My car needs to be washed -- 01/30/05

My car is an absolute mess. It was warm again today (warm being defined as about two degrees above freezing) and I did think briefly about washing my car.

However, I didn't wash it. Fooling around with a hose and water and such just did not appeal to me, even if it wasn't cold enough for it to freeze on contact. I even thought about going to one of those coin-operated car wash places, but days like this is when they have long lines of cars waiting and I hate to waste time waiting in lines. We might even get up to the upper thirties or even forty degrees later in the week and maybe I will wash it (or at least hose it off a bit) then.

But that sure is a dirty car.

Anyway, here's an attempt at Sunday Brunch for this week:

1) Do you use bookmarks?
I must spend too much time with computers and the Internet; when I first read this question my thoughts were of bookmarks on Web browsers. You mean with real physical dead tree books. I don't use formal bookmarks, just what ever happens to be at hand: a piece of paper, a yellow sticky note, a business card, even a dollar bill.

2) What is your favorite book?
No, I can't name a single favorite book. (Sometimes it might be whatever book I happen to be reading at the time.) As a parent I came to love all of the Dr. Seuss books and The Velveteen Rabbit (although fortunately Adam would usually fall asleep before I got the the part where my voice would choke up and my eyes get watery) and a (large format book the title of which escapes me but I am sure I could find it in a box in the basement) about the four seasons and the activities of three children that I must have read two or three times a week for three or four years at least to Jill and Jeremy. When I was a little kid one of my favorite books was a Little Golden Book about The Speedy Yellow Taxi -- when I was about twelve or thirteen I thought Asimov's The End of Eternity was my favorite novel -- there are always new favorite books.

3) Who is your favorite author?
I can't even nail down a favorite author. As a teenager I was sure Asimov was my favorite, except when I was sure that Heinlein was my favorite. (As I became an adult, Heinlein edged out Asimov.) I was also a big fan of Philip Wylie (Generation of Vipers, Opus 21, Finnley Wren, etc. and, yes, When Worlds Collide). In the late sixties and early seventies I was really into Ken Kesey (in fact, I had wanted to do my doctoral work on Kesey). Right now I am really interested in Neil Stephenson.

4) What is the movie you feel is the most authentic version of a book?
What comes to my mind -- obviously -- are the Rings Trilogy and the Harry Potter movies. Harking back to Ken Kesey -- his greatest novel Sometimes a Great Notion (yes, I think it is superior to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) was made into a movie by Paul Newman (who directed and starred in it) that features an outstanding performance by Henry Fonda. It was a fascinating film that left out much of the novel and was not the definitive version. I would love to see it done with an appropriate budget by somebody like Peter Jackson. I'd love to see Newman cast as the clan patriarch, the role Fonda played in Newman's version of the story.

5) Is there a book you wish they would make into a movie and why?
See the last part of my answer to question 4. Actually, since I first read it almost half a century ago (damn! I am old!) I have wanted to see Asimov's The End of Eternity done as a movie. In fact, when I was about fourteen or so I tried to write a screenplay for it myself. (Fortunately that has been lost to history.)

By the way, I got an e-mail from UMB today with my userid and password; it would appear that they must have been putting in overtime this weekend. I also got an e-mail from my professor -- I'd sent her a note on Friday and apparently several other students had also. So, it appears that we're now all set for the course. Still, the proper thing to do would have been to send an e-mail to everyone saying that these user ids and passwords could not be sent until certain technical problems were corrected.

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