Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stump the Bookseller!

I am so thrilled to have discovered this site that I must share it forthwith. There are many books from my childhood of voracious reading that I wish I could remember titles and authors for, but all I remember are vague details about the storylines and characters. Turns out I’m not alone… there’s a whole site, connected to a little independent bookstore in Cleveland, where people submit what they can remember about various children's books, and other people try to determine a title and author for what’s been described.

Isn’t that great? As I prowled the site, I have already found all kinds of books I once treasured. Now I have a list next time I go to the library!

There’s one, though, that I have always wanted to find, and not even this place seemed to have a reference to it. So I impulsively spent the two dollars to submit the following question, which they will post within the next couple of days:

I remember a book where a girl went reluctantly on holiday to the beach. She was hopping along the boards of the pier, and she hopped a certain pattern: forward one, back two, forward three, or something like that. Suddenly she could see a boy who hadn't been there before, who was dressed oddly. He was from another time, and she had travelled back to it. She had to get back to her own time by reversing the hopping pattern (which she almost forgot how to do, causing a certain amount of panic), and afterwards she kept coming back to help the boy and his father with... something... which eventually changes the future, I think. I was fascinated by the hopping-pattern thing, and tried it on several piers. ;-)

I can’t wait to see if anyone remembers it! I loved that book desperately, and it made for a wealth of adventures imagined on the pier in East Tawas.

Update: Mystery solved! It was called Up the Pier by Helen Cresswell. And apparently, alas, it's impossible to find any more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Introducing the HankTube!

Now you, too, can own a HankTube!

Elegantly handmade on a Knifty Knitter (yes, it's meant be a little raggedy and uneven), this unique item will keep your cat toasty... if a little irritable.

I haven't figured out how to close it up at the top, so your HankTube will eventually unravel... but this just means it serves the additional purpose of reminding you of the fleeting nature of all things.

A tube for your cat... and deep, philosophical contemplation for you. You'll wonder how either of you ever managed before the HankTube!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Birth Mom Day!

I celebrated Mother's Day and my own upcoming birthday yesterday with my in-laws.

My mother-in-law had a cake to cover both occasions, and we had a champagne toast for "Birth Mom Day"!

Here's to Miss P.!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Eurovision fever 2007

Well, the Eurovision Song Contest is over. I had Internet connectivity problems during almost the entire voting process, which had me screaming at an uncaring God for half an hour, but I was eventually allowed back online just in time to watch Serbia win. At least I got to watch all the songs being performed, which is the main thing.

It's funny: I originally found "Molitva" rather boring, but it grew on me sometime between Thursday's semifinal and tonight. It's a pretty good straight-up ballad, and I can't deny that Marija Serifovic has a hell of a voice. Besides, Serbia has a lot of bad vuggum to live down, and winning the Eurovision Song Contest with an emotional song about acceptance and love is a way to help do that. I'm okay with it. Even though I only gave their song an 8.

My own top 5 were the Ukraine, whose song almost gave me a heart attack because I was whirling around the room dancing to it, Slovenia, which was represented by the capacious voice of operatic soprano Alenka Gotar, and Georgia, with its Cossack sword dancers and gutsy vocalist. I had to love Germany, too, for pretending so successfully that it's the suave Fifties, back when the song "Volare" made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest. A-OK, Daddy-o. I was quite fond of the odd little song from France, too. Also -- okay, I guess it's my top 6 -- I really enjoyed Bulgaria's high-energy percussion extravaganza. Lots of honestly good songs this time. A good Eurovision harvest!

I was sorry to see Ireland's sweet little traditional ditty come in last. I liked it a lot. And I suspect the U.K. will make a fuss about coming in second-to-last, too: theirs was a cute novelty number, let's face it. Both Germany and France were way at the bottom of the tabulated votes, too: out of 24 countries, they came in 19th and 22nd, respectively. I'm sure there'll be many a disgruntled conspiratorialist viewpoint tomorrow's Western European media.

Nevertheless, I think the fact that there was such an Eastern tilt to the Contest this year has a very simple reason: They had really good songs.