Monday, November 28, 2011

That Long, Peaceful Night

DirecTV had a free preview weekend of the Starz! and Encore channels, and I Tivo'd a great number of movies, deleting all the episodes I had recorded of The Good Wife to make room for them, along with episodes of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations that I probably wouldn't watch despite my interest in them because many, many, many books take priority.

Early yesterday evening, I watched most of Same Time, Next Year, which is really skilled at understated dialogue, so that the laughs are bigger. The playwright Bernard Slade who adapted his play into this movie knows rhythms in dialogue and words within lines, such as when a pregnant Ellen Burstyn says, in reply to Alan Alda's question about whether she's comfortable, "In my condition, it's hard to be comfortable in any position."

I haven't finished it because I wanted to see if I could focus again on an entire evening of reading the rest of Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton, which is wonderful in the descriptions of a career as a chef, a career that didn't take a traditional path, but is incredibly tedious in the Italy section toward the end. The same vacation dredged up over and over through different contexts. Mostly, I wanted to see if I could read a 304-page book in one day, since I had started reading it after I got up at 11 that morning. I can, but it's mighty hard when I've only got a tenuous connection to a book. I connected to a few things said, and loved the culinary descriptions, but it took some willpower to get through many portions of it. It wasn't a matter of forcing myself; I just wanted to see where the story went, though more out of curiosity than interest.

And yet, I loved how the evening turned out because the TV was off, I was sitting on the couch reading, and the entire living room was silent. Just me and a book. Mom, Dad and Meridith were in the other room, Mom resting because of heartburn, Dad watching his Korean soap opera, and Meridith reading Chore Whore by Heather H. Howard, one of my favorite novels, and one she was curious about.

Reading like I was, I felt so light inside and so did the air around me. I was exactly where I belonged. On to the next book and more of the same!

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