Holy Shit, Y’All

On a terrible impulse, I purchased Tumbleweeds, by Leila Meacham, from the Barnes & Noble bargain section. And on an even more terrible binge-read, I actually finished the book. It looks like this:

tumble

Tumbleweeds is the long, rambling saga of three best friends, who meet around the tender age of 11, and form the inevitable love triangle. Except that only one character is likable. And he ends up becoming a priest, which means he doesn’t even get sexy times.

Even these ladies thought the punishment a bit exorbitant.

Even these ladies thought the punishment a bit exorbitant.

Tumbleweeds reminds me of the YA sagas I used to read, particularly the Sweet Valley High editions that gave a delicious, soapy, long history of a family within the Sweet Valley world in an attempt to cash in on the already wild imaginations of teenagers and supposedly give background and greater meaning to characters with whom those teenagers were already acquainted.

As a preteen, I read a lot of stupid shit.

As a preteen, I read a lot of stupid shit.

I don’t ordinarily read family sagas, because they’re generally not my cup of tea. I like salacious gossip regarding real and imaginary people as much as the next gal, but there is often an element of authenticity that is necessary but missing from the saga novels. So instead of feeling connected to the characters, I generally feel like I’m just wading through scenes to get to the sex, much like a romance novel.

engorged

There is nothing wrong with liking the predictability and steaminess of the romance novel, I’m just not much of a romance reader. Although, of course, a well written book is a well written book.

Unfortunately, Tumbleweeds is not a well written book. It’s a romance novel, replete with the predictable plot lines, but with hardly any sex.

omg

If you like the predictability of a romance novel, but are not a fan of the sexy scenes, you might want to pick up Tumbleweeds. Otherwise, I suggest passing up this novel in lieu of other fare. Even as fluffy beach reads go, there are so many better novels out there.

PassLogoOn my indeterminate scale for rating novels, Tumbleweeds earns the status of a used bandaid. #notafan

Ew.

Ew.

Get Over Yourself – Critics are Relevant for a Reason

I recently went to a holiday party – not the best idea, because I had a migraine the size of Montana and was going to be sequestering myself in a small, enclosed space with a roomful of very nice people who have very different views of the world than I.

Montana

Why yes, I did use “Montana” adjectivally because of the alliteration that resulted. #nerdalert

Amongst these nice people with very different views of the world was a Lord of the Rings fan who has seen the movies multiple times, but not noticed any innuendo in the “friendship” between Sam and Frodo.

Um... okay

Um… okay

We then got into an argument about whether or not “The Hobbit” really needed to be made into 3 films. This ended with a haughty closing down on his behalf, and the words: “Well, when you’ve seen any of the films, I’ll value your opinion.”

04_21_2011_haughty

Now, to be fair, I haven’t seen any of the “The Hobbit” movies. But there is a reason for this.

There are lot of great movies and other works of art. There are also a lot of shitty ones (hopefully not including this blog post…). And while some people might jizz in their pants over every big-budget blockbuster released by Hollywood, other people jizz in their pants over pretentious low-budget indie films, while still other people simply prefer to read the books on which most movies are based.

Unfortunately, there is not enough time to view every movie ever made, read every book ever written, or even get an adequate amount of sleep.

branklin sleep

Due to this lack of infinite time, the best a person can do is know him- or herself well, and make choices to the best of his or her ability that will prove entertaining to him or her. One of the best resources in formulating these hypotheses regarding personal choice entertainment fodder is the critic.

A well written or well worded critical review can be entertainment, in and of itself. Yet what is really sought from a critic is someone whose opinions are generally fairly in line with your own; there is, after all, no such thing as an unbiased review. Some reviews might be more accessible to a wider range of people, but by nature, reviews are subjective, and must all be taken with at least a grain, if not an entire shaker-full, of salt.

salt_shaker

I am writing this blog post partially because I didn’t get a chance to explain myself to some haughty dork I will probably never see again at a party the other night, partially because I write reviews myself and would like to think I am doing it for a purpose, and partially because as a frequent reader of reviews, I actually am of the opinion that well-written reviews have a purpose, even if all of the opinions ever written are not necessarily of use to me.

I have not personally seen any of “The Hobbit” movies. I don’t intend to. And it’s not because I’ve read the book (though I have, several times). It is because, based on things I have read and heard regarding these movies from people whose opinion I think generally fairly reflect my own, based on my own intellectual repulsion by the idea that this one action-packed book is being strung out into 3 movies, likely primarily because Hollywood wants to greedily snatch more money, all indications seem high that I will not enjoy any of these movies.

I could be wrong. I will concede it is entirely possible these Hobbit movies are amaze-balls, and I am missing out immensely because I’m not viewing them.

But if I’m not wrong? If I decide to go see this movie because people whose opinion of the world generally don’t correlate with my own think that I should, and then I don’t like them, that’s a lot of time that is gone. That I could have spent playing with my two-year-old son. That I could have spent curled up on the couch, reading a book. That I could have spent staring at the wall. Each of these Hobbit movies is over two hours long. Two hours is a lot of time to give up to an activity you don’t really think you’re going to enjoy.

Seriously. 2+ hours

Seriously. 2+ hours

What Can You REALLY Buy for All of the Men in Your Life, Though?

After opening my Refinery29 e-mail that claimed to have the answer for me, clicking it open, and having my eyes assaulted with an ugly pastel fanny pack that my boyfriend, father, brother, and every man (and woman) I’ve ever met would probably be very sorry to receive as a Christmas present, I’ve decided to do my own gifting guide for the holidays.

This list is unendorsed, and will only be ridiculous on purpose, since unlike some people *cough, cough Refinery29 cough,* I do not assume that a $5,000 miniskirt is a “steal.” (I don’t know why I haven’t unsubscribed from their e-mails yet, either.)

Logic, in action. #facepalm #sarcasmintended

Logic, in action. #facepalm #sarcasmintended

So, ladies (and gents) – do you want to know the ONE THING that you can get for EVERY MAN in your life, that he will be delighted about?

May I present *drumroll, drumroll, drumrolll*

Socks.

Socks.

So simple, this gift might seem too simple.

It's not.

It’s not.

I can’t think of a single guy throughout the duration of my life who has not seemed to run out of socks. This magical ability to never have enough socks is not contingent upon the quantity of laundry done, it is a pervasive fact, underlying the majority of my interactions with men who do not still live at home.

Let’s be clear – this gifting advice only applies to men.

aww yeah

Since there is even a cat meme to go along with my advice, however, I think we can all feel confident in my assessment of socks as the one-gift-fits-all-men category. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

The meaning of Christmas

The meaning of Christmas