10 April 2011


Alphabet Assignments: B

Sesame Street might not have received permission to use the melody of The Beatles' Let It Be, but I'll bet that if you tried to sing the lyrics of Letter B when its inspiration comes on the radio, they'll fit!

It has been a while since I last made a list of Ten Things I Like That Start with the Same Letter, hasn't it? But when I looked over my blogging schedule for this week, I noticed there were quite a lot of things that begin with B. So I thought this post could be a kind of teaser or overture . . . except that I won't actually be blogging about any of the entries that made it later on . . .

1) The Baby-sitters Club Series

Why did I wait so long to start reading this great Juvenile Series? Kristy, Claudia, Stacey and Mary Anne took the "Girl's Book" where Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy left off, and they did it with signature 80s style. The best part is that the books are highly readable even for someone who is no longer in the target demographic. I'm currently waiting to run into BSC #6, but you can find my reviews of the first five novels in my Books page.

2) Back Walkover

It took me a longer time than I'll ever admit on this blog, but when I pulled off my very first unassisted back walkover, I felt like a real gymnast. It didn't matter that I was fifteen years old and that no amount of coaching would ever get me a medal. The point was that I could do it and do it well. And so I did it whenever and wherever I wanted, for two straight years, until I finally turned into the old and decrepit bat I still am today.

3) Bacon

Do I even have to explain this? It's perfect for breakfast with my eggs, lunch with my sandwich, and dinner with my baked potatoes. Bacon bits make everything better. Even ice cream.

4) The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton

This is a wonderful, if rather idealised epic poem about the Battle of Ethandune by one of my favourite writers. It features that device in which major groups and popular movements are represented by the great men of history--the result of which is that the whole world seems to be rushing together for the climax. I can never get enough of that.

5) The Beatles

My discovery of the Fab Four was just the first step in a musical odyssey through the world of Classic Rock. I fell in love with The Beatles' early, happy music instantly, but took a while longer to warm up to the more mature and emotionally layered sound they developed in the studios. There are times when I think I could get by for months on nothing but Beatles albums (and perhaps some Wings stuff and George's solo efforts thrown in for good measure). And if I relaxed the requirement to include all musicians who have been influenced by The Beatles, I could bring my entire Rock music collection, anyway. Win!

6) The Big Bang Theory

What a freaking hilarious idea, with so much to love in the execution. Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Rajesh are another Fab Four (and so far, the third on this list): both professional scientists and all-around geeks, who remind me that my favourite definition of "geek" is a person who will pursue nearly every passion on earth except social status. And that can be a beautiful thing.

7) Blogging

If I had to boil down my love for blogging into a single word, it would be: timestamp. As I wrote elsewhere, when it comes to blogs, we don't know what thoughts will come to us next; we only know what we are thinking now. This is the first time non-professional writers have had the luxury of a thought process intimately related to publishing--and to a readership that answers back. I took to it like a fish to water back when I was writing about serious things . . . and I really miss that now that I'm here purely for entertainment. Indeed, my one blog-related regret is having given up my Catholic blog too soon after a whole bunch of people who didn't like a certain thought I had--"Converts don't really know what it's like to be Catholic, and if they just keep reading other converts, then they never will"--got really emotional in my combox. There was a lot of gold in that thought; I just hadn't refined it at the time. It managed to sneak into a few "Punk Catholic Thoughts" on this blog, so that I could finally resolve it for myself, but that was an unnatural "birth."

8) The Body Shop's Shimmer Waves

This is currently the best makeup weapon in my arsenal. The different shades means that it's multipurpose: I use mine as blush, bronzer and even eyeshadow. It makes me look gorgeous and glowing--which is always a plus. (I usually get all my makeup from Mac, but when trial applications of their bronzer failed spectacularly, I went looking elsewhere. And oh, am I glad I did!)

9) Books

If I have to comment on this, then you haven't been paying attention! =P I think I'll let the rest of this blog speak for this one.

10) The Breakfast Club

Ah, a Fab Five! It feels so cliched to like this film as much as I do. Doesn't it usually top polls for "Most Overrated John Hughes Movie"? (When I run into those, I always vote for Ferris Bueller's Day Off.) Yes, this film's Athlete, the Basket Case, the Brain, the Criminal, and the Princess are portrayed as little more than stereotypes, so that even their emotional unveiling to each other is completely predictable. An age ago, I showed this movie to my high school students so that they could have some easy practice with character analysis. And yet . . . There is real catharsis to be had in this one Saturday in the life of the "Five Horsemen of the American High School". And so other reason I screened it in class was in the hope that that group of graduating girls would see themselves in the characters and understand that they are more than the "types" they had been for four years.

