Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Post Hiatus

I'm back! I'm sorry to have been gone for so long, and with no warning. There were many reasons I was away: moving the computer from the kitchen table into a back bedroom, sickness, tiredness, company, travel, family, moving the computer from the kitchen table to a back bedroom . . . but when it comes down to it, there's one real reason I stayed away.

Everything I thought of writing, whether I hoped to be funny or clever or anecdotal or just to say hi, everything I composed in my head sounded negative. Sniping, nasty, mean, negative. And I didn't feel like being that way, so I stayed away. I drowned myself in fiction, and it felt good. I'm still in a heavy reading phase, and I'm still feeling good.

Last weekend was good too. Paul, Ellie, Lizzi-pug, and I were up in Iowa for a family reunion - Paul's side. I had extremely low hopes for the event, so I couldn't help but be pleasantly surprised. And indeed, the weekend was restful, rejuvenating, and fun. There are some really good people in that family.

One of Paul's cousins had twins 3 days after Ellie was born, and it was indescribable to see the three one-year-olds together. Her mother, Paul's aunt, loves to tie-dye. She made color-coordinated, huge shirts for everyone in the family, with each individual family unit getting a matching pattern. The result was stunning. I offer proof:

To top things off, here's a shot of Ellie with her cousins. See what I mean?

Friday, July 1, 2005

Book Review

Flea at One Good Thing has been reviewing books lately. That started me thinking about what I've been reading.

I have been growing frustrated with the portrayal of caterpillars in modern children's literature. What? You were expecting James Joyce?

"The Ugly Duckling" gets it right. The moral is that while the ugly duckling is, indeed, "ugly" for a duckling, he's not really ugly at all - he's just not a duckling. (I hope I didn't give away the surprise ending for anyone).

Percival the Plain Little Caterpillar and its ilk get it all wrong. Several of these newer books talk about the drab life of caterpillars until they transform into beautiful butterflies. Percival, for example, is depressed because he's "so plain."

Then something wonderful happened! He became a butterfly! "And no one ever said he was plain again."

How could the apples have fallen so far from the tree?