Ok, let me just say I LOVED, seriously LOVED - finished and want to read again, LOVE - Bitter is the New Black. It was fan-flippin'-tastic. Quite possibly the best book put out by the Penguin Group in quite some time. Don't get me wrong, there can never be too many reprints of Anna Karenina (although, really, the only cool people are the ones who read it before Oprah made it a "book club" choice... Remind me to vent about that later on in this little submission); but, it's just nice to find a refreshing weekend read. Definately a great end-of-summer, need-some-downtime, or I-just-got-dumped/laid off/I'm broke-and-need some humor choice of reading. So, anyway, I loved this book. For a couple of reasons: a) It's funny as hell, b) like I said last night, this girl says what I'm thinking a good deal of the time (minus the massive hang-up on brand-name items, which I don't have because I can't in good conscience submit to spending what equates to one month's utilities on a purse when I don't like purses in the first place), and c) she writes the way I'm trying to. Which, if I were a jealous person, would make me jealous as all get-out because it feels like another ".com" moment. When the telecom/.com boom was going on, Jason (my ex-husband) and I were cognisant of it - but too darn young to really do anything about getting in on it (I didn't quite have the meglomania tendancies I do now, they hadn't developed yet). We actually had conversations on how we knew we were missing the boat; a "the-world-has-been-there, done-that" sort of thing. So, there's a tiny part of me that says, "Hmm, the world's already GOT a writer who's writing style's quite like what you are working towards - keep your day job." Fortunately for me, it's really "Crystal's World" (and yes, you should all take up permanent residence, it's more fun here) and so I can convince myself that people would enjoy what I have to say because, hey - it's from me. Anyway, back on point, I will be purchasing whatever this chick puts out next. And I will keep writing my story about exercises in controlled chaos - AKA being a single parent.
I read in the back of the book she's got a website, so I'll promote it: www.jennsylvania.com And now I'll move onto the rant that typing that URL just created. Oprah can wait a paragraph or two. So, in pasting that URL, "little Crystal" (that little voice I mentioned earlier inside me?) said, "Check it out - make sure you've got it right.. one "N" or two?" I had originally thought it would be 1 N, since that's how she spelled her name in the book. Yeah, no.. it's 2. Anyway, the jenslyvania.com site is some site that someone snatched up (probably after her first book, but who knows?) and has all kinds of links with Jen on them - except the one to her actual, friggin' website. Which is, of course, where I want to go. And the really sad thing is I run across these websites as much, if not more, than the actual websites I'm looking to go to. Frustrates the hell out of me and quite frankly - I'll never click on a link that leads to anything that has to do with commerce because I don't want them getting the .008 cents they'll get for the banner link click. Bastards. Phew! I feel better, how about you? :)
On to Oprah. Ok, I think it's fabulous what Oprah's doing for the literary world and our society of boob-tube addicts (although, get in the way of my weekly dose of "Weeds" and I'll have to hurt you.. so, don't take that as a put-down). I like the fact that she's made book clubs en-vogue again, and that people are starting to find reading cool. But, what bites me - really gets under my skin, are the Oprah-ites that feel like they've invented or discovered uncharted territory with reading. "OMG, I just found this great new book - you have to read it. It's fabulous - it's Anna Karenina." Yup. Been there - done that - in the eigth grade, thank you. Now, admittedly, I really didn't completely get it until I read it again during my own dismal marriage, but the fact of the matter is that book has been around longer than anyone who is reading it now has been drawing breath. It's. Not. New. People. And you're really not cool for thinking it is - in fact, I think it says something that you didn't know it existed until you saw it on TV. LOL (yes, I am smirking and being condescending here - but, can you blame me?)
