Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Judge Him by His Nickname or His Scales

I'm a chapter away from completing Poo-poo and the Dragons by C.S. Forester (author of the Horatio Hornblower series). It's a charming book of stories Forester made up for his son, who refused to eat when his mother went out of town. Forester made an arrangement with his child that as long as the boy ate, Forester would continue with the stories, and he reported being shocked by the amount his child could put away.

It's not at all surprising that the little boy was willing to stuff his face for hours simply to hear these stories. They're told with wry humor, inserting dragons into the everyday life of a typical family and treating every outrageous situation as anything but extraordinary. When Horatio, the male dragon, goes to work at the local grocery to make up for swiping watermelons or accompanies young Harold (nicknamed Poo-poo) to school, it's treated as only slightly unusual. When Ermyntrude, the female dragon, enters into a beauty salon for a makeover, the owner welcomes her, simply pausing to ensure the dragon has enough pocket money to pay for services.

This is definitely a book aimed at elementary school-aged children--its language is far simpler than a young adult series--but I'd imagine any child would enjoy it, and any adult would enjoy reading it to her child. Forester constantly interjects little parenthetical asides in the narrative, quizzing young readers about characters' names and traits. The chapters are episodic and the perfect length for bedtime stories to boot. The only disadvantage? The book is out of print. Ickie had to special order it for me through the college library. It's a shame because I can think of many little ones for whom it would make an ideal Christmas gift.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Not Told in the Style of Dr. Cornelius

I went to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when it came out in the theater. My boss convinced me that Georgie Henley as Lucy and James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus had such excellent chemistry it made the other shortfalls of the movie worthwhile, and I must agree that their bewitching teatime scene together was the best part of the film. Also, Tilda Swinton was pretty convincing as the White Witch. However, I won't be seeing Prince Caspian (probably not even on video). To me the trailers look pretty poor, and this review sums up my worst fears. In typical Hollywood fashion the movie makers appear to have turned it into a superficial action fest, and I saw a clip of Reepicheep, who looks nothing like Reepicheep ought to look. Blurg.

Sometimes I wonder if Hollywood producers/directors/writers can even read a book and determine on their own what makes it great, or if they are utterly devoid of this ability.

Update (5/29/08): Jackamo was roped into seeing this cinematic atrocity over the weekend and reports it is even less like the book than I originally suspected. Apparently, it only vaguely resembles the book in that it has a character named Prince Caspian (albeit played by what appears to be a male model in his mid 20s); otherwise it was completely rewritten as one long battle scene. AAARG. I'm going to have to start writing hate letters to the Disney Corporation. I knew when they got the rights to this series they'd screw it up royally. Insipid troglodytes!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Jen tagged me to write a meme. Word games = hard to resist. I could spend weeks on this and obsess over it, but I'm going to make it easy on myself and put forth the first sentence that comes to mind. I'm stealing two adjectives from my husband (who said years ago that the best two terms to describe me are "impish and vivacious") and the noun "bookworm" from Jen, who was kind enough to describe me as such.

Impish, vivacious, wandering bookworm adores pie.

Just for laughs, here's a photo of me in my pjs celebrating last summer's fresh, tart cherry pie.

Meme rules:
1) Write your own six-word memoir about yourself.
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you'd like.
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4) Tag five more blogs with links.
5) And don't forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

I'm not fond of "tagging" or forwarding emails to people when I'm told to do so (that's my impish disrespect for authority coming through), but if you read the meme rules and want to play, I look forward to reading yours.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Goodbye, Fraggle Green Carpet!

Several folks have asked for some before and after photos of our new house. Here are the rooms we've worked on thus far, plus some spring garden shots.

My Sister's Wedding

My sister got married on May 1, and I was fortunate to be there for the wedding. It was a small but lovely ceremony...with bagpipes of course! (Little Sis and I have created a family tradition of having at least one man in a kilt at our weddings.) Here are a few photos.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Modern Greek

It feels like an eternity since I've written about a book. What with renovating, moving, traveling, and then coming back to more unpacking and renovating, I haven't been reading as often as I'd like. Plus, now that I'm in my third trimester, I find afternoon naps are once again a necessity (as they were in the first trimester).

With all of that in mind, there is a book I finished last week that was a good deal of fun. It's another young adult novel called The Lightning Thief. Penned by Rick Riordan, it's the first book in the series entitled "Percy Jackson and the Olympians." Though not a work of art (it's no Octavian Nothing), it combines a creative premise with a beguiling, quick-paced plot. Percy, a preteen who can't seem to fit in, discovers he is a classical hero in the truest sense: his father is an ancient Greek god. After entering a summer camp for half-blood children, Percy discovers how the gods have moved West with progress, leaving illegitimate and gifted progeny in their wake. Percy soon embarks on a quest with two friends.

I'm wondering if modernization of Greek myths is the latest trend because Lightning Thief portrays the gods tongue-in-cheek similar to The Pig Scrolls, which I also read this year. Considering the nonsense and soapy melodrama rampant in classical mythology, there's endless potential for snarky, modern adaptations.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another Shower Photo

Jackamo sent me more baby shower photos, so I thought I'd post one more especially good one here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friends from Far Away and Long Ago

This week I was in Pensacola for my sister's wedding and received a surprise baby shower the day after the wedding. Jackamo, in a rush of concern that I wouldn't be given a baby shower as a result of a fairly recent relocation, spent months collecting letters and gift cards from friends Ickie and I have made in our various jaunts across country and globe. As a result, I sat down to read dozens of notes from friends spread hither and yon, and I must say that all of you make Ickie and I look so much better by association. As I was grinning sappily in my airline seat yesterday, I had the thought: "If I were to crash and burn right now, I'd go down feeling utterly loved." We are beyond fortunate to have you in our lives and hardly feel worthy of your generosity.

HR and KH, friends since grade school, also attended the teatime soiree and asked if they would "make the blog." Here are photos of us all!