I read a book! : Maybe in Another Life

Like most of civilization, I make resolutions on the new year. Like most of civilization, I forget all about them by Groundhog Day. I have two resolutions this year that I plan to keep up at least until January 31st:

  • Say “yes” to my kids more.
  • Read a book for 30 minutes every night from 10:30 to 11:00 regardless of any work I have to do. If I have work to do, then it better be done by 10:30 or it’s not happening. (My typical night involves me working/Facebooking/Netflix binging/combination of these until 2 am, and getting nothing done.)

Three days in and I’m doing pretty well with both of these. I used to like reading. I remember reading lots and lots when I was younger. I remember reading all the Harry Potters in about a week (a book a day). I even read, to my everlasting shame, all the Twilight books in about 2 days (with the exception of the fourth one, which took a while since I only got through it by promising myself a new pair of heels I had been eyeing, only after I had read every agonizingly painful page). What can I say? For what I was going through at the time, it was a good story and escape. I’m not proud.

Anyway.

Whatever.

maybe

So I haven’t read a complete book cover to cover in a while. But on New Years Eve, I sat in bed at 10:30 and started this book, Maybe in Another Life, which Marci recommended to me. And then the next day, I went into work and read half of it, and then this morning, I opened it back up, left the girls and Steve to their own devices, and polished it off.

I don’t dig happy endings. I like books to leave me with some kind of conflicted feeling. It leaves me feeling motivated to read another book to fill the void. So the main thing that bugged me about this was that it ended so happy with no loose ends. No conflict. No screaming “WHAT THE HECK YOU CAN’T JUST END IT THERE!” after checking to make sure the thing wasn’t missing a page at the end.

But it was still good. The writing wasn’t anything special. I felt most like, “Okay, I could have written this.” It felt pretty whatever. But it was an interesting concept, the concept of multiverses (which they didn’t mention until the last couple pages). I liked the alternating chapters and that the format was actually pretty easy to follow, even though there were essentially two stories going on.

In my writing courses in college, I remember my fiction professor, who was crazier than a can of silly string, say that the worst thing an author can do is create a protagonist that readers don’t like or care about. So it pains me to say that the protagonist of the story, Hannah, made me an insane person. From the get-go, her character development involved basically a laundry list of reasons why she’s the worst.

Mistress. Chronically late. Freeloader. The high bun. A cinnamon roll fixation. (We get it. She likes cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls played too big a role in this book.) Why do we want good things to happen to her again? I started liking her more when she adopted the dog, but unfortunately, the book was 75% done at that point.

But don’t get me wrong. I did like it. I liked it enough to finish it in 2.5 days. I liked the format and the concept, and I liked trying to figure out how her two parallel universes were similar. And I liked reading something just a little fluffy. It would make a cute movie. But that’s how it would be described. Cute. It wouldn’t get an Oscar, but it would be a fun flick for a girls’ night out, or to see by yourself at the dollar theater.

So would I recommend it? For a quick read, yes. A book club discussion? No. Something to read on the beach or on the plane? Sure. But you probably won’t gain any insight into human behavior from reading it. It’s a love story told from narrators in parallel universes, and that’s pretty interesting, so go ahead and read it. You’ll probably like it. I mostly did.

IMG_20160103_190409.jpg

As a bonus, this book will most assuredly make you crave cinnamon rolls like nobody’s business. These were pretty necessary. 

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phone conversation

Ophelia on the “phone”:

Okay and what is your job?

Painting.

Aaaaaaand what is your phone number?

385-10-11.

And how tall are you?

Little.

It’s pretty accurate.

Playing restaurant and taking my order:

What kind of food do you want?

Um, lasagna and salad.

Oh, okay, a roast beef and salad. Coming right up.

She might not have a bright career in waitressing.

conversation with a dad

Lo and Steve playing a game wherein the 3 year old bosses around the 30+ and is overall very demanding. The gist of it is that they are married and the wife is an avid performer with the only song in her repertoire being “Let It Go” and the dad (husband) needs to clap and cheer appropriately after she is done. Lo is being obnoxious and bossy. 30+ says, “I really don’t like this attitude – why are you being so rude all of a sudden?”

“Remember dad? I’m the MOM.”

That clears it up.

Memories. Right?

