Archive | August, 2010

The one wherein my husband is infinitely embarrassed

30 Aug

At a wedding a few weekends ago, we did the cursory introductions with all the other couples at our table. “We know the bride from law school,” “I’m her lifelong friend from home,” “Our daughter is a bridesmaid,” etc. We then had a lovely dinner, and followed it up with a few trips to the open bar, as we are prone to do at such events.

A couple of hours and several drinks later, one of the girls from our table, whom we had met for the first time earlier that evening, said to me, “So, how is it that I know you?” I explained that we actually didn’t know each other – that we both knew the bride, but had never met prior to the wedding. She was unconvinced, and thought I looked really familiar. We went backwards through our timelines, trying to determine if we’d have ever met in high school or college. No and no.

Finally, we hit on something in common, and Steve was instantly so embarrassed, that he wanted to die, come back as a ghost and murder me in my sleep. What was our link?

She worked at J.Crew. I was such a frequent visitor to the store that she recognized me. Even better, I haven’t lived close to the store for over two years now, so my shopping was at one point so en masse that she remembered me even all this time after. What I believed only to be a normal habit has clearly now been outed as an obsession. Sorry Suze.

[I wish this was me. I have been known to rock head-to-toe J.Crew, but I’ve never been this lovely.]


“The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes” – Chapters 11-20

25 Aug

Back for another round. I couldn’t tell you exactly what is happening at this specific portion of the book, so I won’t attempt to limit the spoilers if they appear in my answers.

1. Where do you think Marty and Tim are at in this point in the story? I always thought that the boys were further away from the cabin and the scene of the crime than they first indicated. I was skeptical of the plan – and didn’t think they’d ever actually come back to help CeeCee or close out the situation on their own. I assumed they were many states away, simply waiting to sell out their victim and accomplice to meet their end goal.

2. What were your thoughts when CeeCee was helping Genevieve deliver her baby? CeeCee should’ve been in that car, driving somewhere for help way before things got so out of control. You don’t mess with a woman in labor, and you certainly don’t put yourself in the position where you are forced into delivering an at-risk pregnancy in a strange place. CeeCee did impress me with her composure in the moments before the birth, and did the best she could, given the circumstances.

3. After Genevieve died, what would you have done with her baby if you had been in CeeCee’s shoes? Go directly to the authorities. Do not pass go, do not collect a new identity and run away to another state to raise the baby as your own. Are we now seeing how this story got a little big for its britches rather quickly?

4. Why do you think that CeeCee/Eve is still holding out hope that Tim will come for her? Poor thing, she actually loves that manipulative man, and she’s delusional enough to believe he’ll be coming back for her to live happily ever after.

5. How do you think Eve will establish her new identity in Virginia? She’ll bum around in a stranger’s house, get a job at another college diner and eventually meet a few people. By the end of the book however, you’ll still feel like she didn’t really “establish” much of an identity, and you’ll wonder how she got this far without actually developing a discernible personality. She makes some very limited friendships in her new hometown, and leaves CeeCee behind.

6. What do you think of CeeCee/Eve now that she’s gone through everything in the first 20 chapters? I think she’s so far in over her head by the end of this reading that she’s operating in a pseudo daze for her remaining teen years. By the time she matures, she looks back and has blocked many of these memories from her mind. She’s probably experiencing a little shock with the whole situation, but she’s still very naive.

I’m now currently reading “So Cold the River” by Michael Koryta, which is a huge departure from the CeeCee fluff. It’s a true ghost story set in one of my favorite places – southern Indiana. So far, it’s nothing short of amazing. I’ll attempt to keep up with the book club week to week, but have shifted my focus to this new novel, and look forward to starting something else soon.

Worst Week of the Year

23 Aug

It’s unavoidable. Like the locusts, they will return.

This week is move-in week. U-Hauls from the east coast are swarming into town, driving the wrong way down every damn one-way street. The fraternity and sorority houses opened on Sunday, and the dorms will open to the freshmen on Wednesday. By the close of business mid-week there will be so many crying mothers in mini-vans it’ll be almost like the opening night of a Twilight movie.

After a peaceful summer, it’s sad to watch the little heathens return to take over the town. At least those moving vans are full of the girls who will be my main source of entertainment as I drive to work, and they complete the walk of shame.

Welcome back to school kiddies.

“The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes” – Chapters 1 to 10*

16 Aug

I read quite a lot. It’s the one hobby I never neglect. By July, I’d read 25 books this year – everything from murder mysteries to quick beach reads. When I saw this blogging book club, I was instantly hooked. I’ve never been part of a book club before, mainly because I found either the company or the choice of book to be lacking. This could be most ideal.

