books aren’t always good

T wonders how I have time to sit and read books when there are so many other things to do at home. He doesn’t even mean fun things, like sitting in the hammock or running around with the dogs. He’s talking about bill paying, checkbook balancing, laundry, putting dishes away, brushing the dogs, vacuuming… stuff like that. Sometimes, I put off laundry for a day. Sometimes I just take the dogs outside and pet them vigorously and hope their fur lands in a neighbor’s pool. Sometimes I cheat and just suck up the visible stuff off the floor with the hand vacuum. Usually, though, I read while I’m waiting for T to finish brushing his teeth. Or instead of taking a nap with him. Or while he’s puttering around doing something that doesn’t require me.

I love books. Total fiction, not-learning-anything books. I like having a few on the bookshelf so when I feel like reading, one’s available. Otherwise, I would consider getting them from the library. Instead, I go to Costco and browse their new arrivals. Now, books on things like building a chicken coop or how to raise chickens, those I request from the library and wait for them to show up. Sometimes, the books I read are coming out in movie form, but I don’t want to wait for the movie, so I go read the book. My Sister’s Keeper is coming out soon, with Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin. It looks like a sappy movie, so I figured I’d read the book and not have to wait for the movie to come out on DVD. It’s written by Jodi Picoult, who also wrote Handle With Care. Two books about a family with a really sick kid. Apparently, they also have a crazy one-track-mind mother, too. It’s almost like she wrote the same story twice (using the same one-chapter-per-character rotation) but with a different illness. Really, that’s the only difference I could see. There’s a kid; she’s sick. The mom is so focused on caring for/curing the sick kid that she kind of overlooks the other kid(s). Other kid(s) feel like they deserve some individual attention, but also guilt because, you know, they’re not sick. Dad kind of just works to a) try to get away from the mom-crazy and b) try and keep up with the huge medical bills. At some point, there is a lawsuit. Household erupts in more emotional craziness (with mom trying to keep it all from the sick kid) and then mom and not-sick kid are on opposite sides of the lawsuit. Just when you think the not-sick kid will cave into the mom’s dominating pressure, Dad decides that Mom is not thinking clearly and perhaps not-sick kid has a point. Now the parents are on opposite sides of the lawsuit, each wondering how they got to this point and missing the easy, loving relationship they once had. Lots of emotional back and forth happens, then the lawsuit ends. And then, when the lawsuit ends and the family comes back together and they all love each other and are now looking forward to moving on with their happy lives, Jodi Picoult decides that the only way to write a really good book novel is to take the ending and slam it into your heart while laughing fiendly. Ha ha! You thought you might get a nice ending but real life isn’t nice and so I have thrown your emotions into the garbage disposal and now you can tell people that I write really touching and heart-wrenching stories novels.

So, my recommendation to you is to stay away from her books. Or, if you’ve read one, you’ve probably read them all. Unless you like reading about the same story with different character (names) and thinking the story will wrap up nicely but then having the tragedy shoved in your face all of a sudden.

While we’re talking about similarities, let me also tell you that we went to see The Proposal on our “date night”. And it was cute. It was a total romantic comedy, but we like Ryan Reynolds and think he’s funny and there was a really cute puppy in the movie that made us think of Cassie. So, I was enjoying watching this silly movie, eating my overpriced Reese’s Pieces (because you should always buy your date expensive theater candy if you want to show her how cool you are), and then Sandra Bullock starts her I-love-you-all-so-much-I-can’t-lie-anymore speech. And, if you’ve seen While You Were Sleeping, you will recognize this speech and marvel how she managed to do two separate movies that have such similar speeches! What luck!

In all honesty, though, it was a cute movie. Maybe not theater-price worthy, but definitely rentable.

I suppose if I want to be thorough in my warnings and/or announcements, I should also tell you that Luc’s Bistro is not open on Sundays. Don’t forget this! They have very good food (my mom thinks they don’t give you enough food for the money; I say it’s plenty of food and along the lines of Urban Solace in portion size, if that helps you) and delicious cupcakes and you should definitely go there so they can pay their rent and not get evicted like Miami Grille. But don’t go on Sunday. If you go on Sunday when you are hungry and looking forward to some braised chicken or gooey mac ‘n cheese or perfectly moist salmon and a cupcake, you will be sorely disappointed and then you’ll have to go to Poway Sushi Lounge and spend more money than you ever planned on spending at Luc’s Bistro. I’m just saying.

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