Friday, July 27, 2012

All The Weirdness I Encountered While Reading The Stand

**Edited 8/26/12--Augh! I just realized how much I suck. I wrote this big ole long..."review" and never even said thanks to Trish for hosting The Stand read-a-long, or the Standalong. So, thanks, Trish!  Please jump over to her blog to see what other readers thought about The Stand. Now, back to your regularly-scheduled programming:

Hi there! Thanks for joining me! When I started writing my review for The Stand, I mentioned that since the story starts around the middle of June, I often found myself reading things on the same day that they were happening in the book (so on June 30th, I'd be reading about the events of June 30th. I call this sort of thing coincidental literature.) I started writing about all the other weird coincidences that I encountered during my reading, and before I realized it, I already had a whole post's worth of stuff but hadn't made any real progress toward any sort of meaningful review. So, I moved that part of my review over here...and now I still have to write my real review...*sigh*

Weird Thing (WT) #1: As Trashcan Man was setting fire to all the oil tankers and fantasizing about watching the fire spread across the country, I had just watched the Waldo Canyon fire blaze closer and closer to my hometown of Colorado Springs, while several other wildfires continued to burn across the West and Mid-West. This drove home the chilling reality of Trashcan Man's "beautiful" fantasy in a way that the book alone couldn't.

WT #2: My aunt lives in Colorado Springs, and during a check-in phone call with her, she mentioned the book Watership Down; a day or two later, I'm reading about Stu trying to escape from the plague center, and he is thinking about Watership Down. "The thing he remembered most from that book was a phrase: 'going tharn,' or just 'tharn.' He understood it at once, because he had seen plenty of tharn animals, and run down a few on the highway. An animal which had gone tharn would crouch in the middle of the road, its ears flattened, watching as a car rushed toward it, unable to move from the certain oncoming death."

WT #3: As Larry and Rita were escaping the oppressive heat in New York and power outages were beginning to sweep the country, a heat wave was stalled out over the eastern United States and millions of people were without power for days due to storm damage.

WT #4: On July 2nd, Mike posted some photos over at Everything Under the Sun. Meanwhile on July 6th, I was reading about Nick Andros, who, ON JULY 2ND, was having this dream: "He was on a high place. The land was spread out below him like a relief map. It was desert land, and the stars above had the mad clarity of altitude. There was a man beside, not a man but the shape of a man. As if the figure had been cut from the fabric of reality and what really stood beside him was a negative man, a black hole in the shape of a man." Whooooaaaa. Does that totally describe Mike's photos or what?

WT #5: My husband had just gone to bed right before I picked up at Nick's dream (above). Right before he went to bed, we had been sitting there talking, we had both stopped to listen, and he said, "Is that rain?" It wasn't...yet; it was the sound of approaching rain-the wind that moves through and rustles the leaves right before the rain hits. Anyway, Hubby was off to bed, and I started reading about Nick and his dream in which he was being tempted by the dark man. He "wanted all the things the black manshape had shown him from this high desert place: cities, women, treasure, power. But most of all he wanted to hear the entrancing sound his fingernails made on his shirt, the tick of a clock in an empty house after midnight, and the secret sound of rain."

