WHOOP, five-day weekend!  I guess it would make more sense to call that a two-day work week.  Either way, I’m extremely excited to not be in the office again until Thursday, and I plan on having marvelous times in the interim.  Speaking of marvelous times, the party last weekend was as lovely as expected.  This Saturday, I’m going to see The Man Who Was Thursday with a pack of friends, also expected to be lovely (both the play and the friends).  Other plans include writing my brains out in an attempt to finish this dang-blasted story before the deadline.  Currently at about 12,000 words and 45 pages, but now I have to clean up the word-mess I’ve vomited all over those pages.

On Monday I went to see The Hobbit all by myself like a big girl (pathetic girl?  Going to the movies by yourself is fun maybe once a year, and I think I’ve already hit that quota).  It was quite enjoyable, as long as I pretended I wasn’t watching The Hobbit.  If you’re expecting a faithful expectation, you’ll be disappointed (and why were you expecting that anyway?), and the action scenes are still over-the-top ridiculous, but honestly, give me some New Zealand scenery, some nice music by Howard Shore, some fantastic costumes, some folks in pointy ears, some other folks in big feet, and I’m going to be happy.  A lot of the plot additions made sense, given that they had to fill these three movies up with something, and while a few of them really, REALLY didn’t (gold statue, is all I’m going to say here), I still walked out feeling glad to have seen it.



Everything else:

Books: As I’ve mentioned before, I am fascinated by Flannery O’Connor, and I’ve been meaning to read her novel Wise Blood for years.  I finally did…but now I have mixed feelings about having done so.  It’s disturbing, but then again, that’s Flannery: she intends to shake you up and smack you around until you’re thinking clearly again.  I confess, I prefer her short stories for this, though: there’s less build-up to the punch, and I feel like her point with this book could have been accomplished in a lot fewer pages.  It was still effective, I admit.  I think I would have hated it less if I could have talked about it with some of my classmates in college.  There’s a lot of symbolism that needs some thrashing out, and I guess that’s one of the marks of a thought-provoking book: hating it and still wanting to make everyone you know read it.

I’d never read The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton, so when we all decided to go see the play, I had to uphold my read-the-book-first rule, so I breezed through it in a couple of days.  I do like G.K., but for some reason I kept having to convince myself of it with this book.  I really did like it, I promise, but somehow I ended up feeling just a little bit dissatisfied and disappointed, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me.  The farther I get from it, the more I appreciate it, so I’ll probably love it in a few more days.  My problems with the book are all spoilery, so look below only if you dare…

My issues were mainly with the ending…allegory?…for lack of a better term.  It all wrapped up so quickly, I thought I had a whole chapter left to go (I was reading it on Project Gutenberg and there was still a good bit to scroll on the page) and was surprised to find I had reached the end.  I liked the twisty reveals at the end, but I thought they needed more justification or explanation as to how it fit into the universe, metaphorically speaking.  I was looking for deeper meanings in some of Sunday’s seemingly random actions, and I’m not sure they were there.

I was also irked by the way the author renumbered the days of the week.   G.K. says the days are “reckoned from the Christian Sunday,” even as Symes reads from Genesis.  I understand that Chesterton wanted to end up with God=Sunday at the end, but this just rankled, taking the entire Old Testament tradition (and, let’s be honest, the New Testament tradition too) of the Sabbath day being the seventh day, Saturday, and chucking it because it didn’t fit with his Catholic doctrine.  The idea of a Sunday Sabbath wasn’t widespread until the second century, long after the canonical Bible was written.  The terms don’t even make sense: the English word “Sabbath” is derived from Latin “sabbatum” from Greek “sabbaton,” both used literally in their respective cultures to mean the seventh day of the week.  This word was in turn derived from Hebrew “shabbat,” meaning “cease from work.”  So if you say “Sunday Sabbath,” you’re literally saying “Sunday Saturday.”  You can still see this clearly in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, in which Sabado/Sabato is the word for Saturday (as well as in the roughly 20 other languages that also derive their words for Saturday from shabbat).  *tucks away that particular soapbox*  Anyway, not a major plot point, but I suspect it factored into my initial disappointment.