Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My Daughter's Pain

Athena has hand, foot, and mouth disease. This is a sentence I never imagined I would say (or write). After all, I never thought I would own a horse, and I thought this was something only horses got. Turns out, that’s a whole OTHER disease. “What is this disease?” you ask. I’m glad you asked.

I have absolutely no frigging idea. There are some articles on the web about it here, here and here. However, I am still a bit mystified about it. Basically, it’s a virus, and it may or may not manifest itself as a fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers, and/or skin rash. Apparently, Athena only has the mouth ulcers, which – if you ask me – would be the worst part to get. She has no fever and she doesn’t seem to have a sore throat. But there are some nasty blisters in her mouth, one of which popped while we were in the doctor’s waiting room. Blood trickled out of her mouth like she was a vampire. And her body kept going rigid with pain. I almost couldn’t bear it.

But the mommy instinct is strong, and it seems my logical brain is taking over. Before, if there was blood anywhere on Athena’s person, I would basically pass her off to Chris. He has a stomach for these things. And although it pains him as much as me to see her hurting, he deals with it very smoothly while I nearly faint dead away.

However, I am a single parent tonight, and for the next two days, while Chris is at Origins. I was nervous about this status anyway, as it’s been basically a year since I was alone with her for any great length of time. Then, only hours after I left her at daycare, I get the call. A cold I was ready for. Even a fever; I’m all set. But mouth ulcers?! Pain in her mouth that is not even comparable to the teething pain she already knows and loves? What on earth am I going to do?

And let me tell you… it hasn’t gotten any better as the day wears on. I have given her ice chips and I’m plying her with Tylenol every 4 hours… but she is trying valiantly to sleep and is only partly succeeding. Every now and again, she awakens with pain, and has to cry herself back to sleep. Nothing I do seems to help. She just hurts. It has been almost two hours since I gave her the last dose, and I can’t tell you how tempting it is to give her more. I’m ready to try the old Jack-Daniels-on-the-gums trick, but I’m scared I will kill her. I’ll give her too much and she will pass out and her heart will stop. Fortunately, I don’t have any of that fairly-new-mom paranoia I hear so much about, eh?

I’m afraid I’m in for a sleepless night. I thought those were past me… but it looks like I was wrong. However, this whole experience has taught me one very important thing. I am a GOOD mom. I am tired as hell, and I want nothing more than to collapse into a 12-hour coma, but I know that I will be up several times tonight administering Tylenol and rubbing a tiny little back. And I can truly say that I love this job.

Although, my husband is never allowed to go on a trip without me again.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bootlegger's Daugher by Margaret Maron

This one is the latest selection that my senior book club chose to read. Maron is a local author, although her books are well-known all over the country. This particular book is the first in the Deborah Knott series of mysteries. Deborah is a judge (well, in this book she is still just a lawyer) in a small town that seems to be somewhere in Johnston County. The town where all the main action occurs is fictional, but all the others are real... Garner, Smithfield, Goldsboro, Wilmington, and Raleigh all get mentioned.

The set-up is intriguing... especially to a fairly new mother like myself. A woman is discovered dead in an old barn on someone else's property after she has been missing for three days. Beside her is her baby daughter (about six months old) strapped into her carrier and hoarse from wailing, sitting in three days worth of dirty diaper and very hungry.

16 years later, the case is cold and Deborah gets involved as a favor to the girl who was the baby from the initial set-up. Deborah's political views and her sense of justice come through in a strong southern voice that is genuine and fun to read. I actually had it figured out about midway through the book, but the folks in my book club said they were all surprised at the end. If you have read it (or read it because of this post), let me know if you had it figured out and when... I'm curious!

The Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton

Those familiar with Hamilton's work often know her best for her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series - a good series that moves from really great vampire butt-kicking evil undead into more and more goth eroticism as the series progresses. With the Meredith Gentry series, she skips all the butt-kicking and gets right to the erotic.

