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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whimsy lost

WHIMSY - extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression; an odd or fanciful notion. [Whimsy week starts here. Click for this weeks Bliss Initiatives] 

This is a tough post for me to write. First of all, I really wanted to LOVE this book. What a great title! The promise of whimsy for grown ups made me eager to find out what another's definition might hold.  Would I find it fanciful, or possibly just plain fun? I really hoped for something inspiring. The cover art, by illustrator Brook Henderson was inviting and even the idea to "sing loudly in my car" evoked a playful expectation.

Unfortunately, "Sing loudly in your car! A book of whimsy for grown-ups." by Lynn Rosenbaum proved only disappointing. 

I laughed when reading a couple of her "Dontcha hate"s ,
"Dontcha hate when you walk into the bathroom in your clean socks, and step in a wet spot?"
but found others entirely unfunny 
"Dontcha hate when the tag inside your shirt is all scratchy, so you cut it off and then you have a big hole in your shirt."
and couldn't figure out why any of them were included in a book of essays and poems.  All in all I found the entire thing more bizarre then whimsical. If whimsy is considered mixing a bunch of disjointed typsets up with some poorly written material then perhaps she was successful.

"This playful collection of poems, essays and illustrations" as they were called on the jacket are a very aimless group of ramblings that have nothing to do with each other.  A couple of the poems were amusing. She thanks Shel Silverstein, for the inspiration but instead of following his lead and collecting her poems in one volume she paired them with therapeutic ramblings which caused me to think "Oh poor thing!" rather then summoning the delight that was promised. 

Lynn Rosenbaum's photo was on the back of the book, she looks immediately likable which made me sad her book isn't.

Next Post: Rainy day whimsy!

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise
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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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