Finished The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. It was good, but the last 50 pages were kind of superfluous. I like details, and I enjoy knowing what happens to characters I’ve come to like (or even hate); but even I can say that I don’t need to know what a character was eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I think I would recommend Possession first, if you’re interested in reading Byatt’s work.
After that, I read Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosay. I wanted to see the movie, but I figured I’d read the book first. Unfortunately, it was not as intriguing as I’d hoped. The story fell flat after only 100 pages, and the main character, Julia, failed to interest; she came off as petty and spineless. The author has no gift for story arcing. I think I still want to see the movie, because I like Kristen Scott Thomas (ever since “The English Patient”) and I love Aidan Quinn (pretty much since forever). So…we’ll see.
Right now, I’m reading The American by Henry James, and while I love the writing style, and bow down to James’ amazing grasp of character development, I don’t think this is his best work. It centers around Christopher Newman, a middle-aged American man with a lot of money and the arrogance to match. He has good intentions, but clearly feels himself to be deserving of the best and brightest the world has to offer. Whilst relaxing in Paris, he decides to look for a wife, and finds a ‘suitable’ match in Claire, a widowed 25 year old and a member of the French aristocracy. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, so I can’t explain much more than that. I’ll let you know what happens
Speaking of reading…I’m FINALLY ordering my new glasses. These beauties from Warby Parker:
Awesome, right?! I am very excited. This company seems pretty cool; for every pair of glasses sold, they give one pair of glasses to a person in need (yep, like Toms). The glasses (including the prescription anti-glare lenses) are $95 each, and are designed in vintage styles. I was wary of buying glasses online, because you couldn’t see how they look on you- but, lo and behold, they have a solution to this problem! You can either upload a photo and do a virtual try-on OR you can have them send you up to 5 pairs to test out for free! They even pay for the return shipping! It was so nice to actually see how they look and feel, before making my choice. If you’re wondering, Warby Parker has not asked me to write a review, and I have received no compensation for such. I just like the glasses.
I have a new prescription, so hopefully the headaches will cease, and I can read in full enjoyment.
After finishing Angels & Insects by A.S. Byatt, I read Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford (chilling), and re-read a few Agatha Christie novels.
Then I started a book that has been on many ‘best’ lists.
I’ve disliked certain novels. I’ve read novels that angered me, depressed me…but I’m pretty sure this is one experience that I had yet to encounter.
I made it 28 pages before I decided that Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs was awful enough to throw away… I don’t mean give back, pass along, I mean add it to the pile of banana peels and used tissues. It wasn’t the writing itself that was terrible – it was the content. It is meant to be a series of vignettes; the bits are tied together quite loosely by the character Lee, a drug addict – much of the novel itself was drug-induced, accounting for it’s lack of actual plot. I can’t explain myself very well without getting into details; suffice it to say that there were certain passages that made me feel so awful that I couldn’t continue.
I knew going into the book that it had been at one point on a list of obscene literature; I guess I kind of assumed it would be like a lot of other books on the lists (Ulysses??)
Anyway. It was enough that, though I am against censorship, I didn’t want to own it, or finish reading it myself.
So…I gave up and started reading The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt.
I enjoy her writing style; her words conjure up lovely, dark images of Victorian and Romantic era life. The tales are full of rich details, but the language is surprisingly much simpler than expected.
What are you reading?
Highlight of my Saturday: a book purchase!
Specifically, a full set of 1966 encyclopedias for $5 at an estate sale. I love them. Check out these beauties (iPhone pics, taken using the Hipstamatic app):
The ‘Library’ article. I love it! Notice my lovely silhouette bookends?? I love them.
Their new home
Sorry for the late recap, readers! Here’s my weekend update.
Read on for deets on the debauchery that took place in my household…
I was awoken by my adorable girl Roux massaging my neck (seriously, I have pictures):
Then, I was surprised by Marco and Tim, who brought me a Skinny Caramel Machiatto (only 140 calories, which makes me feel less piggy) in bed.
After a leisurely morning, the three of us headed out for a few errands. We stopped at World Market and ended up purchasing two awesome leather chairs for our living room…and a HAMMOCK. YES. You will probably never seem or hear from me again, because I shall be reading and sleeping in MY HAMMOCK. Pictures to come once it is set up.
I then hit up the matinee of “Midnight in Paris” at the Cameo.
I really liked this film. I like a good portion of Woody Allen’s work (“Match Point”, “Hannah and Her Sisters”, “Annie Hall”), but I was not sure if I’d enjoy this particular piece, seeing as how Owen Wilson was the star; I don’t really like the actor. My advice: don’t avoid this movie for that reason. It’s adorable and fun; given to flights of fancy, and requiring a suspension of reality – but lovely!
