December 22, 2005

3 Things I Want to Tell You (unrelated)

1.) There's a very interesting (and funny and well written) take on the new Pride and Prejudice movie on You should go give it a read. The reviewer is peeved that Jane's been made so sentimental, so gooey, so lovestruck and double plus romantical. Jane was a pragmatist, and she had a biting black wit that the movie loses almost utterly in favor in rain swept moors and snogging. The reviewer's points are well taken, however... I just loved that movie. Shamelessly.

I started reading Jane Austen when I was twelve. I still read her, and get through every one of her books about once every two years, I would say. I even read Lady Susan and the fragments.

And this was the movie of the book I read when I was twelve years old, NOT the movie of the book I read NOW. At twelve, her books were love stories to me, pure and simple. I adored them. At some point in high school, I realized the books were FUNNY. I was in college by the time I realized how keen-eyed and insightful she was. I have loved these books at every age and every stage, and think all my points of view on them as I grew up were true and valid, even if not EQUALLY true and valid. YES, Jane's pragmatic, but she believes in marrying for love. She believes in warmth and the beauty of human attachment---and that was ALL I saw her in books as a pratling.This is the movie of THAT book, the book of my pale pink pubescent heart, and accepting it as such, I quite enjoyed it.

Knightly was a lively and delightful Elizabeth and for some reason made me think of the nickname that Garp gives the babysitter in my third favorite John Irving novel: Little Squab Bones. Also, I LOVED Sutherland's mumbling, wry, understated take on Mr. B. I say, oh heck, give it a tumble.

By the way, just so you know I am enough of a lunatic fringe Jane-lover to have an opinion, allow me to insert that I will never forgive Patricia Rozema for the abasement of MANSFIELD PARK.

2) Yesterday I was talking with a friend about geography, and I realized once again how much my memory is tied to SMELLS. I can't remember places very well, or things I see, but I remember smells perfectly, and smells bring back memories for me more than any other sense. Every year, when it gets cold and the air gets that sharp, winter smell, I inexplicably become happy. Except not really inexplicably. In fact, I can explit it: The air smelled like this the first time Scott kissed me, and we agreed to probably get married and have a bunch of babies that same night.

Of course, there are bad parts to smell being such a gateway to memory for me... San Francisco, a gorgeous city I adore, is for me forever tied to the stench of those sea lions. Cute, but LORDY, they smell like the sulpherous farts of the damned in hell.

3) Yesterday my mother called me and said, "Can you run to Target and see if they have the KEEPSAKE TINS of YU-GI-OH cards? We are sold out here and if I have to go to one more store looking for them, I am going to end up strangling a clerk. That will NOT be Christmassy."

Reader, I WENT. I went to TARGET on the Wedneday before Christmas. Let me say, I called my mother after and told her we were even. No more hanging that "I carried you in my body for ten months because you were late and then suffered 30 hours of hard labor because this was before they invented the really GOOD drugs" over my head. I am PAID UP.

It turned out to be good for me, as well, because I realized that, while I had done all my TRUE Christmas Shopping in October and November, I had waited to buy stocking stuffers out of a misguided feeling that the candy might go STALE or something. I forgot that this is America, and candy here is actually 5% candy and 95% a mix of preservative chemicals, hormones, SOMA, and mind control fluid the government puts in to make us ALL think we have "RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME" so that big pharmeceutical companies can sucker us into trying to cure it by gobbling up great fistfuls of their RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME STOPPING PILLS, and thereby fund the mass emailings of SPAM advising my penis-less self to hoover up delicious Cialis SOFT TABS as if no one is going to think, "Do I really want to take something called a SOFT TAB for Erectile Dysfunction???" BUT. I. DIGRESS.

The point is, I had Maisy with me, so I thought I would not get to BUY my stuffers....but she fell asleep in the car. I slung her up in one arm, pushed a cart with the other, and marched all over Target for 30 minutes through the congested, teeming aisles. I was like a Salmon swimming upstream, if Salmons had to tote 30 pounds worth of sleeping pre-schooler. AND I GOT ONE OF THE LAST THREE YU-GI-OH TINS TO BOOT. I TOTALLY won shopping.

