Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


It's snowing. A Lot. And Sticking. A Little.

It never gets old! A gentle nighttime snowfall is to me, the closest natural approximation to the experience of poetry. Isn't that deep? I wrote about that once for a college poetry seminar, before I stopped writing poetry in favor of snarky blog posts.
Now, this rapturous view of falling flakes might not hold true for those currently in traffic, but from a New York city window, looking down into the lamplight, the snow falling is pure magic. And we know how I feel about global warming, so we know that I'm not happy with how rare it's been this year. I would have expected at least one frosty trek over the pathways of Ft. Tryon park so far. But tomorrow, should the snow last, will be my first.

Incidentally, the folks over at The Onion have a humorous take on these cold spells that have so captivated our regions's weatherpeople.

"Those Crazy Veronese Lovebirds."

Thus the New York Times dubs Romeo and Juliet, who are due in Central Park this summer for the annual Delacorte Theater "I am a hip and literate New Yorker" free love-fest, not to be confused with the annual Great Lawn "I am a hip and (wine-guzzling Classical music) literate new yorker" free love-fest which occurs in its near proximity.

Questions that this announcement brings to mind are:

1-If I had taken my mini-gangstas from the Bronx, whose reactions to reading R and J were mixed (and hilarious), to the Delacorte theater, would they have shouted expletives at the actors or fallen asleep? Or beat me up?

2-Will I fail to get my ass on line by 8 am for the fifth, sixth or seventh summer in a row (I don't know, I've lost count!)?

3-Does Romee-oh for what Julie-et?

4-What would have happened if Juliet had woken up like 30 seconds earlier, huh?

5-Which is the better pop song adaptation of "R and J"-- "Exit Music (for a film) by Radiohead,
"Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits/Indigo girls or "Romeo had Juliette" by Lou Reed? Answer. They all rock, cause they're inspired by the BARD, yo!

Sample lyrics for each:

Exit Music:

You can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope that your rules and wisdom choke you
Now we are one
In everlasting peace

We hope that you choke.. that you choke

R and J:
Yeah now and all I do is miss you
And the way it used to be you know
And all I do is keep the beat
I keep bad, bad company
And all I do is kiss you
Through the bars of a rhyme
When julie I'd do the stars with you

Romeo had Juliette

Manhattan's sinking like a rock
Into the filthy hudson what a shock
They wrote a book about it
They said it was like ancient rome

The perfume burned his eyes
Holding tightly to her thighs
And something flickered for a minute
And then it vanished and was gone.

And now I must vanish and be gone. Love, Fellow-ette.

Monday, January 29, 2007


I want to like "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
I really do.
But I'm currently suffering through an episode involving all the following:

1-someone LYING about why he's standing someone else up for a date (yeah, that's going to work out well, can anyone say EVERY episode of every sitcom ever?)

2-Snakes on the loose.

3-An awkward would-be couple being trapped on a rooftop.

4-A date auction gone bad.


yes, it could. It ended with a "to be continued." Shoot me now, Sorkin.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Liveblogging Part TWO of Jane Eyre, Masterpiece Theater

Adjust your breeches, bodices, smoulders and stares. Here we go.

9:09 Brilliantly Masterpiece Theaterish addition of dialogue between Blanche Ingram and Edward Rochhester. "What do you really want, Blanche?" says he between cigar puffs. Such artistic license!

9:11 I'm glad the director chose to include the pathetic dialogue between Jane's two bitchy cousins (the nun and the coquette), as well as the drama with Jane's uncle in Madeira, aunt, and inheritance. Aunt Reed is so evil.

"Because I hated you too much, I could not forgive you," says the dying Aunt Reed to Jane. She's coughing, hacking, wheezing, all very grotesque and Victorian. Beside her sits Jane, complacent, calm, seething inside (a super feministly in-tune director would cue up a fuzzy shot Bertha, stalking up and down in her chamber to represent Jane's repressed anger. But I guess that would give away the plot).

9:17--Jane seems so happy to be back at Thornfield; Ruth Wilson can sure muster a sweet smile. "Wherever you are is my home, is my true home," she tells R. Now he's the one who's smiling.

9:19--They're talking about twins being in tune with each other's minds. Clearly this is a symbol for J and R (or Heathcliff and Cathy, for that matter).

9:20--A frosty exchange between Blanche and Rochester as he hands her into the carriage.