WT #6: On his way home from work, Hubby stopped and bought two loaves of bread, a baguette for him and an olive loaf for me. The bakery is an out-of-the-way-for-us place that we don't get to often, and it was one of those things where he got the idea of the  baguette stuck in his mind and was dreaming about toasting it and slathering it in butter and peanut butter for breakfast the next morning. 'Cause we're all about the healthy eating around here. We didn't have any other bread in the house, and he won't eat the olive loaf, so the baguette was his, ALL HIS! He was tired and worn down from work, but he had yummy bread to look forward to in the morning! Later that night, we had to make a last-minute, hurry-up-let's-go-before-they-close grocery store run for some allergy pills or something. Had we been thinking about it, we probably would have bought some bread...oh wait, nevermind, we had two whole loaves at home! We came back, and saw that the sliding screen door was open--no big deal, our dog lets herself in all the time to go lie on her bed in the living room--and then I saw the wrapper on the dog bed. The empty wrapper. The one that had previously housed an entire baguette. Ohhhh nooooo. Hubby gave up and went to bed exhausted, allergy-ridden and defeated; I picked up my book, but I kept thinking about the bread. I probably read for a couple hours but I couldn't really focus--my mind kept wandering off to how disappointing the non-baguette morning was going to be so I finally decided that I could make a loaf of bread. How hard could it be? (It should be noted that I don't think I've ever actually made a loaf of bread, from scratch, start to finish, without the aid of some type of machine. Since Hubby was sleeping, I was trying to keep the noise level down, so I did it all by hand. At one point, I almost went and woke him up just so he could watch the spectacle that was unfolding in the kitchen, but I figured he needed his sleep. Also, I didn't want him to think he was being attacked by a dough monster.) So, dough kneaded and formed into a somewhat respectable loaf shape, I set it out to rise, washed the remaining eight pounds of dough off my hands, cleaned up a little bit, and resumed reading. I picked up where Stu and Frannie were walking home from the first Free Zone meeting; Frannie is tired and emotional and overwhelmed. Stu "held her, patting her back, remembering one time when his Aunt Betty had gotten a crying fit over some bread that didn't rise--"

WT #7: Okay, last one, I promise! I started reading The Stand while my husband was out of town. Then my bedside lamp started turning itself on in the middle of the night. Seriously?? Why does this stuff never happen when he's home? It's one of those lamps you have to touch, so of course my mind immediately jumps to the thought of someone creeping into my room at night while I'm sleeping and touching my lamp. Reading about Flagg's creepy omnipresence right before bed was not making me feel any better! Ghost girl was my next thought since Hubby and I had been talking a couple weeks earlier and realized that we had both experienced the sensation of feeling a little girl presence in the house. We couldn't pin it down exactly, but I think we both experienced it the same night, he in the bedroom and I in the office. Creepy, right? So, I finally braved turning off the light in the daytime (I didn't want to risk it snapping back on in the middle of the night only to reveal some shadowy, red-eyed figure lurking in the corner or, worse yet, standing directly over my bed staring at me!); when it kept coming back on in the middle of the day, I finally decided to leave it. I figured no one was sneaking around my house in the middle of the day turning my lamp on, so I felt better about that, and I didn't want to piss off a ghost.

So, there you have it! All the weirdness I encountered while reading The Stand. Anything weird happen to you?


Mike Frighetto said...

Weird! I'm glad I could be part of your weirdness while reading The Stand. :)

How did the bread turn out? I've been thinking of dragging our bread maker out sometime since my kids love bread so much but they don't make the pre-packaged sets anymore. :(

Dreamybee said...

It came out...dense. On the plus side, if anything had attacked me in the middle of *that* night, I could have thrown my loaf of bread at it and been OK! I think I kneaded it too much because I'd add flour, knead it for a while, it would seem like it was coming together and then it would just resort to a super sticky ball of goo, so I'd add some more flour and I kept going like that for about 20 minutes. So by the time I got enough flour added I think it was just overworked. I'd totally be willing to try it again though.

I bet the kids would have fun helping you make bread! :)

Care said...

OK, I've got shivers. I had so many excited reactions to this post. OH! FREAKY! goodness... *SMILE*
I LOVE the coincidental literature.

But you didn't catch a cold? I didn't either. I did read some of the days activities on the day, too.

christina said...

I love that you notice all of these things. :)

And YES we're doing an It-along. September. Mark your calendar bahbee! #italong

Dreamybee said...

Care-I didn't get sick, but I *did* feel like I was coming down with something when I started reading because my book is so old and mildewed. My throat would get all itchy and I'd start coughing, and then I figured I probably had the plague. I finally had to give in and buy the Kindle version. Much better for my mental state! (Also, it appears that I did *not* have the plague so, yay!)

Christina-Eeeee! I don't know if I want to risk any coincidental literature moments with that one! I might sit that one out and cheer from the sidelines. :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

That is crazy!!! You had so many odd coincidences happen at once, too strange.