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Last time on “Christmas Break Adventures”

12/27/2010

I don’t actually remember what I did last Christmas break, except that we went to the Erichsen’s for New Year’s Eve and played that game where you write a sentence of a story and pass it on–but that variation where you draw a picture, pass it, next person writes a sentence describing said picture, passes it, next person draws a picture based on the sentence, etc.

We did it both ways. Fun times.

So far, I’ve been trooping all over the East to Mid-US.

Goal 1 accomplished at Luke’s: Read And Then There Were None on a lazy afternoon. He was reading Altered Carbon and fell asleep and I finished the murder mystery. Vera’s character  is more along the lines of normal-sexy instead of Hollywood-bombshell sexy; all the men comment on how attractive she is, but I think it’s Lombard’s character who says she doesn’t have “Hollywood glamour.” She’s an ex-governess (she let the kid swim out too far and then swam very slowly to go save him so it was more like neglect than all-out murder) who now is a games-mistress at a school. The “Owens” hire her as a secretary and therefore lure her out to Indian Island since apparently being a games-mistress is a pretty awful job. Honestly, I was a little disappointed in her character–classic woman-in-love-does-drastic-things-to-set-up-her-lover-financially-but-fails-and-loses-him-forever-and-still-dreams/fantasizes-about-him-and-then-occasionally-gets-hysteric-when-trapped-on-an-island-where-everyone-starts-dying. She’s not a complete pushover thankfully; Vera has an authoritative attitude (from her teaching, says an aside) and maintains composure for the majority of the book (and makes a point to contain herself). Dr. Armstrong does slap her in the face when she gets hysteric and the men comment that “that’s the best thing to do for hysteric women!” while I grind my teeth in quiet rage.

Other interesting note: the dynamics between Captain Lombard and Vera are NOT romantic in the book. Christie’s descriptions of Capt. Lombard bring up images of a dangerous loner-wolf character with a streak of semi-psychotic viligante-type-justice. He’s the only person who brings weaponry (revolver) to the island and generally has everyone worried when he doesn’t deny the crime he’s accused of but admits it nonchalantly (that he left like 12 Africans in the bush to die after taking all the remaining supplies with him). Eventually he and Vera are the only two people alive–and then Vera shoots him before returning to the mansion and hanging herself in her bedroom.

I am a little disappointed about the happy/romantic ending, but in the name of art, we shall press on.

As for Goal 2, I’m 240+/1079 pages of Infinite Jest (I say 240+ because I’m unsure of how many pages of endnotes I’ve read). So that’s good, considering I’m still spending time with fam alongside of huge-book-ingestion (inJestion, ha). I’ll have to say more sometime about what it’s like reading it again. The first 200 pages (which are pretty much the perseverance test of the book on the initial read) were AWESOME this time around. Thankfully, reading Brief Interviews with Hideous Men slowly through the semester has kept my brain used to DFW syntax/style. The arc about Ennet House remains my favorite. I was going to try to read a couple more pages tonight, but I just finished Joelle’s Too Much Fun section and couldn’t go any further, emotionally.

Reading/personal goals aside, it’s been a very nice Christmas and will continue to be Christmas sometime this week as I finally go home (to my house!) and we open familial presents.

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