Irreverent Mama

Friday, July 17, 2009

You know you're hormonal when...

"Hey, there!" I call up to the man on the scaffolding at the side of my house. A blond, shaggy head appears over the edge. "If I do a load of laundry, would it be safe to hang it out, or would things be falling on my head?"

"No, we're just doing the soffits. It should be fine."

... the slightly unkempt body attached to that blond, shaggy head with a grade ten education looks entirely beddable.

I start the washing machine.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I forgot to keep track in May, so now I don't know which were May's and which June's, and I'm quite sure some have been left out... Still, here's my half-baked tracking efforts. I'm still well ahead of my goal of fifty this year, though!

1. The Girls, Lori Larson. Conjoint twins, joined at the head. Told primarily through the eyes of one of the twins, with occasional (and revealing) input from the other. Interesting book.

2. Sweet Hush, Deborah Smith. A love story. I read a romance novel and liked it. Imagine. (Generally the genre leaves me cold.)

3. Another Woman's Husband, Sarah Duncan. Oddly named, since that woman plays almost no role in this book. The emotions of the tempted-to-stray wife are well portrayed... though I confess I did far less agonizing when I was in that situation; of course, my marriage was much worse, and my then-husband had been having his own affair for going on a couple of years. Still, the protagonist's feelings rang true. I was enraged by her decision to 'fess up to her husband -- what an awful thing to do to the man! And the ending? The ending made me crazy!!! As if that's going to make anything better. Good lord.

4. Gazelle, Rikki Ducornet. A pivotal year spent in Egypt, in the life of an unhappy American thirteen-year-old. Child of a loving and mild but slightly mad American father and flamboyant Icelandic mother. Feels far more European than American in its sensibilities, this book.

5. The Rebel Sell: why the culture can't be jammed, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter. Fascinating look at the origins, development, and social implications of the countercultural movement. I learned that my definition of 'countercultural' is far too constrained and civilized. The real thing is much further-reaching (and, to my mind, ridiculously naive and very destructive).

6. The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict, William Leith. Mr. Leith isn't just addicted to food: he'll overindulge on anything going --painkillers, booze, drugs, you name it. The book is an honest look at the problem of food addiction in general, his personal experience of addictive behaviour, and his own resolution. Well done.

7. The Quilter's Kitchen, by Jennifer Chiaverini. Though the plot of this small book is nearly non-existent, the recipes are fabulous. We're tried the peanut chicken satays, the cucumber-tomato salad, the Southwestern couscous salad, and slow-roasted pork, all yummy. Tonight? Roast chicken in a cilantro-orange marinade.

8. Step Ball Change, Jeanne Ray. Two sons married off, one son still at home, and a daughter who's just gotten engaged to the richest young man in town, her own dance school, massive house renovations, and a happy marriage. Caroline's plate is full... and about to get fuller, when her sister calls needing a place to live following her husband's defection with his secretary 'junior executive'. The only truly annoying thing in an otherwise pleasingly lively and frivolous book is the ridiculous thread wherein the middle-class parents agonize about how to pay their half of a rich man's wedding. Hello? The bride is 34, an independent adult. Why are you paying anything (more than a token contribution)? And if we are being all traditional, isn't the bride's family supposed to plan the wedding? Then do it within YOUR means, not the gazillionaire fiance's family's. Very silly (and of course, happily resolved).

9. A Metropolitan Murder, Lee Jackson. Murder on a subway train in Victorian England.

10. Saint Valentine, Nick Tomlinson. Tale of a Valentine card, convincingly told from the perspective of a love-struck 13-year-old boy. Both funny and touching. The blind spots of a young adolescent are well-portrayed. Good read.

11. We Always Treat Women Too Well, Raymond Queneau. Very Hobbesian book: "...poor, nasty, brutal, and short." That latter point is the only good thing to be said about it. Perhaps the most shocking thing about this book of mindless, random violence and deathly human interaction is that it's supposed to be funny. Ghastly.

Total for May/June: 11

Total so far this year: 38