Do you (re)read me?


I’m writing ’bout the
Book I read
I have to sing about the
Book I read
I’m embarrassed to admit it hit the soft spot in my heart
When I found out you wrote the
Book I read

–Talking Heads/The Book I Read


What does a person do when she’s trying to save up all of her unread books for her vacation? She rereads old favorites. In my case, that means it’s Jane Austen Fest here in Tigard.

To be honest, I’m a year round re-reader. If I like a book, there’s a good chance I will read it at least twice. If I love it, the number goes up to infinity. I like to blame my mother for reading the same books to me over and over as a child. I’m sure no one else’s mothers ever did that. Actually, it’s because I read so quickly the first time it’s only a little more than a skim for story and flavor. I slow down for stuff that’s more content rich, or for non-fiction but I really read a book seriously when I read it the second time. If I love it when I read it the second time, it will go on the infinite read loop.

I’ll pull “Emma” off the shelf for the zillionth time(it’s a virtual shelf at this point) just to read what Knightley says to her when he finally confesses his love, and then go back to the beginning and read it all again. And again. Even after multiple re-readings, I’m happy when they end up together in the end,

People wonder if knowing the ending ruins the book for me, and it doesn’t a bit.I cry when beloved characters die, and laugh when they say something funny–even when I know it’s coming.

After multiple readings, the characters in my favorite books might as well be family.

Family I’ve picked for myself who never complain when I ignore them for years at a time.


Additional note: I don’t mind book or movie spoilers, either. I’m sure there have been studies done on those who hate spoilers and those who don’t mind or like them. They should add that to standard personality tests.



Inside Michelle’s brain, episode 1

This is an actual conversation that took place inside of my head. It’s a scary place. Dark and full of cobwebs. I’d advise you not to look in there. Once you see it, it can’t ever be unseen.

It’s 21:00 hours, and it’s hot. About 81 outside, and about 83 inside. As a native Oregonian of the Willamette Valley, I do not take kindly to hot weather. Just now I  opened the windows and thought:

“Men are really lucky they don’t have boobs.  Boobs are sweaty when it’s this hot out. Ick.”

…. a few seconds went by….

“Well, but men do have scrotums. That’s probably worse.  I definitely wouldn’t want to have a scrotum when it’s this hot.

I wonder if scrotums get hotter than boobs.

I’ll have to check on that later.”



Still waters.



Vive l’indifference


My dear, I don’t give a damn.

Rhett Butler


Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Nirvana/Smells Like Teen Spirit


I think we all know that Rhett really did give a damn about Scarlett.  He was too filled with grief to have a discussion about his feelings at the moment, but he certainly wasn’t indifferent.

I sometimes find myself getting all  riled up about something and then saying “whatever, I don’t care” when it’s pretty obvious that I do. And why is that? Why is it sometimes easier to throw out a “nevermind” than to actually let someone know that you do care, or that you have an opinion?

One  common reason is that, like Rhett Butler,  you’re too tired either physically or emotionally to get into any sort of a hassle. If you admit to caring about something, and it turns into a big discussion or argument, it might not end well. It’s usually better to have a discussion when you’re well rested and not an emotional basket case.

At other times, it’s simply more expedient not to care. Maybe you’re having dinner with a group of people. You’d love to have Thai, but some of the others say they want Mexican, but don’t want Mexican if you don’t want Mexican. They want everyone to be in happy agreement.  It’s probably the tequila.  You take a position of “whatever” just so  dinner will actually happen at some point. In a group, sometimes everyone is so busy trying to be nice to each other, that unless someone pretends not to care there will be no progress. Think of it as indifference for the common good.

Then there’s the bane of our teen years–pretending not to care about something you do care about because you want someone to like you.  You don’t care what movie you’re going to see (whatever he picks is wonderful!) or what you watch on TV (yes, I love to watch sports 24 hours a day!) or where you eat because you don’t want him to know that anything you might think could possibly differ from what he thinks. Most of us eventually outgrow this, but I know a few adults who still suffer from it. Suffer being the operative word, since they never get to do anything they want! And, it’s their own damn fault. Sack up, people–no one likes someone they don’t respect, and most of us don’t respect people who never have opinions of their own. Really.

The ugliest reason to pretend not to care is when you’re talking with someone who doesn’t play nice. Maybe they’re chemically altered and belligerent. Maybe they always yell instead of having a civilized discussion. Maybe they are one of those people who is never wrong. Maybe they are even physically violent when someone has a differing opinion. Stating a position you care about could end up in a big argument, or worse. The “thing you care about” needs to be pretty important in this case. These are the kind of people you probably don’t want to be around unless their behavior is very, very occasional and not physically violent.

And of course sometimes, just sometimes, you actually don’t care.

Which in anything but a small dose can be deadly.

Not literally.

Just to your Being.


So be careful with it.