9:22--Rochester seems a bit too happy that Jane has no one else in the world "outside Thornfield" to care for her. Now he's torturing her with the suggestion of sending her off Ireland. He'll get his comeuppance though, Bronte-style.

9:23--The view from the attic window. Oooo-oooh!

9:26 Rochester to little Adele on Carribean women: "tantalizing, dangerous." "The Caribbean is not as beautiful as it seems, Adele," he snaps angrily as she hums a strange tune. Flash to the attic, and someone else singing that very same, eerie song... double oo-ooh!....I guess the director is taking my advice from above.


9:33--"Let no man meddle with me, I will keep her," says Roch, after his blissfully accepted, somewhat protracted proposal of marriage. Oh, but someone will. Someone will.

9:36--Fairfax is not happy with this turn of events.

9:37--"We will go on as before," says Jane. Rochester frowns. "He doesn't want to go on as before," says my bf. "He wants to go on otherwise!"

9:47--Rochester seems AWFULL-Y anxious to get married RIGHT AWAY. Could he be hiding something? Or someone?
Every time I read the book or (and now, time numero dos) see a movie of JE I cannot stand this part... the anticipation of Mason showing up to break up the wedding. It's so heartbreaking. And this version is playing it beautifully by focusing so closely on Jane's face as she realizes the secret.

9:52--This madwoman is beautiful, charming, and totally psycho.

9:59--Jane, running away from Thornfield, is under a rock. I know that rock! It's the crag from Wuthering Heights. Now she's wandering on the moors, her hair blowing. I'm getting my Bronte's all confused. Next thing we know, that pesky Tenant of Wildfell Hall is going to show up.

10:00--As her eyes close, she sees the dying Helen. Nice touch.

10:04--I really like this interpretation of the Riverses... they're an annoying but essential part of the plot, and they're not getting short-shrift at all here. Everything about their snug little cottage, and the stout maid Hannah, is just as I imagined.

10:09-- And the Rosamond Oliver plot--I forgot all about that. "It is a crime against god to deny yourself love," says one of the Rivers sisters about her brother, the noble St. John. Can you say "repressed" Diana?

10:12--No matter how kind the Riverses are, Jane still hears Edward's voice. Oh, Rochester! Rochester, Rochester, Rochester.

10:23--St. John, the epitome of restraint. Rochester, the epitome of passion. Damn, the filmmakers keep flashing back to J an R making out hard-core. That's something Charlotte Bronte would have approved of.

10:26--"One Year Later." Naw, it's only one minute later.

10:28--St. John tells a shocked Jane her life story. Says he of Rochester, "he must have been a very bad man." He can never understand what J and R had together. Never. But we can, cause we just saw them making out.

10:33--Jane, newly independently wealthy, faces St. John telling her that it is her "destiny" to go to Africa with him and convert heathen children. Don't do it, Jane! Don't go!

10:38--Besides a turgid waterfall, in a gathering storm, Jane hears Rochester's voice! "JANE!" he gries, "Jane!" She turns and runs.

10:39. Go Jane go! Wait, what happened to Thornfield? It's a ghastly ruin. The story of Bertha's death is acted out in quite a ghoulish, and beautiful way, as she chases a white bird into the abyss.

10:43. The approach to misty, damp Ferndean is so perfect. And Toby Stephens does a great blind man impression!

10:48--I couldn't blog during their reunion because it was too touching, too wonderful.
Rochester to Jane, gaining an inkling of suspicion--"Were there only ladies at the house where you were?"

10:51--I don't want this movie to end. ever. And especially not in nine minutes. It's so, so wonderful. And neither, apparently, does Toby Stephens' Rochester. He likes good times to last. "I want a wife to share my bed every night. All day, if we wish!" And...they're making out horizontally again.

10:55 Nice ending. But why didn't they show Rochester regaining sight in one eye? That's an interesting choice on the part of the director. Very feminist.

10:56. Credits roll. My mother, whose re-reading of J.E. inspired me to try it for the first time at the age of 10, calls me. "IT WAS SOOO GOOOD" we shriek at each other over the phone for several minutes. "I can't believe it's OVERRRR."

What a wonderful four hours folks. Want to help out with a good cause? Contribute this movie to a needy literary adaptation-obsessed britlitophile near you.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Which depressing tome of American life should I read next?

American Pastoral by Roth, or the Grapes of Wrath, by this dude called Steinbeck?

