Friday, October 25, 2013

First dance

Last Friday night, the Bug's school had a dance.  Yes, I know she's in the first grade.  Yes, I am fully aware that we have plenty of years still ahead, during which there will be ample opportunity to introduce our children to highly awkward social situations.

Nonetheless, it was a dance.  And since the Bug wanted to go, we went.

One of the first things you might notice is that the theme is "sports."  This meant kids should wear sports clothing, jerseys and the like.  We didn't know that, so the girls (oh yeah, Bunny went, too) wore dresses and tights.  Which was fine; we weren't the only newbies.

The event itself was kind of a riot.  It was at the "tennis bubble" indoor sports facility in town.  Half of the space was a dance floor "with a real disco light, Mommy!"  The other half had hula hoops and jump ropes and stuff.  The kids even played tug-of-war.  The Bunny mostly just hopped on one foot.  Two hours later, we left.  And next year?  We'll be back.  The girls are already excited for it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Count of Monte Cristo

It has taken almost four months for me to finish the 1100+ pages of Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece The Count of Monte Cristo - which can only be chalked up to the sheer size of the book.  It's wonderful to read, the story is fantastic, the characters are complex and the book deserves all of its renown.

In order to take just the middle 100 pages backpacking, I had to cut my copy into thirds.

The story begins with the admirable and talented seaman, Edmond Dantes, upon whom life is smiling grandly.  Dantes has earned his place at the top of Captain Morrell's ship staff, and he's also engaged to marry Mercedes, the beautiful and charming Catalan.  Clearly, though, this can't possibly work out well for Dantes: he's elicited the passionate envy of his rivals on both fronts.  Danglars feels he was overstepped for promotion to foreman on the ship; Fernand desires Mercedes' affections.  The plot of these two, along with the complicit actions of lazy town drunk Caderousse and the crooked prosecutor Villefort, lands Dantes in jail.

And not just any jail.  We're talking the fortress of the Chateau d'If, a castle on a rocky crag in the Mediterranean.  Dantes is tossed in, the key is thrown away, and our friend is long forgotten by the crooks.

Fortune visits Dantes six years later in the form of "The Mad Friar" Abbe Farina, who's slow and steady plot to dig his way out of the Chateau d'If proves to have some engineering miscalculations.  He lands in Dantes' room, and the Abbe not only convinces Dantes to have faith and live to see another day, but he also teaches him languages, culture, mathematics, science... and the location of otherworldly fortune on the uninhabited island of Monte Cristo.  When Dantes finally gets out, after another eight years in his dark, dank inhumane imprisonment, you can guess where he heads first.

What you can't guess is the path of the rest of his adventures.  Dantes essentially determines his job is to mete out justice, both to the loyal and deserving Morrell, as well as to the four who sent him to his doom.  Fourteen years in an ungodly hell-hole, brother's got an axe to grind.

This tale of love, passion, revenge and deception is incredibly told.  Could Dumas have saved a few hundred pages along the way?  Probably.  But then, what's a thousand pages between friends.

Next up: Nobel-prize winner Desert by J.M.G. LeClezio, which came highly recommended by the young Russian woman who works at my local bookstore.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mykonos, Greece

After spending some time in Athens, Mima and Boppie hit the islands.  What a paradise for their anniversary trip - stunning views, beach time, incredible food, ouzo, more food.  They even looked up an artist Joker once knew on Santorini!  What a lovely time they had - I look forward to following in their steps myself sometime.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bunny's budding artistry

Over the summer there were certainly fewer examples of kid art for me to showcase here, but both the Bug and the Bunny continue to be prolific with crayons, markers, glitter glue, scissors, beads, tissue paper.... Basically with whatever they can get their hands on.

Yesterday this came home from the Bunny's preschool and I just loved it.  The colors!  The backstory!  The easily discernible, realistic elements!

Well, it *is* pretty.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mima and Boppie, from Athens with love

Big break - sorry about that - posts are a-comin' I promise!

In the mean time, Mima and Boppie just returned from a 40th Anniversary trip to Greece.  First, big congrats on 40 years - yippee!  Second, I want to go to Greece!!

In contrast from the month-long Mexico postcard delivery, this actually arrived before they returned from their trip.  The girls were super into the idea of a whole temple to celebrate the goddesses.  Athens sounded amazing, and we can't wait to hear about the islands, too!