M. Giant's
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Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks


Monday, October 04, 2004  

Back in Time

A quick update on the Sugar Cookie Recipe contest: We have a battle for first and second place, but third place is still anyone’s to take.

I mean that literally. There is no one in third place because we don’t have three entries yet.

I respect the fact that y’all are taking your time in finding the perfect sugar cookie recipe. No doubt that will be reflected in the quality of entries. Just keep in mind that you only have until midnight Central Time on October 31.

And for those of you who live where they have daylight savings time, you best make the most of the extra hour you get between now and then.

* * *

I was up to my armpits in my geekitude the other day.

Getting the house ready for a permanent third resident is way too big a project for one day. We’re repurposing entire rooms over here. My study is going to be the nursery. The guest bedroom is going to be my study. Part of the basement is going to be the guest bedroom. And one end of our bedroom has become a library. We’re hoping to convert the garage into a structure that has enough uncluttered space to park cars in, but that’s a longer term project.

Over the weekend, for instance, I drafted Zen Viking into helping me haul a sofa out of the basement, always one of my favorite tasks. It’s been down there since we moved in eleven years ago, and it was in my parents’ house ten years before that. There was also about fifty dollars in change in it, with the agreeable result that the couch not only got lighter the further we carried it, it tipped us generously for our trouble.

Anyway, back to the upstairs library. It’s not that having books up in our bedroom is anything new. We have bookshelves in every room in the house, save the bathroom, and that’s only because of the humidity. It’s just that we never thought there would be room upstairs for more than a short bookcase, due to the shape of our bedroom. We’d written off the idea of installing tall bookcases up there years ago, thinking we’d either have to cut a hole in the low, sloped ceiling or hide one of the windows. But it turns out we just get away with it, if we stick them at the far end of the room, flanking the window. And one night last week we did just that.

Just a little tip for you DIYers out there. If you ever have occasion to move a bookcase, I advise taking out the books first.

The volumes we moved upstairs used to occupy a shadowy little alcove in our study, a sort of genre fiction ghetto. Now they face the open room, and as such, we were quickly shamed into getting them properly organized. One case houses mysteries, the other horror and SF. We like having books upstairs even more than we expected to. The other night, while lying in bed, I stuck out my left arm and snagged the newest Clive Barker. I don’t care whether you think Barker has gone from being the poor man’s Stephen King to the even poorer man’s Neil Gaiman, that’s fucking cool.

There’s something else in that case as well, filling several shelves. This is my collection.

I know what you’re thinking. You think of a nerdy guy like me, a bookcase, and a collection, and you think either “comic books” or “action figures.”

Well, I’ve got news for you. Those things are for people much cooler than I am.

When I talk about my collection, I’m talking about hundreds of Doctor Who books.

Didn’t know there were hundreds, did you? I’ve got the novelization of every story arc that wasn’t written by Douglas Adams and isn’t tied up in litigation over the Daleks. The entire run of Virgin Books’s “The New Adventures,” from the first novel until the BBC took the rights back, and a few that came out after that. A stack of “Missing Adventures,” newer novels featuring previous Doctors, three-sevenths of whom are now dead. And even a batch of BBC editions that I got before I decided they were getting cranked out so fast that even I couldn’t keep up. I’d like to say I’ve read them all, but I haven’t. Maybe 95% of them.

One afternoon last week, I spent some time getting them all back in order of continuity, from An Unearthly Child to the ones about the Eighth Doctor. It’s ridiculous how happy I am to have them all sorted out again. I haven’t read any of those books for seven years. Some of them for twenty. But now that I’ve held each one in my hands today, I kind of want to read them all again. In order this time.

I’ll be okay. It’ll pass.

But when they bring the show back next year, I’m totally subscribing to BBC America and you can’t stop me.

Today’s best search phrase: “Coloring book for alligator.” Hey, if you think you can get the prehistoric beastie to stay inside the lines, go for it.

posted by M. Giant 9:23 PM 9 comments

9 Comments:

That's okay. I can't decide if that is more or less geeky than what I did in my late teens and twenties. Every month Pocket Books came out with a new Star Trek book. Every month I bought it. Classic Trek or Next Generation - they were both golden to me.

Then they started cranking out the DS9 books. At which point I saw myself in my dotage, buried under an avalanche of Star Trek books, my cats gnawing at my foot for nourishment.

Yeah, I'm geekier...

By Blogger Carol Elaine, at October 4, 2004 at 11:07 PM  

Well, it certainly is geeky, but at least you didn't buy them all to keep you busy while waiting in line to get "Doctor Who" and "Blake's 7" autographs at a British Sci-Fi Convention.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 4, 2004 at 11:24 PM  

I read about 2 books a week so I had built up quite a collection of books but when I moved last winter, I asked myself if I was ever going to read any of these again? Since the answer was no, I threw 3/4 of them out and ever since then I am throwing them out when I finish them. I tried to take them to a place that resells them but I got like a messly 10 cents on the dollar and it wasn't worth it. Now the homeless people who go through my garbage are really well read.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2004 at 6:45 AM  

I don't really do sugar cookies, but I do lots of butter cookies. Just for fun, not to enter the contest or anything, because it wouldn't qualify, I'll dig up my German great-grandmother's butter cookie recipe (that starts with something like 14 pounds of butter and 10 pounds of flour) just so you'll have something different to bake, if you so choose. Mmmmm, buttery. Oh, also, Secret Agent Josephine posted a cranberry/white chocolate chip shortbread recipe last year that I have baked quite a bit, that causes people to have spontaneous mouthgasms. I'll dig that up, too, and pass it along. I'm all about the cooking baking, just not so much the sugar cookies.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2004 at 6:48 AM  

Oh, sorry, that was me - Laura - prattling on about butter cookie and shortbread recipes.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2004 at 6:49 AM  

I LOVED Dr. Who books in high school, but I haven't read them in years. Really, I had forgotten about them.

Not that there is anything wrong with you still having them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2004 at 7:19 AM  

To the "Anonymous" who throws out books once they've been read: You may want to find out if your local library (or its "friends" organization) would like them, either for the collection, or, more likely, for a booksale fundraiser. You still won't get money for them, but at least they'll go to good homes.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2004 at 11:52 AM  

Or you could give them to a local hospital or a women's shelter or a seniors' home... the list of worthy charities goes on and on Throwing a book away just seems so...wrong. It hurts me to think about it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2004 at 12:44 PM  

Excellent! I thought I was the only geek with a still massive Doctor Who collection. In fact, when Dad was finally going through the boxes my brother and I left behind, we both (Dad and I) decided we just couldn't throw out dozens of Doctor Who books no matter how bad they were.

So now we're just trying to figure out how much money is too much to spend shipping boxes of science fiction from Missouri to California.

But I bow to your collection of novels. Me? I saved up my money to buy the hardback special anniversary books as well. And the comic books. Oh, and the role playing game. And then there was the new motorized Dalek figures ...

By Blogger The Manager, at October 5, 2004 at 12:53 PM  

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