Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where "Country" Isn't a Dis

If you can't get down with my grandma sweater, can you get down with camouflage formal wear? My niece and her date were rocking matching camouflage to the prom:

Dig the hunter orange sash! Aunt Becky made the dress.

Then they were named Prom King and Queen!

Aww. So great! Meanwhile, her dad seems a little stunned by his beautiful young woman:

Congratulations, A! Love you! See ya at graduation.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Advice Please

OK womyns. I need you to tell me the truth about this sweater:

Is it all "Who wants to hear a story!" or can I wear it to work and be taken seriously by adults? Be brutal -- I only paid a buck for it at Goodwill.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Saturday, April 5, 2008

This Just In

Chantal sent some of her photos from the Guatemala trip, so we can fill in some gaps.

This is a creature we found clinging to the outside of Mario's tent one morning:

Chantal mentioned that spiders often don't have all 8 legs in the jungle, due to skirmishes. Please notice the egg sac. Zip up the tent!!

From our walk to El Peru:

This is the kitchen at the field station where we camped:

The men on staff were very nice and shared some fish stew one night. They made it from a fresh fish they'd smoked over the fire all day. So good!

We ran into some military types when we got back to Paso Caballos. Mario posed with one of their AKs. He assures me he's not into guns, but that these would impress his friends in Vancouver.

Back in Playa del Carmen, I had to go check out the supermarket down the street:

They've got a be-haloed and praying St. Fransis of Assisi selling groceries?
The free online translator I'm using isn't making sense of "Todos Los Dias Todo Mas Bajo" ("all you gave them all but low"? -- does sound mildly biblical), but "en el reino del ahorro" means "in the kingdom of the savings." Awesome.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story by Rachel Kadish kind of did a number on me. I finished it on the last day of my trip, when I was feeling sort of tired and a little sick. So: reading, but with vulnerabilities. The novel's heroine is a literature professor who wants to debunk Tolstoy's line from Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." She says that would mean that "a person must be unhappy in order to be interesting." So she tells us her engaging love story, which is really very well done. It feels so true -- exciting but not romanticized. A fleshy sort of love story, with the realness intact. She follows it past the early euphoria, through rough patches and a separation and back to equilibrium. So as in life, it's a big old log flume ride, and you go for it, but spend a lot of time wondering if it's worth the stress. In the meantime, there's great stuff about academic politics and good secondary characters. Just an enjoyable read.

The problem for me is that she begins as a happy and contented single woman. Not shunning romantic encounters but not actively seeking them either. Good naturedly fending off efforts by friends and family to get her paired off. She got my hopes up that we might somehow return to happy singlehood, instead of ending up with, as Bridget Jones calls them, the smug marrieds (present company excluded, of course, my dear, dear readers). Which is where everybody always ends up, now and forever, world without end amen. She winds up her story with the "what I've learned" chapter, which she has earned. But there's an air of "now that I love, I'm doing life's real work" that grates. Her lover's proposal of marriage represented an invitation to "stop watching the mess of human desire from the shoreline."

Sigh. I know, it said "love story" right on the cover. What did I expect? I'm such a sponge -- I absorb all these absurd messages and take them to heart. What am I, 13 years old? I can't think for myself? But these repeated demonstrations of how I am living but half a life in my singledom are so very, very tiring. Love can kiss my ass.

Still: Yay!

The End

OMG, what are we gonna do without her?

Don't go!