Never Done

Monday, October 19, 2009

I am writing this entry from home, where I have Internet service once again! I arrived home from Indy this afternoon and got right to reading because today's book was over 300 pages - although "got right to reading" might be a bit of an exaggeration since my definition of getting right to anything includes first wasting 10 minutes on the Internet looking up pointless stuff (okay, 20), unpacking (read: taking everything out of suitcase, throwing it all in a big pile on the floor where it will remain for the next week and then putting the suitcase back in the closet, all the while feeling a delightful sense of accomplishment) and then checking the DVR to make sure all of my shows taped while I was gone (because I need my daily fix of watching absolutely nothing happen on Days of Our Lives.)

Today's book, "Beginning with a description of household chores in the nineteenth century, Susan Strasser demonstrates how industrialization transformed the nature of women's work, lightening some tasks and eliminating the need for others. In this lively and authoritative book, Strasser weaves together the history of material advances and domestic service, the development of "women's separate sphere," and the impact of advertising, home economics, and women's entry into the workforce."

Clean thoughts (as if I would ever have any other kind):

  • I'm sure everyone who knows me well is reading this and thinking, A history of housework? What on earth would possess her to read about an activity that she hates? (With the exception, that is, of the 75% of my family that doesn't even bother reading my blog in the first place.) It's true dear readers that I hate housework (except for cooking) - I can't even talk myself into liking it by wearing an apron and pretending to be Hazel (great show, by the way). And my own housekeeping style could best be described as messy . . . horrifying . . . appalling . . . loathsome . . . well, you get the picture. So, why read this book? Because I love history so much that it's able to overpower my disdain for cleaning. And I was curious to find out who invented the electric iron (another activity I actually enjoy - although I attribute this to the fact that I've only ever attempted it twice in my life - unlike my mother who irons her t-shirts.) Sadly, the book did not relieve my curiosity, and I am still left in suspense - although not a strong enough suspense to motivate me to actually go do some research on the subject.

  • I found the writing style of today's book a bit dull - although the information in the book was interesting enough to keep me reading, and so were the frequent mentions of the book Little Women. That seems like a bit of a paradox - a book that is written in a boring style, that nevertheless contains interesting facts - but I have found throughout the coarse of the year that it's surprisingly common. What I have yet to run across (but desperately want to, merely for the sake of satisfying my own curiosity) is a book that is filled with boring facts but that is written in such a fun way that I enjoy the book anyway.

  • Here's your fun fact for the day dear readers: In the 1800s, many people disliked fresh meat and believed that it was "unwholesome," and lacking in "strength." - I was unable to read that section of the book without thinking of Spam, which is quite possibly the most disgusting food ever invented (although if anyone would like to try to top it in the comments section, feel free to share), and sadly enough a food that I was raised on. I consider it a miracle that my growth wasn't stunted. Although maybe it was, because when I was a child people did expect me to be taller than I am now.