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Hiding From Salesmen

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
by Scott Poole #6

Blondie gave me this collection of poems for Christmas. (This and the Colin Meloy ticket. She's an astute gift-giver.) She bought it at a Livewire event and even had it signed for me.

One of the things I like about Scott Poole is that he sees beauty and perversity in the mundane details of everyday life. This is not as common as one would think. Some people don't notice, or even worse -- unless it's fireworks spectacular they think it doesn't matter. But it does.

This collection does have the two poems I heard him read back at last year's Wordstock Livewire, but I have found several new favorites. Here's one that I love because of its sweet appreciation of a quiet moment:


I love watching her gentle tresses hang
over the Monopoly squares.
She has just purchased a house at Marvin Gardens--
not the most exciting property, true,
but certainly a step up from my apartment on Baltic.

When I turn the block and tap at the window to say
I owe you rent, and I love what you've done with these flowers,
she says, "Save it.
Join me for this roast. I'm celebrating. I just won
second prize in a beauty contest."

Even though she's a beautiful second
and as we eat the roast no one is winning,
it seems that this moment is the elusive prize.
Some things don't need to be owned.

Avalon High

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
by Meg Cabot #5

Meet Ellie (Elaine) Harrison -- Ellie has moved to Washington D.C. from Minnesota with her two medievalist parents and has begun attending Avalon High. Ellie likes nothing better than floating in the middle of the pool and running through the park until she meets and feels an unnaturally strong, fast connection to... A. William Wagner (tall, dark, handsome, quarterback, man's man, ladies man, man about town -- beloved of teachers, old ladies, jocks, nerds and cheerleaders alike). Will has a posse: Lance Reynolds (Will's best friend, second in command, blond, muscled, but not too bright), Jennifer Gold (Will's blonde and beautiful cheerleader girlfriend who seems to come out of a lot of rooms flushed and breathless right after Lance has left), Marco (Will's trouble-making, tattoo-having, bad-attitude step-brother), and Mr. Morton (squirrelly teacher who tries to throw Ellie and Lance together at every opportunity).

Hijinks ensue! I liked Ellie a lot. She's another example of Meg Cabot's light but deft hand at creating smart, caring, and human teenaged characters.

If you have not guessed what the A. stands for in A. William Wagner, let me give you a hint... they are attending AVALON high. His best pal is LANCE, his evil brother is named MORDRED, oops, I mean Marco. Oh, yeah! Meg Cabot brings on the Camelot! It's fun. There are Forces of Darkness and everything.

tree mosaic

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Monday, February 27, 2006
silhouette mosaic

Woo hoo! More fun with the Mosaic Maker. I have been trying to take my camera with me everywhere, and I find that I can't stop taking pictures of still dormant trees silhouetted against the sky. Some of these pictures do have leaves, but most are just the structure of the tree and the usually grey sky. Ah, springtime in Portland.

still cleaning...

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Sunday, February 26, 2006
Someone tell me that it is not only a good idea to donate the 4+ years of Elle Decor magazine that I have stacked under my bed, but that evil will befall me if I don't! I don't know why I keep holding on to them -- I NEVER look at them. Bah!

I have yet to find the perfect Sunday, February 26th, 2006 Cleaning Music. So far busts include: PJ Harvey (too late-night), Badly Drawn Boy (too annoying). The only plus has been Fiona Apple (Extraordinary Machine), but I don't want to wear myself out on it while sweeping and sorting. Maybe I'll resort to the old Sgt. Pepper trick where I put it on and clean maniacally for the 30 or so minutes it takes to play. Except I am involved in slightly heavier-duty work than that. Maybe I will find some old mix CD or something. Did I mention that the theme of the afternoon is Bah! ? What I need to do is get some speakers for my iPod and just play that. Or... d'oh! I can just WEAR my iPod. Or put on Blur. Blur might work. The obvious lesson here is that cleaning makes you stupid. Maybe if I just start looking at this as the 2006 Spring Cleaning Extravaganza, it will seem less tedious... doubtful, but maybe.

Something I would vote for if given the chance: Clean once a year, but do it really, really well and everything will stay clean all year long with no further effort from the person who did the start-of-year cleaning. That seems fair, right?

ikea olympics

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Saturday, February 25, 2006
I used to love the winter olympics despite not being much of a winter sport person (or any sport, really). There was just something about all that snow and enthusiasm that won me over. I must be getting jaded because I don't care much about them anymore. Is it because they split the winter games off from the summer games? I mean, obviously winter and summer are already split up, but they split the years, and I think maybe that dilutes the Olympicality of it all. Is it because I can watch it on 2000 cable channels or just read about it on the internet instead of having to watch whatever they were willing to show me on ABC? I don't know. All I know for sure is that I just can't work up much joy about it anymore, which kind of bums me out.

