Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Update and Food and Books!
Well. It's been a while. I kind of want to change the direction of this blog. Many things have happened to me since I last posted - taking the semester off, being in treatment to recover from my anorexia, getting healthier, being happier, reading, painting, doing activities again - and I think my blog should reflect that (not to mention I should update more often *cough cough*.)
Sooo, I'm thinking of making this a food blog, since I love food, cooking and baking it, and those are the kinds of blogs I love reading. I'm kind of worried about the whole taking photos of my food thing, because firstly, I'm not the world's greatest photographer, and secondly, I might forget to take photos, not to mention it would be rather awkward to whip out my iPhone every time I have a meal and take photos of it.
But alack, I shall do it. If only for my own gratification.
Hence, let's start with breakfast this morning!
1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup pumpkin purée, loadsa cinnamon, a big dollop o' peanut butter. Cup of soymilk on the side. Matching dishes from Crate & Barrel.
Bliss in a bowl.
Pumpkin oats is my all time favorite breakfast. So so good. It's also a balanced breakfast - one serving of carbs, for energy, one serving of veggies, for vitamins etc, one serving of healthy fat, essential for mental flexibility and soft skin, and one serving of dairy, an amazing source of calcium, protein, and essential for my bones. It's love.
Otherwise, it's a beautiful day, here in Northern California. It's been raining non-stop since last week (not that I'm complaining - I love the rain!) but the sun has come out and the trees waving gently in the wind are dappled with crystals of sunlight. Hopefully this will do my mini vegetable garden good, at least what's left of it now that the slugs have devoured my chard and soy beans.
Anywho, the second thing I wanted to talk about was... Books! Yes, I have rediscovered my love of literature (pleasure literature, that is.) I kind of lost my ability to read a while ago. I had no energy, no ability to concentrate, no interest in reading. It was really quite lamentable. However, one day in treatment, I found myself itching to read some Jane Austen. Her prose is just so relaxing, so calming, so smooth without appearing to try. I decided to go to the library that afternoon with my friend K - but ended up not picking up Austen, I forget why. Maybe they only had ones I'd already read? Emma, Sense and Sensibility and the like. No Mansfield Park or Persuasion, which I was rather hoping for.
So I carted myself over to the "P" section, seeking the much acclaimed Jodi Picoult. I picked up Salem Falls and House Rules. I also picked up Blue Angel by Francine Prose, a teen novel that ended up being extremely shallow and awkward, Runner's World and Writer's Digest - along with a hefty pile of DVDs I never ended up watching. But hey, they were free, why hold back?
So, the point of this rather long post is that I wanted to review Blue Angel by Francine Prose. It's basically the story of a professor/novelist, Ted Swenson, at a University in New England, teaching a Creative Writing seminar. However, he develops a relationship with Angela Argo, his punk, black clothed, metal studded, tattooed students. Swenson falls in love with her novel about another teacher-student relationship, and subsequently, with her. However, it all goes downhill from there as they attempt to sleep together, Angela asks him to show her novel to his editor, and she ultimately presses charges of sexual assault to get revenge on him for failing to convince his editor to read Angela's lewd novel.
So what did I think? Swenson is an awkward, aging professor, not entirely likable, though rather witty and humorous at times during his inner monologues of paranoia, disdain, and boredom. The romantic interest between Swenson and his student is definitely believable, Prose makes it authentic and progressive, which I liked. The Creative Writing seminar is fun to read about, partly because I can relate, being a student at a New England University planning on majoring in English or Literary Arts, partly due to the unimaginative, perverted students and their stories.
I read it quickly - it was definitely a book you can get into. However, there was something about it that was rather disturbing. Maybe it was the atmosphere of guilt and paranoia. Maybe it was the consciousness of eternal failure. Maybe it was the constant self-destruction. Maybe it was the manipulation. I don't know. It put me in a bad mood, over the weekend, perhaps because I could relate to Swenson so much - guilt, failure, self-destructive behaviors, falling in love with inappropriate people... I don't know. It was all too personal, all too dark, for me to feel good about. All this capped off with a terrible ending in which the protagonist, bent on self-destruction, does not even attempt to save himself, but throws himself, head-first, into the abyss, jubilant in his misery.
But, I won't end on that negative note - let's enjoy my wonderful doggie, Bella, shall we?
Bella! The love of my life.
Do you go crazy at the Library?
I do. I always checkout a million books, dvds, and magazines. What can I say?
Have you ever fallen in love, or had a crush on a teacher?
For sure. My English teacher in High School was amazing - I looked up to him so much, and wished we could just run away to some alternate world, go on adventures, and read Shakespeare together!
Any Books you liked or disliked lately?
Salem Falls - liked.
Blue Angel - disliked, but respected.