Books Update

I finished Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake and I loved it! It was the best historical I’ve read in ages – I was truly blown away by the sweetness, the characterization, and the hot hot sexxoring. Oh gosh, I just enjoyed it so much.

I also just finished another 1980s Sally Beauman pre-Destiny Harlequin, The Devil’s Advocate. I was puzzled by this book; it lacked Beauman’s usual pizzaz. Beauman’s classic set up and characterization was in place: young, innocent woman and debonaire, wealthy older man, England and Italy, and the inevitable Big Misunderstanding. There was something oddly lacking though — just not quite enough action and a lot of thinking and pondering.

She uses some of the same lines and same images over and over again, which I actually like. I will read anything I can get my hands on by Sally Beauman.

On Dear Author, Jane reviewed self-pubbed, Working Arrangement, which she pointed out had some striking similarities to another 1990s book, In Bed With The Boss. I downloaded Working Arrangement and Jane bought me a copy of In Bed With The Boss for comparison. I’ll try to write up my findings by this weekend.

I also recently had a book swap with a friend. This was my haul:

A final book note, according to Goodreads, I’ve read 50 books so far this year. 90% are romances.

Book Poems

I got this idea from agent Janet Reid’s latest contest. The objective is to create a poem from your book titles. This is mine:

GOP Wins New York Seat

AP reports that Republicans have scored an upset victory in a House race that became a referendum on President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

They actually use that line: “a referendum on …Obama’s economic policies.”

That’s actually quite frank for the state run media. It is also accurate. And it is astonishing; this win actually surprises me more than the Scott Brown upset in Massachusetts.

Unless something seismic happens, I now believe that we could run a rubber ball and paddle against Obama and it would win. 2012 is going to be an absolute bloodbath for Democrats.

The AP article continues:

Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election Tuesday to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sexting scandal.

With about 70 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Turner had 53 percent of the vote to Weprin’s 47 percent.

The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House. But frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge.

Turner has vowed to bring business practicality to Washington and push back on spending and taxes.

The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.

Yep. See above re: “bloodbath”.

Weprin, a 56-year-old Orthodox Jew and member of a prominent Queens political family, seemed a good fit for the largely white, working-class district, which is nearly 40 percent Jewish.

But voter frustration with Obama put Weprin in the unlikely spot of playing defense. A Siena Poll released Friday found just 43 percent of likely voters approved of the president’s job performance, while 54 percent said they disapproved. Among independents, just 29 percent said they approved of Obama’s job performance.

Turner, a 70-year-old Catholic, vowed to push back on Obama’s policies if elected. He received help from prominent Republicans including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose much-praised stewardship of the city after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks was recalled during the 10th anniversary of the attacks last weekend.

Weprin became embroiled in New York-centric disputes over Israel and gay marriage, which cost him some support among Jewish voters.

This quibbling is just pathetic. It wasn’t the Jews who were suddenly offended about gay marriage that turned the vote. It was the fact that people hate Obama. It’s very simple.

Orthodox Jews, who tend to be conservative on social issues, expressed anger over Weprin’s vote in the Assembly to legalize gay marriage. In July, New York became one of six states to recognize same-sex nuptials.

More pathetic grandstanding. And completely incorrect. Allow me to repeat: this is New Fucking York City. NEW YORK. The beating blue heart of Democratlandia.

Former Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, endorsed Turner in July as a way to “send a message” to Obama on his policies toward Israel. And Weprin was challenged on his support of a proposed Islamic center and mosque near the World Trade Center site, in lower Manhattan.

The Democratic Party enlisted two of its biggest guns, former President Bill Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to record phone calls for Weprin. And Democrats relied on organized labor and other affiliated groups to bring voters to the polls.

It is funny to me that the Dem big guns are a dude who was president over a decade ago and a governor. Not the Democrat in the White House. Obama is poison.

The House seat opened up when Weiner was pushed by party leaders to resign after sending sexually provocative tweets and text messages to women he met online.

The trouble for Weiner, who served seven terms, began when a photo of a man’s crotch surfaced on his Twitter feed. He initially denied the photo was of him but later admitted it was.

Weiner, who’s married, resigned June 16 after two weeks of fighting off pressure to step aside. He apologized for “the embarrassment that I have caused” and said he hoped to continue to fight for the causes dear to his constituents.

In a special election in May, Democrat Kathy Hochul won a heavily Republican upstate district after pledging to protect Medicare, the popular government health care plan for seniors.