Well, that's not fair. There is plenty of butt-kicking. Meredith (or Merry, as she prefers to be called in the human world) is an Unseelie Sidhe Princess. At the start of the series, she has been exiled by her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, and lives in LA as a private detective, specializing in the supernatural. (Hamilton sets her books in an alternate reality where the supernatural have been integrated into human society... in this case, faerie came to the US under a treaty with Thomas Jefferson). As the series progresses, Merry is tasked with earning the throne before her cousin Cel, because he is evil and insane... but he IS the queen's son, and therefore she wants to give him a fighting chance. However, the way to the faerie throne is through fertility. Merry must get pregnant before Cel impregnates someone (something he is not likely to do in the first six months of the race since he is imprisoned and forbidden from seeing anyone... well... in that way. )

So, to this end, Merry gets to pick several members of the Queen's guard and they all get to do their best to become king. This leads to many scenes involving lots of faerie magic and glamour and well... you know. But, like any REALLY good bodice-ripper, the plot is REALLY fun and the world is very real. I read the first book a while ago (A Kiss of Shadows) and decided since the latest book in the series just came out (A Stroke of Midnight) that I would read the rest of the series over my trip to San Francisco. I got through 2 and 3 (A Caress of Twilight and Seduced By Moonlight) on the trip, and had to get in bits of the last one over the next few weeks. But they are quick reads, and really quite entertaining. The sex is not your average run-of-the-mill sex (multiple partners and magic are involved, to name a few differences) but the language is not too harsh or too blatent. The book is definitely not the last in the series and I look forward to the next. She seem to be alternating between Merry and Anita in her book releases, so I'm off to read the Anita Blake series now.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Insanity is Hereditary

There is a little joke in our family (I'd say it was a private joke, except it's not, because I tell everyone about it) about how overprotective my mother was. It is this joke that let's me know that I am going completely insane. Let me explain...

There was an old "Highway" (Old 421) that ran between my neighborhood and the little shopping center at its entrance. This shopping center housed such wonders as a Little General convenience store and a video arcade during my formative years. And you could pretty much see said shopping center from my house... it was a really short bike ride away. Consequently, I wanted to go there. I mean... video games and Ho-Hos conveniently available in such close proximity?! What pre-teen could resist that sort of temptation? Oh... and the drug store next to the video arcade had the latest best-selling LPs for sale. It's where I bought Blondie's Autoamerican and Men at Work's Business As Usual . But I digress...

The point of this story (oh, yes... there is a point, dear reader) is that I was not allowed to ride my bike up to this shopping center. After all, it was a "Highway" and I would certainly be smooshed by a car if I attempted to cross, according to my mother. Perhaps now would be a good time to describe Old 421 to you...

Old 421 was so named because it, indeed, used to be 421... the highway that joins Greensboro to something south of Sanford. I'd tell you where, but I've never needed to go any further south on it than Sanford. In fact, it's hard to believe I ever needed to go to Sanford for anything, now that I think of it. But I digress again...

New 421 is a four-lane highway that runs parallel to Old 421 and it is the actual road anyone who wants to go more than 45 MPH would take if that person wanted to travel between, say, Greensboro and Sanford. Old 421 was renamed "Liberty Road" because it now connected some houses just north of my own to Liberty, North Carolina -- a pleasant little community that boasts a diner so greasy the rats wear protective headgear. However, to my mother, it was still Old 421, even though it had not been 421 since before we moved to Greensboro in 1973.

It was laughable enough that I was not permitted to cross this road at age 15, an age when I was very capable of looking both ways before pedaling. In fact, this was even before my Diet Coke habit, so I still had all those brain cells that Nutrasweet has since killed. But what made it even funnier, is that my mother DID permit me to fly from Milan, Italy to JFK Airport in New York alone when I was 15... only a couple of years after terrorists opened fire in Rome airport, which isn't Milan, but which is pretty darn close. Yet at that time, I STILL was not allowed to cross Liberty Road... uh... excuse me... Old 421.

So I have always sworn never to be irrationally reactionary and overprotective. However, the old adage that you become your mother seems to be coming true.