Yesterday Bec and I drove to Ikea. She drove on the way up, which meant I got to look at Mt. Rainier (which is very beautiful but potentially dangerous), and I drove on the way home so she got to look at the starry sky (which she insisted I should not try to look at while driving because that was potentially dangerous). I can't even remember why we were so sure Ikea was such a good idea, but we held on to it steadfastly. We drove for a total of about 6 hours (why do I always think it's only 2 hours each way? It's not!!), and I bought 4 plastic bookends that cost me .99 each. I would have bought more of them, but I wanted to make sure they would actually hold books up. They do (yay!) Bec did find more, which is good. Mostly it was a "looking around" trip. It seemed like they did not have as many room sets up as they usually do. I always like looking at these sets, although they are complete Ikea Fantasy. In order to have an Ikea room-set life, a person would have to have 1) no existing furniture, 2) no existing belongings like, say, books, or too many pairs of shoes, or piles of paper. (No I did not just look right around my desk. Okay, yes I did.) 3) a maid.

I think all of my efforts to rid myself of excess junk might be finally sinking in. I saw stuff that I would have been all "oooh, shiny" about a year ago, and this time I thought "you just got rid of one like that!" and "what do you need with rubber ice cube trays shaped like plus signs?" Progress. I'll take it.

The weird thing is I still feel car hungover today, which makes no sense. You're not allowed to have a car-hangover unless you've been in more than 8 hours! I am going to chalk it up to eating almost nothing but sugar and salt all day yesterday. And 1/3 of the grossest chicken salad sandwich ever assembled. I think if I never stop drinking water today, I should feel better by this evening.

in the meantime

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Thursday, February 23, 2006
because I haven't yet written what I want to post, I offer the following:

Sure, everyone's seen Cute Overload, but have you seen Cute Overlord? The universe seeks balance, I guess.

Excellent television snarkery here at TV Dinners

I think the name of the site says all that needs to be said -- This to That (Glue Advice)

actual content coming soon!

treasures + junk

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
treasures + junk

It's Blondie's fault. She has a new camera and has been taking pictures of storefronts, and now I am finding the same irresistible. Plus, this one was hella cute. Witness the change in Fremont St. -- on the one side cute little boutiques, on the other (in the reflection) crappy looking professional buildings built in the 70's.

there is a cure for the wintertime blues

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Sunday, February 19, 2006
Miracle cure for late winter ennui: Claritin! I thought I was losing my mind -- February has been one freaky month so far, but now I know at least part of it (the frozen-in-amber part) was due to ALLERGIES! I got the brilliant idea to take a claritin after removing a cat hair from my eyball this morning (so gross!!) Many hours of vacuuming later I feel like a new woman.

TV Show that I am digging: Hustle -- It's a BBC show on AMC, and is so much fun! Capers and cons, people! It's centered on a group of grifters who specialize in the "long con." There is some talking to the camera (they will often freeze the action and explain the details of a particular con to the audience), but I do not find it annoying at all. Their sort of guiding principle is that you can't cheat an honest man, but that there are lots of dishonest ones that you can. Anyway, it is lighthearted but not completely without consequences -- there are some interpersonal issues, and the leader of their group (Mickey Bricks) could go back to prison for a long time if he ever gets caught. This would be a fun one to watch on DVD if it ever comes out that way. Wheeee!

CD I have been listening to not obsessively, but a lot: The Shins Chutes Too Narrow -- this is so good!! Particular favorites of mine (although it is hard not to list every song on the CD), currently: So Says I, Young Pilgrim, Saint Simon, Fighting in a Sack, Turn a Square, and Those to Come

Fun things to look at here: Teesha Moore's website.

wayback #1

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Sunday, February 19, 2006
worm castle welcome to wayback week! I'll call it that, although this may be the one and only entry. Here is photographic evidence that I have either been a beach fan for a long time, or am descended from Godzilla. Maybe both! We called these "worm castles," although they did not actually have any worms in them -- I think it was to do with the consistency of the sand. Grandma was my particular worm castle co-builder and architect, although I think she let me godzilla them myself.

