Daily Archives: March 12, 2007

I want to read something fun

I don’t remember when I last read something fun. Unless you count Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or some of the Lemony Snickett books. But even then – I was reading those because my kids wanted me to. The only other books I read are book group books – and lately they bore me. Even when I read a book I enjoy for book group, it’s not the same as finding one that looks interesting, sitting in a cosy chair and reading.

I went through my house and cataloged most of my books (I still have the kids’ rooms, attic and my work-related books to do) on LibraryThing. I found a lot of books I’d purchased, but not read for one reason or the other (probably because I had book group books to read). I also found Lady Chatterly’s Lover, a book I’d borrowed over a year ago. I started reading it before Christmas break and just now finished. I didn’t read it all at one go, but still. Four months to read a book with less than 300 pages in it?

I did recently read a good book. A very good book that I completely enjoyed, and have recommended everywhere, but it still was not exactly my choice. And while it was a REALLY GOOD BOOK, I wouldn’t call it fun.

I think I will try to finish The Awakening tonight (another book group book that is ok, but not fun). I bought it several years ago, meaning to read it, but never got to it. It reminds me of my Women in Education course I took when my kids were small and I was introduced to Tillie Olsen, Virginia Woolf and Adrienne Rich. So in the sense that I’m enjoying it, it is a little fun, but not at all light.

If I finish the Awakening before March 28 I will get to read something fun. I wonder what I will choose. Maybe The Thirteenth Tale. Or perhaps The Eyre Affair. Something to look forward to.

17. Oh What a beautiful Girl who can’t say no

I took speech in 8th grade. Not the kind you take when you need help with your expressive and receptive language, but the kind where you have to embarrass yourself in front of a bunch of other 8th graders.

We did a lot of performances and not really any speeches. Maybe that’s because our speech teacher was an actor of sorts. He liked to name drop and tell us who he’d most recently had lunch with. The only one I remember, or recognized was Sissy from Family Affair. That impressed me. In reality the class should have been called Drama.

Anyway. One of our assignments was to lip-sync song from a musical. I think the teacher said we could not use the Wizard of Oz, or I know I would have used a song from that musical. I remember going home and agonizing over it. The logical song would have been my favorite from Mary PoppinsThe Perfect Nanny. I knew it by heart (and still do). However for some reason I promised a friend in class I’d let her use my album for that song.

Having eliminated the only two soundtrack albums I owned I was in a quandary until a friend of my mom came to the rescue and loaned me Oklahoma. I’d never seen the musical, but knew one song on this soundtrack – Oh What a Beautiful Morning. Sure, why not?

I played the song over and over again, reading the words from the record sleeve. I could silently belt it out as good as Gordon MacRae did in the movie. My mom helped me with my costume – a pair of her old straight-leg blue jeans, a plaid shirt and a bandanna around my neck. She even helped me fashion a lasso out of some rope we had left over from our laundry line.

I was excited, and knew I was going to do well. I sat in my regular seat and talked to Cindy who sat in front of me as the rest of the students seated themselves. When Bob S. sat down next to me I turned to him to ask what song he was performing. I didn’t need to ask. He was wearing a cowboy shirt, a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, a red bandanna and chaps. Chaps? Where did he get chaps?

“You can’t sing Oh What a Beautiful Morning!” I cried, “I’m singing that.” I don’t remember his reaction. I was already in tears. I do recall he tried to comfort me and offer me the use of his chaps.

The teacher was ok with having two Oh What a Beautiful Mornings, even though he’d earlier said we couldn’t lip-sync the same song as someone else. I think it was my hysterics. I was adamant, however. I’d do something else. Since we were not going to get through all performances that day, I had until we met again two days later to prepare for my new song.

I turned to Oklahoma again – The Surrey with the Fringe on Top? No – How could I sing about something when I had no idea what it was? Oklahoma? No. People Will Say We’re in Love? No I Can’t say No? Sure, why not.

I listened and practiced and practiced and learned the lyrics. Mom found me an old dress and a women’s old straw hat. I was ready.

I barely remember my time on stage except for realizing in the middle of the song that it was kind of odd that I, a shy, never been kissed, wallflower kind of a girl, was singing about not being able to say no to men.