Did I mention the walk with Tim and Marco to pick up frozen yogurt?! Will my devilish behavior ever cease?
Thanks, Yo Belle, for the delicious Plain and Blueberry Tart flavors
Although I didn’t get as much of it as I expected… SOMEONE basely stole my spoon.
At home, I cuddled, tickled, chased, and kissed Marco until his bedtime. Tim and I finished the evening trying to stay awake through “The Runaways”. Don’t really recommend. It doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know about the band, and in my opinion, gives you no reason to even care. I love Joan Jett, but I didn’t see much spark in the way she was portrayed, and Kristen Stewart will never have the amount of cool.
We watched Sesame Street with Marco, and cleaned up the house a bit. After a trip to the gardening section of Home Depot (my new favorite place), we stopped off for a tasty lunch at Gott’s with my two men.
Marco DEVOURED his grilled cheese on wheat (happy camper!)
Tim ordered up the Wisconsin Sourdough
I had a green salad with sliced avocado and artichoke vinaigrette.
Before you think I was eating super-healthy, feast your eyes on the mounds of sweet potato fries and garlic fries present. Yummy in my tummy.
Some gardening, pedicuring, and a nasty bump on the coffee table (poor Marco!) later, it was the end of our weekend. SAD FACE.
I told you it was crazy around here.
What did you do last weekend? Spill the beans!
Books: I finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and read Bossypants by Tina Fey. I like Tina; I think she’s intelligent, witty, and adorable. But, I didn’t think her book was as hilarious as I was expecting. It was good, but some of the stories she shares were just plain boring.
Yesterday, Copperfield’s Books had a 30th birthday party, and everything in the store was 30% off! I purchased a present for my godfather, and a new book for Marco. For myself, I snagged the last copy of P.G. Wodehouse’s Just Enough Jeeves, which is a collection of two novels and several short stories all about Bertie Wooster and his wonderful gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves! I love the BBC series ‘Jeeves & Wooster’ (Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry, together again!), and am excited to finally read this!
Movies: I haven’t attended a movie since “Hanna”. Next weekend I’m going to see “Midnight in Paris” at the Cameo. Today, Tim is going to see “X-Men: First Class”. Marco and I will probably chill with some puzzles and crayons
Music: Same stuff I always listen to! I haven’t heard the new Death Cab for Cutie in its entirety yet, but I like the song “You are a Tourist”.
Television: ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ and ‘The Colbert Report’. Summer is *kind of* here, which means that besides fake-news shows, there’s precious little else on. ‘Castle’,'Psych’, and ‘House’ are off until fall. No word on ‘Burn Notice’, ‘Mad Men’ won’t return until next year (!), and Showtime has not announced an official date for ‘Dexter’ (though the list of guest appearances grows strong…)
If you’ve got a recommendation, do share!! Hope your Sunday is relaxing. Go forth, and eat some gummy bears.
…cause that’s my name (in binary code). Don’t wear it out!
Remember all those funny sayings we used as children? Maybe we should bring them back.
Friend: “I love Captain Crunch cereal!”
You: “So why don’t you marry it?!” MY GOD. Comic genius!
Enemy: “You smell bad!”
You: “I’m rubber, you’re glue! Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks back to you!” Repeat as necessary.
Parent: “Go clean your room!”
You: “I’ll do it because I WANT to, NOT because you tell me to!” This one’s a kid classic. Immortalized forever in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty McDonald, which if you didn’t read, you have no soul.
Umm…so about this completely random post…whoops.
Meant to show you a few pics from Saturday:
Outfit from our anniversary dinner at Farmstead (yep, taken in the bathroom)
Dress: Mossimo for Target
Belt: Forever21 (purchased 2007)
Shoes: Steve Madden (purchased 2008 – also styled HERE)
Bracelet: gift from Mom
The restaurant was housed in a converted barn, on a property that used to be a nursery. The gardens are still lovely, and the whole place looked awesome! The decorators really took its roots (pun intended!!) into account, and used everything available (farming tools turned into lighting fixtures, refinished original woods, etc).
The cuisine was great, utilizing the local flavors and modern menu items, while adding a sprinkling of home. The Executive Chef, Sheamus Feeley, did a great job keeping both a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore and his vegetarian wife satisfied and happy!
We started off with wood-roasted asparagus (topped with ricotta, Meyer lemon and EVOO). All three of us (Marco was partaking in the adventure, too) looooved this dish!
I had an arugula, strawberry, feta and apple-cider vinaigrette salad, with a an order of the Cheddar biscuits. The biscuits came with a dollop of honey butter…and I pretty much died and went to cheese heaven. SO FLIPPING GOOD! I was excited that there were a few left over to snack on the next day.
