So Neal is the guy. He hates everything. Like, that is actually said several times. At one point he says: "I hate everything." You guys. That is not an appealing trait. Also he is not nice to our heroine FOR THE WHOLE BOOK. Sure we get cute flashbacks but he spends the entire present blowing her off while her heart is breaking over being separated from him and the kids over Christmas...FOR WORK. For her absolute DREAM job. Which he RUINS by being so awful.
So that's the other thing I hate. She basically has to destroy getting her utter dream job, the chance of a lifetime, to fly out and try to make up with Sulky McCrabbypants who is being a passive aggressive asshole to her even though her job is completely awesome and supports all of them. He resents her and hates her writing partner and holds taking care of the kids over her head and dislikes everything about her and what she does.
I cannot stand this book.
I tried to read it again tonight in case I was just tired the first time I read it (I was) or being unfair to the jackass guy (no, I wasn't--in fact I was overly generous to him the first time through) or who knows what. I don't even think I can read it again.
Our heroine self-destructs and gives up her dream to go be with this absolute shit of a guy who is withholding and negative and awful to her ALL THE TIME. If I had a paper copy of the book, I would want to burn it with fire. What on earth is the story trying to say? I mean, what did it want to say and failed to say? True love wins? Okay, maybe if true love isn't toxic and destructive to everything else in your life. Maybe it's supposed to be about co-dependence and it's really an ironic send-up? Um, no.
I also went to an actual movie today, the first time since 2007 because this is the first time since 2007 that I've had friends! I KNOW!!! It was Snowpiercer.
Here's some great things about it: utterly ridiculous premise. Chris Evans. Amazing giant metaphorical social commentary that makes you go hmmmmm. Visual references to Firefly's The Train Job, I absolutely kid you not. Clairvoyant half-Inuit half-Korean girl who is the heroine even though you maybe aren't sure about that the whole time. Chris Evans's big black beard and short stubbly hair. Everyone's dirty faces and dirty old clothes and crappy lives. Chris Evans's incredible monologue near the end where he breaks your heart and then you know what's going to happen to him, and then it does, and it's amazing and tragic and satisfying and so so so so sad. A polar bear who is thinking about eating some people but then doesn't. A movie that lets you imagine that maybe Chris Evans and the unspeakably amazing and gorgeous Korean star are maybe okay after all in the end. Someone taking a baby out of a steel drum and Jamie Bell kissing the baby quick. Tilda Swinton in all her amazing, outrageous, hilarious, toxic, toothy glory. Oh, Tilda Swinton!!!
I can't even mention everything wonderful about this movie. The black humor that had me laughing my head off in the mostly empty theater, the only person laughing, because it's funny stuff in the midst of horrible tragic awful stuff happening. Oh, it's perfect. And when you're the only one laughing in the midst of nightmares, that just adds to it.
And the ghost of David Weddle, who is perfectly fine as far as I know, turning around in his seat and giving me the baleful glare for reacting to what's going on up on the screen. It's so funny how present he was in that theater, given that, you know, he wasn't there. But of course as I said I haven't been to a theater since that time, and the vast majority of things I did see in groups on big screens were Battlestar episodes over at his community center with the Battlestar people. And somehow we always ended up sitting near each other, and I always managed to annoy him by gasping, laughing, and otherwise reacting to the episode. Like, I will say Yikes! if I am thinking Yikes! Quietly. You'd have to be right in front of me.
He wasn't always annoyed, actually. Just that one time when I stomped my feet along with the Universal theme before the episode. He turned around slowly and glared at me. Or more of a Dad-ly exasperated kind of stare. I don't know, it was funny at the time. The Universal theme, you know it, right? It goes music music music music DRUM DRUM, and then does it again. And I was kind of excited. I am excitable! I get excited about things! So when it went DRUM DRUM I went STOMP STOMP. And around he goes and there's the stare.
Anyway watching this was highly evocative of that such that I kept practically seeing David Weddle turning around and giving me The Look the whole time.
See if you can possibly not do that along with the Universal theme the next time you hear it!
The premise of Snowpiercer was completely ludicrous, which freed me up to enjoy the whole thing without my usual excessive empathy or whatnot. I mean, also it was Chris Evans, aka Captain America, plus Tilda Swinton and so on, which certainly whammied my suspension of disbelief a whole lot. The ludicrous premise did me in from the start though. The last remaining humans on Earth! Are all living on a train! And the train never stops! And it's been seventeen years!
Once you're done going "Okay, that would not work for these umpteen million reasons," you can just enjoy the movie.
Once you accept the premise and start thinking about how humans in a closed system would behave, you are into very interesting social theory and psychology and human behavior. Also there's this excellent premise that our guys start out in the back and need to get to the front. It's a nice, clear goal with amazing, unexpected everything along the way. It's glorious.
It's flipping midnight and I have to go to bed like two hours ago, but I knew if I didn't get this fiction off my chest I would never get to sleep. And sleep I must! Oh boy, tomorrow's going to be hard, with only six hours of sleep. Jiminy. Oh well.
I did actually vacuum today, with the jackhammer vacuum that made me slightly deaf afterward, which means I'm getting a new vacuum, jeebus. I got my Online Job work done. It took me all weekend to do it, though. That can't happen again. I need time off! I washed a lot of the dishes but not all of the dishes. I got all the laundry done. I went for walks. Two miles again today. And watered the garden. And got bitten by mosquitos.
My friend D. suggested that my mysterious squash/melon is actually a pumpkin. Because it's turning orange! I don't know why I never thought of that. Clearly the previous people carved a pumpkin and put the seeds in the compost pile. Very cool! I gave B. and D. some of my homegrown purple potatoes, yay! And another ripe tomato. I am exporting produce!
My house is reasonably clean but so very untidy. It's kind of making me bananacakes. But I'll clean it up tomorrow or whenever. Right now I have to go to sleeeeeeeep. Look, all this fiction processing has me actually tired now, despite my liter of Pepsi at the movies.
I get popcorn and eat it for like the first hour and forty-five minutes, then drink the whole soda in the last fifteen minutes, or else I'll have to run out to pee in the middle of the movie. This theater even puts nutritional yeast on the popcorn like I do! Hurray, hippie theater! The one in Haight Ashbury with the comfy couches and chairs used to do that, too.
I'm all proud of going to the movies with my friends. You know I totally thought that I should say no and get my work done and maybe clean up my messy house, but I was already mad that I wasn't going to get to go kayaking this weekend as I planned. Because of WORK. And fiction, friends, and fun are a great combination. We had a great time.
Life! Doing stuff! Wooooooo! Oh right, sleep. Must get on that. Good night!