Nota Bene: The only reason Fantasy writer Brian Jacques didn't make this list is that I already have his novel Redwall in my R list!


Syrin said...

So I just went through and caught up with your other BSC posts. If I had more time I would probably go on my own quest to track them all down again, since I traded them in to used book stores ages ago. Sadly my "to read" list is so long right now I'll just have to wait for your posts to help me relive the memories. :)

Belfry Bat said...

"when I find I can't remember what comes after 'a' and before 'c' ... "

I'm reminded of the Enigma variations --- the most famous is called "Nimrod" for enigmatic reasons. But anyways, the "theme" that inspired these variations is apparently not quoted among the variations themselves: they're supposed to be a counterpoint on a tune that was popular when Elgar wrote them; only it's not clear what that tune was, anymore and that's part of the enigma of these variations.

OK, so the Sesame Street parody isn't quite that subtle, but... you know? A kindred thought, it seems.

The Mike said...

OMG WOW. I had a Sesame Street cassette tape as a kid and Letter B was absolutely my favorite song. I was actually disappointed when my parents introduced me to Let it Be, because it wasn't Letter B. :)

Memory lane, here I come!

Enbrethiliel said...


Syrin -- I'm happy to provide that small service. =)

(Interestingly, the BSC books are still so much easier to find than their Sweet Valley counterparts. I don't know whether it's because the former were more popular, leading to more copies being printed, or because the latter were more loved, making readers hang on to their old copies rather than trade them in. Not really relevant, but I thought I'd throw that in there. =P)

Bat -- You make me imagine a dystopian future in which all recordings and sheet music of Let It Be (including the cover versions) have been lost and nobody has any memory of it any longer. They all listen to Letter B and try to imagine what was . . .

Have a few drinks. The Sesame Street parody will be hilarious! I promise. ;-)

The Mike -- Ooooh, memories of cassette tapes! Is there room for two on that memory lane of yours?

My favourite was the one in which Ernie dragged the piano into the bathroom to sing along with Bert . . . and then the whole neighbourhood joined them. LOL!

I also liked the Cookie Monster one. =)

Lesa said...

Wow!! I never did a back walkover! Cartwheels are as advanced as I got-- and I still do them on occasional to gauge my relative youthfulness. Maybe back walkovers would be a good gauge for you. ;o)

Fun B list! I like several of your picks myself especially 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

Never heard of Shimmer Waves but I'll be checking it out-- a multipurpose make-up is a good thing!

Enbrethiliel said...


I learned to do cartwheels when I was five or six, and I think I'll be able to do them for years to come . . . but now that you've brought them up, I see I haven't done any in the longest time! Silly me. I'll bet I could still do a really decent one tomorrow, if I tried!

The Body Shop has other palettes in the Shimmer line. I like the waves, but there are mosaics and squares, too. Find the one that's best for your skin tone and take the world by storm! ;-)

Lesa said...

I think cartwheels are really good for keeping upper body strength-- As long as I can cartwheel and make it across the monkey bars, I know I'm good!!

Stretch your wrists before cartwheeling to avoid an injury!

And maybe have Cameraman at the ready...

Enbrethiliel said...


I'll see what I can do. ;-)

Sheila said...

I LOVE The Ballad of the White Horse! And it's so quotable.

I also liked your old Catholic blog. Don't suppose there's any chance you'll start it back up someday?

mrsdarwin said...

I am too ashamed to admit how many BSC books I read in sixth grade, when we passed them around the classroom like crack. Oh Lordy, I feel old.

Bacon. 'Nuff said.

I too can take Ferris Bueller or leave him alone. Give me Alan Ruck over Matthew Broderick any day.

Enbrethiliel said...


Sheila -- I love quoting the Latin verses from The Ballad of the White Horse. It's currently the only "Latin poetry" I can rattle off like nobody's business. =P

Since you've asked . . . I have been thinking about "blogging Catholicly" again (Big-C not small-C), but even if I bring Sancta Sanctis back, I don't know if the new version will bear much resemblance to the blog everyone remembers.

Mrs. Darwin -- I won't think any worse of you! I read most of Sweet Valley High, a good deal of Sweet Valley Twins, the first ten or so books of The Unicorn Club, and enough early Sweet Valley Kids to be an embarrassing case myself. =P Let's not even talk about Goosebumps and the other Horror titles by R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike! (Oh, the 90s . . .)