Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm starting to realize how ridiculously disorganized I am. I've decided to get really organized I'm going to have to-do lists for all my stuff on the house and organize all my work stuff into folders...with little labels on everything.

I look around the fortress and realize that I'm a slob. There's papers everywhere and I can't find the proper tools when I need them (so I end up using a chisel as a screw driver). I could justify my slobbishness by saying that I'm busy or that I'm more of a big-picture person; but that would be a lie. My messiness and disorganization has more to do with sloth than lack of vision. I don't know how people get so organized that they can go to the gym with excel spreadsheets detailing their workout routines, but I want to be one of those people--except smarter and better looking, of course.

I have to take a flight next week, so I decided that I'm going to make lists for everything that I need done while I'm out of town, then, armed with these powerful new tools, I'll come back and finish everything and live happily ever afer. Well, that's the plan, anyway. So today will start to-do list day. That mean's I gotta measure the MacGyver kitchen to order some cabinets and start packing for my trip (these would be on the top of my paper to-do list, which is still in my head). Then I think I have to start prioritizing my projects around the fortress. Maybe the lack of prioritization is why I haven't been getting too much done around here. Either that or it's Netflix's fault.

Since I gotta catch a plane soon, anyone have any book suggestions? Please don't say "The DaVinci Code". Although I haven't read it, I take issue with people who recommend this book. How can you, with a straight face, recommend one of the most popular books ever written? That's like saying "have you tried peanut butter? 'cuz you should, it's delicious."
So anyway, does anyone have any *other* book suggestions?


Law Dancer said...

I really like "The Historian" right now, but it's hardback. Also try Chesapeake or Hawaii by Michener. They are older, come in paperback from the library (cheap!), long and good. If you like historical fiction.

If not, my brother is reading how to play Oblivion on his XBox 360.

Anonymous said...

"The Straight Man" by Richard Russo is a good one, although its dry humor, so it doesn't suit everyone's taste. Or perhaps: "Mission: Organization" the book, since you want to get organized, it might give some nice handy ideas?

Diet Coke of Evil said...

I liked "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" if you're looking for something well written and yet not super serious (it won a Pulitzer, but its fiction about comic books). I also looooooooooove "A Prayer for Owen Meany" and "The Fountainhead" and I liked "Unbearable Lightness of Being"

Anonymous said...

I would never recommend "The DaVinci Code"'s coming out in the movies....who needs a book when you can see the movie?!?!?!?!? And I bet the movie version has some added laser guns and some dinossaurs that make the story even better!!!!!!

I just finished recently "The Time Traveler's Wife"'s a good book, easy to read.

I also second the recommendations to "The Straight Man" by Richard Russo and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon (sp?). All books I read from these two authors have been excellent.

Kathryn Is So Over said...

I second DCOE's Kavalier & Clay recommendation.

Another good one: Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude.

And, just because: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt. It has nothing to do with Crazy Tom Cruise or that movie.

Reya Mellicker said...

Da Vinci Code is the perfect airplane book for people like me who have no ability to focus while on board.

As for being organized, I salute you. I have bouts of being organized, but then I lose my to-do lists or decide it would be more fun to go out and take a ride on my bike or something. I admire the people who can keep it all together, too. I have a client who keeps his mantra reps on an Excel spreadsheet (he has to do hundreds of thousands of reps, so it kind of makes sense).

HomeImprovementNinja said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm making a list so I can go to borders at lunch.

lawdancer, what are those books about?

jeff, same question. as for mission organization, I know HOW to get organized, I just never get around to doing it.

DCOE, you really are my secret twin. I read Kavalier & Clay and Fountainhead too. I'll think about the other two. I haven't read APFOW, but I liked the movie version.

gui, I'll add those to the list. as for "the code", I'm torn. I got a thang for the Audrey Tattou, but I don't wanna see Tom Cruise makin' it w/ her.

kathryn, samurais you say? Hmmmm.

reya, I hear you. But I decided, I'm gonna be "that guy".

Archimedes24 said...

I have bouts of influenza, or the runs. I can have a list of shit I've gotta do, check out maps, organize a complicated star pattern that will allowing me to save a thimble full of gas and shave 83 seconds off of my commute.

On the other hand, if you ask my wife about any sort of project I'm working on, she'll tell you it's spread all over God's green earth. Right now, our kitchen table is covered with picture framing equipment, and a bunch of home made screen printing stuff.

And don't even get her STARTED about the shit overflowing from the mouth of the "man cave"!

As for books...well, I hate to recommend ANOTHER book EVERYONE has read, but in case you're the one ninja who was in the background of the latest James Bond movie and missed it that day, The Stand by Steven King is one of my all time favorites. Something about the idea of the world suddenly becoming an unpopulated wasteland, and being able to walk into any store, house, or military installation and pick up whatever you want.

Oddly enough, I just read a very NOT sucktastic book about Da Vinci called "The Medici Guns". Very cool from the engineer/technical standpoint. Fictional story of how he helps the Medici's out of a jam.

God I miss Netflix. They don't have it in Australia. And I was one of the early members too! I was still getting 4 movies for the cost of 3! I was special DAMMIT!


brando said...

I have a feeling you already know this one. "The Past Through Tomorrow" by R.A.H.

It's just short stories. That's a sort of peanut butter book to me.

John said...

Off the top of my head, here are a few suggestions. Be warned that most folks find my reading choices somewhat dull (even my best friend from high school who went on to get a degree in Classical Greek & Latin). For example, the books I'm currently reading include: Les Miserables, Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals & Exxe Homo, American Theocracy, The Case Against the Fed (your Libertarian rants have me hooked on Rothbard now), and the Popol Vuh (Mayan Mythology).

My recommendations:

1) Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It came out in 1997, and it is the same vein (historical conspiracy theory) as the De Vinci Code but much smarter. This is the part where my wife would call me a snob, but you'll have that.

2)Our Father's War by Tom Mathews. Basically, how WW2 effected the men who saw combat and how it effected their marriages and raising their children. My summary is dry, but the book is not.

3) Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. A bit dry, but interesting. Basically, Western Imperialism and supremecy is based on our pencant for living with filthy animals (and a couple other things).

4) America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 by Alfred Crosby. Same idea as The Stand but real.

5) Good-bye To All That by Robert Graves. I don't know why, but I really enjoy this book. I read it every couple of years. Graves was British poet, author (I, Claudius), and soldier in the First World War. This book was written when he was in his 30's and is a memoir of growing up in Victorian England, the War, and afterward. Good read, one of the best memoirs I've read.

6) The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. Who wouldn't want to read a book written by demons for demons. Funny book.

Allison said...

I had long since resolved never to read The Davinci Code, when a friend gave me Angels and Demons (the prequel or something) - it was HORRID!!

I liked William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition", if you are in the mood for something riding the edge of sci-fi. I also love Jose Saramago's "Blindness" - and his "All the Names" was good too - a bit Kafka-esque. "Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk made me laugh my ass off (in a very dark humor sort of way). If you feel like non-fiction, try Daniel Ellsberg's "Secrets".

dara said...

I'd help -- usually I'm good with fiction -- but right now, I'm reading nonfiction on baseball. National Pastime, to be exact.

dara said...

Hey, I just remembered that I did read a pretty good novel -- in the same vein as the DaVinci Code, but smarter and written by two local authors. It was called The Rule of Four. Very good for airplane reading.