Me Grim
Speaking Of (Mostly) Caroline

Or When Summer's In The Meadow

I eventually accepted the fact that it is never going to get warm and I will never see all those damned daffodils I planted (we lost three trees yesterday to heavy snow) so I have decided to embrace the fact that I am all about books and food and television - the triad of neverending winter.

I should probably learn to finish a book before I blather my opinion of same. To return, briefly, to the subject of Ender's Game: first, rather than read it as a book made out of paper we listened to a cast-recorded audio version (I orginally typed "cat-recorded" and then because I am simple I laughed for about five minutes. No wonder I didn't like it - too much cat.) I am not a fan of cast-recordings in general and was even less of a fan of this one. Some of the readers were ok but there was this one woman... whoof. She had a breathy, oddly inflected style that never varied and Patrick and I tried to figure out what emotion she thought she was conveying. We settled on... beryllium; she was trying to express what it feels like to be beryllium. I love audiobooks pretty much more than my children (do my children make it less boring to load the dishwasher? well then) but a poor reader, let alone several of them, can really kill a book. So that was one problem.

Also, for about ninety percent of the book I felt worried and I dislike feeling worried. The main character is so emotionally, physically, psychically and spiritually battered that we started to feel like he might be better off... you know. Patrick at one point turned to me and asked if I remembered telling him about the Far Side about the old comic strip lady and her friend and after a few moments I said, "Oh! Yes! The rare Mary Worth in which Mary advises a close friend to commit suicide?"

Patrick said, "Yeah. I think Ender is running out of options here" and I agreed emphatically. However, even as I thought Ender was doomed and humanity was doomed and he and it probably should be doomed I worried that the author might be heading in the same direction and then where would we be?

[If you have not read Trinity by Leon Uris and plan to do so at some point please stop reading. Skip down below the bracket. I am serious. Cover your eyes.

Once upon a time I read all 900 pages of Trinity and I was SO FURIOUS at the end when...

I told you to stop reading...

everyone dies. I mean everyone. Every character in the whole goddamned story is killed including the narrator. THE NARRATOR. Uris kills off THE NARRATOR and then he just, like, picks up a new narrator to finish the last few pages of the book. Who does that?! It is cheating is what it is.

Anyway I was afraid Ender's Game was going to pull a similarly disturbing fast one.]

 

So the book made me feel upset and uncomfortable for the vast majority of it.

But! Then! The end! Woof.

I don't want to say that the end of the book completely vindicated the rest of it but if you asked me if I liked the book having finished it I would have to grudgingly say yes, yes I did. Do I ever want to read or listen to it again? No. Do I want to read anything else about Ender et al. No. Would I recommend it? Yeah. I guess so. Grudgingly! But yes.

Patrick, by the way, really liked it. 

Caroline went from kinda reading to reading to reading exclamation point. I went in to check on her last night and found that she had flipped her pillow around in order to capture the light from the closet. She was reading book # whatever from the Magic Treehouse series and when I opened the door she gasped and stuffed the book under her pillow.  

Steve has been reading the series to Caroline and Edward at night (better him than me. I dislike them most heartily; although I should admit that I have a personal weakness for the Disney fairies chapter books, which is even more shameful since they are written by a corporation and although corporations might be people they are not authors) and Caroline had lifted a book from the library pile and she was sneaking ahead in the series. The minx. Needless to say I confiscated the book. Why you ask? Because I know Caroline and I know that she works best when she is not forced to function in the absence of a repressive milieu. She needs to rebel. It is, after all, why the kids put beans in their ears.

Edward, apropos of nothing, has managed to advance the English language ten-fold with his clever new adaptations of first-person singular. He still uses the commonly accepted form, of course, as in, "Caroline and I want to play xbox" or "Read me another chapter please" but he has expanded to include: first person singular, authoritative and first person singular, draconian.

Thusly:

Authoritative - "Edward said to read him another chapter" 

Draconian - "Do not disturb The Edward when he is doing a maze!" or "Now presenting... The Edward versus preschool!" 

Seriously, when he really really means it he refers to himself in the second person with an article. Ai yi. Yi.  

But back to books. Patrick and I finished Ender's Game and just started the Lighthouse Trilogy. Not sure what we think yet.

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Steve and I are watching Vikings which is a fairly-Showtime-esque series airing now on the History Channel of all places. It is capital E Excellent and if you haven't seen it I am sure that they will re-air it 20 or 40 times in the near future. Watch in order! In a similar vein we just got Game of Thrones from Netflix but I'm ambivalent. I've heard it is good but is it good?

We are still working our way through your movie recommendations. Patrick - much to my surprise - loved the Marvel comic movies. We've seen Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and Thor. Steve's going down to open the farm this weekend - and bowhunt for turkeys - so I got Captain America for the two of us to watch one night after twins go to bed. Comics leave me cold but it is fun to see Patrick's... I don't even know what to call it. His complete ignorance about the genre gives him the ability to watch these movies without bringing anything to the process - it's rather charming. Like biting your nails when you think the Harlem Globetrotters might lose.  

PS Edward-who-needs-a-haircut and the $20 Darth Vader blanket that finally got him out of our bed (except when he is sick. or recovering from a nightmare)

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My father and step-mother invited us to join them and my brother's family for a week in Bend, Oregon this summer and because I am a complete idiot I told Caroline and Edward about it after I finished buying the airline tickets. Do you know when you tell five year olds that they are going to take a trip? When they are on the goddamned plane, that's when. Otherwise they immediately go and pack all of their precious treasures into backpacks and start asking you when we are leaving.

Sidenote: The Edward has yet again decided that he only wears pajamas and he is willing to die upon that sartorial sword if necessary. Caroline started wearing sundresses about three weeks ago, winter be damned. I try not to look at her and I have to admit she doesn't feel cold. 

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A Patrick Comix for old times' sake

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PPS D'oh! Simpsons! Not Far Side! I blame the child. 

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