Beauty: A Retelling of the story of Beauty & The Beast

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
by Robin McKinley #4

As subtly hinted at in the title, this is a retelling of the Beauty & The Beast fairy tale. It is a YA title, and was published originally in 1978. What I can't figure out is why I had never read it before! I was in prime fairy tale reading/ YA mode in 1978 (although Trixie Belden was probably getting the lions share of my attention whether she deserved it or not).

This is a great rendition of the story -- it has all of the elements that I always looked for in a fairy tale -- Beauty is smart, kind, brave, honorable, and appropriately freaked out (but not too freaked out). The Beast is kind of a cipher, but since this is all from Beauty's POV that makes sense. McKinley has wisely added a horse as an important character; she knows her intended audience very well. There are as many descriptions of fancy gowns, fabulous meals, out of season gardens, and enchanted castle business as a person could want, including moving staircases/rooms.

There was one bit at the beginning that struck me as being a little off with the establishment of Beauty as the plain but brainy one (her sisters are drop-dead gorgeous and kind, but not too bright), but it might have just been the mood I was in when I read it. And of course, by the time her miraculous growth spurt kicks in she is transformed to live up to her name in appearance as well as spirit. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Any problems I have with it are probably more appropriately taken up with the original story and not the lovely retelling that McKinley provides.

it's the little things

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
So, I was looking at the charming and fabulous A Dress A Day blog this morning, and Erin (Ms. Dress A Day) says to Grab every opportunity for joy that life affords you. Erin is smart! This is such good advice -- it seems so basic, but I think we as a society tend to forget that happiness is a worthwhile goal. A trick I've picked up along the way is to allow yourself to take pleasure in the little things. I'm sure it's fantastic to win the lotto or publish your novel, but it is also pretty great when that spoonful of chocolate ice cream misses your white shirt! (although if it doesn't, check out item #4)

So, to revive an old Law of Sympathy tradition (well, I did it at least twice), here are some happy-making things.

1. Pink sneakers! I have two pair. They make me happy just looking down. Perhaps pink is not your color, but maybe it's time to dip into the crayon box for something. Start with socks if you must, but start somewhere.

2. Monkey Song by Bunky! on Fluxblog from Feb. 9. It has this crazy saxophone and loopy, slinky vocals, well, just go listen and read what Matthew Perpetua says about it.

3. Kiwi fruit! they are so tasty and so green. And ergonomic! Just cut it in half and eat with a spoon. (but don't eat too many or you may get an itchy rash on your legs.)

4. Magic Wand Stain Remover. I know it sounds like a stupid thing to get happy about, but it really works!

5. Livewire! it's cheap, it's fun, and it's tonight.

two days

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Sunday, February 12, 2006
Saturday = beach day! Bec and I drove to Lincoln City. Things learned: 1) that mexican restaurant we have been wanting to try since it changed owners is only so-so. 2) I still love the ocean (this was not really in doubt) 3) if time is not an issue, it is SO WORTH IT to take the scenic route. We went the longer, prettier way home and I could barely stand it! The moon was almost full and hanging right over the coast range as we were driving back home. The sky was all blue and purple from the clouds and it was just amazingly beautiful. 4) Bec's iPod may, in fact, be haunted. Or at least have a mind of its own. It was on shuffle (all songs) and kept playing the same bands over and over again. For the record: Old 97's, Chris Isaak (from Forever Blue and Baja sessions only) and Christmas music. We had to hit the skip button a lot, but that's OK. It was a good day.

Sunday = quilt piecing, because I am crazy. I really don't want to be doing this right now, because I know there are other things I should do instead, but here we are anyway. It is turning out pretty cool -- it's a sort of remix of an old one that I started. The old one was all hot pink and orange and generally looking like the afterimage of staring directly at the sun. I'm slicing that up and mixing it with solid white in irregular pieces. I think I will like it a lot. (we'll see -- I almost always think that at the beginning). This would all make more sense if I had any pictures, but I don't so you will just have to take my word for it.

