Monday, July 19, 2010

Black Olives

I hate black olives. I pick them off pizza and out of salads. I spit them out if they find my mouth. Their taste is just weird.
I love green olives. They are salty and tart and melt in my mouth.

This week, while wildly trying to complete one of the 12 miserable essays due in my grad class by Tuesday, Hubby ordered pizza for dinner. With all the meds I've been taking -- to sleep, for the gouty toe, for the high blood pressure, etc. -- my stomach has been badly upset. Keeping this in mind, he ordered me a salad, in case the pizza was not something I could digest.

The salad came with blue cheese dressing and lots of little piles of things from the pizza salad bar, including a huge puddle of black olives. Initially, I couldn't eat either pizza or salad. Oh, okay -- I had one piece of pizza. The salad sat on my desk, smelling mostly of red onions, while I slogged away on my essays.

Unconsciously, I reached over, opened the salad box, and pried the top off the blue cheese dressing. I dunked a carrot into the blue cheese and nibbled. Without looking I grabbed up a couple of lettuce leaves and dipped them, too. Thinking I had another carrot, I found that my fingers were instead clutching a fist full of black olives. I popped them in my mouth without even thinking about it -- and man! did they taste good. So I ate some more. Pretty soon the entire mound of black olives had disappeared.

You think I'm pregnant, or something (ha! ha! ha!)? What in the world caused me to down a huge pile of black olives?

Then, after 15 years of avoiding any type of literature other than a couple of John Irving novels, about 5000 cozy mystery novels, all of Harry Potter, a 100 regency romances, and every People, Time and Newsweek magazine, I suddenly find I only want deep literature -- and I can't put it down once I've started. I lay propped up in bed reading all night long, while Hubby and the dogs snore blissfully around me. I've ordered all kinds of hard back books from Amazon -- but I've only read paper backs because of the carpel and how difficult it is for me to hold hard backs in bed for the last 20 years. I somehow desperately need the "fine" literature I have avoided since writing my master's thesis on Gunter Grass's Tin Drum (after that disaster I swore I'd never again read a book I didn't enjoy).

I'm doing okay on the essays, too. I managed to get all 12 finished by sunset this Sunday evening. That's a day ahead of schedule.

Sleeping? What a waste those pills are on me. It's 3 a.m. now and I'm wide awake, ready to chug away at 100 more pages of the current novel (review to follow).

I'd say I was going through the change of life -- but at 64? No. I've been there and done that. Weird times this summer is all I can think. Maybe it's the heat?


Margaret said...

Maybe it's the meds that have changed your taste buds. As for the interest in lit, way to go! I can't wait to hear your reviews and see what you're reading. Get some rest!!

The Tusk said...

Try a Kindle, I think it might be easier on the Karpel Tunnel and your going to need a book light with it, if you read in bed. No back lighting to harm your eyes from the kindle screen. Get the DX its bigger, and as far as good literature. Most of the books written well on Amazon in a .mob format are free or only 99 cents what better way to read all summer, not spending any real money on good literature. Try some Anton Checkov (The Wife, or The Witch)all short stories, or Jerry Hergesheimer, or Jerry (Jerome) Kaplan, some Pierre Loti, or my all time favorite leaning toward fantasy, James Branch Cabell.
I'm currently reading Middlemarch by Edith Wharton, most of her books are on Amazaon for Kindle for pennies, You could read Wilkie Collins, The Women in White or The Moonstone for intrigue. Sir Walters Scott, The Maid in the Mist. for Arthurian Adventure.

Whats your idea of good lit?

Milly said...

Whoa! Tusk, you really are into some heavy lit. Chekov, Warton, Scott? I'm not that deep anymore. I kind of decided after Grass that if the book contained symbolism and was full of metaphores, I wanted no part of it. For the last 20 years I've read Parker, Irving, Conroy pretty consistently. I took a shine to Georgette Heyer for a while and got 28 of her musty old books from e-bay during the spring. I taught high school English for 22 years and when I quit in 1990 I also quit reading literature. Truthfully, my favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird -- which is such a standard choice. Then I hit a patch where I read those lovely cozy mysteries -- M.C. Beaton, Dorothy Connelly. I've venture off into the Scarpetta realm sometimes -- or Alex Delaware mysteries. I just quit reading fiction. For me, the only really good ficture writer I enjoyed was John Irving. I've loved his stuff -- just don't remind me how I didn't want symbolism anymore. I would love with a passion to have a Kindle -- I just can't seem to justify the expense, especially since I can't share those "books" with husband or friends. I, have however, suggested to family that I would like a Kindle for Christmas - but I don't think they could justify the cost either. Thanks for the comments -- and yes, sleeping is an issue. Always an issue . . . Milly