c o l u m b i n a

"by her keen and active wit, she [ is ] able to hold her own in every situation and emerge with ease and dignity from the most involved intrigues." ~ Duchartre

Monday, March 28, 2005

the worst jobs in history

...as brought to you by Tony Robinson, aka Baldrick of Blackadder fame. I apparently would make a good Executioner (enemies of mine, quake and tremble should I find a time-machine!!) Other employment options include Bath Attendant (which is a little bit funny, given my propensity to trip over my own feet), Artist's Model (been there, done that, I'm afraid), or Various Medical Assistants, such as Leech Collector (just... ew). Take the quiz yourself.

via scribblingwoman.

50 books for 2005 | #4 & 5

Here's the thing I've discovered about moving: very very hard to stick with a serious read at the same time. In all the craziness, it was hard to pick up a book, much less spend a nice afternoon with one. (How utterly sad is that?) I must have started five different books and put them all down for one reason or another. The only two books I managed to *finish* in their entirety were fluff of the extremely ooey-gooey variety.

Book #4 was The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, and despite its high ridiculousness and anachronisms, was quite fun. I suppose I consider a guilty pleasure of the highest kind considering my high school lust object was Sir Percy Blakeney aka the Scarlet Pimpernel. The premise of the novel is actually very clever and refreshing: it surmises that Blakeney was not a character of fiction but of history, and that involved in similar exploits of fighting the French were two other Englishman: the Purple Gentian, aka Lord Richard Selwick, Percy's neighbor and one of the novel's heroes, and the mysterious Pink Carnation, whose real identity is the subject of a dissertation of an American lass living in London. The book goes back and forth between manuscripts detailing the Purple Gentian's exploits and the modern-day researcher, who has the beginnings of a very Darcy-Elizabeth romance with the ancestor of Selwick (a very underdeveloped sub-plot, sadly). I know I will be hunting down the sequel when it comes out, that's for sure.

Book #5 is the kind of insidious fluff that one even hates to admit that they've read, but there it is: The Water Nymph, which by the way, features neither nymphs nor water prominently enough to make any sense as the title. I picked it up because I vaguely remember liking The Stargazer in high school... and reading this was a reminder of exactly how naive and romantically silly I was in high school. You find these things in the mystery section of the library, or shelved amongst the general or historical fiction, and they utterly don't belong there. Anyway, "Nymph" is practically a re-hash of "Stargazer" with a change of setting. Man meets Girl With Dead Body. Man and Girl both have Very Important Reasons for finding out why Dead Person is Dead. Man and Girl Detest and Cannot Trust one another, but must Work Together to Solve Mystery. While so doing, they Fall in Love and Have Sex Many Times (or vice versa). Her writing style is genuinely funny-- she manages to get quite a few quips in as the supporting players in her books tend to be hysterical-- which wouldn't be so bad if everything else wasn't so laughably preposterous.

Ah well, it was a cleansing of the palette, so to speak. Armed with my new library card, I have a short stack next to all those half-started tomes and hopefully will be able to get to them soon.

an update

settling in took longer than expected, but I think things have finally reached a level of normality in the new digs. The apartment looks better than I thought it would-- and has become incredibly homey-looking since I finally managed to get the blasted curtains hung this weekend.

My new job has its ups and downs, of course. Most everyone is as nice as could be, and those that aren't, well, I don't deal with them directly, or at least not everyday, and that's something. I haven't had the opportunity to do anything ultra-creative, but there is the consistent promise of it, and I'm living with that for now. It's hard to be objective, because it's my first work-place experience and the company itself is so new that it's making stuff up as it goes along... I haven't yet run to the classifieds, which is more than my mom can say about *her* new job. (It is a sad day indeed when my own mother, who is quite brainy but not exactly computer-literate outside of Solitaire and MSWord, knows more about troubleshooting than company technical support people.) Though knowing that I am my mother's daughter in many scary ways has got me thinking just how long I'm going to stay the course: then again, my dad stuck with his first job for 26 years (that's the government for ya), so who knows?

Easter was a touch painful-- what with visiting the unliked relatives, explaining and re-explaining what exactly I do for a living to the confused elderly, and then getting a persistent headache from downing one too many mimosas in an attempt to moderate the urge to commit hari-kari at brunch. Two of my favorite relatives were ill (only one in the hospital this time) which also tended to put a damper on proceedings. And of course, there's that beautiful spring weather: overcast with a touch of rain, that so reminds me of normal Cleveland weather that it makes me want to cry.

And on the topic of crying like a baby, my mini-iPod, bestest friend in waiting (next to my kick-ass comfy purple love-seat), died. Or at least, it died and then got resurrected with the help of Applecare (bless their hearts). But as with all things that should not come back to life, it's gone quite insane and there is no remedy in sight save for sending it away to take the waters at Apple Repair Headquarters. (And I'm quite sure this little story would be more touching if I could decide on a name for the Mini but sadly, I haven't chosen yet. Though I don't think I can call it Bunter (the Imperturbable) now...)