Monday, June 15, 2009

Brought to You by the Letter B


Happy Monday, blog peeps...

Thanks again for all of your kind words last week, and for giving me all those great ‘B’ suggestions for today’s topic. I’m still running pretty slow since my outing over a week ago, but am finally feeling a bit stronger. I’ve moved from holding on by my fingernails to having a decent grip on the railing, and I can’t tell you how much good it does for me to see even little improvements.

It also does me good when life hands out little gifts… like the fact that, when I was unable to do anything but lay still and do breathing treatments this weekend, my cable company had a free HBO movie preview weekend!!! Ahhh… there is a God! And He likes me!


It also fit in perfectly with one of your ‘B’ suggestions:

For B, I think it should be books and blockbusters.

So, books and blockbusters it is!

Back when I was an English major, I knew upon walking into my first class that I was not going to fit the stereotype very well. I was a showered, make-up wearing, clothes picked-out girl with a Mountain Dew in hand… walking into a room with two options. One side had an array of grunge, black outfits and crazy piercings, while the other side was doing their best to look like they didn’t care about the insignificance of college life… they were far too busy making sure not to speak unless each word was at least five syllables long. Oh, how they tried to be existential and above it all.

Yes, my peppy post-cheerleading self was totally out of place. And I loved it… partially because the people were as interesting as the books, and partially because, like the books, it opened my world to entirely new experiences.

The point of me “not fitting in” is a way to explain why I am the worst person to ask about my favorite things. Favorite books and blockbusters? Favorite style? Favorite music? The truth is, I just don’t really fit the categories… I’m a hodge-podge of likes, the definition of the term eclectic. More than I like any style, I like what a style does for me.

What do books and blockbusters do for me? They totally get me lost.

I remember riding in the car once when I was little, absorbed in some book or another, when I screamed aloud and nearly scared my mom off the road. I had forgotten where I was, what we were doing… the scene in the book was so vivid in my mind, and the emotions of the characters had so completely taken over my being, that the surprise in the plot surprised me right into a scream. And that’s why I love a good book.

I like my brain to be challenged. I love Patricia Cornwell’s series about Kay Scarpetta using forensics to solve crimes. I love figuring out who did what and why. I love it even more if they can surprise me. I love action and adventure… both in books and in movies. I love a fast pace that takes me from moment to moment, not allowing me enough time to daydream back to my own reality.

I love fantastical stories that could never happen, but seem so possible you expect to wake up the next day in a totally different reality. I love the fact that some of my nieces and nephews went to bed the night before their 11th birthday expecting an invitation to Hogwart’s Academy just like Harry Potter. I would have thought it possible at that age, too. If it could happen in a book, if I could see it in my mind and feel it in my spirit… then somewhere out there I thought it just might be true.

Which probably sums up why I don’t do horror or scary movies/books. Mysteries and suspense? Oh, yes. Being terrified… no thank you. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs, but the preview where he said, “Clarice…” was enough to send shivers through me for days. I already know crazy exists, I don’t need to feel it deep within!

My two favorite courses in college were ones with heavy reading. In my Literature and Psychoanalysis class, we took anything from Shakespeare to Faulkner to Hawthorne and psychoanalyzed the characters using Freud and Nietzsche. I was so in over my head, but it helped me learn to read in an entirely different way. Whether a classic or a romance novel, I suddenly found myself more involved, more lost in the world of the characters, lost in the “why” of everything.

The second class that sticks in my mind was an entire semester dedicated to Milton’s Paradise Lost. I can state unequivocally that I love Milton because my professor loved Milton. She was so difficult. An ‘A’ on a paper from her pretty much made your college career worthwhile. I could go into other classes having not even finished a book and talk my way through a relevant discussion, but in her class I could bring my A-game and leave having to start over from scratch. I loved the challenge.

As much as I loved those classics… loved prose and mythology and words that melted like butter when read with the right tongue… I am so not a book snob. My favorite reads are still the ones that lose me into an alternate reality. I love a good Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steele, James Patterson. I couldn't care less if they are the same story over and over again, as long as you take me on a journey that keeps me turning the page. I find the pace, the flow of the words, the imagery that’s conjured is so much more important than a critics lofty opinion. I’m no critic… when I read, I am purely a fan.

Blockbusters are the same. I love a classic. I love action, adventure, romantic comedy, drama. I love the clothes and the speech and the way people decorate their homes. I want to live Meg Ryan’s life in You’ve Got Mail… opening my children’s book store everyday after walking by rows of flower shops and buying a bagel from a street vendor. I want to be as plucky as Kyra Sedgwick in Something To Talk About when she defends Julia Roberts as only a sister can. When Meryl Streep opens the movie Out of Africa by saying, “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills,” I’m suddenly on an adventure that has swept me to a foreign place. I don’t think I watch movies as much as I put myself into their lives and pretend for an hour and half that anything is possible.

I just want to be entertained. I want to not be in my world for however long they can keep me in theirs.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

a to z

Ok, people… time to earn your keep. smile_regular Go to the comment section and hit me with your best ‘C’ topic idea for next week!


  1. Hello, I just found this post through stumbleupon. It's amazing how fast these things can spread through the more grassroots portions of the network.

    Anyway, love the way you talk about books, and that story about screaming because of a plot twist has me wondering if you've got anything else interesting relating to Cars.

    Recent blog post: the internet is an infinite magical entertainment machine

  2. I just wanted to stop by and were daughter made it home, fine...had I am sure waaaay to much fun, but fine!! Mom's are just that way....worry all the time.

    I am not good at coming up with a theme...but how about c for cream? Like it or not? (like lotions!!)

