Window washing, voices in my head

We’ve got window washers this week. Last week, it was inside, and now I have a guy suction-cupped to the outside of my window, ropes dangling beside him and suds slipping down the side of the building.

If you’ve ever seen our building, you’ll know that it’s entirely glass-fronted, so this is a large job. It’s one of two twin buildings, which we alternately have dubbed the Flash Cubes or the Borg, depending on who you’re talking to. The Borg will be shiny clean in a day or two, the better to assimilate you.

Today I am trying to catch up with submissions. Perhaps it’s the window washing, but probably more likely just the state of my desk, but either way I’ve decided I need to catch up.

Now that I have a longer commute, I’ve picked up several audiobooks for the boring half hour drive each way to work. Lately I’ve been listening to Pulling Princes: The Calypso Chronicles by Tyne O’Connell, which is read by the author in a lovely British accent that I’m now hearing every time I read anything. A friend’s email was talking about babies, for example, and I couldn’t help but hear it in my head as I read as “bay-bies” in that posh English accent the author uses for the rich upperclass girls who call each other “dahling.”

(ETA: I’d never heard of this book before, just grabbed it off the YA audio shelf at the library. Now, browsing the author’s site, I see there are 4 books! And I’m afraid the cover text for the sequels has given away more than I wanted to know. Na nanana I didn’t see that! I didn’t see it!)

I must say, though, that I’m really enjoying the book. She pulls out a lot of chick lit cliches–the idea of winning over the popular girls by lying about having a boyfriend, the nasty A-list girl enemy, etc.–and turns them on their heads. Hollywood has spoiled me and I cringe anytime anyone tries to lie in a story, because I have a feeling that it’ll either turn into the teen-movie cliche of everything falling apart and the girl learns her lesson that she didn’t really want to be friends with those non-humans anyway, or even worse, the result will end up sounding more like a sitcom than a teen movie. 

(There are a lot of teen movies that I love despite the deception bit, but really, it’s an overused hook that just isn’t original anymore.)

But O’Connell uses that cliche value to her advantage, and every time I expect a certain event to blow up on Calypso–such as leaving a letter, presumably from her fake boyfriend, on another girl’s bed–it turns out to be a nice surprise instead, completely not what I was expecting. The cool girls turn out to be mostly human, the prince is a modern-day boy who happens to have to deal with papparazzi and nasty girls, and people are human for better or worse, no matter their station or richness.

Now, saying that, I’m only in disc 4, so I’ll reserve final judgement until probably tomorrow, given that I seem to go through a disc a day or a little more. But so far, it’s a good listen. It’s made the drive better, and it makes me want to hear more even when the drive is over.