I came home from work the other day and was hit pretty hard emotionally when a friend of mine cancelled our trip to Carowinds. I know that seems silly, but let me just say that we have been planning this trip for, like, two years or more, and he also cancelled on me last August. Both times were for his work and were totally out of his control, but it still was a huge disappointment. Right after that, my husband asked me if I had seen the news about the boy who died at DisneyWorld on Mission Space. I hadn't, so I immediately went to the computer and looked up the story. Remember, I was not in a good emotional state when I did this.

As I finished reading, I found myself thinking, "So now we can never go to DisneyWorld again. Athena might die on one of these rides. I might strap her into the seat of Dumbo, and by the time the ride stops, she'll be gone." I'm not kidding, folks... that's what I thought. This is ME... I actually thought I would never go to Disney again. It only took me another few seconds to remember Old 421 and shake myself of the thought, but it was there... that thought... that instinct.

I have just stepped into my mother's brain and for a split second, I saw the logic. And I'm not sure what part of that frightens me more. I believe that I have started walking that mile in Mom's moccassins. And it's not easy.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

So I promised that I would talk about things I read, and here is my first post to that end. Please keep in mind that I may very well read things that YOU read like 10 years ago. I'm way behind and in an effort to learn a lot more about fiction, I'm reading "all over the map," so to speak. However, I may later post something you hadn't even heard of. And really, as in most things I do, I'm really doing this for me anyway. :-)

The Prodigal Summer is the book that Kingsolver wrote AFTER her really big (physically AND sales-wise) hit The Poisonwood Bible. Kingsolver has a background in biology and her books are usually ecologically aware. This one is no different.

Set in the Appalachains, we see the world through three different storylines: "Predators," "Moth Love," and "Old Chestnuts," told in alternating chapters. Kingsolver takes us through one summer in the lives of Deanna Wolff and Eddie Bondo (Predators), Lusa, the wife then widow of farmer Cole Widener (Moth Love) and Garnett Walker and his neighbor Nannie (Old Chestnuts)... lives that start out seeming almost completely unrelated, but by the end have been woven together neatly and without any sense of manipulation. (I really hate books that have convenient plots... where far-fetched connections are made, just because they can be.) As we learn about these three casts of characters, we see more and more clearly how man is simply another part of nature.

Anticipating a hippie lecture when I opened the book, I didn't care for it at first. The alternating storylines meant that I needed more time to get to know the characters, and I was growing a bit impatient with it. However, right about page 104, I suddenly found myself liking the book, and by the end, I really loved it. The characters are so real... so human... that I couldn't help but care about them and how they directed their lives... even if their lives are hardly similar to mine. And the passion for the mountains of the Appalachain Chain was contagious.

I read this at the same time that I was listening to Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, so I got two different perspectives on the same landscape. I highly recommend a combination like this. The modern hiker vs. the modern citizen of Appalachia gave me such a sense of the mountains that I was tempted to trade in my flip-flops for hiking boots as I was choosing my outfits each morning.

And by coincidence, it's a great summer read. It's meaty, but not so heavy that you feel all academic all the time. Like Wuthering Heights, perhaps, except the English countryside is replaced with the Appalachain Mountains. And there aren't all those British spellings...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Developmental Milestones

Developmental milestones are, by definition, those things that your child should be able to do by a certain age. They include things like rolling over (6 months), crawling (9 months), and walking (12 months). They also include talking, eating with a spoon, and using the potty, as well as a whole bunch of other things. Seemingly harmless in nature, these little "shoulds" (which are honestly more like "maybes") are just little gems that give your doctor some hint as to whether or not your baby is developing correctly. One would suppose that they wouldn't be so necessary if the baby could just say, "Yo, doc... I've got this urge to pull up from a sitting position on any piece of furniture or solid object I am near... oh... and when I do that... I feel this faint urge to sort of creep along while holding on to said object... but I'm not quite ready to do it yet. Okay?"

But in reality, these milestones are actually more like hurdles on a REALLY long race, and parents are in the stands placing bets. Our competitive culture has become so twisted that we actually brag about our baby when he gets over the hurdle either a) before he should or b) before someone else's baby. Apparently, if your baby develops faster than another, that makes him superior. There is absolutely NO medical evidence to back this up, mind you, but that doesn't matter, does it?

