I haven’t written in a while…Not because I didn’t have anything to write about but because if I’d written about what was on my mind, I would’ve gotten into trouble.  There’s been all kinds of drama at work the past few weeks.  Serious drama.  Not just the, “Omigod, ican’tstandher!” kind of thing (though there has been some of that).  But like, people are in serious trouble, kind of drama.  It’s a mess.

The only thing that’s been keeping me going has been the thought of VACATION TIME!  I had to wait a year to take vacation and even before the year was up in January, I was thinking about what I was going to do.  Next week is Spring Break at our School so I figured it would be the perfect time to run away.  At first, I had big plans to go to DC… Gradually that turned into–Save money & stay in Ohio.  Do things I’ve never done around here.  Then sort of randomly, I decided to go to Virginia. Well, it wasn’t entirely random:

It started with this book called Walden Two by B.F. Skinner.  The book is fiction but depicts an “Intentional Community” (see commune).  After reading that book, I came across a community that was, in the beginning anyway, based on Skinner’s ideas.  This community is known as Twin Oaks.  One of the members of the community wrote two books.  The first was called A Walden Two Experiment.  The second was called Is It Utopia Yet?.  I devoured each of these accounts of the community, and began to think about visiting the place to see what it was all about for myself.

The community, as you may have guessed, is in Virginia.  I’ve planned a sort of road trip that will allow me to take my time getting down there over a few days.  I’ll stop in a couple different cities, do some interesting things, eat some good vegan food, and then end up at the community next Saturday if all goes according to plan.  I’m very excited!  I’m looking to find Utopia there, or something closer to it than what I know here, anyway.

My vacation starts tonight when I leave work.  I have quite a bit planned for the next week and tonight’s festivities will include stamping with LibraryDiva and then out to eat afterwards.  I’ve never done the whole stamping thing but I’ve always admired the creativity of those who do.  LibraryDiva assures me that it does not require all that much creativity but if my cards turn out crappy, I’m blaming her. 😉

I listened to the book The Dangerous Days of Daniel X on CD, not long after it came out.  I was making a trip–driving several hours–to visit a friend, and the book was read by Milo Ventigmilia (I ❤ him!) so I figured I’d give it a try.

Now, The Mother likes James Patterson’s adult fiction, for the most part, but she’d commented from time to time that his books got a little…weird.

I guess I should have expected more of the weird-factor with his teen fiction.  Especially with that kind of a title.

But anyway, I listened to the book and while it wasn’t my normal kind of “read,” I enjoyed it for what it was.  Or, I think I did anyway.  I have fond memories of Milo’s voice but not much else really stuck with me, other than the title.

So when I heard that a second book was coming out, I was mildly interested.  I looked first to see if a book-on-CD was being released and if so, if Milo was on board again.  Now, it looks like it will indeed be rolling out this summer but when I first looked, I didn’t see anything & decided to check it out, just for kicks, anyway.

This time around, actually reading the book rather than listening to it, I was reminded why I generally do not like James Patterson.  Dude has a production line for books.  He gets these other people to write most–if not all–of a book then throws his name on there.  See above:  JAMES PATTERSON & ned rust.  According to a USA Today article, Book Buzz: What’s new on the list and in publishing, Patterson “just signed a 17-book deal calling for him to write (or co-write) 11 books for adults and six for young adults — all by the end of 2012.”  That means that over the span of 27 months, he has to pump out 17 books.  In other words, about every month and a half, he needs to finish a book.  Anyone who has ever sat down with the intention of writing a book, knows that it is a process; it takes time.  When you’re working against the clock, your work may suffer.  Patterson’s work is definitely suffering.

I’ve read a few of his older books and there is a difference between then and now, for sure.  He’s always been popular fiction–never literary–but it’s gone down hill, as the rate at which he’s published has increased.  It’s all about the money–as it always is.  It’s sad, really.

But back to this book specifically.  It was beyond disappointing.  It was little more than a stream of consciousness, coming from a teenage boy.  It was as if he could do anything, be anywhere, have anything he wanted… The main character has the power of his imagination, basically, so if he wants to see his dead family, he imagines them and *poof* there they are; if he needs a car, he imagines it and *poof* there it is.  It is, for lack of a better word, annoying.  And poorly written, too.  It feels very much like what I imagine a boy’s dreams might feel like.

I’m thinking about conducting a little experiment.  When the book-on-CD comes out, with Milo reading it, I might check it out from the library.  I wonder if I’ll like it more when I can listen to his pretty voice and not have to look at the author’s choppy sentences?

I’ve decided to start reviewing books and movies here.  It won’t be every post & I don’t claim to be Roger Ebert but everyone has an opinion so, from time to time, I’ll share mine.

I’ve also been thinking about the need to change the name of my blog.  While, occasionally, I’ll be writing about the goings-on at the Law Library, this isn’t much of a blawg anymore, since I’m no longer a law student.  It’s not even a “quasi-blaWg” at this point.

I am contemplating the name “Pennies from Heaven”–it’s a song that Dean Martin (and others) sang.

Every time it rains

Pennies from heaven

Don’t you know each cloud contains

Pennies from heaven

You’ll find your fortune falling

All over town

Be sure that your umbrella

Is upside down

Trade them for a package of

Sunshine and flowers

And if you want the things you love

You must have showers

So when you hear it thunder

Don’t run under a tree

They’ll be pennies from heaven

For you and me

Sappy?  Yes.  But I love it.  We’ll see.