Archive | February, 2010

Pride, Prejudice & Pamela Aidan.

25 Feb

In senior year of high school, our teacher introduced us to all things Jane Austen. We watched the BBC version of “Pride & Prejudice.” The girls swooned, the boys pretended to throw up (I maintain that those boys loved it, regardless of all that fake vomiting), it was the most amazing welcoming to all things Jane Austen. I became an Austenite. From then on, I began the journey. Reading her books, ruminating on the life she lived, watching the movies all over again, falling in love with these stories. The fascination only grew in college (“Read Persuasion? Sure,” she said mock casually, eyeing the book like a candy bar).

But after school comes real life and work and busy schedules.

But after real life and work and busy schedules comes a recommendation from an old friend to read a trilogy by *Pamela Aidan, an author who decided to reimagine the entire P&P saga from the vantage point of Fitzwilliam Darcy.

I finished the three books in about two weeks. I devoured them. I missed my Metro stop for them. I told fellow Austen fans to acquire them and read them immediately. (After going on and on about them to another friend of mine, also an Austenite, her husband surprised her with the three books, which infinitely delighted both she and I). And it was only the beginning.

Now, it has become an full out obsession with finding similar books. The thing is, all of Austen’s books are accessible. Every last one of them can be found in the local bookstore or library. But, um, I want more. I want to sit back and read reimaginings and retellings and “sequels” and the like, to delve back into the Austen world, but with the touch of a writer who has decided to put their particular brand on the story. Of course, these new books are hardly replacements to the originals. Just, simply, new twists to old, treasured stories.

Right now, I’m reading Mr. Darcy Broke my Heart. Next: Searching for Pemberley. It’s a sweet sickness.

*An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire, These Three Remain

Thoughts ‘n Things ‘n Chicken Wings

25 Feb

I needed a rhyme and chicken wings sounded good. The following has nothing to do with chicken. I think.

What is about a good song? A friend and I were chatting about that today–what differentiates a song from a really good song. In the end, for me, anyway, if I hear a song and marvel at how real or personal it is, then it’s a winner. Of course, there are plenty of tunes that have nothing to do with my life experience. Sometimes melody beats substance. But there are times when a song is just real and powerful and true.

I have been remiss. Somewheres, VA, is about a minute away from the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. In said nation’s capital sit rows and rows of ignored museums. I have not been inside a museum in 10 years. Seriously: in college, I spent many a weekend afternoon walking around the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran, so on and so forth, taking in artwork and loving every second of it. I had time then, I had the desire, and I had an awesome art history class that required my trips to the city. Flash forward: I graduated in in the year 2000 (I miss you, Coco O’Brien), it’s 10 years later, and I haven’t stepped foot in a museum. Actually, during a trip to Paris some years ago, I spent a large amount of sweet time walking through the halls of the Louvre, frothing at the mouth and getting trampled by the elderly just to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. But is that fair? I live minutes away from museum life and I do nothing about it? So my new goal is to make time and prepare some artistic field trips in the near future. Meaning, likely, next weekend.

The snow is finally melting. What? Snow? Yes: two blizzards descended upon this part of town BACK to BACK, and it’s all finally melting. Will I complain about Blizzards 1.0 and 2.0? Nope. Best vacation ever. I’ve never been more in love with my comforter, my pillows, and my remote control. And yes, I even did some creative writing. Imagine that.

More thoughts and things and chicken wings later.

The Question of Who…

8 Feb

First off, this was the first time in a long time that I was rooting for any particular team in the Super Bowl. So, yay Saints! I think the combination of them never winning and the whole New Orleans ordeal was part of the rooting. Yay, again.

My problem lies with the whole halftime show.

I get it. The NFL is trying to be safe post-Janet Jackson and the exposure thing. Better safe than sorry. I get it. But, but, the WHO? They sounded off, they seemed scared (really, Roger Daltrey looked terrified of the lights), it just didn’t rock the house. After a few minutes of watching them (and explaining to my little Bro that they’re the guys who supply the theme music to every CSI incarnation on CBS, which, to me, is probably why they were booked, being that the game was being shown on CBS), we changed the channel and went back to the America’s Next Top Model marathon.

There are so many bands out there that can rock the house and still remain fully clothed during the show. However, it seems like, post JJ, the NFL is choosing old fogey acts to prevent ANYTHING from happening. McCartney, Springsteen, etc. Of course, anyone that knows me and reads this thing (which is no one but me, so yeah) knows of my love of all things The Boss and McCartney. But, but…come on.

Daughtry? Nickleback? Even some tried and true pop acts can put something together. I just think that choosing safety doesn’t mean sacrificing a good, old-fashioned show.

Oh, well. Yay, Saints!!



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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