I tried to go to a book club once - our neighborhood has one - it drove me nuts. First of all, the book choice was abysmal and hoplessly shallow in a non-funny way (and no, I'm not going to tell you what it was because I'm afraid someone would possibly purchase it to see if I'm right and indirectly help that author write another book by contributing to their success). And the cows at the book club sat around talking about how "True" it was and getting way too deep on stuff that, seriously, I think the froth on my mocha double-caf has more substance than. Ok, so I know that's a badly put together sentence, but you get my point. It was like they had found the cure for cancer within the lines of this bathroom book (that actually, I wouldn't have in my bathroom - I've got Politically Correct Bedtime Stories in the powder bath for guests - and I'm secretly praying that if they ever have cause to read any of it while utilizing the facilities, they'll notice there's also a can of Febreeze Air Freshener behind the toilet... everyone may like their own brand, but I don't need to smell the demons you just exorcised, thank you). I had to wonder if any of them had actually read anything worthwhile.. ever. So, I asked them about various books that, by all rights, they SHOULD have read in school/or were considered to be important: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Agony and the Ecstacy, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Letter, Farenheit 451, or The Great Gatsby. Seriously, how anyone can make it through High School or College and NOT have read these books is beyond me. And they're important pieces of fiction writing. But, to my shock, horror, and utter dismay at the educational system in general, I was met with blank stares and furrowed brows. If you have to think hard about it, it obviously didn't do much for you. Seriously. One guy responded, "I've seen the movies of most of those; we saw Farenheit 451 and To Kill a Mockingbird in school." And another lady went off on a tangent about how great of a remake "Bride and Prejudice" was from the first "Pride and Prejudice" movie that she thinks A&E did. Ok, I need to go throw up now. Needless to say, I am far too cool for that book club and it was the last time I went.
Why is it that it takes a movie to make so many books cool? And when did reading become unfashionable? Seriously, I think my imagination does a far better job than most Hollywood productions ever could dare hope for. And typically, with cuter guys. Of course, most of them star ME in my cutest form, but hey - that's what makes it great. Again, it is my world. I was talking with Eric last night about book-movies. I'd rather read the book before I see the movie - because, realistically, the movie can not pick up all the intricate little details that make a good book great. And, I like to poke fun of the movie-makers for screwing it up by leaving out things that I found important. Which is, of course, why I think it's important to go see movies with smart-alecks and wise-crackers. At a venue where they serve alcohol. I must now pause for a brief moment to pay homage to The Movie Grill in Plano. I can hear the "ahhh!" sounds of the chorus behind me as I write this. It is brilliant beyond brilliant to be able to watch "Failure to Launch" or "You, Me, and Dupree" with a good martini or margarita in hand. Oh CRAP! I'm supposed to be out with Regan watching a chick flick right now.
Ok, so it IS good that I'm using the calendar on myspace and my phone to keep up with my life. It would be BETTER if I actually put the right dates in it, though. Chick-flick with Regan is NEXT weekend. Oops. Oh well, at least I'm not an hour late now. It's all about the little things, people. So, I'll just take a brief moment to address the calendars and technology before I go do something slightly productive (or what could mask for productive) with my day - even if it's just to get out of my jammers and straighten my hair for tonight. So, I've switched to the Treo, which I'm loving. Wish I had bought that phone first and saved myself $200 (because you KNOW Cingular didn't pony up the difference between the two phones when I switched them out). The calendar function is pretty cool, like I said.. and, as an added benefit you can beam your schedule into someone else's calendar. That confused me. So, I asked a guy at work about it while he was fixing some of my settings. "Oh," he said. "Yeah, that's cool; you can beam your schedule to your significant other's palm or treo and then you'll have your lives synched up." First of all, yes, he did say "significant other" and secondly... um, pardon? Isn't that what communication does for you? I do this fairly regularly with friends and family. It's called asking a question: "What do you have going on tomorrow/this week/this month/your life?" And it spurs conversation. If it's something applicable to me or that I need to remember, I make a mental note or write it down. The idea of being so busy that I need to beam my S.O.'s schedule into my palm (if they live in the same house, I guess I KIND of get it if you're in different households) is slightly disturbing to me. Maybe I'm a relic, but I think I prefer old-fashioned conversation.
OMG, I almost had a heart attack. I thought I had lost all of my old blogs - when the "view blog" page comes up, it didn't display all of them - just the last few. Not that anything I'm writing is worthy of a literary award or will change the face of humanity, but I want to be able to reference back on them. Some of the situations in my blogs are being used to for my writing - and with the death of my laptop, I have no other back-up! The wave of relief that washed over me when I saw the "Older/Newer" blog links was insane. Seriously - that might have been a better feeling than sex. Maybe. At any rate, you can click on the 'older' link and pull up your (my, because I know you read them over and over again like I do, lol) old blogs.