Tim ordered the cheeseburger on a potato bun – and said that it was both interesting and delicious.
Marco enjoyed the grilled cheese sandwich, which I would have happily eaten myself – and, luckily for me, Marco loves to share food, so he handed me several bites. SCORE!
The awesomely good Lemon Meringue pie – the graham cracker crust was dreamy.
Blissed out after delicious meal and a slow-dance to our wedding song
Might be a little sporadic with posting the next few days – trying to get things together for Marco’s 1st birthday (and his party!); will update when I can!
Haven’t taken part in quite awhile!! Link up over at The Little Things We Do
1. People always tell me I look like Winona Ryder – been getting that pretty much since I was a wee little thing. It’s the pale skin and dark hair. In high school, I heard that I looked like the actress Shiri Appleby, when she was on ‘Roswell’
2. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk OR leave a party without their pants.
3. A sunny day is perfect for eating lunch outside, taking a walk with my beloved men (Tim and Marco), and wearing dresses, as I do pretty much every day during the summer months.
4. My favorite accessory is my engagement/wedding/anniversary rings, and great shoes.
5. If I could afford it I would have a housekeeper to clean my house for me! I work full-time, and hate that my weekends need to be devoted to cleaning, when all I want to do is cuddle Marco and smooch Tim.
6. The cure for boredom is a good book or a new recipe to try!
7. I am currently “in like” with Guigni’s sandwiches, my new maxi dress from Forever21 (can’t wait to wear it!), and am basically falling into serious love with Neal Gaiman (finishing up American Gods)
Saturday, the wonderful Adrian (check out her personal blog HERE) cut my hair, and this time we went shorter. I don’t have a picture of it yet – today was not the day for pictures, trust me), but I love it! I didn’t get home until late, but as soon as Tim saw me, his face lit up and he said ‘You look great!!’. I call that a win. I swear I’ll post a hair update this week.
Yesterday I overslept (thanks to my iPhone – the time change threw it off. It was correct on Sunday, but I guess something happened and it reset during the night) and ended up running around like a crazy person, trying to get out of the house on time. Clocked in a minute late. GRRR. Work is horrid. I am ready to tear my hair out (and I just got it cut, too!). I wish I could fast forward to the end of this week. Friday should be here NOW.
Currently reading: The Waugh biography wasn’t great; after awhile it started reading like an US Weekly from the 20′s – too much gossip and ‘person A slept with person B and dated person C’ and not enough about Waugh’s character. Zipped through The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby; a collection of his essays/article from Believer magazine, all relating to his reading habits, and how often this correlated to the books he actually purchases. He, like so many of us bibliophiles, buys far more books than he can actually keep up with. Starting Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter, which I borrowed a few weeks ago from Justin (Adrienne’s husband). On a nonfiction spree right now, but I don’t think it will last long. I’ve got several items on my list that I’m dying to read, but then I borrow books from my friends… I don’t like to keep books too long if I can help it (sometimes I can’t).
Catch ya on the flip side!
During my lunch break yesterday, I decided to hit up Sogni di Dolce in St Helena for a mozzarella panini, cappuccino, and some reading. It was delicious, satisfying, and relaxing.
Currently reading: Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne
As you may already know, I am kind of obsessed with Evelyn Waugh, and am trying to read all of his published works; I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn about his life as well.
Today my office had a visit from the Girl Scouts; somehow my check book made an appearance, and 4 boxes of cookies were somehow transferred into my possession (it was like a drug deal, only legal). Those girls were straight HUSTLERS. I couldn’t resist the charms of the Peanut Butter Patties (or the Thin Mints, or the lemon cremes).
I’m sponsoring a blogger this week, Maryam of Pampelmousse 1983! Go check her out (she’s adorable! you won’t regret it) HERE!
Happy Wednesday, and may you have a Girl Scout cookie in your future.
Currently reading: The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
Listening: The Decemberists‘ album The King is Dead’, multiple times per day. I love every track, no exceptions (a rare and rad occurrence).
Also, a little late to the game, but I’m digging the Ingrid Michaelson song ‘Parachute’
Loving: Marco woke up this morning in a beautiful, sweet mood. When I looked at him in his crib, he smiled, raised his arms up to hug me, and said ‘Mama!’
I kind of died a good little death right then and there.
Watching: Who’s watching the ‘Watchmen’? Not me. I finished the book (different but i enjoyed it more than expected), and borrowed the movie from Adrienne and Justin. Unfortunately, we have not had time this week to sit down and watch it! I’m hoping I can manage it tonight.
What are your weekend plans? Anything exciting?