- Catherine Wheels – Leif Peterson (creepy but nicely written and odd little book. The end just leaves a hundred different threads dangling, but it’s ok, it works. You don’t know what’s real and what’s not, and you don’t particularly mind.)
- Everybody into the Pool – Beth Lisick (I requested this from the library a while ago and reading the flap copy now cannot imagine why. But it’s amusing enough if a bit redundant in that Gen-X sort of way.)
- Love, Work, Children – Cheryl Mendelson (liked the title)
- A Place of Execution – Val McDermid (other mystery readers have been recommending McDermid to me for eons)
- The Babes in the Wood – Ruth Rendell (an article on Salon recently convinced me to give Rendell another shot, since the last time I tried one of her books I was about 16. I am enjoying this one very much, and I like the detective, Inspector Wexford.)
I finished The Leopard Hat a few days ago. It’s odd that I picked that book to read around the same time I tracked down an old college friend by discovering her mother’s memorial website – the feelings each woman has/had for their mothers are almost disturbingly intimate. Angela was a close and dear friend and was supposed to be my roommate sophomore year but in the summer between years, she tried to commit suicide and her father pulled her out of school and cut off all contact. So yes, Angela was always a bit overwrought and dramatic, but the depth of passion she felt for her mother, that I read on the website, feels foreign to me. I can’t recall ever feeling this way about my mother, whom I loved and whom I miss terribly, but - I can’t believe I am going to admit this out loud, as it were – at the same time, I felt a sense of relief when she died, not just because she was finally out of pain, but because my life is so much easier not having to contend with her influence in it. There is a part of me that KNOWS beyond a shadow of a doubt that if my mother were still alive, I would be divorced. I would probably still be slogging away painting in theatres. I might not even have kids. And so, while I loved her and did everything I could to help her during her illness and take care of her, I still feel horribly guilty that my emotions about her death are mixed.
From the library today (I had a nice chat with my favorite librarian, the one on whom I have a schoolgirl crush....sigh...):
- Truth and Consequences – Alison Lurie
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken
- The House with the Clock in Its Walls – John Bellairs (illustrated by one of my favs, Edward Gorey) – if it’s not too creepy, I’ll pass it on to Primo.
Also, Gina gave me her library copy of The Undomesticated Goddess, Sophie Kinsella’s new brain candy. And I got the DVD of “About Schmidt” to watch New Year’s Eve.
For Primo, I picked up the first two “A to Z” mysteries, some of Jon Sciezka’s “Time Warp Trio” books, some Magic School Bus chapter books, and an amusing-looking fairy tales spoof called Ten in a Bed. The boy is voracious.
My one productive act of today – hanging the niece/nephews pictures, and my family’s Ellis Island rubbing and family portraits. Oh, and I did buy my brother’s son an outfit for his belated Christmas gift. I am also going to send him one of those Baby Einstein videos – probably "Baby van Gogh," as that’s my favorite because of the wind parts.
I need your help. These are the shoes I bought in the past twenty-four hours. Do I keep them? Help. Are they cute, or just weird? Are they charmingly retro or just frumpy?
Skechers Sport, black
Nine West, tan suede, VERY comfy
Clarks, brown, more dressy for work with skirts, mostly
- Christmas Eve my brother-in-law was passing around an article about re-hymenization. How sick is that thought? As if losing it the first time wasn’t nerve-wracking enough...I think if I told Hubster that that was going to be his anniversary gift from me, like the woman in the article did for her husband, he’d divorce me.
- Primo wanted to know why our (Episcopalian) priest was married, but H.’s uncle the Roman Catholic priest was not. I told him that Episcopalians are allowed to marry, but not RC priests. He considered for a moment and said, “That makes no sense at all!” Out of the mouths of babes…
- I finally got my hair trimmed up today. Why is it that when the hairdresser talks to me I want them to shut up and let me relax, and when they don’t, I worry that I am a awful person and that is why they do not wish to converse with me? Of course, once this one did start talking, it was all about how he wept at the last Madonna concert – and I wished he’d shut up.
- Isn’t it difficult to leave pictures of your children that you do not purchase at the portrait place? I man, they’re not shredding the little guy, just his photo, but it was weird.
So my week in review:
Monday – open house here for various people, including an old friend from college whom I have not seen in years – he lives in L.A. and really only comes back for Christmas (and whom H. surprisingly remarked about, “I wish he lived here, he’s a really good guy. It’d be nice to have him around.” I wholeheartedly agree.)
Tuesday – the annual luncheon for ex-bookstore employees. I used to work at one of the big chains and about half a dozen of us get together every year right after Christmas for a nice, long, gossipy, boozy lunch.
Debra has just returned from China and brought us all these little boxes, with a Good Luck penny inside. I specifically got the baby one.
Lynne brought my boys Christmas ornaments, including this lovely train ornament for my Thomas-mad children. And also her son’s new CD. Check it out, it’s pretty decent for a first CD, and he covers a Radiohead song. Props to him!
We always do lunch somewhere luxurious that is members-only so it’s always free, which I alternate between reveling in and feeling guilty about, as the members never let us contribute to the bill.
Tuesday evening we had what was supposed to be turkey dinner with our wonderful neighbors, who called at 2ish and said the turkey was still frozen and we were going to have homemade pizza. It was great – forget calling take-out from now on, I am just calling them! And I didn’t have to noodle around with sweet potatoes or veggies, so instead I just made a whipped-cream-and-Nabisco-chocolate-wafer log which we devoured.
H. made the observation to me later that he was surprised that their upstairs was very NOT finished, and I wonder if he now feels better about the unfinished state of our house? God, I sure hope so!
Wednesday – the family portrait in the a.m. The ONLY thing I asked H. to do this week, I needed his help wrangling the children. And at 9:15 Wednesday morning, he said, “Oh, I have to go with you?” Yes! It went smoothly – we got some decent all-cousins shots, despite my boys’ recalcitrant hair that was driving Grandma absolutely fucking bonkers (she suggested gel and bobby pins).
We also got some adorable solo shots of Terzo, and a nice shot of just my hoodlums. So while I might not have picked those shirts, the portraits this year are done. Hooray! I don’t have to go out to the freaking mall again for at least another year!
After the portraits, which blew our Christmas budget, incidentally, the sisters-in-laws and Grandma all went out to lunch at a place called the Bookworks Cafe. Very cozy, very cute. And look at my lovely salad – butterfly-shaped jicama, star-shaped carrots, chunks of blue cheese. Delish, and pretty.
I took a pic of all of us and thought about posting it and letting you guess which was me, but decided against it. My one sister-in-law said, “Oh, are you going to post this on the blog?” (Primo spilled the beans while I was snapping away Christmas Eve). I said, “Oh, no!” but was THIS CLOSE to doing so until I decided I did not want to out myself.
Then we all went to H.’s band’s practice Wednesday evening and I hung out with the drummer’s wife, Terri, whom I adore, and the singer’s very pregnant wife, Mel, whom I enjoy very much, and ate too many buffalo wings and baklava. We thought we could put the boys to bed down there, like a slumber party, but they refused to sleep, and then Primo threw up in Terri’s office. Then Terzo threw up in the living room. We must come back, Terri said, as there were still two rooms downstairs and the whole upstairs in which the boys need to vomit.
Today I went and got my hair cut, and bought shoes (see above), and had lunch at the coffee shop, and went to visit Gina, and stopped at the library. I bought these blank books at Old Navy for TWO BUCKS a piece.
I skipped the January-birthdays party at the in-laws this evening – I am not only Perfect-familyed-out, I am peopled-out.