Headlines for Tuesday:



1. Book day!: 00:42

Today was a very good book day. I finished Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and I bought five books - five books! - at Chapters. Details in the vidcast (10 minutes), short notes follow.

  • Siddhartha: Nice novel, well-written. Insightful.
    Listen, Kamala, when you throw a stone into the water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal. Siddhartha does nothing; he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he goes through the affairs of the world like the stone through the water, without doing anything, without bestirring himself; he is drawn and lets himself fall. He is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal. That is what Siddhartha learned from the Samanas. It is what fools call magic and what they think is caused by demons. Nothing is caused by demons; there are no demos. Everyoe can perform magic, everyone can reach his goal, if he can think, wait and fast.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People: Useful, classic. Packed with examples, although harder to read now.
  • How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships. Don't get put off by the weird title and even worse self-helpy blurb at the back; actually sounds like a practical, useful book.
  • Right to Write: Haven't really browsed through this, but inclined to trust the author because my mom likes her other book.
  • Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul: about as sappy a collection as you can get of heart-tugging awwww kind of stories.
  • Five Good Minutes: Sweet! Good for me _and_ superbusy friends.

Also, some thoughts on my now-depleted book budget, the importance of books, and my new need for bookshelves...

On Amazon:

On Indigo/Chapters: (for Canadians)

Random Japanese sentence: 悲しいことに私の猫はどこかへいってしまった。 To my sorrow, my cat has gone somewhere.

Comment from my mom:

did you know I read Siddhartha when I was in college? and that I have been looking for "Right to Write" since last year? Try to find "Sound of Paper," also by Julia Cameron. I've read Carnegie's book and even took their executive course. Love, Mom

2. Being my age: 02:20

When Dave Brown was in Toronto last weekend, he insisted on taking me shopping for clothes. He picked out things I would never have tried myself: a cropped top, a black asymmetric tube, shorts around the same length as the miniskirt my sister gave me... <laugh> Although I was initially quite hesitant about wearing things like that, they turned out to be quite fun. (I still prefer skirts to pants or shorts.) "Now you look more like your age," Dave said.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that I'm just turning 23 this August. I don't need to have my career figured out yet. I don't even need to have people figured out yet, either. Such a liberating thought! <laugh> I can take risks. I can explore. I can screw up and recover (for the most part).

I really appreciate how many people around me are either going through similar issues or can remember and empathize. Wisdom can't be taught, after all. Wisdom can only be learned, and I'm glad I have all these opportunities to experience so many aspects of life _and_ people with whom I can share those experiences.

I'm really glad things worked out the way they did, and I'm looking forward to the future. =)

Random Japanese sentence: テーブルの上には猫がいた。 On the table there was a cat.

3. Three things: 09:37

With the long Canada Day weekend drawing to a close, the three things I can do today that will have the best influence on my life are:

  • Sort out the Toastmasters records so that the new Secretary/Treasurer can step right into my position
  • Draft my research proposal and find a few related papers
  • Go to the Democamp afterparty and meet lots of interesting people

Random Japanese sentence: この鼠は私の猫に殺されました。 This mouse was killed by my cat.

4. Book rearrangements: 10:15

I need to buy more bookends. That will temporarily fix my shelving problem. In the meantime, I can... hmm... move the rice cooker onto the TV stand and move some of my books from my personal bookshelf to the living room shelves.

Random Japanese sentence: 猫は暗いところでも目が見える。 Cats can see in the dark.

5. Browser's Den of Magic: 10:20

One of the juggling shops in Toronto:

Browser's Den of Magic

Magic tricks for professionals and hobbyists.
Books, videos, DVDs, juggling equipment, ventriloquist dolls, jokes
Since 1975 - Mail order and retail shop

John Cardella

875 Eglinton Ave. West, #10, Toronto, Ontario, M6C 3Z9
Tel (416) 783 7022 Fax (416) 783-3560 Toll-free 1-888-469-3616 browsersden AT sympatico.ca

On Technorati:

They stock diabolo, too.

Random Japanese sentence: この猫は、いわば、我が家の一員なのです。 This cat is, so to speak, a member of our family.

Father Forgets

Here's a classic: "Father Forgets", as condensed in Reader's Digest:
Listen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!" and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders back!"

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it you want?" I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing but a boy - a little boy!"

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

W. Livingston Larned

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