Colin Meloy/ Laura Veirs show (Jan.19, 2006)

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Colin Meloy
Originally uploaded by Love Dr..
Once again I have waited too long to write up a show. I don't know what happens. I think at first I just want to enjoy it in my head a little longer, then I start thinking I'll do it soon, and then three weeks have gone by!
This was a great show! I know it must seem like there is no show I don't like at this point -- but what can I say? I keep going to good ones. Blondie gave me and Bec tickets for Christmas presents, although we were going to go one way or another. (Thank you, Blondie!) The day before the show I got an IM from Leslie. A paraphrase of our conversation would go something like this:
me/her: are you going to Colin Meloy?
me/her: OMG! ME TOO!
Anyway, Bec and I sat with Leslie and her friends who were kind enough to save us some very choice seats. This performance was sold out, but since it was a solo acoustic show, it was also a sit down show. Much like during the Jude show, the space between the first row of regular seats and the stage was completely filled in with chairs. The crowd seemed older/more mixed than the Decemberist's show in November, but I quickly realized that it was because unlike at the Roseland (where the Decemberist's show had been) in the Aladdin drinking was not segregated to the mezzanine.

Laura Veirs writes elemental songs. Water, ice, snow, meteors, the moon, lightning, and other items relating to the physical, natural universe are not uncommon subjects. If she has written a song about plate tectonics or atmospheric gasses I would not be surprised. Don't get me wrong -- it's not like she's a singing version of an Earth Science textbook. Her imagination and lyrics are not fettered to this earth. She is simultaneously writing about love and loss (like everyone) but she manages to tie it all together with the very invisible forces of nature that hold us on the planet. There is also something (in certain songs) that gives off a kind of medieval vibe, but I'm not sure what it is. It's not as obvious Mary Timony's medieval period, but there's just something there that puts me in mind of it. (keeping in mind that I have only the vaguest notion of what medieval sounds like) a tiny little girl ties flowers on her wrists and the bees come round to adorn her.

Originally uploaded by derektor.
I didn't really know much about her before the show -- I had gotten ahold of her CD Carbon Glacier, but hadn't had a chance to listen to it much. For our show, she came out alone and just started playing without much preamble. It was just her, the guitar, and some magic foot buttons . During some of the songs, she would pick up a second microphone and sing into that -- I later figured out (because I am slow) that she was recording stuff RIGHT THEN, to use later in the song -- step on a button and her own voice would loop back and accompany her. This is some strategic planning! She's singing the song for now, but also prepping for the song in a minute. On a couple of songs I think she worked up to 3 or 4 layers. I heard some people in our section complain (gently, though) that she didn't sound very "smooth" -- well come on! I told my sister that she was basically doing the equivalent of making a dress or baking a cake on stage. She built that song right in front of us -- there's no way it would sound the same twice. I know that is more or less true of any live performance, but it seemed especially true under these circumstances. I thought she was pretty great, but I can see how she wouldn't be something I would listen to all the time. All of which isn't to say that I wasn't ready for Colin when he came on, just that Laura Veirs was a felicitous opening act.

Since it was acoustic with just one person for each act, there was not a lot of equipment that needed to be moved around between sets. I think the break was as long as it was mostly to give people a chance to go buy more drinks and merchandise (which included the buy it at the concert-only Colin Meloy sings Shirley Collins, which I did buy, but not until after the show).

A small table with a tablecloth and two lumpy things on it was brought out. When the lights came up a little bit, I could tell that it was a skull, and what looked like a purse (but turned out to be a model of a Tall Ship). After Colin came out he explained (this is where I forget things) that they either told him he needed props during his first show (which was the night before in Seattle), or they lauded and/or were creeped out by his choice of props. In any case, one of those is (or might be) the reason for the skull. But he decided that the skull alone was a little spare, so it was joined by the ship. Over the course of the evening there would be little snippets about the skull, and then it came out that the skull needed a name. Nothing gets a room full of people shouting faster than a "please name this skull sitting on my table." Lots of skull appropriate names (masculine, Shakesperean, Heavy Metalean) until one voice broke out above the rest from the back of the auditorium and shouted "CHERYL!" Once I heard that, I knew Cheryl would be it, and Cheryl it was. So, Cheryl the skull stared at the audience from her hollow eye sockets to remind us that death comes to us all. Good old Cheryl.

Colin Meloy was fantastic, and I don't think anyone who was at the show would disagree. He has such an easygoing manner from the stage and in interviews, but the truth of the matter is he is a total ham and loves performing. And we love him for it! He sang a mix of Decemberists songs, Shirley Collins songs (traditional british folk ballads), at least one song from his band before the Decemberists, and some brand new songs that haven't been recorded yet for the D's new album. He's the main songwriter, but some of his bandmates were in the audience. Colin would break away and say "guitar solo here, Chris. Or maybe mandolin." Anyway, it was cute and not annoying like it probably sounds.

