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  • Friday, September 07, 2007

    Best excuse I've heard in a long time

    So, I had the book club over last night. We barbequed chicken and burgers and hotdogs outside, but it was too buggy to sit on the deck and enjoy the evening. We would have been dinner instead of eating it.

    So we relaxed inside, and it was very pleasant.

    We read Devil in the White City this month. I admit that I didn't finish it. No question that it was interesting and educational -- and I certainly am learning a great deal that I didn't know about Chicago -- but I just don't find it compelling. I'll finish it, but it's not a page-turner. I am not chomping to know what happens next. I know what happens next. The fair gets built, and the other guy kills more women. Okay. The author does a fantastic job of researching the most minute details of this cross-section of history and beautifully weaves the pieces together. But somehow, I am not compelled.

    Others were, however, which is what makes book group fun. One of the members of our group has a background in therapy and dealing with social disorders, so her take on it was really interesting and insightful. She definitely picked up on stuff that I didn't. And it doesn't hurt that she has a background in journalism, so she understood and meticulousness with which the author researched the book.

    All in all? Worth the read. Definitely, the themes of building and destruction and obsession are well illustrated through the catalyst of the Chicago World's Fair. Plus, it is a fascinating glimpse into society 100+ years ago, the taboos, the etiquette, the food, the language use, etc. I'll keep it for my metro ride. I still have about 150 pages to go.

    Next month is The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. And because that's a short, quick read, we chose a longer book for November -- with plenty of advanced notice to allow us all to start it if we finish the other one early -- Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky. I'm looking forward to starting down those journeys.

    But, for me, the most amusing part of the evening came courtesy of the newest member of our book group. She was sitting next to me during dinner when she said, "I really have to apologize."

    I asked her for what?

    She said she was sorry for missing our housewarming party last month and thanked me kindly for inviting her.

    I told her I was sorry she missed it too but that she really need not apologize.

    She said, "I'm so embarassed."

    And I looked at her quizzically.

    She continued, "Well, I did get your invitation. The thing was, I didn't know your dog's name. So when I kept getting the emails that included 'Gidget' in them, I thought they had to be porn. "


    "And I just deleted them without opening them," she continued earnestly. "I'm so sorry. Thank you for thinking of me and inviting us."


    "It was only when I spoke with [another member of the book group] that I realized it was from you. I was so embarassed."

    I sputtered with laughter. And told her not to worry about it at all, but that we were sorry she didn't make it. I also told her that that story was worth the confusion. (Now I have a great excuse if I ever need to get out of an evite.)

    Gidget. The porn star.

    Our porn puppy, Gidget.


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