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"Piratical Scottish fiction is my absolute weak spot"

Hello to you all! And a happy Monday indeed.

The weather in Chicago has been SO fantastic that one had to get out this weekend. Especially since I live on a block with an Irish pub, and I don't know if you know what Chicago's like on St. Patrick's Day, but basically, avoid any thoroughfares and all people. So I went to the Garfield Park Conservatory (built in 1907) and sat around underneath some truly ENORMOUS ferns or palms or something while reading Perfume (which, you're right, ends very oddly).

Then my roommate and I watched Shallow Hal and The Brothers Bloom, both of which I LOVE, so NO DISPARAGING THEM. Especially not the latter, which I'm convinced is close to perfect.

I skipped church (boooo me) and later went on one of those 30 minute 'let's go in a big circle on the water' boat tours around Navy Pier with my roommate. The embarrassing thing (and it's supposed to be embarrassing if you LIVE in Chicago as opposed to visiting) is I really love Navy Pier. It's the most touristy thing in the city, and I'm immensely fond of it. It's the kind of place that houses every loved-by-tourists chain, including Build-a-Bear, but WHERE else downtown am I supposed to find those things? Someday I could need a stuffed moose with a recorded message. You don't know.

Anyway. While there, I made my roommate pose like a 1950s author:

This turned out QUITE splendidly

The rest of the time I watched What the Dickens?, which is a British literary quiz show. I know, why aren't you watching it? It's on youtube, and one of the team captains is none other than my pretend Other Half, Sue Perkins. One of the segments involves bringing on a person with the same name as a character from literature, film or music, and the teams have to guess who they are with yes or no questions. I put this two minute clip online ESPECIALLY for you all:

"Long John Silver AND...the boy!"

I must say, though, this show makes me feel like an idiot about books. Complete moron. Almost all the team members are brilliant. One thing about English comedians is they seem to have all been over-educated. I just looked up Katherine Parkinson from The IT Crowd, and she read Classics at Oxford. What? Of course she did. That makes sense.

So I've been making a list of books I should be reading based on the books these people seem to assume everyone's read. I bought Portnoy's Complaint because of it, and I WILL read Our Man in Havana. Anyway, the whole series in on youtube and should be watched. Because hilarious/informative/etc.


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