This is the second time he has done one of these solo tours, and I guess it has now become tradition for a concert-only EP. As I mentioned before, this time it was Colin Meloy sings Shirley Collins which is a collection of five british folk-ballads. It is beautifully packaged -- Carson Ellis, who has done all of the artwork for the band (and is also Meloy's girlfriend and baby mama) designed a lovely cover, it was recorded "at home" and also packaged in their living room. I am just sorry that I didn't get on the ball sooner to get last tour's Colin Meloy sings Morrisey EP. I also notice in the liner notes he thanks Wesley Stace, which pleases me (perversely!) because I was at the Livewire/Wordstock show where they met for the first time.

I have acquired a list of all the songs he sang at our show and have copied it out below (with notes, because I love notes). Fortunately for anyone who would like to actually HEAR the show instead of just reading my fractured memory of it, you are in luck. Well, not for the Portland show, but for the last show of the tour. NPR's All Songs Considered has streaming audio or downloads available for the show (the download is one huge file). I've not heard all of it yet, but it sounds like he acquired a couple of new props, Cheryl is still Cheryl, and he sings many of the same songs (but not all).

Devil's Elbow -- He writes a lot of songs about joints. Elbows, ankles... knuckles and knees have got to be next.
Engine Driver -- I am a writer, a writer of fictions/ I am the heart that you call home. I've written pages upon pages/ trying to rid you from my bones
We Both Go Down Together -- a double suicide song, which I never realized until he mentioned it because of my aforementioned thick-headedness and heretofore unmentioned obliviousness. I think I get distracted by the white cliffs of Dover, off of which they have no doubt flung themselves, but my brain just stops at "white cliffs of dover," and then skips right to the veranda/Miranda rhyme.
New song about Summer -- he said it was written in Ireland, I think -- I really dug it, but I love summer so I'm hardly impartial.
Weird and Wonderful --new song about his soon to be born baby. Awww. Sort of tooth-achingly sweet, but he seems aware and just couldn't stop himself. It happens.
California One/Youth and Beauty -- so great, even with just one guy and a guitar.
Barbara Allen one of the Shirley Collins songs. Love and Death, the usual.
Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right -- WAAAAAAH! He says slacks. But only once. I am 1/100th less enamored. But the rest of the song does capture that "everything I do is wrong" feeling.
Red Right Ankle -- this is one of my favorite songs and there's not a pirate or band of brigands to be found.
New song about Shankhill Butchers -- I love this crazy song. There are cleavers and grossness, but it was so insanely, homicidally catchy
Tristan and Iseult -Will it ever work out for those crazy kids? Oh, wait. nevermind.
Here I Dreamt I was an Architect/Dreams (yes, Fleetwood Mac's Dreams)

Apology Song - a song about a stolen bicycle. It is surprisingly compelling.
Bandit Queen (w/ tap dancing) - This was the very last number and he asked if there was anyone in the audience who could tapdance. A girl (who I had noticed standing near the stage taking pictures) said "I CAN!" Leslie leaned over and said to me "she so cannot tap dance!" Me, being all sheltered and naive said "well, maybe she can..." but I have to admit even I was a little dubious. The set-up was that Colin would sing this fun westerny ode to his Bandit Queen, and then when the time was right, the "pickme" girl would do her little dance. She got to sit on the stage until it was time for her big moment... and Leslie was totally right! We decided maybe she thought he asked "is anybody drunk?" Mark my words -- "Tap Dancing" will become the new catch phrase for girls who have drunk too much. "those tap dancers wouldn't shut up!" and so on.

sunshine enthusiast

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The sun has been shining for 3 consecutive days! I think that this winter miracle has been propelling me to Get Shit Done. Woo Hoo! Bathroom painting project = done (except I can't find the screws for the switch plates, but that is v. minor, considering), many errands I had been putting off = done. I was looking through my blog archives to find a mix list, and ran across several embarrassingly not done projects. I will either be finishing those, or deciding that I don't need to. Both are viable options, I think.

In lieu of actual content (which should be coming along soon in the form of my Colin Meloy/Laura Veirs concert post), I offer up these crocus that I saw today. Spring is nigh, or at least getting closer.

paint, paint, paint

| On
Monday, February 06, 2006
I have been in the midst of project re-paint the bathroom for the past week. It seems like longer -- eons longer, continental drift longer, been born and reborn 7 times longer. I have primer in my lungs and 3 pair of pants that now list latex paint as 50% of their fiber content. I think (fingers crossed) that Monday will be the day I can put everything away and say "it is done enough." Little did I know when I started that this would be 5 times as complicated as my other recent room-painting project. As always, I blame HGTV for giving me ideas. And the weather.

