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Jane Austen, roses, and seahorses
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This has been a very Jane Austen-y weekend, which is absolutely perfect for me. On Friday night, we re-watched Persuasion, which I've loved ever since it came out 12 years ago (when I dragged everyone in my family to see it with me over and over again). Last night, we watched the new ITV version of Northanger Abbey, with a script by Andrew Davies (who wrote the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice). It was really silly and fun, just like the novel, and although I wouldn't call it one of the best of the Jane Austen adaptations - the pacing was slightly off by the end of the movie - I still really enjoyed it. And of course I am finally, finally working on Kat by Moonlight again, which is my homage to all the Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer novels (and especially to all those younger sisters of their heroines!). I love re-immersing myself in Kat, and in the Austen-love. Now I really, really want to go back to Bath soon...

It's also been a beautiful weekend. Yesterday afternoon, Patrick and I went to the park, let Maya off the leash, and sat in the walled rose garden for an hour in the sunshine. Maya sniffed around, played games with us, and rolled vigorously on her back in the grass. (She didn't pick up any horrible smells, thank God - I think this time it really was just general joie de vivre!) I re-read Joan Bauer's Squashed, which was one of my very favorite books in high school and which I still love. There's one scene in particular, from a horrible party-gone-wrong, that makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. It starts:
I sat on the McKennas' soft pink toilet seat remembering the messages from Dad's motivational tapes on success, inner strength, and self-esteem. He had drilled them into me two years ago hoping I would become a different person. It didn't work.

The trick was to repeat positive phrases about yourself until you believed them even if they were lies, which they usually were: "I look forward to each new day with anticipation and joy." "I believe in myself. I really do."

There were fifty phrases on each tape; Dad said it took a normal person thirty days for the messages to really sink in - longer if you were a total loser.

"I am an interesting person," I quoted from memory. "My life has worth and meaning. I enjoy my life." I twisted a pink Kleenex into a gruesome shape and stood before the towel rack gritting my teeth as positive reprogramming messages filled my mind. "I look forward to each day with anticipation and love for all humanity." I shook with frustration, beating the towel rack with my Kleenex. "I respond to life's challenges with hope and determination. I am not afraid of change, for it is change that makes me stronger."

I was whipping the tissue now, pounding the soap dish. So much for strength and hope. "I believe in myself," I growled. "I enjoy being me."....

So much fun!

And I've discovered the other important purpose of Facebook (besides the all-important Scrabulous application): MyAquarium! I added the application yesterday, buying 3 seahorses and a pink starfish. It's oddly hypnotic to watch them float around my computer screen...

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