The phase continues, obviously.

I finished Villette. Good gravy. It’s a wonderful book, but the author toys with the reader up to the very last half of a page. I’m very tempted to spill the whole thing, so I just won’t talk about it, but it’s very, very excellent. Jane Eyre is still #1, though! I’m starting Shirley, also by Charlotte Bronte, and I must share one of the first paragraphs with you immediately:

“If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool, and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto. It is not positively affirmed that you shall not have a taste of the exciting – perhaps towards the middle and close of the meal – but it is resolved that the first dish set upon the table shall be one that a Catholic – ay, even an Anglo-Catholic – might eat on Good Friday in Passion Week. It shall be cold lentils and vinegar with oil; i shall be unleavened bread with bitter herbs, and no roast lamb.”

I ask you, how can a book be otherwise than magnificent with a beginning like that? I’m firmly in love already. The delciousness is augmented by the appearance of the book itself: it’s 4 inches X 6inches, dark blue, with a seal stamped on the front and tiny gold lettering on the side. The print is eye-blurringly tiny, there are well over 600 pages, and it’s pretty much a solid little block of happiness.

Our library still uses the old style of cards-in-each-book, so you can see when the last person before you checked out the book, which I rather love because it’s so interesting to imagine what September 27 2000 thought of the work. But! Sadly, many books are underappreciated. Villette hadn’t been checked out in 15 years, poor thing. Once I stumbled across a tiny book of Old English poetry (translated, of course), that hadn’t been checked out in FORTY YEARS. Yep. 1964. Why don’t more people love the books I love?

Hey, today is Friday the 13th! I was tempted to find a black cat, run under a ladder, and break a few mirrors, just to spite superstition, but I couldn’t find a cat, and it just didn’t seem worth it in the end.

Yesterday at work there was some sort of…thing…in the ballroom (yeah, there’s a ballroom at work. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that). Anyway, beforehand, they were practicing some little song on the piano that they were going to play after the luncheon. It was a very repetitive piano piece, and some little girls were singing the words. “Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus.” Ok, I suppose this was supposed to be sweet. Maybe it was, and I’m just a crotchety, grumpy old woman. But they sang this over, and over, and over, and over, and over and over and over andoverandoverandover again. The same phrase. Nonstop. For at least 20 minutes. I was going to kill something or gnaw on my desk or something. It was the most irritating, nerve-grinding experience I have had the displeasure to go through this year. Finally! Blessed silence as the little girls trooped off to go do something quieter. BUT THEN. People arrived, the luncheon began, and those same confounded little girls marched up to the piano and sang the whole miserable, monotonous song again. I’m not going to lie to you, that desk was looking tasty. But everyone lived.

This is pretty adorable. Apparently little Keepon was quite the internet rage, and I missed it, but that’s ok. We’re friends now.