Advise me, readership.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Caught in A Webb

Dude...Jim Webb's rebuttal to the State of the Union was so so so so so so badass. Straight from the gut. I've never seen anything like it. It makes all the highfallutin' rhetoric of the establishment darlings seem frilly in comparison. Cause it was so REAL, yo. So real.

When did this blog become a political one? Maybe when politics got exciting and hopeful again, as in, post-November '06. And much as I disdain many things about her, the combined fact that my good woman Hil. Clinton is being taken seriously as a presidential candidate, and Ms. Pelosi got to sit at that retarded dais behind the prez tonight as "Madame Speaker" is so gratifying for the little firecracker girl I once was, you know, the Egalitarian Bookworm Chicklet who wore a "Choice" hat to grade school and defended Gloria Steinem vehemently multiple before the age of 12, (all while lugging Pride and Prejudice, Gone With The Wind, or Jane Eyre to the beanbags in the corner to be annoyingly precocious.)

Of Jane and Roe...

I'm intrigued by Alexandera Stanley's would-be-literary commentary on Saturday night's Jane Eyre. For one thing, she waxes on and on about how un-adaptable Jane Eyre is as a modern novel-- okay, it's never been "Clueless"ed, or "Bridget Jones"ed, 'tis true, but Rebecca is essentially a modern re-write, as is this year's best-seller The Thirteenth Tale. In fact, Stanley writes about Joan Fontaine as the original Jane without mentioning that she was also cast as "The Second Mrs. DeWinter" in Rebecca on purpose, by the studios, to emphasize the similarities. Stephen King references Eyre in the Shining and more. It's both the foremama of feminist lit and a certain genre of gothic lit (i.e. the Turn of the Screw, which also owes a direct debt to Jane that's unacknowledged by Stanley).

So yeah. Thats what I have to say about that. On another note entirely, the anniversary of Roe has gotten the internet poppin' with pro-choice vs. pro-life debaters. I find my blood boiling so wildly at the latter that I could almost turn into one of those ovresexed, baby-swallowing vampire-witches that the right wing already sees me as. I can't wait to "boo" my way through the State of the Union tonight.

Now, let's tie this all together by asking ourselves: would Charlotte and Emily Bronte have been pro-choice?
Hell to the yeah. Everything from Jane's inheritance to Rochester's blindness says yes, self-determination is high on their Yorkshire-bred agenda... and let's not forget that Bertha Mason is Jane's alter-ego, in the eyes of feminist critics (ditto with Heathcliff and Cathy, btw)--the outgrowth of the wild child trapped in the Red Room. In other words, every woman has an oversexed, baby-swallowing vampire-witch in her (or in Emily's world, a brooding Gypsy-man who represents the unchecked feminine) because the partriarchy makes it so when it violently leaves her in two by subjugating her to a life of parlor and child-bearing. So there.
If they just stopped oppressing us, we wouldn't have to burn castles, rip veils, dash our heads against a tree shouting "Cathy", or marry poor Isabella Linton. Or haunt our ancestral homes, for that matter. And wouldn't that be nice?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Why I'm Pro-Choice

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007
Today is blog for choice day. It may be late in the day, but how could I not participate? It sickens me that Bush is calling it "sanctity of life" day, and it sickens me that the shit the far right is pulling is so ugly, so anti-woman, and anti-dialogue.

So here's why I'm pro-choice, and this is just the tip of the iceberg:

*because Eve is a myth.
*because until men have to deal with their own cramps, hot flashes, morning sickness, midol, and epidurals, they have no right to get all up in my womb.
*because the mainstream media manipulates us by marketing food as porn and diets as salvation, sexuality as necessary and intelligence as ugly-- we have to claim our bodies as our own.
*because war is not pro-life.
*because every child should be a wanted child.
*because birth control is one of the best advances made this century.
*because abstinence-only doesn't work.
*because being "pro-life" in actuality means forcing women to remain pregnant or deliver children under the threat of incarceration. creepily dystopian, eh? (think Orwell or Atwood)
*because we as a society are more interested in chastizing rape victims than in telling men to wear condoms and take responsibility for their actions.
*because being afraid of female sexuality is so retro.
*because thousands of Irish women fly to England every year for silent journeys to abortion clinics.
*because Phyllis Schlafly is a venomous hell-bat.
*because war is not pro-life.
*because we don't want to go back to alleys and hangers.
*because if we repeal Roe, rich women will jet off to Sweden while poor women will suffer from botched abortions.
*because EC has brought the number of abortions down in Europe (that hotbed of hedonism).
*because war is not pro-life.
*because back in third grade, I saw my mother board a bus for a pro-choice rally in Washington armed with signs and buttons, and I knew that to leave home for that long, she must really believe in something, and she's the woman I admire most in the world.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Liveblogging Part One of Jane Eyre, Masterpiece Theater

Toby Stephens, Ruth Wilson, served up in a fest of towers, moors, and mysteries like the Brontes do it best.

