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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nope! Can't do it!


With my book reviews, I'm playing around with the format. I copy my reviews from here into goodreads instead of writing two different ones and I'm trying to find a format that would work for both. And one that I like instead of the normal rambling that is my inner dialogue, much like you'll see in this post! ;) I doubt I'll find a go-to format for book reviews. I see so many wonderful blogs that have a set format, but that's really just not me.

As to the title of this post, have you ever tried reading a book or watching a movie or listening to an entire album that someone tells you is AMAZING or GREAT or MUST SEE/HEAR/READ? I used to have a policy that I would finish reading whatever it is that I'm reading no matter how bad it may be. It went along with what my mother tried to instill: "Try everything, once. Don't knock it til you've tried it."

I really try to keep doing just that even when it bites me in my ass.

Case in Point: 
Mom and Dad sent me to Space Camp when I was 12 years old with a friend. That friend's mother and grandparents generously invited me to the grandparents' Florida home for an extra week after camp ended. It was a fabulous two weeks of learning, playing, and enjoying the sunshine of Florida as well as the fascinating little lizards that crawled all over the grandparents' house and our legs as we sat in the itchy, crab grass. 
But back to the point: Mom taught me to try everything once, always eat food that is offered because it would be rude not to, elbows off the table, sit up straight, chew with your mouth closed, etc. I wasn't a very picky eater, but I didn't grow up with boiled cabbage as dinner. Nor did we have liver and onions or other dishes that would send most any child into a fit of tantrums. Our first night there, the grandmother set a plate in front of me with two odd looking, whitish green eggroll shaped things on it. I politely inquired as to what it is even as my eyes began to water a bit from the  pungent smell. "My famous cabbage rolls, dear!" 
I didn't, and still do not, eat cabbage unless it's kimchee. I don't like it. I certainly don't like it boiled. But I knew my duty. I smiled brilliantly and the grandma, thanked her for the meal, and tucked in, determined to try it and hopefully like it despite its appearance and taste. After the first bite, I ate as quickly as I could without being disgusting. And then quietly gulped down my juice trying to chase the taste of boiled cabbage and meat out of my mouth, silently railing at my mother for raising me to try anything. 
"Oh, I knew you'd love my cabbage rolls! You must be hungry from your trip! Here have some more!" I smiled at the grandmother although inside I was dying, certain I would embarrass myself by sicking up what I just wolfed down. Looking down at my plate, I took a slow deep breath and began to cut in again. This time much slower. 
Returning home a week later, I told my mom that her rule was stupid and explained to her the first night. She started laughing and said, "You're supposed to TRY everything; you should have told her no seconds, thank you!" >.>

So yes, I still try everything once but if I don't like it by the third bite, no thank you. And not just with food, but with movies, books, albums, pretty much everything. I try not to outright reject anything, but I don't want to waste my time either! I didn't apply this to books, however, until recently and kept trying to read War and Peace every year from age 12 to 25. I never finished it. I'm not proud of this, but I just can't do it. I've relaxed on books now because of War and Peace ; if it is horrible writing or not catching me at all, I'm not going to finish it. I'm not going to try and finish it.

And the same with movies, which is why I'm writing this entry! The movie that I can't finish watching? "One for the Money" based on Janet Evanovich's book of the same title. I loved the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I grew up mostly in New Jersey (we moved around as Dad's employment was wont to do), attended secondary school in Princeton neighboring Trenton. I know the accent. I know the people. They aren't the cartoon-like Jersey Shore people, but they sure as hell are NOT Katharine Heigel. I watched 20 minutes of this film. I just couldn't continue.

Did the casting person even READ these novels? Gah. Bad. And the soft-spoken, sweet-looking Ms. Heigel is just NOT Stephanie Plum, despite her attempts at a Trenton accent. She would stick out like a sore thumb in the 'Burg.

So glad I didn't see it in theaters. I would've walked out and wasted my money. Sigh.

Currently Listening: Chasing Time by Alan Pownall
Currently Reading: Mimi by Lucy Ellmann, The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony, and soon: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.