June 2012

The famous cover for Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby

  • Author:  F. Scott Fitzgerald  (1896  –  1940)
  • Rank:  #15
  • Published:  1925
  • Publisher:  Charles Scribner’s Sons
  • Pages:  182
  • First Line:  “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”
  • Last Line:  “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
  • ML Edition:  #117  (1934 – discontinued in 1939)
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English-Language Novels of the Century #2; All-TIME List
  • Film:  1926  (lost), 1949  (**) , 1974  (**.5) , 2000 (TV movie), 2002 (as G), 2012
  • First Read:  Spring, 1990


Veronica teaches Thomas to milk a fake cow. I take a picture and refrain from Wisconsin cheese or cow tipping jokes.

So we went to Story Land to celebrate Thomas’ birthday.

Thomas in Cinderella’s coach.

If you’re not from this area, Story Land is a nice little amusement park that happens to be in the middle of nowhere.  Well, in the middle of the White Mountains.  Yet, somehow, even though I am roaming everywhere in the Fox Cities (pop. 360,000), in this valley tucked up in a mountain range in northern New Hampshire (pop. 185,000), I had perfect phone reception.

To get back to the point, we had a nice time.  It’s an amusement park based around fairy tales.  Well, the older parts of the park are based around fairy tales.  We went on some rides, played with some water, had a nice Sunday out.  (I don’t know which surprised me more about the park though – that they let people bring in outside food or that they actually have designated smoking sections inside the park.)

The Cinderella aspects of the park (there is a castle and a pumpkin ride – the picture to the right is not the ride, it’s a designated picture spot – the actually pumpkin ride coach holds something like 8 people – it was quite sizable) worked nicely – Thomas and I have been slowly watching our way through the Disney Animated Films and we just finished Cinderella on Friday.

There is also a video here of Thomas and V on the flying shoe ride.  There’s not much action to it, so you are forewarned.

Thomas (with our neighbor Isaac) looking at his Jack and the Beanstalk cake.

It might seem incredible, but Thomas is now 8.

Action shot! Thomas blowing out his candles on another Veronica creation!

For those of you who haven’t seen him in a while, he’s gotten pretty big.  He’s now 4’4 1/2″ (pretty much the same height I was on my 8th birthday).

This was also the last day of school, so there was lots of excitement.  Thanks to everyone who called or sent him a card or otherwise wished him a happy birthday.  Tomorrow he and Veronica are going to the Museum of Science (to make up for him missing the field trip there while we were in Wisconsin) and on Sunday all three of us are headed to Storyland in New Hampshire.

You shall not pass! Unless you give me 11 Oscars.

The 73rd annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2003.  The nominations were announced on 27 January 2004 and the awards were held on February 29, 2004.

Best Picture:  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • Mystic River
  • Lost in Translation
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  • Seabiscuit

Most Surprising Omission:  Cold Mountain

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  City of God

Best Eligible English-Language Film Not Nominated:  In America

Rank (out of 84) Among Best Picture Years:  #4


“I am no man.” The reason that Thomas would have been Eowyn had he been a girl. And you only think I’m kidding.

My Top 20:

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. Mystic River
  3. Lost in Translation
  4. City of God
  5. In America
  6. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  7. Finding Nemo
  8. Kill Bill Volume 1
  9. A Mighty Wind
  10. Whale Rider
  11. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  12. American Splendor
  13. The Station Agent
  14. Dirty Pretty Things
  15. The Triplets of Belleville
  16. Nowhere in Africa
  17. Tokyo Godfathers
  18. The Barbarian Invasions
  19. The Last Samurai
  20. Divine Intervention


On the carousel at Sesame Place.

We’ve had to go out of town for personal reasons.  If you know us, send an e-mail and we’ll explain.  If you just like to read the posts, check back next week for the next year in film (2003), the next Top 100 Novel (Great Gatsby), and whatever random shit that comes into my head and comes out of my keyboard.  In the meantime, enjoy a random picture of Thomas.

The 1st Edition of the Modern Library Giant of Anna Karenina (1935).

Anna Karenina  (Анна Каренина)

  • Author:  Leo Tolstoy  (1828  –  1910)
  • Rank:  #16
  • Published:  1877
  • Publisher:  The Russian Messenger
  • Pages:  838
  • First Line:  “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
  • Last Line:  “I’ll get angry in the same way with the coachman Ivan, argue in the same way, speak my mind inappropriately, there will be the same wall between my soul’s holy of holies and other people, even my wife, I’ll accuse her in the same way of my own fear and then regret it, Ill fail in the same way to understand with my reason why I pray, and yet I will pray – but my life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it!”
  • ML Edition:  #37  (four dust jackets – 1930, 1931, 1942, 1966), Giant #23  (three dust jackets – 1935, 1963, 1966), tan cover, gold hardcover, Modern Library Classics
  • Film:  many, including 1935 (***), 1948 (***), 1967 (***), 1997 (**) and 2012  (****)
  • First Read:  Summer, 2000