Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blanket Physics?

I woke up this morning scratching my head...
What in the world happened last night?
How was this possible?

So... I currently have a bed.
I have a mattress, with one of those 'fitted sheets' with a tiny bit of extra quilting. Then the usual "fitted sheet" that comes in every sheet set.
I have 2 pillows.
Then on the outer parts of the bed, I have a sheet, an afghan that my mom made for me a long time ago, and then a quilted comforter (not a big poofy one).
This morning I woke up to find...
My 'normal' fitted sheet had come unhooked from the top corner of my bed, and had slipped about a quarter of the distance in.
My top sheet, was completely shifted in the opposite direction, so that the corner of the sheet was approx where my neck was.
My middle layer of the afghan was also shifted to the left, and had also shifted down to about where my waist was.
My upper layer of the comforter was at the right height but shifted to the right so the corner was also about where my neck was.

What the heck?! Did I get in a fight last night while sleeping? Did those monsters that live under my bed do this just to confuse me?!
How is the physics of moving a middle afghan layer possible? Shouldn't the coverings all shift in the same way?!

I suspect I'll never know the answers to these questions... until the day I reach those pearly gates... that will probably be in my top ten questions to the Creator of the universe... to explain to me the physics of blankets.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jack Kerouac - On the Road

It's about mid December now and I'm in the final days of the year trying to finish one more book. I decided to keep track of all my media consumed in 2009. Which includes: movies in the theater, dvd's, books, and even a couple comic books (oddly I didn't think to include music on that list, which I'm now regretting).
But just a week or so before December, I finished my 13th book, and was afraid that a month to finish a book was cutting it close for me. So I looked at what I had on my kindle and decided to choose a shorter book. I chose Jack Kerouac's "On the Road". While I'm glad it was a short book, and I'm now about it finish it (with abt 2 weeks to spare), I regret that this has been a tedious book! I've plowed through it though, because I knew if I switched books now, I'd never finish another one.
So a review here for those interested...
Having visited family who live in California, I was aware of Kerouac, and have heard his name mentioned in other circles because I've read a few other "travel/road" books. And of course myself skating into the hippy culture from time to time, I'm familiar with the "beat culture", which I think Kerouac is more known for capturing, rather than it being a "travel" book.
So, first the good news and praise.... there are moments in Kerouac's book where he wrote some really great lines. Moments where I was just sort of blown away and thinking, 'THAT was great!". But sadly, these moments were few and far between.
I suspect, that perhaps Kerouac was whacked out himself on some of the drugs he describes in his book (wikipedia says he was an alcoholic). The book skates on the edge of describing the late 1940's and early 1950's drug culture in the beginning, only to end up in the later parts focusing more on the drug induced escapades of Dean and Sal. The best way I have thought to describe his writing style is - scattered. I have to wonder if Kerouac had ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Having not read any other Kerouac's books perhaps that was his intentional style because it portrayed the characters that way, but man it was tough to follow at times.
I also have mention this part as it kinda creeped me out a bit... The characters in the book are in their early to late 20's. On more than one occasion, they talk about getting some girls (or gurls as he often spelled it, not sure why). But... Kerouac (or the characters) talk about the young girls... 14-16, and in the later part of the book they visit a whore house with young girls. I don't know if this was normal for that time period, or again, if Kerouac intentionally put this in to make the characters seem more lowly in societies standing (ie: druggies, bums, and sex crazed?). Regardless, I didn't like this aspect of the book.
If this book is a model for the "Beat generation" I'm glad I never got into it.
I'll close with a comment that I read on the Amazon page where people posted various comments and ratings... it seems you either love or hate this book. Lots of people either gave it a one-star or a five-star rating. While hate is a bit harsh for me, I certainly am glad I finished it and can put it behind me.
More about Jack Kerouac here on wikipedia.