March 16, 2012

OMG JUST HIDE HER ALREADY; The Cazalet Chronicles

I need to just hide all of Paul's sister's Facebook posts. Pretty much every single thing she says gets me riled up---and then she makes it worse by interlacing such posts with posts about how no one has any common sense and she's surrounded by stupid irrational people who can't think. Obviously I just need to hide her. Obviously. But I have that unpleasant ADDICTED feeling, like I almost WANT to get riled up because it justifies my dislike of her---even though every time I DO read a post, I wish I wasn't spending so much time mentally arguing with it afterward. I don't know, as I write that out it just sounds really dumb, and really obvious what the correct path is. Obviously I should hide her. I'm going to do it right now. Right now. Right after this. I just want to check one more time to see if she has some new inflammatory thing to say about politics and/or religion and/or other people's mental powers relative to her own. ...Okay, I hid her. Thanks for talking me through that.

********

I would now find it very refreshing to see some engagement/wedding photos that were just two people facing the camera and smiling. (I don't mean I don't ALSO want the other kinds, which are also good. But fancy stops looking fancy when everything is fancy.)

********

Rob has those tiny rubber bands on his braces now. I had forgotten from my own experience how those end up EV.ER.Y.WHERE.

********

I just finished The Cazalet Chronicles, a series of four books by Elizabeth Jane Howard. And because I go nuts when I want to read a series and can't figure out which one is FIRST, please just tell me which one is FIRST, OMG WHY IS THERE NOTHING SAYING WHICH ONE IS FIRST???, I will tell you which one is first: The Light Years (careful: there are a bunch of other books with the same name). I don't know what is up with the high price---$25 for a PAPERBACK?? I'd buy one of the used copies for $4 (1 cent plus $3.99 shipping, but I feel more sane if I think of it as $4 with free shipping). Or, I would get it from the library, which is what I did in fact do. The next three are, in order: Marking Time, Confusion, and Casting Off.

I haven't seen Downton Abbey yet (I like to wait until a series is over, so I can watch it straight through and don't have to wait for the next season), but these books sound exactly like everything I hear about Downton Abbey. World War II era family drama with many, many sub-stories. Anything described as "_____-era" makes me feel automatically weary and bored, but most of the issues are non-time-period-related: jobs, affairs, the various ways marriages work or don't work, various kinds of romantic relationships and their outcomes, unexpected pregnancies and their outcomes, sibling relationships in childhood and adulthood, getting something you want and then being happy or unhappy with it, etc. And once I was into it, I really DID find the time-period-related things interesting: the shortages, the rationing/coupons, the various issues involved in having some of the guys in your life off fighting in a war. And it takes place in England, so that makes for a change if you're more accustomed to the United States point of view.

One annoyance was that the author was very fond of starting a new section using pronouns and no names, so that it would take awhile to figure out who was who and what was going on. I hate that. I'd skip ahead each time until I found THE G-D NAMES, and then I'd go back and re-start the section knowing who we were talking about.

There were also a few places where the prose got super tangled and strange for a couple of paragraphs. Unfortunately one of those places is the very first page of the first book. PLOW THROUGH IT. There were also some little cheesy parts here and there, but I found I had a tolerance for it, so perhaps you will find the same thing.

I found it very challenging to keep straight which kids were siblings and which were cousins. I also have trouble when there is, for example, a Rupert and a Richard and a Roland. There's a family tree in the front of each book, but I hate family trees in books because they often include terrible spoilers: "OMG, John is going to marry Ellen?? Harriet is going to have another baby?? AND WHAT IS THIS DEATH DATE FOR ARNOLD!?!?" So. I think if I were reading it again, I might make myself a little chart as I went along, and then I could use it as a bookmark.

I liked the series A LOT, and was very sorry to have it be over. There was a little part at the end that was like the author saying SHE was sorry too, and that made me weepy in a happy way.

27 comments:

Fran said...

I had a similar thing with one of my sister-in-laws. I finally hid her and then she defriended me. Life has been great since!

Christy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
el-e-e said...

I hid my next-door neighbor for similar reasons, but I still go visit her page every once in a while to get myself riled up and justify my feelings for (against) her. ;)

And this book series sounds like exactly the kind I like. I love when there are subtle messages from the author, like you describe at the end.

Christy said...

Sorry about ranting about the pricing on the last comment I left. I was looking at a TOTALLY DIFFERENT book with the same name.

Nicole said...

I had to hide, and then ultimately de-friend someone like that. But I know what you mean, sometimes you can't look away. There are a few people on mine who are just total messes - and they misspell everything in the most dreadful way possible. Yet I can't stop looking! Or, I cant stoop loking.

Maggie said...

I usually don't go for "period" novels unless they were actually written during that period, in which case, they were modern then (ie Jane Austen or similar). However, my co-worker NAGGED me to watch Downtown Abbey mid-season 1. I watched one episode and was hooked, so I can recommend it as a non-period stuff lover (wow that was not a good sentence).

Season 2 had some issues, but I still enjoyed it.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

The fun thing about blocking annoying people is that when you are in a mood to be annoyed, you know that vague pissed off in general feeling you get sometimes & you don't want to take it out on the people you have to deal with constantly, you can go to her page and there will be a whole bunch of stuff you can focus your annoyance on, you can pick and choose what to be the most pissed off about, and no one close to you has to suffer. I have a high school classmate I keep blocked for just that reason.

