The Blind Assassin

2013/06/26

The Blind AssassinThe Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am becoming a huge fan of Atwood's writing. There are just so many passages that stop me in my tracks. Great sorry telling, lots of interest in the layered plot. I was also a big fan of Iris, her failings as a human felt very personal to me. Great book.

What I loved:
The writing. Amazing prose.

What I learned:
This is the kind of book that enriches your perspective on the human experience. Empathy.

Some favorite passages:
Wild asters cluster in the garden, having rooted themselves there some time ago - tiny white ones, others bushier and sky-colored, others with rusty stems, a deeper purple. Once, in my days of desultory gardening, I would have branded them weeds and pulled them out. Now I no longer make such distinctions.

She hasn't given up hope, just folded it away: it's not for daily wear.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.


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Las Vegas Family Style

2013/06/23

Right after school got out, Xandy and I headed west to Las Vegas to see the newest member of the clan, Sofia Mae. We were hoping she'd wait a bit for our arrival, but she was born a few days before we got there. All well and good in the end. It ended up being a whole family party. My mom had flown from Austin to Las Vegas to stay with Anna a few weeks before and a day after we got there my brother drove out from California with his girlfriend. My dad still lives in Vegas, just a stretch down the freeway from Anna. In fact, my dad got married the week we were all visiting so there was more than one celebration to be had.

Anna is a natural born mom. She is easy going and affectionate and smart and just has her stuff together. It was beautiful watching her ease with Sofie. I was worried I was getting sick when we first arrived (sore throat, turned out to be a false alarm) so I sat on the sidelines for a few days. That vantage point made me really reflect on how far removed I am from those early days of parenting. Mostly a good thing, but the tenderness of those early years I occasionally miss. I am an observer and not always a doer in parenting style, but those new babies force you to engage in a way that I have the luxury of ignoring. For good and for bad.

I had a lot of time to decompress while in Vegas. Remembered how to sleep in. Remembered how to be occasionally bored and remembered how to giggle mercilessly with my family. It was a good trip if maybe a tad long to be gone from home. I started to feel more myself after a year of teaching that definitely removed me from my comfort zone. I had lots of good conversation with my family and that did a lot to move me back to myself - they are good and amazing people every one.

More photos here.

A couple of beautiful side bars to my (long) road trip:

Very last minute, no doubt from the ugly freeways of West Texas (I'm not very good at planning ahead these days), Xandy and I decided to make a stop in Phoenix for the night. I called up my most fabulous friends the Dents and were able to crash in New River with them. It was a definite highlight of my week to lay in the grass of their backyard and stargaze and catch up. Oh those stars...

On the way home, with my mom as a road companion this time (I ditched Xandy in Vegas to play with her friends), I drove through northern New Mexico. Moving through the morning landscape was a religious experience. No wonder Georgia O'Keeffe settled in so tightly there. It was all I could do to not pull over the car every five minutes and try to capture a photo. But that kind of beauty refuses to exist in anything less than real time. A life lesson.

And apparently I hate road trips much, much less when I am doing the driving. I was worried no little amount about the 20 hour drive each way, most of it done by yours truly. But it was not difficult at all. Who knew?

Summer Day 13

2013/06/19

Or day 1 is what it seems like to yours truly. Recap and photos of my trip to Vegas to follow shortly or longly.

Run at Town Lake.
Yoga after way too long away.
Trip to get groceries (cause a little bit of productive makes the fun taste better).
Lunch with friends at Kerbey Lane to plan our upcoming trip to D.C.
Swim madness with girls.
Karaoke party later tonight with friends.

Win.

Baby!

2013/06/09

I am an auntie! Xandy and I drove to Las Vegas to see the newest girl in the family. Anna delivered beautiful Sofia Mae early Thursday morning and she couldn't be more beautiful.

I'm working on a sore throat (of course!) so the cuddling has been relegated to Xan and I'm a little heartbroken about it but we'll be here a while so I'll get my turn. Ah babies!

Summer

2013/06/07

We started off summer with a trip to Blue Hole. I love that place. The water was still too cold to be perfect, but it was lovely to lay out and chat with friends and enjoy a lazy day.





Graduate

Graduation yesterday. Hopefully some day soon I'll collect some thoughts about this crazy school year and write it down. But for now I am in a daze. Happy daze.

Hoop

2013/06/01

What better way to start a Saturday than with a little hula hoop?