What I'm Reading

Stardust by Joseph Kanon
Coming out in the fall, the next novel by the author of The Good German. It's so good I kinda want to lick the pages.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's Hard Work, But Somebody's Gotta Do It

I took tomorrow off work, hopped on the New York to Providence bus (four hours of undiluted joy, let me tell you) and am staying at my parents' for the weekend. My favorite aunt and uncle are celebrating their 50th anniversary on Saturday, and it was a must-attend event. By which I mean both I really wanted to be there, and my mother ordered me to. I thought that once I was in my 30s and living hundreds of miles away, my mother couldn't tell me what to do anymore. Shows what I know. In her defense, however, when I don't want to come home for a family party, I'll ask her about it, in hopes that she'll tell me I don't have to come, effectively giving me a guilt-free get out of jail card. I think this was her way of nipping that shit in the bud just in case I was looking for a pass.

I know that in theory 50th anniversaries are this one-of-a-kind, special happening. But since we've been celebrating one a year for three years now, starting with my parents, they've become pretty commonplace in my family. What? Not everyone stays together for half a century? Mostly, it’s just an excuse for a really fun party.

I also invited myself over to hang out with Sarah (or as I like to call her, my godbaby mama) for the weekend. I think my exact words were, “I’ll be that girl by your pool all day Friday and Saturday.” She, of course, obliged by stocking up on liquor. She conveniently keeps ice and a blender in the kitchen out back, for easy access. My plans for the next few days basically look like this:

Swim. Drink. Play with the kids. Repeat.

It’s hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love

I haven’t written a book review in a while, mostly because the vast majority of my reading has been for work, and writing a review of the fabulous novel you won’t get to read for another 9 months seems kind of mean. But I feel like I’m in grave danger of losing the “Book” half of my Bookgirl tag. And what’s the fun of being just Girl? So here goes.

I read Eat, Pray, Love for my book club tomorrow night. Not the real book club. The one where we each bring a bottle of wine, and then drink it all. It’s really more of a drinking club for people who like to read. But that’s another story…

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is the story of a woman, reeling from a bad divorce, who takes a year to find herself. She spends four months in Italy pursuing pleasure (Eat), 4 months in India pursuing spirituality (Pray), and 4 months in Indonesia studying how to find a balance (Love).

I think it says something about me (and not entirely something positive) that I loved, loved, loved the first part. I laughed out loud, I read passages to whoever happened to be closest to me at the time. Loved it. The prayer part? Yeah, I kept looking ahead, asking “So how much longer can she spend in India? Seriously, she’s meditating. I get it. Can we move on now?” But then the third part, in Bali, bringing it all together, was beautiful and hopeful and touching. It’s one of those books that I’m dying to discuss with the group, or quite frankly anyone else who will listen, because everyone brings something different to, and consequently away from, the book.

For me, one of the things that stood out is that she’s a single woman who always thought her entire life’s goal was to have children, who loves kids, and now isn’t so sure she wants any of her own. I used to be so conflicted—what if I never had kids? Would I be okay with that? Could I be happy? Did I need a child to be complete? And then my goddaughter was born, and I fell head over heels in love. I take her on vacations, I spend Christmas morning at their house, I get all the good parts of being a mom. She calls me her “’Nother Mother.” (Pronounced, of course, with the Massachusetts accent as Nutha Mutha.) And all that internal drama and strife was instantly irrelevant.

My friend Dol, on the other hand, is a Buddhist, has been on silent retreats, and has a daughter. I’m dying to hear what she got from the book. Has anyone else read it?

p.s. I've posted my backlist to this site so my blog entries are all in one place, so if you look back you might find some gems.

Friday, June 22, 2007

In Your Dreams

I had a sex dream last night about someone I used to date. Now I don’t want to imply that I have any negative feelings toward him, but this is an actual quote from something I once wrote about our relationship:

“Getting back in touch with you completely ruined your memory for me. Up until now, I've been able to think of you as someone who was worth loving, basically a good person who was going through a rough time and just didn't treat me the way you should have. But now I realize that period of your life wasn't an anomaly. You're just a jackass."

The sex dream itself was horrific enough, but in the dream, I was just so pitifully, disgustingly grateful that he was showing me attention. All of my friends were furious and wouldn’t speak to me because I hooked up with him again (Which is pretty much exactly what would happen in real life). And I was grateful. Ugh. Ever have one of those dreams that makes you wish you could clean out your brain with bleach and lye soap? Or maybe volunteer for a lobotomy? Seriously, ugh.

I think it’s because I’ve been thinking of starting to date again. I haven’t been on a real date in five years. Some would (and have) said that perhaps five years of punishing myself for falling in love with the aforementioned wrong guy is long enough, and it’s time to practice some self-forgiveness. I think they may be right…

I’ve long held the theory that fat girls are invisible—that guys just don’t see me. But I’m beginning to suspect that might be more a product of some internal thing I was projecting. Because I’m in a really good space right now, and really happy with my life. And three different men asked me for my phone number last week. Yeah, talk about making me hold my head a little higher…

So this is it. I’m getting back on the horse. (Figuratively, gutter-brain!) My friend’s fiancĂ© has a cute friend, and I told him to offer the friend my phone number. My instructions: “If he wants it, great. If not, just don’t ever mention it to me again.” I figure that way, I get potential positive results without that messy risk of rejection. And a few friends have mentioned setting me up lately, and my response, “Go for it.” (Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I first made comments along the lines of, “You know someone who’s looking for a fat, clumsy girl?” But still, I said yes. Wish me luck!