I am reading this book, Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter, because Blessing loaned it to me. We have a good book swap going, and I always like book swaps. I am also enjoying this book.

But there is a plausibility problem. The main character is a divorcee turning 40, and between Christmas and her birthday, she is pretty depressed. I can believe that. I don’t relate to her “Look at my wealthy lifestyle it is so empty” angst, but I think I might be pretty depressed if I were a divorcee with kids at the holidays.

She goes to Hawaii to cheer herself up, meets a beautiful young surf instructor, and has a one-night stand with him. Again, I can imagine that some depressed divorcee might do that.

But unless there is some much snappier repartee taking place off the page somewhere, she has been a boring, self-pitying, depressed wimp through the several hours she spent with him. So that is our leading lady. And our leading man has gone to bed with this mopy older woman because…. he’s sorry for her? He’s really undiscriminating?

And then she goes through all the sort of romantic thinking that I would expect to see in an actual relationship, not in an interaction consisting of a few hours of her whining monosyllabically, his attempting to cheer her up in the same paid-for way that I do for customers at the bookstore, and sex.

I am enjoying the book anyway, but Porter needs to fix up the story. I am hoping she will do so soon.

#2 daughter’s musical career is moving forward. #1 daughter and #1 son both are ready to begin college in the fall — #1 daughter has, I think, actually registered. This is all pretty exciting for me as their mom. And of course I get to be proud of them without having to do any of the work.

I am also very excited about the fact that the church choir I sing in will be doing Randall Thompson’s Alleluia . If you click on the title, you will find a page containing, among many other things, a midi file of this piece. Now, in order to listen to it at this page, you have to go down to Randall Thompson (they are in alphabetical order) and click on it. If you go to the trouble to do that, you will see why I love this piece of music so much.

This is not an easy piece. In fact, it is hard. The parts do not mesh in a predictable fashion, there are a lot of octave intervals and things like that — it’s just challenging to sing, that’s all.

Bigsax, our director, gave us a bit of a pep talk on how beautiful it was. He pointed out that the words are easy (the words are “Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia…” etc). Then he had us read through it.

I have sung this before, so a lot of it was a duet between me and the piano, but several other choir members mentioned at some point that they thought they had heard it before, and those who can read music came in and out. Bigsax called out “Page 10!” and other helpful stuff for those who were completely lost. After the read-through, we closed up the music. We are going to do it for Easter.

gray bagThe mood in the choir was subdued. There was a little bit of feeling that it was impossible. We moved on.

Here is the bag I am in the process of making. It has its lining in, but the strap is — as you can see — still in a state of uncertainty. It is supposed to have the lining sewn to the fabric, same as the bag. However, this will make a wider strap than I want. So I am considering different possibilities.  At the moment, all the layers are still separate, while I make up my mind.

Like so many homemade bags, it is not as completely convicted of its shape as I would like it to be. It is okay hanging like this, but set it on the floor and it slouches.

This means that it will take only a couple of books to make it all bulgy and odd. I am thinking that some stitching will do the trick — more like the padding of traditional tailoring than like quilting, but enough to persuade it to be firm rather than formless.

It is Twelfth Night tonight, but I am going to a Twelfth Night party tomorrow night instead, bag partwayso I may work on this bag tonight. There is a buttonhole in its future, too.

Enough idle persiflage.

My main fitness goal is “30 minutes every day; no excuses!” This phrasing is from the RealAge website. I have been doing 30 minutes most days, but my doctor-mandated goal was 30 minutes three times a week, so I had lots of reasons for not going to the gym, including parent-teacher conferences, taking the kids to the dentist, having fact-checking to do, needing to clean my house, and its being Friday. This meant that I usually did 90 to 120 minutes of cardio a week. My new goal is 210 minutes a week, plus increased strength training, so I have to give up my feeling that Friday mornings are for lounging about.