Monday, August 02, 2004

This blog has been in the Blog Protection Program. Its name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Okay, I'm lying. The truth is, after I got home from England, the original purpose was pretty much hollowed out, and I had other things on my mind, like leaving home and spreading my wings. (Fly, my pretty! FLY!!) So now, my wings being spread wide and not having hit the ground yet (well, a couple of times, but I bounce real good) I decided to start this up again.

One of my favorite parts of the Bloody Yank blog was my Book of the Day. This should surprise no one who knows me; I was an English major and am studying to be a librarian. I just love a good book. Hell, I love a good story, period. So this blog will be a record of everything I read or watch.

My tastes are . . . eclectic. I read kiddie books all the way up to adult, but I'm kinda narrow where genres are concerned. Don't do the horror thing, for one. I watch very little TV, so you won't see much of that on here. I love a good movie, but I also love escapism, so you're probably not gonna see this year's Oscar contenders on here.

If you don't like what I'm reading or watching, bear in mind I'm not saying YOU have to read or watch it. I think you should, especially if you like the sound of it. But don't anybody flame me and say, "Why are you recommending this, it sounds so stupid." I'll smack you with a trout, then tell you to use proper punctuation. We all have different tastes.

That little caveat being noted, I shall proceed.

Book: Taming Natasha Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance
Original Publishing Date: 1990

I love Nora Roberts, and I love this book in particular. Part of it is nostalgia--I very clearly remember buying it at about the age of thirteen from a used-book store. Part of it is because it's just a damn fine story. Spence, a single father and music professor, and Natasha, an ex-dancer who now owns a toy store, feel the sparks from moment one, but the scars on their hearts from disastrous relationships make the trip a little bumpy. This is not a book with high external drama, though. The most hair-raising episode is probably a six-year-old with chicken pox--which is plenty hair-raising for her daddy. Near the end of the book, one character says something that rings true for the entire book. "With you it isn't dreams and knights and princes. With you, it's real and solid. Day-to-day. Ordinary--ordinary in the most beautiful way." Sigh!!

The original is somewhat hard to find, but they're churning out reprints of all Nora's old stuff like crazy. One of the reprints should be easy enough to find, probably packaged together with a related story.

Movie:A Night at the Opera
Genre: Comedy
Premiere Date: 1935

Yeah, buddy, it's the Marx brothers! Woohoo!

If you haven't experienced the random lunacy of the Marx Brothers yet, I'd start with A Night at the Opera. I did, about ten years ago, and I laughed as loudly then as I did last night. Duck Soup may be more famous, but for my money, ANatO is the better movie.

The plot is practically peripheral, but here goes. Rosa, an opera singer, performs opposite a real jerk (whose name is quite frankly not worth remembering), when she would rather be singing with Ricardo. (If she's smart, she's doing more than singing--Allen Jones, who plays Ricardo, is not hard on the eyes.) But how to replace the jerk with the hunk? That's the plot in a nutshell.

Wait, who do the Marx Brothers play? Basically themselves. Groucho is a wheeling, dealing con man who wangles the deal to get Ricardo onstage opposite Rosa, and Chico and Harpo are the two bumbling helpers. Don't worry about the plot holes. They're basically there for the Marx Brothers to drive through.

Favorite bits: the stateroom skit, wherein fifteen people fit in a "stateroom" the approximate size of a flea's studio apartment, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the middle of Verdi, complete with peanut vendor, and the contract scene.

Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho): It's all right, that's in every contract. that's what they call a sanity clause.

Firoello (Chico): Ha ha ha ha ha ha... you can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause.

That's it for tonight, chickies!

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