June 18, 2013
one. what are you currently reading? tell us about it. the new arrivals by meg mitchell moore. i just started it yesterday and am only on page fourteen. it's about an older couple whose children and their children come for the summer.
two. who is your favorite book character and why? i can't pick one. this year, of the books i've read, i've favored grant and victoria in vanessa diffenbaugh's the languge of flowers, augustus in john green's the fault in our stars and park in rainbow rowell's eleanor and park.
three. what would the title of your memoir be? free the butterflies.
four. cast your favorite book characters for the movie version. i'd want carey mulligan to play victoria. she's too old, though. and the only guy i can see playing grant is taylor kitsch, but i'm not loving that idea, and also, he's too old. i like ezra miller for augustus, except the character's supposed to have blue eyes. and i've no clue who could play park.
five. what book or series do you remember reading as an elementary/middle school age child? sweet pickles, serendipity books and sweet valley high.
June 17, 2013
why i wanted to read it: because i loved the author's other book, eleanor and park.
what i liked: two journalists, beth and jennifer, are using their office computers to send personal emails to each other, which goes against company policy. lincoln is supposed to warn them when they're in violation. but he kind of likes reading what they write. and he kind of likes beth.
jennifer to beth: have you heard her sigh? it's like a balloon dying (p. 64).
so i hung up on her, and mitch--who had wandered into the room, but didn't know what we were fighting about--said, "i wish you wouldn't talk to her like that. she's your mother."
and i couldn't tell him, "but she thinks you're going to leave me, and she's already taking your side in the divorce" (p. 65).
beth to jennifer: he always sat in the corner. and i always sat one row across from him, three seats down... he never looked at me--or anyone else, to my relief--and he never took off his headphones... the week before finals, i showed up at the union at my usual time and found chris sitting in my seat. his headphones were around his neck, and he watched me walk toward him... he said, "hey."
and i said, "hi."
and he said, "look..." his eyes were green. he kind of squinted when he talked. "i've got a ten-thirty class next semester, so... we should probably make other arrangements."
i was struck numb.
i said, "are you mocking me?"
"no," he said. "i'm asking you out."
"then i'm saying yes."
"good... we could have dinner. you could still sit across from me. it would be just like a tuesday morning. but with breadsticks."
"now you're mocking me."
"yes." he was still smiling. "now i am."
the first year was strange. i felt like a butterfly had landed on me. if i moved or even breathed, i thought he would float away... i never knew when i would see him or when he would call. a week might go by and i wouldn't talk to him. then i'd find a note slid under my door. or a leaf. or song lyrics written in a matchbook (pp. 67-70).
jennifer: so, what's tomorrow's indian hills story about?
beth: there isn't one.
there better be. you're on the morning budget for fifteen inches (p. 94).
beth: i don't know if i even believe in that anymore. the right guy. the perfect guy. the one. i've lost faith in "the."
jennifer: how do you feel about "a" and "an"?
so you're considering a life without articles?
and true love (p. 157).
jennifer: he just asked danielle if she blacks out all the dirty words in her harlequin romances (p. 247).
jennifer: remember when my midwife told me to talk to the baby, that it could feel my emotions and intent? ... the baby could feel what i wanted... and for the first six or seven weeks, the message i was sending was, "go away." go away, go away, go away. and it did (p. 261).
what sucked: it's good. but it didn't draw me in quite so well as her other story. and lincoln's character never really felt realistic to me. (notice there're no quotes from him).
having said all that: i liked the girls. they made the story fun. it was cute. fairly quick to read.
June 16, 2013
when i was a kid, i really only saw my father on the weekends. usually sundays. i would sometimes hear him talking in the morning with my mother before he left for work, before she'd come in to get us up for school. maybe, maybe he was home for dinner at night. maybe i saw him on saturday. if he was here, he was in his office, usually with the door closed. on sundays, he'd get my brothers and i out in the yard under the guise of quality father-children time. he'd get us started raking and sweeping and then he'd go inside, situate himself on his maroon leather recliner with his bag of popcorn or his half gallon of blue bell or his mixing bowl filled with cereal and his diet coke and watch television. and if it were fall, it was football, but only if the cowboys were playing. otherwise he'd flip through the channels until he found a film that was just starting.
and we'd bitch and moan about how he said he was gonna do yardwork with us, and then left us there to do it ourselves.
it never occurred to me, then, how taxing my father's job was. how that one day was his respite from all the bullshit he had to deal with.
he wouldn't like that i called it bullshit.
partly because he wouldn't see it that way, but more because he hates it when i cuss.
i used to hate being the daughter of a school superintendent. probably as much as he hates my foul mouth. maybe more.
"hey jenny! tell your dad that we shouldn't have school tomorrow!"
twelve years of public school. roughly one hundred eighty school days in the year. six periods in a day. i heard that crap in almost every class. my teachers looked to me to be some stellar student because my father was their boss.
i tried to skip class. once. one time i wanted to be that girl who said screw this shit. i'm not sitting through boring driver's education. (i was that anomaly that didn't want to drive a car.)
so i didn't go.
and my teacher called my father wanting to know where i was.
my father had driven me to school that day.
i had driver's ed first period. so he'd practically just dropped me off.
i got spanked for that. for ditching. for lying about it.
when i left my books in my locker because i didn't care to complete an assignment and i was failing the class (which my father knew because my teachers would tell him so), he'd haul my butt to school, unlock the doors, shut off the alarm and make me get my shit. and then my mother would practically stand over my shoulder to make sure that i got it done.
i got caught shoplifting. the manager gave me two choices: she could call the cops or she could call my mom. and headlines flashed before my eyes: superintendent's daughter caught stealing. uh, you can call my mom. thanks.
i think i got spanked for that, too. for being stupid.
it sucked having a super for a dad.
or so i thought.
there's another superman film in theaters again. another reboot. with another actor trying to prove his worth. i don't need to see that. i live with superman.