Well, blork and Martine flitted off to the City by the Bay and left us Monkeys wondering when and if the April edition would be. They are now safely returned, the Monkey is in, and all’s right with the world.
This month’s Monkey is confessions of movie-induced crying.
Well, with the (possible) exception of Airplane, just about every movie I’ve ever seen has reduced me to tears. This is not an indication of the type of movie I see, rather, it’s a pretty telling indication of my inability to control the waterworks. Depending on hormone levels, just about anything can make me weepy.
Love Story? Cried.
Star Wars? Cried.
Adam Bede? Cried.
‘Candle in the Wind’? Cried.
The toilet paper commercial with the puppy who keeps bonking his head? Cried.
I have no shame, really.
Of course, generally speaking we’re talking about a tear or two, all very dignified, at least ’til I get to the nose-blowing. But the one movie that reduced me to a blubbering mess – loud sobbing, quivering, total basket-case – was….
Terms of Endearment.
I said it.
Now leave me alone.

Reading list*

Via Steve.
Copy the list, then indicate what you’ve read in bold. I’ve taken the liberty of making occasional comments.
Author – Title
— Beowulf
Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice among others
Baldwin, James – Go Tell It on the Mountain but I have sung the song
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot also among others
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte – Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger
Cather, Willa – Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey – The Canterbury Tales a.o.
Chekhov, Anton – The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate – The Awakening but I have read other works
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness does seeing the movie count?
Cooper, James Fenimore – The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage
Dante – Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel – Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel – Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities Oh, come on – it’s like the only one I haven’t read.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment other stuff
Douglass, Frederick – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore – An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre – The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss see note above re Dickens
Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man I did date him once, though. I think.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Selected Essays
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William – The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry – Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox – The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von – Faust other stuff
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph – Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms
Homer – The Iliad
Homer – The Odyssey

Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady

James, Henry – The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man among others
Kafka, Franz – The Metamorphosis among others
Kingston, Maxine Hong – The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair – Babbitt
London, Jack – The Call of the Wild on the summer reading list
Mann, Thomas – The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman – Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick twice, even
Miller, Arthur – The Crucible
Morrison, Toni – Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene – Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George – Animal Farm and, of course, 1984.

Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago movie
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan – Selected Tales

Proust, Marcel – Swann’s Way Monty Python sketch only
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond – Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry – Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye among others
Shakespeare, William – Hamlet
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth
Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William – Romeo and Juliet
need I add, among others
Shaw, George Bernard – Pygmalion but I have seen My Fair Lady.
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon – Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles – Antigone
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William – Vanity Fair

Thoreau, Henry David – Walden
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan – Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn among others
Voltaire – Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. – Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice – The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora – Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt – Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray The Importance of Being Ernest should be on the list, too…
Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie not to mention Streetcar.
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse among others

Wright, Richard – Native Son
*in case you’re wondering, this was way easier than trying to think of something original to say. Scary busy (see below). Back soon.

Weight of the whirled

Ok, proud of myself for not smoking for 66 days!!
On the other hand, not so pleased with the extra 10 pounds. This is not what I meant when I said I loved the hippy life.
So, new resolution – I’m going to get back into the pilates, and the walking – I haven’t walked Maggie the Poodle since before Christmas – and stop rewarding the non-smoking with the “occasional” maple-walnut muffin.
I miss smoking. I’m going to miss the muffins, too. Being thin and healthy better be worth it, is all I can say.

No refunds

Colin and Robert were asking about heritage and nationality – inspired by my claddagh – and we told Robert he was Canadian.
He is now convinced we bought him at Canadian Tire.

Positive Vibes, please

Dina’s Dad is in the hospital, in Intensive Care. He’ll be having surgery at some point today. I don’t have all the details, but it’s something with his heart.
Lou has the best heart. He’s a warm, loving, generous father, husband and Poppy. He’s always treated me like a daughter.
So, please, send a positive thought his way today.
Update, too

Hey, you dropped your wooing forms

Faced with such a harsh intrusion of reality, and with parting from the ladies, the lords are compelled to drop the conventional forms of wooing they have used so far and say just what they feel.
From page 23 of The Oxford Shakespeare edition of Twelfth Night.
Perhaps as a limbering exercise for the immanent April Monkey, this meme asks that you:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
Via Martine, who got it from Patrick, who conveniently lists the meme string so I can stop now.

Can’t talk, busy

Last semester, I found myself running around like the cliched chicken, but without the sweet release of death to look forward to. So, I vowed, this semester I would be prepared.
I had it all planned – oral presentations throughout the term, rather than all at once at the end; staggered due dates to ensure smaller heaps of essays to correct; class reading schedules so we’re all on the same page (pun intended), etc. I was a veritable goddess of anticipatory scheduling.
You can tell I’m tired. I’m using words like ‘anticipatory’ with no veiled undertones. Sigh.
Of course, orals get postponed because students get the flu, or the plague, or whatever, or simply decide that their mid-term chem test is waaaaay more important than Mordecai Richler’s contribution to the literary face of Montreal; essays are late or rescheduled because everyone’s (and I mean everyone’s) computer eats documents randomly and no one’s printer works; and books arrive three friggin’ weeks late at the bookstore.
Needless to say (so I’ll say it), I am once again facing the end of the semester with trepidation. Or I would be if I could remember what ‘trepidation’ meant, along with the other few thousand words that have abandoned me of late. This morning I told a class that Sebastian “beat the shit out of” Sir Toby in Twelfth Night. While true, still not the eloquent professorial note one wants to strike with students.
And now, let’s face it, I’m just babbling.
The good news is that all my colleagues seem to wandering the halls with the same frightened deer look, so I am not alone in my trepidation, whatever that means.
Four weeks from now, it will all be behind me (save the heaps of essays), and I’ll be able to think about my summer course – which, since it’s only three weeks long, will be over before the panic can begin.

And I quote…

“We’re trying to explain how things are going, and they are going as they are going. Some things are going well and some things obviously are not going well. You’re going to have good days and bad days.” On the road to democracy, this “is one moment, and there will be other moments. And there will be good moments and there will be less good moments.”
So saith Donald Rumsfeld, during a Pentagon briefing on the American invasion of Iraq.