Monday, December 10, 2007

Bits and Pieces.

Sunday was a good day. I sewed like a frantic woman and got most of the top of the quilt done before Mum arrived. She walked into the lounge room with her dog bouncing all over her, and there was a sewing machine. Something that has never before been seen in my house. She's an intelligent woman so she knew something was up. So while Dad fixed a couple of things in the kitchen that had come apart, we had coffee and talked about sewing. It was all very arty-crafty.

Mum's actually a very creative person. She's always been ducking off taking classes in different crafts for as long as I can remember.They've still got glazed pottery mugs from the pottery phase she went through when I was 13 and I still remember the drawing classes she went to where she'd put bright colours on the page, then cover the page with black and then scratch out a design. The colours show through the black. That was pretty amazing when you're small. We always wore the clothes she made us when we were growing up, both knitted and sewn. The list could go on, but it won't because I'm going to move on from nostalgia about the olden days. She's always done her own thing, and now that 'thing' is painting. After she retired she took up the paintbrush, and she goes to classes, exhibits at shows and has sales to her credit. What makes this even more incredible is that she has really bad rheumatoid arthritis that has twisted her fingers and gives her pain in every joint of her body all the time. She never complains about it, which is brave. If I had it, (which I never will. I've told the cosmos that I'm not inheriting that particular gene. I refuse), then I'm sure I'd be sitting on the couch whimpering like a miseryguts all the time. But she just gets on with it. I could go on about the quadruple bypass she went through a couple of years ago, then just when she'd recovered from all of the painful physio resulting from that, how she tripped and smashed her shoulder and had to go through it all again with such grace and bravery, but I won't. It'll sound like a eulogy, and she definitely isn't dead yet. Unless she's the most solid ghost ever seen in the history of the world.

After Mum and Dad left I finished the patchwork. I'm really happy with how it looks. I rang Sandy and we had a batting and backing expedition to Spotlight. Mum said that one of her friends who is a quilting demon told her that she prefers to make backing out of flannelette because it grips the top of the bed better, so when we walked in and Spotlight had a sale on flannelette sheet sets I stocked up. $20 a set, no matter what size. I walked away with four sets. There were two more sets left, but somehow I didn't think the boys would be too fond of bright pink fairy backings on their quilts. They're reasonably evolved little males, but the pink fairy thing just isn't a boundary any of us are willing to fight through.

After that it was time for Brennan's guitar concert. He's been learning for three years now and he's finally good enough to be put in a band to play, instead of sitting up there with his teacher, painfully plunking away at some lame song. They played 'I love rock and roll' by Joan Jett (which coincidentally is the same song that he won the school talent quest last week playing.) There were three guitarists, a drummer and a singer. They sounded good, but Brennan made me laugh. He looked like the 'cool' one.... he stood like a rock in one place and simply played. He should've been a bass player.

Nicola from Back to Books included this list of the top 100 books of the twentieth century, compiled by the good folk of Random House's Modern Library. This is a very American list, but I like skimming down lists like this and seeing which ones I've knocked over. I've put stars next to those ones. If you're not a reader, then feel free to skip the rest of this post, because there's nothing else after this.

Modern Library Top 100 Books of the Century

ULYSSES by James Joyce
*THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
*LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
*BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
*THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
*THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
*1984 by George Orwell
*I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
*TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
*INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara
U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
*ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
*LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
*THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
*PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
*THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
*A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
*THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark
FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
KIM by Rudyard Kipling
A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
*BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow
ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
*THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
*THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
LOVING by Henry Green
MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
IRONWEED by William Kennedy
THE MAGUS by John Fowles
WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
*SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
*THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain
THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
*THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
read 22/100
(that's pretty bad, isn't it? I'd better start using this list as a 'tick off' list and get me some more of that C20th lit happening.)

4 comments:

Kim said...

Good to hear from you! Isn't it a wonderful thing that parents become friends you admire? ;o)

You have taken to quilting. Great! Welcome to the cult, LOL!

maybaby said...

You are a born quilter...I am in awe!

The books, the books...after 12 years as a bookbuyer, after earning a Master's in English/Creative Writing...I've read quite a few and I can convincingly fake my way through a conversation about most of them.

Is that a good thing?

Er.

Look! Something shiny over there! I think it's a quilt!

(quietly sneaks out the door)

Frogdancer said...

Maybaby: you're an idiot! I laughed a lot... (Higher praise I cannot bestow....)

Kim: is there a secret handshake I need to know about now I'm officially a cult member???

River said...

I've read only three of those books. I tend to read much more low-brow fiction which leaves the mind as soon as I close the last page.