Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'...

So last night I had a pretty steamy dream about Andrea Bocelli. Pretty and steamy both. Which is so not me, mostly because I'm not prone to steamy dream (darn! um, maybe that's a good thing...), and also because, while I adore AB's voice, I've never really thought he was a hunka-hunka. Rethinking that one after last night.

However, it brought up something new.

I can "see" lots of pros to having a relationship with a blind man. Really--is there a downside? As an astute friend-who-shall-remain-nameless once said, speaking of her nearsighted husband, "Cellulite doesn't matter if your guy can't see it anyway." Exactly.

For example, another friend, hereafter known as C, married someone who lost his sense of smell as the result of a traumatic accident years ago. According to C, it was hard at first getting used to being with someone who couldn't smell, but "then I realized I could just let a fart rip whenever I wanted, and now one of my fears is that he'll regain his sense of smell and I'll have to start being careful."

There you have it. A new one for the list of virtues.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm In Love

I may have found my Fictionalized Romantic Hero in Pride & Prejudice. Bet you're thinking Darcy does it for me.


I'm all over Mr. Bennet.

Last night I was reading P & P, and laughing, and reading P & P, and laughing, and it clicked--my favorite laugh-out-loud moments are all Mr. Bennet.

Funny is very attractive.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Polishing Off Another Jane (burp)

After a couple of really late (3, 4 am-ish) nights, I finished Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. I know this isn't another Jane Austen, but for some strange reason the Jane Austen experiment seems to have unleashed this urge to re-attempt all the classic feminine literature I've spent my life running from.

I know you are dying to hear what I thought.

Too bad.

Just kidding. Seriously, though, I'm in a bit of a quandry over how to discuss this book without getting too personal. For the Queen of TMI, I actually do have a few boundaries about dumping certain things out into the blogosphere, and Jane Eyre is hitting those boundaries.

See, the thing is, I think I married Mr. Rochester. And now I'm divorced from Mr. Rochester. So, on the one hand, I could totally buy the 'romance' because, obviously, in real life, I once-upon-a-time DID fall for it. On the other hand, the older & wiser me was horrified by that naive and stupid little Janie. I do not predict a happy long-term ending for Jane & Edward (what is it with the name Edward? Does it just scream 'romance' to sappy novel writers? Because it doesn't really do it for me. The name alone, that is. But it seems to be some kind of rule for romantic heroes.)

I want so much to go into far greater detail on why the romance in this book concerned me, but I will exercise far greater restraint than I am normally capable of and forebear.

It did, however, give me an idea for another JA Challenge, which I will post later this week ;).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just Wondering...

I'm part way through Pride & Prejudice; both Jane Eyre and Little Women are also on my bedside table. Last night I was reading back and forth between P&P and Jane Eyre (yes, I know I'm weird), and it suddenly hit me:

Why am I searching for my romantic ideal in books written by women who only ever knew romantic IDEALS, not marital realities?

Does it seem odd to anyone else?

Because honestly, sometimes JA seems really naive about male-female relationships, and that's not just my cynicism speaking. This whole JA experiment has helped me do a lot of thinking about what kinds of literature speak to me, and one thing I've realized is that I'm drawn to stories of very complex, conflicted, REAL relationships--you know, the kind that normal, screwed up human beings have. I'm far less interested in the feel-good sparks of initial love, and far more interested in how people make it work, year after year, decade after decade, loving and arguing and making up and raising kids and working hard and having up times and down times and sick times and healthy times and sad times and joyous times. Those are the stories I like.

Just something to think about.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

And the Winner Is...

I passed all entries in the JA "Finish the Line" contest on to my friend Leigh Ann, who is far more of a JA/writing expert than I will ever be. Added bonus--the choosing was on her shoulders, not mine, so no cries of judicial partiality (holy heck, can you believe I just used "judicial partiality" in a real sentence? Sometimes I amaze myself. Sometimes I make myself gag, too).

The Winner:

“I was afraid you would think I was taking a great liberty with you—after all I did take your favorite soap and used it all up. But you can't imagine how dirty I was, really. When that blasted horse, Parsival, unsaddled me I landed right in the biggest pile of sh-... pastoral dropp-..., in some mud. I promise to ride into town this afternoon and get you some more. Do you like the floral or fruit scented soaps?"

"Edward, you worry yourself too much about soap," said Elinor with all the compassion of a vicar. "Besides, that was Marianne's soap and she doesn't wash much now that Willoughby has left ."

"Oh, good. I mean not good that she's not bathing-" he stumbled over his words, nervous to be in the presence of this plain yet sensible lady, "good, because I can be here with you and not out with that gluepot of a--, ah never mind, horses will be horses." Edward stood up, straightened his jacket then offered Elinor his arm, "shall we take a turn in the garden?"

Leigh Ann's official critique:

"First Place: 'I was afraid you would think I was taking a great liberty with you'--I could vividly imagine this being a scene in the book!"

There you have it.

The wonderful little prize is a $25 gift card for Dover Books, where classic literature is cheap, cheap, cheap, and you can get a boxful of yummy reading for pennies.

Becky-lou, congrats. I sent the gc via email a few minutes ago. Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who sent entries. It was super fun reading them. We'll have to do this again.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Laboratory Findings

Page 129, Pride & Prejudice

Apparently I do have some estrogen running through my veins after all. Wait--does estrogen run through the bloodstream? I think it must. Relying on several years of infertility testing, I can say with authority that estrogen can be detected in blood, urine, and saliva. Maybe sweat, too, but I've never had to give a sweat sample.

Anyhoo, Pride & Prejudice...LOVING IT! Did you get that? I AM LOVING THIS BOOK!

It's not the 'romance' that is doing anything for me--I don't give a fig about Darcy. This is just a seriously engaging, funny, brilliantly well-written book. I started laughing on the first page and haven't stopped. I've been using bits and pieces of the book to reward myself for completing tasks on my extremely overloaded to-do list this week.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is hope for the Jane Austen experiment.

Monday, March 2, 2009

At Last!

Sense & Sensibility finally bit the dust! Somewhere in the skies over Ohio or Indiana or some midwestern state, I polished that sucker off.

I have to admit, the last third of the book was more tolerable than what preceded it, but that's kind of like saying that the last stages of chemo & radiation are more tolerable than the initial stages--still not something you'd ever like to do or recommend to others. Keep in mind, too, that the last third of the book was completed during a loooong cross-country flight, and may have been more interesting simply because it was better than staring out the window at the clouds.

Once the book was finished I was going to attempt watching the Emma Thompson film version again, but I just don't think I hate myself that much.

PS--this is just between us: thanks to an airport bookstore in Cincinnati, I started Pride & Prejudice on the return flight. Don't tell anyone, but I might actually be enjoying it. Shhh....