Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend Assignment #253: Roughing It

Last week, we welcomed our second guest professor, Laura of YBTN. This week our first guest professor, Florinda, is back with her second Weekend Assignment. Let’s see what it is!

Weekend Assignment #253: You've got no electricity, no Internet, no phone, and no car for two whole days. What do you do with yourself?

Extra Credit:
What do you usually do in real life when an evening power shortage leaves you in the dark?

As usual, I'll start.

No candles for the votives.

I can't see having too much trouble in the daytime in this scenario. Oh, I'd fret about people being able to get in touch with me, but aside from that it would be fine. I'd grab a textbook and some recreational reading (novels and magazines) and maybe even a notebook to write in, and curl up in bed. The dogs would get lots of scratching, and it would all be very pleasant. Depending on what food was in the house and whether the gas stove was working, I might not have to venture out at all.

Night, however, would be a major problem for me. That's when I'd be squirming, waiting to blog, wanting to mess around online and watch tv and get enough light going to do, well, anything at all. We used to keep votive candles around for Halloween jack-o-lanterns and Christmas luminaria, but we've used them all up and never remembered to buy more. So we can't light a single candle - we can only curse the darkness.

Although...we do have this, a rechargeable flashlight that acts as a night light when not otherwise in use. That would help us move around a bit, but I imagine it wouldn't last two nights if it were on all evening.

We had a power outage here a few weeks ago, and it drove me nuts. It was probably only for an hour or two, and very local - a cable failed at the nearby substation, affecting basically just our neighborhood. I checked again for a candle - no go. So I got out the flashlight, but that didn't open many options by way of activities. With no candles and no cable modem, the house was dark and a whole lot of no fun. It was early evening, so I wasn't going to bed. (Actually I tried for a nap, but it was hopeless.) I soon drove over to Borders, and worked on my computer (offline) until the battery rand low. When I got home, the power was back.

I suppose in the end, this assignment is about how addicted you are to modern telecommunications, and how well you would cope without them for more than a few hours at a time. So what do you think? Would you hang out and read, or strike out on foot? Would you sleep when the sun is down, or light candles to read by? Tell us about it in your blog, with a link back to this entry, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week to post the results. Meanwhile...

For Weekend Assignment #252: Book Connections, Guest Professor Laura asked us where we get our books and what we read last and why. Here are excerpts from our bumper crop of responses:

Mary said in comments...

I can stay in an indy book store until they throw me out. I will cop to B&N and Borders also, but only when I am looking for an old classic or a just new must read. I once went to Boston for an estate sale just because they listed: LOTS OF OLD BOOKS. Running medical practices in the past I received many health related books that were better than I thought they'd be from drug reps. There is a Catholic thrift shop in my area that I go to about 4 times a year since people drop some good finds there, not many, but enough to make me visit on occasion and pick up some good reads.

I am not a fan of most of the new novels, but an ex's daughter sent me~
Skinned~ by Robin Wasserman, and I started that last night. ~Mary

Pat (DesLily) said in comments...

*smiling* I enjoyed those books by by Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer too!

Unfortunately MOST of my buying is from Amazon since I don't drive and get out rarely, though on occasion I get to Barnes and Noble. I would Love love love to go to yard sales and library sales, but can't get to them. Oh! sometimes I do get books from

Karen H. (Scobberlotcher) said in comments...

I get most of my books from Amazon and our local Half Price Books (which I am starting to feel slightly guilty about since, as an author, I deprive my fellow writer of her $1, but....) I love to haunt antique stores in search of first editions or just interesting editions. I found one last week called Don't Blame The Mirror. It's a 1960s beauty guide that is hilarious. I also found a copy of Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens (before he started publishing under Mark Twain) and picked it up for $4.

Great topic!

Julie said...

I have a passion for old books. I used to go to Ft. Worth every year for a used book sale. They had the most amazing stuff. I think the most I ever spent was $40, but for that I got a whole armload of rare books.

Florinda said...

My favorite place to acquire books - and I'm a book buyer more than a borrower - is my local Borders. It's on the small side as those stores go, but it's nicely laid out for browsing. The "literature" section is a bit of a catch-all, as was recently discussed on someone else's blog (I'd link if I could remember where it happened - sorry!) - memoirs and essays are often shelved there, mixed in among classic and contemporary non-genre fiction.

Mary K. from L.A. said...

I get the majority of my books from the library, because I just don't have enough room in my tiny apartment to keep a lot of books. I have over a thousand books in storage as it is, and I just can't bring myself to add more while leaving my old, well-loved books all alone in boxes in a storage unit. It just isn't fair.

Mike said...

I wish I had some cool place to list like a fun independent bookstore, but I don't. Actually, I wish there was a place like that around me. Especially one that specialized in genre fiction, but I don't know of one. Anyone know of a store like that in the northwest suburbs of Chicago? Maybe I just missed it.

Dawn Allynn said...

I do most of my buying at local thrift shops, and second hand book stores, depending on what I am looking for. With thrift shops I peruse the aisles filling my basket with whatever looks good until there's no more room in the basket or no more money for more books. I love to read, so there is a great deal that will interest me.

Becky said in comments...

Those Nancy Drew covers are identical to the editions I would get for Christmas in the early 70s. Yellow borders and all. Neat!

That's it for now. Assuming you're not trapped in the dark without a connection, I hope you'll participate in this Weekend Assignment. And yes, I'm still soliciting your suggestions for future Weekend Assignment topics. Email me your ideas at anytime. If I use your topic you'll get full credit and my undying thanks. And thanks to Florinda and Laura for three great Assignments in a row!



barrettmanor said...

Here ya go:

Florinda said...

Thanks for picking one of my questions again :-). Here's my answer.

Mike said...

Maybe I shouldn't write these on the midnight shift. You can read the ramblings here.