library sale, and you're right. Completely my own fault to be sucked in my suspension of disbelief.

Susan, well, you know, you never know what someone might challenge you to do next, and it's always a very good idea to be prepared. And glad to hear I have good company in blog-domain hell.

TJ, "What-Was-I-Thinking?" is my middle name. And, yes, this resolution of mine is great fun (and certainly not too difficult for a Book Slut).

Court, you're so right. That money went to a good cause. Thanks for redeeming me!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, you are ever so good at making me laugh. Library book sales are never a good idea if you aren't supposed to buy books. Even if you promise that you will only buy the book that you have been looking for for ages because you are certain it will be life changing, that book won't be there but you will walk out with an armful of other books.

Taking a cat to the beach? had you been drinking before making that decision? ;)

And don't worry about Wordpress, it really is easy it just takes time to figure out where everything is.