Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Page 123 Meme

Ah, inspiration in the form of a tagless meme. Many thanks to Philly Expatriate for providing!

Here are the questions:

Pick up the nearest book.
Open to page 123.
Locate the fifth sentence.
Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing...
Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged me.

"I'd spent the afternoon making hay, really just lending a hand to a farmer making hay, and after a few hours in the midday sun hoisting and throwing fifty-pound bales onto a hay wagon, I hurt. We think of grass as soft and hospitable stuff, but once it's been dried in the sun and shredded by machines-once it's become hay--grass is sharp enough to draw blood and dusty enough to thicken lungs. I was covered in chaff, my forearms tattooed red with its pinpricks."

The book was the freshman reading project for last year, The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Each year, a different book is chosen for the entire incoming class to read to have as a common intellectual experience. This was last year's selection.

Michael Pollan writes mostly for the New York Times Magazine, or at least that's where I've run in to him before. He writes a lot about food issues, or specifically, food production issues. He wrote a piece following a calf from birth to slaughterhouse, noting what it ate and experienced from the moment it arrived until it was consumed. It was quite memorable, in a way not quite as literally gut-wrenching as Fast Food Nation, but I remember thinking, Is that really a good way to treat food? Something I'm going to consume? Really? So, given that the subtitle of The Omnivore's Dilemma is "A Natural History of Four Meals," I was looking forward to reading it.

Alas, I am still looking forward to reading it. It has sat in my office as something I have flipped through during hold times on the phone or other such events, but alas, I have not really had the chance to read it yet. But I loved the meme idea and figure hey, it just said "the nearest book," not the nearest book I've already read.

How about you? What's on your desk or computer table?


brandy101 said...

I don't actually ahve a "desk" per se...

I type at my laptop on the dining table and that of course had a tablecloth & placemats on it...

I keep my "stuff" on my dresser and that has an exhausting litany of items, including: jewelry boxes, my journal, pocket pc, assorted "better quality" pens and mechanical pencils, lipsticks, a lamp, a pile of bills to be paid, school paperwork to be filled out, assorted bottles of perfume, a salt crystal lamp, a cross, pictures of Emma, and, oh yeah, a few books I haven't gotten around to reading yet ;)

Motherhood101aplus said...

Okay the nearest book to me is "The Assistant" by Bernard Malamud. I don't know anything about it but here it goes

page 123
Morris didn't deny these things but he still attributed his good fortune mostly to his clerk. For reasons that were clear to him the customers liked Frank, so they brought in their friends. As a result, the grocer could once more meet his running expenses, and with pinching and scrimping, even pay off some outstanding bills.

Believe it or not the next book under that is the same book. One cost 1.25 (printed in 1973) and the other cost 1.75 printed in 1976.