The state replaced outdated lever-operated voting machines last year in favor of paper ballots and optical scanners, which take more time to close and process. Polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday, and results trickled in slowly, but a Board of Elections spokeswoman said the vote-tallying system was running smoothly and there were no problems to report.

And cue the Democrats complaining that there was something wrong with the voting machines.

Suck it, bitches.

White House Already Spinning New York “Loss”

From National Journal has a fascinating article about the White House’s pre-emptive talk about a loss in New York’s special election to replace Anthony Wiener. Earlier in the day, I came across a similar article in the New York Times. The gist of the whole article boils down to point seven:

7. Special elections won’t provide us with much insight into the degree of anti-incumbent sentiment.

Right. Circle the wagons.

I actually enjoy the sweating and gnashing of teeth among the Left. My prediction is that Turner (the Republican) will win, and the meme will be: “It means nothing about Obama!” That, incidentally, is exactly the same sentiment they expressed when Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s seat. And of course it did mean a great deal. The entire Democrat party took a spanking during the midterms. The election of 2012 becomes brighter and brighter for conservatives.

Don’t Talk About The President

Because he will come after you.

This kind of thing would be insufferable among anyone else, but from the President of the United States, it is just downright appalling. After promising to be the most transparent president in history, he has consistently attempted to try to silence dissent. His thin-skin paranoia is just not good for our country. It is also not good for him. He really should get himself evaluated by a psychiatrist.

Picture Day: The George W Bush Era

My memories of President George W Bush are bittersweet. I miss having real leadership in the White House. The contrast with the current occupant of the executive mansion is actually painful to me.

Here are some of my pictures of my time with the Prez.

Aboard Air Force One, I stole a menu:

And the menu of the entertainment library:

And some matches:

And some presidential M&Ms:

Ticket to campaign event in Ohio:

During the White House Christmas Party one year, I happen to be in the right place at the right time. It was after the formal photos were taken (in mine, with President Bush and Laura, my eyes are closed. Can you believe that bad luck?!). President Bush walked down a hallway and I managed to squeeze off two pictures before he departed.

Some pictures of the White House for the Christmas Party can be found on my Flickr page.

A White House invitation to a summer event:

I think I grabbed these in the Executive Office Building:

And a Secret Service party. There were some great demos:

From the Secret Service party:

Suitcase bomb:

Bomb robot:

Bomb robot:

Car demo:

Another car demo:

Motorcycle demo:

President Bush’s first limousine:

A Secret Service ambulance:

One Of My Favorite Places

The Original Cantor Fitzgerald Website

Flight Path

[This is a repost.]

One perfect August afternoon, on Nantucket, Sean called me by his wife’s name. I was at the fridge, getting a bottle of water. I often think of that moment and wonder if there was something in the tilt of my head or the angle of my arm that reminded him of her, or if it was just because she was on his mind, free-floating psychic debt. Her name had the ability to break glass. It was a bell that instantly demanded perfect reverence and respect. I tolerated it, but calling me her name was a river he could not cross. I looked up, startled. He quickly corrected himself but it was too late.

Very calmly, I set the water on the counter and walked out of the kitchen. I was walking like a zombie. I had no idea where I was going, but I found myself walking upstairs, down the long stairway, to the bedroom. I locked the door behind me. I sat very still and very small on the edge of the bed, like a child waiting for punishment. Looking around the room, I felt like a tourist. Oh look, let’s marvel at this life, this life crowded with the past, where there is no room for anything new because she’s always there, displacing everything, even my thoughts. Apparently even his.

Because I could not think of anything else to do, I hauled out my suitcase, which he had placed high on the shelves in the closet. I stood on a little footstool and yanked, and fell backward into his summer suits and shirts, the suitcase dropping on top of me and pulling down with it an open banker box that had been beside the suitcase. When I could sit up, under his summer suits and shirts, I realized it was just one of the millions of collections of her stuff. In this case, a scarf, a couple of handbags which I touched as reverently as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lustre of the leather tight and shiny and beautiful, little chic pieces of art to carry cell phones and keys on some glamorous street in New York or some wide-lane avenue in Paris. Artistry aside, I was instantly convinced I had been on the right path – get my suitcase and flee Nantucket. I stood up and began throwing my clothes into the suitcase. I was nearly done when I heard a soft knock on the door.

“Go away.”

“It’s my house.”

“I’m using this room. Go away.”

