just plain rambling

Good Reads And Bad Fashion A faux pas is so much worse with a canoe on your head

I read a great post from Allison the other day. (She does that a lot). And I responded with a long, rambly,  semi-coherent comment (I also do that a lot).

[Editor’s note: actually, I read that post a year ago – and wrote this post shortly thereafter and then let it languish it in my drafts folder, which is also something I do a lot.]

So, like, anyways; I am once again on the hunt for fiction-that-makes-me-think-without-putting-me-through-an-emotional-ringer, and so I read through some of Allison’s YA reviews and came across this one. I wanted to leave a comment saying “Criss Cross sounds fantastic!” but I couldn’t, because another commenter had said the same thing and copying someone else is WRONG (just ask my children). So instead I rambled on about how the words “Criss Cross” induce flashbacks of the summer I was a camp counsellor and all the prepubescent boys were wearing their jeans backwards with the crotches around knee level  — just the thing for portaging a canoe up a rocky slope — which had nothing to do with anything but at least nobody else had mentioned it yet.

But before posting the comment, I tried to add Criss Cross to my Goodreads list, only to discover that it was already there, probably from the last time Allison & I were discussing Newbery Medal winners (Allison being responsible for approximately 96.7% of my to-read list). I tried to remember which book we were talking about, but of course didn’t take the time to look it up because I was anxious to actually get my comment posted before someone else scooped my Criss Cross homey jeans reference, because then what would I have to talk about???

This simultaneously makes me want to

  1. seriously prune my Goodreads list. Because when will I ever get to reading all this stuff? What else is languishing in the 200’s that should be in the top 10?
  2. NOT TOUCH my to-reads, because what other little gems are in there that might get the boot?
  3. Stop blogging under the influence of hallowe’en chocolate before the run-on-sentences start to really get out of hand.

I think I need a nap.


  1. HA. I’m feeling REALLY bad about myself lately, so thank-you ever so much for this. Especially the saggy-pants-portaging visual. This also reminds me of when I was a counsellor at camp for kids with cancer and a bunch of them had that surgery where the lower leg is removed and the foot is brought up and turned around so they can kneel on one knee and one foot, and it looks SO COOL and SO WEIRD but it’s SO INAPPROPRIATE to stare. Don’t prune the to-read list. I always regret much more when I’m trying to remember a book I wanted to read and I can’t find it because I didn’t put it on the to-read list.
    And wow, can I ever see why we’re friends.

    1. No, thank YOU. No really. And your story just reminded me of another one – when I was out on a cadet exercise, basically in the role of camp counsellor, and one of my juniors, sweet little 12- or 13-year-old kid, got blisters. So we stopped and I had his shoe off and was bandaging him up and I asked him if his other foot was ok and he’s like, “it’s fine.” “Are you sure? Do you want me to take a look because we can wrap up the heel and stuff before it gets bad,” and he’s like, “no, really, it’s fine.” I forget whether it was THEN that I remembered that he had an artificial limb or at the end, when I carried him the last part of the hike after it fell off.

      Good times.

    2. P.S. It took me a good minute to figure out how the foot/knee thing would work. I totally wouldn’t be able to not-stare.

      P.P.S. I hear ya on the rotten self-esteem thing. Bleh. I’m so glad if this post did something good. Now I feel less bad about basically taking a year-old draft that was really nothing but a re-hashed comment to begin with. Means justified by ends? Check.

  2. You two should get a YouTube channel. I’d watch you sit and have coffee and tell camp stories all the live-long day.

    I use my amazon wish list to keep track of my “to reads”. I think it’s well up over 500 titles now. Every so often I think about pruning it but that would just be so much work. So I have a hot chocolate instead and read more blogs. It’s all good!

    1. Tee hee. I don’t know about Allison, but I’m quite certain I do better in print. Which sets the bar pretty low, obvs. But between the two of you now I’m remembering more stories… perhaps I should save the eyeball-in-the-swimming-hole for another post?

      I used to use my library suspended holds list in a similar way – it basically mirrored my to-reads. In fact, I’ve whiled-away many a slow morning by going through one and updating the other. I finally had to give that up when barrage after barrage of suspended holds hit their suspension-ends date (I think the max you can hold something is for 2 years?), and I was toting piles of books home that I’d never read (that is to say, even bigger piles than usual).

      But yes, bring on the blogs! I’ve finally started reading again, and it’s making me feel all writey. All good indeed.

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