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Last Sunday, with great trepidation, I went to see the new Pride and Prejudice* with my mother & sister. Trepidation because I adore the book. I wrote my first ever research paper on it. I read it regularly. Everytime I do, I feel more akin to Elizabeth than ever. Perhaps my favorite line, besides the title line above, is: “She remembered that he had yet to learn to be laughed at, and it was rather too early to begin.”

At any rate, I digress. We saw the movie. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are dirty and sweaty. They wear the same clothes over and over. The houses look lived in. Mr. Collins can make me laugh without even opening his mouth. Charlotte has spunk. The characters look appropriately young – I mean, really, Elizabeth should never look older than twenty or twenty-one.

Today I read a review in The New Yorker, which puts its finger on exactly the quality that gave me pause. Austen has been Brontefied. The proposal scene takes place in the pouring rain, not a quaint parlor. Lizzie stands on a hillside, windblown. Darcy adopts a Heathcliff-esque brood. Not that this isn’t all very attractive (cough) but it’s not exactly Austeny. See it anyway. Invite me along.

*I can’t say “the new” anything without thinking of High Fidelity and “the new Belle & Sebastian.”


Some coworkers and I were talking on Tuesday, about Christmas gifts and finances and the like, and suddenly realized that we were all referring to it as “the peak season” rather than “the Christmas season” or “the holiday season.” I think we’re on to the next wave of PC-ness with our company jargon. “Happy Peak!” we’ll start to call out. Stores will sell “Peak cards” and advertise “Peak specials.” “Merry Peakmas.” Haha, we’re so funny.

I suppose I’d better look into getting some gifts, shouldn’t I? I’ve got some ideas floating around. I need to stop reading all these blogs and start shopping. Order up a slew of books as gifts. Figure out what on earth to get my college-bound 17 year old techie brother. And, good lord, my father. But it feels so much a part of the holiday ritual – complain about not knowing what to get. Shop ahead and congratulate self. Shop at the last minute and feel rushed yet festive. Bake. Make fudge. Feel your ears begin to freeze when you step out the door. Repeat.

It’s time to unearth the Garish & Tweed Family Christmas Tape. The one that’s half dulcimer carols and half funky bluegrass tunes like, “Christmas is a comin, and it’s a jumpin.” Oh yeah.

December 2005
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