Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Book Review and some other stuff


Philip Gulley, Front Porch Tales (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001)

This is a delightful book. I heard about Philip Gulley from Tom Mullen, who was a speaker at a Writers Conference I attended last month. Mullen is a retired English professor and a Quaker. I laughed so hard at Mullen’s presentation that I decided I had to read Gulley and I’m glad I did. I’d never known any Quaker humorous beforehand. I always through they cherished quietness and that laughing would be a sin or something. The only Quaker joke I’ve known was Richard Nixon (he was supposedly a Quaker). I suppose the Quaker Oats guy is pretty funny looking, and he has low cholesterol to boot. Anyway, Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor who has written a bunch of books about a town called Harmony. Front Porch Tales is his first book. All the tales are short pieces, three to four pages, about life with a few zingers thrown in and some good advice added.

Here’s a few of his zingers:

Psychiatrists called that "enabling denial," but back when… we called it compassion.
On old people smiling at kids in a restaurant: "Now I know why they’re smiling, their kids are grown up."

On dealing with a screaming kid on vacation: "After that, we didn’t hear a peep from him, ear plugs have that effect."

"The moment you tell someone else how to raise their kids, the odds increase that your own children will end up on America’s Most Wanted."

"…the only parent we feel superior to is Ma Barker."

First children have a wardrobe that would put Elizabeth Taylor to shame, second children take after Jed Clampett.

We looked forward to being parents. That’s because no one told us about birthday parties.

I’d never worked on toilets before which is what people say when they’re too cheap to call a plumber."

On boys learning about girls: "Then it became time for us to date, and we had to be sensitive, which meant not laughing out loud at Barry Manilow songs."

Having a cat that would come when called, but only if you’re also using a can opener.

On spoiling those who are sick: "Think about it, when was the last time you saw a child with polio getting spanked?"

I like to think of my yard as a melting pot. Everything is welcomed.

Parting Shots: Am I the only one in this country who hasn’t watched an episode of American Idol? More people voted for that prematurely gray-haired guy from Alabama than for the President? What’s wrong with this picture?

What kind of penalty Lay and Skilling will get for their convictions? Too bad they won't be made to pay back what everyone else lost.

Church league softball starts next week. Tonight was my first chance to practice this year—I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow.

29 comments:

  1. now i wasnt able to follow american idol unlike the time of jasmin trias-a fil am in hawaii. i saw it on tv news this morning..and what can i say i luv the way he sings.

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  2. Yeah Taylor's cool although all I got to see was the clips on the site. Sage, maybe you'd prefer AU Idol :)

    RE the quotes: I don't even know that I would feel superior to Ma Barker :)

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  3. Sage thanks for the book review! As far as the votes on AI there are people voting hundreds of times each. Ryan S. made an inaccurate comparison as there were over a 100 million that voted in the last election. I guess math isn't their strong suit. The Enron boys I agree, should be stripped of every dime they have. There will probably be some fines that go with sentencing, but Enron employees won't get it.

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  4. If we could vote for the President while sitting at home in our jammies, I think more people would do it.

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  5. Make that two people Sage. Taylor Hicks who?

    I was glad to hear about the convictions. Now I hope that the penalties are suitable for the crime.

    When in Minnesota, I belonged to a softball league for five years. All was fine until the fourth year when trying to be the hero and throwing for home from left field I tore my bicep. The next year fully healed and playing first base, I stood on the safety bag and was stretched out to receive a throw for a close play. I received a knee to the ribs that cracked two of them. The guy later told me he was trying for two! After that, I decided I didn't want to play baseball for "fun" anymore.

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  6. Good to see you Transient!

    Daydreamer, what is AU Idol? Australian? Is there such a thing? Heaven help us if there is.

    Pat, I thought he said that he got more votes than any of the candidates, not that all of them put together. Check the book out, it was a fun and very easy read.

    Murf, that day probably isn't too far off (that we can vote in our PJs from the computer). We could have voting slumber parties. ANd if in Chicago, we could vote multiple times like the folks voting for American idol (sorry if there are any readers from Chicago).

    Ed, Last year was the first time in 24 years that I played softball. I'm not as quick as I was when I was in my early 20s. It was fun, especially stopping for a beer afterwards.