So, our baby is superior. I knew that anyway, but now I have her fast development to back that up. Of course, most days, I almost wish she'd slow down a bit. But at least I can be comforted in knowing that she is better than the kid down the street who didn't crawl until she was 1, but who will grow up to find a cure for cancer.

So what is our baby doing now? Is she still ahead of the game? Let's find out.

According to What to Expect: The Toddler Years (yes, I bought the whole series), She SHOULD be able to
  • wave bye-bye (check)
  • stand alone (check - she is the cheese)
  • put an object into a container (check)
  • use mama/dada intentionally (check, although she says dada more, dammit)
  • follow 1-step verbal command without gestures (check)

She should PROBABLY be able to

  • bend over and pick up an object (check)
  • walk well (check - she's almost running)

She MAY POSSIBLY be able to

  • dump an object in imitation (I have no idea what this means, but if it means she can spill and throw stuff, then checkity-check)
  • use 3 words (depends on what you mean by words - see below)

And she MAY EVEN be able to

  • build a tower of two cubes (check)
  • use six words or more (again, see below)
  • run (almost)
  • walk up steps (omigod yes)
  • follow a 2-step verbal command without gestures (well, one doesn't really know if she can't or if she just won't... so we'll say no just to be safe)

See how superior she is?! Now she can get herself into all kinds of trouble whenever we turn our heads for just one second. And again, I can be so happy for this because I know that she is SUPERIOR!

So about that talking...

She is speaking Japanese, I believe. She talks ALL the time, but mostly in little two-syllable bursts. "NEE HU!" she says. Then, "Ba No," followed by "Tee Da," and then closing with her favorite (while pointing at something) "ME!" She also seems to know how to say "Mine," and frequently reminds us of the seagulls in Finding Nemo... "mine mine mine... mine mine!"

This new speech she has developed has me really confused. We now KNOW that she is trying to tell us something and we know that she is equally frustrated that we don't seem to understand. (I have figured out "me" and "mine," incidentally. Their meaning comes quite naturally to me.) But much of the time, I feel like I am standing on a street corner in Osaka, trying to get directions to the post office.

I will say that she has become more and more clear in her meaning, even if her words are still rather primitive. The other day, she and I were cleaning up the nursery, and suddenly Athena picked up her pacifier, poked it in her mouth, looked at me and pointed to the crib. "Oh!" I said. "Are you tired?" And at that moment, the look I got said, "just wait until I am a teenager and I can actually roll my eyes when you ask such stupid questions." To which I reply, "Well, I won't have to wait long at the superior rate that you are developing!"

Monday, June 13, 2005

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to post something like this again, as next week marks the official last week that I am responsible for ordering fiction at my library. We are moving to a centralized system, which actually may seem sad at first, but in reality, it just gives me a lot more time to do a lot of other cool things. I do think, however, that I will tend to know less about what is coming soon and more about what just came out.

But, in the meantime, here are some notable releases (to me) for the next few months. This is somewhat stream of consciousness, so please forgive if I drift on and off topic:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Street Date - July 16) um... 'nuff said

A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin (Street Date - July 26 according to Amazon) After eight bazillion years (give or take a few) Martin says it's done. It's half the book he meant to write, but the good news is, the other half will be released soon as well. Read all about it on Martin's site. This is the fourth book of the seemingly endless Song of Ice and Fire series that began with A Game of Thrones.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Street Date - August 23) This is the second book of the Inheritance series that began with Eragon. A classic story of a boy, his dragon, and their political/spiritual/philosophical/magical/made-for-tabletop quest. Paolini was home-schooled and wrote Eragon when he was 16. He has therefore become the homeschooling organizations' poster child. I listened to Eragon on audio, and really enjoyed it. So I'm looking forward to the follow up. Hell, the word "smote" appeared in the first book, which often signals something I will like.

Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way (Street Date - June 1) Okay, okay... technically this is already out. I'm slow to post. But it's worth mentioning, I think. Yes, this is THE Bruce Campbell, and this follow-up to his autobiography If Chins Could Kill promises more of Campbell's -- well -- unique sense of humor. This one is fiction, although it is described as "autobiographical fiction," and he does make references to real Hollywood players (Rene Zellweiger, for example). On the book jacket, explaining why he is writing fiction rather than more real stuff about himself, he says, "[My publisher says] I haven't 'done' enough since 2001 to warrant another memoir." I'm going to check it out. What the hell... it can't be as bad as Bubba Hotep, can it?

