Can someone tell me why pointy-eared men are so damn sexy??
For a very long time now, I’ve been wanting to either start a book club or join one. But it seems people who live in my town a) are illiterate, b) don’t have time to read at leisure, or c) think I’m a big nerd. If it’s the first choice, well, sucks to be them. If it’s the second, well, nothing I can do about that and if it’s the last, well, darn tootin’!
Anyway, I stumbled upon a book club on Meetup.com and I was thrilled to find out that their reading list consists of classic books! I have a long list of classic books that I never got to read (or finish, like “Don Quixote”) and being part of this book club is a great way for me to work on that list! Their current book is “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence. I couldn’t get a copy in time, so I am getting ready for their next meetup. The next book they’ve chosen is John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” and we are meeting at the end of May.
I’m already halfway through the book and I have to say it was a very rough start for me. I’ve never read a Steinbeck book before (although I don’t know why I have a couple of old hardbound copies of his works in my “library”), so I suppose I wasn’t ready for his style of writing. I mean, there was an entire chapter (Chapter 3) devoted to the plight of a little turtle trying to cross the street! I was so confused! To what purpose did that whole chapter serve?!? I just didn’t get it because it didn’t feel like it had anything to do with the story! I nearly wanted to give up on the book altogether because of it.
But as I got further along, I started to actually, sort of, enjoy the book (that is, if you could “enjoy” a book with such a depressing subject). If any of you have read that book, please correct me if I’m wrong about my interpretation of that whole turlte chapter, okay? Was the turtle meant to foreshadow our characters’ hardships as they set out to California? Or am I way off? And for the record, since I am no longer in high school (thank God), I refuse to look it up on Wikipedia or buy cliffs notes. I might, however, watch the movie after I’ve read the book.
Anyway, I am really looking forward to my first ever book club meeting. I just hope I don’t show my ignorance by saying something stupid. If you folks want to share your opinions about this book to me, I promise I won’t take credit for them at the meeting. 😀
Ps. The book for June has already been chosen and it’s one of my favorites, “Persuasion” by Jane Austen. We’re taking a poll on what our July and August books should be. Here are our choices:
1. THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath (1963)
2. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov (1970)
3. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee (1960). I’ve already read this and as much as I would love to read it again, I think I’d rather read something new.
4. THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood (1985)
5. A CONFEDERANCY OF DUNCES by John Kennedy Toole (1980)
6. THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1890).
What do you think I should read next?
Amidst the spring showers and thunderstorms we’ve been having, the forecast called for one absolutely picture perfect day on Sunday and I wasn’t going to waste it. So, I dragged my family all along the Jersey shore hunting for lighthouses. As it turns out, lighthouses aren’t that hard to find, they kind of stand out, don’t ya know. But that didn’t stop me from getting us lost. At one point, I drove 28 miles in the wrong direction!
Ever since I stumbled upon LighthouseFriends.com, I have been dying to visit some of the lighthouses they featured. I love lighthouses, don’t you? I know it’s just me, but no other building can evoke so many images of the past. I can just imagine all the ships that sailed past it, all the people who tended it, all the storms it weathered, and all the nights it stayed vigilant while the rest of the world slept. And maybe because it keeps watch of the sea, something I love to do myself, that makes it so mystical and wondrous to me.
Anyway, with the website’s handy dandy map of lighthouses, I charted a course for adventure, using nothing but my wits and natural sense of direction (shush!). Our first stop was the Highlands to visit Navesink, a.k.a. The Twin Lights. It was still pretty early in the day (around 10am) when we arrived and we were 200 feet above sea level, so it was very cold outside despite the sunshine. The lighthouse has a gorgeous view of Sandy Hook, the New York skyline and the Atlantic Ocean. I didn’t notice till this evening that the two towers were different, the north tower was round and the south tower was square. They reminded me of chess pieces. We climbed the north tower, toured the gift shop and the museum before we headed for the next lighthouse.
As you can see from the map above, there is a big gap between Navesink and the next lighthouse, which is the Sea Girt lighthouse. And while I would’ve liked to have seen that lighthouse, we were short on time, so we decided to skip it and headed to the next lighthouse, which is in Barnegat. It would’ve only taken us an hour to get there if I hadn’t gone 28 miles in the wrong direction, but it was a nice day for a drive so I tried not to let it bother me that much.
When we eventually made it there, it was already around 2 in the afternoon. There was a good crowd climbing the lighthouse, but I suppose it gets worse during the summer. It took Mike and I about 20 minutes to climb all 217 steps of this 172-ft tower. We were totally out of breath by the time we reached the top and when I got out on the tiny ledge, I made the mistake of looking straight down. I used to say that I have a fear of heights, but now I’m beginning to think I just have a fear of falling. Sounds kind of stupid, I know, but I wasn’t afraid of climbing those steep, narrow, curved steps, I wasn’t afraid of looking straight out to sea from way up high, and I wasn’t afraid of leaning on the iron bars….that is until I realized what a long drop it would be and that’s when my knees turned to jello.
But we stayed up there for a long time, taking as many pictures as we can before we headed down (and you can see some of them by clicking here). We hung out for a bit by the beach before we headed home. It was nearly 5pm when we left Barnegat.
Being by the beach always makes me hungry for seafood, so I suggested we go find a good seafood place for dinner. Since we were down the shore, it would’ve been easy to spot one, but for some reason, most of the restaurants looked closed. I guess cause it’s not the season yet, those lazy bums.
I hate to say it, but we ended up eating at Red Lobster. I was pretty tired from driving all day and from climbing Old Barney, so I ordered a Long Island Ice Tea to go with my lobster tails. Hmm…lobster. Maybe it’s been a long time since I had a Long Island Ice Tea, but for some reason, the drink got me really buzzed in a matter of a few sips. What the hell is in that drink? By the time my dinner arrived, I was good and giggly. I was, of course, bumped from driver to backseat driver when we left the restaurant. But I was feeling really good, I didn’t care. It was a good way to end a great day and I love that this is just the beginning of what I hope will be an adventure-filled summer.