9:10 So I've been utterly taken in by the big-eyed precociousness of the actress playing young Jane... turns out she's Georgie Henley, who played none other than Lucy Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia. She's much less wide-eyed and Christ-like here, leaving that to the consumptive Helen Burns, and gets the somewhat blasphemous character of young Jane right, impressive for someone so young. She's utterly adorable. Yes, I said "utterly" twice in one paragraph. Ten minutes in and I'm already going Victorian.

9:30 As for the older Jane, Ruth Wilson, she has intense eyebrows and a very sensuous mouth--I'm undecided as to whether she's too strangely seductive to be our plain Jane yet.

9:50--I take it back. She's got the prim thing down. And Toby Stephens' grumpy Rochester is good too, if a bit effete (more like an Austen hero, p'raps?). But I miss the electricity I saw generated in the Samantha Morton/Ciaran Hinds pairing. I'm not sure whether the actors are not intense enough or the screenplay is too meandering, but I'm not as drawn in as I usually am by anything Jane Eyre or anything Masterpiece Theater for that matter... on the other hand, it has more of the sense of humor that marks the Jane/Rochester banter so well..

9:56...uh-oh, a lengthy gaze in the looking glass signals that she's starting to fall for E. Fairfax Rochester. Trouble Ahead!

10:00 The fire in the bedroom is way gothic and out of control. "This is creepy," says my devoted boyfriend, who is now watching his second Jane Eyre adaptation with me in a matter of weeks. This makes him more of a hero than any Rochester or Darcy would-be in the world.

10:03 Taking its cue from Matthew "Screw diving in lakes, I signal sensuality when I clench the hand that Kiera Knightley's Elizabeth touched" our Jane Eyre kisses the hand that Rochester, post-fire, grapsed eagerly, and falls backward into a reverie thinking of her "master". Meanwhile, he stares through his window at a light in the turret, where we know the madwoman resides.

10:05 Grace Poole after JE confronts her: "It would be wise to lock your door as soon as you go to bed. Who knows what might happen?"

10:08 Jane to herself in the mirror: "you were mistaken, Jane Eyre," (she's thinking of Blanche Ingram). Then she draws an angry portrait of herself frowning. Dude, Charlotte Bronte was way before her time...this is seriously emo.

10:12 This version is growing on me.

10:14 Rochester and Blanche Ingram are cantering over the hillsides.

10:22 Blah blah pseudo-symbolic drawing room patter about "tainted blood" and child-rearing that's pissing Rochester off.

10:25-Rochester's flirtation with Ingram and torment of Jane Eyre is coming across more snarky than savage.

10:28: They're playing with a Victorian ouija board! "Heart" becomes "heartless" for Blanche. Oh Edward, you're so nasty!

10:38 Edward F. Rochester, apres the stunt with the old gypsy woman; "Oh Jane, I wish I were on a desert island somewhere, with only you for company." Wow. That's quite a line, screenwriters.

10:44 The Dick Mason/Rochester attack scene is handled grotesquely and frighteningly. "She tried to suck my blood," sobs Mason as he collapses on the bed and the doornob rattles incessantly.

10:55 closing shot of Rochester in a flaming red coat... and of Jane watching Rochester and Blanche Ingram...and then a mysterious woman watching it all from the attic and breathing heavily. Oh, shit.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Coldern' a witches teat

Yes, after my previous rant about global warming (I still believe it folks, the end is nigh) mama natura returned with a vengeance... but whatever, freezing one's ass off in a seasonably normal fashion is oh-so-very preferable to schvitzing uncomfortablye whilst imagining the slow melting and breakage of arctic ice caps... or the endless migration of polar bears searching for some solid ice upon which to rest. (Tear, sob)

We-ell, there's nothing better to do when the cold comes in than engage in serious, literary-heroine worthy girlishness. These activities include:

Getting my hair cut. At long, last, I've found the ONE. A cheap, friendly, person who actually gave me bangs that weren't a pathetic-ass wisp, and did a great job on my difficult-to-tame bob. Quoth she: "you got a lotta hair, girl!"
Anyway, all my female readers, and perhaps a few of the male ones as well, will undoubtedly understand that finding a hair person one likes (the first time I've done so in years) is like making a shidduch-- no Yente required.

