Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pretty darned random

Does anyone else have the mid-winter blahs? I seem to just be doing the bare minimum that I must, then wasting a lot of time doing goodness-knows-what. I may be PMSing, too, so throw that into the mix. All in all -- blah.

It's not that I've been entirely unproductive, it's just that there's not a lot to show for it right now. Here's a short run-down of what I've been...

... Making:
I finally finished Gator's secret anniversary present and mailed it off yesterday. I can't show it to you until after he's received it. It took a lot longer to complete than I had anticipated but I lurve the results. Is it bad to be really jealous of your own husband for receiving a gift that you made for him?? That seems so wrong, somehow. And yet.

I have not worked any more on the Baby Christmas Stocking, but that should change this week. I've been puttering on another block for the experimental Ballband Afghan and I just ordered the yarn to make a baby afghan for my pregnant labmate. So things are a'brewin'.

... Listening To:
I'm seriously loving Ippy, my fabulous birthday / Christmas gift iPod. I've loaded all my music onto her and I happily listen all the time. I've been listening to some pretty random stuff, especially music from my collection that I haven't listened to in ages. The Church, Bela Fleck, Enya. It's a rockin' good time.

Also, I've just gotten turned on to the audiobooks available at Project Gutenberg. I knew they had a vast selection of E-books, but the audio versions are a godsend for long days in the lab when I have much to do, but none of it requires my entire brain. I've just downloaded all forty million chapters of Jane Eyre -- which I've never read! -- and I'm itching to get started today. Yay!

... Reading:
I just read one of the worst books I've ever had the displeasure to read. I'm a huge fan of Gone With the Wind and I really enjoyed the latter-day sequel Scarlett (NOT the horrible mini-series they made that bears little to NO resemblance to the book), so I was looking forward to reading the next authorized book based on GWTW, Rhett Butler's People.

It is supposed to tell the story of Rhett's upbringing -- how he became the man that appears in GWTW -- as well as what might have happened after Mitchell's novel. A version of the happy ending most of us yearn for. Even though both Scarlett and Rhett Butler's People are authorized companion novels to GWTW, they do not jibe with each other. They are two separate visions of "what happens next". While this apparently really messes with some peoples' heads, I don't really have a problem with it. But that's not to say I don't have plenty of problems other than that.

The author has previously written civil-war era fiction and has been highly praised for it. It apparently took him twelve years to finish Rhett Butler's People. He admits to only reading GWTW once and not liking it. He says he worked off his wife's notes on the novel. He admits he took the job for the money. It SO shows. Worse yet, I don't think anyone at the Mitchell estate or St. Martin's Press did any editing whatsoever. It's horrible. It is quite possibly the most unprofessional job I've ever seen, period.

There are many typos, to be sure. Ridiculous things that the lowliest of editors should have spotted. But worse than that are other errors. A one-legged man, who limps when he walks on his peg-leg, suddenly puts his cold feet into his shoes, "quickly" backs down a ladder, jogs in his stocking feet, and generally does things that a perfectly able-bodied man would have trouble with. Then there are the inconsistencies with the original Gone With the Wind. The timeline is disturbed (he states that Scarlett sold the lumber mills to Ashley before his birthday -- in opposition to the events of GWTW -- but then what excuse would Scarlett have had to go see him that fateful day and cause such scandal? The author offers no reason.), characters are decimated, and important events are left out completely. Then there's this novel's own storyline. It's all too pat and incestuous -- a small group of people seem to be the only people in the world; all their actions come around at the end to tie everything in a neat little horrible bow and nothing else influences anything. By the time I got to the last few chapters, I just wanted to get it over with so I could take the book back to the library. Thank God I got it from the library and didn't buy the ridiculous thing.

So now I'm going to re-read GWTW, just to cleanse my palate, so to speak.

Is it naptime yet? I just feel so... blah.



YarnThrower said...

WOW -- Thanks for the info about Project Gutenberg! I'm going to send that to my mom, because she loves the books on tape.... Also, we're taking a trip next week, so I might check out some things for myself, too! Thank you thank you!

I hope your winter blahs don't last long. I'm having good days and days that aren't as good in terms of the blahs. Yesterday's wet gloominess really pushed my limits... I'm hoping that tonight's snow will be uplifting (and also that schools are *not* closed tomorrow).....

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! Too bad about the novel, I will avoid it altogether. Can't wait to see hub's giftie!

jmk said...

So, I'll just randomly drop in and say "hi". I have been lurking here lately, keeping an eye on ya, you know.

I hear you about winter blahs. I'm strictly a daylight person - once the sun sets, that's it, nothing gets done. I can just about muster up the energy to crochet a bit but mostly I just slob in front of the computer. Like now.