Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

 

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Here marks a departure from my normal book reviews.  Not just because I hated this book, because I did, but because book reviews smack too much of work.  So, here’s a quick one, just to document that I read the thing, disgusting though it was.

Everyone knows the subject matter of this book.  An older man, (I’m assuming he was 40 to 50-ish), falls in love with a young girl, or as he prefers to call her, his Lolita, his little “nymphet.”  Humbert Humbert (HH) referred to all young attractive girls as nymphets.  By young, I mean 9 to 13, any girl much older than that and he just wasn’t interested.  That ought to have been enough, and should have prevented me from reading the tale in its entirety, but onward I read.  The book was not graphic by any stretch, not one curse word, no vulgar descriptions, although it was obvious what was going on.  I think the only reason I kept on reading is because I wanted to see how HH finally hung himself, meaning, I so wanted the sick bastard to get caught.  

Written from the viewpoint of HH himself, the book focused primarily on his mental make-up, how he was unable to control his thoughts and feelings.  Nothing from the viewpoint of the girl.  To the author’s credit, he did make HH cognizant that his behavior was sick and deviant.  HH couldn’t stop himself, so we are supposed to sympathize?  No sympathy here, except for Lolita, who he ruined in his sick quest for love. 

Although the author was a gifted writer, the subject matter is too controversial and detestable to me.  I don’t know why I read it, would never read it again, and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else!   Enough said about that one.

Now, I’m shipping it off.  I joined the Paperback Swap book club last year.  I just got a message that some other poor sucker wants to read Lolita.  Paperback Swap is cool.  It’s an online book swapping club (I know, you never would have guessed …).  Literally millions of books on this site.  I have received numerous books, and have mailed many books to others.  That’s the only cost for books – the postage to mail your own to someone else!  Yes, they’re used books, but you just need to get on the recycling bandwagon.  Most of the books I have received look brand new.

Check it out … www.paperbackswap.com.  If you like, and want to join, drop me a line.  I can send you something that gives me a book credit for recommending a new member.  Not that I need it, as I now have so many books I’ll never finish reading them, but what the heck!

The Arrival of Teen Dan

“Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.”  Is that show still on?  I gave up soaps long ago, but I will never forget that line.  Although it took thirteen years to get here, it came all too suddenly.   Like sands through the hour glass.  Slow, until you think about how fast a grain of sand passes through a tiny opening.

Daniel turned thirteen a few weeks ago, officially making Johnny and me the parents of three teenagers.  No worries, I’ve had nineteen years of preparation, and am finally warming up.  Daniel had a low-key celebration this year – his choice.  His biggest desire, besides another subscription to XBox Live, was to eat lobster.  Actually, he chose lobster for his birthday dinner last year also.  This is a kid who won’t eat any other kind of seafood, and still won’t eat a large number of “normal” foods.  We went on a cruise a couple of years ago, and upon tasting lobster one night, Daniel decided it was the best thing he’d ever eaten.  He has been salivating over lobster ever since.  So, IHOP and CiCi’s, move over, ’cause Daniel is passing you by.

I could never throw a live creature into a boiling pot, nor could I watch my husband do it, nor could I hide in another room holding my hands over my ears while he threw a lobster into a boiling pot, while trying not to hear yet listening for the infamous lobster squeal.  However, I can let someone at Red Lobster do it while sitting a respectable distance from the action.  A quick Google search taught me that a lobster has no vocal chords, so it does not squeal.  The sound you hear after dropping them alive into a boiling pot of water is actually air escaping from cavities in the lobster’s body … ok, I get it.  A lobster fart.  Well, I don’t want to hear that either.

Back to my story – we had to wait a couple of weeks to have the sleepover for Daniel’s birthday, and even then Daniel invited only one friend.  An easy kid to please this year!  All it took to make a party was a couple of boys, a couple of XBox games, a couple of movies, a super-size pizza, and a five-pound bag of gummy bears.  Yes, 5 pounds of gummy bears.   They ate much of the pizza, and almost all of the gummy bears that night.  Daniel polished off the rest of the gummies the next day.  I thought I would surely get to clean up puke at some point.  As I see it, I got off extremely lucky. 

Here are a few pictures of Daniel on his birthday (presents & cake).

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… and in case you were worried, he did snuff out that last candle, otherwise he might still be twelve!

Sad Tail

My last post was hopeful.  Hopeful that Mickey could survive the onslaught of the maniacs trying to kill him.  I wish I had better news.

When I got to work this morning, excitement was low, so I figured all was ok.  I finally, and with much trepidation, peered behind a box in my office at the “stick pad” that was placed there yesterday.  Thank God, no mouse adhered.  Mickey had outsmarted the strong and powerful once again.

