Saturday, April 30, 2011

"What I saw at the fair" by Ann Birstein

I am not even quite finished with this book yet, but I will tell you that "What I saw at the Fair" is holding my attention. This isn't really a book report though. It's just a post for the heck of it because I haven't been posting about what I'm reading lately.

 I can't remember quite how I stumbled upon Ann's book. Was it the title? Was I up in the stacks browsing the PS call numbers (Library of Congress cataloging)? Was there something else that was being ordered that led me to it? The book itself is from 2003 but the hardcover from the Umass Amherst library is in pretty good/new shape. Anything is possible. We're getting so much new material in the library this semester that I can't remember how I happened to stumble across this one. Anyway... it's a good book. It is her autobiography. Up until now I didn't know who she was at all. In fact until just as I was writing this blog I hadn't even looked her up on Wikipedia. Wikipedia does have the quick run down of her life and what she has written. In 1950 she was 23 years old so she was born in 1927 if I've done my math right. She a Jewish-American novelist who wrote her first novel while still in college. I don't normally care about someone's religion or background, but it is something that she talks about a lot in her autobiography. Her father was a rabbi in New York City and she lived in New York while World War II was going on. So she has a whole perspective of World War II from an angle that we don't always here. I'm always interested in that. I was spoon fed the white male American version of what happened in World War II so I like getting different versions of it. Ann has a daughter and talks about the women's movement and so forth going on in the 1970s and that is interesting too. I'm somewhere in the 8th chapter (around page 225) with only about 50 pages left in the book. It has sucked me in. There is a thread running through it and from what I just read on Wikipedia I have a clue as to where it's going to go. I'm not done reading it though. I will probably pick up some of her other books when I'm done with this one. She's an interesting lady and I like her style.

Joanna Russ and slash fiction

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that Joanna Russ had passed away. I went to Wikipedia. I understood that Joanna Russ was a writer and I like to read but I had no idea who she was. It turns out I also had no idea what "slash fiction" was. I love doing research, especially when I am doing it for my own interests. Reading about Joanna led me to learning about fan fiction, fem-slash, and slash fiction. I guess I had known about fan fiction before but the other stuff... nope. I THOUGHT I knew what slash fiction was, but it turns out I was way, way off.. embarrassingly so. So I owe my friend a "thank you" for sending me on my little journey that led to a much better understanding of what those words mean. I don't have any interest in checking out any of Joanna Russ's books from the library or even buying anything from Amazon or a local bookstore but at least I'm not quite as ignorant and uneducated as I was a few days ago.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter and Goodbye Mom

It's 3pm and the house is quiet. It's  been such a busy day and a busy weekend that my daughter fell asleep at 2pm before she could even eat her lunch. Yesterday we woke up to snow and then we got rain to melt it. We did Easter eggs and Easter cupcakes. Then we saw my mom, had lunch, said goodbyes etc. My husband loaded her truck while Abby and I did the Easter stuff in the morning. Sometime after 8pm my mom finally left. Quietly in the end, on her own.

Today the two of us talked about it a little. I am glad that this chapter in my life is ending. I won't really feel better  until Thursday or Friday though, when she has landed and unloaded in Florida. We're getting there though and that's a good thing.

Today is Easter. The Easter Bunny came to our house last night and Abby woke up at 6:30am and started looking for her Easter Eggs. I hadn't really clued in on how excited she would be for this day. She had a great time. Then the weather cleared off for a while and we went outside. She helped me plant some flower seeds and get some garden stuff going before she just went off to play. We were all enjoying the weather until it started to rain. My husband even grilled outside. So we came in, and she crashed. We're having some quiet now in the house before the last of our weekend adventures. We're going up to Ashfield for an Easter dinner with my dad and his girlfriend. Should be interesting! I hope my kid behaves anyway.

Easter is symbolic, right? After death there was life again. After the winter came the spring. Yeah.. after the farewells yesterday we are moving on and celebrating life today. Hope you are all having a good holiday today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Work and family stuff

Well at work I had my review. The write-up was fine and my boss even worked with me to include some details that he had forgotten about. In a meeting with him I told him that I liked my job and wanted to keep doing it. I am committed to the job. However I also want to be paid fairly. He gave me his commitment to trying to get that to happen. So I am staying. I am giving him a chance to see what he can do and I will help him with that however I can.

My daughter finished swimming lessons yesterday. She needs more practice according to her teacher. That means she can't advance to the next level and needs to repeat the class again. Oh well. Guess she has my talent in the water. She doesn't like going under water and needs to get over that. I don't like diving and I have never gotten over that. So we'll see. She's become friends with a girl who is turning 4 years old today and it's fun to see that happening. The mom is nice and I can see some fun happening this summer.

My mom is moving. Loading the truck tomorrow. Still doesn't have anyone to help her when she gets there on Thursday. I am freaking out just a little. My husband knows this. He knew it before I did. I really hope she doesn't end up like this:

Homeless and hungryImage by Ed Yourdon via Flickr
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Family life

My turned 5 over the weekend. Can you believe it? The little baby that we weren't sure was going to come home with us is a happy, healthy 5 year old now. She survived the winter without a nebulizer and is only about a month away from graduating from preschool!

On another note my mother is counting down to her move back to Florida. There is a whole mess of emotions and stress tied to that. She's looking forward to warmer weather but we're all nervous about the distance. We'll see how long she stays this time. Will it be forever? I don't know.