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Archive for June, 2010

Where’s my mic?

Tap tap tap. Testing, testing.

Ladies and gentlemen, lend me your ears, your eyes, and your souls for a brief amount of time. I promise this won’t take you away from America’s Got Talent for very long. In fact, it may entertain you even more than that band who plays air guitar (AND got to go to VEGAS because of it). Although I shouldn’t be one to judge because I actually enjoyed watching them, but I digress.

By now you may have already read my about me page–but maybe you haven’t. So you should get on that because it has some very crucial information. Maybe you like remaining in the dark about my awesome life, but that’s your own damn problem. However, there are lots of other interesting things to be read about me in this post too, at least, they’re interesting to me.

Let’s talk summer. Here in the great suburbs of Northern Virginia the temperatures are hitting record highs, as I’m sure they’re doing where you are too (unless you live in Antarctica…actually, scratch that. Temps are probably hitting record highs there as well). Unwise people (I was about to call them “stupid” but I figured that might be too blunt for a first post. So I’ll try to keep the insults to a minimum, but don’t get used to it) are flocking to the beach and pools, where they can sip their warm Diet Cokes and try to avoid the splashes caused by maniac children in inflatable wings, while slathering themselves in cooking oil in attempts to extract as much Vitamin D from the sun so as to cause permanent skin damage and wrinkles by the time they’re 40.

Right. Not my idea of a good summer. Maybe those people really enjoy it! They probably weren’t blessed with German and Irish roots which causes their skin to alternately burn and freckle and then fade to pale oblivion. I do have quite a bit of Italian in my genes, but for some reason it only shows up in my hair and eyebrows, which are both seriously unmanageable.

The wise people (like me!) instead choose to spend their summers inside a nice bookstore or library, or even their comfy bed, snuggled up to a good book. Of course, I’m working most of the time and commuting the other bits of my time, so my reading is mostly done on a bus to and from work. I’m certainly not complaining–any time that I spend reading is time well spent. As a slight sidenote (get used to these, I like them a lot), I spent a lot of time reading when I took a little trip there this summer, after graduation. Reading on the beach always seems like such a great idea, until you actually get there. The wind’s always so crazy and the sun’s so bright and it’s never really all that comfortable because you’re either frying your back or your stomach. And then there’s the small issue of sand in the pages. Eeeiiissshhh.

Anyway, I’ve already tackled quite a few reading projects this summer, being the crazy former English major that I am. Perhaps one of my personal favorites was Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. I’m not going to lie (major serious scary geek alert here)–I was first attracted to this book when I saw it on the library shelves because of it’s size. It is massssive. Naturally, I decided that I had to read it, before even reading the back. And then I read the back. I flipped through the pages. I noticed two things: 1) it was about magicians in 19th C. Britain and 2) it had footnotes. And not just ones that were put in by scholars studying the text, either.  There are pages and pages of tangential stories and legends that provide background information on each and every spell and story that is mentioned throughout the entire novel. So, I picked it up. Unfortunately, I started reading it in the last few days of my spring break and when I got back to school I had precious little time to read for pleasure. Yah know, because of things like thesis papers, finals, and graduation and stuff. So I made a point to finish it while on vacation.

I gotta say, I may have been judged severely on several different occasions for lugging around 4 considerable novels in my carry-on. I read them all, so whatever. Haters gon’ hate.

Since I avoid reading Amazon reviews of books before reading them, I didn’t have any idea that people were calling it “Harry Potter for adults!” and other various forms of puffery. I do agree that the fantasy elements are very attractive, but they’re not the whole reason why I enjoyed it. I preferred the Dickensian portrait of characters and story. There were so many characters and plotlines that sometimes it was difficult to keep the stories straight, but I really enjoy Dickens. The novel is extremely engaging, this is not a “brain candy” novel by any means (or, as I like to call them, “literary crack”). If you have the patience to get through an 800-plus page tome complete with pages and pages of footnotes, I highly recommend it. However, if you prefer less complex stories (or have a very short attention span OR carpal tunnel syndrome) then I would not suggest it to you. This is not to say that I don’t like less complex stories! I do! I love ’em! Next literary review: memoirs by Jen Lancaster. She’s fricken hilarious.

So, if you’ve stayed with me so far, you ought to be rewarded with something. I’m not really sure what. How about a question to the general public? What do you like to read during the summer? Or, are you anti-book and pro-US Weekly? I can get behind that too. I have a slight addiction to celebrity gossip.

And now, for your moment of zen:

My pup's adorable mug 🙂

Blurry pic. Sorry. Enjoy her cuteness anyway.

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Living

Check out my About Me page, and get ready for an exciting introductory post coming soon. I know you’re practically peeing your pants from excitement.

Monica

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