Thud! by Terry Pratchett (Street Date - October 1) Have you ever wondered why I love my husband? Why, it's because he introduced me to Discworld, of course! Hooray!

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart (Street Date - September 1) There was a groovy little sample excerpt from this book in a recent Publisher's Weekly that caught my eye. I admit it, I'm a sucker for fairy tales told from a different perspective. (For another good option in this realm, read Gregory Macguire's stuff). Hart is a J.M. Barrie scholar of sorts, apparently. And really, this side of the story doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. Just as in the aforementioned Macguire's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, we get to see the bad guy as a good guy who is just misunderstood. I LOVE that.

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks (Street Date - June 28 - my birthday) This book is going to get some mad press, trust me, and I am totally sucked in. Mind you, that doesn't mean it will be a good book. However, I just got my hands on an advanced copy and I am really Jonesing to read it. Our Collection Development Manager has already read it and she said it was "interesting." I don't even know how to explain what it's about. Here's the first line of the review from PW - "Twelve Hawks's much anticipated novel is powerful, mainstream fiction built on a foundation of cutting-edge technology laced with fantasy and the chilling specter of an all-too-possible social and political reality." I’m hearing things like “it’s like the Da Vinci Code, only WAY cooler.” Sign me up!

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (Street Date – July 19) Did you read Darkly Dreaming Dexter? No? Then go read it. Then read this. This is not art, per se. Just a fun twist on the Mystery genre. Dexter is a blood spatter specialist in Miami. His job is to help solve crimes using his incredible expertise in blood-spatter evidence. Oh, and he’s a serial killer. OH… but he only kills other serial killers. Fun!

Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner (Street Date – July 5) The review in Publisher's Weekly opens with "What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs and became a stay-at-home mom?" Why can I not get enough of smart-assed boogeyman vanquishers? What is the appeal? When I saw this review, I picked up another book I’ve been meaning to read called Ninja Soccer Moms. A+ for titles, ladies.

So there you have it. If you read any of these, and I hope you will, please tell me what you think!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Oh, yeah! The baby...

I realized that some of you reading this (all two of you) may want an update on The Cutest Baby in the Whole Wide World TM. And of course, I am very willing to oblige, as I can talk for hours about her cuteness.

Since Memorial Day, Athena's daycare is taking her and her classmates to their outdoor "water park," hereafter known as the Pit of Despair. This area consists of several sprinklers set way up high so the little urchins can run around and get soaking wet in the high heat of summer. The activity occurs every Monday and Tuesday morning sometime in the late morning.

So we went out and got her some pink sparkly water shoes. Some of you may presume that I chose the sparkly ones because you know me so well and you know that I would always choose the sparkly ones. However, in this particular case, sparkly was the only option. One small victory for me!

Athena LOVES her new shoes. They were attached to each other with an elastic band when I got them, and when I handed them to her once I got home, she promptly began using them as nun-chucks... or rather... shoe chucks. She was swinging them and laughing and occasionally cramming one in her mouth. Clearly, she was very happy with her sparkly shoes... as she should be.

However, even the sparkly shoes couldn't make her enjoy the Pit of Despair. Maybe it's the cold water... or maybe it's that she doesn't really like water dumped over her head. But she apparently just stands at the side of the water park and screams/wails while the other kids have a ball.

Of course, on her little report card, her teacher says "Athena loves watching her friends play in the water park." Very diplomatic, but very false. I assure you that Athena is not even thinking for a moment about how much fun her friends are having. She is simply wondering what insane person conjured up this "water park" concept.

It is important to note that despite her protestations, her father and I still insist that she be allowed to go out and try the water park every Monday and Tuesday with all her classmates. Why do we continue to torture her this way? It's not like it's essential that she get squirted with cold water on a regular basis. It's not that she won't get into college if she can't enjoy running through sprinklers.

