Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What I've read since the Bar Exam

The last time I updated my sidebar was right after the Bar Exam. Which was February 2008. I guess it is time for an update. I saved a few library receipts so we'll see what I remember about the books I've read in the past year and a half. In no particular order:

Eat cake: a novel
- light and fluffy, like eating cake

The mermaid chair
- What would be better than a story about a bored middle-aged woman having an
affair? Why, if she had the affair with a monk, of course. The other elements
of the story were interesting, but I just wasn't feeling sympathetic towards
the main character.

The tenth circle: a novel
- by Jodi Picoult...need I say more?

Salem Falls
- by Jodi Picoult.

Legally correct fairy tales
- Hmm...I really don't recall at all. Hard to believe that legalese wouldn't be

The future homemakers of America
- Fine, but one of those books that doesn't know when to stop. The story went on
a little too long.

The day I ate whatever I wanted: And other small acts of liberation
- A collection of short stories about women and their neurosis of which I
remember very few details.

The sand castle
- A family goes to the beach...and I don't recall too much of what happened there.

Death by cashmere: A seaside knitters mystery
- A slightly mysterious tale

- by Joyce Carol Oates. A story about a depressing life based on letters Ms.
Oates received from a former student. I hope the student's real life wasn't as
bad as the life depicted in the book.

**The Friendly Persuasion
- A set of short stories about a Quaker family. Understated and insightful. I
really enjoyed this one.
"But a woman lived in a house, not outdoors. A sunset didn't come inside, light the wall behind the kitchen range so's she could see it while cooking supper; clouds taking this shape or that didn't settle down on the mantelpiece to keep her company while mending. The prettiness a woman saw, she had to make, she had to build it up from odds and ends. Did Jess ever note her handiwork? The articles embroidered, painted, stenciled, gilded, dyed? The combcases, footstools, doilies, tidies, fire screens, rugs, penwipers, lambrequins? Did he see how the bareness of timber and stone had been hidden and softened, until the room, to her eye, showed itself as prettier than any cloud, and not to be outdone, even, by a rose."

Yesterday's weather
- I very, very rarely do not finish a book. I didn't finish this one. It is a
collection of short stories and I didn't find any redeeming qualities in them.
Bad language and depressing subject matter do not a classic make.

Bee season: a novel
- A book about a little girl who competes in spelling wait, that is
what I thought it was. Actually a book about a little girl who competes in a
spelling bee in the first chapter of the book and then in the space of a year
her family goes off the deep end while she prepares for the next spelling bee.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency: Books 1-4
- I wouldn't call these suspenseful, or all that mysterious...but they are an
easy, enjoyable read.

The Devil Wears Prada
- Wow, Hollywood actually improved upon a book and made it cleaner at the same
time? Seriously, they did. The book falls short.

Julie and Julia
- Wait, Hollywood made a movie that is better and cleaner than the book again?
Yes, they did. The book has very little driving the plot (if you can call it
that) and even less to recommend it by way of writing style and language.

The 5 People You Meet in Heaven
- Memorable, in an odd sort of way. Not what I was expecting.

The Maytrees
- I don't think I'm smart enough to understand half of what this book was
saying. It did make me want to go hang out on Cape Cod though.

My Name is Asher Lev
- I don't think I know enough about Judaism to really get this book.

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
- A quirky book about a quirky kid. An interesting read, but it takes a giant
leap into fantasy at the end of the book. Seriously, I think a fantasy
writer found this unfinished manuscript in an attic somewhere and thought "hey,
I'll just come up with an ending to this book really quick." I'm still
perplexed by what happened there.


Anne of Green Gables 1-8
- Don't be surprised when you want to move to Prince Edward Island and live at
Ingleside. Beautifully written stories from a long-ago era. Nothing
scandalous need apply.

The Secret Life of Bees
- Some memorable images and an interesting story line. Definitely preferred the
book over the movie.

