Thursday, July 9, 2015


What did I win, you ask? One month ago, I posted that I was entering a reading contest with the county library. Several days ago, I posted that the reading period was over, but that the drawing hadn't taken place yet. Well, the drawing has now taken place, and...



[dull roar of cheering crowds]

Yes, I, homely homebody Raphael C. Ordoñez (my pen name doesn't have a middle initial but I added one in there for dramatic effect), will get to rub elbows with the high society of the remote Texas county in which I live. I may even meet my neighbors, those Toads of Toad Hall, those proud proprietors (scroll to the bottom) of Ascot Park, whose ongoing construction project has expanded to include extra tree-felling, driveway-jackhammering, brick-sawing, road-gouging, and geothermal drilling.

Ahem. But you see why they think nothing of grinding us bohemian intellectual types into formless pulps of misery. They can always resort to the country club! And, for one happy night, I, Raphael C. Ordoñez, will be one of them.

My only points of concern are (a) whether I can get a good steak there, cooked just as I like it, tender and slightly pink in the middle, and (b) whether they'll let me buy a drink. As to point (b), my wife has eaten there for a ladies' club she belongs to, and they wouldn't serve non-members alcohol. So I'm filled with trepidation.

I case you were wondering, here's what ended up on my reading log:
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • The End of the Story by Clark Ashton Smith (Night Shade Books)
  • The Last Hieroglyph by Clark Ashton Smith (Night Shade Books)
  • History of the Conquest of Peru by William H. Prescott
  • Fourier Series and Orthogonal Functions by Harry F. Davis
I received one ticket for every three hours read, for a total of eleven tickets (the first three hours just count toward a certificate). I didn't count reading to my kids, because they counted that on their logs, and it seemed like cheating somehow.

Well, that's all for now. I need to go compose my acceptance speech.

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