Bonus thing: Mir decided to be my UNsecret friend (because my secret friend had some sort of internet problem and I never heard from her again after that first time). Mir sent me a CHARMING book and a pair of teeny handcuffs with one side labelled YOU and one side labelled YOUR KEYS. Very, very needed. I am pleased to have an UNsecret friend, since I did such a BANG UP job this year of being unsecret myself, as you may recall. I sent MY secret friend a letter that went something like this: "HI IT IS ME YOUR SECRET FRIEND! Love, Joshilyn." That was...slightly less secret than I wanted to be. Signing your NAME is not like a CLUE so much as it is like THE ANSWER. Next year I will be all CLEVER and sign off with a RIDDLE instead of my name. Something like, "Love, SECRET FRIEND whose name rhymes with SHMOSHILYN except with a J in front and the H si silent!"

Yeah. That ought to do it.

Posted by joshilyn at December 22, 2005 8:55 AM

I love you Smoshilyn-except-with-a-J-in-front-and-the-H-is-silent. Please, oh please, would you be my secret friend next year? And if not, would you be my not-so-secret-friend? Either will do really....

Thanks ever so. I'll be looking for my card in the mail in about 11 months.

Happy Christmas to all y'all yummy Jacksons!

Posted by: Angela at December 22, 2005 9:19 AM

My god, you did win shopping! You are so very, very, VERY brave for tackling Target so close to the day. Mattel should make a Smoshilyn action figure for adults. She'd have credit cards and a stocking stuffer list and a sleeping toddler. I would totally buy one.

Posted by: Aimee at December 22, 2005 10:11 AM

Aimee wrote:

"Mattel should make a Smoshilyn action figure for adults. She'd have credit cards and a stocking stuffer list and a sleeping toddler."

And the tiny handcuffs with the tinier keys.

Posted by: Holly at December 22, 2005 10:25 AM

I saw P&P and did enjoy it, I thought the scenery was fabulous, but then I'm kind of biased as I live in it, I'm only 10 miles away from Chatsworth House *hee*

But, have you seen the BBC mini series version of P&P with the delightfully delectable Colin Firth as Darcy, becuase if you haven't, I am telling you know, YOU MUST!

Merry Christmas

Posted by: Kitty at December 22, 2005 10:45 AM

OH I forgot to tell you that I told Kira about the handcuff keychain and she said "You know that's, like, a secret sign to other bondage fetishists, right?" And first I said NO, that I most emphatically did NOT know that, and SECOND I said HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT WAIT NO PLEASE DON'T TELL ME.

So, really, they're sort of the gift that just keeps on giving, disturbingly.

Your Secret Space Station

Posted by: Mir at December 22, 2005 10:53 AM

Holly wrote:

Aimee wrote:

"Mattel should make a Smoshilyn action figure for adults. She'd have credit cards and a stocking stuffer list and a sleeping toddler."

And the tiny handcuffs with the tinier keys.

I'm writing :

And pretty, pretty, pointy shoes

Posted by: Em at December 22, 2005 11:30 AM

Oh Mir way to funny on more that one level, and far too too appropriate a gift for Smoshelyn.

I loved the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, delicious. I've been an Austin fan forever. I devour her books in large helpings and go back, the years I'm not rereading LOTR, and read them all over again and dream. Yeah I know middle age and I still dream. Middle age, when did that happen? I look forward to the new production of P&P and look forward to adding the video er cuse me DVD to my collection. I would love for them (any them) to shoot Persuassion. I thought Mansfield Park not as good as the book, but it was an interesting twist on the view point and characters.

Handcuffs...too funny. I can see Joss getting two fingers cuffed together and having to be rescued by hubby after losing her keys. :)

Posted by: Cele at December 22, 2005 12:21 PM

Far be it from to go off on something that was just a small tangent, and I promise not to get all soapbox-y and long winded, but . . .

I just felt the need to point out that Restless Leg Syndrome is a real thing, and it is pure hell for those of us that have it, and the dumb Requip commercial doesn't even come close to describing what it's really like, and Requip sucks anyway.

Okay, there, I'm done.

Posted by: Sarah at December 22, 2005 12:43 PM

my friend the perfumer says that smell is the sense most closely linked to memory. i believe him. i was at a friend's childhood home and the smell of the upstairs took me right back to my grandparents' farmhouse.

