Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I have been reading for the past 5 days or so...

The Hour I First Believed: A Novel The Hour I First Believed: A Novel by Wally Lamb

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is was no less than a tour-de-force in a life. I felt the "current events" that were visited in the book (9/11, Katrina, Columbine) were integral to the story, insofar as these are the events that are in the American social psyche. Artful and meaningful, and evoked lots of introspection from me as well. That is what I want from any work of art. This is.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

A book recommendation from my goodreads

Those Who Save Us Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best books I have ever read!

It is a wonderful story of identity and self-definition. I highly recommend it to anyone brave of heart.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Recovering from the Christmas holiday

It was a fun and low-key holiday here in the humble abode. My mother and grandmother braved the rains that KY has been getting while the rest of the eastern US has been getting slammed with snow. We built a big fire, and the kids opened gifts for almost an hour. I made a meal and there were no leftovers, and then we chilled out together in front of the fire.
On Christmas day, we observed our other time-honored tradition of going to lunch at the Chinese buffet about a mile from the house. And then I packed up my bag and went to work for about 8 hours at the residential program I began working at about 2 months ago. The kids had all gone home for the holiday, so I ended up reading (_The Hour I First Believed_, by Wally Lamb) and knitted on Fedelis' (my boss at the other job) birthday scarf, as seen here (still not finished). All in all, a very productive shift!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy ..... er, Holidays and Holy Days...

This is the time of year when I become rather shocked at the behavior of some "Christians" who conduct themselves as ill-mannered stormtroopers in search of a bargain, or the best parking place. Yesterday was no exception, as I spent 45 minutes in the car with a broken radio and 2 whining children (one is three, one is in the halycon of puberty) trying to make my way out of a parking lot. It was scary how people in search of presents to commemorate their baby Jesus' birthday were instead cutting each other off in traffic and blowing horns and displaying other sign language in a rather bizarre fashion. I began to wonder, did the Magi bring gold, frankincense and flying bird? Maybe so.
So here I sit, my hands hurting from knitting endless dishcloths in cotton yarn, and my Christmas spirit is about fizzled out, along with my energy and bank account. Working Christmas day will help address some of that. That's why I am planning on forgoing a family Christmas and spending the evening working my second job. And thinking about how much better it would be to have a regular gig and health insurance.
Here's the most recent dishcloth, began an hour or so ago, and will be finished before this shift is over....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm an
Extroverted Reinventing Romantic

Being sick sucks...

For the past four days I have been hiding in my bed, sick with what I choose to diagnose as strep throat (in the US when you don't have health insurance, you get to be your own MD), and basically reading and knitting a bit. I have read lots of Charlaine Harris, and also some Laurie Notaro. (The jury's still out on LN - she's funny enough, but a bit too classist for my taste.) So I have watched lots of late night tv, slept past the migraine barrier, and drank more fluids than I did in the last 6 months previous. All in all, probably a break I needed, but damn, what a way to make it happen.
Anyway I knitted my first hat, YES I AM A GEEK AND A SLOW DEVELOPING ONE AT THAT. Here it is... It is of a cashmere and merino superchunky blend, soft and warm, like BUTTA!

Monday, December 15, 2008

...and ma in her cap, had all settled down for a long winter's nap

After working all night, I was happy to come home into a hot bath and lull myself into that spacy space in my brain where there is no real thinking, but merely free association. In my mental meanderings, I realized that there is really nowhere else I would rather be than in a hot bath, or in front of my fireplace with roaring logs and some knitting or a good book.
Anyway, I am reading a borrowed book of essays by Laurie Notaro, whom I just heard about (from the friend who owns this book), and enjoying it immensely. I also finished The Historian and while I enjoyed it, I did find it tedious and hard to force in some points.
On the employment front, I have gotten another part time job, bringing the total to two, but not enough to support the family or anything. And last week the husband's unemployment was cut off, and he of course is doing little or nothing to remedy the situation.