The Rumpelstiltskin Problem: What Problem?

Woah!

(If you, too heard Joey Lawrence in your head and thought, you know…Matthew Lawrence was always the more attractive brother, then we should be friends.)

Anyways, I’ve got another book review for the wonderful Project Fairy Tale hosted by The Cheap Reader. And it was flippin’ awesome. Finally a fairy tale rewrite I can get behind. And in front of. And all over, because I thought it was that fun.

 

Project Fairy Tale

So Katie at Words for Worms recently reviewed Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde and after reading her positive review I was stoked, because I was waiting for my paper copy (yes, a real live book) of The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, also by Vivian Vande Velde, to arrive in the mail. Of course, I’m not used to waiting this long for a freakin’ book…so I was a little antsy.

I got the book on a really great day for me and the US Postal Service. I received 2 packages, a letter (OK invitation to a baby shower), and I got my very own PO box, so that I have an address that isn’t my home in my contact information! Not only all of this exciting stuff, but also our mail carrier, who is patient and wonderful even though I stalk her asking about packages (because they won’t leave them outside our door…and then I have to wait until 8am the next day, and it’s very annoying) had already brought the packages inside with the help of our neighbors. It was very nice of everyone involved. </ramble>

ANYWAYS! Opening the package to find this adorable little hard cover that I paid like $2 for was incredibly exciting for me. (The other package was 4 boxes of K-cups for my Keurig of JOY) A little over 100 pages of pure joy, this book was an absolute delight.

Sure, it was most definitely written for a younger audience, but hey…SO WAS TOY STORY! And we laughed. We cried.  We loved it. And there were jokes that we totally got.  Same goes for The Rumpelstiltskin Problem. Funny. Smart. CLEVER. This book was a great quick distraction this weekend, when I had 5-10 minutes to spare. Each of the short Rumpelstiltskin takes in this book were short, sweet, and awesome. A female Rumpel? Yep. A vodka drinking Miller? Yep. A fat little gnome who reminds me of a happier house elf? Yep.

Triple V aims to answer all of the questions that the original Rumpelstiltskin leaves out. Why is the king such a douche? Why does Rumpel want a baby? Why is the Miller such a bad father? What else is going on behind the music? This lady has the answers and she’s good at it.

In total, this one took me about an hour, maybe less to read. But it was worth every minute. If I thought she had a paper copy, I’d ask Katie to borrow Cloaked in Red…because I just know it’s got to be good.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Brian Shares Saturday: February Quickie

Hey kids! My little sister is getting married today, so I don’t have much time…but I know you look forward to the sweet shit my boyfriend finds on the internet…

Surprise Vacation?

That was my response when Brian directed me to this Reddit discussion. He said no.

A Balinese Swim Resort

A Balinese Swim Resort

For Katie at Words for Worms

And everyone else…Brian said I should send this to Katie, but I figured that it would be much more appreciated by EVERYONE. Because it’s fucking adorable.

Baby Penguin

Free Books from Dolly Parton

COOL! Your kiddo can receive a free book every year from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library until they are 5 years old. I think this is awesome, as I tend to buy kids books instead of cool toys… Or sometimes in addition to cool toys. 🙂

Cheshire Cat

Knowing my adoration for Chesh, Brian sent me this sweet little Cheshire Cat Image…

Cheshire Cat

Sweet Sweet Love Note

Sassy Love Note

Brian sent this, because 1. It is hilarious and 2. I would write that to him except replace Sprite with Ginger Ale. He is always drinking my Ginger Ale! And then it’s gone when I want it!

My Valentine

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I added the fancy valentine that I made for Brian. And the one I made for my lady friends. And the awesome Brian picture of awesomeness that was revealed at our dinner date…

My Valentine to Brian

My Valentine to Brian

The Valentine for all of my lady friends

The Valentine for all of my lady friends

Brian snuck the tuxedo tee-shirt to dinner and revealed it when I least expected it. As if you didn't already love him!

Brian snuck the tuxedo tee-shirt to our “romantic” dinner and revealed it when I least expected it. As if you didn’t already love him!

That’s all kids! You should wish my sister happy congratulations today!

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Crimson Thread or How Rumpelstiltskin Became the Good Guy

Project Fairy Tale

As a part of Project Fairytale, hosted by The Cheap Reader, I’m supposed to do some book reviews of Rumpelstiltskin re-tellings. I picked up this young adult novel for my Nook. The Crimson Thread by Suzanne Weyn. In a premature excitement, I may or may not have collected several of the tales from this “Once Upon a Time” series. Not to be confused by the ABC TV show of the same name.

The Crimson Thread

Maybe I got a little ahead of myself, because I was not inspired to read the rest of the books in the series. It’s not that it was a bad novel. It just wasn’t delicious enough to warrant another serving.

The Crimson Thread takes us back to 1880, where an Irish princess is introduced to us by some royal fairies or something. It wasn’t very clear. But apparently she always thought she was a princess, and it turns out that she was, but it never really did anything for her. It was a side plot that didn’t add, rather detracted from the tale.

Back to the Irish princess, Bridget, who upon coming to America changes her name to Bertie Miller (Bertrille Miller, from Wales, like the fire red hair and Irish accent wouldn’t give her away…) She is helped by Ray Stalls, who turns out to be Rudy Stilchen from Germany or something-it’s never really clarified. He used gold packing material and this stunning thread to embroider dresses and help her get the young millionaire’s son. Of course, he does it because he loves her and not because he ACTUALLY wants her first born child.

********************************SPOILER ALERT*********************************

Eventually the millionaire’s son turns out to be a douche, leaves her stranded and broke…then Ray shows up somehow and “kidnaps” her little sister while she passes out from starvation. But he was only trying to help. They fall in love and live happily ever after, running a clothing business with their business partner with the last name Rumpole. Get it? Rumpole Stilchen. Ugh.

******************************** END SPOILER **********************************

So it had an okay plot, but with so many holes and weird transitions, I found myself mostly annoyed. I get that it was written for young adults. The language was too trite. While Weyn has an excellent vocabulary, or uses a whole lot of shift+F7, the conversational tone of the book was far too formal, and I didn’t find myself relating to the characters at all.

Additionally, it seemed that the historical fiction aspect of this novel was way the F off. It’s like she just threw a bunch of ideas out there and didn’t really think about the details fitting in. Katie at Words for Worms recently spoke about accuracy in the research before publishing, and it really feels like Ms. Weyn left that part out. It didn’t feel real.

So I’m off to attempt another re-telling and hopefully the next gets me a little more hyped, because so far, I’m a little disappointed. But it only makes me want to write more fairy tales.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Power of a Name

Project Fairy Tale

Remember way back when, a few months ago, when I was having a complete jealousy complex toward Katie at Words for Worms and I signed up to read some fairy tales and write about them as if I were a book blogger or something? No? Here, you can go back and read about why I chose Rumpelstiltskin…then come right back.

So obviously, my chosen fairytale was based on my obsession with Once Upon a Time (Stop judging me. Stop it.) Brian and I *almost* went as Rumpel and Belle for Halloween which would have been fucking fantastic. I would have even dyed my hair brown for the occasion. As you know, we ended up going as Jack and Sally so that I could keep my ginger color and have a bad ass costume to boot…

Do you want to know WHHYYYY Brian vetoed this plan? I’ll bet you can guess after checking out this picture:

Rumpelstiltskin

Yep, sparkles. shimmers. shine. Brian didn’t want a sparkle face. He has no problem with makeup, but sparkles are a disease. Infectious. It’s sad really…Because I miss my sparkle lip gloss.

That being said, I don’t have awesome pictures of my boyfriend as Rumpelstiltskin, but you know what? After reading the original fairytale, I’m not as impressed with Rumpel.

Granted, I know…He wasn’t all that great in Faerie Tale Theatre (and really, to be quite honest, neither was Shelley DuVall [If you are unsure of who or what I’m talking about, you definitely missed out on an excellent childhood experience: The joy of Faerie Tale Theater.]

When I was growing up, I was obsessed with Faerie Tale Theater. OB-SESSED. Whenever I was sick, Mom would go to Blockbuster [blah-k-bus-ter: proper noun: a place where one borrows movies for a set time at a nominal fee] and rent several episodes of Faerie Tale Theater. I would watch them over and over and over again. We had to get our money’s worth of viewing from Blockbuster.

My favorites–the ones Mom would rent repeatedly–were The Snow Queen, Rapunzel, and Rumpelstiltskin. My grandpa had Sleeping Beauty on Laserdisc for me, and I had Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella [Oh, God Matthew Broderick/Prince Charming I love you!] so I didn’t worry about renting those. Yes I know I’m still in parentheses)…but I was hoping for a little something more…

Rumpelstiltskin: A Fairytale Book Review

OK, it’s not a book, so much as a short (operative word here) story. You can read it easily enough by clicking the heading above. Fairy-tales are fables. They’re stories to teach. To entertain. And at one time they were verbal. SO…they’re short. Which is totally okay.

But you know what is not okay? Turning into a whiny little bitch because someone knows your name. OK OK it’s more than that. The miller’s daughter is SUCH a victim, it’s not even funny. Her dad pawns her off to the king for riches. The king demands riches before he will love her. The little man promises her riches in exchange for everything she owns including her unborn child. But she’s clever. And sneaky. And manages to survive her father, the king, AND the little man. So shit, girl…get the hell away from these crazy men and go find some elf in the woods or something…

Legolas

Like him, perhaps?

In all seriousness, though, I think that there is something to be said about the power of a name. How often do you speak the name of your children, your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend? Your friends? How often do you hear your own name? If you really think about it, it isn’t always that often. You hear your name more when you’re being talked about than spoken to.

Take a minute. Think back to the last time someone said your name. Was it gossip? Was it directed at you? Was it sweet or harsh? A name is a powerful thing to know. Google your name. See what pops up. What does the world know about your name? Do you want the world to know or do you hide behind a pseudonym? When you write about your family, your friends, your children…do you share their names?

Rumpelstiltskin may be just a short fairytale in the world of literature, but it certainly speaks volumes about power. And names.

Blog Friends, I want to know your thoughts…what is the power of a name?

Also…click the Fence to vote for me!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Which I Annoyed the Crap Out of 138 Souls, 6 Flight Attendants, a Pilot, Plus 4 Lap Children on a Small-ish Aircraft

I remember the day that The Bloggess starting following me on Twitter like it was yesterday. I was stoked. I mean, she’s the freakin’ BLOGGESS! And she’s funny. And her blog makes me laugh. But it took me a while to read her book. In the end, I couldn’t put it down. I finally finished.

Flight to Florida

Last week, Brian and I made our way back to Florida for another fun-filled vacation of joy in which I did a whole lot of awesome things when Brian wanted to be sleeping. But this post isn’t about our trip. This post is about airplanes. And The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson). And her book, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened.

On our flight down, I was reading a book that I was less than impressed with (and will not name) because I wanted to finish it before getting back to laughing hysterically at the one and only Jenny Lawson. I was stuck in the middle seat next to a larger older lady who took up her seat, half of my seat and some of the aisle. Needless to say I was not pleasantly seated for the 3 hour flight.

Not only did Bitchy McBitch feel the need to take up half of my seat, she also glared at me. Like I was spewing poison from my left cheek or something. Sure I was sitting up, leaning on my tray, but that was only because I needed somewhere to rest my arthritic, carpal tunneled wrist and she was in my way.

I feel that it’s important to say here that people who are stuck in the middle seat should be granted BOTH fucking arm rests. Also, people who recline their seats on airplanes are ass hats.

But we landed safely.

On our flight back, on the other hand, I had an excellent seat. I went in with a plan. My seating on Southwest was about 60 people before Brian, so I got on, and made my way to the very back of the plane, where the flight attendants informed me that there were 175 seats and 139 purchased. (I also overheard them say that there were 4 lap children. I’m not making shit up, people.) I sat down, and reserved the two other seats in our row.

When Brian arrived, I took the aisle, and he took the window. No one was going to come all the way to the back to sit in a middle seat. It was a brilliant plan. Once we were in the air, I scooted over and snuggled up against a sleeping Brian. Then I started to read.

Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Book Review

When I told the world that I was going to read this book, the world responded with a resounding “OMFG this book is amazing!”

I’m not going to lie, though. It took me a few chapters to get into it. I totally get that the strange happenings in Lawson’s life made her the brilliant and funny writer that she is, I just couldn’t really get into the Wall, Texas thing. I didn’t totally relate. I had heard there was laugh out loud humor…but I longed for a little Chelsea Handler…until…

Jenny Lawson grew up (sort of). And found Victor. And started making me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. Twice.

Once the Bloggess grew up, I found that I wanted her to be my new best friend (Don’t worry Katie–you’re irreplaceable). I would be reading in bed and Brian would tell me to quiet down, for fear of waking our neighbors (like seriously, not jokingly.)