It just seems unAmerican to not enjoy a good dash through the frigid water of a sprinkler, doesn't it? Of course, she's only one. I suppose one could argue that she just doesn't understand it yet. But no worries... we will MAKE her understand! Mwuah ha ha ha ha...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Initially, this post won't at all seem relevant to the title... but bear with me. And fair warning to you, this is a rant.

As a public librarian, I am expected to be familiar with all kinds of authors of popular (and not-quite-as-popular) fiction. One of the things I find more difficult to learn is "North Carolina Authors." When I say that, what I mean is that we put a special sticker to go on the spine of a book that says "NC," thereby notifying our patrons that this author lives in North Carolina, and often (though not in the case of, say, Orson Scott Card and David Drake) the book is set in NC, or at the very least, in the South.

This is pretty easy with authors like Jan Karon, Clyde Edgerton, and Nicholas Sparks, as they are way famous. Of course, I think Sparks actually lives in SC, but whatever.

Well, actually... back up. The Sparks issue is relevant to my rant. So where do we draw the line between NC authors and "other?" Do they just have to live here? Orson Scott Card is a resident of Greensboro. I have a friend there who worked at the wonderful independent bookstore, Atticus Books, for eleven years before the Big & Nasty moved in and closed them down. She said that when Card would come into the store, he would complain if he were shelved with the NC authors because his genre/style is so different. And he does have a point. So what exactly DOES it mean to be a North Carolina author?

So the other day, I went searching other libraries' sites to see who was on THEIR NC author lists. Greensboro Public Library had a very interesting list, and on it was Omar Tyree. Surprise! I had no idea Tyree had ties to NC at all. Well, gosh darn it... now I had to research a little further...

Tyree is a popular African American author today and he lives in Charlotte. Although I admit I have not yet read his stuff (but do intend to), his writing generally falls into the "Urban Lit" or the hard-core violent stories of life on the streets of the big city. In other words, from what I can tell, his characters do drugs, have sex, and kill each other. I really don't think Charlotte qualifies as "big city," although I'm sure that stuff happens there. I'm still fairly sure his books aren't set there. And I don't think he's originally from NC, although I'm not sure.

You may not guess it based on what I just said, but actually, I love Omar Tyree. He brings readers into our library that we may not otherwise see. They love him, and Zane, and Eric Jerome Dickey, and they are VORACIOUS. (Many of his readers also like Laurell K. Hamilton, which is why I really want to try his stuff). So now that I discover he lives in Charlotte I say to myself, "COOL... I can sticker his books with that big NC and people will be so excited to know he's from here... he's 'one of us.'"

So, like a good librarian, I went to the internet to verify my new knowledge. The first place I went is the official Omar Tyree website. It's hip, it's clearly done by his peeps (or maybe him directly) and there is a link to his bio! Jackpot!

So I learn he went to Howard and that he is married and lives in Charlotte, and THEN, dear readers, I see something that will finally bring us back to the title of my little essay here.

In letters that type themself out over and over in red at the bottom of the page (go ahead... hit the link here and scroll to the bottom) I read:

*clears throat*

Teach your children the importance of a good education (hmmm.. I think to myself... that is nice)
Take time out of your busy schedule and read to them daily. (Nifty, says I. I like this guy even more...)

And then the third line unveils itself for me, and much to my horror, I read:

Encourage them to excell in eduction and other positive activities

I almost had a seizure. Perhaps you do not notice the errors in that last line, as my husband did not. Or perhaps you just think I typed the line wrong and you are wondering why I didn't proofread. But no, I typed for you verbatim what appears at the bottom of Omar Tyree's "About Me" page. Oh!! And just below that... "Promoting Literacy in our community." Adding insult to injury, n'est-ce pas?

Perhaps you are familiar with the joke about the Pandas and the ever important comma in the punchline (see title of this post). It is also the name of a very popular book that I am finally getting around to reading about the "Lost Art of Punctuation." And although the book is primarily about punctuation (if you get past the glaring spelling error above, you will notice that there is no period at the end of the sentence), it is also about basic grammar and spelling errors.

