Thursday, April 03, 2008


No new questions have rolled in for over day, so time to answer those that did.

Meno asked: What was the MRI for?

I have been having having increasing problems with my right shoulder. It's gotten so that I cannot sleep through the night, every time I roll over the pain wakes me up. My doctor suspects a rotator cuff injury. If it is torn, it'll mean surgery. I'll find out the 14th.

she also asked how're the kids doing?

Both Zack and Kris are doing fine. Zack is still working 2nd shift (3:30 to 12:30) and isn't in a hurry to change it. Kris just changed majors and is happier with school. She had already declared a minor in English, so this shouldn't set her back very much, maybe just a semester.

Jen asked: When was the last time I laughed really, really hard.

As it happens, I bust my gut laughing twice on Monday. The first time was while reading this. The second time was later in the evening. When I was a kid I used to love watching the Dean Martin Roasts. My favorite part was when Foster Brooks would get up to speak. Well, a few weeks ago Dad gave me 6 DVDs of these comedy roasts and I watched one Monday night. I still laugh so hard I cry when Foster does his bit. Here's a taste:

Liv asked: What's my favorite book.

the simple answer is, I don't have one. I've been reading voraciously since I was in grade school. I would participate in the summer reading programs and use 3 or 4 sheets to list all of the books I'd read. So, in lieu of a favorite book, I'd thought I'd instead list some of my favorites.

the Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting. I LOVED these when I was in grade school, I used to imagine what it would be like to be able to understand what animals were saying. I just never found me a Polynesia to teach me.

The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon. This was my introduction to mysteries. I read every one of them (of the original series), and still have about 10 or 15 of them that were given me as presents. I always saw myself as Frank but I wasn't much interested in "his steady date" Callie Shaw - not being into girls yet. I think everyone knows by now that this series, along with Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and one or two other series were all the idea of one man, Edward Stratemeyer and were written by a series of ghost writers under various pen names - Carolyn Keene for Nancy Drew, etc.

The Foundation series by Isaac Asmiov. I got interested in science fiction in high school. I still prefer those athors I found first - Asimov, Arthur Clark, Larry Niven, etc. Asimov writes in such a way that his worlds seem eminently possible. (It helps that he was an actual scientist). Ditto Arthur Clark. He was also - I prefer for the science in science fiction to be so, I don't know, inevitable, that it fades into the background and allows the story to come out. You aren't constantly thinking - there's no way that could happen.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. I found these while in high school and they remain at the top of my all-time favorite list. Every few years I re-read them. He created such a complete world with complex back-stories for all of the creatures in them, why they react to each other as they do, whey they behave as they do, you get completely lost in the Third World - and mourn it's passing at the end of the trilogy.

Agatha Christie's Poirot and Mrs. Marple mysteries - classics. I think I've read them all, I still pick one up and re-read it occasionally. Part of this is that I think I am a closet Anglophile. This are the epitome of the drawing room mystery.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - more classics. What can I say, I wish I had half the brains of Sherlock Holmes.

Anything by Dick Francis. He's an ex-jockey who used to ride the Queen mother's race horses. when he retired he started writing mysteries all with horse racing as their central theme. He writes of the everyman engagingly. You root for the good guy, despite his failings.

Anything by Douglas Adams - while the hitchhikers' are terrific, I think I like the Dirk Gently series better. The master of English wit, they are each so fun to read.

Anything by Terry Pratchett - those in the disc world series are my favorites, full of good british sarcasm where, unusually, I actually get most of the cultural references. Who else could name a city Didjabringabeeralong and the reader not immediately get that he's parodying Australia?

Anything by Christopher Moore - although my favorite of his is a tie between The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and Lamb. He reminds me somewhat of an American version of Terry Pratchett - irreverent, engaging, sarcastic to a gentle degree.

those are just the first few that come to mind. I hope this is a good enough answer because I don't have a favorite book. I've read too many good ones. Maybe that just means I haven't read my favorite yet?

Scott asked: If I weren't alive, where would I want to exist?

