Tania's Words

here is an empty shell- a resonant shadow- waiting

Archive for Pride and Predjudice

I really, really love this tea. Really.

I definitely should not be blogging right now. First, I am wearing my glasses, which means I can barely see the computer screen, much less the words. The only thing that can come of this are some typos. Second, I am tired. Really tired. For some reason I thought it was a great idea to do two workouts yesterday. In the morning, Laura and Maura came over (with Samantha and Robbie), and we did The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga. Really,  the three of us doing hard yoga while trying to keep the kids from beating each other was hilarious. I think Dan got a big kick out of it, we looked like fools. Later that day I went to Maura’s, as she had just borrowed the Jeri Love, Get Ripped, 1000 DVD.  I don’t know what is wrong with us, that we were so excited to try it out we could not wait. It was a 1000 calorie workout, and it was hard! I really liked it though. It was a great challenge, and Jeri Love was awesome! I was totally prepared not to like her based on her outfit. This sounds lame, but really, you have to like the person leading the workout, or it just won’t work. And she was wearing leopard print and one of the backup women was wearing  leather pants. It didn’t bode well, but it worked out!

Of course, I am a bit sore now, as that was two in one day. I followed that up with a small amount of sleep, and am capping that with my new will to drink less soda.  Which is going well, so far as consumption goes. As far as mood….well we will leave that alone for a bit.  I am trying to take it slow, and cut down for now, and then in a few weeks cut down again. Right now I am drinking tea to save my life. I am of course, drinking my favourite tea, a loose leaf tea from Teavana which was a Christmas gift from Dan’s Mom. I love it so much, I’ll probably cry when I am done with the canister (at this rate, that will be tomorrow). In case you are curious, it is the Flavoured White called Strawberry Paraiso. So yummy. Now that I’ve discovered the website, I’ll probably be on for an hour, picking out my next tea. So exciting!

I am getting so pumped for Relay for Life. Our team already has 10 members! Last year it was just Maura and I, so this feels great. I have high hopes that this year will finally be more like our first year, when we had a big team and so much fun.  Not that the other years weren’t fun, but things just seem to go better and run more smoothly in the campsite with more of us to help out!

I have to say that I love being on the committee, and planning for the event, and most of all, I love the feeling of purpose and family that it gives me. I am hoping to get a blog post together soon about why I am so invested in Relay.  But for now, you all might just have to accustom yourselves to my Relay related tweets and such.

In unrelated news, I have to share that my son is the sweetest little boy that ever did live. All morning he has been taking play breaks to come over and lay his head in my lap and just cuddle. Then he goes back to playing.  It is nice, he usually isn’t that independant when it is just the two of us…he likes to have my undivided attention. For the most part, today, he has been occupying himself. It is wonderful!

Otherwise, I started yet another Pride and Prejudice sequel. As promised, I am reading Amanda Grange’s Mr. Darcy’s Diary. It is much more readable and enjoyable than the others I have read. It is by no means great literature, but I will definitely be able to finish this one. As you can see on her website, she has taken this same premise (first person diary format) to re-tell familiar stories from another character’s point of view. Which is interesting, but I doubt I’ll read more. While I am liking the book, it’s not one I’d read again, nor does it contain any huge revelations or aha! moments. For the most part, it isn’t anything I couldn’t have surmised myself. It is very straightforwardly written and executed. I would hope that with that sort of a platform, a writer could really use their imagination and create something compelling. I would only recommend this to a die hard P&P fan who wants to get a little taste of Mr. Darcy’s take on what went on.

I finally found my copy of Cry, the Beloved Country. One of the reasons I couldn’t finish it was because I could not find it- but I did manage at last to locate it, buried in the mess on my desk, which I successfully cleaned off yesterday. As soon as I’ve finished this P&P book, I will finish Cry, and then I must finish editing Maura’s first draft and get it back to her. And then I must read Dangerous Liasons, as it was my SRP pick for the month and I haven’t even found it to buy yet. I will check Amazon.

In non book related news (Yes I know, it is shocking), in a few weeks we will have a new niece! We are so excited to meet little Eva Jan! I have some gifts at the ready for her and Mommy, and am impatiently waiting my chance to dole them out.   And soon after, we will have yet another little niece! I am so blessed to have a wonderful family, and we are all so blessed with these beautiful children. I have so much to be thankful for, and yet rarely take the time to reflect on that. I think it would do me a lot more good to reflect on my blessings, than to lament my losses- this is something I will try to work on this year.

And I will finish with another quiz. First to answer gets points. Name the song , “I’d like to make myself believe that planet earth moves slowly.”

In which she doesn’t learn her lesson.

I really don’t have anything all that interesting to say today. Unfortunately for you. Suffering through my poorly worded blog when I have a point is bad enough.  Unfortunately for me, I am at Pilar and Brad’s being subjected to hockey (NOT my cup of tea), and have run out of people to harass via email RE: Relay For Life.  I do love harassing people. Unfortunately, it being a Sunday, I can’t really justify calling local businesses and trying to get them to help us out.

Of course, I have yet to finish reading Cry, the Beloved Country…because I’ve discovered the horrific world of Pride and Predjudice sequels. Sigh. You think I would have learned after the eye searing, brain melting, soul crushing experience that was Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. I did not.

Thankfully, my next foray into this genre was miles above the last. But lets face it, miles would not be enough to overcome the horror of the first book.

This time around I gave Linda Bedroll’s books a go round. Marginally more interesting, and slightly better written, they held my attention just a bit longer. Maybe 50 pages worth. Where the first book (I cannot even remember who wrote it) was really badly written, Mrs. Bedroll’s were tragically overwritten, overwrought, and just…over. Something. And I am over. It.