Wuthering Heights
- I finally made it through the whole book this time. Sorry Heathcliff, but you
just aren't my favorite.

Those are all I can think/find the library receipts for.

On an unrelated note, Sawyer's bedtime prayers lately crack me up. This was tonight's: "Father...Monster trucks jump over, cheese, chicken, juice, napkins, fruit snacks, pickin' carrots...Amen." He just lists things that he likes. Awesome.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dusk at the Big Red Barn









I can't figure out how to make these pictures not ginormous. More specifically, I set them all to be the same size so I can't figure out why most are ginormous except the first and third pictures that actually came out the right size. But I'm giving up on messing with it for now.

We went pumpkin picking at our traditional spot. This year we even made it there before dark. And we remembered to buy donuts before going on the hayride so we wouldn't chance them being sold out like last year. And we got to go with friends this year. A successful trip.

[Unlike our attempted trip to Gardner Village on Saturday. We thought we'd go up early to avoid the "Witches' Night Out" crowd (not to mention the $5 parking fee that was supposed to accompany the evening event)...and discovered that half of Utah had the same idea. And they were already charging for parking. Super lame. We detoured to Wheeler Farm instead, which was also busy. Then we went to Target. Where I got super lucky. I was looking for a pair of leather boots that are sold out online and of course the store was sold out too. Until 10 minutes later when I walked by again and saw a pair in my size sitting in a cart. I asked an employee and she said it was a cart of returns and to go ahead and take them. Wahoo! Now to decide if I'm feeling fashionable enough to pull off the tuck-your-jeans-into-boots look.]

Speaking of Target, we stopped there the other day and on the way out we let the boys choose a toy from the $1 section. Will chose a dart gun and Sawyer chose a stuffed lion. No surprises there. That pretty much sums up their differences. On the way home Will announced, "I'm collecting weapons to destroy Sawyer's animals and Sawyer is collecting animals to try to destroy my weapons." Interesting. We saw some kittens for sale at the Farmer's Market last week and Sawyer was in love. Will could not have cared less. He wouldn't even pet a kitty. He was too busy begging us to buy him an inflatable cartoon character on a stick. Once again, that pretty much sums up their different interests.

And lest I forget to ever mention it (since I keep forgetting to take pictures), Will moved up to 2 wheeled transportation a couple weeks ago. No more training wheels! Congratulations Will!

PS: Did you notice anything different about Will? The angioma (red spot) under his eye finally disappeared! I just realized it the other day. I looked through some old photos and it first appeared when he was around 18 months old. They said it would go away eventually and it did. I'll stop messing with this post now. It is probably screwing with you RSS reader type folks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I figured out how to adjust my template. I had to mess with some HTML which was terrifying.

A most delightful melancholy

(I'm still trying to figure out how to use photobucket...which is why these pictures are all in their own posts...and all pictures are courtesy of the Hartford Courant reader submitted photo file.)

"If you wake up one fall morning and I'm gone, I apologize in advance." This was the warning I gave Bryce last week when the weather changed and it was suddenly fall. It is nothing personal. Sometimes a girl just wants to go home.

Don't get me wrong. I like my little house and my little neighborhood and I'm glad that Utah has fall (in its own fashion), must be said...if you aren't from New England you just don't understand. No offense. My children aren't from New England either. Which is a manageable fact most of the time...except for the months of September and October.

Would anyone like to arrange for me to go home, just for a little while?

My brother, the Photographer, won his Google friend's photo contest and got to choose the September contest theme. He chose "Nothing Gold Can Stay."

Maybe you'd like to read it - isn't this how September feels?

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
~ Robert Frost
(born in California, adopted New Englander...maybe there is hope for my children.)

* and no, Mom, I have not been home during the fall since my last year of high school...which was 9 years case you've lost count.

These pictures were all taken in Connecticut by readers of the Hartford Courant.
This one is from Cromwell (my hometown).
And that is Hartford...just up the road.