Nobody does it better.

December 11, 2006

I went to the movies this weekend, a mini vacation for me.  I couldn’t wait to “get away” in the theatre, away from the not-so-glamorous realities of my life.  A friend came along, and we chatted about whether we’d like the movie or not.  My husband cheerfully stayed home with the kids. 

We went and saw the new James Bond flick, Casino Royale.  Let me tell you, the critics are spot on:  this movie rocks, and Daniel Craig is what the youngsters these days refer to as H-O-T.

After the movie, my friend and I were driving home, talking about the new Bond’s general good looks.  I reflected on the love affair that this James and his Bond girl have.  These are some seriously good-looking people and there’s sexy stuff going on here.  I thought about how I sometimes don’t feel so attractive these days…my “sexiness” (if I ever had it) seems to have evaporated in the face of motherhood and the routine of my suburban life.

But then we walked in the door, my friend and I, to a warm house that was alive with the aromas of a meal being made…a bottle of wine was open and breathing, waiting for us…I caught a glimpse of a beautifully set table, complete with taper candles.  My husband had made an amazing prime rib dinner…the kids were playing happily, content under his watchful eye.  I was reminded of the privileges of my life, and I was thankful for my husband who woos me like this.

The new James Bond is a treat for the eyes, but my guy is the real deal. 

…makes me feel sad for the rest.  Baby, you’re the best.

When good people aren’t.

December 10, 2006

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I just read House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III.  I had picked the book up with a fair amount of interest, even though a friend of mine “hated” the book.  I realized somewhere in the first 100 pages that the book had been made into a movie…a major disappointment to me as I typically avoid books that eventually become movies.

The book is set in the California Bay Area, so it was particularly interesting to me.  I recognized several of the locations in the novel and it was entertaining to read about places I’ve been.  The book centers on two main characters who both have a claim to the same house.  The house is the mechanism that the author uses to introduce conflict, as both characters fight for this house emotionally and physically.  Essentially, the fight leads two decent people into a warren of questionable actions, finally coming to a grandiose crescendo at the end that is reminiscent of Greek tragedies.  Indeed, the ending was a bit over the top…but it made it’s point.  Nobody can miss the lesson that sometimes people get in over their heads.

I have not seen the movie, nor do I want to.  I enjoyed the book on its merits, and I have yet to see a movie based on a book that lived up to the novel. 

My recommendation: pick it up at the library or borrow it from someone (a major bestseller and an Oprah pick–someone you know owns this book), but be prepared for a bit of a downer.  This story doesn’t uplift and it highlights many sad flaws in our human nature.  Not a “must-read,” but good nonetheless.

I did it.

December 7, 2006

I finally finished writing something.  I’m so proud.  I think the last piece of fiction writing I had actually finished was somewhere around five years ago (save for posts on this blog, but they don’t count, do they?).

So I wrote a short story, a little over 2,300 words, and right now I’m flush with excitement that it has a beginning, a middle…a conclusion.  Ahhhhhh.  There’s just nothing to describe the sense of accomplishment that comes when you type those two little words:  “The End.”

Now I will keep on with the Novel, the MANUSCRIPT…the thorn in my side.  Wish me luck…maybe I’ll be able to find my way to the end there, too.  Not any time soon, mind you. 

But someday.

Flu bug.

December 5, 2006

Question:  Which is worse? Being sick, or taking care of others who are sick?

Answer: Me with bhroncitus AND my two kids are taking turns succumbing to the flu bug (read=throwing up all over mommy).

Yesterday was one of those days–miserable.  Let me capitalize that: MISERABLE.  Both boys were ill, and I was trying to tend to them, bring them juice and crackers, get prescriptions filled, all while scuffling about in my robe with a headache and hacking cough.  By 2:00p.m., I gave up thinking I’d get out of the robe and threw in the towel.   I threw in lots of towels–into the washing machine.  Towels, bed sheets, pillowcases, pajamas…the mountains of laundry that pile up when kids are sick.

Today was much better.  I managed to get dressed, both boys were back to their typical good health, and normalcy ensued.  I caught up on the laundry, cleaned up the multiple juice cups, put away the Pedialyte and Tylenol. 

We’ve squashed the bug for now. 

Something in the mail.

December 3, 2006

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Like so many, I correspond primarily through eMail these days.  When I think of “getting the mail”–I think of going out to the mailbox to get the daily bills, and (yipee!) coupons. 

But the other day, a mysterious package showed up, and I opened it to find the coolest “mail.”  A friend who has a son with her Nicaraguan husband had sent it to me.  Her son had outgrown his Guayabera shirts, and because she knows I have a fondness for these particular shirts, she sent them on to me.  These cotton and linen shirts are made in Latin American countries and have an ethnic feel and look to them that appeals to me.

I love unusual things that come in the mail.  Happily, there are people spread throughout California, a great couple in Washington state (we miss you!), my dad and his wife in Missouri, who love my kids and send them delightful packages and cards throughout the year.  It is such fun to receive these gifts and missives, to open up the package and find…a t-shirt from Notre Dame, a beautiful handmade blanket, a toy or book picked out with one of the kids in mind.  Such thought and effort!

But back to the shirts I got on Friday.  Here is a picture of Gregory in a Guayabera (cute, right?).  So much nicer than a utility bill or a reminder that I’m due for an eye exam. 

Something special in the mail.