Monday, January 16, 2012

Bill Bryson, Is There Nothing You Can't Fix?

I apologize for the long hiatus from the book and writing blog, but two things happened

  • a lot of work, about which I am deliriously happy. I'll be writing for Match.com this year! Stay tuned for details!
  • the discovery of a host of This Old House-style issues in my old house, including but not limited to major fire hazards, major flood hazards, and in short, many, many things that made my contractor yell across the house, "Hey, have you seen this?" (He was a seasoned man with over forty years in the industry, and I seriously doubt he was prepared for what we found.) So, I'd walk in the kitchen to be greeted with, say, a water line that my father had plugged with screws in approximately 1988, the combustion of which would have sent my entire house underwater by feet, or a tear in the main A/C line the size of Sydney, Australia. 
  • We also discovered that there have been a host of birds, merrily living in my return A/C vent. We're talking an entire family of pigeons, complete with nests. In the last three weeks, I have been on the first name basis with everyone from animal control (hello, Hanson!) to the window people (shout out to Samson!), to the A/C guys (be joyous, John!). 
In short, I've missed my blog. I've missed everyone who reads this little blogspot, and I've missed having the time to give to it.

I've spent the last few days being jet-propelled from wellness to sicksville.

The best known cure for being grouchy, sick, and generally physically exhausted can be found inside almost any Bill Bryson book. Currently, I'm in the middle of In a Sunburned Country, Bryson's hilarious travelogue about Australia. In general, there's nothing Bryson can't make a little bit better or funnier, even when you have just excavated small animals within an inch of your home's 40-year-old life, or when you have not been able to leave the downstairs sofa for more than a nanosecond before camping out yet again in the bathroom.

Yep, when weeks like these come calling, there's really nothing better to take your mind off things then the wit, hilarity, and informative brilliance of Bill Bryson: Bryson in Europe (Neither Here Nor There:  "The Romans park their cars the way I would if I had just spilled a beaker of hydrochloric acid on my lap."), Bryson in England (Notes from a Small Island: Bryson, who lived in England for two decades before returning with his British wife and kids to America, has a blast with the names of small English towns - one, I swear, is Codswallop and another is Pinhead) or, of course, the middle-aged Bryson trying to hike the Appalachian Trail with his woefully overweight friend Katz (A Walk in the Woods: "I wanted a little of that swagger that comes with being able to gaze at a far horizon through eyes of chipped granite and say with a slow, manly sniff, 'Yeah, I've sh*t in the woods.' ").

Oh Bill, thank you.

Here's a short video promoting his latest book At Home:




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