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book tags

I've decided to "archive" the books I read with collaged luggage tags, ya know, the kind you buy at JoAnn and gussy up with your collage-y stuff. I still only finish about a book a month, and I'm pursuing this artsy urge I've had to collage. So here's the first in a series: a collage tag for Darin Strauss's Chang and Eng. This book is historical fiction, documenting the life of Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker, who began their lives under the protective care of their mother and father, who were Mekong fisherfolk trying to live as normally as they can on a floating hovel. The twins are condemned to death by the King of Siam, but once the King meets them he changes his mind about the "bad omen" they portend, instead choosing to believe that they're a harbinger of good luck to Siam. So the King undertakes to educate the twins, who live under his roof for many years before they hear of their father's death. The King releases them once again to the Mekong. While there they are snatched up by a man who promotes freaks. Thus begins Chang and Eng's long career on exhibition as the famous Double-Boy of Siam. Eventually they settle in Wilkesboro, N. Carolina, marrying sisters. The story disintegrates from here, choosing to focus on Eng's infidelity with Chang's wife... we're to believe this can happen because Eng is a staunch Prohibitionist while Chang is a drunkard.

Not the greatest book, but I rather like the tag. Turns out that once the twins died their autopsy revealed that they shared no internal organs and could have been separated simply by severing the band of flesh and cartilage that joined them at the sternum. The tag is double-sided, to reflect that joining, one side showing the twins as boys in Siam, the other showing them as young men in America.


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wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

It's easy to tell yourself that you'll write a daily blog entry using the word of the day from dictionary(dot)com as a prompt, and equally easy to temporize your daily entry by waffling over what to write about, or evading your obligation by procrastination. There. Bedtime.

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40 observations on the eve before my 40th birthday

Indulge me! In no particular order:

1. I love making pinatas. I've made a pinata for Jack's birthday for the last five years. The Death Star, a jellyfish from Spongebob, Patrick Star from Spongebob, Plankton from Spongebob, and just this year King Pig from Angry Birds. I've been commissioned by a friend to produce another Angry Birds Pig pinata for her son's birthday. I'm gonna do it.

2. Right now three of my ten fingers hurt when I type. I don't bite my nails (unless one is already broken) but I do pick and pull at my cuticles. I've developed acute paronychia, a bacterial infection, at those three finger tips. The one that hurts the most is my right thumb. Space bar hell. I've done this to myself since childhood. When I'm pulling and nipping at a hangnail, I know it's going to hurt but I go ahead and do it anyway.

3. I consider myself substantial: in body and in mind. I am robust. I have zeal. I just don't have any confidence.

4. My brain stop…