It was a dark and stormy night. Really dark. And really stormy. At 6:00 the heavy flakes started accumulating and all things electrical started flickering. Calls went out – Have you lost power yet? Will you still come? While some couldn’t manage the disastrously gridlocked streets to drive & others weren’t ready to risk the cold, slippery trudge, four stubborn (stupid?) Bootleg members headed out by 7:00.
Surprised that no bitter winds nipped their skin or clawed at their wraps, they enjoyed the wintery-wonderland-walk towards Karen S’s cozy fire and homemade lasagna. And even when the somewhat disorienting thunder roared in and lightning splintered the silvery-muted calm the Bootleggers maintained a cautious fascination with the night sky. But fascination tilted toward ‘should we be fleeing the scene?‘ when a grinding explosion filled the night and seemed to trigger a smudgey green glow that hung over a large segment of the neighboorhood sky. Overwhelmed by the natural and surreal interruptions, the power went out. Bookclub, however, stayed on…
Bootleggers scurried onward past downed branches and ice-laden wires. Karen’s house was as dark as all the rest, but once inside, the warm glow of candles and the happy flames in the fireplace were all anyone needed. Thanks to Karen flipping on the gas fireplace switch AND getting the lasagna in a piping hot oven over an hour before the outage, we were cozy and well-fed.
In attendance: Shelley (her book pick), Karen S. (her house), Liz, Mary & Katie
Special guests: Tim S. and the neighbor whose wife took 6+ hours to drive home from the World Bank
Wendy- snowed in at home; Angelika – junked the jeep idea & stayed home; Kitty – cozy on Clearbrook, thank you; Viv – ditto in her new digs; Sue – safe in the great white north; Karen C. – otherwise occupied already; Marie – marooned but not morose; Hege – far, far away per usual
Pre-Chat & Munchies
Karen’s well-insulated oven made it possible to heat up the yummy mini-quiches; Mary’s delish bread and othe munchies + drinks – perfect!
Dogs – new puppies; good ol’ dogs since departed; the Story of Sam…………… Cats – ‘Kitty’ converts cat-haters to cat-doters in Brennan household
Weather & Power Outages Some of us were ready for a mini-snowmaggedon. Others of us doubted even an inch would accumulate. Katie totally clueless on all weather reports, per usual.
MoCo substation ‘blew up’, hence a 1-week outage was predicted. What cords can we re-charge in the car? At least food in the snow keeps it edible (as opposed to the lenghthy outage in August).
Traveling to Warm Weather Liz in the Bahamas with a teen daughter – worth the potential drama? Absolutely! Swimming with dolphin (Julius) rescued from Katrina; BUT travel fees and insurance scams (weather ruined original Christmas week trip dates) are a bummer…Ergo, Liz was a pain in the a$$ in the airport.
And THAT is our segue to the book dealing with all sorts of pains in the a$$:
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper
Shelley picked this book because a person who works with her recommended it for its humor. Comments from the peanut gallery include:
not as dark & distasteful as Frantzen’s The Corrections; this book was more funny than not, even with off-color moments (some needed to just be skipped); certain plot points ‘jumped the shark’ – too much of a stretch of the suspension of disbelief; enough about the sex lives! we don’t care that much….; & the tyring -t0-get-preg scenes in basement were YUCK; characters were easy to ‘get’ but this also made them a bit cliche (psych mom w/o boundaries, cuckholded spouse, black sheep party boy son + cougar date, lesbian neighbor) BUT they were mixed together and spiced with some details that kept it fresh enough; the plot premise (7 full days of shiva) was good; we all loved the visual of the low chairs; Rabbi character very clever (they all knew him from ‘back when’ and didn’t let him get away w/too much now); some of us TOTALLY identified with the funeral service/joint/sprinkler system scene, other of us weren’t so jazzed by it; overall, the story was set up and plotted a bit like The Big Chill – this is a favorable comparison; some scenes read like they were written specifically to be in a movie; Penny was a unique character (esp. as compared to some others, as noted earlier); the mom is really not that stable (blabs everything, shiva trick, lesbian secret); the book is very ‘quippy’ and full of witty exchanges like Friends & Seinfeld
CASTING Judd/ Jake Gyllenhaal or Mark Ferstein (Royal Pains); Jen/Isla Fisher; Wade the Shock Jock/Ben Stiller; Dead Dad/Judd Hirsch; Mom/Helen Mirren; Linda/Carrie Fisher; Wendy/Joan Cusack; Barry/John Favreau; Paul/Bradley Cooper; Alice/Drew Barrymore or Rene Zellweger; Horrie/???; Phillip/Zac Efron or Adam Brody; Tracy/Jenna Elfmann; Penny/Lauren Grahm; Rabbi Boner/Adam Sandler
NEXT MEETING: Katie’s House 7:30 Feb. 22nd
Karen S’s pick: The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman