Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Three Things

(Yes, I know — it’s a strange juxtaposition of pictures. Read on.)

I’m currently reading a great book called Cease to Blush by Billie Livingston. It’s fast-moving, funny, witty, sad, moving — all those wonderful things. It will probably never qualify for the Giller prize (or similar literary honors) — but who knows? And who cares? Every once in a while you just have to read a book that’s fun and makes you laugh — a book whose main character you would love to meet. (See my Current Favorite Quotation.) Check out the link for the plot summary and an excerpt. Both might reel you in.

A confession. I bought this week’s People Magazine — with George Clooney on the cover as the Sexiest Man Alive. I could have told a whopper and said my sister gave me her copy but she reads this blog and wouldn’t hesitate to expose me. I tend to buy this kind of rag/mag at the end of the grocery shopping ordeal. At the check-out counter, I figure I should be rewarded. For what, I’m not sure. And why I think reading trash is rewarding — again, I’m not sure. Nor do I understand why I give a rat’s ass as to the lives of celebrities but for some reason, I find it entertaining. (To my credit, I am also reading the New York Times Magazine but you don’t whip through this literary nugget the way you zip through People Magazine.)

I didn’t buy People to ogle all the candidates for Sexiest Man Alive. In fact, I find it somewhat disconcerting that most of these men did not “ring my bell” or “turn my crank.” Okay, George is appealing but even if he appeared at my front door expressing a desire to whisk me away to his castle in Italy, I’d have trouble sharing him with his pet pig. As if this would ever happen.

I’m drifting off topic here with my George fantasy. I have a question for anyone else who reads good literature and trash (and who will admit to it). What is the appeal of junk magazines? Why are they fun to read? What do they add to our lives? And why is there a tiny bit of guilt (at least for me) associated with reading this stuff?

And finally, here’s a report on my (partial) success regarding yesterday’s resolutions. I did limit my computer time — by about 40%. I’m giving myself a thumb’s up for that. I also did twenty minutes of exercise to tighten the ever-expanding tush. This was in addition to my daily back exercises. Plus, on Mondays I go to a hydrotherapy class. (For those of you who don’t know, hydrotherapy consists of exercising in a pool of very, very warm water and it’s fabulous. And, oh lucky me, our physio concentrated on the back and the butt yesterday.)

Take that, you skinny joggers….

Today, I’m aching in new areas. No wonder I don’t like exercise. Now I have to continue the new exercises to get rid of the new aches.


lynn said...

I spent all day reading at work. Sometimes, I am simply not in the mood to read something worthwhile when I get home. So I pull out the cheesy magazines and gorge myself on gossipy tidbits about people I do not know. Who knows whether the tidbits are true? Sometimes its just nice to read about someone whose life is a mess.

Beth said...

Lynn -

You go, girl! Gorge away with no "guilts." Makes me feel better.

Beth said...

I love all those trash magazines....I guess I can dream what it would be like to buy a $895 pair of shoes, $400 jeans and date Brad Pitt. And have babies and come out of the hospital skinnier than when I started!

Beth said...

Beth -

You're right. It's all about the dreaming and the fantasies. And why not? Sometimes reality gets a little harsh.

patricia said...

I confess that for the most part I just can't get into the trash magazines...the closest I get to is 'Vanity Fair' which is really just upscale trashy if you look closely at that mag. Does that count?

Ok, I gotta ask...what is it about 'Cease to Blush' that you like so much? I couldn't stand that novel, could barely finish it in fact, and gave it a big fat thumbs down on my blog (which really ticked off some gal who gave me hell on my blog; I think that she was a friend of the author).

I loved Billie's first novel, 'Going Down Swinging' but just thought 'Cease to Blush' was a horrid mess.

Beth said...


You thought “Cease To Blush” was a “horrid mess” and I liked it. Hmm. Maybe it’s our age difference – me being an “older woman” and all that. I’m fascinated with the 60’s decade. I came of age way back then. And while the main character was kind of raunchy, etc. I found her sort of appealing. Not that we have much in common. My porn days are over. ;-)

Re: Vanity Fair. First thing I read is Dominick Dunne’s column — the “upscale trash.”