Just Shelley

Meme cross-fire

I am now caught in the crossfires of two memes: one having to do with books and a deserted island; the other having to do with music. Rather than answer each individually, I’ve decided to combine them into one post, thereby blurring the trail and breaking the ‘meme hex’.

I was passed the music meme by Dori Smith, Jewel at Jewel’s Web Graphics and Dougal Campbell. Answering the questions given:

Total volume of music files on my computer: 344M. Yes, just 344M. The only music I have on my machine is what I’ve loaded to create one of my few attempts at mixing, or what I’ve downloaded from iTunes. I never listen to music from my computer.

The last CD I bought It’s been so long since I’ve bought a CD, I’m not sure what the last one was. I think it might have been the Norah Jones: Feels Like Home. I can definitively say that the last song I downloaded was this.

Holding on

Song playing right now The song “Sixteen Tons”, written by Merle Travis and sung by Tennesse Ernie Ford; in ad on television, where GE attempts to make coal mining into something sexy and environmentally sound. I hate the message, am jaw dropped amazed at the hutzpah of both the campaign and visuals –but love that song.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me This is a tougher one.

Every time I start out on a trip I play Gimme some loving’ by the Spencer Davis group. Not sure why, but I know that my trip will be jinxed if I don’t play this song when I start.

The Beatle’s song Michelle is not a favorite song, but it had a significant impact on me–it was the reason I changed my name from Michelle to Shelley. And if we are to ever meet some day, whatever you do, do not hum, mouth, whisper, or play this song.

As for other songs, there are so many that I love and are important to me. I guess the ones I have particularly enjoyed listening to recently are Breathe (2am) by Anna Nalick; Me & Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin (”Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…”); and Cat in the Window by Petula Clark–a personal anthem.

Now, on to the books.

I was passed the book meme by Loren Webster and Ken Camp. I gave a lot of thought to this meme–perhaps more than one should.

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

There are so many beautiful books I would want to memorize, to preserve against destruction. However, when faced with a society that could condone the burning of books, truth has to matter more than beauty. But what is the ultimate book on truth? This one I couldn’t figure out, because I don’t think it’s been written yet.

After all, look around: at the killings in Iraq; untreated AIDs in Africa; our own homeless. Humanity hasn’t grown enough to write the ultimate book on truth.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character

Yes, indeedy! I have had a crush or two among the weblogging community, and though the gentlemen aren’t fictional, they are most definitely characters.

The last book you bought?

All these memes must assume you have a great deal of discretionary income. Either that, or they’re planted by Amazon. Anyway, I believe my last book purchased was 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of St. Louis. I usually only buy hiking books; anything else I check out from the library.

What are you currently reading

I just started what promises to be a wonderful book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maquire.

Five books you would take to a deserted island

I thought about this for a long time, running all the books I have read and enjoyed through my mind. I have several favorite books, but also knew if I was stuck with any book for any length of time, I would grow weary of it at first, and then loath it in the end.

Like the other pragmatic souls who have answered this question, I would want one of the books to be a survival guide. Most people have mentioned the Army Survival Manual, but I rather like what I’ve read about the SAS Survival Guide.

When I was searching for a survival guide, I found an interesting survival book list at Amazon, which included books such as Wilderness SurvivalThe Worst Case Scenario Survival BookThe Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, and The Zombie Survival Guide. The latter book proves there is no subject that can’t end up as a book.

Ultimately, though, I decided that if I were going to be stuck on a deserted island, I would want the one survival guide and four large journals with blank, unlined pages. I would then use the journals to write my own books; and if I were to get tired of them over time, I would carefully erase the pages, one by one, and write new stories.

My thank you for those kind enough to pass the memes on to me, and apologies for the lateness of the answer. As for who to turn these memes to in turn, like my books on the island, I leave the spaces for these names blank and let those who are interested fill in their names.

So I’ll pass this on to the last five people who have left comments (with a web site–sorry Dan and Ed):

Denise Howell
Frank Paynter
Scott Reynen
Dave Winer


I heard your pain

Well, I heard your pain and have modified my Burningbird theme to something I hope is a bit easier to read. To be honest, when I was tired and had been working on the computer for some time, even I found my site to be overly bold and colorful.

Yeah and the design was a little tough on the eyes, too.

The original design featured too much of the ‘wings’ of flames to the left, and that was a bit overpowering. I’ve made the design much smaller, and fitted it into the title. I still have the flirty little flip to the right, though. I am not giving up my flirty little flip to the right. Besides, I like my design ‘breaking out of the box’, so to speak.

I’ve added more gray, which should help tone down the bright colors, and also darkened the blue and the orange. In fact, these colors I did ‘borrow’ from Corante–I liked them better than the too light colors I had originally. These were getting overwhelmed by the design.

I like the modifications. It’s not as professional as the Corante theme, and I think I might put Zoë back into the sidebar (I love that photo)–but I don’t believe the new look will drive any reader to want to …yank their eyes out of their head, either.

As for the issues brought up about the use of Creative Commons, my appreciations to Denise Howell for taking time to chat about them. Perhaps the CC folks will benefit from this exchange. Or they won’t and we’ll have opportunities for new ‘themes’ and other exciting adventures in the future.