Sunday, May 07, 2006

Walked up to the mall to watch United 93 at the multiplex on Saturday. Not much to say about the movie - it was worth the twelve-mile round-trip - but I did spend a good chunk of the "there" part of the walk wondering if I was trespassing on State Penn land by walking along the side of the Benner Pike past all the "No Trespassing - Violators Will Be Prosecuted" signs. I had forgotten about all of the no trespassing signs - they go by pretty fast when you're driving past them at 55 MPH - but walking along the pike gave me lots of time to ponder the legalities. On the one side, there's the whole "public thoroughfare" thing - if it's legal to drive along the Pike, why the hell couldn't I walk blameless? - on the other side, there's that whole "this means you" every-two-hundred-yards thing shouting in my face in all-caps institutional-green lettering. Saw nothing but road traffic, distant cows, and Rockview's horse herd, so it didn't come to cases as I half-feared. On the way back, I walked along I-99 instead - louder, but probably safer & definitely not trespassing by any interpretation I'm aware of.

I spent the trip reading a Rosemary Edghill Regency romance in the style of Georgette Heyer, Turkish Delight, which really was a quite excellent pastiche. The one complaint I had about the novel was that the heroine, who supposedly spent her late childhood and adolescence in the harem of the Ottoman Sultan, speaks exactly like every other Regency romance heroine who isn't a French guttersnipe (These Old Shades) or Spanish newlywed (An Infamous Army). That is to say, full of early-19th-century slang and dialect, of a certain class and sophistication. If you're going to make your heroine a Turk who occasionally communicates in Turkish or swears by Allah & the Prophet, be so good as to actually use the language. It adds a bit of color, you see. And no, the occasional use of "hareem" and "houri" doesn't count. For one thing, I'm pretty sure both are Arabic, not Turkish.

Oh, and don't have your heroine dis on Mansfield Park until you have more than one book under your belt. You have to earn that sort of snark.

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