Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket, or a holding pattern over Philadelphia. - Judith Viorst

I can be as snarky as I want about Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books being "what Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books would be if they weren’t so well-written;” but I finished the second Maisie Dobbs and IMMEDIATELY went online and bought the third. I thought I could resist, but then the first chapter of the next book was appended to the end of the second, and well….I am a woman and a reader of very little patience (and brain, some might argue).

Winspear really gets her fiction feet under her in the second novel, Birds of a Feather. The second is more cohesive, the plot managed more skillfully, and Maisie’s character fleshed out into a three-dimensional person. She stopped acting and feeling to me like a 1930s Nancy Drew and began acting and feeling like a real, live, flesh-and-blood girl, complete with insecurities, some uncalled-for moodiness and petulance, and even a couple potential love interests, but retaining her cleverness, optimism, wisdom, and gravity. Winspear still gives us some clunky writing, but her prose has grown more fluid and polished in her sophomore outing, and to her credit, as with the first book, the historical details are perfect, and clearly painstakingly researched.

So there I was, having turned the last page on Birds at 830 pm, and online by 840 to purchase the next, Pardonable Lies. I almost decided to buy the fourth book, Messenger of Truth, out last August, but I decided to wait. My chief complaint with half.com is that you do not save on shipping costs even if you buy two or more books from the same seller; since this is the case, I decided to save the thrill of hunting for and purchasing the next book for later. Plus, I really like my books-in-a-series to MATCH. I know that’s nuts, but I have the first two in paperback, the third coming in paperback, I would really like to have the fourth in paperback also. They look so neat and orderly sitting on my shelf that way. Shut up. I know I am weird. You don’t have to rub it in.


Being sick in bed all morning, just anticipating my next dose of Magic Swizzle, allowed me to whip through the last few chapters of a very entertaining expose of the cosmetic plastic surgery business, Alex Kuczynski’s Beauty Junkies: Inside our $15 Billion Obsession with Cosmetic Surgery. Junkies was just plain fun. I will never understand, but it was one good time reading about the crazy things that youth- and appearance-obsessed people ask for and the sometimes even crazier things the plastic surgeons advertise. I mean, the lengths to which some of these people go! Half the time I can't be bothered to dab on mascara, let alone tweeze my stupid fuzzy eyebrows, and they spend thousand of dollars and thousands of hours having these horrible-sounding procedures done to them! Reading this book was the literary (for lack of a better word) equivalent of going to the circus.

I have this small, coldhearted impulse to anonymously mail a copy of this book to my Perfect sister-in-law. S had a tummy tuck and a boob job a few years ago, so apparently they have more money than God (but not as much sense?). My mother-in-law virtually worships S, and if you’d listened to her, you’d have thought S was undergoing lifesaving cancer treatment or cutting-edge brain surgery, not elective plastic surgery to make her baby-paunch flat and her boobs bigger. She flew down there to [hushed voice] “be with her for the procedure.” We’d get these ridiculous phone updates about S “feeling a little stronger today” and being “so brave about the pain,” or “managing to keep down a cup of soup.”

What can you do but laugh and roll your eyes?

And mail her anonymous commentary?

OK, I won’t.

I probably am just jealous because I will never have thousands to spend on a tummy tuck. At least not without getting some serious grief from Suse about not spending it to travel to Australia instead - and deservedly so.

And really, what would be the point of a boob job, since I just bought all those nice new bras in a pleasant little B-cup?


In case you're wondering, no, I have NO FUCKING IDEA what fucking Blogger has done to my fonts. They MADE me switch to new Blogger and promptly fucked up all sorts of things. Don't get me started on paragraph spacing. No, really, don't.


It snowed all day. Then this evening the precipitation switched over to sleet. When the temps dropped after sundown, we were blessed with a lovely – and it IS very pretty - half-inch coating of ice on everything. When the temps drop a couple more degrees in the next few hours, it seems the sleet will change back to snow, accumulating another 2-4 inches.

The boys’ schools are already closed for tomorrow. But not before I churned up a batch of sugar cookie dough to roll out for heart-shaped cookies, because I have been too sick to get in the car and just go buy heart-shaped cookies like a normal human being. Oh well, I suppose it won’t kill me to bake it up anyway and have our own little Valentine’s Day celebration with my boys, with cocoa topped with whipped cream and pink sprinkles, and pink, heart-shaped sugar cookies.

I mean, I do LOVE them, and all...


lazy cow said...

Argh, cosmetic surgery. A 28 year old Melbourne woman died a couple of weeks ago after a 'routine' liposuction. Madness.
Glad to read you seem to be feeling better (is that even a sentence?)
Your paragraph spacing looks fine to me. I live in dread of New Blogger and am staying put with Old for as long as possible.
Agree totally about Maisie Dobbs, much more human now!
BTW, have you read Tiny Ladies in Shiny pants by Jill Soloway? A total crackup.

blackbird said...

hearts to you...

Joke said...

I'm holding out as long as possible, my own bad self.


Sarah Louise said...

Happy Valentine's Day!!

(Sorry, I have no comments on plastic surgery and I haven't read any of those books)

I can't imagine spending good money on a nip or tuck--I'd much rather fly to Warsaw or Australia.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks fine to me. I cut and run (ran?) to wordpress and avoided the whole new/old blogger thing - actually, I have no idea what it's about and I prefer my blissful ignorance.

I feel the same way about series. In fact, I just violated my own rule by buying The King of Attolia in hardcover because I had an amazon voucher...at least the cover art will match my paperback Queen, and the paperbackness of Queen will match the paperbackness of The Thief (although that one doesn't have the yummy cover art). Wait a sec, have you read this series? Please say you have. If not, start with The Thief pronto.

Suse said...

I can't believe you made a category named 'girdles'.

I like my books to match too. It is just plain WRONG that they are selling boxed sets of Harry Potter books when the final volume hasn't even been released. I mean, can you imagine how those peoples' bookshelves are going to look when they have to place the 7th book outside the boxed set? Disgraceful. And just plain sloppy.

Take care on your ice and snow. We're gearing up for another run of 40 degree heat here. Urgh.

Paula said...

Happy V-day BB!

And yes! love is much nicer than an automobile accident.

Caro said...

Get well soon!

I'd get an eye lift if I had the $$$$, yes I would. :)