He didn’t go away. I could feel the pressure of his presence beyond the door. I dropped my phone into my purse and then, wheeling my suitcase behind me, flung open the door.

Sean was standing against the wall with his hands in his pockets. He looked up with a serious, pensive expression on his face.

I deeply wanted to hurt him in that moment, for the hateful box of purses and scarves, for calling me her name, for a thousand other tresspasses which had no name. Before I could say anything, he looked at my suitcase and asked, “You’re leaving?”

“Yes.” I rolled my suitcase past him to the stairs and bump-bump-bump down to the first floor.

He grabbed my sleeve at the landing. “I’m sorry.”

“So what.”

“Please…”

“Shut up. Just shut up,” I said. The last thing I wanted was to hear him talk more about her, about how it was an accident, how it was an honest mistake. I felt small and mean and like an alien, where nothing was safe and nothing was my own.

When a woman loves a man, she is at his mercy. When a woman loves a man, it is a challenge to the man, to push him to be a bastard, to see what kind of outrageous shit they can fling, to see what havoc they can wreck – because she will take a lot. And when a man loves a woman, he accepts the challenge, he tries to prove he is worthy of her. But suddenly I had become the one pushing, pushing, heaping free-floating hostilities in his direction. Just watch, wait until little diamond flicker in his eyes. It felt impossibly powerful. I liked it. All the fury felt beautifully contained and I became cold; this, at least, was mine. It was all I needed. The words came calmly and unrehearsed, as if reading from a script: “I am sorry, this isn’t what I want. I don’t even like you very much. I find you and this whole dead-wife thing a bit tiresome.”

He had no reply. He winced, his skin going pale. I continued. “I decided a couple of weeks ago that this was all wrong. I see now that I was correct. I see that you’re simply incapable of participating in any relationship which isn’t subordinated by your stupid dead wife.”

No reaction. So I continued. Mid-way through this speech, I realized that I was trying to hurt him the way she had hurt him by dying. Leaving with unfathomably deep, unresolved pain seemed to be the only way to make an impression on him, to be remembered and valued by him.

He said nothing for the entire time I was eviscerating our relationship. No avast demands, no refutation. Perfect silence; why was he allowing me to speak to him this way? Why wasn’t he telling me not to call her stupid. Was it generosity?

When I was finished, I felt positively invincible, radiant and impassable as a skyscraper. Never in my life had I ever felt so thunderously powerful. I wasn’t sure what to do, though I was certain I didn’t want to be in Sean’s house – the house I had started to think of as ours.

I walked past him. He followed me calmly to the door. I opened it. To my complete shock, he did not stop me. I slammed the door closed and stood in the darkness. The ocean, black water slashed with white, tumbled before me, like our bedsheets. Only when I recognized the sound of it did the shock of tears come.

I trudged to the Jeep in the driveway and threw my suitcase in the back. I drove five minutes to the White Elephant, got a room, and prepared to wake up at dawn to fly back to Boston, then to New York. I lay stiffly under the covers of the bed, the horror of what I had done becoming clearer to me with every second.

Horrible girl.
Horrible, awful girl.

But the germ of truth still beating in my ear: I was not her. I was never going to be her, or like her, or replace her. The image of her beautiful handbags kept coming over me, sickening me. They signified everything wrong with the world.

My phone rang. Sean’s name flashed across the screen. I answered.

“Where are you?”

“I’m gone, Sean.” He was silent. I could think of nothing to say. “I need to go.” He was silent. I hung up.

In the morning, I flew to Boston and then home to New York. It was barely eight o’clock as the great city came into view, grey and wide, against a blue shore.

Imagine the city, every dream that went into its construction. Imagine the volume of space in every office tower.

Imagine he could forgive me.

Imagine I might find meaning or dignity in my own cruelty, if only I write it down.

Her and Us

[Repost from last year]

I remember her name. And her portraits around the house. Her shoes, still in the closet, which I tried on one morning after he went to work. They were my size, they were beautiful little jewels, deep blue, with a thin ice-pick heel. Glamorous. I took them off, ashamed, rushing to splash cold water on my face to help jolt me out of the trance.

I remember her smart clothes, smelling of perfume and, I assume, her. Revenants of her body trailing through the house like vapor. I remember her hairbrush with the glossy burled wooden handle, and the spikes which held long brown strands that were not mine. Yet it lied in my drawer, unresolved.

I remember she knew him better than I ever would. I remember how they killed her on September 11, 2001, and they took part of him, and nearly killed her son, and them,

and finally us.

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