Friday, February 22, 2008

Perfect Figures

I had no idea I was so loved! I forgot my cellphone today, so I was without it all day long. I came home to ten missed messages, 2 text messages, and 2 voicemails. Ok, so to be honest, all of the calls were either from Jesse or my mom (who also called Jesse trying to find me). Mia and I had a wonderful day playing hooky and spending time together. We went out for lunch with my friend Tammy and her three kids at Burger King. The kids shrieked and climbed all over the jungle gym, we reveled in the opportunity to talk to another adult female with minimal interruption. Then we stopped at the library and the local thrift store. I restocked my wardrobe and got something for everyone, including my nephew Bryce. More errands kept us running until we picked up the kids at the bus stop at 4, and we all came home. I am so grateful when my kids are all under one roof. The house is trashed, it's cold outside, I'm achy, but none of it matters, because my entire family will be home tonight for junk food and movies.

Perfect Figures by Bunny Crumpacker is a fantastic book that should be getting far more attention than it is. I've always wondered why numbers are written the way they are and how they evolved from thought to drawn figure to abstraction. Crumpacker writes with a delightful sense of humor making what could have been a dry dissertation-style book into an informative, funny, quirky read. Every other chapter I was bouncing up to tell my husband something new that amazed me. Wonder why a 2 looks like it does? It was originally two horizontal lines, when the writer got lazy and didn't lift up the pencil between the two, it turned into a z-like figure that became our two. Want to know what the number three has to do with a witness? The Latin word test-es means the third party to something between two other people and is related to the word tris-tes. That's where we get testimony, protest, contest, and testament, all from a third person witnessing what happens between another two. Crumpacker regularly uses humor to keep the book moving. In a description of many of the reverential views of the number three, she lists the three times chess was played on the original TV series Star Trek. Rarely has a book taught me so much and made it so enjoyable.

The winner of the Death of a Six Foot Teddy Bear book giveaway is Debbie Weslowski. If you didn't win, don't despair! I'm starting another contest on Monday. Sorry for the dearth of postings these last two weeks. Our laptop has died so I'm using Molly's whenever she is home (thank you Honey!). Have a wonderful weekend!