It is 9:04 am. It is 52 degrees outside and I’m hoping that the sun comes out at least a little before this afternoon when it’s supposed to rain, because I have clothes that need to dry outside.
It’s our skip week for school (we do school year round and have a week off each month), although we missed some days last week because the girls were sick. I’m trying to figure out precisely how to deal with that, but I figure that if they were in school school they’d have some sick days too. So today is a day to play and relax. We’re waiting for a delivery of the evil curtains this morning, so we’re stuck hanging out at the house. The girls are doing their “jobs” in the kitchen; they are very serious about earning money.
Since we don’t have school, I’m planning on spending much of the day reading. I’m in the middle of S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. It is mindtwisting in all the best ways. I described reading it to a friend the other day as being similar to watching multiple episodes of Lost, all from different seasons, all at the same time. There are so many things going on, and so many plot elements to keep track of, and you’re getting most of the pieces out of order.
The book S. consists of a book called Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka, a mysterious author known only through his writings.
The copy of the book is full of notes written by the original owner, who has been reading and studying it since he was 14. As a current day grad student, he leaves the book in the library, where it is picked up by another student, who starts to leave him notes in the margins, which he replies to. They “talk” about themselves and their lives, and about the mystery of the identity of Straka, and dissect the text, and send each other warnings about other people in the university that are trying to steal their discoveries, and there might be a secret society, and there are fires that may or may not be coincidental.
The trick is that the notes aren’t linear, they appear where they make sense to the characters, linked to passages in the text that are meaningful. So you have pages with notes in 4 different inks from 4 different points in the narrative, and you’re reading about things that you don’t know about yet.
It takes forever to read, in the very best possible way.
Aaaaaaaaah! Run!!! Seriously, I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to plot out where everything needed to go to make it work. That photo is from the very beginning of the book, when you know barely anything, and it throws you right into the mystery right away. I’m still not sure what it means, but it “scared” me then and it “scares” me now. I’m sure it will be super scary by the time I actually find out what’s going on. I really kind of wish there was a Lost book like this.
I’m listening to a Christmas station on Pandora. I have a ton of Christmas music myself, but I haven’t moved it onto my iPod yet. So Pandora will do in the meantime. I’ve been in a very Jesus Christmas song mood, versus a Santa Claus is Coming to Town mood. I love all the different types of Christmas songs and have them all, but I’ve been drawn more to the O Holy Nights and Hark the Herald Angels Sing lately. I’ve been loving Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel for some reason- I’ve never really even noticed it before. I’m ready to set up our Christmas tree, but I’m holding off until after Thanksgiving.
Speaking of Christmas and glorious books, if you a. love Christmas and Santa, b. have kids that are, say, 5 or older, c. enjoyed the Rise of the Guardians movie, or d. just love wonderful stories, you really should read the Guardians of Childhood books by William Joyce. They are magical and wonderful. We just finished reading the 4th one (The Sandman and the War of Dreams ), and the girls are dying because it will likely be a year before the next and last one. I enjoyed the movie, (though I did have some MAJOR issues with it conceptually-but that’s a post for another day. Let’s just say that if I was in charge, it would have been massively different) , but the books are a million times better. Obviously, they have a far more complex story than is possible in the movie, and the story is absolutely wonderful. It has one of the most plausible and magical origin stories of Santa Claus that I’ve ever read, as well as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and others that I won’t spoil for you. And it captures the importance of believing in things, which is a virtue that is paramount in my mind.
Let’s see, what else? We watched The Day of the Doctor last night, the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, and it was marvelous. I thought it worked gorgeously with the themes of the entire series, and was a lovely progression of the character. And there were some fun answers to throw away moments from earlier seasons. It was really good. And tying in with the importance of believing from the previous paragraph, do you remember in Peter Pan when Tinkerbell is fading and the appeal goes out to the audience to clap their hands if they believe in fairies and then she is revived? I totally had a “I believe in the Doctor!” moment watching the episode (not because he was fading, but because you want so much for him to succeed), and I’m betting everyone who watched it did, and the thought of that makes me teary. (It could also be that I’m listening to uber dramatic Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas music and just read heartbreaking quotes from earlier episodes of Doctor Who, but that is neither here nor there.) I love stories that bring people together and move them and get them to hope and to believe.
We also watched The Wolverine, which I really enjoyed. It was fun seeing places we’ve been, and I thought the story was solid and fun.
The curtains just got here (after a very fumbled attempt at a phone call in Japanese because the delivery guy couldn’t find the door- it involved a lot of “sumimasen” on my side and lots of “gomenizai”on his, which both mean “I’m sorry”) and THEY ARE THE RIGHT SIZE! I am overjoyed.
I wanted to post some pictures of the leaves around here, because they’re changing colors and they’re so beautiful. I never understood people getting excited over the leaves changing because in CA the change isn’t that dramatic, but oh, do I get it now. It is spectacular. These are only a couple, I’ll keep taking and posting more and they keep changing.
The light hits the leaves in a certain way, and it’s just breathtaking. I love the reds best of all, until I see the oranges, then I love those best. I feel so honored to get to live here, to get to experience this. And I realize that while CA is wonderful in so many ways, that every place in the world has it’s beauty and they’re all worth experiencing.
Ok, I think we’re about to walk down to the bakery and find something delicious for lunch. The girls have been wanting to go there to get cake, and I keep telling them we’ll do it another day. I think today might just be that day.