Posted by: sue at December 22, 2005 12:44 PM

I too braved Target yesterday...but alas! I did not fare so well! AND I nearly strangled a clerk, as well. I'm not sure I agree with BJ about that not being would have done LOADS for MY Christmas spirit...

Keycuffs! Excellent!

Posted by: Amy-GO at December 22, 2005 12:55 PM

I haven't seen this newest version of P&P yet and it's a must-see for me, but I'm glad I read the review you linked to before I do so I have an idea what to expect.

Smell and memory - I had a lot of respiratory problems as a child and spent a lot of time with Vick's rub and inhalers and steamers and STUFF, and to this day the scent of eucalyptus gags me because to me it will always be the smell of illness. OTOH, the smell of wild honeysuckle will always mean hot, lazy summer days at my grandma's house to me. That one makes me breathe deep and smile.

Posted by: DebR at December 22, 2005 1:07 PM

Actually -- I do not want to be misread on this. My problem is with drug companies advertising. NOT with any illness--- I was not tryign to say RESTLESS LEG SUYNDROME does not exist, rather I was trying to say IF YOU ARE SEEIING THIS COMMERCIAL, THE CHANCES ARE, YOU DO NOT HAVE IT. 99% OF YOU DO NOT NEED THIS DRUG. I do not think drug companies should run commercials trying to get people to ask their doctors for drugs and self diagnosing based on flashy graphics and concerned-sounding voice overs. If you have terrible symptoms, you go to a doctor, and he says RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME and gives you drugs. Nothign wrong with that. But There IS soemthing wrong with prescription meds with serious side effects being peddled like floor cleaner.

Posted by: Joshilyn at December 22, 2005 1:33 PM

I, not so long ago, asked my doctor about a medication (because someone was taking something I was concerned about) he told me, if they have to advertise, you don't want to take it. I trust his opinion.

Posted by: Cele at December 22, 2005 6:04 PM

Could you please elaborate on the "abasement" of Patricia Rozema's Mansfield Park? I didn't remember their being anything particularly wrong with it, but it's been a while. I also don't know if I would enjoy a supermodel-thin Lizzy even in channeled from Knight, it's so not Austen.

Posted by: Sabra at December 23, 2005 9:10 AM

OH she did this thing where she made gentle, terrified, and-yet-I-yearn-for-goodness FANNY be NOT Fanny, but rather had Fanny be the way she thought Jane Austen herself would be or was, which is to say lively and sassy and teetering on passionate and whatnot, and it made me clinically INSANE because if Fanny is fiesty and lively the entire book makes no sense, thematically AND hit on a pet peeve of mine as a writer...

Perhaps I am alone in this but it seemed PERSONAL and INTRUSIVE, too, to make a character INTO the author. This movie came out long before my first novel, but I was already seeing this tendency with shorts I had published...I hate it when people insist, to my face, that I simply must be Arlene, that gods, because it is first person must be true, and that I am CLEARLY not a a good enough writer to MAKE STUFF UP (which is pretty much what fiction writers do, you know. I think you can generally always trust me to write a main character who is not, Thank God, me...just mine. There's a big difference. Jane was NOT Fanny. NOT. She was Jane. Fanny was HERS, but not and never her. So.

Posted by: Joshilyn at December 23, 2005 10:15 AM

And totally unrelated to your post: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! :)

Posted by: AGK at December 23, 2005 12:25 PM

Interesting. I didn't see Fanny as lively and sassy, but more of a bit miffed about being an accessory of sorts and struggling with that frustration within the context of her rather insecure and demure personality. Was there any scene in particular you remember which pissed you off with its misinterpretation of the text?

I think Mansfield Park is my favorite book by Austen, and like you, I've read it all.

Posted by: Sabra at December 23, 2005 12:30 PM

Joss, I loved the new P&P. Not as much as the A&E version (mini-series), but I did love this one. I have a teensy girl crush on Kiera Knightly. I don't want to be with her. I want to BE her.

I don't think I have seen Mansfield Park. Or read that one. I got burned out and took a break. I need to read the rest of her novels.

Aww... Mir is awesome! My secret friend emailed me three times. I just heard from her saying my giftie is on the way. :)

Posted by: Heather at December 25, 2005 5:17 PM