Well except that I also borrowed a third sequel, called Mr. Darcy’s Diary, from the library. I did skim it last night and am not going to hold my breath that I’ll be able to get through that one either. Thankfully it is mercifully short.  I have to say that these books are killing my reputation as a book reader. It is very rare that I don’t finish a book. This will make three. Sigh.  All hope rests in my ability to finish Cry, the Beloved Country. We’ll hope.

Well, I should go. Parker and Paige are playing with her barn door, which means that inevitably he is going to steal her toy, bash her in the head, or try to sit in her lap. The last of which is really cute, and wouldn’t be a problem, except that he is about twice her size.

One Scathing Book Review and a Trip to Grand Rapids

Things that have happened recently:

I fell off of the good reading wagon. But it wasn’t really my fault. First I had to read The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown, for book club. Not that that is bad reading. But that created a snowball effect. After finishing that in the car on the way to Grand Rapids, I had the choice of reading an old Nora Roberts book (Homeport), or finishing Cry, the Beloved Country. But I was tired, and had been sidetracked from Cry by Dan Brown, so I went ahead and read Homeport. Then Monday, while at Target with Pilar, I found a book called Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. It was written by a fan of Pride and Predjudice who had decided to write a story about what happens after they get married. I know that there are a lot of “sequels” to this book written by various authors, so I thought I’d give this one a try.

Big mistake (by the way, I’ll give five points to the first person to tag this movie quote, “You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”)

Anyway. Turns out this book is actual fan fiction- started on a fan fiction website and eventually published. Man what a waste of money. Not only is the writing absolutely terrible- I mean it was cliched, trite, and often, painfully embarrassing . Moreover, it is so boring. All that ever happens is that Lizzy and William profess their love to each other, make out, say they love each other more, and so on. Seriously? The author of said book admits to having fallen in love with the characters after having watched the recent remake of the movie (which I haven’t seen). She says that she liked the book alright, but still loves the movie more than anything.

Which is apparent, as she has reduced Lizzy to a giggling, girlish, absolutely dependent nitwit. Anytime Darcy leaves her alone for any reason (like to take care of his huge estate) she cries and whines. What is worse, she has turned Darcy into a ridiculous simpleton. He is silly, overly emotional, enjoys  babbling non stop about how much he passionately, truly, deeply, loves his dear Lizzy. Ugh. Vomit. Look I like a man who can profess his love, but there is a limit. At some point, it just becomes boring, and loses its impact.

There are so many things wrong with this story, I don’t think I can even do them justice. First, the story is terrible. I mean love is great and all (why else would I read Nora Roberts?), but there is no driving force to her plot. It is just about them loving each other. To a point that it is ridiculous. She has these two intelligent, independent characters completely dependent on each other. For example, the second or third day that they are married, Lizzy wakes up to find that Darcy isn’t there. Immediately she panics, running out of their room and crying. What? Come on! Is this the kind of love story women want to read?

I’ll admit, the idea of continuing their love story intrigues me. Why else would I be reading this book? Unfortunately, the author of this book bypasses so much rich story telling material and opportunity to get a cheap thrill out of her reader. The characters transition almost seamlessly into a blissful and perfect intimate relationship. They have no real problems. They understand each other completely. Although they are both completely innocent, they are automatically perfect lovers, and have no fears or hesitations. Really?

Moreover, Lizzy is now the mistress of a huge and wealthy estate. Yet even this is hardly addressed as an obstacle or problem.  The episode where she freaks out because Darcy isn’t in bed with her is treated to more emotional drama.

Well, I am gonna move on. I don’t want to keep trashing this woman’s book- it is obvious that writing it brought her a lot of joy and I am sure others will enjoy it. It just wasn’t for me. I am sorry I wasted the 14$.

I am trying to promise myself I am going to finish Cry, the Beloved Country. But this month is my book club month, which means we are reading my  book. Which I never edited for a third time. I tried re reading it last night to start editing, and honestly, I hated it. Maybe because I’ve been reading such great literature. This book certainly isn’t literature. At all.  I am slightly embarrassed to let people read it.  But it is what it is, and that is ok. We will see what comes out of it.

Other than reading terrible books, I had a great weekend. Dan and I drove out to see Carl and Emily. They took us to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, which was amazing. Parker had a ton of fun exploring the various stations- he especially enjoyed the sand station, the racing cars, and of course the little barn that he could climb into. It was so  much fun to watch! Carl got some great video of it, which was really nice, as Dan and I continue to get Epic Fails in the realm of baby video making. I always think that watching Parker learn and explore is great fun, but it was nice to see that both Carl and Emily enjoyed it as well. It was so nice of them to take us there, just so Parker could have fun, so I hope they really enjoyed it. Of course it helped that Carl and Parker were immediate best friends. Usually it takes Parker a while to warm up to strangers, but not them, and especially not Carl.

I have to say, I love Grand Rapids. I wish we could move out there. It has this wonderful, “little big town” feel to it. A little bit of downtown, a little big of close knit little town. It is beautiful too. Sigh. Unfortunately, we are stuck out here. Which isn’t all bad, after all, we have amazing friends and family that would be so hard to leave. I’d definitely love to visit more often (so long as I am not a pain in Emily’s butt, as she does have this amazingly busy life). I always have a great time when I go out there, and then it takes two years to plan another trip. Lame.

Well I am off. I am making Chicken and Rice soup from scratch, and the baby is yelling about something in the kitchen.