Ice-Skating I celebrated a dear old friend's 25th by whizzing around wollman rink (or should I say TRUMP's Wollman rink, hard to do without throwing up a little) like dem Victorians used to do it-- although I don't think those in that elegant era used to listen to booming clubby house music while they did it. Anyway, I love skating for all the aesthetic reasons, such as snow-scapes, but also because it's one of a very few sports I am more than adequate at. To be fair, they're actually all pretty much variations on the same sport, which is to say standing on slidy things without falling: skiing (both downhill and XC), ice-skating, and rollerblading. Sometimes I can even whizz by people who have Y chromosomes, which gives me a super-cool rush. But mostly I just like the feeling of gliding. Who doesn't?

Ben and Jerry's Eating- Why do women like ice cream with chunks and swirls in it, when most men I know prefer it pure and unadulterated? Sad as it is to admit, I'd rather have some junky artificial frozen yogurt with ten different flavors and chunks in it than some vanilla, no matter how vanilla-y and amazing it is. Why is that? Why do we crave the chunks? Does it speak to boredom, emptiness, hormones, or what? Somebody enlighten me. RIP Ooey Gooey cake, the best fr0-yo flavor ever, sponsor of my freshman fifteen.

Election Watching--Yes, I'm pissed that Hil's triangulating, at the press is already Dean-ifying Obama by hyping him up to ridiculous degrees and then casting doubt on his electability, but I'm still fucking excited. A woman, a minority, and a hard-core economic populist (Edwards), and Kucinich to boot, versus an imploding group of blowhard old white men. This is going to be a great, thrilling race, enough to get a disillusioned Gore and Kerry door-knocker sending in her resume to some campaigns. And that's sayin' something.
Blue '08. Awww yeah.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Inheritance of Loss

I am writing this to keep up the thin, thin pretense that this is a "book review" blog. ahaahahahaha. But anyway, I have been reading a book, a rather meaty one, and now that I'm done with it, here's what it's about. It's a multi-family, mult-city, multi-generational story about immigration, assimilation, ethnic unrest, family relationships, identity, nationality, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

oh, sorry, that was the sound of ME FALLING ASLEEP because despite all the lovely, exquisitely phrased vignettes author Kiran Desai provides us with, and the sweeping things she has to say about love and change and self-interest, I still did not give two teaspoonfuls of Masala about most of the characters... or maybe it's just that there were so many characters I cared about all of them, but not enough? Either way, I felt that every time I was engrossed in a story line, I got jerked back in time or overseas into another person's equally undeveloped story , ad nauseum etc. etc. and so forth.

Now I have a few other things to say about this book: first of all, it won the oh-so-prestigeeous Mann-Booker prize, which is known in Britain as zzzzzzzzzz...

oh, sorry, that was the sound of ME FALLING ASLEEP again because the Brits, in homage to their patron saint 'Ginia Woolf, pick prize-winning books with lots. and. lots. of. words. that. sound. pretty. but. never. end. Tell a frikkin' story already, eh?

Okay. Enough. The book wasn't so bad. I made it through, after all. I just had gotten got so excited because I racistly was thinking of Zadie Smith and Jhumpa Lahiri, whose books I loved so much and was disappointed that this didn't give me the cleverness of the one or the emotional honesty of the other. Shame on me.

Over and out.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Back to the Grizz-ind

Yo, yo, yo! I am SO back. It's been a long, drowsy hiatus for fellow-ette. I must confess to being lulled into catatonic oblivion due to the abnormally warm... and moist... weather. And they called Al Gore crazy! Well, who's laughing now, evil corporations? Who's laughin now?

...No one, because we're all going to be killed by a rapidly descending second ice age a la The Day After Tomorrow (or we'll be under water...or we'll start sitting on our porches fanning ourselves and drinking juleps... which is potentially the worst).