So there we were on the plane with 142 other souls ( I think it’s entertaining to say souls instead of people. Does anyone know why they did/do that? Please enlighten me!) and I was reading. And laughing. And reading. And laughing more. And every time I laughed, I looked at Brian and if he was awake, I made him read the paragraph that made me laugh. Or I would wake him up to tell him. Or I would just look to see if my laughter woke him up. And then I looked around to see if anyone was silently judging me. Which they were. But I didn’t care because Jenny Lawson is hilarious.

She talks about being weird and kind of an outsider (which I can TOTALLY relate to). She talks about being a writer and a blogger and a daughter and a woman in a relationship with her person and a mom. Minus the mom part, I totally get it. And I feel like she’s one of my people.

I love that she interjects with comments about her editor. I love the randomness that the book is created out of. I love it all. And I bet if I went back and read that first part, I would love that too.

And the whole time, Brian would wake up and comment that I needed to be quiet because the captain at the front of the plane could hear me laughing.

Jenny Lawson, welcome to my hero club. You have 142 “souls” to apologize to, because I was all up in their business during that 3 hour flight with my echoing laughter. They really should just read your book, and then they would totally get it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I’m a Sucker for Midnight

Confession Friday: I went and saw Twilight last night. Yes. I’ve seen all but the first one at midnight. And all but the first two Harry Potters. (And the last 3 Harry Potter books at midnight.) And the Hunger Games movie. I’m  a sucker for things that teeny boppers dig. Sometimes I think that I’m a 12 year girl stuck in a grown up body. Except that I mostly dislike 12 year old girls. And I don’t want to be around them while I’m enjoying my kiddie movie. At midnight.

Twilight meme

So the last few years, I’ve spent an extra couple of bucks for all you can eat popcorn in a swag leather seat with free refills on my coffee and bar to seat service of booze, snacks, and desserts. Definitely worth the price in order to avoid the annoying…the lines, the wait, the screaming teenagers, the giggling teenagers, the unaccompanied teeny boppers, the text messaging, the talking, the swooning, and the biggest movie pet peeve of all–the clapping at the end. Movies are where a lot of my pet peeves happen…

But this time around, my fancy-pants movie theater decided to charge $35 for an all-day affair. Fuck. That. I’m too old to sit in a theater all day to watch a Twilight marathon. And I’m a Polak, unwilling to spend $35 on anything.

And for some strange reason, the movie was shown at 10, 10:15, 10:30, 10:45, 11, and so on until 1 o’clock in the morning. This made it less magical, but it also made it easy to choose which show to go to. The big “open” was at 10 PM…and there was only one 10:30 show… no lines? no crowds? Not even a full theater? I’m OK with this. What baffled me, though, was the line of camped out midnight die-hards. Dude. Go see the movie. Don’t sit there waiting while the rest of us are already on our way into the theater. Seriously.

As I was driving home shortly before 1 AM, I realized last night, that I may be too old for Twilight. I spent more time making fun of the ridiculous in the movie than scoffing at how it didn’t measure up to the book. I think that says it all. Harry Potter is done. Twilight is done. I think that when the next Hunger Games comes out, I’ll see it at a respectable time on opening night. In my fancy-pants-no-kids-under-21-allowed-theater.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: My Jealousy Complex Leads to the Project: Fairy Tales

Yes, it’s true. I have a jealousy complex. Honestly, I think that most people do…

I’ve always been a little bit jealous of the majority of my pals (I mean, they all have qualities that I admire–that’s why they’re my pals!), jealous of girls who are skinnier than me, prettier than me, taller than me, shorter than me, have more money than me, are smarter than me…you get the point. Jealousy. It’s a problem.

I love my best friend with all my heart. Alas, I am just slightly jealous of her brilliance (and her adorableness, and her amazing-ness). My favorite Word Worm over at Words for Worms proclaimed yesterday that she was participating in a super cool reader-blog-dealie… in which everyone reads a fairy tale of their choosing and then reads other versions/modernized versions of said fairy tale and discusses them in future blog posts (sometime in early 2013).

Obviously, I wanted to play. I realize that I am not a book blog. Or a reader blog. But I love reading. In fact, I have several posts dedicated to books. OK. I have two posts dedicated to books. But still… you get it.

Luckily for me, in her post, she directed me, just as I shall direct you to Project: Fairy Tale if you, too, would like to be as cool as the other readers and writers and play the fairy tale game.

The rules for said game are simple: Choose fairy tale. Read fairy tale. Read 3 like-stories. Write. Write. Write. Write. Excitement! I happen to have just the book for the assignment!

Classic Fairy Tales

I knew this book would come in handy one day!

So, I made my way over to the Project: Fairy Tale page, perused the already chosen stories, and decided on Rumpelstiltskin.

Rumpelstiltskin Fairy Tale

I’ve always been a fan

As Rumpel is my favorite character on Once Upon a Time, and it was one of my favorite Faerie Tale Theatre episodes starring Shelly Duvall, I got super stoked to look into his tale a little deeper…and find more stories like his.Wikipedia gave me a few suggestions, but I’m going to try to find some more.

So I’m pumped! I’ve already got a bazillion fairy tale esque blog post ideas brewing in my brain. The month this blog circle goes live is going to be so so fun.

From slightly feigned/slightly real jealousy to fun with fairy tales…does that mean a happy ending?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Why Banned Books are Better

Obviously, because when things are censored, everyone wants to read them!

Warning: This post uses the word, “fuck” a lot. I feel very strongly about books. You understand.

If you’re new to my bloggy blog, then you may not know it, but I spent a little bit of time as a teacher

During my stints as a student teacher and an observing teacher, I taught the following banned reading materials:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (My all-time favorite American novel)
To Kill a Mockingbird (sort of–I was working WITH my cooperating teacher)
A Farewell to Arms (I taught one lesson. I fucking love Hemingway.)
The Call of the Wild (just an excerpt, but still…)
Brave New World (A summer reading book–which I never actually read)
Cat’s Cradle (Another summer reading list book–this one was great!)

I also taught reading comprehension for a spell…we used the following banned/challenged books:

The Lord of the Flies (You want to teach a 13 year old boy how to read? Give him this book.)
The Outsiders (One of our middle school girl students read and loved this book)
Fallen Angels (I had a student who would literally change the language so that he wasn’t saying the “bad” words, even though I told him it was okay.)

So I’m no stranger to banned books–there’s a huge list of them that I read before I was 12 (Shel Silverstein, anyone? Alvin Shwartz? R.L. Stein? Roald Dahl? These dudes taught me to read, dammit!) I mean, come on–someone fuckin’ banned Where’s Waldo?!

I digress. Reading. It’s important. Reading something that’s “forbidden?” All of a sudden you’ve made it fun to read. In fact, you’ve made it downright exciting to read. So go ahead, ban books. Just don’t fucking burn them. Then I’ll have to hunt you down. And you’ll face the wrath of me. And trust me…I don’t tread lightly when it comes to destroying books. Ever.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a post about books, if I didn’t talk about an actual book for a little bit… (You want full fledged bookwormery, visit my bestie and her blog, Words for Worms) So you get my love affair with Mark Twain.

I love Huck. When I was planning with my cooperating teacher, she said that she hated Huck, and if I wanted to teach it, I could. I got really excited! I had all sorts of big plans. I remember the first time I read it on my own when I was a sophomore in high school. I loved it.

I’m not going to lie, I actually had a few students who actually enjoyed The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (I had a significantly larger number who thought I spent far too much time with it…but whatever). I got to teach this DURING banned books week, so that was super fun! We did a formal debate. It was stellar. Additionally, I gave the students options for their final Huck project. Write a paper (which way too many of them did, btw) or create your own project. I had one student who wrote The Huck Finn Rap. It was REALLY well done–covered the whole story.

If you haven’t read it, I recommend it. If you’re not the best reader–get the audio book. It helps. and if you really want to understand what’s going on, and need a little booster, we can set up a mini book club and Gchat about it. Because I love Huck that much. O:-)

Huck at Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island at Disney

Fuck yeah. (OK, that was gratuitous.)

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Bookworm’s Guide to Slackerdom

Mom, you may not want to read this…

Confession Friday: I have a degree in English from an excellent university…but I never once read an entire book for class.

True story.

In the third grade parent-teacher conference, my teacher, Mrs. Jacoby, told my mom that I was lying to her about all of the books that I was reading. Mom knew that I had no life but the one in books, so she got really mad and bitchy. I’m pretty sure that was mom’s last parent-teacher conference. I also think this scarred me for life in regards to school, teachers, and reading books.

