I've been bad and I've been good...but I'm gonna have an Aviance night. No, I'm not.
The badness: I've neglected my blogging. I almost announced a hiatus because I feel so fragmented about changing jobs and changing my plans from moving back to the US to moving to Busan and getting all my paperwork in order. Not only do I feel fragmented, my brain feels like the witches' brew in Macbeth. Every day, one more ingredient is thrown into my seething, teeming cauldron. Moving again! Aaargh, the books. The packing of boxes, the ruthless paring down. What I really love is having moved rather than the actual process. Anyway, no hiatus for this blog. I haven't stopped in almost 9 years and I won't stop now.
More bad-osity: I keep wavering in and out of the TBR Double Dog Dare Challenge like a radio station slightly out of range. It's not A.D.D. My friend Teri got me into listening to audiobooks from the library, and no matter how much I squint at the dates, and mumble stuff about Lunar New Year they were checked out after the TBRDDD did commence.
Surprisingly, I haven't put a big 'Fail' sign up. I was gentle-Marmee with myself. I climbed up to the garret and gave my inner Jo an apple and patted her hand (that was interesting) and kindly but briskly told her to just see how many TBRs she/I can read before April 1. It worked. I was back on track quicker than you can say blancmange.
So where is the goodness in all of this? The reason I was Marmee-nice to myself and permitted myself a slight swagger on occasion is because I finished Les Miserables this month! I loved it and have plans to read it again, but it was like boot camp with a French accent and a slightly daffy drill sergeant. Who the hell stops a perfectly riveting storyline to go on and on about Waterloo? Slang? The history of Paris sewers? The slang and the sewers were right up my alley since I'm an EFL teacher who has a secret fascination with anything to do with merde,
even though I don't pronounce it properly. Is is mared or mare-day or do I say mare then swallow-gargle that last bit? But Waterloo! I was OK for a while, then I got up and started singing and playing ABBA:
I got irritated with Hugo's ramblings, but admired his moxie. Also, I have to cut him some slack: Dude was homesick for France. I get homesick all the time, so I know the symptoms.
Another time I got distracted was when Victor Hugo was talking about Marius' handsomeness, and mentioned his slightly flared nostrils. I tried to continue, but then was compelled to get a mirror and check my own. After that, it was time for work, so I went in and sized up everyone else's nostrils.
Anyway, I'm happy I finally got it done. When I was 9 or 10 years old, I remember reading a synopsis of "Less Miserables" and thinking it sounded like a good book: A guy named Gene Valgene steals a loaf of French bread. I like French bread! A mean policeman chases him for 20 years. There's also a girl, like me. I was outraged to find that it was impenetrable, in spite of going at it with all my fledgling reading powers.
I find my Les Miserables reading project to be useful to others. When people talk to me about the musical and express confusion about a certain point, I pipe up: "Well, in the book..." I'm trying to offer up my knowledge in a sweet, have-a-bite-off-of-my-chocolate-bunny's-ears way, but I can also see how I might come off as nerdish and irritating.
This post feels too long already. You're probably thinking fermez and C'est fini! so I'll discuss the other books I read/listened to in January next time.