Sunday, September 07, 2008

Some Sunday Stuff

Don't you just love alliteration! :-)

Wonderful Weekend Weather (More alliteration!)
The weather has been particularly nice this weekend in Houston. Last night, Valerie and I walked with a couple of friends to the park to watch a free modern ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty. I can't remember who said it, but someone said the pleasant temperatures and low humidity did not signify the beginning of fall but the beginning of the end of summer. A perfect description for this time of year in southeast Texas--unfortunately, it could take summer two or three months to end.

The ballet in the park was nice except for the young children who were behind us playing loudly and the drunk women behind us who couldn't control their children or their little dog or their own laughter. I'm not sure why they were there. They certainly were not watching the ballet. All things one must contend with if one wants to take advantage of a free performance on such a nice night. Our friend made a really nice, simple picnic: yummy egg sandwiches, grapes and cantaloupe, cheese, and homemade brownies.

One more thing about the ballet, as I said, it was Sleeping Beauty. Before we arrived at the park, I was trying to recall the story, and I realized that I sometimes confuse it with Snow White. Knowing that Snow White is the beauty who befriends the dwarfs helps me to keep them straight, but I really don't know the story of Sleeping Beauty very well. During the performance, I told Valerie of my lack of knowledge and she said she had the same problem. Later, our friend's husband leaned over and jokingly asked when the dwarfs were coming on. I told him that I didn't know this story that well either. During intermission, it became apparent from our conversations as well as others that I eavesdropped on. Using my phone, I looked up the story on Wikipedia and all of our inferences from the action on stage were accurate to the original story despite it being a modern retelling. Once the second act got underway, Valerie's earlier prediction that an overdose would put her in a coma proved to be right on. We are a very smart group of people indeed. ;-)

I can't emphasize enough how nice the weather has been here this weekend. This morning, Valerie and I sat on our patio and read the paper and books while we drank a pot of coffee. Then we went out for brunch and actually sat outside, two things we haven't done for several months. We really love our patio!

Speaking of Reading
War & Peace is really growing on me. I have finished only Part 1 of Volume 1. I want to read it all the time, but it is just too big to read when I go to bed or to take places with me. It is difficult to remember who all the characters are and what their relationships are, but I have decided that it is only necessary to understand the present of what's happening for now. I trust that eventually I will know enough the characters and their relationships so that I don't have this problem anymore.

I have read almost 200 pages of Twilight, which is essentially a work-read for me. I don't usually read the most popular books because I am an admitted literature snob and tend to find bestsellers to be lacking in depth and good writing. But I decided that as a junior high librarian I should read at least the first book of this series. Before I started reading it, I had read some really negative criticism, especially from the feminist perspective. I decided to read the book anyway and so far, I don't see the things that most of those feminist critics pointed out, but I do see how the main character could become what those critics decried. Still, I am enjoying the book and can definitely see how some readers, especially young girls and women, would be drawn to this book.

Then there's the book club book: Babylon Rolling. All I can say about this book is that it is okay. One thing that I am very confused by is the author's choice of using a first person narrator to tell one character's story while all the other characters' stories are told with a third-person narrator. The choice doesn't make sense to me yet, and I'm beginning to feel like it won't. I feel like the white, female author was attempting to show off her ability or her willingness to write in the voice of an African American drug-dealing teenager. I don't find the voice to be effective or necessary to the story. When I'm finished, I might do some review reading and see what critics think about it. Maybe I'm missing something, but I mostly find the change to be distracting, and I'm not usually bothered by narrator changes. Some of my favorite books utilize this very postmodern convention.

Well, the Astros and the Cowboys are on--both winning at the moment, and I need to do some work, so I guess that's enough stuff for this Sunday. Later.

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