Summer update

As I’m typing this, Pippa is trying to jump into my lap – not noticing that there is already a laptop in my lap.   So do forgive any typos.  They’ll be purely cat-produced.

The summer is going well.  Very well.  Predictably, I’m exhausted, but that’s really my own fault: if I were less of a perfectionist my life would be simpler.  But the summer really isn’t about me and how tired I am, it’s about how much fun the kids in town are having at the library, and how much they’re enjoying their summer reading.  There have been so many happy kids coming in to collect prizes, enter raffles, and grin when I tell them that surely they’ll earn a bookplate this year (you have to read at least thirty hours to earn a bookplate in a library book).  And lots and lots of happy kids and parents at library events.

Last Thursday night we had another family movie night, with Happy Feet as our feature presentation.  94 people were signed up (!), and 72 actually showed.  Incredible.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the whole movie, since the children’s room was unstaffed, and Roy was covering the movie staffing, but the bit that I stayed for was so much fun.  These movie nights are a true community event, with dozens of kids clustered on carpet squares on the floor at the front of the room (by request – the kids prefer the floor to the chairs) and parents sitting in sociable groups in the comfortable chairs at the back of the room.  No one stays truly quiet for these movies, which makes them a million times more enjoyable than watching a DVD with just a few people in your living room.  The kids roar in abundant group laughter at the sight gags, and the parents gossip quietly and enjoy each other’s company while they delight in the fun that their children are having. 

Today was the July meeting of the teen book group, and our discussion centered on Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins.  We had a really productive discussion, and decided as a group that there are parts of the book that we all really liked, namely the portrayal of Indian culture, but those bits are negatively counter-balanced by the weaker aspects of the book, including the predictable plot and the lack of careful editing.  The girls in the group noticed many instances where the book disagrees with itself, which made us all feel that the author didn’t take enough care to check her own work.   Personally, I feel that Mitali Perkins has an admirable goal in her writing – to address young readers who are “between cultures” – but that the goal does not a great book make.  On her website and in interviews she comes across as erudite and lucid, but I just didn’t really enjoy the actual book.  If I were to rank it on a scale of 1 to 5, I would give it a 3.  And I think the teen book group members would probably agree with that ranking.  For our next book, I chose one of my absolute favorite newish books, Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.  I hope the group loves it as much as I do, but if they don’t, I’ll be very interested to hear their opinions.

And that’s the news for now.  Poor Jim just arrived home and showed me his battle scars from a nasty bike spill that he took on his way home from work tonight.  Major wipe-out, major need for some TLC.

8 thoughts on “Summer update”

  1. Well, Jim just got back from the doctor, and he has a broken fourth meta-tarsal (I think I’ve got my facts right), as well as some very painful but not broken ribs. A broken bone in the hand of a guitar player is not a good thing. At all.

  2. Holy crap — he’s got a FOOSH — Fall On an OutStretched Hand. Had the same thing two years ago. Those little suckers hurt. Do exactly what the doctor tells you and it will heal in about six weeks. Actually, if you don’t do what the doctor tells you it will still heal in about six weeks. Ice helps. So does scotch. I reccommend a good deal of swearing, also.

    Serious sympathy from here, Jim.

  3. Thanks for the concern. Here’s the story: (typed sans right hand)

    I was riding the usual 7 mile trip home from work and as I was making a right hand turn, my front tire had leaked enough air to make it wobbly. The bike went left as the tire wobbled right and I went down on my right hand & ribs. After a minute of howling pain i tried to pump up the flat tire, but it was definitely flat. So being my independent self I walked the remaining 6.5 miles home, took a quick shower, fed the cats, grilled up a burger, and scooted off to band rehearsal until 9pm when I had to quit because of debilitating pain.

    The next day, coworkers encouraged me to seek medical help as the swelling of my hand was getting bad. So here I am in a half-cast and enjoying life with a minimally functioning right hand. Mundane tasks like zipping up my fly are now seen with greater appreciation.

  4. Now is not too late to sign up for falling lessons. Bike expert -me- will train you how to fall and roll so that you don’t have such problems. Many years of experience will be passed on to you. Don’t fail to take advantage of this once in a lifetime chance to learn the hidden ways to fall.
    your Fall teacher- Bikie

  5. It’s hard to unlearn the instinct of putting your hand out when you’re falling. But, if you can tell yourself: tuck and roll, then you can do it. Then, of course, you get a battered shoulder. Fun.

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