First of all, I know you are out there, okay?  I don’t know who you are, but I know you aren’t a regular, because you read the About Me section.  Say hi.  I will probably then send you something in the mail, because that’s how we do around here.

Second of all, I just got back from volunteering in Holden’s classroom.  Those kids are a trip.  There is this little girl in his class with Down’s Syndrome.  She is the kindest, cutest, funniest kid I know.  She calls me Holden’s Mom.  “Hey, Holden’s Mom,”  she said today, “Are you married?”  I told her I was.  “To who?”  I told her to Mr. Big Hands.  “I’m married too!”  she says with a huge grin.  I asked her to whom, as I was sure she was about to embarrass the hell out of one of the boys at her table.  “To my baby!” was her reply.  And then I got the biggest hug I’ve gotten in a long time.  I love that kid. 

There are a lot of characters in his class.  The teacher was stopping every two and a half minutes to shush a kid, or whisper in ears to be quiet and focus, or to stop the whole class and count to five before she erupted. Fun stuff!  So glad I’m home…where its quiet!!

Third of all, here’s why I’m actually posting:  I have stack of books that Mean Something To Me.  Everywhere I’ve ever moved, these books go in the bookshelf first.  Its the very first thing I do in a new place; put up bookshelf, find perfect place for the books that I love.  We may not have anything to EAT on unpacked, but dammit, my bookshelf looks gorgeous.  At this time, I would have liked to have put actual pictures of my bookshelf up, but alas, I cannot figure out how to make them go from camera, to computer.  I am a moron, I know.  Big Hands will have to help me when he gets home.

So, here is the stack of books okay, so I feel like I really have to interupt myself to tell you that I just got a fresh cup of coffee, and took a drink.  This coffee was so hot, that literally, I just opened up my mouth and let the coffee spill from my burned mouth to my hardwood floor.  It hurt, okay?  My mouth has been stripped of many layers of Mouthness.

Okay, so here HERE is the stack of books (in no particular order):

The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel
This is actually a play.  But, I love to read plays.  I read this in the summer of 1994.  I have some friends who live in a barn in Traverse City, Michigan.  This is still during my hippie stage, and every Friday after work my friend Margie and I would travel three hours and fifteen minutes to TC to spend a glorious weekend hiking and getting stoned.  I found the book in the barn’s loft, and sat an read it in like two hours.  I have always wanted to direct this play, or at least, to see it on stage.  Its moving and sad and easy to relate to if you are a human.  And, if you grew up in a dysfunctional household (as we always say, “we put the ‘fun’ in dysfunction!!”).

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Duh.  Who hasn’t read this book?  I read it during the summer of 1999.  While I was pregnant for Holden.  Der.  BH really wanted to name our kid after this kid in his favorite book.  While I had read Franny and Zooey, I had never read Catcher.  So I did, and I thought, “Oh, gad.  I hope my kid doesn’t turn out like this.  SO really, this book is only in the stack because its Big Hand’s favorite book, and I don’t like to leave him out.

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
I love this book.  I read it my first year in college, so that would have been 1993/4.  If nothing else, I learned to pray without ceasing.  Or try to.  I am not sure if I completely missed the mark, but that’s what I got out of it.  Also, everything sucks and you can’t fix everything, so you might as well make the best out of it, and just be the best you you can be.  Again; no idea if that’s what Salinger was trying to say.  He was probably being waaaay more philosophical, but, hey.  I’m just a person, I ain’t no stinkin’ philosopher. 
This is my Favorite Book of All Time and the only book I have ever read more than once.

Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
I read this book when I was still going by “Jenny”.  I’m pretty sure I was like 11 or twelve.  My grandmother bought me this book at the Community News Store which was a bookstore that I LOVED.  It no longer exists.  I got the book for getting straight A’s.  Because I was smart as a whippersnapper, I was.  They made this book into a stupid made for tv movie and it blew. 

Sunshine by Norma Klein
I would have given you a link, but they all suck.  Its a book based on a movie based on some journals of Jacquelyn Helton.  I read this when I was 16.  Totally stole it from my cousin Heather.  This book will make you cry if you are a human.  And by cry, I mean weep.

The Women’s Room  by Marilyn French
Hmmm….I think I was 21 when I read this.  If you are a woman, you should read this.  I am not a Women’s Lib kind of gal, but man! if I didn’t feel empowered after reading this!!!  I immediately broke up with my boyfriend because he didn’t take me seriously.  I have no idea if he actually took me seriously or not.  He looked like Grizzly Adams. 

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
HA!  I can’t for the life of me remember the rape scene in this book!  Apparently I need to re-read it, for I have no idea anymore why its in my stack.  But, it wouldn’t be there if it didn’t make me feel something and I gather that something was to never conform.  But, again, no idea.  Its real thick, though.  Maybe its in the stack because its so big, and I conquered it!

Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn
I can’t remember where I got this book.  I think it was at a garage sale.  I touched my heart.  Of course, I’m pretty easy when it comes to heart touching.  You know that Kleenex commercial where the people are sitting on the couch and talking to the random stranger?  I cry every single time I see that commercial.  Every single time.  I like to cry, okay?  If you like to cry, and are looking for something to believe in, read this book.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
I love Bradbury.  At the same time I hate Science Fiction.  Somehow, Bradbury never put me off, though.  Once I found him, I could not stop reading him.  I also love the ’20s and ’30s.  I also love coming of age stories.  I also love crying.
I started reading this book when I was a sophomore in high school, but never got around to finishing it until the summer before my sophomore year in college.  I think that was fate.  Reading that book that summer was when I needed to read it.  I could go on and on about that summer, but I’ll save that for a later date.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Whenever Dead Poets Society came out is when I picked up Uncle Walt.  Whenever I’m feeling down or lonely, I just read Whitman.  ***I just found a list of things I wanted to do before I died folded up in this book!  I was just able to cross out 3 more things.  Now, all I have to do is model and meet Sylvester Stallone!  Ha!  What a trip!***

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
I found this book in BH’s room in the house that he lived in before we moved in together.  I read this while we were still in loooooove.  And, by that I mean having sex every 14 or so minutes.  And, we wonder how in the world we got pregnant…
I am by no means a Peacenik.  Though, when I was young, I thought I’d grow up to be one.  I’m not a war monger either.  I am Switzerland.  Me likey the fence. 
When I read this book, my stomach turned.  My eyes were wet while reading most of it, and I do not think I could even read it now, during a war.  I think my heart would break.  More than it already has.

In Our Time by Hemmingway, and I don’t mean Muriel
The End Of Something and A Very Short Story are two of my favorite stories by Hemmingway.  I think Papa was a drunken ass, but I love Nick, okay?  And, you can’t help but BE in a Hemmingway story when you read one.  Maybe YOU can, but I can’t.  He’s just one of those authors that has always put me IN the story. 

Okay, Ducks.  That’s the lesson for today.  This is the most I’ve written in God Knows how long.  If you read it all, you’re a real pal!