I was talking to the Word Worm about blogging–She writes a fantastic bookworm blog–and she mentioned something about Shakespeare (you can read her blog to find out what she said). I, the lover of Shakespeare that I am, told her that I was a fan of reading Shakespeare. I read Romeo and Juliet (which everyone says wasn’t very good, but I loved it) when I was 12. for fun. At home. I’ve read Much Ado About Nothing SEVERAL times. I did attempt to read Twelfth Night several times to no avail, but other than that, I’m kind of a fan. Hamlet, MacBeth, even Julius Caesar…all enjoyable reads for me.

She then questioned my tactics in college…and asked if I ever read a full book for school. In all honesty… not counting a graphic novel called Maus… no. No, I did not.  I had read bits and pieces. Excerpts. Listening to class discussion (when I showed up for class). Talking to my classmates. Sparknotes. Cliffsnotes. Gradesaver.com. Classic Notes. Classic Reader. And when in doubt, I Googled it. And it worked. I never got lower than a B in my English classes. (OK, and to be fair, there were some books and stories that I had already read.) My mad-writing skills got me exactly what I needed: A decent grade and plenty of time to do other things.

As an English major, required literature was something Chrissy considered...optional. She managed to pull off a splendid GPA considering she didn't read one entire book for class.

College and Computers 🙂

I was a very organized slacker…I had a notebook for every class. Each notebook was filled with excellent doodles (as doodling would help my brain calm down so that I could actively listen). Each notebook had a very important front cover. The cover listed the number of excused absences that I was allowed in that particular class, a dated list of missed classes, and the excuses that I used to not go to class. I made sure that I didn’t overuse cramps or migraines (though those pesky headaches happened regularly). There was even a time that I thought I was having a panic attack…that turned out to be the results of a little too much booze the night before…

That being said, you all know that I’m a voracious reader. And if you don’t, you should see my gratuitous post discussing my ridiculous unwavering love for Pride & Prejudice. The obsession is almost disgusting. But whatever. I read. I do. I just don’t read when someone tells me that I must. I saved every book from all of my classes, college and high school (sans Childhood’s End, which, until Fifty Shades of Grey, was my least favorite book in the history of ever.) Then, I spent summers, and even free time during school, reading. Yes, that’s right. I’ve read a good portion of the novels that I should have read for class…long after class ended.

Here’s a list of the best books I never read in college:

Candide (even though I walked into class after reading the Sparknotes version and told the prof that I had, in fact read it and loved it. After actually reading it–it’s pretty awesome)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which ironically became my favorite American novel)
Tess of the D’urbervilles (which is really super depressing, but well written and uber Victorian… Stupid 50 Shades of Grey for ruining the association.)
The Canterbury Tales (In my defense, the teacher tried to make us read it in middle English. Do you have any concept of how hard that is?!)

OK, and here’s a list of some of the best books I read in college for no reason but to read:

The Stand
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Les Miserable
Great Expectations (Actually a reprise from my youth…thanks to those marvelous Great Illustrated Classics)
The Tenth Kingdom (A book based off a cheesy TV mini series on NBC. If you watched it and like it—I think I love you.)

Have a great weekend!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Happy Birthday Julia Child!

Dear Julia Child,

I did not have the joy of knowing who or what you were until you were manifested in the visions of Julie Powell, courtesy of her blog turned book turned movie. I love the manifested version of you. I don’t actually know whether or not your love story was as beautiful as Julie Powell imagined it, but it doesn’t matter. Because I really enjoyed her movie about her Julia Child obsession.

Julie Powell is one of my heroes, and as you were one of hers, by proxy you become one of mine. I love to cook, so this is not such a far stretch. In fact, just last week, I assisted my roommate in a French feast for three, including endive in puff pastry, croque madames, a cheese platter, and a delightful salad. Of course, I mostly did the endive. Man, the French enjoy butter.

In honor of the Olympics, we cooked our way around the world. Julia Child style, we celebrated France with a feast coated in butter and surrounded by cheese.

Yes, the unseen part of that stick of butter is all in the food, along with at least another stick. And no, we didn’t die of clogged arteries. Yet.

I remember watching the Julie & Julia movie, and thinking to myself that you, Julia Child, led a pretty interesting life, and of course Stanley Tucci made me love you. So between Julie Powell’s writing and Stanley Tucci’s acting, Julia Child rocked my world.

So I looked you up. A writer and a food lover, I cannot help respect and appreciate you for what you were. An inspiration. OK, so maybe the food sanitation police weren’t down with your cleanliness. And maybe the fat content in your food wasn’t low. But you were funny. You were sassy. And you loved what you did.

That’s all one can hope for.

 

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