About 9:30 the e-mail came from Above (from Honcho’s Honcho’s Executive Assistant) …  Attention all – we have caught our mouse … I’d like to thank so and so for reporting it, and so and so for disposing of it … like it’s the freaking Academy Awards or something.  If that wasn’t bad enough, a few minutes later another e-mail … Oh, and here’s a picture.  A PICTURE?  LIKE I WANT TO SEE A PICTURE OF THIS POOR CREATURE?  You could hear a collective groan all through our department as all of us, yes all of us, knowing  full well that if we opened the attachment we would see a dead mouse, did just that.  What is it about humans that we have to see the trauma, have to see the shocking, have to see the dead mouse??  I did not want to see it, yet I couldn’t not open the attachment.  Geez, we’re an awful bunch!

I was thinking last night, if he were caught on the stick paper, would he just be stuck, but alive?  Like one of those little push puppets, animated when you push the button, but hopelessly stuck in the mud?

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What the hell was on that stick paper anyway – cyanide?

The Office Mouse

We have a mouse at work.  He is a cute little thing, goes by the name of Mickey.  Everybody else at the office is freaked out, and wants to kill him, but the poor little guy is just trying to get by.  The first time we were aware he was hangin’ with us, we actually saw him.  Head Honcho, my boss, well, everyone’s boss, spied him first.  He thought he had seen one of his “floaters,” but realized that what he had seen was just too damn big and quick to be a fl0ater.  So, like the adults we are, some of us immediately climbed up on chairs and screamed, and others of us (self included), bent down, gi-normous butts high in the air, to look under the copy machine where Mickey had scurried for cover.

We then put our gi-normous brains together.  How do we outsmart the little pea-brained rodent?  A couple of machos among us wanted to smash him, but the rest of us wanted to catch him and and set him free in the world.  You’re free to be, Mickey, born free … now run!!!  Certainly this was the best and less messy choice.  Thankfully, no hammers were available and saner minds prevailed.   Then others set off closing office doors in our area to try to isolate little Mickey.  Having had rodents for pets for numerous years (hamsters & guineas), I know a teensy bit about rodents.  I told all the brainiacs that closing the doors wouldn’t help.  Can you say flatter than a pancake?  Because a mouse can’t say it, but a mouse can do it.

So, one of the guys in my office, I’ll call him Fred,  goes about jabbing a piece of cardboard under the copy machine from the east side of the machine trying to force Mickey out, while Head Honcho holds a big empty box on the west side … like Mickey would run immediately due west after being shooed from the east.  Riiiiiiight.   Ahem, nevermind the north and the south sides.  Personally, if a giant creature was jabbing at me from the east, and another giant creature was coaxing me from the west, I think I’d run north or south, but that’s just me …

Anyway, Mickey scurries out from under the south side of the machine, arcs southeast, scampers around Head Honcho, and heads straight for Honcho’s office.  He runs the length of the closed door a couple of times, then, slicker than snot, mutates into a furry pancake and slides under the door.  What a proud moment that was for me … thank you very much … and in front of my boss!

From there, he went under Honcho’s desk and stayed there the rest of the day where no one could reach him.  We all went back to work, Honcho a little uneasy at first, but being the brave and noble man he is, soon lost all fear of Mickey and Mickey’s proximity to his feet.  In fact, late in the day, Honcho and Mickey forged a sort of friendship.  Honcho opened one of his drawers to see if he could spot Mickey, and lo and behold, there was Mickey, behind the drawer looking up at Honch.  Honch told me that Mickey just sat still and looked at him, thereby inferring that Honcho sat still and looked back at Mickey.  Finally, they understood each other.  They had bonded.

Next morning, we don’t know what happened to Mickey.  Seems he left us for better digs.  Word from Above (meaning Honcho’s Honcho’s office) was that the exterminator was coming to set traps for Mickey and any family member he may be harboring.  I suppose the exterminators did come, but they did not catch our Mickey!

Mickey missed us dearly and came back to visit last night, only no one was around to see him.  He took a room in Shelley’s overhead bin in her cube, and proceeded to nest … maybe Mickey is a Minnie … leaving a plump little pile of chewed paper decorously arranged in Shelley’s bin this morning.  Turns out the tasty paper came from one of Shelley’s binders that she uses daily.   Now, understand that Shelly is without a doubt our loudest employee.  We always know when Shelley is pissed, we always know when Shelley is sad, we always know when Shelley is happy, and believe me, we all knew that a mouse was in the house in Shelley’s cube.  She promptly called the authority (Honcho’s Honcho’s Executive Assistant, where true power abides), and now a trap is set for Mickey in his newfound home, er Shelley’s overhead bin.

Poor Mickey.  I fear he is just not safe anymore.   It’s a trick, Mickey!  Run, Mickey, run … run for your life!!!  You must now live the life of a fugitive … or at least go back to Honcho’s office!!!!!

[All names have been changed to protect the guilty, but especially the innocent mouse.]