Now, I am not claiming to be perfect. I do make spelling and grammar and punctuation errors. I freely admit that I abuse ellipses far more than a reasonable person should... However, when you are "Promoting Literacy" and especially when you are also a PROFESSIONAL WRITER, and certainly if you are going to put it in FLASHING TYPEFACE (something that should NEVER be done, incidentally -- flashing typeface is ALMOST as bad as CAPITALIZING a bunch of WORDS in a BLOG), then for the sake of all that is good and holy in this universe, spell check the damn thing. I mean REALLY!!!

It reminds me of a flyer I once tore down from the bulletin board of my dorm in college telling women to come to a forum about how we should rise up from our subordination in society and "CHALLANGE" ourselves. Great God Almighty, how wrong is that?! In trying to get us to rise above, you have set us back 500 years or so. Geez! Maybe I am subordinate, but I can SPELL at least. Spelling geeks of the world, untie!

uh... oops.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Wedding of the Century

Well, to be honest, I seem to call every wedding I am involved in "The Wedding of the Century," but this time, I must say, I really mean it.

I just returned from my sister's wedding in San Francisco. I freely admit that when she informed me the wedding was to take place at all, I requested that it happen in Hawaii. Honestly, if I have to travel anyway, let's make it REALLY good. She, however, chose to have it in SF where she currently lives and where she met her knight in shining armor yadda yadda yadda. Whatever. As far as travel destinations go, I really can't complain too much. And it IS her wedding, right? I feel charitable today.

So, we left the baby in Austin, TX with grandma (we both felt very guilty about this, but knew we had to do it sometime) and headed to the Sunshine state. Flights were good, if you ignore the fact that I apparently cannot handle the responsibility of paper airline tickets anymore, and what started out as a $1000 trip quickly became a $1300 trip, right there at the airport. As God as my witness, I shall never buy paper tickets again!

SF is downright chilly this time of year, but it wasn't uncomfortably so. From Thursday to Sunday, I was pampered and treated to massages, nail treatments, good food, and fantastic company. My darling hubster was treated to a yucky sinus infection and two more days sitting in the hotel room playing video games and reading. Our only real time together was on Alcatraz and at the wedding (not that I am relating those two events in any way, mind you). So I had a good time. He was bored. I have no sympathy past the sinus infection, however. He enjoys video games and reading, after all.

We couldn't afford to stay in the hotel where the wedding was taking place, so we stayed practically next door at the funky and fun Hotel Diva. It was clean, comfortable, and had extra perks like a Diva temporary tattoo on our pillow when we checked in. Unfortunately, the tatt somehow went missing soon after I told hubby I wanted to apply mine to my lower back. Weird.

The wedding was... well... lovely isn't really adequate. It took place on the 32nd floor of the St. Francis Hotel, which has been a SF landmark since the early 1900's, at about 5:30pm on Sunday, May 29. The weather was completely clear, which meant the short, romantic ceremony was nearly overshadowed by the tremendous, breathtaking view. I say NEARLY overshadowed, because my sister was so gorgeous coming down the aisle in her designer wedding dress that people audibly gasped. She actually managed to outshine the city Tony Bennett left his heart in. That doesn't come to the surprise of anyone who knows my sister, of course.

Her suite at the hotel was equally remarkable. It was easily larger than her one bedroom condo in Russian Hill, and it is called the "Windsor Suite" because Queen Elizabeth II and her husband stayed there in 1983 or so. How many people can say that they have sat on the SAME BED that QEII herself slept in? Not very many. Certainly not many with my income.

Dinner was scrumtious, starting with a lobster puff pastry, through a roasted pear salad, a pistachio-crusted sole, and finally a wedding cake from heaven. Dancing provided by the Martini Brothers, and my husband even hit the floor with me!

Athena and grandma had a really great time together, although grandma seemed a little worn out by the end of the week. All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. Thanks for asking!

My first post

Since my darling husband has been ignoring all my pleas to update my section of our website, I've started my own blogsite that he hopefully will at least find time to post the link to. :-)

Here I will share my new mommy experiences, post reviews of the books I read, and perhaps tell a funny story or two along the way. (Assuming I can actually be funny, which is, of course, always up for debate).

I hope you enjoy!