monday, dec 22 …

December 22, 2008 § 6 Comments

the weatherman suggests icy blasts of wind (more of them), snow, ice, stuff from the sky … and is all smug with himself as though it’s some kind of holiday gift. Which it is if you don’t have to go running around, not for gifts, but for a few things for the table, and to pick people up (Mom) and find just that one last thing for Laylou that will make her go “ah” (just in case the other gifts don’t do that) and to get the stuff to make cookies. 108 cookies. A cookie exchange where in everyone walks away with 9 dozen cookies each. It’s biblical, the enormity of it. All to be baked this evening.

And yes, I’m running desperately late for work.

But a moment, here, dear Reader. A time out, so to speak, because at Christmas I very much crave creativity and yet find so many other things squeaking it back into a corner. (Perhaps my Muse will show herself during Christmas Gift Wrapping? I cannot say.)

And while I read an unusual cookbook about New Orleans in order to review (with said review due Jan2, methinks), one cannot go to sleep without something pillow worthy, something playful, smart, sincere.

It is NOT  The Arsonist’s Guide to Writers of New England. No. While I love the title, which took my imagination in all directions, the story itself so far has not. Is it fair to review a book you haven’t finished? Um, no. But will I finish this one? Don’t know. No hurry. It’s modern, it’s NOT funny though it promises to be on both covers. Maybe it’s guy lit. It’s desperate, lonely, odd and for me, contrived in that certain letters the main character receives are forced onto the scene with no particular sincerity and the main character, neither protagonist or antagonist, is so hapless, well, I just don’t care and don’t believe him.  His mothers stories are contrived. His relationship with guys from jail resurfacing later is contrived.

I’m nearly half way through. Maybe it will get funny. Maybe something will happen. Or maybe the hahaha-that’s-so-not-funny characters will come to life. This is NOT my New England. Still, the book deserves a chance. I cannot be negative – not my nature (which is why I have disdain for my URL; I had not idea when I signed up how important that darn thing was – must change it). Anyway, I shall likely finish Arsonists in January. After all, look at Heller’s Something Happened; if one didn’t read to the end, one would assume there was little point to the book. (Talk about angst, though!)

In the meantime, I’ve returned to Dickens as I do in December. Nicholas Nickleby. And I’m reading slowly, catching the details, the stuff I snorted at in high school as in, what the heck do I care about the way his scarf wound around his neck or why do we need to know his aunt’s posture?

Oh, he’s good, he’s good, that Dickens. And Nickleby is new to me even though I recognize Dickens’ typical types and can guess at certain plot points – I don’t care. It’s rich, like a lovely smart blanket over this cold snowy part of the year.

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§ 6 Responses to monday, dec 22 …

  • anno says:

    Darn, and I had such high hopes for The Arsonist’s Guide…. Wonderful title. You are inspiring me, though, to look at Dickens again, a real master of details, and perfect for this time of year.

    Good luck with your cookie bake!

  • laylou says:

    I hope they are wrong about the ice!
    I baked my cookies last night after all, only to find out this morning that someone else made double-chocolate chip cookies! ANNOYING.
    Depending on what the Gram sked is like I can probably pick her up on Wednesday, or you could come home first and then we could go get here… and I could have emailed you this instead of leaving it as a comment! 🙂

  • seachanges says:

    Count down to christmas… that’s how I feel. Have a happy one!

  • jeanie says:

    Yeah, they’re doing that “gift” thing with the snow here, too. And it’s not funny. Never is, and getting less so!

    Your cookie exchange sounds great. I used to go to one where we did 13 dozen (24 guests and a dozen for the table). It was in a fabulous house of a woodcarver who specializes in art Santas. She doesn’t do it anymore, and I miss it, though it was a LOT of baking. (Oh, and everyone got over the top with packaging, too, and it got rather competitive!). But I do miss that — and any cookie exchange for that matter. Been baking like a crazy lady… more to come!

  • oh says:

    Anno – don’t give up on the book. Sometimes, it’s just that I’m reading a book at the “wrong time.” But then again …

    Laylou – our house smells like sugar and butter. Yum. Or, not. Three hours of cookie and fudge prep. Yikes. We’ll talk about the G pick up, thanks!

    And Happy Christmas to you, Seachanges!

    Jeanie – oh you’re so right; I hear there’s cookie packaging “details” going on already. Well, mine are in clear plastic zip bags and I may wrap each cookie in a bit of wax paper, too, just to avoid sticking to one another. Not pretty, but functional.
    I must really try something fancy next, that’s for the family to keep, admire and enjoy!

  • qugrainne says:

    The weathermen/women are funny, aren’t they? Filming on the corner of such and such street, like we can’t see the snow coming down right outside our window? Like our oldest daughter didn’t have a flat tire on a freeway overpass during rush hour and we don’t know how cold it is out? Grrrr, I mean, brrrrr. It is warmer today, and snowing again.
    I think I will pass on the Arsonists Guide… something light for me the day after Christmas! Happy happy.

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