Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Salon: I'll sleep when I'm dead


I'm alive! I'm back! Did ya miss me? I missed me. Holy crap, what a week. Couldn't take too many more of those. So here are some highlights.

We had our very first Heathrow Literary Society book discussion on Tuesday. We had all read "Last Night on Twisted River" by John Irving, and every one of us had opinions. I won't go into the details...I will leave that for my review next week. But I think my takeaway was that this club contains an amazing group of bibliophiles. We have young and old, serious and passionate readers, and overall some of the most well-read folks I've ever met. I left the meeting feeling elated. We had some confusion about what we will be reading next, but finally determined that this month we will read The Book Thief, next month Ape House, and the following month Freedom. A pretty decent line-up I think.

Wednesday at 6:30am, my kids and I, along with a friend of my son's,
headed for Washington DC. Every second of our lives was planned once we landed. On Wednesday, we visited two Smithsonian museums (Natural History and American History) and Mount Vernon. Thursday we tramped around Jamestown and Williamsburg (in 53 degree rain)...needless to say at the end of that day, the parents stormed the bar at the hotel like a pack of wild dogs. Friday we toured the Capitol, two more Smithsonians (American Indian and Air and Space), the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial. Our plane was scheduled to leave at 10:15pm, but it broke, and it wasn't until 11:30 until we finally took off for home. We fell into bed around 2:30am. The whole trip was a whirlwind and I felt I'd been nearly bludgeoned to death, but we got to see some great things.

We popped out of bed Saturday morning and headed to Jacksonville for my son's final football bowl game. We apparently brought DC back with us, because it was in the mid-forties at our game. It reminded me of football weather in Indiana! Unfortunately the boys did not win, but it was just for fun so I was less intense about the whole thing. We blew off some steam and celebrated a successful (and long) season at a sports bar next to the hotel.

Somewhere in the middle of this, I remembered I had just crossed the two year mark for my blog. I guess I should have made a bigger deal, but you know how it is. Still, I'm feeling pretty good about this accomplishment. Three years ago I would have had a good laugh if you would have told me I'd be a blogger.

My reading life, as you can imagine, has been less than stellar. I did finish "Backseat Saints" on audio, and felt like I needed some more fun, so I am working my way though "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" by David Sedaris. I never get tired of that man. He makes me laugh. The kids and I still have not found our next car audiobook. No time to get to the library. Maybe today? We'll see.

I also finished "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver. In fact, I sat my butt on my reading chair on Monday until I finished the thing. I totally loved that book, and have passed it on to my daughter to read next. I really struggled with what to read after that. I knew I was facing some plane and bus rides, but wasn't sure how much I'd be able to concentrate. So I brought "Zora and Me", a middle-reader OKRA pick, and was able to knock that out quickly. I also brought "Doctor Zhivago", a read-along that is about to start. That did not work AT ALL. Over a period of three days, I read 7 pages. I'm going to give it a few more days before I throw in the towel.

On the way up and back from Jacksonville, I read "Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush" and started "What It Is", both amazing graphic novels. A writer friend of mine told me about "What It Is" by Lynda Barry, which is basically a visual feast of thoughts on finding inspiration to write. It covers memory, images, past experiences, and how to use all of that in your writing. For anyone in the process of writing (NaNo participants? Aspiring authors? Seasoned authors?) you really need to take a peek at this book.

Today my husband takes off for Poland for the next five days, so I am hoping to use this time to get caught up on my reviews and my reading. Then when he gets back, the two of us, along with another couple, will leave for Napa for five days. Which is where I will be next Sunday. Until then...




27 comments:

Trisha said...

You certainly due live a full life! Glad you are back in action on the blog.

And Happy Blogoversary!

bermudaonion said...

Holy cow, your life is a whirlwind! I'm dizzy just thinking about it! Williamsburg and Jamestown are quite a departure from DC - that must have been a long day.

JoAnn said...

Welcome back, Sandy! It's been way too quiet around here without you, But I've got to tell you, reading your post makes me want to take a nap!!

Willa said...

