Homebody Weekend Goings-on, Books and Movies

Yesterday was my nine-mile training run, the longest so far in my half marathon plan, and it went exceptionally well. I’m pleased that I’ve been able to meet the longer distances again with no problem and to keep my long-run pace just a smidge ahead of where the McMillan pace calculator says it should be.

After my long run, however, the business hit the fan. I don’t know what it was for sure, but something I’d eaten at happy hour the night before did not wind up agreeing with me. (And I wasn’t alone! We’re blaming the deep-fried pickles.) Luckily the angry backlash didn’t strike during my run, but rather well afterward. Nonetheless, DAMN. I spent the rest of the day lying pathetically in bed. The only thing that sounded appetizing was a real-sugar Mexican Coke, which I happily downed while picking at some various lackluster selections from the Earth Fare deli case.

[273/365] Real CokeWhile it surely is miserable to be stuck at home all day when you’d planned to be doing Other Things (even if said Other Things were merely working at a coffee shop while grading papers and running a couple of errands), it wound up being OK. I am still borrowing W.’s supersized TV with the internet apps built in, so Netflix and Hulu were streaming their way into my living room in glorious high definition. When I didn’t feel like watching, I read a bit on my Kindle. Hooray for technology!

I started Bret Easton Ellis’s Rules of Attraction, which I picked because I wanted a sort of slightly hip, contemporary campus narrative à la The Secret History. And he and Donna Tartt both went to Bennington together, which inspired the college settings in their work, and such, so I thought this seemed like a reasonable thing to reach for. Uh, that is not what this book seems to be. I’m not sure I’m a fan of his prose style at all, but I am going to keep on reading and just see. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just re-read Donna Tartt for the umpteenth time, you know?

Eegs the InternToday I felt much better so I made my way to the coffee shop and began grading papers in earnest, did some grocery shopping, finished today’s quota of papers at home (Eegs helped out again, as seen above), and I decided to reward myself. Since my gentleman friend is out of town this weekend, I made it the girliest night possible: chick flicks, wine, and a DIY manicure & pedicure. (Fire-engine red and dark grey sparkles, respectively, because I know you are curious).

Movies I have watched since dinner:

1) Love and Other Drugs – Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are both adorable and charming and charismatic in general; the movie is clever and funny and totally predictable. I giggled a bit and got a little misty, too, but I have no need to ever see it again.

2) Charlie St. Cloud – I watched this mainly for the sailboat porn and secondarily for the love-story possibility, but it was so eye-crossingly awful that I spent the entire film texting, browsing the internet, and editing photos while only 40% paying attention. Oh well!

3) A Summer in Genoa – This one is interesting enough to make me want to watch it. It’s sad and compelling and personal. It’s also one of the only times I’ve noticed a hand-held camera in a negative way. Normally I like that style or just don’t notice it, but in this case it was a bit disconcerting — especially as the Netflix thumbnail and description made this seem more like a Hollywood B-movie with slicker production values if not a great story. It’s good — better than what Netflix suggests –, but not what I expected. Also, I prefer to think of Colin Firth as he was in, oh, any movie in the pre-jowl years.

So what’ve you been up to? If you have any 1) hip, contemporary campus narratives; 2) sad/funny young romances; or 3) charming Colin Firth flicks to recommend, please do so! Other media recommendations are also being accepted, though at a lower priority at this time — thank you for your consideration!


  1. I looooooooooooove lazy weekends. My husband was out of town last weekend and I had a Very Intense schedule of … reading, napping and dog-walking. Oh, and TV watching. It was so, so fabulous. I suppose I could have gone out and been social, but um… no. Snuggle pups and me time: yes, please.


    1. Yes! I feel like I am social enough, and I always see a huge group of my friends at least once a week at weekly happy hour, so if I burrow in for an entire weekend I am not going to feel bad about it at all. Currently on the couch grading more papers on my laptop while Felicity plays on TV. Work + coziness.


  2. Hip, contemporary college narratives: do NOT read I Am Charlotte Simmons! It was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. I get angry just thinking about how much time I wasted clawing my way to the end. I recently picked up a used copy of Prep but Curtis Sittenfeld, which I am eager to start reading. I really liked American Wife so I have high hopes for this one.


  3. I like “Le Mari de la coiffeuse” as a film. (Available with English subtitles).

    I think it’s brilliant. Your mileage may vary, perhaps…just a suggestion.


  4. I recently saw someone on Goodreads have a bookshelf called “Books purporting to be like The Secret History” and I of course put every single one on my bookshelf. I have yet to come across one that really IS like The Secret History though, but I tell you any tiny whiff of comparison and I will totally crack a cover open. From that list I just read Kate White’s The Sixes. While I didn’t LOVE it, I did think it was pretty entertaining, and despite not loving it, it was absolutely page turning. Have you read Carol Goodman’s Lake of Dead Languages? or The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse? I hear those are hip/campus types. And FWIW, I *enjoyed* I Am Charlotte Simmons. It was kind of cheesy and stupid, but I like it. I don’t know. Boy I’m rambling…you just can’t get me started on books and expect a coherent comment. No sireee…


    1. Oh man, I think I need to get on Goodreads, but I am disproportionately wary of the time I will inevitably spend there (and the feeling that I will never be able to designate/rate all the books I want to). Anyway, thanks for the recs! This is a good start.


  5. I don’t have any stunning recs right now, but I’m super psyched about your half training (and mine, too, woo!), and that you’re now on GoodReads. Book nerds, UNITE.


  6. At the present moment I’m procrastinating my damn, fool head off at the Catwalk, a cafe in the center of Leiden. I’m supposed to be working on a review for a magazine but I can’t get into it. So off to the blogs I shall go….er, have gone.

    I have no Colin Firth recommendations for you. Instead, I can recommend a Colin *Farrell* movie. His remake of Fright Night was, surprisingly enough, not terrible, as far as trashy, late summer horror movies go. It was clever and one of the dudes from Dr. Who shows up to play a pithy Vegas magician. I’m pretty sure the performance was intended as a send-up of Russell Brand’s schtick.

    Also: have you heard about this show…uh, Mad Men? I watched the first episode last night after someone finally convinced me to give it a go with this enticing description: “it’s like watching everything your grandparents’ generation held dear come to a end.” I hope that sleazeball Pete gets attacked by an unwashed feminist at some point.


    1. Oh man, PETE. Did you watch Angel? He is equally hateworthy on that show, too. I have begun to believe that Vincent Kartheiser is actually just a douche in real life. Anyway I just re-watched all of that show with my gentleman friend, who parts his hair on the side, drinks Old Fashioneds, wears suits, and yet had never seen it. He loved it of course.


      1. I haven’t seen Angel. You’ll probably also be disgusted to learn that I only made it 1.5 seasons into Buffy. I know, I know, as a vamp fan I ought to be ashamed of myself. In my defense, I’m all caught up on True Blood though. Just watched the episode where Pete gets canned for all of 15 minutes by Don. I was hoping that was the end of him.

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