Monday, December 15, 2014

What we've been doing

I haven't been writing much lately, mostly because late nights make it hard to get up in the morning, but I have been reading up a storm.

I slogged through The Goldfinch. At 700+ pages, chock full of overly-detailed descriptions for every single scene, it's not something I recommend for the faint of heart. By the time I got to the last quarter of the book I just wanted it to be over, and lost much of a night's sleep just to finish the damn thing. (The last 20 pages are excruciating, too. Like the author decided that the sheer length of the thing wasn't punishment enough, let's add insult to injury by waxing philosophic and lecture the dear reader into a coma.) Although The Goldfinch won all kinds of awards, I think people who have completed the book should be given a medal. The book is also pretty damn depressing. The protagonist starts off as a little shit and then grows to become a dreary, predictable big shit who continues to make poor decisions resulting in drug and alcohol addiction, illegality, and the severing of relationships that were the only good thing in his life. I couldn't wait to be rid of him.

From there, I launched into Where'd You Go, Bernadette. This book was recommended by several friends and the reviews I read said it was funny. It was, and so it was a welcome relief from The Goldfinch. Until two-thirds of the way through when it, too, waxed philosophic and went all deep. I'd recommend this book 10 times over The Goldfinch, though, having enjoyed it all the way through and experiencing sadness that it wasn't longer. It left me wanting to know what was going to happen to the characters, which I don't think is a bad thing.

So that's been my reading history. I've also shopped like crazy on-line (no malls yet!) and have been wrapping gifts as they arrive. There's a big pile sitting under my Christmas tree right now, which is a huge shift from every other year when I have a night or two of marathon wrapping which results in a Grinch attitude from the pity party I throw myself, feeling overwhelmed the day or two before Christmas as I stand at the kitchen counter wrapping for hours on end, with feet aching and holiday spirit flagging.

I also got my Christmas cards uploaded and ordered weeks before I usually get around to it. Last year, my order history shows that I uploaded everything on December 17, which meant that I had to pick up the envelopes early and get them addressed and stamped, then stuff and seal as soon as the cards were finished so I could hightail it to the PO for a delivery right before Christmas. This year, they're already out! And that's despite Sam's Club doing everything possible to jack up my order ("Oh, yeah. Um. Our system deleted your order? So you need to re-order? And because this happened to a bunch of people we can't tell you when you're order will be finished."), causing me to re-order the prints four days after they were supposed to be finished. I had to remind myself that with a steep discount comes the distinct possibility that things will go wrong. They eventually finished everything and my cards went out in plenty of time, and to make it right they took ten bucks off which means that I paid only $15 for 100 cards. Not too shabby.

We hosted a big ass party and lots of people came. Food, drinks and laughter abounded, despite the three trains we own all experiencing regular derailment (one upstairs, one down, and one outside). Cousins came in from Cincy and brought their adorable Yorkie, and we laughed while watching our cats get angry that we had allowed this tiny creature to invade their territory. I'm fairly convinced that the reason they got so pissed is that they thought Kweli, because of his size, was another cat, one with no tail and a strange meow.

M is out of his boot, and walking well. Usually there's not even a noticeable limp. He's much happier, as the boot was throwing off his gait and starting to wreak havoc on his back. I'm happier because he's less cranky and because he's able to drive himself around again. He's also able to drive us, as a family, around. I like driving, but I learned through this experience that I'd much rather him drive when we go out as a family, which is often. I prefer to look around and see what we're passing, instead of having to pay attention to the road and other drivers. We're back to our normal with this, and I think both of us are much happier.

We've been to birthday dinners and birthday parties and caroling parties and a monastic open house. We've had some indoor soccer games and basketball practice and a piano recital. Therapy appointments and hair cuts and doctor visits. The usual stuff.

That's about it in a nutshell. What we've been up to since I last posted. Nothing earth-shattering. There are a few topics that I'd like to explore, but I'll save those for other mornings. Today, I'm just happy I dragged my tired butt out of bed and started typing.


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