Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Austen summering

As we are now just around the corner to July, here is a camel picture taken last July 4th. Katy at the back looks as though she's urging the beast to go faster and Lexi has got a firm grip up front wondering what will happen next.

I have just started to read Mansfield Park at work. I have never read it before and am pleased to have it so accessible -- thank you Project Gutenberg. PG needs a few dollars from me. It’ll have to wait however. I guess I should make a list of those deserving my shekels, in the hopes of someday having some to distribute...

Nod is still uncertain whether he’ll close his required six sales by (when? end of the month? some time in) July. He has gotten good feedback from staff however, some attaboys and so on. Not banking on that, he had two interviews last week for part time jobs and has one coming up this week for a full time gig. We’re both trying to treat this possibility lightly. Counting chickens never goes well for us. Apparently we both have powerful imaginations.

Watched the end of Network last night. (The link is to an exhaustive recap. Here's Roger Ebert's review.) I had never seen it and was expecting a plot about a national emergency of some sort. Didn’t realize it was a dystopia story. I didn’t care for our craggy protagonist very much but it certainly held my interest. The part that made me laugh out loud was the left fringe terrorist groups arguing over subsidiary rights. Faye Dunaway was amazing. The mid 70s bralessness was also amazing.

I may have to forswear books and tv for a while in order to get some housework done. I tried grounding myself over the weekend in order to get our room picked up and all the winter clothes put away. But it proved to be an empty threat. I'll have to work on getting authority over myself. At least I've been doing the laundry. It's my favorite chore, probably due to the machine doing all the work and the free time between wash/dry cycles. Start it and check back later to start a new load. This morning I got up just after 6a and staggered down to the basement to unload the dryer, put the wet stuff in and start a new load washing before my shower. I made the kids lunches and cooked oatmeal. It felt tremendously productive.

I'm maintaining my pushups every other day and a grab bag of other pilates-type exercises. I'm pleased with the results in my arms. Still frustrated with my pudgy middle. Without some sort of sustained cardio I don't think I can shift that much. I will keep it in mind and look for the right opportunity. At the moment it seems that exercise optimism is my best ally. I need a nice cousin to put me on a horse for a ride every day as Edmund does for Fanny Price in MP. Though Mrs. Norris's long walks seem even more slimming. I imagine that one would want to walk quickly enough to discourage conversation.


Bee said...

How funny; I've been reading Mansfield Park, too. Actually I've kind of put it down in order to speed through all of Amanda Craig's books, but I'm just about to finish them -- and then it's back to Jane!

Exercise seems to be on everyone's minds. I think it has something to do with summer clothing, don't you? The summer round . . .

good luck for Nod (small letters only; don't want to overexcite the chickens)

Your header picture of the girls is magical and appropriately summery -- LOVE IT.

amenaneri said...

Mansfield Park: my least favorite JA novel. Fanny Price--I just want to strangle the girl and give her a backbone! Yes, yes, you could argue that she shows backbone in refusing to act in the play or get engaged to Mr. Crawford, but she's so suppressed. And the circumstances are just so oppressive, and Edward is SO blind. And she's just so earnest and moral and good. Bleah--give me a mischievous heroine please--an Elizabeth Bennet or an Emma, or even an Eleanor or Marianne who had humor, or even long-suffering Anne Eliot--somehow I like her where I hate Fanny.

But yes, gutenberg.org is an amazing thing deserving of money love.

Love the camel ride.


Nimble said...

B - Well, I'll have to try some Amanda Craig after this then, to keep up with you. I don't think I can keep up really, even while I continue to neglect housework in favor of reading.

AM - I've skimmed your comment so as not to spoil myself. But yes! I have been making notes to myself about what prigs Edmund and Fanny seem. And Fanny is so wispy and bossed about and over awed with E. Well, finishing MP will satisfy my curiosity at any rate.

Bee said...

Thinking over amenaneri's comment: I love (and feel for) Anne Eliot, too, and yet why is Fanny so hard to warm to? I've always felt that Persuasion was the most felt of Austen's novels -- although there are many good comic characters in it, too.