Barbara's Random Thoughts

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday Next Quiz

Landen -- Thursday's husband. You're quiet, loving, caring -- a writer. Most people like you. When you're comfortable in a situation, you can become very cheerful and lively. Overall you're a great person, but there are people after you: Watch out for the ChronoGuard and Goliath!

Which Thursday Next Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Apparently the author of this quiz couldn't come up with a suitable picture of Landen. Oh well.
| posted by Barbara | 11:39 PM |

Friday, September 24, 2004

Climate Best by Government Test

When I first moved to Redwood City, the receptionist at work commented to me, "Climate best by government test!" This little slogan is on signs all over Redwood City. Anne and I discussed the mystery of its origins one day over lunch. And today, Anne kindly sent me this link. Fascinating.

| posted by Barbara | 10:39 PM |

You're the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood!

Founded by a bunch of Englishmen in 1848, "The group popularized a theatrically romantic style, marked by great beauty, an intricate realism, and a fondness for Arthurian legend." ( Creative license is taken here; not all Pre-Raphaelite art was dark, mediaeval, and deathly serious, like you are. But there were a lot of drowned maidens, and you'd like that.
Famous Pre-Raphaelites: Waterhouse, Millais, Rossetti, and You.

Which art movement are you?
| posted by Barbara | 6:53 PM |

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Song in my head...

I just read two blogs that mention Lisa Loeb's "Stay." And now it's in my head. You know what's sad? I know all the words. And what's really sad? I like the song and don't mind having it running through my head.

"You say I only hear what I want to..."
| posted by Barbara | 9:15 PM |

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

What I did this weekend

I climbed this and saw views like this. Then I hiked here. Some very cool pictures are here. Others in our group opted to do this, but I did not.

| posted by Barbara | 8:38 PM |

Happy Hobbit Day

Today is Bilbo and Frodo's birthday! And this post officially makes me a geek.
| posted by Barbara | 8:32 PM |

Monday, September 20, 2004


I forgot it was International Talk Like a Pirate Day yesterday.
| posted by Barbara | 8:28 PM |

Friday, September 17, 2004

It's official!

I've been promoted! Yesterday afternoon, I was offered the position of assistant editor on the Philosophy & Religion team. Woohoo!

This position will give me more opportunities to work directly with authors to develop their books (what I like best about publishing!). My boss mentioned that he thinks the assistant editor positions on our team are really the best AE opportunities in the company, because of all the opportunities there are to do development work. Since I'm thinking of eventually becoming a developmental editor, it's really ideal for me. Because I'll stay on the team I've been working with for the past year, I'll be able to further develop the relationships I've built with my team and with our authors.

AND, I'll get paid more, and I get an office. Arguably the nicest AE office in our building--it has a window looking out on the front courtyard. I'm not sure when I "officially" start the new position (i.e. get paid the higher salary), but I'm already doing some AE stuff. I feel so grown up. =)

| posted by Barbara | 7:10 PM |

Thursday, September 16, 2004


I'm really hungry right now. Sometimes when I get hungry, this song pops in my head, one I used to sing at school. "Hungry, hungry, I am hungry, table, table, here I come..." Today it got stuck in my head, so I googled it. Turns out it's from a Dr. Seuss song called "The Super-Supper March." Apparently there are other verses I didn't know, but here are the words I remember singing:

Hungry, hungry, I am hungry.
Table, table, here I come.
I could eat a goose-moose burger,
Fifteen pickles and a purple plum!
Oysters, noodles, strawberry stroodles,
French fries, fish hash, one red beet.
Lamb chops, wham chops, huckleberry mish mash,
Oh, the things that I could eat!
Deep dish rhubarb upside-down cake,
I could eat a frittered flum.
Hungry, hungry, I am starving!
Table, table, table, HERE I COME!
Finding obscure childhood memories via Google. It's a wonderful thing.
| posted by Barbara | 8:26 PM |


Judy Blume has been selected to receive the National Book Foundation's 2004 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Stephen King received the 2003 NBF medal, and Harold Bloom called the event "another low in the shocking process of dumbing down our cultural life." He also commented: "If this is going to be the criterion in the future, then perhaps next year the committee should give its award for distinguished contribution to Danielle Steel, and surely the Nobel Prize for literature should go to J.K. Rowling." Heh. I'd love to hear what Bloom has to say about Blume.
| posted by Barbara | 1:39 AM |

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Odd Pairing

Amazon’s “Better Together” promo usually makes sense to me. It has offered me War & Peace with Anna Karenina, The Lady and the Unicorn with The Birth of Venus, Foucault’s Pendulum with Baudolino.

But just now? I was looking up an ISBN for a competitor’s textbook. Under “Better Together,” I was offered Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with The Great Conversation: Pre-Socratics Through Descartes. Hmmm. I thought the idea was to pair similar books, but perhaps Harry Potter has more in common with introductory philosophy than I thought.

| posted by Barbara | 12:48 AM |

Monday, September 13, 2004

Fall Book Preview

Washington Post Book World lists 100 books to watch for this fall. The ones that caught my eye:

The Double, by José Saramago (Harcourt, Oct.). A depressed history teacher rents a video, spies a man who could be his twin, and sets out to find him.

The Red Queen, by Margaret Drabble (Harcourt, Oct.). On the eve of her trip to Korea, a woman receives a mysterious package from Seoul: the ancient memoir of a crown princess.

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?, by Harold Bloom (Riverhead, Oct.). How literature informs us.

Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger, by Nigel Slater (Gotham, Oct.). A food writer savors his childhood.
| posted by Barbara | 10:42 PM |

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Since people keep asking, I thought I'd post something here about my job situation. As of September 15, there will be an open Assistant Editor position on my editorial team. I am in the running for the position, but there are two other candidates who will be interviewed next week. My boss has been given the go-ahead to hire someone on Wednesday, so at that point I will know for certain if that someone is me.

With that said, it seems like a sure thing that I will get the job. I've already done some training with Anna, who's the one moving on to a new position. My boss as well as others on the team are talking like it's an almost-certain thing for me. Our marketing manager and production manager have both called me to offer somewhat premature congratulations!

I'm wary of talking like the job's mine, because it's not decided yet. Supposedly one of the other applicants has been here for a year and a half, about 6 months longer than me, so that makes me a little uneasy. And yet, my boss has been very supportive of me getting this promotion, and has commented that there's not another editorial assistant he'd want to hire for the position. Right now, I'm just trying to be patient and not assume anything!

That's where things stand right now, and I'll be sure to update further as things progress next week.
| posted by Barbara | 12:14 AM |

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Nice shot.

Check this out. I want that dog!
| posted by Barbara | 10:53 PM |

Quote for the day

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I listened to Coraline on CD a couple weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I just tracked down this quote on Amazon (gotta love that search inside the book thing) and thought I'd share.
It had never occurred to Coraline that the crazy old man upstairs actually had a name, she realized. If she'd known his name was Mr. Bobo she would have said it every chance she got. How often do you get to say a name like "Mr. Bobo" aloud?

| posted by Barbara | 8:33 PM |

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Labor Day

What I did this weekend (should you care):

That's about it, folks. I'm lazy. Plus, last weekend was so busy, I figured I owed myself a weekend of lazing around on a blanket reading YA books and barely leaving home.

Oh, wait, I taught Sunday School, too. See, I'm not completely lazy! And just look at all the blogging I've been doing today! I'm making up for last week all in one day. Enjoy it while it lasts.

| posted by Barbara | 2:04 AM |

Garden State

I'd seen a trailer for Garden State ages ago, the one with no dialogue whatsoever, just scenes from the movie under some awesome music. But it looked excellent.

I went to see it yesterday (the movie, that is, not the trailer), and I really liked it. There were parts that just hit home for me. And the music was great. As we sat there with the credits rolling, I said I had liked the movie, and Julie asked me if I would buy it. I said, "Probably not, but I'd like to get the soundtrack."

Then today I read Jeffrey Overstreet's review on his blog.

Braff gets too DJ-happy, like Cameron Crowe at his most indulgent... so busy formulating a great mix-disc soundtrack that it distracts from the whole.


Overstreet has a point. And yet, I really did like Garden State, and not just for the music. It probably does rely a bit too much on music to convey emotion--a lazy way of getting around the "show, don't tell" rule, without really doing the actual showing. And yes, perhaps the moments of conversational epiphany were excessive and not entirely convincing, but I let myself be convinced because I wanted to be.

There's a conversation Andrew and Sam have where Andrew talks about the idea of home. How it's just an idea, a place that doesn't really exist for him.

You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? That idea of home is gone. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

Home as an imaginary place is an idea that's just true for me at this point in my life. And there were many other moments in this movie that resonated with me. It's definitely worth seeing.

And seriously, great soundtrack.
| posted by Barbara | 12:04 AM |

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


I like to keep my bath towel in the bathroom. I always have--it's a pain for me to remember to bring a towel with me into the bathroom in the morning. I have on more than one occasion forgotten my towel, and remembering it halfway through my shower does no one any good. And so, ever since I moved, I have wanted to put up another towel bar. The one towel bar above the toilet isn't sufficient for anything but hand towels.

So, on Friday night, I put up the extra towel bar. The new towel bar with my bath towel hanging on it is located to the left of the sink. The towel bar with two hand towels on it is on the right of the sink. I have a strategy here--the hand towel for general hand-drying is right next to the sink, and the one farther away is my face towel. That way, I don't have random people drying their hands on my face towel.

It didn't occur to me to put up a decoy towel to prevent people from drying their hands on my bath towel. But I went into the bathroom last night to find that someone had done just that. This makes no sense to me. It seems pretty obvious that you dry your hands on a hand towel, not on a large bath towel. Especially when there are hand towels, two of them, hanging RIGHT THERE. Sigh. More decoy towels, coming right up...

And on another note, does anyone else find that after you read the word "towel" a bunch of times, it starts to look like it's misspelled? Towel. Towel. Towel. See what I mean?
| posted by Barbara | 8:51 PM |

Article on Biola

Heather emailed me last week to say she was shocked that a whole week had gone by without me posting here. I didn't know you cared! Sniff.

Anyway, here's some interesting reading: the NY Times has a rather lengthy article up about Biola. Overall I was impressed with how informed and fair the article is. There are places where the tone comes across as that of a puzzled observer watching something pretty weird. But I suppose that's to be expected.

This quote amused me:
Except for a slightly ominous-looking 60-foot-high photographic-style mural of Jesus painted on the side of a campus building, or the occasional student carrying a large wooden cross from the gymnasium to the student center, the Biola campus appears unremarkable.

I certainly don't remember the occasional carrying of a large wooden cross from the gym to the SUB. But describing the Jesus mural as "slightly ominous-looking" is hilarious. Because it kinda is.
| posted by Barbara | 7:54 PM |