Here are some tips if you are contemplating a painting project:

1) don't get too worked up if you get blood on stuff. If you're painting, it will probably get covered up anyway.

2) don't put the bandaids too far away

3) however long you think it will take, add another 3 days (minimum!) to account for things like waiting for paint to dry, the drill battery to charge, and cleaning up the paint the cat tracked all over the house.

4) If every single person you encounter on a particular day seems to be unbelievably pissy and determined to anger you, it might not be them. (it COULD be -- it just might not be.)

5) If I say I want to paint something else in the next three months, will someone just please hit me on the head with a paint bucket until that feeling goes away? (although I have been thinking about the floor in my bedroom...)

pride & prejudice

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
by Jane Austen #2

What to say? It is pretty freaking fantastic and I can't believe I'd never read it before. It gave me a lot of things to think about, but honestly - it provided new things for me to ponder next time I am watching either of the more recent adaptations. A long time ago, when I first started reading this book and had just watched the latest movie version, I had this fantasy that I would write an epic post that would tie everything together and consolidate my thinking on the subject of all things P&P. I can tell you right now that IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Maybe later. Maybe the internet shall be spared. (I had this whole bit about how funny it struck me in the latest movie when Darcy was stalking across the moors in his bathrobe, I mean coat - and how I thought in that instant (which was supposed to be the apotheosis of romance) that it would have been REALLY funny if they had played the Imperial Death March or some other Darth Vader swirly cape music instead. I think my brain is broken. I did like the movie quite a lot, though.)

Flirting With Pride & Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece. Edited by Jennifer Crusie #3

I am womanfully trying to resist, but I cannot. I hate the term chick-lit. A lot. Not as much as I hate mysteries solved by cats who bake cupcakes, but it's right up there. I have read and enjoyed many books that fall under the chick-lit umbrella -- but what a stupidly named umbrella! Anyway, I felt like I had to get that out there.

This was an uneven collection of essays, but honestly most collections of essays are. At first I thought I disliked the ones that tried to set everything in the now, but then I realized that wasn't true. I disliked the ones that seemed like the author didn't have any care or affection for the work or characters being discussed. That being said, there were some really great/fun essays too. I had to take it back to the library, so in the spirit of celebrating the positive, I only wrote down the ones that I particularly enjoyed. There were no doubt some others that I liked that I missed as I flipped through one last time.

Jane Austen and the Masturbating Critic - by Adam Roberts Hee hee! This one is great. It is a dialogue between "Constance Reader" and "Professor Academicus" that addresses the ever present debate between people who like to read "for the story" and people who like to deconstruct and examine. I know there are lots of readers who enjoy both - and this is good for them too! both sides are presented fairly, I thought.

My Firth Love - by Lani Diane Rich One woman's tale of Adult Onset A&E Darcyitis in diary form. Very funny.

Georgiana - by Jane Espenson So Great! A story that gives some satisfying closure for poor plot-device Georgiana. (Jane also wrote a great regency-era comic for the Tales of the Slayer series)

Pride and Prejudice: The Reality Show - by Joyce Milman Ha! So funny! What makes this essay work for me, when others that try a similar modern touch do not, is that JM has a great handle on how those characters *would* react. Or at least I believe it when she tells it to me.

Charlotte's Side of the Story by Melissa Senate - a modern update of the Lizzy/ Charlotte relationship set in the publishing industry. It worked for me because she was sympathetic to Charlotte and offered a fair non-rose-colored-glasses look at Lizzy and still left me liking them both by the end.

The Evolution of Envy - by Aleisa Holliday - cute piece with the characters set in modern times. (in a book club I think. I wish hadn't had to take it back to the library!) Anyway, the voices struck me as being both modern and true to the original characters, which several of the other essays in this book did not manage as gracefully.

Jane and Me - by Karen Joy Fowler Who reads Jane, and why? KJF's personal story of how she came to Jane and reflections on reactions to Austen over the years.

I just found this review while looking for a picture, and I pretty much agree with all of it. (Including singling out the story Lord Byron and Miss A by Cheryl Sawyer, which was one of the ones I liked but neglected to write down.