Monday, September 10, 2007

Arrivals and Departures

Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks at Chez Beepy. As almost all of you are aware, I adore my 47 dogs, but what only a few of you know that I also love guinea pigs. They are sweet, charming, cuddly, funny little creatures and they make me immensely happy -- until they pass away. Last week my little Alice passed away at the age of six years. She and her twin sister, Fanny, came to me as young adults, after having been found in a dumpster by a friend of a friend of mine. She was a dear little thing and I'll miss her.

Although my plan was to hold off before bringing another animal into my life, fate wasn't listening to my plans. On a trip to see my mom, I stopped at a Petco for supplies and came out with an adorable little guinea pig, which I named Fender. He was free. According to the manager he had been for sale, but had grown up before being sold. Now no one wanted him. (Apparently many customers are turned off by white animals with pink eyes. Whatever!) He is incredibly friendly and has already wiggled his way right into my heart.

Anyway, between mourning, celebrating and visiting my mom, I haven't had a chance to post. If anyone at all has been here looking for a new post, I apologize. I have, however, been reading (aloud to the dogs and the piggies no less) and have finally finished "Master and Commander." Let me repeat that - I have finally finished "Master and Commander." Finally. I finally finished it. Yes, finally.

I'm not sure what to say about it because my reading experience was so bumpy. I found the language created a barrier which kept me out of the story. With too many naval terms paralyzing me, I'd often fall asleep right in the middle of an "action" scene. I never got exited during the battle scenes; my heart never skipped a beat nor beat faster. Sometimes reading it was as much work as walking through waist deep jello. As a result, not once did I imagine myself as part of the story (it's hard to imagine being under the bosun when you're not sure what a bosun is), which I almost always do with a good book.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the parts that were about the men themselves. I appreciated the historical details that were not naval. Oh how I perked up and paid attention when a young sailor fell overboard and was saved from drowning by being hung upside down and having cigar smoke blown into his lungs. Oh how I cheered (and gagged) when Maturin picked up a knife used for cutting up corpses, wiped it off and used it to cut his meat. Oh how I wished the book had contained more of these touches.

So where does that leave me? As much as I hate to say it, I have to rate this first of Steve's recommendations a failure. I see that it would be a wonderful choice for someone else but not for me.

Up next: "Love Among the Butterflies" (finally)