Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's all good except for those Swedish words.

Damn. It's 9:00 and I just woke up from my second--yes, second--nap of the evening. I didn't intend to sleep, but I made the mistake of trying to read in the sunbeam on my bed and somehow I ended up in Sleepytown, USA. I'm reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which is sort of meh so far... it's getting better, but there are so many Swedish names and places. I'm convinced it was written by this guy:



Don't take the meh as my official review. It takes me a really long time to get into any book. I'm not good with names, so that's really a handicap when it comes to being an English teacher and reader. It just takes me longer to figure out what most readers can get down early. Le sigh.

I woke up craving brie and chocolate ice cream. We have neither. Nope, I'm not pregnant. Don't go asking. I just love my dairy products. Who craves brie, though, really? Tonight I tried some sheep cheese from Whole Foods in our dinner. It almost tasted like a real people meal--corn pasta, asparagus, leftover rotisserie chicken, lemon juice, sauteed onions, and pecorino (sheep cheese). All of those things together tasted like a completely ordinary meal. That's rare around here. I'm hoping sheep cheese works out for Gluten Free E's tummy requirements. I'm strongly biased toward sheep products over goat. Goat things just taste too goaty to me. I miss cheese from our pre-allergy aweareness days. Oh sure, I get my fix out on the street. But we're not nearly cheesy as we used to be when it comes to family dinners.

My complex about character names in the book reminds me that this is a longstanding habit and I'm basically the same way when it comes to movies. When I was in the 10th grade, my history teacher (and now longtime friend K, if you've been following along) would give us a character list before we'd watch any movie in class. I always needed to peek at mine frequently. I remember feeling supremely proud to use my first-year French for a giggle at Front de Boeuf's name in Ivanhoe. I believe we got character lists for A Tale of Two Cities, All Quiet on the Western Front, Ghandi, Empire of the Sun. K continued to aid me out and gave me the same sort of verbal helps when she loaned me the first season of The West Wing ("Watch that Sam guy. And Josh Lyman...") and when she got us to watch Rome ("so Pullo and Vorenus, those are your guys...") over the last few years. Immensely helpful for someone who has my problem sorting characters. And remember my Hamlet chart that I made for my class? Mostly it's because I don't want to keep looking up the difference between Marcellus and Bernardo. BECAUSE I CAN'T REMEMBER even though I've been teaching it for like five years. Not so good with the names.

I'm just realizing I need some kind of character name cheat sheet for everything in my life. Confession: I'm loving watching The Pacific on HBO, but I have almost no idea who any of the guys are. I can't keep them straight from each other, which is difficult when they keep dying. I try to play little games in my head--the dark haired one, the blonde, curly haired one, Sledge--so inevitably the one I think I have pegged as "the dark haired one" gets shot... but in the next scene, there he is tending to his buddy who ALSO HAD DARK HAIR. So confusing. I can openly admit to the world that I have no idea any of the character names of the ad guys in Mad Men, either, though I've been watching for 3 seasons. Okay, maybe Pete. But the rest? They all have dark hair. Who could keep track?

I'm officially a seventh grader.

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