I am in the process of digitizing my journals. I was a huge journaler throughout my teen years. And I have books full of memories to prove it. Right. Memories. Those important chunks of your life you hold dear well into the future.

Except when you’re a senior in high school, and you end up writing about 10 pages(!!!!) all about how you think you’re going to get asked to Homecoming, but you’re not sure by who, and whether it is going to make your crush jealous (I’m sure it didn’t). And oh yeah, let’s write a couple pages on what your dress is going to look like.

And then, over 10 years later, when you are re-reading your journal entry, and you can’t even remember going to Homecoming, and you can’t remember it being that big a deal, and you can’t even remember your life back then. That’s weird. Now I am left to wonder if the things that matter to me now are going to be laughably ridiculous in another ten years. Probably. Sad.

Yeah, this one still causes controversy

And yes, that is the photo from the Homecoming that I still don’t remember ever happening. It’s a good thing we have the photos of such an important date in my life.

Nerd Confessions

On my way to work this morning, waaaaaay before the butt-crack o’ dawn, I started listening to a Christian rock station. And all of a sudden, I was an awkward, brace-faced teenager in a chat room. Most people don’t know this about me, and I specifically designed it this way, but I spent most of my teenage years navigating introversion and chatting hours a day with people I had no hope of meeting “IRL.”

People ask me how I got to be so interested in the internet. I don’t know, except that I spent an awful lot of time with it in my early teen years. Most of what I know about computers and the internet (I’m no expert by any means, but I know a lot) comes from dealing with a downed DALnet server on IRC. I remember getting mad and logging off in a huff and even attempting to start a new life again in bizarro world, otherwise known as #REFnet (I think).

I don’t know when I was first introduced to Internet Relay Chat, but when I hear Christian rock, it brings me back to long, long, long lurk sessions on mIRC, chatting or just hanging out waiting for someone to appear with my other #Mormon-Friends (go ahead and click on the link, but you won’t find me–the “Teens A-G” file died). When #mormon-friends got too Mormony, I remember a rebel group started that was just #Mormon, or maybe #_Mormon. Yes, these were the things that kept me up at night when I was 15.

So I look back on it and I feel a bit embarrassed to have had such a nerdy hobby, spending so much time with people I couldn’t possibly recognize in a crowd (and there were reunions–I saw crowds of them!), but… I don’t know. I wish I had something wise to say to follow up with, but I just don’t. All I know is that I spent an inordinate amount of time online and the relationships and experiences I have had as a result have shaped my life in weird and immeasurable ways. I was friends with them. And not just online.

Omniflux was teaching me to drive and I crashed his mom’s minivan into a fence on Center Street. Gonzo, Taxilian, and I would go to stake dances together. I gave june_bug a ride to her house once when her car broke down and she had to get home for a chat date (yeah, I said it) with v++. I met a few of them at a reunion one year and even went to a few missionary homecomings for some of them. I met, married, and divorced sprig_hunter. (My brother-in-law, bgunner60, never liked me much.) I can’t remember her nickname on IRC but Skye (best friend in junior high) had a horrific falling out when I found out she was planning on driving out of state to meet v++ (apparently the lady’s man of #mormon-friends) and I told her mom. I never did regret doing that, although after my divorce, I did plan and cancel a trip to fly out and see Omega_Sirrus. There were plans to go to a wedding, I think?

So my nerdiness is showing, right? I’m okay with it. I think.

If by some miracle they happen to find me again, this blog’s for you, Gem and joi, Olympic2002, v++, Tubal_ (my old nemesis), Omega_Sirrus, Sir_Laughalots (a girl never forgets her first internet love) and I can’t think of who else.

Yours,

britalin (or if you care to go back that far, strauberi)

before the nightmare starts

Before she starts to get tired, Ophelia is pretty hilarious. Here are some of today’s gems:

Ophelia, sitting on the potty:
O: Mom! What the!
Me: Ophelia, you have to open up the lid before you go!
O: Oh, so that’s the problem!

O: Where is the teddy bear I drawed at preschool?
Me: Here it is.
O: Haha, he has three noses.
Me: What? That’s pretty crazy.
O: No it’s not Mama, some bears just do.

She is always commenting on what Daphne is doing.
O: Haha! Look at Baby Daph-a-ne, she is trying to see me but she can’t. She forgot her glasses.