Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I've seen thin on a lot of blogs and LJs over the years. This is a list of banned books. The ones that are bolded I've ready, the ones in italics I've read part of, and the ones that aren...I haven't.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer In Olde English
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by EdwardGibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwel
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hess
e#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Yeah, I tend to start books andnot finish them.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Sounds of Silence

...which happens to be one of my all time favorite songs.

My co-worker, who really has been getting on my nerves all week, keeps asking me if I'm OK because I've been so quiet. I'm quiet because I feel like being quiet. I'm quiet because I'm tired of listening to her complain, and I figure that if I don't respond, she'll stop talking. I'm quiet because it's been an incredibly long and frustrating week. And I'm quiet because she's been on this conservative/religious kick lately, and my views don't run parallel to hers and I don't feel like getting into a debate.

I wish I had an office with a door.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My Brain Hurts...

...from looking at therapy statistics all day today, and I'm ready to go home. I just wasted about 5 minutes with this:

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 64% on Beginner

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You scored higher than 68% on Intermediate

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You scored higher than 81% on Advanced

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You scored higher than 95% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on OkCupid Free Online Dating

This is Everywhere I've Been

Of course, I've only either driven through or been in the airport of a couple of them, but still...

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Thrilling, huh?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

She Lives...

...but her computer doesn't.

Yeah, I've been having major problems with my home computer. I don't know what is wrong with it, but I can't connect to the net at all. Well, my modem dials, it connects, but then it hangs up. I think that a piece of malicious software somehow ended up on my computer, despite two different anti-virus programs and three different anti-spyware programs.

So I'm here at the library typing this up really quickly because I have 12 minutes left on this session before it kicks me off.

Work has been crazy. My boss has given me several new projects, but unfortuately she hasn't explained any of them. That kind of stinks a lot. I spent the better part of the week trying to figure out what she was looking for because she was out of the office for most of the week. I may have time to type the post I want to write sometime over lunch this week...or I may not.

Let's see...I'm meeting with the pastor of the church I've been going to again this week. Not completely sure, but I think I've made a decision. Yeah, it's been about 19 years in the making, but nonetheless.

Amy, if you happen to read this, I tried to e-mail you from work, but I had the wrong e-mail address (yeah, as we previously established, I'm a dork). I attempting to use your home e-mail as I figured you were lucky enough to have off around Easter (I didn't). I missed a letter, however, and it went to someone else completely, who is probably wondering why a complete stranger is telling her she's glad her mom is doing well. If I have time, I'll e-mail you from work this week.

Well, I'm down to six minutes, so I guess I'm going. This week should be an eventful one. Don't know if that is good or bad...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The End Has Come

Pope John Paul II has died.


I'm glad that he isn't suffering anymore. And, to be honest, I'm a little glad that his papacy is concluded. Not because he wasn't a good leader, but because 26 years is an awful long time. Change is healthy.

On NPR they were talking about what John Paul's enduring legacy would be. The obvious choice would be political reform in Eastern Europe, and on a secular level, that is probably true.

But the person who the host was interviewing, Thomas Groome (a church historian at Boston College) said that the years down the line, the real thing that will be most worth remembering about his papacy will be is commitment to the "new" evangelism, the idea that Christians need to be in the world living their faith as a witness, that wholing up in our little churches isn't enough.

I think Groome is right on about that. The idea that faith is something that has to be lived daily really came as a surprise to a lot of Catholics. Although there was always a commitment to social justice, I don't think most Joe-in-the-pew Catholics thought much about what that meant. By both his example and his exhortation, John Paul changed all that. His papacy saw an incredible surge in social activism among Catholics. That is something worth remembering.

The othe part of his legacy will be his enduring and uncompromising belief that all human life, from fetuses to the elderly, from shining examples to criminals, is sacred. Whether you agree with his stance against abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, and war, you have to admit that he stood firm on his position. As someone who happens to agree with him on most of these issues (with the exception of contraception), I admire that.

The other thing that they discussed are possible candidates for the next Pope. There is concern in some quarters that since John Paul appointed all but two of the cardinals voting in the conclave, we can expect the next Pope to provide us with more of the same. But the commentator on that issue (sorry - can't remember who that was) said that once the ring is on the new pope's finger and the white bireta is on his head, all bets are off. Look at John XXIII. The cardinals who elected that elderly bishop to the office of Pope anticipated that he would serve for a year or two, to act as a transitional figure. Instead, he called for the Ecumenical Council that would come to be known as Vatican II and changed the shape of the world.

Regardless of what John Paul's legacy ends up being, and regardless of whether you view him as a visionary or a villian, I honestly believe that today, God welcomed home a good, if flawed, man who tried his best to serve Him faithfully.

