Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November Novels: and No, This Does Not Include the One I'm Supposed To Be Writing

I'm taking a quick break from NaNoWriMo to bring you this public service announcement, I mean blog. I took a not so quick break from NaNoWriMo on Monday and Tuesday to read The Help (let's be honest: I took a not so quick break from life on Monday and Tuesday to read The Help...), but that's the second part of this blog.

First, let's discuss Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel, which I read right at the end of October before my decent into the insanity that is November. Esquirel's book comes with its own self-description in the subtitle: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies. My way of breaking it down for the innocent reader: it's like Sarah Michelle Gellar's Simply Irresistible on some magical realism crack. Plus tortillas. If you never had the misfortune of watching the aforementioned movie (I laughed so hard I cried), essentially, what happens is that the heroine cooks her emotions into her food, thereby spreading them to the recipients of the food. She's sad: she cries into the lasagna: all the people who consume the lasagna end up sobbing uncontrollably. You get the point. Similar things happen in Like Water for Chocolate but the story line itself focuses on a youngest daughter who falls in love and is kept from marrying by her mother who believes that youngest daughters should always stay at home to care for their mothers. Instead, the mother marries off her oldest daughter to the youngest daughter's lover. Annoyingly, the lover agrees to this because he's so in love with Y.D. (who also happens to be the emotive cook) that he just wants to be near her but doesn't have the balls to get her to elope with him. Also annoyingly (this could be considered a spoiler), this never backfires on him. Anyway, fascinating read if you're into magical realism, which I am. Esquirel definitely would've received an R rating on this one though, so read with discretion. And prepare to want to kick certain characters in the face most of the way through the book. That may just be my pregnancy hormones speaking.

But on to this week and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. After months of saying, "I need to find that book at the library" every time I saw the little yellow cover in a bookstore, I finally realized how dumb I am and found The Help on (my internet home away from home). I really did suspend life for about 36 hours in order to read it. I mean, obviously, I couldn't suspend Little Man or any of the responsibilities attached to him, but I put everything else on hold to read it. By now, I'm sure you know the book's premise so I won't repeat it, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed my read time, and if I was going to become an awful human being (and by awful, I mean lazy) for two days, at least I did it for a book like this. I will also say that I'm now eagerly awaiting my girl date with Awesome Next Door Neighbor to watch the movie. If you haven't read it: it really is a good choice to pick up. I thought it was especially interesting having 1. lived in Memphis and experienced this decade's version of race relations and 2. had "help" in my home as a child. On the whole, I think Stockett did an incredible job dissecting the complex emotions and interactions prevalent not just then, but also now in their own way, but I realize that I'm saying that as a middle class white woman. Regardless, it was thought-provoking, which is always a good thing.

Anyway, back to wracking up the word count for NaNoWriMo. We're halfway through the month, and I will not despair! Or give up! Hopefully... And also maybe...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Open Letter to the A---- AFB Golf Course Rabbits

Dear Rabbits of the Golf Course,

First off, thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. I know you have many more important things to do like making more babies for your already expansive brood. I want to clarify that I in no way mean this disrespectfully and that I have no desire to impinge upon your rights or your freedoms; I merely come to you with a simple request that I hope will be looked upon smilingly.

Here is what I propose. Should you, in the midst of your frolicking, see myself, my blue and black stroller, and my black and brown yappy dog walking close to your territory, would you please pause in your excursions and lie low beneath yon nearby sapling until we have passed by? Of course, this only applies if you see all three of us together. If it's just one of us--and certainly, if it's only the stroller--meandering through the paths of the golf course, by all means, continue in your rollicking adventures, but should you happen upon all three of us, I'd like to ask for a little grace. You see, at seven months pregnant, it's getting a little difficult to bodily hoist my howling, kicking, 30 pound dog into the air (while still pushing the stroller) in order to dissuade him from chasing what, in his mind, are merely rabbit shaped plates of dog food running around on spritely legs. I've tried, valiantly, to explain to him that you are just happy souls trying to make your way in the world like the rest of us, but there seems to be some kind of disconnect...