The book this month is “The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes” by Diane Chamberlain. I ordered it for my Kindle and started in right away. Herein we hit issue number one: the book club is set up to complete ten to fifteen chapters each week. For better or worse, I simply have no pacing when it comes to reading. If I’m not devouring the book in a few days, it must be that the book is too boring and would be better off abandoned. So yeah, the * is to signify (SPOILER ALERT!) that I’ve already read the entire book and won’t attempt in any way to restrict my answers to only the chapters listed. In fact, I finished the book over a week ago, so just remembering the plot at this point might be a stretch.

So, for this week’s questions:

1. What was your first impression of Tim? I thought Tim seemed pretty smarmy when he first entered the picture. He’s 22 years old, and CeeCee is only 16, yet he wants to forgo college parties and 20-something life to hang out in a diner with a minor child? He seemed to exude all those “too good to be true” qualities, which failed to make him an attractive character, but clearly had their desired effect on our heroine. He had very little back story, so it was hard to love or believe Tim. This is something I struggled with throughout the book – the characters were underdeveloped, and it was difficult for me to establish any relationship or connection with them. The author failed to make any of them feel compelling to me, mainly because they lost touch with reality somewhere along their journey and never had a family or a history to pull them back into the story.

2. If you were in CeeCee’s position, would you be wiling to help your boyfriend in the way she’s willing to help Tim? CeeCee was so very naive throughout the beginning of the story, and although some will call her mature for her young years, I felt like she was rather stupid for allowing herself to be pulled into this with Tim. She never exhibited an ounce of street smarts in the opening of the book – and I couldn’t ever see myself in her shoes. I never had a high school boyfriend, but knowing my track record, I surely would’ve walked away early on with Tim, and wouldn’t have been willing to help. Probably of note: I’m a vicious rule-follower who grew up to become a lawyer. They’re becoming involved in an illegal act. Safe to say I wouldn’t have stepped up to help, no matter how much I loved the boy.

3. Why do you think CeeCee is so eager to please Tim? Dr. Phil hat safely on, I think CeeCee has abandonment issues stemming from her lack of a relationship with any father figure and her mother’s early and traumatic death. CeeCee is living on her own, working on her own and trying to piece together her future when Tim walks in. He’s caring and attentive. For any 16 year-old girl, regardless of history, attention from a boy is the desired goal. She’ll do whatever he needs to retain his attention and devotion, and he manipulates her easily. In the end, she makes a large-scale sacrifice in order to please Tim and secure his love.

4. Who do you think has it harder, Tim or CeeCee? CeeCee has it harder. She’s naive but sweet, and Tim is older and wiser. She’s an easy victim for his charms, and he knows exactly where he’s leading her as he starts their relationship. Tim has family, however distant, but his sister’s imprisonment has clearly taken a toll on him personally. While not ideal, Tim had the ability to make something of himself very easily. He’s a college student and appears to have money to spare. CeeCee will be working uphill for years to accomplish her dreams, and has no adult support to help guide her.

5. What character trait about CeeCee stuck out most to you in the first ten chapters? She’s so very naive. From beginning to end, I constantly wished that CeeCee was a smarter girl, and although she wises up in many ways, she never graduates from her wishy-washy mentality. She’s constantly surprised by the world around her, in a way that ties back to the early death of her mother. Although her mother writes beautiful letters to leave to her daughter, CeeCee never seems to absorb her advice, and constantly struggles to find herself over and over.

6. Do you think that CeeCee is as mature as she seems? Is this a trick question? I don’t think CeeCee is mature – and although she grows older through the book, she never grows a backbone. Mature teens wouldn’t get wrapped up in the false fantasy of CeeCee’s relationship with Tim. They certainly wouldn’t agree to serve as an accomplice. She may be living on her own and working to pay her bills at 16, but CeeCee is emotionally immature. This may be one of the reasons I never enjoyed this book for what it was – I kept waiting for CeeCee to really act in the way the author was trying to portray her. She never lived up to her own character.

What can I say? I’m a critic – but the underlying story behind all this was good, and was reason enough for me to pick up the book and finish it shortly thereafter. The book club concept is a great one, and although I didn’t love this book like I hoped, I’ll certainly continue to participate. I’d love to hear recommendations for another book to hold me over ’til September!

Upgrade for your Monday TV

9 Aug

We are currently obsessed with “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel channel. I think we’re averaging an episode every night, and have plenty of re-runs still to see on the DVR.

He’s completely irreverent, completely hilarious, and so very watchable. Every episode is an hour of food, random travel escapades, and totally inappropriate commentary. Quite a few jokes at Rachael Ray’s expense as well. Can’t get enough.

New episodes air Mondays at 10 est.

One Year

8 Aug

This weekend we celebrated our first year of marriage. Scratch that, marital bliss. If the first year is supposedly the hardest, the rest of our lives will likely be a piece of cake. I don’t for one minute believe we’ll breeze by year by year, just as in love as the minute we said “I do,” but I have a true partner who is committed to our vows to love, serve, honor and protect each other. I’m a very blessed girl.

One year down, forever to go.

Love you Suze.