Wednesday, July 27, 2005

et finis (i hope).

Well, this night did not turn out like I expected! The party we were supposed to go to got cancelled, so when I got home I was expecting to just kinda veg out and maybe get some more code written, but my cousin stopped by, which was very cool. I'm glad we got to catch up; it's been ages. He's so much fun.

In any case, on the Vonage front: good news! I think. I hope. Well, I finally got fed up enough to call the same number around 3pm, and I spoke with a very friendly woman who seemed to understand my plight, and took care of my cancellation immediately - while I was on the phone with her! Yipee!! I was signed onto the site while I was speaking with her, and I saw the status change from "Active" to "Terminated" before my very eyes! So, I get charged about $40 for a termination fee, BUT, if I mail back my modem (which they encourage, because equipment upgrades are probably inevitable as this technology develops) I will get that money credited back to my account. YAY! I am so thrilled to hear that. Sounds like Vonage has definitely changed their habits at the complaints of past customers. Except for the hassle with having to call them BACK to get things sorted out, I'd give them a pretty solid thumbs up. This all depends, of course, on if there are further hassles in the future. I'm sure I'll keep things updated if there are.

In other news, I finally finished (finally READ in the first place!) The God of Small Things! Whew it's been a while since it's taken me this long to read a book, but then again I've been pretty busy with moving and work and everything. Well, by now it's been a while since I finished it (since I was rushing to get it done early this afternoon to return it to the library in time, and thus didn't get a chance to post directly afterwards), but I did jot down some notes and I still have a good memory of it, so I thought I'd put down a few words about what I thought of it: First, I did really enjoy it, but I suppose it's not totally my cup of tea - I know it's on many peoples' favorite books list, but I don't think it would make mine. It was written beautifully, don't get me wrong. I think Ms. Roy is a fantastic author, both descriptively and narratively. There were many scenes, sentences, even single phrases or images that I had to read several times so I could soak up the impact & beauty of them. Ms. Roy writes with such grace, and really seems to "get" human nature, or what there is that we humans can manage to "get", at the very least. And she creates the wonderful compound words, or, as she would write, compoundwords. I can't quote any specifics because I no longer have the book in my possession, but she would talk about something like a sourlemon smell or the mustyold books someone had on their shelves (obviously I'm not nearly as good at this as Arundhati Roy; those are NOT examples of her phrasing, only my sad attempts at trying to emulate their beauty - they manage to encompass & accomplish so much just by being put together into one heartbeat of a word instead of broken into two - she writes like they were meant to be together, like it only makes sense that way). However, I find her to be, at least in my mind, very, very, similiar to Rushdie. I recall thinking that throughout the book - and no, it's not because they both wrote stories of India. (I feel I must point out that the only Rushdie I have read thus far is Midnight's Children, since it probably makes a significant difference.) They both wrote tales of intervowen family histories, generations influencing past and future generations, sweeping stories of lives intertwined without choice - and yet create these amazing, individual characters. I suppose my problem with this is that I never feel a concrete connection with any of those characters - or I feel a connection with all of them, just less strong. I don't ever get the impression that I identify with one specific character, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, although it appears to be something I tend to appreciate, huh?

Anyway, another tactic that Roy employs and, if I remember, was also a theme in the Rushdie novel, is that of stories told un-linearly. I don't know if that's a word, but I think it fits, here - and I hope it makes sense. The stories are told in what seems to be more of a poetic line, twisting and turning and swooping back around each other, all eventually tying in together. Normally, this bothers me a lot (as most of my friends know, I am not a big fan of poetry, particularly in what should be a novel - not to say I don't appreciate the well-written poem! but I will probably never love a Toni Morrison novel), but I do love how Roy writes her story so that the pain comes first, and then is explained in a rather roundabout way (in a way, she writes through the pain, it feels), and the book manages to end on a very sweet & upbeat note, despite all of the pain the characters/readers go through to get there. And no, I don't think I'm ruining anything when I write that, because as I have said, the story is pretty much all laid out for you right from the start. You just don't know you know it yet. :)

And, of course, I am writing all of this "review" under the assumption that most people have probably already read The God of Small Things! I know that it was published back in 1998 (I believe), but hey what can I say. I tend to gravitate more towards books that I know lots of people have appreciated, and when enough people tell me to check a book out, I will. I don't like to waste my time on newer novels as much, which I know in some respects is silly. And I know I don't always agree with what "the masses" think is a good story. But I can't read EVERYTHING, as much as I'd like to! I have to learn how to pick & choose, and thus far my method of picking seems to be working out well! I think.

All right, here is where I leave you for now because it's getting late & I wanted to get some more work done. Oh wait, no, I'll leave you first with this quiz that JB made me take earlier tonight:

You Are 31 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Oh and meh, I've been biting my nails like crazy these past couple of days. I wonder what's wrong with me!! I hate it so much; I wish I could force myself to stop. Every once in a while I do so successfully, but obviously I never entirely break the habit. It's like what they say about smoking, I guess. Ugh. -- Any suggestions for me??? They'd be greatly appreciated!

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Overspent American
AUTHOR: Juliet B. Schor

TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

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