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reading tiger

1. Helped make rainbow cupcakes at the kids' preschool today. This involves mixing up a white cake batter, dividing it into containers and adding food dye, then scooping the colors into cupcake papers, layer by layer. One of the reasons that I love this preschool is precisely because it's old-school enough to be unashamed about using cake mix and food coloring once in a while. I did not come home covered in colored batter, but it was a close thing. It was also super-fun. I am also also glad that they did this at school where I don't have to help clean up.

2. Re: the Sun-Times photographer layoffs - I mean this in a totally non-flippant way: I hadn't realized that there was anyone media owners considered more even disposable than writers until this story broke. Well, copy editors I guess. :P I am in solidarity with all of them. Reporters taking smart-phone shots? Bitches, please. If you've seen my Flickr stream, you might want to rethink that option.

3. Melville won. I haven't gotten to the chapter-long digressions about whaling particulars yet, but right now I am enjoying the hell out of this book. In part because the narrator is *such* a crankypants. I felt immediate sympathy. I am so looking forward to his bitching for a thousand pages.


RE: Moby Dick. He and his great voice kind of mysteriously disappear, but other really great things rise up underneath it. Me, I'm a fan of the wild whale digressions. Funny and deep. Very cool about the cupcakes. Hadn't heard about the photographer lay-off, but these are pretty tough times that way all around.
I also loved the whale digressions!
I have a feeling I will love the whale digressions too.
Can we nerd out about Moby Dick sometime, Lori? I have a deep, deep love for that book. (So much so that I have a tattoo about it...)
FWIW, the chapter long digressions about whaling were some of my favorites. I still get chills thinking of some of them.
I shake my head with sorrow and pity toward anyone thinking they might write the mythical Great American Novel, because if there is such a thing, it's Moby-Dick and nobody is going to write a better or greater American novel.

Seriously, I've read it twice and know I will read it at least once more. The mighty language, the characters, the sheer audacity of the form - a truly wonderful book.
I've tried to read Melville but been confounded by being confused by what he means about, well, just about everything. I've only read his short stories and am intimidated by Moby-Dick despite my dad saing "it's a great yarn" many times over the years. Are you using any kind of Cliff notes that you'd recommend?
Hm. Do you have problems with other authors of the same era? I'm reading the Penguin edition without much hitch, but I've always kind of liked Melville to begin with. Maybe you could check out Nathanial Philbrick's Why Read Moby Dick? first -- Philbrick wrote the intro to my edition.
I've read Dickens without much trouble, but I don't read a lot of 19th century authors because it feels like such tough sledding. I've read some of Melville's stories but haven't been sure I understood them, for instance Bartleby, the Scrivener. I have a lot of trouble understanding novels, generally, and am trying to read more of it. (I mean literary novels, not things like mysteries.)

Anyway, thanks for that rec, that sounds like a good start.