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  7. Nope, never heard of the winner of American Idol...maybe that's because I live in Australia! Surely there won't be another Idol crap show?

    I'm here via Michele tonight Sage. Have a good weekend.

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  8. Of course there is Sage ;) It's set to start again soon as well...I had a good run for a few years there where American would finish then AU would start....Guy Sebastian was our first winner & he totally kicks ass :)

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  9. I have never watched but 10 minutes of American Idol, and that was simply because I wanted to see what the big deal was with Fantasia, who our newspaper was headlining EVERY SINGLE DAY. I just don't get the popularity of it. But then, I'm a crank.

    And I have two cats who will come if called without a can opener, even after they have been fed! The challenge with them is to keep them AWAY from us. Funny list!

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  14. Melody and Daydreamer... I'm being overrun by Aussies (must be because my dog is 1/2 Aussie Sheepdog.

    Laurie, I'm a crank too. And I haven't even watched 10 minutes.

    Anonymous3 and Alica, thanks to you all, I've turned Word Verification back on.

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  15. I don't watch AI it does air here in NZ but we are a few weeks behind.
    I am totally not interested.
    Michele sent me today.

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  16. Great book review post. I don't know much about the Quakers, but from what I do know, I like. Go Quakers!

    I've never seen American Idol.

    And I too am glad to see the guilty verdict. Sentencing is in Sept. Hopefully they'll throw the book at them.

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  17. PS - Keep us updated on the Softball. Such as your position and batting stats.

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  18. I don't watch American Idol, either. Just not my thing. I think it really bothers me that people laugh at the people who do the try-outs and everyone seems to talk about it. Blech.

    The books sounds interesting. I may have to pick that one up!

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  19. Dick Nixon was a Quaker? Well now I'm glad I woke up this moring. I learned something new.

    Here via Michele.

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  20. Never watched Idol, never will. I cherish my brain cells.
    Here via Michele today.

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  21. Wendy, thanks for stopping by. Glad to know that the US still exports something--even if it's corny TV shows.

    V, It feels odd to be in my late 40s and to play ball, but I'm having a good time!

    Dawn, it's an easy read, but I found it insightful and enjoyable.

    Kiki, Welcome to my blog. Yeap, Dick Nixon was a Quarker. In a previous post about childhood jokes, I recalled a Mad Magazine article on religion from back during his presidency. Under Quarkers, they said they don't believe in War. There are a million Quarkers in the US. Nixon says he's a Quarker. That makes 999,999

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  22. Hi Sage! I would have picked that book up (because I so often judge them by the cover) read the back and said...say what? You did a nice review, and I think it is definitely something I would enjoy reading. Thanks! You have a nice place here, I like it! And the grits thing! What a revelation! cya!

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  23. Now I have to read the book -- great review, and great quotes.

    Nixon's mother was a Quaker, but I'm not sure he carried any of the lessons with him. On the other hand, when everyone was finding out about Watergate and CREEP and everything, he took the time to send a hand-written note to Luci Baines Johnson (I forget her married name) congratulating her on the birth of her baby. So he had some class. (WOW, Dubya has made Nixon look good!)

    Michele sent me.

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  24. Hi from Michele's.
    \
    That was great! Now I want to read the book too. I'm not sure about quaker humor, but i do know that anyone who sets out to lead a church successfully must have a good sense of humor; they'll need it!

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  25. even though i'm addicted to television, i'm proud to say i have NEVER watched even one second of american idol!

    i live quite close to a quaker meeting house. yeah, they're peeps JUST like you and i (well they sing far better than i do)

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  26. I like the earplug hoot best. :-) I haven't seen a single American Idol since the end of season 1.

    Yep, my new keyboard will come any day now. (wistful look) Thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure Sage.

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  27. I watched American Idol, but I also think the comparison to voting for President (which they did on the show) is ridiculous.

    To vote for President, we have to leave our homes, can't vote more than once, and can't use speed dial. I guarantee you that if we had to go out to polling places to vote for American Idol, about five people would do it and they would all be related to the contestants.

    Here via michele today! Hi, Sage!

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  28. How funny. My grandmother gave this book to me the last time I was in WV. I've never read it.

    I think I'll go look it up.

    ReplyDelete