Monday, September 13, 2010

Book #21: The Perfect Fit

The Perfect Fit by Louise Kean

I tried to like this book, but I just couldn't.

The story centers around Sunny Weston, a girl who has lost 98 pounds and can't adjust to being thin. The book had a promising start: Sunny sees a man kidnap a toddler from a Starbucks and because she is in much better shape than she ever has been, is able to chase him down and retrieve the little boy. At the same time, a man named Cagney James also sees the attempted kidnap and saves Sunny from being attacked by the kidnapper. Cagney and Sunny seem to hate each other at first, but then (you guessed it) they fall in love.

My biggest problem with this story is that I just didn't like Sunny or Cagney. Sunny is whiney and so insecure that you get tired of her easily. Cagney stays in a foul mood the entire book, up until the very last chapter. We're suddenly supposed to believe that oh, wait - he is a great guy after all, even after he's made fun of Sunny's former weight and admitted that he really only likes blondes.

Not my kind of book.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book #20: Twenties Girl

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

It's been a decidedly awful week. I needed to read something light and fun, and this was perfect. I'm pretty sure I'm overly emotional right now, but I actually teared up a few times towards the end of the book. It sort of made me wish I had a cool, flapper ghost haunting me - especially if she could give me great vintage hair and makeup tricks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week

"Going, Going, Gone" by Stars

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book #19: Drood

Drood by Dan Simmons

My dad has every single version of "A Christmas Carol" movie that has ever been made. Every Christmas, we pile onto the couch and watch at least three of them (including the best one of them all - "A Muppet Christmas Carol"). Needless to say, I was raised with a healthy love of all things Charles Dickens.

This book was right up my alley. It is a fictionalized account of the last five years of Dickens's life, beginning with the real-life near-fatal train accident he was involved in that haunted Dickens for the remainder of his life, and the character he "invented" (or did he?) named Edwin Drood - an Egyptian not-quite-human spectre.

The narrator of this perfectly Gothic novel is none other than Dickens's friend (and not-so-secret frienemy) Wilkie Collins, the famous author of "The Woman in White" and "Moonstone".

From the beginning, Collins is deeply unlikable - pretentious, boorish, and jealous of everything Dickens has achieved. He's also a serious opium addict, and you find yourself wondering "...did that actually happen, or is he on a drug trip right now?" But oh, he's so, so completely devious and nasty that you are sucked into his logic. You sort of root for him while at the same time wishing someone would just punch him in his pudgy face. I have no idea if the actual Wilkie Collins was such a documented creep, but I think I'll always think of him with a little bit of fond bitterness now.

The book is long (about 800 pages), but so worth the read. I completely got lost in the mystery (I won't ruin it for you guys). It makes me want to go read "Great Expectations" again, since I feel like I sort of personally know Charles Dickens now. We're tight.

Although I'm pretty sure Charles Dickens would never write the above sentence. Ever.

Monday, September 6, 2010


"WK" stands for "Weird Kid."

It’s not that I don’t like children. I do. But I have a working theory about certain children, and it’s this: the weird kids always manage to find me. You know the ones I’m talking about, and let’s face it, there are tons of them out there. But let’s talk about the three most popular versions.

Weird Kid Type 1: The silent, creepy variety. They lurk behind their parents with large zombie eyes and pale skin (always pale skin). Their parents are always desperate to prove to you that their kid is not in fact a WK, but in their efforts to prove otherwise, they do the exact opposite. They’re always begging the child to "answer Ms. So-and-So’s question..." and "Don't be rude, honey...say thank you." Meanwhile, creepy kid just continues to stare at you with unbridled horror, as if they’re expecting you to drag them into a van full of candy with razorblades tucked inside the wrappers. Creepy kids never speak, but you can always imagine a late-night horror movie scene involving a stormy night, a pair of scissors, them standing over their parents’ beds, and a children’s choir singing off-key Latin phrases with tons of reverb.

Weird Kid Type 2: This Kid Will Be in Jail in Ten Years variety. This is the most popular version, in my opinion. This is the child who is running through the grocery store, laughing hysterically while methodically knocking items off of shelves and hitting and/or biting either a younger sibling or an innocent passerby. There is always a weary parent dragging behind this kid, saying "Please. Don’t. Stop. Please. Don’t. Stop." I bet they say that in their sleep. If the parent actually does manage to catch his/her kid, the kid immediately begins to scream "NOOO! NOOOOOOOOO!" This scream is usually followed by the sound of something breaking or someone else crying (usually the mother, out of frustration). And then they’re off again.

Weird Kid Type 3: Just...weird. As in, "Hi, my name is Arthur, and I have memorized an entire volume of the encyclopedia. The 'R' volume. What do you want to know about rodents? I know everything about rodents. I don’t really like rodents, but I know how long they sleep, and what they eat, and I know how many baby rodents are probably living in your cabinets. And I know about real estate, too. It was in the 'R' volume too, you know. Real estate. I might go into real estate. I bet I can tell you how much your house is worth. Ask me. Go on. Ask me." Their mother is constantly smiling weakly at you, patting Arthur’s head while he insists that you paid too much money for your house. After he trots off to build an entire futuristic village with his Legos, she’ll say in a proud, exhausted, and hushed tone, "Arthur’s just so smart. He’s in the gifted class, you know. He’s usually up by 4 AM, and so, you know. I get up then, too. So we’re learning how all the creatures in ‘Lord of the Rings’ could be made from modeling clay. And he’s such a perfectionist. I once called Gandalf 'Giddalf' by mistake, and Arthur went into his room for about eight hours. He only came out when I told him I had made his favorite meal - Lucky Charms with only the pink marshmallows. He’s just so smart. And. Yes. So...he’s just so gifted!"

My mother once told me that if I ever have kids, I'll probably end up with one of these versions. But see...I think that if I did, I'd just have to sit the kid down and say "Billy/Sally? Guess what? Mom has something to talk to you about. You're becoming a WK. And Mommy can't have that. So we're going to work on it."

Can you force a kid to be an NK? A normal kid? I think I might be able to. Because I can be a SA.

A Scary Adult.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Song I'm Digging This Week

"Little Bit of Feel Good" by Jamie Lidell

Fourth Grade Fashion Critic

"Seriously - my dad shouldn't have a moustache anymore. Because he's 51.

But I'm telling you - he has the body of a 30-year-old.

He looks about 49."

- my piano student Ella Jane, 9 years old

Move over, Joan Rivers. Ella Jane's already practicing.