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a couple of quick notes
benedict follows this rule, a fan of dactyls, martin's metrical feet, not paramount but still my favorite
Hi, everybody!

Just a couple of quick notes on my life.

First - all of the work on my apartment is done! Every room in my apartment has been painted except for the laundry closet and the pantry. But every other wall, windowframe, door, ceiling, and radiator has been painted, and it all looks wonderful. The living room, library, and hallway are a pale yellow (Lemon Drops). Both bathrooms and the breakfast bar are a very pretty color that looked greyish-blue on the swatch and now looks greenish-blue on the walls (Hazy Blue). The guest bedroom and a couple of accent walls are a gorgeous, rich deep blue (Americana). And finally, my bedroom is a soft, creamy orange (Tangerine Melt overlaid with Peachy Keen). AND! The library has floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves now, in a very appealing plain varnished oak. The only problem is that now I don't want to pin up my posters again - I want to frame everything. So I'm going to try to find some frames (some of the art is of a size that American frames don't routinely come in) and put everything up. Once I clean everything and get most of my art back on the walls, I'll take some pics to share.

Second - I'm off to Europe in two weeks! I'll be flying into England on Saturday, August 4, and immediately heading to Cambridge to stay with my cousin. Then off to London for a few days with the lovely kate_lear, and then I scooch off to Brussels, where my mother is attending a week-long meeting (I will have one entire day on my own to explore), and then she and I are going to Cologne for two days. So, does anybody have any suggestions for Brussels and/or Cologne? We're both vegetarians, so bratwurst recs will be less useful than spaetzle recs. Also - any book recs for my plane journeys?

Third - I have now watched the first three seasons of The West Wing. Several years ago, I watched season 1 and decided it wasn't my thing. But my brother loves it, and he'd bought 1-3 and then bought the entire series in a boxed set, so I got the original DVDs. I don't think I'm planning to watch any more, but I did want to hear from you guys, if you watched it. I have to say that the only characters I really love are CJ and Toby; Josh and Sam have their moments, especially Josh, but overall I'm not drawn to them. I really, really disliked Leo. But, oh, CJ and Toby, you are phenomenal. I'm even considering writing CJ/Simon Donovan because I found them totally charming (did not like Danny, I must say). Is there any CJ/SD fic out there? While I think CJ for the most part escapes the curse of female characters as written by Aaron Sorkin, I was pretty turned off by the way Sorkin handled most of the women on the show. To me, it seems like he's decided that he needs to be an entirely different writer to write women, with the result that he forgets that women are people just like the men he writes so well. Ugh. Anyway, thoughts?

Fourth - I've made plans to visit my dad (who lives near DC) for Labor Day weekend - that should be relaxing.

Fifth - I saw a few plays recently.
Bronte was a one-woman show about Charlotte Bronte reflecting on her life after her siblings have died but before she got engaged. Maxine Linehan was wonderful. (8/10)
Closer Than Ever was a fun musical that felt very much like a late 80s/early 90s piece (as it is), and had a couple of standout numbers. The cast did a good job, and the bass player was a standout. (7.5/10)
Proof, which I'd read several years ago, was kind of a disaster. The lead - Kristin Parker, playing Catherine (and who looked like a freckled, redheaded Summer Glau) - was excellent, but Alan Langdon as Robert was just terrible. He looked like he couldn't remember his lines or his blocking, so there was a lot more stumbling and stuttering than there should have been. You could see KP - not Catherine - trying to adjust to what he was doing. The other actors were fine, but not particularly notable. (5/10)

Sixth - AAARRRGGGGHHHHH, computer woes! All I want to do is write my story! This ancient laptop I'm posting from is great in a pinch and very frustrating for daily use.

Anyway, how are all of you?

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Will you be attending any Olympic events while you're in London? I'm so jealous of everyone who gets to go.


Oh, I definitely didn't plan well enough to do that! But it looks like there are giant screens being set up at a few parks, so I might stop and watch those.

Good luck to you with your athletic endeavors!

Oooh Europe! I hope you have a lovely time. When you get back, we should make supper plans :D

Yes, absolutely! I'm having dinner with Christine tomorrow, actually, and I'd love to see you again!

Your apartment sounds beautiful! and I am salivating over the idea of built in bookcases.

I feel like I've read a lot of good books lately--what kind of thing do you like?

A one woman show about Charlotte B.--was it sad? or did they let her have any sense of humor?

Happy travels!

Thank you so much! I spent too long salivating over everyone else's built-ins, and finally decided I had the time and money right now, so I went ahead. They do look gorgeous, and now I get to fill them up!

What I'm looking for, really, are paperbacks that are long and satisfying. I've been reading a lot more non-fic recently, but I think I'd be happiest with fiction. I'm a fan of literary fic and mystery fic primarily but I LOVE stories that have to do with storytelling and/or play with ideas about storytelling. Hmmm, that's not all that useful, is it? Basically, rec me big fat paperbacks you've loved, please?

