Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things I'm Learning

What did Bill Bryson teach me today, you ask? Maybe I'm fascinated by unlikely things, but I have to say, this thrilled me. Do you know what a lichen is? And why they can grow on rock outcroppings in places like the Arctic where there is no other life? Well, I know now and I'll tell you.

It turns out that a lichen is actually a symbiotic arrangment of an algae and a fungus. The fungus dissolves the rock into a substance that the algae can then digest into nutrition for both of them to consume. How symmetrical is that? How neato? Of course, it's not much of a life--the only living thing for thousands of miles around, sitting on a rock for a long, long time (it can take 50 to 100 years to reach the size of a quarter). But how clever of them to team up like that!

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for surrendering. In the past week, I've decided not to read three books that had been on my list and that I even had out of the library already. It was in my hands, I opened it up and started reading, I didn't find it interesting, so I put it down. Apparently I wasn't as interested in the life of St. Theresa of Lisieux as I thought I was. Or I Am the Messanger, by Markus Zusak. Just didn't catch me, after ten pages or so. Couldn't do it. I'm not even going to book club this month--the book doesn't interest me.

Just doesn't interest me! So proud! I feel liberated.

Oh, and Night of the Hunter? Awesome, amazing book. It helps that it's an amazing movie, and it's almost exactly the same. But it's just so sweet and scary and stylish, and yet still old-fashioned and charming. Oh, and in case you never noticed that a switchblade is phallic--well, it is.

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