    Sara...this is not easy for me to think up topics.... *DONT_KNOW*

    Recent blog post: Blue Monday : Turning Outdated Glass Jars into Art

  3. How about cacophony?

  4. [cacophony defined: Harshness in the sound of words or phrases] Ironically, my post tomorrow will be dealing with that very thing, in a round about way!

  5. Oh, I'm SO glad she had fun and made it home in one piece. :) I knew she would but it is a mom's right, after going through the labor of birth and raising, to worry as much as she likes. :*

  6. Hi, Chris... so glad you ended up here; it's always amazing to me when people find the blog randomly. I don't think that will ever get old for me.

    "Car" will definitely go on the list of possibilities for next week, but if you want a funny car story now you can go here:

  7. C ... how about character? or maybe courage? Or comics, cars, crunchy foods or camera's? And, hey, if you are looking for great reads, try Francine Rivers. The "Mark of the Lion" series is AMAZING, as is "Redeeming Love" and the whole series of novella's on men and women of the bible (there are ten total). Absorbing reading! You'll love them.

    Have a great day ... glad you are feeling better! Been praying!

    Recent blog post: Amazing Grace Indeed!

  8. Robynn's RavingsJune 15, 2009 at 9:49 AM


    Recent blog post: Observational Twitter 17

  9. Hmmm, charm, charity, Compassion children, cameras, courage, cheerios, changes, candy, cringe-inducing yet?

    Keep hanging in there, I am cheering the smallest of improvements for you!! Blessings girly :)

    Recent blog:=- Blues Baseball Batboy and Babe Ruth

  10. loved the part where you screamed out loud while reading! that is truly what a good book should do - take us away!

    okay, how about crushes, Christ, comfy clothes

    Recent blog:=- I Am NOT Listening

  11. Mary @ Giving Up on PerfectJune 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Again, I think, "Wow! Your classes sound so interesting!!" :) And, I love that you included Danielle Steele in your list. I read many a book by her years ago. I've also done several Nicholas Sparks and still read James Patterson now. I like to be entertained, and I like to escape into other worlds. Ah, a good book...!!!

    Recent blog:=- Because That 70s Show is the best place to get advice.

  12. Cookies, baby. Cookies.

    Recent blog:=- Gearing Up

  13. I like the typography pictures. Cover calligraphy for C.

  14. I like the typography pictures. Cover calligraphy for C.

  15. I like the typography pictures. Cover calligraphy for C.

  16. Coming here today I was completely captivated by the creativity of your writing. Your carefully crafted words, as well as your candor.

    Communication is clearly your calling card.

    Courageous and crazy capture the comings, and goings, of your life.

    What career did you consider when college? Cowgirl? Computer consultant? The clergy? Not a clown I'll bet.

    Which do your crave, candy, cupcakes, cookies or cannolies?

    How about card games? Canasta? Have you ever been to a casino?

    Would you consult Riley before getting cat or a canary? Surely not a camel! I am going to guess he would not be doing cartwheels.

    Your compassion speaks to your commitment to Christ.

    Recent blog:=- The World Wide Mania To Learn English

  17. Oh, I'll have to write those books down... thanks!

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  18. i think i'd have to take lessons from you on thta one... ;)

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  19. Thanks, Vicky... small ones are worth cheering for! And way to go on the C's!!!

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  20. comfy clothes... woman, you're speaking my language.

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  21. they really were great classes... I wouldn't remember a thing from them now, sadly, but i do remember the rush of learning from them.

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  22. you're talking to a girl on steroids. if you say cookies, you better be bringing some over... :-P

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  23. mmm... I actually love doing calligraphy.

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  24. Your comments, Ed, are going to be the reason I look forward to doing this every week :)

    Recent blog:=- Brought to You by the Letter B

  25. I am so with you on reading!! Sometimes Mike will come into the room and I'll be crying, and he'll be "umm..WHAT are you crying about"..but I don't want to explain exactly WHY I'm crying, b/c well, ahh, these "people" don't exist. Yet, to me, for a short period, they do. lol.
    I am trying to instill a love for reading into my kiddies. Hoping they'll be able to experience it like I do. (and not like daddy!!)

    Cigarettes or Cigars? Coke or Coffee? Chicken or Couscous? Cake or cookies? Corn or cabbage?

    Do you Clench your teeth? Do you have any Cavities? Have you Climbed a mountain? Crashed a Car? Tipped a Cow?

    Yeah, I know, lame. But I tried!!

  26. Glad to read that you are doing better.
    I am voting for Character. Who influence you mother, father, friends, others...
    There is a new book coming out call Soul Survivor. I would be interested your view about the book.

  27. Isn't that always the worst part of a book... when it's over and you know you're never going to "see" these people again? I've kind of become inclined to read series just because of that reason!

    [and totally not lame... all good c's] :)

  28. I haven't heard of that book... I'll have to do a search on Amazon...

  29. Robynn's RavingsJune 16, 2009 at 12:37 AM

    *I think NOT my compelling friend!!!!!!*

  30. Okay what is the deal here? All these posts have gone before mine and not one teeny tiny mention of chocolate? Charisma and chocolate. Those get my votes. :) EVERYTHING goes with chocolate. :)

    Recent blog:=- Thankful Thursday

  31. Soul Survivor by Andrea Leininger

  32. What about your favorite CAKE recipe?

  33. I love it when you express my thoughts so well! I remember the first time I read Hunt for Red October... I absolutely could not put it down. I even caught myself waiting for a segment on the evening news because it was so real to me! When I was in Jr. High, I discovered Mary Stewart. I jumped from Trixie Belden to Mary Stewart and never looked back. If you haven't read her books, start with the first ones and work your way up to her Merlin trilogy.

    I look forward to reading your writings each morning and reading your blog and Ree's blog were the first things I did yesterday after returning from a week long vacation. :)

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