Category Archives: Guilty Pleasures

A girl home alone. A romance. A recipe for contemplation.

Ah, yes. After an extremely tedious and tiring day, what better way to enjoy a quiet evening at home than by watching Under the Tuscan Sun, featuring Diane Lane? It’s amazing how happy this movie makes me. I laugh. I cry. I think, yes! Someday I will move to Italy and find happiness, love, and write the next great novel! I will stroll through the villages of Tuscany and find an amazing mansion for a reasonable price. Sure, there will be hard times. But I’ll look so good doing it all–in fact, I’ll buy a blow-dryer and do my hair. Then all the Italian men will come a runnin’!

I am a such a sucker for a good romance/coming-of-age tale. But it got me wondering…how realistic are any of these romances? Do children in Italy really run around throwing rose petals at people, as opposed to the sticks and stones American kids manage to hurl? It’s a little unsettling.

Josephine Cox, a popular British author, brings up an interesting point: Love stories may be instilling some unrealistic expectations in many of us. Here are some key arguments she poses in an article from The Daily Mail:

1) Generally, all the main characters of a love story are really good-looking. (Not the case in real life.)

2) Often enough, it’s love at first site. (For those who say they’ve never noticed someone on the metro and thought–if even for just a second–that this could be the one, you’re lying. And probably no fun at all.)

3) If it’s not love at first site, it’s a childhood friendship that has developed into much, much more.

4) The stories end when the two characters end up happily together. Forget the baby diapers, cottage cheese thighs, and “first gray hairs” that come later.

Still, at the end of all this I say that storytelling is just storytelling. If novels and films were about how Paul and Lauren met their sophomore year of college and got married after graduation, I would cry giant tears of boredom.

Under the Tuscan Sun probably made me think a little too much. But I am considering a future as a divorcee who decides to start over in Europe…I just hope I have Diane Lane’s waistline.

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Textbook smart. Internet saavy. Technologically…special.

Today I learned about technology and information. Particularly, about the storage of information. The hugely, gross number referring to precisely how much information produced each year is roughly 5,426,903 terabytes. That probably doesn’t mean anything to you, but it’s a lot. And to borrow from my professor’s notes: if someone were to read one book every week from the Library of Congress, it would take them 365, 385 years to read every one, which…unless they’re drinking from the magical fountain of youth, is just not going to happen. So then I think about these numbers, and the amount of information available, and how little I truly know. And yea, I’m taking philosophy; so I’m really considering the whole idea of a life filled with contemplation and knowledge and virtue…and all that other stuff. Thank you Aristotle. And my pee-wee brain is going, “Don’t you just want to go check out what’s new on Jezebel.com, instead of reading Theories of Intrastate and Interstate War?” Well, yea. I do.

So now I’m chewing over a life of pleasure versus a life of knowledge. Which I’ve been told, is just excessive. I’m still a good person. I still care about the world. I’m still going to read Concepts of Peace and Violence. It’s just that I’m going to take a break every ten or so pages and update myself on where Anna Wintour was just seen, why Ben Affleck looks like he’s wearing blush, and how journalist, Jody Paterson quit her job to become-gasp!-a madam at a co-op brothel (thank you, thank you Jezebel).

Bottom line: I have senioritis (also, Wikipedia…you’re not so bad yourself). It’s not fatal, but it is making my attention span sort of equivalent to that of a particular, skinny, female celebrity on speed. So as I take down a spoonful of sugar, here’s to hoping it passes!

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Filed under DC, Guilty Pleasures, Sleepless Nights