November 15, 2012

Skechers; Cadbury/Dove; The Orchardist

I would like to find the same perfect pair of Skechers lace-up boots I wore for basically the entire 1990s. They were soooo comfy---and also, as I'm sure you can imagine, HOTT with my flannel shirts and rolled-up jeans.

I ordered a pair that looked like the closest available thing---and less than an hour after they arrived, I was standing in line at FedEx to return them. They were like walking around in a pair of watermelons, except drier.

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When I first tried a Cadbury ice cream bar, I thought, "This is just like Dove! But less expensive! Yay!" But just now, I ate the last of the Cadbury ice cream bars and still wanted more ice cream bar, so I ate a Dove ice cream bar right after it---and I liked the Dove way less. I preferred not only the Cadbury chocolate but also the Cadbury ice cream. It was surprising.

This will require further testing: I'll need to eat the two kinds in the opposite order, too.

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(photo from Amazon.com)

I saw The Orchardist on the New shelf at the library and thought it looked promising (nice quiet orchard, two young pregnant girls softening the heart of hermit), but then I got to the part of the book jacket where it says "...men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will...." So, okay, no thank you.

Then a couple of bloggers recommended it, so FINE. I read it. I really liked it. It is the kind of book that makes me wish wistfully/unrealistically for the old-style life (satisfying manual labor, not having or needing many possessions, cooking simple meals, etc.)---and simultaneously makes me strongly appreciate NOT having to live that life (hard manual labor, not having many possessions, outhouses, laundry in the river, 2-day trip to get to another town, orphans getting sold to whorehouses, people dying all the time of normal things like illness and childbirth, etc.).

There is indeed a tragedy in the orchard, but it helps to be prepared for it. When the men showed up with guns, I quickly leafed ahead and got the gist of it, and then kind of skimmed. It's not gory, just sad. I was more bothered by the parts where the author could have told us what happened to a character (before or after they appear in the story) but chose not to. I got the message that in real life, the hardest part can be the not-knowing---but I'm familiar with that concept already, which is why when it's fiction and I CAN know, I WANT to know.

I didn't entirely love it. There was a lot of time spent on Della, and I couldn't understand the way her mind worked at all; she never made sense to me. Or sometimes characters did things that didn't seem to me to fit with what we knew of them so far. Or sometimes the drama was so underplayed, I couldn't figure out what had happened. And there are no quotation marks. And sometimes the author seems to lose herself a bit in the beauty of her own words.

I feel like what happened is that the author had about ten books' worth of story and had to make it fit into one volume. I would love if eventually there was an entire book for every character: one book about Caroline Middey, one about Elspeth/Elsbeth (I returned the book so can't check the spelling), one about Clee/Cree (why don't I remember which it is?), one about Angelene's adulthood. I really wanted MUCH MUCH MORE of this book.

14 comments:

Melissa said...

Have you tried Magnum bars? We made that mistake. Now nothing else will do. But those suckers are EXPENSIVE, even with coupons.

marilyn c. cole said...

I'm reading that right now!

It's Clee and Elsbeth.

I also read The Snow Child at recommendation from Catherine Newman, and it kind of reminded me of that, but with less magic. And also, All the Living, with its long ago austerity and very stoic characters.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I still have my comfortable pair of Sketchers lace up boots. Only last year they got too worn out (fair enough, I suppose- mine weren't from the 1990s, but I did buy them in 2000) and now they aren't comfortable anymore. But I can't bear to throw them away just yet. I need new ones.

Swistle said...

Melissa- I have, but I liked them less. I think I tried the caramel version, though, so it seems like more testing is needed!

shin ae said...

I am interested in your desire to find your 90s shoes. Was this a recent urge, or something you've been working on since your last pair wore out? I'm asking because I'm lately thinking all my 90s clothes would look good again. My 90s shoes were a pair of brown Dr. Martens mary janes and I miss them so. I'd love another pair.

That's all, I think. I may want to read that book. I think I owe another monumentally large fine at the library, though. Yuck.

Bratling said...

Have you tried ebay, swistle? I buy lots of shoes off ebay. For kids' shoes, it's fantastic--I end up with the high-end kids' brands for Payless prices. And actual vintage shoes are available, too--it just takes work.

Swistle said...

marilyn c. cole- YES, it's quite like The Snow Child! I'll have to try All the Living.

Swistle said...

shin ae- It was recent. This is very intriguing. Maybe after the '80s re-trend is over, it will be the '90s turn?

Swistle said...

Bratling- That's a thought. I wish I knew what the boots were CALLED, other than "Skechers boots." I think I might be a little grossed out by someone else's foot sweat / athlete's foot---but maybe not, especially if I give each boot a big spritz of Lysol or something.

shin ae said...

I hope so! I'm thinking I could ask for the shoes for Christmas (funny, that's how I got the first pair, too).

Kristin H said...

When I started The Orchardist, I saw there were no quote marks and rolled my eyes and thought, oh brother. But I kept at it and it turned out okay, except I kind of had the opposite reaction toward the end. I was frustrated with the characters for their inability to talk to each other. Hey, look at all these things you're wondering and not saying! You should try TALKING about it!

Teej said...

Oh, my goodness, Shin ae, I am wearing a pair of brown Dr. Marten Mary Janes from the 90s RIGHT NOW. I was going to get on and comment about them anyway, and then I saw your comment and got really excited.

I think I have had them since 1998, and I have worn them approximately 2-3 times a week, every week, every winter since then. And they still look pretty good, if I say so myself. And soooo comfortable. Maybe it helps that I have spent all of those winters in Florida or South Carolina, so they are short winters, but still...great, sturdy shoes.

MaggieO said...

Oh no, you should cease and desist with those ice cream bars immediately and go for the double chocolate Haagen Dazs ones.

minnie said...

omg. i also wore sketchers boots for the entire 90's. they were sooo good. they were sort of like a cross between sneakers and boots....