May he rest in the peace of Christ.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Many Thoughts

First, I know I said I'd continue my thoughts and reflections on Easter, and I do intend to do so (hey, it's the Easter season until Pentecost - I have time), but this has been a weird week, and I've had problems with my monitor, so I just haven't been able to write. And I'm not writing about that tonight (at least not right now), so you'll just have to be in suspense for a while. Yeah, I know you're holding your breath in anticipation.


First the Pope.

I have been praying for weeks that God would just take him and let the poor man rest. John Paul is a savvy man. He knew that things would be difficult for the Church if he stepped down. Since he would retain his title, Catholics would effectively have two popes, which could cause even more division in a church whose very name means universal. He would never have stepped down not because of his ego, but for the sake of unity. He's served God well for over 50 years as a priest. He deserves the peace being in the presence of God will bring.

Nevertheless, I feel vaguely guilty about that wish.

Like many moderate to liberal Catholics (or former Catholics), I have had a bit of a love...dislike relationship with John Paul. I can't deny that he has been perhaps the most pastoral of the pontiffs of my lifetime and just before (thought John XXIII could maybe give him a run for his money in some respects). He truly loved being among his people, from the highest ranking politicians to the lowest street person. His concern for all life is deep, profound, and sincere. I have especially admired the commitment he has made to young people over the course of his papacy. He truly loved being with them, and it showed in every image of him with children. I think to the most recent image of him with several small children and the doves (I just don't feel like looking for it to link, but I think you all probably know what I'm talking about). As sick and frail as he was, he looked years younger just being in their presence.

John Paul did much to bring the church into the modern era. He was by far the most media savvy leader the church has ever seen (not surprising since at least one of his degrees was in communications). He has been more open with reporters than any other pontiff, and has used technology to communicate with the faithful like never before.

He was also the most politically minded Pope in the modern (post-Reformation) era. Many people credit him for being the main impetus for the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. He could talk to leaders with respect, and even influence the most hard-headed and -hearted of them to come closer to his point of view. He made remarkable inroads in relations with other denominations and other faiths, even going so far as to develop a joint declaration on justification with the orginal Protestant church.

Yet he was also a man who stubbornly held to outdated doctrine and policy despite the clear need for change. We have seen an incredible shortage of priests arise in this and most othe western countries, yet he wouldn't even consider the possibility of ordaining married men, let alone women. He has acknowledged the importance of the laity in the ministry of the church, but has done very little to further their participation. And he holds an almost reactionary positon on the role of women not only in the church, but in society as well.

He was a man who continued his predecessors policy of pretending abuse within the church didn't exist. Granted, he was already frail when everything broke in Boston, but he wasn't when the bishop of Pittsburgh was told to reinstate several priests he removed from ministry due to credible allegations of abuse. He wasn't when other allegations surfaced earlier in his papacy. And he never disciplined the bishops who turned a blind eye to the allegations.

Still and all, though, I think I will always have a special connection to this pope. I remember his election clearly, and I remember learning about the black smoke and white smoke in...I think it was second grade. It's funny, but I don't remember that at all with his predecessor, despite the fact that it was only a few months earlier.

I remember when he was shot for an odd reason. It was my 10th birthday. Classes were cancelled that afternoon, and we all gathered around the two small TV's we had in my school to watch the coverage (grades 1-4 were together, and grades 5-8 were together). I remember that my mom brought cookies and Little Hugs (a juice-type drink in little containers shaped like barrels - a predecessor to the juice box) for a treat for my birthday, and despite the gravity of the situation, my teacher let my class have them just before dismissal.

I remember when he came to Denver for World Youth Day and St. Louis for something youth-related. I remember watching him pray at the Wailing Wall. I remember him meeting with, praying with, and forgiving the man who shot him.

I may not always (or even often) agree with what he has said. I may not be a practicing Catholic anymore (I'm about 75% sure on that - when I finally write about Easter I'll explain). But I suppose that there is no question of the fact that I respect John Paul a a committed servant of the Lord. I hope when the end finally comes, it is peaceful and painless.


I had orientation for my job this week, and I came to a realization. I would rather hold a job that I'm not crazy about at a company I can respect than a job I love at a company that I don't.

The owner and founder of the company was the final speaker of the day, and he spoke for about an hour and a half. It didn't seem like that. He told the story of the hard times, when the company was in so much trouble that they literally didn't have enough money to declare bankruptcy, and he was afraid to pick up the phone out of fear that there was a creditor on the other end. But he persevered, and today the company is the most respected home health care company in the country and is the current darling of Wall Street.

I respect his perseverance alone, but the thing that I really respect is the fact that he accomplished this by doing the right thing for the right reason. He never compromised on patient care, and he never tried to cheat or manipulate the government. He has always respected and valued his employees. He invests in his people, and he expects his people to invest in their patients, the company, and themselves.

If you are interested in reading the whole story, leave me a comment and I'll send you a link to an article about him in Forbes. It's a story well worth reading.


I was going to write about on other thing, but I'm really tired now. I'm not making any promises about when I'll write next. I never keep them anyway. {SIGH}