Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not For the Bathtub

Still in the middle of Anna Karenina.  I'm sure you're not surprised to hear this.

I wonder what kind of all-nighter I would have to pull (or how many all-nighters) to see the pages fly all the way to the last dramatic speech (I peeked.  Somebody makes a speech, but I didn't check too carefully who it was, because we want to be surprised, don't we?)  This one probably needs a combination of late nights plus eating meals alone plus running hot baths and reading until the water turns cold.

On the other hand, this is no bathtub book, not unless one is accustomed to holding something the size and heft of a box of diapers above water level, for an hour or so.

Once upon a time, I plowed through a chain of fat books, one right after the other.  John Adams, by David McCullough--600+ pages.   Witness, by Whittaker Chambers--800+ pages.  The Firm, by John Grisham--400+ pages.   And all this during the months we were trying to sell a house and move to Chicago.

In fact, the boxes were packed, the truck loaded and the keys surrendered, and I still had not finished Chambers' book.  I held on to it one more night, vowing to swing by the library on our way out of town the next morning.

We settled into two motel rooms and roamed the nearby streets until businesses began to shut down.  Then, back in our room, the kids discovered The Safe.  It sat in the hotel closet.  Oh, what fun to take your sister's flip-flops and lock them away from her!  Ha-ha!

Eventually, some joker tucked my library book into the safe and forgot the combination.  The hotel staff would come by in the morning and get it out, but meanwhile, I was a bored and desperate woman shut up in a hotel room with some not-very-funny kids.  I needed something to read.  Even the phone book would do.

I looked toward the nightstand and saw two of them.  Even better, someone had left a magazine tucked between them.  It was one of those thick magazines, like Glamour or Mademoiselle's super-double fall preview issue.  Ah!  Saved!

I pulled it out, eager for lipstick ads and advice columns and chatty TV-star interviews.  And I found--


Whoa!!!  A little too much mademoiselle here!

It was nice of some hotel guest to share it with us.  We caught the spirit of sharing right away and offered it to the hotel staff.

Anyway, perhaps I'd have more time to finish fat books if I fed the family Hamburger Helper weeks on end.  But Bye-bye Nesquik cannot stand kitchen boredom and this week she vowed to use up a couple links of Italian sausage that had languished for months in the freezer.  This is what happened to the sausages:

Aunt Rita's Italian Stew  


  1. Thanks for the morning giggle! I could perfectly visualize that hotel scene and the kids who did the hiding... And, as luck would have it, I have sausage and zucchini left over from making ratatouille on Friday--thanks for the recipe! Big books are fabulous (but not in the tub). I've started reading fiction on my phone. Something is lost, but the convenience of always having a book and being able to read in any light makes up for it for me.

    1. Yes, books on a phone are not so bad. I've even tried them in the bathtub in a Ziploc baggie.