Friday, May 05, 2006

Book Review and PSA

Not much reading going on this week in the “House of Kelly’s New Life.” I’ve been busy returning a bunch of clothes I bought that are now too big (yay) and had my first meeting with my trainer at 24 Hour Fitness and she totally kicked my ass.


No one told me thin would be so painful LOL! She seems to think I can get down to a size 8. I’m not against the idea, but I’m not holding my breath, either. On the other hand, I’d probably have been a lot more into exercising a lot sooner if I’d known how many HOT guys my age are hanging out at the gym! Yummmmmmmyyyyy!

Okay, mind out of the gutter and back to the books. Except, the first book quite probably BELONGS in the gutter…or maybe the trashcan. I picked up Michele Hauf’s “Seraphim” against my better judgment and I really need to stop doing that. It almost never works out well. This book is of the done-to-death “rape and revenge” variety, but I did find the setting of France in the time of Jeanne d’Arc to be an interesting choice. Also intriguing was the idea of a woman as the infamous “Black Knight.” Those two things are what convinced me to pick the book up rather than pass it by. I still think that, in the hands of a skilled writer, those two elements could have made for a fascinating tale. Michele Hauf is not that writer. The dialogue is stilted as are the overly clichéd descriptions of “violet eyes” and other passages of that ilk. I did like the secondary character of Baldwin Ortolano, though. He injected some much-needed humor into a book that was otherwise dragging on and on.

Sadly, despite all of its obvious flaws, I might have kept reading this book except for one thing that pissed me off so badly I threw the book across the room. Here we have Seraphim who has successfully killed two of her enemies in the heat of battle and proven her mettle as a knight and as a strong woman and yet what does she do when a man comes on the scene? HE HAS TO CARRY HER IN HIS ARMS ACROSS A NEST OF SPIDERS! Now, I’ll admit I hate spiders as much as the next person, but come ON! The read is expected to believe that this character has survived the destruction of her entire family and estate, a rape, a grievous wound to her own throat that should have been fatal, and has take up arms against her enemies, ridden into battle and decapitated two of them but she has to be CARRIED BY A MAN OVER SOME SPIDERS???

Give me a freakin’ break.

So, I have no idea how the book continues and if you want to check it out yourself, be my guest. Just make sure to have some man carry you across the nest of spiders in front of the book store. Ugh.

Fortunately, the next book on my nightstand saved me. “Throne of Jade” by Naomi Novik is the second in her series about Temeraire, the dragon who fights for the English against Napoleon’s attempt to conquer all of Europe. I love this series. Not only is Laurence a terrific main character, but Temeraire, is fascinating as well. The relationship between the two of them forms a strong core for the rest of the story. And the third book comes out at the end of this month!

Well, that’s it for the books. I do have a PSA I’d like to post, though, so bear with me.

Ladies, can we talk? There are a couple of issues going on in the world today that are not only obnoxious but also appear to be approaching epidemic proportions. I’m speaking, of course, of the proliferation of hang-toe and lojeancrack.

Hang-toe is the term for a foot that has been crammed into a too-small sandal (usually of the platform variety) thus causing the toes to “hang” out over the edge of the shoe. What’s the cause of this strange and aesthetically displeasing trend? Have shoes suddenly shrunk? Are women’s feet suddenly swelling to elephantine proportions? Have shoe manufacturers stopped making anything larger than a size 5? Studies are underway to determine the actual cause. In the meantime, here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you don’t fall victim to this vicious disease.

1. Go to the shoe store.
2. Get your foot measured.
3. Request shoes in the size determined by your measurement.
4. Try those shoes on (if they don’t have them in your size, pout prettily
and ask if they can be ordered from another store).
5. Once the shoes are on your feet, CAREFULLY observe your toes. Are
they hanging over the edge of the front of the shoe?
6. If you answered no to question 5, go ahead and buy the shoes.
7. If you answered yes to question 5, ALERT! This is NOT how shoes are
supposed to fit and you are in the early stages of “hang-toe.” But, you can
be saved. Ask the clerk to bring you a half-size LARGER.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 as needed.

Let’s all work together to stop the spread of this silent killer.

Equally as awful and yet far more widespread is the lojeancrack plague. Since this disease has been around longer, its origins are more well understood. Lojeancrack is caused by mothers who failed to give their daughters adequate instruction in how to correctly try on and purchase the right size of clothing and also how to determine what clothing is age-appropriate. Fortunately, a simple treatment program is available without a prescription. Simply follow this easy regimen:

1. Low-rise jeans and midriff tops are verboten for anyone over the age of
25. I don't care if you have the body of a supermodel - you look silly.
2. Understand what size you are and try jeans on accordingly (i.e. if you
wear a size 14 dress, you should not be trying on size 6 jeans).
3. Carefully observe yourself in the mirror when trying on jeans in the
following ways:

a. from the front – be alert for any sign of “muffin top” as it is a good
indicator of lojeancrack syndrome.
b. from the back – turn around and view your butt in the mirror to make
sure there are no early signs of lojeancrack.
c. practice sitting and bending over in the jeans while observing yourself
in the mirror.

4. If muffin top or lojeancrack are observed at any time – get a larger size
of pants or a style with a higher rise.

Ladies, if we all work together, the tragedies caused by these conditions can be eradicated for good. Let’s make hang-toe and lojeancrack go the way of polio and smallpox. Only YOU can prevent the spread of these dangerous diseases. Remember, just because you CAN wear it, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD wear it.

And if you’re really, really, really that confused about the whole thing with the shoes and the pants and all…just ask yourself “what would Stacy and Clinton do?”

The preceding was a public service announcement brought to you by CWWWEPWHLB (the Coalition of Women Who Want to Eat in Public Without Having to Look at Buttcracks).

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Okay, I was attempting to be humorous, but seriously, people, what is UP with this? It was one thing when I could say “oh well, that’s a teenager and she’ll learn better over time” but I’m seeing grown women doing both of these things all the time now! I even saw “hangtoe” in a very glamorous clothing designer’s ad in a top magazine. The model’s toes were completely hanging over the front edges of her shoes. Truly unbelievable. And last Sunday night in a nice restaurant? Buttcracks everywhere. It was like they were the chef’s special du jour or something.

Stop it! All of you! Just stop it!

And, lest you think it is just me and my puritanical prejudices, I took a poll amongst the men present on Sunday evening and here are their responses:




“Fat” (note: this was said about a woman who was most definitely NOT fat, but who had chosen a pair of jeans in the wrong cut and probably two sizes too small thus giving herself the APPEARANCE of being overweight when she was actually probably a decent size 8 or 10)

“That’s your one night stand right there”

“I wonder how much she charges?”

“If she has to show something off, how about a little cleavage?”

And okay, so none of them noticed the toes-over-the-shoes thing until I pointed it out, but once they noticed, they all agreed it looked stupid. And, you’ll be happy to know, at least two of them said they will probably always check out a woman’s feet/shoes from now on and be less than impressed if they don’t fit.

So fair warning…I’m out there edumacating the men of Orange County.

Y’all can thank me later.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


No comments: