Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Traveling Book Debate, Part 3: What's in the Bag?

In the middle of this afternoon, I decided all of what I'm bringing with me to Nevada in my canvas bag. Here's what'll be in it:

- Two blank composition books (I bought these a long time ago, but never used them, and now's the time to do so, not only to keep tabs on where we went and what we did, but also to look at the businesses all around and attempt to write copy for them in order to create a copywriting portfolio for myself, should I decide to pursue a career in that. I'm also going to write about what's all around me and how I feel while I'm there, because I'd like to expand my desert music soundtrack. I've done well enough so far with "Amazonia" by Paul Lawler and Paul Speer, and two tracks by Jeff Oster ("Serengeti" and "This Place"), among others, but I've done it at a distance from Las Vegas and Henderson. I want to take what I feel about each area after I come back to Santa Clarita and put it into choosing new music to be part of this soundtrack. No goal. Just a continuing hobby to have music express my feelings about my new home and that vast, inspiring desert atmosphere.)

- 28 Barbary Lane by Armistead Maupin (The first Tales of the City omnibus, and a perfect time with a little over four hour drive to Las Vegas to begin rereading the series by reading light, since most of this drive will surely be while it's dark outside. I learned earlier though that we have no more AAA batteries, and if my reading light cuts out, I'll have to replace the batteries with what I have in my fabric mp3 case. We'll probably get more in Las Vegas or Henderson, since prices are more reasonable there.)

- Everywhere That Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline (After reading Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter by Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, I was curious about everything else Scottoline had written, knowing that the same lighthearted style would probably not be prevalent in those books, but after learning that Scottoline's main series is legal thrillers, I immediately ordered the first of them. I may not even read it because of all there will be to do in two days, but it's what I do, and my canvas bag won't be as heavy as it was on previous trips.)

- Dog On It by Spencer Quinn (I tried reading this novel about a dog named Chet and his private detective owner Bernie in May 2009, but it didn't take. Yet, the concept still interests me, that of the dog narrating the story, and participating in solving the mystery. I ordered it last year (I borrowed it from the Valencia library the first time), but hadn't even looked at it until now, when I was deciding what to bring with me. It's another first mystery novel, first in a series, so there's that, but also because it has Chet, it's worth bringing with me, since I'll be missing Tigger and Kitty, our two dogs.)

- Personal Pleasures by Rose Macaulay (I'll be taking deep pleasure in a lot of things in Las Vegas and Henderson, so it's appropriate to have this British satirical novelist's book with me about her own pleasures. It's also just the kind of book I like, reveling in pleasure.)

I'll bring new pens with me from the holder in the kitchen cabinet, cheap and reliable blue click pens from Target. I have two in a holder next to my bed, but those are nearly out of ink. I'll start new, since many of these experiences to come, such as seeing a movie at a theater that's inside a casino, will be new to me.

Dad and Meridith are done at work at 2:15, though Dad has to wait for his substitute to arrive since she has a meeting about a student first (It's another teacher who's agreed to cover for him). Once that's done, they get home, we make sure we have everything we need for this trip, and I presume someone from Enterprise is going to pick us up since we're renting a car for this trip. I don't know yet, but chances are we'll be out on the road toward 5 p.m., onward first to Baker (Our favorite rest stop, and really the only good one that there is on the way), and then to Nevada and our new home area. For the next three days, life is going to be perfect and hopefully it'll be successful enough to lead us to permanent perfection as residents of Henderson. I'm going to thoroughly enjoy everything about it.

The Traveling Book Debate, Part 2: Who Needs Presidents?

Toward 2 this morning, I was lying on my bed, watching "The Doorbell Rang," the first series episode of A&E's Nero Wolfe, on DVD, giving myself over completely to the delightful use of language in the series, how measured Nero Wolfe is when he speaks, that when he gets ticked over something, it's the equivalent of an act of war and easily understandable considering who he's usually up against. I also love the combination of Maury Chaykin's Wolfe (Chaykin became one of my favorite actors through this series and his brief role in Entrapment, the latter of which, to me, demonstrated his fearlessness as an actor) and Timothy Hutton's Archie Goodwin, as truly inseparable as Holmes and Watson.

As I listened to the dialogue, I looked around my room as I always do, not out of boredom, but doing some figuring of my own, looking at the stacks of books I have for my research, determining what I should start on when I get back from Nevada, looking at my Las Vegas stack and thinking about whether I should read one or two of them today, and looking at other stacks with so many novels pressed against each other, trying to remember if there are any that demand my immediate attention. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one, not only because of the trailer for the movie and the commercials for it on TV, but also because right when I finished Greyhound by Steffan Piper and put it in my permanent collection, I wanted another book involving a young boy's exploration of the world. That one would appear to be it, even though I've not opened it yet, and will likely save it for when I get back.

I also looked at the stacks that are so close to my bed on my left side that I barely have to extend two fingers to touch them, exactly as I like it. I looked down the stack closest to me and found a book that makes me cancel out any presidential books I was thinking about bringing with me.

This book is called Personal Pleasures by Rose Macaulay, originally published in 1936, and published again in 1990. She was a satirical British novelist, and in this book, she writes about her pleasures, such as "Eating and Drinking," "Cinema," "Clothes," "Finishing a Book," "Meals Out," "Play-Going," "Walking," and "Writing." I'm going on a trip to where I find the most pleasure in my life. This book will join 28 Barbary Lane in my canvas bag (I'm still deciding on which two first mystery novels to bring). The presidents can wait until I get back.