If you want me you can watch me on my videophone

So! There’s an internet vlog that’s been going around lately where you say a set of words that supposedly tells the viewer a lot about your regional accent/dialect.  I am a huge fan of dialects and linguistic/regional phrases, so I figured I’d do it, too.  Enjoy my awkwardness.  And my hot pink yoga headband.  And my dirty sweatshirt.  What? It’s my day off.

[[note: I have been told I have a deep voice, and that I’m too loud.  I won’t argue this, seeing as…it’s true.]]

Also, I haven’t done this in a while, but it’s Recommendation Wednesday.  This week, I’ll be doing “Books I’m Reading At The Moment.”

First, books that I’m reading for school:
Macbeth by William Shakespeare (I’ve read it about 4 billion times and I’ve done the play once, but it’s always nice to revisit it).  We’re also reading criticisms of the play by Coleridge, and a few Victorian adaptations of it.
The Odyssey translated by William Lattimore.  I adore this story but I like The Iliad better (I’m a little in love with Hektor, breaker of horses aka my literary boyfriend)
The Culture of Classicism by Caroline Winterer.  A book that discusses the shift in studying Classics from Rome to Greece in the American 1800s-1900s (our country was founded on the Roman philosophies but then the POV shifted to a more Hellenistic viewpoint in the Victorian age).  Interesting, and we’re reading it in counterpoint to Homer.

And now the books I’m reading for fun.
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century. by Nancy Schoenberger.
“Theirs was the first reality show, a marriage with an audience.”
Insane, decadent, debauched, and at the same time quite simple and romantic telling of “Le Scandale” that shocked the world and brought Hollywood into the tabloid age. Brangelina is child’s play compared to this tale of two married people who fell for each other on the set of a big budget movie.  Although unlike Brad and Angelina, Elizabeth and Richard did not even bother to hide their relationship. They flaunted it.  However, it was surprising to see in this book that “Liz and Dick” really did love each other, and the fact that Richard wrote to Elizabeth just before his death wondering if they should have another chance, and Elizabeth received that letter after he died…it’s heartbreaking.  I’m about halfway through, and can’t wait to read the rest.  It’s juuuuicy.

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. by Craig Ferguson.
“Peter was the first person who told me that being funny was a gift and, when done well, was an art form…Up until this point, I had learned that being funny, particularly in school, was stupid and could get you physically injured.”
You might know Craig Ferguson as the irrepressibly hilarious host of the Late Late Show, or Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show.  You may not have heard of his past as a Scottish standup comedian whose signature character was named “Bing Hitler”, nor of his exploits as a raging alcoholic in the 1980s who contemplated suicide several times before finally getting sober in 1992.  This book is funny, but it’s not the riproaring riot that you might expect.  Instead, it’s a beautifully composed examination of a life lived hard, and lived fast, and nearly over far too soon.  It is eloquent, amusing, and deeply moving.

Pistol: A Biography of Pete Maravich by Mark Kriegel
“Pistol Pete was, in fact, his father’s vision, built to the old man’s exacting specifications.”
If you are a fan of basketball in general, you should know something about Pete Maravich.  44.2 points per game at LSU, in the era before a 3 point line.  First to score more than 3,000 points in a career, still the leading scorer in NCAA history.  He did it all in 3 seasons.  And then, he disappeared.  I watched videotapes of Pete when I was a kid and knew that if I wanted to play basketball, I should be playing like Pete.  I stood in my backyard and shot the ball for hours until I had a good strong right hand shot.  I dribbled for days, because not only was Pete a dynamite shooter he was a ballhandler on the level of the Globetrotters.  But at the end of the day, I was only mimicking.  I could never be as good as the Pistol.  And this book is excellent in depicting how a father, to regain the glory he had in his youth, basically isolates and trains his son to be an assassin.  And the basketball is his rifle.  A beautifully written, absorbing look at one of the great enigmas of the college game who died far, far too soon.

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain. By Portia de Rossi (DeGeneres).
“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . .”
I actually bought this and finished it around the same day.  This book is for anybody who has ever thought they weren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or thin enough.  I related to this book so much, and not just the bits about eating disorders.  When I was in college, I was pressured by my teachers to lose weight.  So the summer before my senior year, I lost close to 50 pounds, going from 202 to around 155.  I felt amazing.  I came back for school and met with one of my teachers, who told me she was so proud of my progress.  I glowed.  She then said cheerfully, looking at my midsection, “You could lose even more around your hips.”  

That feeling of total and utter failure, of just a little bit more has haunted me ever since.  I am never satisfied with any accomplishments I’ve made with my health, my work, my family, my life, any of it.  And I can trace it back to that one sentence.  This book, gorgeously written by DeGeneres, really explains the mindset of anorexia and any umbrella eating disorder.  It’s not really about the food. It’s about the willpower, the loss of control, and the urge to completely control your environment.  Unlike so many stories of eating disorders, however, this one has a gloriously happy ending.   

Off to get in a home practice of yoga, then watching the UCONN/Syracuse game.  I wonder how many times the announcers are going to mention “The Game” during this matchup? And most importantly, I wonder how many crazy people will actually show up to watch??


Published by The Curious Ally Cat

I'm a 34 year old adjunct professor and writer in Connecticut. People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late.

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