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In the Land of Summer

a new yorker in nevada

Infuential Authors Meme
The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1. Douglas Adams
2. Walt Whitman
3. Edith Wharton
4. John Donne
5. Dante
6. Tom Robbins
7. Carl Sagan
8. Daniel L. Everett
9. Susan Blackmore
10. Albert Camus
11. Thomas Beckett
12. Jane Austen
13. Gustave Flaubert
14. Robert Pirsig
15. Margaret Mitchell

test post from my kindle

Friday Five
1) What is your favorite mode of travel? (Car, train, plane, etc).
Train, hands down. Smooth, steady ride, plenty of time to read and look out the window, safe, and romantic.

2) Where is the northernmost place you've traveled? The southernmost?
Northernmost: I had to look this up, because the two places most norther I've been are the Lake Quinault Lodge, in Lake Quinault, WA, and Stratford, ON. Lake Quinault is more northern though, because Stratford is near Toronto in that portion of Canada near the great lakes. The southernmost is California, below Vegas. Tampa, FL. Man, I'm bad at geography.

3) What is the last place you visited for the first time?
San Diego

4) Of all the places you've traveled, which is your favorite?
Love the Stephanie Inn at Cannon Beach in OR.

5) Where would you most like to travel to next?
I've been a little obsessed with Bora Bora and Tahiti lately, which is strange because I've always been more interested in visiting northern climes, but more likely my travel destinations over the next couple of year are going to be in the North East.

I write like...

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have read some of his work, some short stories, his "On Writing." He's not a "great writer" but has a direct, conversational tone. I wonder what criteria they use.

Writer's Block: Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
Would you rather be pampered at a luxurious beachside resort or visit exotic cities and learn as much as possible about the local culture and people?
I would much rather be immersed in the culture, that's my idea of a vacation! I try to avoid tourist traps when I travel, I like to see how people live, not the show they put on for visitors.

Wow, what a weekend.
My in-laws are still in town, and it's nice to have them around. My MIL especially is really getting in it with Don, and it's nice that she plays with him so zealously because as my pregnancy progresses it's harder to sit on the floor and chase him around. I'm even running out of room on my lap for him.

My "surprise" shower was on Saturday, and it was a great success. I have to say, I'm really relieved because we received so many clothes for the new baby, and she is going to be one well-dressed baby. The only dark cloud is that one of my closest friends here had to drive to LA and miss the party. Her sister was in a horrible accident on Friday and it's not looking so good. My heart breaks for her.

Meanwhile, back at the farm... my Dad and brother checked out that apartment we found in Utica, the really stellar one a block from the hospital. Looks really good, and then last night I found out we were approved. I'm very excited, and even more relieved that we have that out of the way.

I'm also full-term now in the pregnancy. Tomorrow I'm going to my OB, and he'll check me out and we'll see how things are progressing. I'm looking forward to having the baby, I want to meet her and see what she looks like, and I'm also getting a little sick of having to choose between eating and breathing, as over-indulging leaves me breathless. I'm running out of room for all my organs. Chris thinks the baby has dropped though, so one step closer.

Writer's Block: Pet central
Some animal rights activists are fighting to replace the term 'owner' with 'guardian' to convey a more balanced relationship between a person and her or his pet. Do you agree or disagree with the importance of this mission?
I have a cat. She owns me.

Writer's Block: Book based
Is there a book you really loved that was subsequently turned into a movie? Did it live up to your expectations? Why or why not?
The first book that sprang to mind was The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They have made two movies, and they were both awful. I think the problem is that the story is too non-linear and surreal to make a good movie, and because it's sci-fi, I don't think it will ever get the budget and the talent it deserves. It never had a fighting chance.

Writer's Block: I can walk under ladders
Do you believe in luck? Do you think some people are luckier than others? Do actions cause reactions or are there intervening forces beyond our control that govern our destinies?
I really don't believe in luck, per se, though I'll agree that people can be born or dropped into better circumstances than others. I think what most people perceive as luck is those making the most of those circumstances by good decision making and hard work. I don't think you can get much "luckier" than living in an industrialized nation into a middle class family, I think your quality of life is going to be leaps and bounds above someone born in lets say, Sudan.

Writer's Block: I'm the taxman, yeah!
How do you feel about the existing tax structure where you live? Do you believe individual income tax is the best way to raise funds or are there better alternatives?
I think income tax is a good way to collect taxes. I think the tax system needs a major overhaul though - I would favor a flat tax even though I know it would never get by the lobbyists for H&R Block and the other big tax firms. Also, they need to address the inequities in our tax code, especially with some of the corporations that operate in the US and bank overseas or use tax havens like Maryland and Nevada to avoid paying their fair share.