Speaking of "The Day After Tomorrow," that modern cinematic masterpiece, how hot was Jake
(I'm funny, but my material sucked compared to Justin's and for that, SNL needs new writers) Gyllenhall during his opening monologue on SNL this weekend? Answer: real funny! I love men in dresses.

Oh, and speaking of modern cinematic masterpieces, the Golden Glizzobes were t'other night in case you didn't know. Personally, there's nothing fellow-ette loves more than snuggling under a blanket with her man of an evening, gazing upwards, and watching them stars come out. But this time, some of them lost their glitter. I forget from awards show to awards show how utterly vapid, self-important, and deluded most Hollywood folk really are. That's why we don't listen to them, we look at their glossy pictures and read snarky commentary from our favorite Us Weekly contributors. How soon we forget.

But just as we were about to doze into oblivion, with nary an asteroid spotted, Sacha Baron Cohen saved the day. His speech, here (sorry for the youtube ghettoness).

Other thoughts on the Globes:

*Warren Beatty: hotter when he's rapping and macking it with Halle Berry than when he's bantering with a sloshed Tom Hanks.
*Meryl Streep: really, really, really, loves herself. Who wouldn't with all that talent? (gagging noise)
*Sienna Miller: I think she actually might be the soulless bitch I've often imagined. She was rubbing Bill Nighy's shoulder in a really sycophantic, pretentious way.
*Ah-nold: Lo-ser.
*Jennifer Hudson and America Ferrara. I heart you. And probably just mispelled your names. Forgive me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ring in the New...

Happy 2007 to all... Fellow-ette has been enjoying a noisy and very long break... and she's actually exhausted, because despite a bevy of noon wake-ups followed by stumbles to Angela's coffee shop up on 187th for $4 french toast, juggling family, friends, family-of-friends, and friends of family during the joyous holiday season ain't as easy as it looks. Still, it's been worth it entirely to lollygag, shop post X-mas sales, gorge oneself on cookies and takeout and good conversation, and most imporantly, see the people you love!

And there's been time for a strong dose of that sweet medicine of pop culture immersion. In no particular order, here be my thoughts on:

The Queen--
I just loved this film, which was an extraordinarily gentle and unflinching look at the events following Diana's death. Sympathies were spread to everyone from the throngs who mourned to the somewhat lugubrious Tony Blair, to Helen Mirren's perfect-to-a-point Queen. I've never seen a movie that treated something so recent so interestingly and compellingly.

"Beauty and the Geek", season premiere-- I love B and the G because of the ridiculous "message" it imparts about learning to love people who are different than you. I love the bonding that takes place between the beauties and geeks and the personal growth they actually go through. Although I must admit it's a bit misogynist to ALWAYS have the beauties be female and the geeks male (come on Ashton, shock us) it's still a treat. Oh, and as a graduate of the school to which two of the current geeks matriculate or matriculated, going to Harvard doesn't de facto make you a geek. A loser, perhaps, but not a geek. I think Nate and Scooter have an unfair advantage.

Ciaran Hinds-fest:
I've been getting my fill of the wonderful Captain Wentworth strutting his cinematic stuff this week.

*First there's been a "Rome" marathon, with 9 of the first season's twelve episodes covered since vacation began. What can I say about this show: it's scandalously good just like I, Claudius but with more sex, violence, and coverage of the plebs. Plus lesbianism, incest, and disemboweling galore. In other words, something for everyone. The only hard part is knowing that each epsidoe brings dear Ciaran-as-Caesar closer to the Ides of March.

* Jane Eyre
as done by the BBC with Hinds as Rochester and Samantha Morton as Plain Jane herself is the first screen adaptation of Bronte's novel I've actually ever viewed, having heard that none of them entirely do justice to the complexity of the book. This is true, but while the script of this movie shortchanges the unique pacing of the book and plays down Jane's bizarre morality and growth, the acting from the two leads is so fantastic and their chemistry so intense it's breathtaking. Ciaran's wild, passionate Rochester is a far cry from the calculating Caesar or the bitter, reserved Wentworth.

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. About halfway through this novel of immigration and change in a small, politically trubulent corner of india near several borders (Nepal, Pakistan) and a simultaneous chronicle of the Indian experience abroad. This Booker-prize wining novel proves beyond a doubt that the brits are really overfond of over-writing. I prefer simpler prose for sure, but then, I'm an egalitarian bookworm chick, so what to expect?

Peace and love, dear readers, and welcome to '07.