Friday, October 22, 2004

Back Home

I have returned from the sandy beaches of Sarasota, Florida and the software user's group conference I attended there. The weather was lovely for Florida I was told by those who live there year round, upper 70s and humidity around 70%. It wasn't all work while I was there. I got to walk on the beach and dip my toes into the Gulf. As a born and raised California girl now living in land-locked Minnesota, it served to remind me how much I love the ocean (if any relation of mine happens to read this, this does not mean I will be moving back). A chair in the shade overlooking the waves is a primo reading experience. And what did I read you may ask? Well I agonized over it to varying degrees right up to the night before leaving on the trip. Do I take one big book or two small ones? How about one medium length one? I wasn't planning on getting much time to read once there so was just thinking of what would be best to read while waiting--waiting for the plane, waiting for the plane to take off, waiting for the plane to land, waiting for the plane to park at the gate and let me off so I can wait for another plane, and so on. I hate waiting so it would have to be a book that was interesting enough to distract me from the waiting but not so interesting that I'd rush through it and not want to put it down and then have nothing to read but what I might find at the airport bookstore or tourist gift shop. At the same time it couldn't be so difficult that I had to have complete and total concentration. I looked through my bedside piles, I looked at the still unshelved piles that my Bookman brought home from his conference and I looked at my personal library shelves. And agonized. Finally, I decided to take Philip Roth's The Plot Against America. I almost didn't take it at the last minute because my Bookman worried that the title alone would guarantee a "random search" and questioning. But I determined to exercise my First Amendment right and take the book. I am glad I did. I wasn't stopped or questioned or looked at extra hard, though for some reason the Sarasota security guy was really interested in my Land's End city "hiking" shoes. I even saw another woman on the plane when I was leaving Florida with the book in her hand. I was hoping she was sitting near me but she ended up too far away to talk to about the book. Just as well because that let me finish it on the way home just half an hour before we landed. Pretty good timing (though I had a Terry Pratchett paperback in my bag just-in-case). So look for my review of Roth's book in the next day or so. I have also read America (The Book), you know, the one Wal-Mart doesn't want you to read. I will be posting about this hysterically funny book in the next day or two as well. And then of course, there is the Montaigne essay to look forward to. Much to look forward to, so stay tuned!