Elizabeth said...

Is it wrong that now I kind of want to friend your SIL on Facebook?

Rachel (non-spinster) said...

Poor Rachel. Why must she be the spinster sister? WHY.

I finally hid a few similarly-aggravating people from my feed on facebook. You can still check up on them, and it's even better that way because you get to read their last several grating status updates at once!

Beylit said...

I sometimes think I have more people hidden on Facebook than I have active in my stream. Easier than the annoyance of having them ask repeatedly why you deleted them.

Those tiny rubber bands were my all time favorite thing about having braces. I got really good at shooting them at people as well as using them like a slingshot to shoot stuff at people. That and they are really good for tying off tiny braids.

I love period books, or movies,o r just about anything set in a period as long as the period is well portrayed. I actually find books written during a period to be less appealing than books written in present about a period in the past. Its a stylistic thing.

And that price seems like a lot for a paperback. I typically buy all my books from Half Priced Books for that reason. Sure sometimes I have to wait for a book or search from store to store, but I am alright with that.

Lola said...

The Cazalet Chronicles are some of my favorite books EVER. The author has written a lot of other great books too - some "period" so not. Bonus - on Amazon UK I think you can still find a copy of the BBC miniseries done in the mid-90's on the first two books in the series. It's great too.

Melissa said...

Lola, I was just coming here to say on Amazon there's a DVD from Masterpiece Theatre that says it's based on those books!

Also - and I realize this information comes too late - on Amazon it does tell you which book comes in which order when you look at the list of them. I search Amazon a lot when series don't give me that information upfront, or if I want to know which book an author wrote first because I am anal that way and like to read them in order regardless if the subjects are related.

Leeann said...

You have this uncanny knack for making me want to read every book you suggest, even if it's in a genre that I already know that I don't like.

How do you DO that?

d e v a n said...

Oh, Facebook. Showing us how many ways people are annoying since it started.

Josefina said...

Thank you for the recommendation. Those books sound like something I would really like.

There is one particular person that I hid on Facebook but compulsively check the profile anyway, just to see the latest ridiculousness. Why is that so satisfying?

Jana said...

It always amazes me how a person who annoys me in real life is ten times more annoying on FB. After a particularly nasty post by my step-MIL, I deleted her and felt SO good about it. That is until she sent me a message saying that she didn't understand why FB just decided to mess with her friends list and would I add her back because FB is so stupid like that? So now I just blocked her because life is too short to be pissed off all the time.

artemisia said...

I think his sister is my third-cousin on my dad's side.

I am soooo much happier since hiding her posts. Do it.

BeccakBecca said...

Funny thing about the engagement/wedding photos:

There are way more"fancy" type photos online than more traditional "looking at the camera" type photos. As a photograper, I fend that fancy sun-flare/looking away from the camera/laughing at an inside joke photos are what book clients. Looking at the camera/traditional portrait photos are what the client (or Mom) buys after the wedding. It's a weird phenomenon. :)

Elisabeth said...

We just got my cousin's wedding announcement in the mail yesterday. It has a "fancy" picture as well as a more traditional picture. My husband saw the fancy picture first and he was really, really confused because he couldn't figure out if he actually knew either the bride or the groom. He's known my cousin for years, but the picture was so artsy that he didn't recognize her.

Maureen said...

Finally! I have found my people, because you and your commenters are the only ones I know who have read one of my favorite series ever!!! I LOVED the Cazalet series and bought all the books years ago. Now I think I will go and read them all again. Has anyone read Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher? If you liked the Cazalet series, I think you would love this book.

Alice said...

whhyyyyy isn't this book available on kindle??

Sarah said...

Oh! I think I read one of those books once- I don't remember which. Now I want to read them all, and make sure I start with the first one this time!

LiciaLee said...

I feel the same way about my SILs facebook posts too. LOL.

Bibliomama said...

I hate historical fiction. I'm going to assume I would hate these books also because my reading list is a billion books long already and I JUST CAN'T, OKAY?

I do the same thing with blogs that annoy me. I take them off my blogroll but every once in a while I stop by and get good and full of disbelief and contempt. And these people aren't even related to me, so don't feel bad. Of course, I have serious issues, so maybe feel bad?

Sam said...

The Cazalet Chronicles is one of my favorite series! I seriously love it. I have found random copies in used bookstores, but I think I had to order the last one from Amazon UK. What a series - I do love the characters. Plus, it's my favorite time period.

TinaNZ said...

I have added those books to my lengthy 'To Read' shelf on Goodreads. Are you on Goodreads? It would be fun to follow your reading and reviews.

It's funny to see comments describing a WW2 series as 'historical fiction' - I guess it is, but considering my parents lived through it (as did Elizabeth Jane Howard, who is 88 and still going) it doesn't really feel 'historical' enough.

Karen L said...

I've been on FB long enough that I "ignored" my FIL's friend request because hiding (either direction) didn't exist. Neither of us has ever said anything about it.

I post a fair amount that of stuff that reveals my political leanings/world view but I cannot abide my FIL's opining about politics. I did not want my status updates being used for RL conversation-starters. "Oh hey, I saw that article you posted about the transit strike. Lemme tell you the real deal about how all public servants are greedy, lazy, incompetent, and corrupt." Shoot me now.

So now that I can hide my posts/wall from him do I go back and friend him? No? I didn't think so.