Sorry I’ve been so scarce lately. Would you believe I’ve just been reading my Kindle this whole time? Oh, come on. It would be partly true.  Currently I am reading Emma, as in Jane Austen’s Emma, which I have never read before–if you can believe that.  I have never read it before even though our household owns a big fat book called The Complete Jane Austen, or something like that.  I was not the person who brought this book to the marriage, incidentally.  That was Sugar Daddy, who saw the movie Emma (1996 Gwyneth Paltrow) four times in the theater with four different women, none of whom was me.  I did see the movie myself, but I don’t remember who I saw it with.  Maybe it wasn’t with anyone.  Maybe I saw it all by myself.  I used to do that, back in the day.  But I digress.  Yes, SD owns all of Jane Austen’s major works, but I don’t think he has read any of them–except for Pride and Prejudice, and I think it’s possible that he’s actually only read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I’m not sure.  My point is that I have had ready access to all of Jane Austen’s novels for the last fourteen years–I always wanted to read them, I always meant to read them, but the only way I could be induced to actually read them was to get them for free on my Kindle.  Well, whatever works, right?

I also got free samples of some other books, including (but not limited to) Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama.  Heretofore I have resisted reading anything by Jonathan Franzen because as much as I personally dislike Oprah Winfrey’s show and think she is sort of a narcissist (and by “sort of” I mean ” “), I was really turned off when he dissed Oprah’s Book Club.  I mean, it’s weird because I would not have thought to have feelings about Oprah’s Book Club, being that I don’t watch Oprah, don’t particularly like Oprah, and don’t need Oprah to tell me which books to read.  But maybe it was a kind of feminist/sisterhood reaction because he didn’t want people to see him as some kind of girly novelist, quelle horreur.  I didn’t mean to judge him harshly or unfairly; it was just sort of visceral, okay?  Well, anyway, since Repairman_Jack said he enjoyed Freedom, I figured I would end my impromptu moratorium on Jonathan Franzen novels, and I downloaded (or uploaded, whichever it is) the free sample of Freedom to my beloved Kindle.  I confess, I was drawn in, somewhat.  I am tempted to read the whole thing.  I mean, if Oprah can forgive him, who am I to hold a grudge?

I have not yet read my free sample of Dreams from My Father, another book I have long been interested in but have had conflicting feelings about because Barack Obama has been freaking ubiquitous for so long, do I really want to invite him into my pleasure-reading zone?  There is something vaguely disturbing about the term “pleasure-reading zone” and something more definitively disturbing about involving President Obama in it, and yet I cannot bring myself to rephrase the idea.

Speaking of politics (Masterful segue, Mad!  Thank you!  No, thank you!), I see that Tim Pawlenty has announced his intention to run for president in 2012.  ::snore::  In other news, Mike Huckabee has announced his intention not to run for president again.  Thank God for small favors.  On the other hand, Sarah Palin has announced that she has “the fire in her belly,” or something equally foreboding.  Fortunately, Donald Trump has finally decided to stop wasting our time.  Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich has not yet announced that he was just kidding about his candidacy, and Mitt Romney is still in the game as well.

What do you think, gentle readers?  Too early to start crying?  It’s a sad state of affairs when T-Paw is your best hope.  Oh, well, I had pretty much resigned myself to eight years of Pres. Obama back in November 2008, so I will just continue with that theme until further notice.

Sadly, I have no masterful segue into my next topic, which is people who drive their cars around town with their dogs on their laps.  What is that about?  It’s not like the dogs are just lying there minding their own business, either–I mean, I wouldn’t even notice that (how could I?)–the dogs are standing on the drivers’ laps and sticking their heads out of the driver-side windows.  That just doesn’t seem like a particularly safe practice.  I mean, I wouldn’t let one of my kids sit on my lap and stick his or her head out of my window while I was driving, even if it wasn’t illegal.  Not that dogs are like kids–I’m against the notion that having a dog is akin to having a kid–but, you know, this idea of having a living thing with legs and free will on your lap while you’re trying to operate a moving vehicle…I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it.

This is for you, OBL.  I was going to post this on the Devil Facebook–“Madhousewife doesn’t understand people who let their dogs sit on their laps and stick their heads out the window while they’re driving”–but I knew I’d just get some smartass comments about dogs driving cars, so I decided against it.  Your blog-reading lives are now that much richer, all because I couldn’t properly navigate the ambiguities of the English language in 420 characters or less.  You’re welcome.

Well, I would continue to regale you with more Giraffe Follies, but I have to pick up my daughter from pre-school, and I should probably leave some stuff to blog about on Tuesday.  Is it fair to tease you like that?  Make like I’m actually going to blog tomorrow when this might very well be the only thing I post all week?  Well, I guess you know by now how this game is played.  We’re all adults here (except for those of you who are minors, in which case I am speaking metaphorically).  Now I really have to pick my daughter up from school.  Au revoir, mes amis.  Au revoir.

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