I hate feeling blue. It's been a blue weekend. Actually, it's been a blue week and for no reason. Nothing's happened to set it off and to be honest it came a surprise to me. One day I was feeling fine and then the next thing I know I'm teary and mean to myself. Every rude thing the kids say because kids are rude, to each other and their mothers, we all know this, regardless of how great they are. I've always had this mean voice in my head and I went through some counseling to learn how to challenge it and fight with it. The internal dialogues get lengthy sometimes between the "You Can't. You Won't. Never will." and my replies of "Sure I can, I will If I Want To, Never Means As Nothing As Always." The mean voice lives in extremes. It's favourite words are never and always. You're never going to be a success, You always quit, You're never going to pretty enough, smart enough blah blah blah - it gets rather tiring.
Work is awful and I've finally had enough. I have a few more payments before my credit card is cleared and then I'm quitting. It's just unbearable. I used to really like the job, but the new manager has turned everyone into a miserable pile of boot-faced murk and I'm not hanging around the bad mojo anymore. Life's too short to endure someone else's bad mojo. I never planned on a career in this place, so the shop politics, and no matter how small or easy the job, there's always politics if more than one person works there, are tedious. I'm an empathetic type, and I can feel the tension every time I start my shift and I hate it. so I'm leaving. That on top of the blues - and I'm certain the two have a symbiotic relationship now - makes me feel like ass.
I can't even run just now. I stepped off the curb funny one day (Looking behind me to check for traffic, never saw the uneven pothole, and practicing my dirty puppet show didn't help either,) and It's been sore ever since. So I'm speed walking instead. It hurts even more, but in a different way - speedwalking/race walking uses a lot more muscles than running does. After just a week of it, fast waddling down the road with my 10kg backpack on my calves are sore, my feet are sore and my ankles are sore - but it's muscle pain, not tendon or strain pain. I'm a bit keen on this because I've always had Popeye calves, weak ankles and feet. I'm also quite proud that I can manage a 5-5.5mph pace (Ok, 5.5 for about 10 seconds, but it counts). I also get the same post-running hot face and weird spontaneous heat flashes throughout the day. Or could it be premenopause? I doubt it, but you know what that voice is like "You're getting old before your time, menopause now, middle age spread, crow's feet and then just watch everything dissolve into sagging, lumpy, crepey plumpness." Really, the voice is horrid. Anyways, racewalking: looks dumb, but fucking rocks. And yes, I always think about that episode of Malcolm In the Middle...
As an escape from the voice and to wash away the memory of work, I read both of my Crusie books. I liked them both. First one was The Fred Book, AKA Anyone But You second was What The Lady Wants. Of the two I preferred the second one. The Fred Book was ok and was about...damn I forgot her name, that can't be good. Anyways, she's a divorced, happy alone although lonely woman who recently adopts Fred the Basset/Beagle, and Alex the ER intern who loves his work but gets pressure from all sides of his family to pick a specialty. It's set up that they are a perfect match from the beginning and we get to see them try and figure this out and overcome their own perceived obstacles; hers being that she's too old for him, He thinking he's too common and lowbrow. He tries to prove to her that he can provide her with the life her Ex did, even though she left that guy because he was a highbrow dullard. This is where I found the book let me down - why would anyone think that the way to make a woman happy was to act and become exactly the man she just left? It's nonsense. Her insecurity and fear of letting him see her 40 year old breasts out of the push-up bra rang a lot more true, but Alex's was just dumb. Granted the whole "They refused to listen to each other and thought they each knew best" was fine and I liked both characters and I liked Fred and everything else was fine, but Alex's dip into alcoholism and madness all to prove himself good enough felt off and unnatural to me. What kept me reading were the excellent dialogues. So, an ok book but I'm glad I saved the better book for seconds.
What The Lady Wants was great. It had a Sam spade loving P.I, a mob boss, a psycho cousin, a Niles Crane-like best friend (Although would Niles read Hammett?), a Marilyn Monroe-like Step Mom and a few more very interesting creations. I liked the characters, I liked the plot. It kept me guessing all along. What was Mae up to? What was June up to (Was June supposed to be the confidante? Was that part cut because I thought she'd have a bigger part than she ended up with.)? What was Mitch up to? Why do they all have secret lives? How are these three uncles actually related - I couldn't figure that out. At first I thought they were brothers, but I'm now thinking no way. I was enjoying the book so much though, I turned off the question programme in my head; shut up and read, you can have your say if any loose ends remain: and there weren't. Again in this book I felt the heroine was less developed than the male - but then I argue that point too. I'm a bit messed up about it all - it's an action packed story and I felt attracted to Mitch so didn't really care much about Mae because I knew the HEA would be there so I didn't have to pay as close attention to her and focus on Mitch for the afternoon. This story had a lot more plot with the romance worked in which was more entertaining than The Fred Book which was more romance than plot.
Crusie knows how to make excellent Heroes and I can name most of them that I've read about - but the women? forget it. I can usually give you their description and a few tid bits about them, but on the whole they play the bit part in my romance reading. that doesn't just apply to Crusie though, that's pretty much across the board. (I wonder where "Across the board" came from, I'm frustrated with overused cliches* that don't apply to the statement they're used with. I was reading a review of something, sneakers I think and the guy said "It does what it says on the tin" and it irked me because there's no tin, there's not even instructions - they're sneakers. You put them on and run with them; but this is an aside. Even worse, "It Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin" isn't even a cliche - it's a fucking commercial tagline for Ronseal wood treatment that's been turned into a cliche. Is this where cliches come from? It kind of goes with folks who use movie quotes and have no clue about the movie, like when Simone at work called his Ex a "Bunny-boiler" and I asked him where bunny-boiler came from and he had no clue. I now wonder how many phrases like that I use and have no idea of their origins, and thus begins a search to prevent such ignorance and delve into Clavinism. Have mercy on me. Now, where was I...)
Of heroines I can remember I've usually read their story in a series. like Claire (Clare?) in the Gabaldon books and Sabine in Griffin and Sabine, although having her name in the title of the series helps too, and Lizzie of P&P but I've watched the series and read the book a dozen times so that was bound to sink in. I'm beginning to think, I'm not being a good reader if I don't pay closer attention to all the characters. Tell me, am I alone in this? Am I the only one who goes blank on heroines??
Wow, that was quite a ramble.
*I can't figure out how to get the accent over the e and it bugs me. (Stop sweating the small stuff!!)