Monday, November 22, 2010

They say bad pizza happens in threes.../An open letter to Leah McLaren

And since today was the second time in history that the pizza was so bad that I couldn't eat it (the first time was at the Americana Waterpark in Niagara Falls; by far the WORST pizza on the planet followed closely by today's travesty), I am hoping that this means that I will only have to come across unpalatable pizza once more in my lifetime.  I hope.  Because I love pizza and am very sensitive and don't think that I could handle much more disappointment in this particular food relationship.  I've already had to endure one recent food break-up and am still quite fragile.

The offensive pizza in question.  Note the thin, barely cooked crust (or is it soggy paper?), cheese-coloured other paper, and over-sized pepperoni coloured paper.  Take the first bite, shame on you.  Take the second bite?  Shame on me.

The worst part of this food experience?  I was left starving on the plane and had to pull out my emergency healthy-snack provisions (I always pack a "healthy snack" for airplane travel but end up throwing it out after the flight after eating fast food purchased prior to boarding, something really indulgent like Cinnabon, since everyone knows that calories and fat don't count when eaten while flying) and officially became the weird lady on the plane eating the stinky food she pulled out of her purse: boiled eggs and raw cauliflower and broccoli (don't ask...it was the only portable, healthy food I could quickly throw from the fridge into my bag).

This is a picture I took of me watching the movie.  Note that I must have been beyond bored to actually take a picture of what was boring me just so I could later reflect and then write about its boringness...Yet I still continued to watch it.  Baffling.
On second thought, maybe the pizza wasn't that bad and the grossness ( a word made up by my friend Cynthia Devor when we were in grade 6) of it was just enhanced by the bad taste I had in my mouth from watching Dinner For Shmucks, possibly the WORST movie I have ever seen.  The trailer is SO misleading; the "dinner" doesn't even start until more than 3/4 through the movie.  I think the biggest shmuck I saw in that movie, though, was me, for sitting through the whole thing and not shutting it off and reading the AMAZING book, Freedom.  

Which brings me to the second part of my post...

An open letter to Leah McLaren.

Dear Leah,

You suck!

Ok.  Not really, but I hope I got your attention.

I know that sounded less-than-eloquent but you weren't that much more eloquent when you whined in your commentary on this book that, "It's booooriiiing!"  And that you want back the "dozen or so precious hours" you spent reading the book.  What are you?  A tween on a road trip with her parents?  That is the only kind of person I know who would whine in such an immature, self-centered manner.  I am reading his book and it is a-mazing. And I'm not just saying that because everyone else (but you) says its amazing.  Because anyone who knows me and my reading habits knows that I am a giant book snob (with a not-so-secret weakness for Nicholas Sparks books) who will go out of her way to either read a book before it becomes wildly popular or else not read it until the hype wears down (or not at all..I am proud to say I have never read a Dan Brown book, or an Oprah Book Club book within 6 months of it being announced and when I met one my literary heroes, Michael Oontaatje, the only thing I could think of to say was, "I read the book way before the movie came out!"  You Oontaatje fans out there will know what I mean by that).

I think this book is great for exactly the reasons you don't think its great:  hearing about the everyday, mundane details of people's lives.  I love being a literary voyeur into the lives of characters, or people for that matter.  One of my favourite hobbies (when I'm not reading, running, cooking, or eating)  is eavesdropping in on strangers' conversations in public places...I know.  Weird.  But don't judge.  And you call this kind of writing dull.  Dull?  Is rooming with a heroin addict who fakes having leukaemia just to salvage a friendship one of  the dull, lazy details that you were referring to?  And what about the line, "in this autobiographer's opinion"  One of the most brilliant ways an author has ever used point-of-view in a novel: you think it is 3rd person but then it turns out to be first person.  Or is it second person? Or third person?  See??? Brilliant!  And not at all lazy, as you suggested Franzen is.

Did you ever stop to consider that maybe the book just wasn't your taste?  I mean, I am not a huge fan of the fantasy genre so I didn't like the Harry Potter books.  But I would never say that the Harry Potter books are bad.  It's me, not them.  The same way I hate apple juice and bananas but would never suggest that they are bad-tasting foods.  I know they are good, just not for me.  And that's cool.  I don't go around with a major hate-on for apple juice, insisting that I get back the hours I spent consuming it against my will in my two years of choice-free snacktime in kindergarten.

I think, Mrs. Leah McLaren, upon reflection, you will have to admit that when it comes to Freedom, it is you and not it.  And that's ok.  Really.  But just admit it already.


Your fan (really...I am this is just one of the few things you wrote that I didn't like...aside from your book, The Continuity Girl, which I thought was boring and poorly written...but maybe its just me),  Cayla.

PS.  If you or anyone else cares, I ran 2 miles OUTSIDE today.  And without music (my husband was with me so I talked to him instead but still...no music...)!  And it was sweaty and tiring and wonderful.  And now I have a new goal to work towards: the Susan G. Koman 5k in January.  I know I have run much farther than this, but for this race, the skill I am going to be working on for the next two months is time...a skill I had not given much thought to in the past.  But since I have conquered distance, thought I might give this one a try...I will let you know how it goes.

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