The Christmas Train

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today has been an extremely challenging blogging day. Up until today I had gotten a little bit cocky about this whole blog business, thinking that since I was just days away from the end of this project it would smooth sailing from this point on, like the last few weeks of school before vacation. But instead, I spent the day struggling to read my book in between trying to finish my Christmas shopping, then I lost my blogging notes, and then I spent 2 hours trying to get on the Internet, unsuccessfully, before calling Comcast and spending 40 minutes talking to a really nice and very helpful person who managed to help me finally get online again. So here I sit at 1:25 in the morning, wishing I was asleep, trying to get my blog entry written because I can't bear the thought of going to sleep without the entry being up. A blogger's job is never done. But, I'm considering it a personal victory that I did not use even the slightest bit of profanity during the almost-three-hour attempt to get on the Internet. I handled the crisis in a manner that would make Mike Brady proud.

I was going to do the chapter and page count today, but since I had whining about my tough day to do and Christmas pictures to share, I have decided to move it to tomorrow. I know I promised that I would post it today, but you'll just have to muddle through another day without knowing how many pages I've read this week (try to be brave - I know your hearts are breaking right now.)

Here I am on Christmas morning when I was about five-years-old, attempting to rock the I-just-woke-up-and-was-too-lazy-to-even-bother-to-brush-my-hair look (and pulling it off if I do say so myself.) The Barbie house in the background was one that my Dad built for me. I only got to keep it for six months because we eventually found out that my Mother was allergic to the wood the house was made out of and so we had to get rid of it.

Here is my sister with, what I'm going to presume to call, one of her favorite Christmas presents ever. Don't be fooled into thinking that's some ordinary toy doll. No dear readers, that's not just a toy. That's Mr. Bally. He has a name. He has a heart. He has feelings, which can be easily hurt when someone leaves him lying face down (although some of us did that by accident because we could never remember where his face was supposed to be.)

Today's book, "Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to L.A. in time for Christmas. Forced to take the train across the country because of a slight "misunderstanding" at airport security, he begins a journey of self-discovery and rude awakenings, mysterious goings-on and thrilling adventures, screwball escapades and holiday magic."

Shallow Christmasy thoughts:

  • I picked today's book because I have always been fascinated by the idea of train travel. I blame this on old movies which make train travel look elegant, glamorous and exciting. I'm sure the reality is gritty and boring - but I like to cling to that illusion. Which is probably why I've never actually attempted to travel by train - I'm sure that within five minutes my happy little bubble would burst.

  • Today's book was good but not great, worth reading once but probably not one I would read again. In other words, it was better than most of the books I have read this year, but not good enough to do on my list of "Books I'm Going to Re-read Next Year When I Can Take My Time." I'm toying with the idea of doing a blog post once a month next year to report back on whether I enjoyed the re-reads more or less once I got a chance to read them slowly.

  • And here's your fun fact for the day dear readers: Never flush an airplane toilet while you're still sitting on it. One would assume that's common sense - but one would be wrong. Because there are allegedly people who are not smart enough to figure that out who, as a result, ended up suctioned to the toilet for the remainder of the flight. Since this book is a novel, I simply must go google that story and find out if it's ever actually happened. . . darn it, it seems that story was a rumor that turned out to be false. The part of my brain that will always be eight-years-old so desperately wanted that story to be true.