Monday, September 29, 2008

How Far We've Come

I've had a book on my nightstand for ages that I've been meaning to read, and just never felt very compelled to do so. It's called "The Wolf and the Dove" by the late Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, and it is often lauded in romantic historical circles as one of those not to be missed novels. One that stands the test of time and tells a compelling story of love against all odds.

Bullshite, I say.

After having picked it up last night and read the first hundred pages or so, I can say with all certainty that the readers in romantic historical circles must be some hardcore masochistic bitches. In the first chapter alone, the heroine's father has been murdered, her mother beaten, her townspeople slaughtered, and she has been raped.

Good times.

After all that, you'd expect the hero to come charging up on a white stallion and avenge the wrongs done to this poor creature, right?

Nope, he just gets on with the rapin'. Yee haw!

I suppose it's romantic that he's the only one allowed to rape her for the time being. Shows his commitment to the relationship and all. Still, there's just something that doesn't sit right with me.

Maybe it's all the rape?

Well, whatever it is, I'm not sure if I care to see how it's all gonna play out in the end. I mean, even if he had a sudden epiphany that raping a woman and slaughtering her people were bad things, how does one redeem himself?

"Sorry about all the raping and slaughtering I did. Here's a box of Whitman's Samplers and a mixtape. I know how much you like Duran Duran."

Good first step, to be sure, but somehow I don't think it quite measures up. And I like Duran Duran, so that's saying something!

This type of bodice ripper style romance was apparently popular in the 70's, when this book was first printed, and has since fallen out of favor. Seems women today tend to like their heroes a little more heroic than sadistic. Strange as that may sound.

But having tortured myself with the first hundred pages (hey, maybe I am masochistic after all!), I got to wondering why I had bought the book in the first place. It's not like I was enticed by the cover, which is just as cheesy as you'd expect. It's not the sort of book I would normally read--if I'm going to read an historical novel, it's usually set in Regency or Victorian England, or medieval Scotland. Not medieval England. That's just plain nuts!

Well, off to Amazon I went, hoping to find the answer to that burning question, and here is what I found:

Out of 121 reader reviews of "The Wolf and the Dove", 101 of them are 4 or 5 stars.

That means that, of the 121 reviewers, 83% thought the novel was "above average" or "excellent".

83%!

Can one of you 83% please reassure me that there's a good twin at the end of this mess? 'Cause, if not, I am dumbfounded. I truly am.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

School Daze

I don't know how y'all do it.

A few weeks ago, before Ethan started school, I had joyous visions of the oodles of free time his school day would afford me. Two and a half glorious hours, every day.

Just think of all the blogging you'll do!

(Of course, in these visions I was also about 40 pounds thinner and immaculately coiffed. But that's really beside the point.)

Then reality had its way with me, and I suddenly realized the fallacy of my dream. I have a five and three-quarter year old. Their asses? Unlightable.

And since he has afternoon kindergarten--and he knows it--the threat of missing the bus if he doesn't eat his breakfast and take his bath has no affect on him. He knows it won't be coming for hours anyhow.

I suppose this is my fault for having such a laid back, lackadaisical approach to a morning routine for all these years I've been home with him. Heck, if we didn't have anywhere to be, I'd just as soon stay in my jammies until noon. I've always hated being rushed so early in the day.

Now, mornings are the only productive time Ethan's new schedule allows, and I've gone and borked it. Retroactively.

This past few weeks have been a test to both of us, but we're gradually getting the flow of the new schedule down. He ate breakfast this morning with relatively little fuss and went to take a shower without having to be asked. The house is a disaster, and the cat still hasn't been fed, but there are groceries to buy, and an oil change to be done, so I'm taking every little victory where I can get it.

This will be my last year at home with him before I re-enter the working world, and as much as I'm looking forward to it, I have a feeling next September will be a little preview of Armageddon in the Gray household.

Should be fun.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Special Place in Hell...

Quick informal poll...

A gregarious five-year-old asks you, quite politely, if you would like to shake his hand. You resond:

A) by saying, "Sure! Put 'er there, pal!"

B) apologetically. "No thanks. I have a phobia."

C) by ignoring him.

D) by exclaiming, "God no! You're covered in germs! You should know better than to ask that," and making the five-year-old cry.

If your response was "A", you're my kind of people.

If you responded with "B", I understand, and I don't harbor any ill will toward you or your hippie parents (except for the usual).

If you answered "C", you are beneath my contempt.

If, however, you responded with "D" and are this guy...

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...you're a store brand value pack douche. On clearance.

(P.S. Next time, don't piss off a mom with a phone and a blog.)


Speaking of hell...

Hubby's on vacation through the weekend. I'll post more when he's not hovering.