Thursday, April 06, 2006

BOOKS: The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

Hey, thanks to everyone who made in-flight reading suggestions after my last post. I ended up swinging through the not-bad-at-all bookstore at YVR and picking up Alexander McCall Smith's The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom: The Portuguese Irregular Verbs Trilogy because look at me! I'm so cocksure of my ability to read on a plane with a baby that I can read a TRILOGY.

Except... it's been a full day and a half since I purchased the book and I still haven't even cracked the spine. Because not only did I grossly overestimate my ability to wrangle both young Master Sam* and a paperback on a plane, I also didn't take into consideration the falling-asleep-at-night-much-less-napping-in-a-strange-bed factor that has resulted in me having to accompany Sam on all his trips to dreamland. I'm not as choked about this as you might think because, much as I'd like to grab a little reading time, I rather like visiting dreamland. Have you tried this "sleep" thing? It's phenomenal. I may just make a habit of this.

I think I'm looking forward to getting into Pillars of Wisdom, despite the fact that I haven't heard anything about it, a fact that usually makes me wary. I've read some of the books in McCall's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and rather liked them, especially Morality for Beautiful Girls. But really I was suckered in to this book by the fact that the title contains the phrase "irregular verbs." Because I'm a nerd like that.

Also, the second book in the trilogy is entitled The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, and what can I say? I have a (non-Freudian, I swear) thing about weiner dogs. There's a guy in my neighbourhood who drives a wheelchair and has THREE weiner dogs who all range out on their little leashes in front him, making the entire chair-and-dog arrangement look not unlike a pack of teeny sled dogs. Every time I see this guy and his pack of weiners, I fight the urge to yell "Mush!"

My friend the Baco-Vegetarian once told me that in Prague (or is it Berlin?) almost every home has a weiner dog, and that fact alone made me want to book a one-way ticket to Prague (or Berlin). You can count on one thing: when I do, I'll make sure I PACK A BOOK.

*To give Sam his due, he was a trooper throughout the flight. He had a little nap, ate some snacks, and generally larked about with nary a meltdown in sight. But still. He's eleven and a half months old. What was I thinking?


landismom said...

Sleep was greatly overrated in my life. Until I had none. But sorry to hear you haven't gotten much reading done.

I forgot to mention yesterday--I made the great error once of flying with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell. I don't care how much I want to read it, I will never again fly with such a heavy book!

Anonymous said...

Ah, flying with children. I remember 0-18 months as the golden era. 18-40 months? not so great. But my little guy, 3-1/2, made the all-day flight home from London with flying colors, thanks to back-of-the-seat video and Beauty and the Beast. Twice. He also spent an hour watching me play this lame video game that was like Tetris with sparkly jewels. And he loves pretzels, A born traveler, my kid.

And for the flight home? Definitely Zadie Smith's On Beauty - goes down like creme brulee.

Anonymous said...

Hey, can I borrow Irregular Verbs when you're done? And I'd be happy to lend you 44 Scotland Street and Espresso Tales.

McCall Smith's writing makes me feel good about being human.

Anonymous said...

Like landismom, I made the error of travelling with Jonathan Strange before. It was a bound proof copy which I had to read for work, but it still weighed my pack down so much I was muttering curses each time.

Tammy said...

Yikes. In my craziest imaginings it never occurred to me to bring Jonathan Strange. It probably counts as one piece of carry-on.

You're on, Shona. I hear you on McCall Smith. I wasn't really feeling the first book or two of his that I read, but then something clicked with Morality and now I get it, which means I now experience fleeting desires to move to Botswana and have a daughter and name her Precious.

Oh, man, roughmagic, I don't know what parents did before those little back-of-the-seat TVs were invented, and I don't wany to know. And yeah, if I have anything to say about it, this'll be Sam's last flight till he's 3. Though I have a feeling I may lose that battle. Ah, the power of familial guilt...

As for sleep, landismom, I've got some weird temporal confusion going on right now. I just woke up after sleeping for almost four hours and realized that it's now around 11:30 pm Vancouver time. In other words, my usual bedtime. How did this happen? Ack!

Dave said...

I love wiener dogs (in a completely single-entendred way). We had one growing up, so I’ll always have a special place for them (figuratively, not literally.) Hmm. Maybe I’ll just leave the whole wiener thing alone.

Not sure where exactly your travels are taking you in Southwest Ontario, but if you get as far as Windsor and for some reason you end up in the bar just off campus called The Grad House, there’s a CD in the jukebox that I made. I think it’s titled something cryptic like ‘Dave’s CD.’ That’s my Windsor claim to fame. Sadly, every time someone plays a song off it, thirty seconds of my fifteen minutes of fame evaporates.

Anonymous said...

Try Helene Hanff for your (non)reading on the trip back! 84 Charing Cross Road or Underfoot in Show Business would be my recommended starters.

Carrie K said...

Whether or not you actually get the time to read the book is immaterial. Of all encompassing importance is to have a book!

My next door neighbor was trying to get me to knit a sweater with a weiner dog on it. It was cute, but I barely knit for my own family.

Sleep is greatly undervalued for some reason. Puritan forebears?