The Mysterious Case of the Incredible Shrinking Boobs (plus: Jane Eyre and Lorne Doone!)

January 23rd, 2007

So you know how Dr. Oz and all those guys on those shows like You: The Owner’s Manual and in books like The South Beach Diet assure you that if you quit drinking carbonated beverages and caffeine you will lose belly fat first?

So I was like, Hmmm, well, good, okay, so there’s a silver lining to this whole giving up soda thing….

Well, they forgot to mention one little thing:

You also loose your boobs!

That is right. I have not had a carbonated beverage or caffeine in more than two weeks now, and my belly is smaller than it was.

But all of my bras are very, very baggy!

So I would just like to warn the world that if any of you are thinking about giving up soda and caffeine, thinking you’d like to lose that spare tire around your middle?

Well, that might not be all you’ll lose, my friend. Just be prepared.

Fortunately throughout this time of great loss and sorrow in my life there is one who has been a source of strength…a tower or support against which I have been able to lean when I needed to…someone who has always been there, day and night, rain and shine, to help me through what have been some of the darkest hours of my existence….

Yes, you know who I am talking about:

TV.

Did you guys see the new version of Jane Eyre on Masterpiece Theater that debuted this weekend? Well, if you didn’t, don’t worry, the conclusion isn’t until next Sunday. And if you don’t live in the US you can read about the production here, where there is also a link to buy the DVD (which I’m sure most public libraries will be buying soon as well).

Jane Eyre is such a long, dense book, it’s very hard to translate to film. So few cinematic and television attempts have been successful (except the Timothy Dalton one, in my opinion), but I think this particular one is GREAT so far–really spooky and yet also quite romantic.

And okay, some Jane-ites might object to a few liberties the adaptation has taken (particularly the gypsy scene), but I never did feel that Mr. Rochester was the type to put on a dress and affect a falsetto, so I thought they handled it beautifully.

Moving on:

Right after I posted last week’s piece about the show 24, I read a review suggesting that people who like this show must be sadists because Jack Bauer gets put through so much torture every season, how else can they stand to watch it?

Personally, I don’t like watching Jack get tortured. I like watching Jack torture other people. I know it’s wrong, but I find it very cathartic when Jack stabs a terrorist with a ballpoint pen. So sue me! Particularly this week’s episode, where Jack punched his brother in the face, then tied him up with a lamp cord and put a plastic bag over his face.

Oh, come on! Haven’t you ever felt like doing that to a sibling? Not even ONCE? Just for a MINUTE? Don’t lie….

Other television shows that have been soothing me during my hours of booblessness have been surgery shows—particularly ones involving the removal of loose skin and enormous tumors—as well as pretty much anything on the Lifetime channel (of course), particularly To Be Fat Like Me, about a teenage athlete who goes undercover as an overweight teen for a documentary and finds out what it’s like not to be perfectly proportioned. Ha! Ha ha!

And if you are not watching The Office, well, I just don’t know what to say. I guess if I were to say to you, “Jim said yes,” it would mean nothing to you.

If, however, you were watching The Office, and I were to say, “Jim said yes,” to you, you would inhale sharply and squeal, “I KNOW!” in a delighted manner. These words would take on a whole new meaning to you. Because this is seriously the hottest, most romantic show on TV, besides being the funniest, and if you aren’t watching it, well, I kind of feel sorry for you.

But don’t worry! It’s not too late to catch up! Start watching it now! Come on! It’s soooo funny!

And sure, already it’s nothing like the UK version, but in a way it’s better (yes, I said it), and don’t worry, my opinion is to be trusted even if I sort of did just admit I want to put a plastic bag over my sibling’s face (just for a minute, and just one sibling, to get him back for that one thing he did that one time….).

I have also found my usual solace in the Food Network. I do not know why, though I dislike cooking myself, I so enjoy watching other people do it. I try to take heart in the fact that in this way, I am like one of the most celebrated characters of classic fiction of all time, Lorna Doone. Which reminds me, if you have not read Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

I know you are probably thinking, “Lorna Doone—isn’t that a cookie?” And yes, indeed it is.

But Lorna Doone is also the girlfriend of one of the funniest fictional heroes of all time, Master John Ridd, described this way by Penguin Classics: a farmer who finds love amid the religious and social turmoil of seventeenth-century England, John is just a boy when his father is slain by the Doones, a lawless clan inhabiting wild Exmoor on the border of Somerset and Devon. Seized by curiosity and a sense of adventure, John makes his way to the valley of the Doones, where he is discovered by the beautiful Lorna. In time their childish fantasies blossom into mature loveNote from Meg: They get to 2nd base —a bond that will inspire John to rescue his beloved from the ravages of a stormy winter, rekindling a conflict with his archrival, Carver Doone, that climaxes in heartrending violence. Beloved for its portrait of star-crossed lovers and its surpassing descriptions of the English countryside, Lorna Doone is R. D. Blackmore’s enduring masterpiece.

Blah, blah, blah. John Ridd is actually hilarious—a huge…and I do mean huge, the tallest, strongest man in the county…mama’s boy in a houseful of women: his sisters pester him mercilessly; Lorna, when he finally does get her away from the Doones, won’t let him kiss her more than once a day till they’re legally married; and his potential in-laws want him dead.

But he’s so sweet! And smart and loyal and kind to the end. I just adore him, and I think you will too.

And the funniest part of all is that John can never find Lorna because she’s always in the kitchen, watching everyone else cook, though she doesn’t like to cook herself. She just likes watching other people do it.

JUST LIKE ME.

Too bad Lorna didn’t have the Food Network.

Anyway…where was I?

Oh, yeah…

So read Lorna Doone (there are some boring bits, but you can just skip those. Don’t bother trying to rent the DVD of this—there has never been a decent version that I know of. It’s really more of a romantic comedy—well, except for the parts where people get shot–but everyone tries to make it a drama when they film it and that ruins it).

And watch Jane Eyre on PBS—so good (and obviously, people—read the book).

Oh, and watch The Office—it rules.

And be prepared if you give up caffeine, aspartame, soda, and chocolate:
you could lose your boobs along with your belly fat. I know, people. I’ve been there. And it’s not pretty.

More later.

Much love,

Meg