Friday, March 27, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

BBC Book List
The BBC estimates most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Bold = I've read it
Italics = I’ve seen the movie
Underline = I own it but have never read it (entirely)
**** = four stars because it's AWESOME

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte****
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (only partially, because IT WAS BORING AS HELL)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (see also No. 33)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan****
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens****
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt****
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (see also No. 14)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Hmm, not bad when you consider all the books I OWN...

Feminist Rant

Yesterday I went to WalMart, and as I often do, I wandered over to the Barbie aisle.

Now, maybe some of you think this is strange, but I am a big Barbie fan. I loved playing with Barbies as a little girl, was devastated when my older sister finally decided she was too old to play with me (I wasn't ready to give them up!), and I continue to enjoy those little plastic women. I sold all of my play Barbies in garage sales years ago, but about eight years ago I started buying Barbies again. Only now I buy Collectors Edition dolls, particularly Dolls of the World. I don't know how many I have, but I think it's more than a dozen.

In case you haven't heard from all the media attention, Barbie is currently celebrating her 50th anniversary. And Mattel has released some new Barbies. I saw some of them last night and I particularly liked Scottish Barbie, and so I picked her up. As a collector, I don't think $25 is all that extreme to pay for something that makes you happy.

When I get to the check-out line, there is a couple in front of me, but I put my items on the conveyor belt. The male cashier looks at the Barbie and says to the man in front of me, "I bet you this is $30. I rang one up that was $99. Who pays $100 for that?"

Annoyed, I just give him an unfriendly smile that should let him know I don't appreciate his commentary on my purchases.

Then, when it's my turn to pay, he scans the doll, and says, "Does she walk on her own? What does she do that makes her worth $30?"

I say nothing.

Then, after he's bagged my items and I have the bag in hand, he says, "Have fun playing with your dolls."

Needless to say, he's an asshole, not necessarily because he's making fun of my buying a Barbie, but because he shouldn't be mocking customers for their purchases no matter what they are buying, in front of and to other customers. It's rude, and it makes me less inclined to go back there. (I considered making a complaint just to get him in trouble because I was pissed, but I didn't think it was necessary, and kind of a shitty thing to do to someone in this economy.)

But here's where the feminist part comes in. Because I have an iPhone, I'm one of those annoying people that updates their Facebook status frequently. So I updated my status to say "Litigious Mind thinks it was mean of the WalMart checker to make fun of her for buying a Barbie."

One of my male feminist friends comments, quite appropriately, about getting judged for your purchases. I write back about how I was tempted to say "of course you wouldn't spend $25 on a collectors item. You work at WalMart."

But then one of my male friends writes and says, "LITIGIOUS MIND! (in all caps so I'm sure to realize that I'm being chastised.) He was flirting with you! (Something about how some men resort to 3rd grade flirting tactics.) And it worked because you're still thinking about him!"

The comment seems harmless enough, but the more I think about it, the more upset it makes me. My friend probably didn't mean it this way, but what I felt like he was telling me was that I should put up with rude comments from men if the men think I'm attractive. That it's okay for men to be jerks as long as they think you're pretty, and women should be flattered by it.

It doesn't bother me so much that the cashier might have been flirting by being a jerk—I just write him off as dumb. But I am bothered by my friend's implication that I shouldn't have been annoyed by it. Does he think that it's flattering to get ANY attention from a man, even when it comes in the form of insults?

I know my friend is a good person, and he's never treated me with anything but respect. But what is most upsetting is that even nice guys don't realize what lies behind their thinking. Telling a woman that she should not be upset by insulting behavior as long as it is accompanied by physical appreciation, to me, feels like telling a woman that your physical appearance is all that matters. As long as a man thinks you're pretty, you have no complaints about him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thank God I Don't Live in Texas

"[A] reasonable person in [Kaupp's] position would not believe that being put in handcuffs was a significant restriction on his freedom of movement."

What the?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Arghhhh!

I am so pissed! I bought a dining table and four chairs today in a set, and I just spent the last 2+ hours of my life assembling each piece. I have the table and three chairs done when I discovered that, instead of a left and a right leg, the last chair came with two right legs.

Awesome

I'm not sure what my options are. I bought the last set the store had. And I sure as hell do not want to unassemble the damn thing, wait for a new set, and then assemble it again.

How fucking hard is it to ensure that the right pieces get in each set? Some idiot put an "L" sticker on a right leg, an now I'm stuck.

I HATE taking things back. Hate it. The whole point of buying something in a store is being able to have it immediately. There is nothing more annoying to me than buying something, taking it home, and then going back. It's inconvenient.

So, because a right leg can be turned into a left leg by some new holes, my dad is going to see what he can do. Option two is to go to another one of the chain's store and force them to open up a set and give me the missing piece.

Either way, I'm still pissed. I wanted to be done with all of this tonight.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Teachers Know Best

Dang, "A Tale of Two Cities" is a really good book. Why wasn't it assigned to me in high school?

Oh wait, IT WAS. And I rented the movie starring Prince Humperdink.

Oops. Sorry, Mrs. S.

FYI

I really like Lily Allen's new album. It is different from her first, but there is still something similar...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Utterly Ridiculous

Get this: the State of New York prosecuted ten nurses who quit their jobs at a nursing home for disabled children. They were charged with conspiracy to commit laws against child endangerment, etc.

And what's more, the nurses' ATTORNEY was charged with criminal solicitation because he advised them that they could resign over their employment complaints.

I cannot believe that! Luckily the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that the prosecutions violated the Thirteenth and First Amendments. Are they really that desperate for lawsuits in New York?

Vinluan v. Doyle, No. 2008-02568, (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 13, 2009).

Huh?

How the heck did it take going all the way to the Ninth Circuit before the defendant was able to convince someone that there are Double Jeopardy problems with charging someone with felony murder, second degree murder, and robbery based on a single homicide and a single robbery? United States v. James, No. 07-10122 (9th Cir. Feb. 26, 2009).

A law student should have been able to spot a problem there. How were a United States Attorney and a federal district court judge not convinced?!?

I Don't Know Why I Find This So Funny, But I Do

The "Fashion Statement" defense is a new one.

"Here, Barrett does not dispute that the [bulletptoof] vest could function as body armor, nor does he dispute that he wore the vest throughout the evening. Barrett wore the vest while distributing methamphetamine to his friends. Later, he wore the vest while threatening his 'friends' with a gun. And, finally, the vest provided personal security when he shot one of his 'friends.' Barrett's claim that he wore the vest merely as a fashion statement to celebrate his 21st birthday is meritless."
--United States v. Barrett, 552 F.3d 724, 727 (8th Cir. 2009).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Disclaimer

So, over the weekend I accidentally mailed an email to the Blogger address that automatically posts to my blog. I realized my mistake about five minutes later and deleted it, but apparently those readers who use Google Reader or RSS feed still received it.

So if you are one of those people, please disregard what you may have seen. It was about another person whose privacy is at issue now, so be nice and keep it zipped if you saw it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gross

So, when Dairy Queen came out with the popcorn shrimp commercial where shrimp are eating popcorn shrimp (possibly their children), I thought it was kinda icky, but oh well, it was just a commercial.

But now Boost Mobile has pigs eating ham/bacon (not sure which) and talking about how they're enjoying the flavor of one of their fallen comrades. ??? Gross.

I do not believe in eating your own species. I don't even believe in eating anything in your own taxonomal class. It creeps me out. As do these commercials.