Good to have your back! Looking forward to hearing more about the reading group.

raych said...

Lordy me, now I feel like *I* don't need to get a life, because you're busy enough for at least three other people.

The intrawebs missed you.

Teacher/Learner said...

I envy your energy in keeping up with all that! Congrats on your 2nd blogoversary :D

Nymeth said...

Sandy! Of course we missed you. One thing is certain: your life NEVER gets boring :P

Molly said...

You were definitely missed - but sounds as though you have had a great week! I love D.C. just wished I lived closer :)

Hope this week is a bit more relaxed so that you can catch up a bit.

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Sounds like you need to order pizza for the next 5 nights so you can relax!

farmlanebooks said...

Congratulations on your second bloggiversary! I forgot all about mine too!

It is great to have you back. I look forward to hearing all about Last Night in Twisted River :-)

Amy said...

Wow. You were busy! And sounds like you had a great time. Happy to hear it, and happy blogoversary!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You have an amazing whirlwind of a life! We've done Napa too - it's always very fun! I hope you get five days of rest in the meantime!!!

marthalama said...

Happy Blogaversary, I need a nap after just reading your blog. But it sure does sound like fun.

Alyce said...

It's good to have you back! I had one of those weeks too (although thank God no chaperoning).

Happy blogoversary!

Before I Fall was such an awesome read - I couldn't put it down, and many tears were shed during the reading.

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Happy Blogoversary!! And what a crazy time you've recently had! I love DC -- well, I should since I loved there for quite some time and went to college there!! Glad you had a blast, and yes, Jax was wickedly cold and wet -- argh!

Melody said...

We missed you, definitely! You certainly sound busy, but I also think you're a great multi-tasker! :D

And Happy Blogiversary!!

Gavin said...

Sounds like you had a great week, all in all. It's wonderful reading about all your adventures. I had heard of "What It Is" but haven't read it. On the list it goes.

And happy blogiversity. It's hard to believe it's been two years, isn't it?

Zibilee said...

You are a very busy lady! I did in fact miss you, and I am glad to see you are back more or less intact. I am also listening to David Sedaris right now, and having a wonderful time with him. I also read through copy of The Stand that you lent me last Sunday night, and I am hooked! I need to continue on with that soon. I hope you have a restful and reading week this time around and that you enjoy the cooler weather, though I hear it might not last for long!

Jenners said...

Your life is such a whirlwind ... at least you won't have regrets about not living life to the fullest.

And I love the line "the parents stormed the bar at the hotel like a pack of wild dogs. " : )

Melissa M said...

I loved my one trip to DC and hope to take hubby there soon! I have also hear great things about Before I Fall, and I should move it up. Happy Blogiversary!

The Bumbles said...

DC deserves a month just to see what you want to see in addition to what you need to see. I've been there 3 times and still haven't gotten to everything I want.

Happy belated blogoversary my friend. Seems like just yesterday when all of our blogging adventures began, doesn't it?

Kathleen said...

Wow, you have been in a whirlwind. The trip to D.C sounds awesome even if the pace sounds incredible. Can't wait to hear about your trip to Napa!

Iliana said...

Well, happy bloggiversary to you girl! Terrible two's huh? :)

And, so happy you are discovering Lynda Barry. I highly recommend One Hundred Demons. It's bittersweet, funny, a bit sad but just such a wonderful way to see an artist's journey.

ds said...

Whoa! Once again, I am exhausted just reading about your life, Sandy! That was some whirlwind historical trip--your description of the parent chaperones packing the bar at day's end cracks me up!

Congratulations on your blog's 2nd birthday! Just think, this time next week, you'll be able to celebrate in front of a fire in Napa, sipping a smooth Cabernet...
A toast to you!

Alice Teh said...

I wish I'm living a Sandy life. Enjoy your time with your husband in Napa! And I hope "Doctor Zhivago" gets a second chance. LOL.

caite said...

wow, that was quite the exhausting trip to DC..take a breath!

Beth F said...

Holy cow -- glad you get a few days off before Napa (totally, totally jealous about that trip).