Once again, I realize how tempting it must be to continue in your games of hide and seek when the weather is as freshly cold and clear as it was today, but, please, for the sake of me and my unborn child, would you at least try to avoid tantalizing my aforementioned canine with your juicy haunches and mouth-watering scent?

Most sincerely yours,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Evidently Blessed

Nobody sees a flower--really--it is so small it takes time--we haven't time--and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
Georgia O'Keeffe

I've been thinking a lot about the awesome friends that I have and some of those moments when I've found myself thinking, "Wow. I just do not deserve to have a friend that superb." So I wanted to share. These are, evidently, a few of the ways I know a true friend:
  • They keep their cell phone by the bed at night because they know I'm home by myself and pregnant out the wazoo.
  • They send their husband over to rescue me from a dog food eating opossum.
  • They are willing to change the kitty litter for me when my husband is unexpectedly out of town and I can't get close enough to it to scoop poop (even in a mask and gloves) without vomiting.
  • I can spend three hours over coffee and conversation with them without realizing where the time has gone.
  • They call just to check in. Or because they saw something random that reminded them of me. Or because they're stuck in a car somewhere and obviously I should be available to entertain them.
  • They send hand written cards my first week in a new house, occasionally even awesomely hand made cards that I could never make myself.
  • They possess that key quality of honesty, even--and sometimes especially--when it's regarding something I don't want to hear.
  • They don't mind just getting in a car with me and driving and listening to music and talking. They even try to avoid making gasping noises and clutching franticly at the arm rests.
  • Speaking of music, they gift me with multiple mix CDs that enlarge my musical horizons.
  • They don't judge the state of my home, my hair, or my clothing. Neither do they judge (or penalize) my lack of crafting ability.
  • They make me laugh so hard that I cry and occasionally pee in my pants.
  • They're always up for adventure. Especially if it involves donuts, pizza, pudding, some form of international cuisine, or Bollywood.
  • They make running errands together (including taking my kid to the doctor) fun and think that's a completely acceptable way to spend time together.
  • When God teaches them something new, they want me to know about it. And vice-versa.
I'm missing some key memories here... but I blame the pregnancy. And I know that since you're my true friend (wink, wink), you'll forgive me and lovingly put whatever it was that I forgot into the comments section.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Blurbs

A collection of miscellaneous (but potentially awesome) thoughts:
  • Some women feel put together by putting on a little bit of lipstick. Earrings are what do it for me. I could be wearing yesterday's jeans and one of the Man's old t-shirts, and a pair of earrings would somehow make that acceptable.
  • There is nothing quite like the feeling of spending an hour cooking dinner only to have Littles chew it up and then spit it back out on his tray. Yep. Nothing quite like that.
  • Oklahoma makes a mean sunset.
  • Evidently, small town America thinks that the day after Halloween is an early Black Friday. I'm pretty sure that every resident of our community was at Walmart today. I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to make a "quick trip" to pick up toothpaste for Alex. 
  • I'm so excited that it's November at last. November means so many good things: the Man coming home, Thanksgiving, NaNoWriMo, the end of Halloween decorations, my favourite nephew's second birthday...
  • Trigger is a hazard to my health. I've tripped over him about 6 different times today and even stepped on him once (by accident, I promise!). The problem is that he's not the biggest of dogs and I don't have the smallest of bellies and Trigs (or as Little Man now calls him: TrigDog) likes to be physically affectionate at all times. All of these conspire against us and Trigger gets stepped on and I narrowly escape landing on my belly multiple times a day.
  • Accomplishment is a good feeling.
And now I'm going to bed. Evidently with both pets. They are not leaving much room for me and not-so-Tiny, but I guarantee that they will both jump ship the first time I try to "roll" over in a vain attempt to get comfortable.

PS Adorable pictures of Little Man dressed up for Fall Festival to come after Josh gets home with the camera cable. msf