The show was very funny - Charlotte was wry without losing any somberness, and even the moments that she was laughing were tinged with melancholy. But it wasn't a downer at all. Very beautiful, very nicely done. (Apparently, it was originally written as a radio play for Julie Harris and is available as a record.)

Here's the link to goodreads page -- there might be something there?

For me, the best novel I've read this year is Matterhorn, which I read on my trip to England in March--but it's pretty violent and upsetting.

Along with the books on that page, I'm in middle of a great novel called The Invisible Bridge, which I think would be perfect for plane travel, and just started The World Without You which seems engaging.

Other novels I've found really satisfying for summer trips: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters and Three Junes by Julia Glass.

I love having a good novel on the plane--it makes all the difference!

I will look for these when I hit up the library tomorrow, thank you! I do, of course, have plenty of unread paperbacks on my own shelves, but I wanted recs from people I trust - much obliged!

I also watched the very beginning of West Wing and was like...NO THANKS. But everyone I adore loves it so I always think I should give it another try. On the other hand, having to watch 700 seasons overwhelms me.

Travel safe!!

It is a heavy slog if you just aren't into it, but I could definitely rec a few eps for you, if you'd like? Just tell me what you want - humor, relationships, big speeches, etc.


Nah, if I'm going to watch it, I'll watch it all. Maybe some day! :)

Hurray for your apartment and your trip!

Brilliant Husband and I just started West Wing and nearly stopped after the first two episodes. I could not stand Sam and the way he behaved towards the call girl (which name is her real name)? I felt that not only did he think of himself as the white knight, but that the Sorkin did too, and that ticked me off!

I really like CJ, though, and I like the president, and I liked the third and fourth episodes considerably more. We'll see how far we get.

The call girl's name is Laurie, and yeah, Sam is very consciously "look at me making her life better!" Ugh. Though Sam does have that aspect to his personality, season 2 really lets him shine as someone who believes in the power of politics to make the world a better place, and it suits him well.

CJ and Toby just felt more real to me - it's not just that I most often agreed with their positions, but that I believed that those particular people would hold those positions.

Thank you!

Ooooh, the apartment sounds lovely - I love the use of color in homes. Also, so jealous of the built-in shelves in the library!! I can't wait to see pictures. I'll bet you're so glad that's all done with. :)

The West Wing wasn't my thing, either. In general, I really dislike Sorkin, and always have; I don't find his dialogue clever, and he does definitely have woman issues.

I am really glad all of the work is finally done with! And, yes, the apartment looks beautiful now, and I'm looking forward to getting everything cleaned enough to take pictures that won't make me blush!

I've seen less than half of what Sorkin's put out - I loved Sports Night's Dan, Dana, and Isaac, and of course I just tested out the early run of TWW, but that's about it. No interest in S60, Newsroom, or The Social Network. It's really glaringly obvious that he has woman issues in one of the very early TWW eps - a couple of the male characters keep talking about "these women" in a way that is supposed to be admiring and disbelieving, but it comes across like they are anthropologists studying a completely alien species called "women." Ugh, it's so condescending and "bless their little hearts, they want to help us run this country!" And there was an ep late in season 3 where the US makes a deal with a fictional Middle Eastern country (Qumar) that has a terrible record with respect to how women are treated there, and the ONLY one who objects to the deal is CJ, very explicitly because she is a woman. NO WAY.

How is your lovely house doing? And did you pick a summary?

Let me know if you have a free bit of time while you're in London...I should be here and would love to see you!

monkie! Yay!

I'll be in London for most of Monday, August 6, all of Tuesday, August 7, and most of Wednesday, August 8. I would love to see you again!

I sent you an email to your livejournal address, let me know if you didn't get it!

Your apartment sounds awesome - pictures will be cool!

If you don't mind spending a little extra, you could always get your posters dry-mounted to foam core (it comes in colors) so they look like they're matted. You can have the foam core cut to a more 'standard' size. Probably cheaper than custom frames.

Have a good trip!

I had never heard of this foam core stuff, but it looks tremendously cool - thank you for the tip! Let me see how much money I blow through on this trip and then I can decide if I have enough for all this cool stuff.

How's your cat situation? And how are you?

Foam core is awesome. :)

Chango is still missing. It sucks lots. I'm okay.

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Thank you so much! I will post pics once I've got everything really set.

CJ is such a great character - I find myself agreeing with almost everything she does.

I leave for Europe tomorrow, whoo!

Hii! Much belated, since I'm always so late to all parties, but I hear you're coming to London! :D Would you like to meet up while you're here? I'd love to :)

Check your email, lady!

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