I am not an adherent of any religion. I don't have any firm belief in an afterlife (in heaven or hell), or a return to life (reincarnation). I don't know if I believe in alternate universes or parallel universes, or alternate streams of time - I just don't know. So - not having any beliefs, I get to pick and choose. I remember as a teenager reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I like the idea expressed in it that as you learn and evolve as a person you reach a point where you are ready for a new world/reality/dimension - one that holds new things for you to learn and new opportunities for growth.

Maggie asks: What is my favorite movie, and why?

This is as difficult to answer as the book question for much the same reason. I love to watch movies and I cannot select an all-time favorite. Also, I'm always looking for my next favorite so it's possible I haven't seen it yet. I read through the AFI 2007 top 100 and I've seen all but 11 of them. So - yet another list in no particular order:

Sergeant York - I'm not sure why I like this move so much - Gary Cooper does a great job in it, the story is clean (too clean for today's movie goer, I'm sure) but there's just something that, every time it's on TV, I watch it.

Mr. Hulot's Holiday - Jacques Tati made 2 movies with the Mr. Hulot character (that I know of). It is reminiscent of Buster Keaton wtth the heartwarming touch of Charlie Chaplin.

Blazing Saddles/Young Frankenstein - I can't count how many times I've seen them both. I can quote most of both. Two of the best genre satires I know of.

The Princess Bride - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means". my favorite romance film.

Saving Private Ryan - I doubt I'll ever watch this movie again. it had, I can only imagine, the most realistic portrayal of war of any war movie. period. It was worth seeing. Everyone should have an idea of what war is like so maybe we wouldn't be in such a damned hurry to send our children off to die in them.

Bringing up Baby - Carry Grant and Katherine Hepburn are wonderful in this, practically the definition of genteel, slapstick, screwball comedy. I always want to see this again.

I think this is enough to plow through, so I'll save the rest of the answers for my next post.

13 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

liv said...

thank you for that most encyclopedic answer!

meno said...

I have read and loved almost every one of your favorite books. So now i know i ahould read the few that are left.


I am sorry about your shoulder. Dr. Meno says it sure does sound like a rotator cuff. But i would hate to be right. :(

Anonymous said...

damn shoulders. I have trouble with mine, too, but it comes and goes. For now.

Second shift is a great shift, especially for a young guy.

Love both your book and movie lists...I guess I was wrong when I suggested we'd never cross paths. It would probably be in a used book store or a movie house.

Glamourpuss said...

So you bottled my nudity question? Pah.


Bob said...

Liv - I had a hard time stopping where I did!

Meno - I hope you won't be disappointed in them. As for the shoulder, I would hate for you to be right too.

De - I certainly hope it stays gone. I'll look for you in every library book sale and 2nd hand book store I go into.

Puss - no, no, no - I haven't ducked your question - I decided this post was long enough. I will answer the rest of the questions - including yours - next time.

Franki said...

wow, i will have to come back and read this bit by bit. thanks for the dad gone mad link. absolutely hilarious!

Jocelyn said...

The crop-dusting post is a hoot. I just eat falafel, and that cleanses me like crazy.

Great insights into who you are!

Bob said...

franki - sure you will.

jocelyn - oh - falafel. apparently it doesn't have the same effect on me. who am I kidding, everything has that effect on me.

jen said...

i like all this getting to know Bob stuff.

Mignon said...

I've had shoulder problems for many years, and was initially diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, as well. Then a year later, the next doctor said pinched nerve. Then the next (a PT) said tendonitis. The last was right. I recommend you go see a physical therapist. They seem to know so much more than doctors that don't actually watch you move and exercise and stretch. And at the very least, they'll give you a good massage and recommendations for stretches.

Dick Francis was my first exposure to mystery, and I love him. He is a damn good writer.

Saving Private Ryan has the best scene depicting the realities of war in recent memory, but as a movie, I think it's Hollywood-y and contrived. But that scene on the beach is the best ever of it's kind. Hand down. I hope I never have to see it again. Good choice.

Bob said...

jen - what's to know? I'm just like any other guy.

mignon - thanks for the advice, I will keep this in mind when I get the results of the MRI and we discuss treatment. Mom introduced me to Dick Francis when I was in college.

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