Friday, November 16, 2007

I do not Love Frank

I just finished Loving Frank while on a plane yesterday. Although I really enjoyed Devil in the White City I was pretty ambivalent about reading Loving Frank.

Both are about Chicago, at least sort of, both feature architects and artists, and both have some historical fiction. Seems like my cup of tea, right? WRONG.

You see, I actually have an issue with books. It's one that I'm a little embarassed about, because I feel like it makes me seem immature, naive, and unworldly. And here it is: I actually can't get that into books whose protagonists do things that I don't approve of. I couldn't feel sorry for Frank and Mamah because they were both adulterers. Their spouses weren't abusive, cared for them, and their lives were nice. They both selfishly left home and family in the pursuit of "happiness."

I just can't get behind that. I couldn't feel bad for them, no matter the censure they recieved because a) they were adulters and fairly irresponsible, leaving others to clean up their mess at home, and b) they KNEW what would happen. Frank was well-known and Mamah well-respected in their community. It should have come as no surprise that they'd be shunned and censured. Does it suck? Yes. But it isn't shocking.

I did manage to cry at the end anyway (I won't tell you why, it'll ruin the book--although Pedant believes, and I sort of agree, that you can't ruin historically-based books because presumably the story is common knowledge), but I didn't love the book. There were some interesting feminist and philosophical ideas (Mamah Cheney was apparently friends with Ellen Key) but it mostly felt like a whiny "the world is against us, boo-hoo."

In conclusion, my book club sucks at picking books, we totally should have read Peony in Love.


I just had a "bagel sandwich" from Cosi. The bagel, if you could call it that, was a puffier version of the flatbread, squared off at the edges, and with a hole in the middle.

I now know what other ethnic groups felt when white people stole their music. I thought I felt this when I discovered that some companies sell blueberry bagels, but I really feel it now.

If you can't eat creamed pickled herring on it unselfconsciously, it's not really a bagel.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Super Bug

Sigh. I'm embarrassed. It's been a while, a really long while, since I've blogged. I didn't go on hiatus on purpose, but I should admit that Jewbiquitous was never labor of love for me. Since the Queen of the World died, it's been more of a chore to blog than a pleasure, mostly because it feels like an echo of her, being the spawn of a comment she once made to Annie and me.

In the beginning of August, Annie mentioned that she was leaving out workplace and that she was planning on quiting the blogosphere. I have not hidden that I miss her here and that I'm thrilled when she decides to post, regardless. I left our office a couple weeks ago and I haven't had it in me for various reasons to sit down at the computer and write. Maybe it's the process of being in transition (to another job, to grad school, maybe to a whole new state!) or maybe I was never built for blogging in the first place. But I do think things and discuss things and I miss writing them down. So I'm not gone, so much as more periodic, now that my full time job involves writing applications and going on lengthy interviews.

On a related note, part of the reason I've been away is that I had a super bug: an antibiotic-resistant sinus infection that knocked me on my ass for the last month. Two rounds of antibiotics and several trips to the doctor later, I am finally healthy. A few observations (I know how y'all love lists):

1) Despite the name, a "super bug" does not give you super powers. It just super sucks.

2) Every time I write "antibiotic," I'm tempted to put a dash in there (anti-biotic).

3) Upon canceling and interview and worrying to my dad, in an email, that the interviewers would think I'm a wuss, he responded, ""If they think you're a wussy, have them call me. I don't raise wussies. Or geraniums, for that matter."

4) Marion Barry is absurd.

... And we're back.

Shabbos With Squanto, Et Al.

The Kvetcher dug up Harley's post from a year ago about Thanksgiving and is not happy with it. The whole controversy is whether or not those Jews who take a more stringent view of Torah and halakhic requirements should celebrate the U.S. Federal Holiday every third Thursday in November, or whether one should avoid it like those temple prostitutes that buzzkill Rashi warned us about. The Kvetcher thinks it's a silly controversy, born of those who just like to pick fights with the secular world.

I'm actually inclined to agree, for the most part. You never hear any controversy about whether or not it's okay to celebrate such traditional American burnt meat festivals like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, even though you tend to get a lot more Christian god-references in the music on those days. We can take this to the ad absurdum: President's Day Sales - does taking advantage of the discount bring on the wrath of the Divine?

I think there's a reasonable line to be drawn between being a holy people apart and being complete wet blankets about the universe, and looking down on Thanksgiving is the wrong side of the line.

Plus, I love stuffing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two Quick Things:

1) I just read How We are Hungry by Dave Eggers, and have come to realize that, despite What is the What, I don't really like Dave Eggers. Or short stories.

2) I may be going public soon with my identity. Most of the three remaining readers know who I am already, but it will certainly make it more difficult for me to stalk ex-boyfriends using this name (NB: kidding! I'll still stalk them.)

Also, as a side note, unrelated to either of those points, I learned how to use a paper bindery-thingy today. And let me say, that I am soooo coool.