Monday, August 22, 2005

Long Weekend

So we went to Mike's cousin Matt's wedding this weekend, in upstate Michigan. It was chilly, rainy Saturday morning, but ended up gorgeous for the wedding itself. But travelling to upstate Michigan takes a long time. Especially when you misread your itinerary and get to the airport three hours early.

From 10:30 am until 9:30 pm (or so) we were travelling on Friday. Sunday, it was 9:30 am till 7:30 pm. Saturday was pretty much spent at the hotel, due to being exhausted. And then in the evening, the wedding. There was a live Motown band, called the KGB, which was really cool. I'm a little weddinged out, sadly; I get tired much earlier than I used to.

But the long plane trips made for a ton of reading. I finished The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is the third Narnia book and is getting a little boring in its blatant moralism. It's a series of lessons, and just as the characters are about to go irrevocably awry, Aslan appears and shows them how to be right. And then he explains that in our world he's called Jesus and you should really listen to him. It's pretty much that blatant, though he doesn't use the name "Jesus" directly.

Anyway, I don't know if I'll go any further in that series. I also finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. This was excellent, even better than Gilead, I think. It definitely worked more tightly as a novel, though it was still full of very well-expressed thoughts on belonging, and sorrow, and inevitable sadness. There is no lasting happiness, certainly not in the cold northern town of Fingerbone, and not in the whole world she inhabits. Not just the character, I mean, but the author. There's little even of the transient joy she allows for--sparkly shoes, huckleberries. It's a very sad story.

And now I'm reading Queen Bees and Wannabes, which is inflicting fewer painful middle school flashbacks than I might have expected. It's interesting, though dense. I'm curious how well these methods would really work for communicating with a teenager. First, self-reporting is a notoriously unreliable way of getting information from anyone, especially kids (not the most self-aware creatures to begin with). Secondly, it's hard to reconcile her reliance on affirmation as a method of staying close with the real need to stop certain behaviors. Anyway, I think it's a great book for someone who actually has a teen, but it only reads as moderately interesting for the rest of us.

I have 11 library books out now. We'll see how the rest of them wind up.

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