for those who are in or around sane

Friday, September 28

could you pass the test?

when entering into citizenship here in our lovely land of promises, immigrants must take a written test to see if their knowledge of the US of A is pristine enough to welcome them into our home.

if you were put to the test, would you pass? note that these are only samples from the 100 question test.

yes, if you're wondering, i did pass. but i let out an embarrassed breath of relief when i read the results! thank goodness i went to good schools, listen to npr and read the papers. but what about my fellow americans? have we all been trained this well? collectively, should we be embarrassed when we take this test because we think we may fail?

Wednesday, September 12


yep. and i wish i could be louder.

Tuesday, September 4

august books

august was a full month for me - full of travel, reconnecting, work stress, relaxing weekends and the start of my new exercise regimen (running. have not done this since... high school??). i did have time to read, quite a bit actually, thanks to travel. but i only got through two books because i wanted to do them justice.

the first book was harry potter 7. many discussions have flowered from the series finale - lunch hour ponderings with co-workers, after dinner chronology with the in-laws and many, many friend rants, raves and elations via instant message, email and beer-soaked nights. i will venture forth and say that i'm honored to have been a part of this series' place in history. i really do think it will sit up there with lord of the rings and narnia. i know, i'll get a lot of flack about this from some evangelicals, but c'mon - we're in a very secular world, and how much more secularized can you make LOTR than to have orlando bloom play a main character in an overpriced, highly detailed, highly marketed movie trilogy (which i did, admittedly, enjoy immensely).

i savored every harry moment. this may not be a series that i re-read every year, but i'm sure i'll enjoy it numerous times over the years - always hoping to expose a newbie to the world of wizards and giants, harry and voldemort.

the second book i read was michael chabon's brand new work of detective/sci-fi/noir fiction, the yiddish policemen's union. this was the book club book, and it sparked a couple of lively questions. we follow down-and-out detective meyer landsman as he investigates a quiet murder in his jewish town of sitka, alaska. chabon creates an other-world where the jews were hauled off to sitka, israel falls in 1948 and the world has a prickly feeling about it (it did remind me a bit of today's international political feel). a bit of religious fanaticism/mysticism is thrown in, but for the most part, we're dragged head-long into landsman's hunches and vices. we see what he sees, whether through filters of guilt and lonliness or alcohol and instinct... eventually things start to come clear, and the novel wraps up with a few killer twists and a feeling of hope. i definitely recommend this one, but you might want to wait till it arrives in paperback (the hardcover is a bit pricey at $25).

on deck: the new jhumpa lahiri (ok, it's not so new anymore) and do androids dream of electric sheep.

anyone else read anything of merit?