Saturday, November 28, 2009

Updated Reading List

I have always found Egytian history absolutely fascinating and I learned so much reading this book. For example, I had no idea that Nerfertiti, probably the most powerful queen of Egypt besides Cleopatra, was actually the step mother of Tutenkamen. Amazing. I also had no idea that Tut married his half sister and that, according to this author, it appeared to be a genuine love match. I'm not sure if I follow his premise and believe that Tut was murdered, but their definitely seemed to be many people and factors conspiring against Tut. It's ashame, I would have loved to see what he may have accomplished in the fullness of his life.

Even though this book is considered YA, I enjoyed reading it. I loved the premise behind Elsewhere and thought the authors vision was entirely unique. I especially loved the part where they talked about the need for all people to have a avocation - not an occupation. While the usual definition of that word is a hobby of some sort, this author suggests it as a life calling that one loves. I think that all of us are called to something, but not all of us truly ever learn what it is that we are called to do. I loved the ompleteness of the journey that the characters go through. My favorite character in the book? Lucy the Pug, of course!

Trite and boring. I wanted a labotomy by the time I was half way through, but since the book is so small, I pressed on. The end is touching but it just can't save the rest of the snoring...oops, I meant to say story. This one is definitely a snoozer.

I loved this book. It was great that it could be read slowly, a chapter at a time to allow for time to really think about the topics in every chapter. This is one that I will keep and reread, because I truly believe that an Attitude of Gratitude is absolutely critical to living a happy, healthy life.

Currently reading: Ayn Rand and the World She Made, The Christmas List and Under the Dome.
Up Next: Pirate Latitudes, The Horse That God Made, Bleak House.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Do They Get It

This evening my husband and I were watching "Nights in Rodanthe". For anyone that has seen the movie or read the book, you know it is an amazing, heartfelt book about finding love and how love can save us.
I sat there with my husband, enthralled by the story while he seemed like he would rather be having a labotomy. His response to stories like this always makes me wonder whether it's him, or whether men ( most men anyway) just don't feel things like women do. It's frustrating.
I honestly feel like my husband and I have a love tht is unique and amazing - something that most people don't have. But at other times, I wonder if I feel that way about him and I think that he feels the same way about me and it's really just an illusion because he's just not capable of feeling the depth and breadth of what I feel. There must be some men who feel it, even if they can't articulate it. I mean some of the worlds greatest poets: Shelley, Byron, Browning... all men. Heck, even Nicholas Sparks ( who wrote Nights in Rodanthe is a man, though I must say he channels female better than anyone I have ever seen.)
There is a scene in Willow - you know, the sci-fi, fantasy movie Willow - where Mad Martigan says to Sorcha, " You are my sun, my moon, my star-lit sky. Without you, I dwell in darkness...." Every woman wants to be her mans sun, moon and star-lit sky. Every one of us. Occassionally it would be nice to have that vocally articulated. Not everyday, but occassionaly, yep, I could go for a healthy dose of Mad Mardigan.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Thing I'm Grateful for Today? It's a No Brainer...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Warm Arms, Happy Hearts

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's weird because when I was young, I just didn't get it. I viewed it as a day where nothing really happened but dinner, it seemed sort of like a waste. It's hard for me to believe it now that I used to view things that way. At any rate,I understand it now. Maybe it is like that for everyone - something you only truly appreciate later.
I usually blog about the things that I am thankful for during the month of November. This month I'm off to a slow start thanks to the Swine flu, but better late than never.
After three very long years, my husband is finally on shore duty. I can't explain how wonderful that feels, but I know that many who read this blog are military wives, mothers, and members, so you all will understand. As a friend said to me today, "you always feel like you are on borrowed time." So true. Even now, I am faced with the knowledge that some time, some day, I will have to give up my husband again. I know we choose this life and I wouldn't have another, but it is still a sacrifice to watch him go.
This year, I am extremely grateful for the warm arms that surround me every night. He may have to work during the day, but every night, he's here at home with me and our children, where he belongs. It's wonderful to do all the things as a family that we want to. It's wonderful to do the simple things that most people take for granted, like having someone to share popcorn and cuddle with while watching tv, or just sharing the silence at night with. Even the soft, even sounds of his breath while he sleeps is something that I am so grateful for. If I can hear it, that means he's close... and I'm not lying in bed alone - imagining him next to me instead.
I never want to forget how grateful I am, how much I appreciate him. I love that man. I love the family we have made together and I never, never want to take him for granted. Warm arms around me certainly do make for two very happy hearts.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Big Apple

New York is a strange city full of the complex contrasts found in all of humanity - the best and worst, the beautiful and ugly.... New York has it all. You always hear about how rude New Yorkers are. We certainly experienced that - from the man who literally crawled over me at the subway, to the fat youths who refused to give up seats on the subway to the elderly, rudeness appears to be a common fabric in the thread of every day New York life. And yet, there is kindness there too, all the more appreciated because it is often so unexpected. In the middle of a museum as we prepared to head back into the city, a security guard noticed us and with a smile, asked if there was anything he could do to help - anyway that he could make our visit to his city more enjoyable. What a breath of fresh air his kind concern was.
And speaking of fresh air, there isn't much of it in the downtown areas of the city. The air seems to have a dunk and desperate scent almost impossible to describe. Going down into the subway, leaving the sun and light, I felt the edges of the darkness grab on to my coat and the despair clawed at my skin and hair. I didn't want to go down there. And yet, there in the depths of the city, we found an ancient Japanese man playing music on an equally ancient Japanese instrument. His song was so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. I have never heard music like that, and doubt that I ever will again. New York once again showed her dual personality to me.
The city is dirty and crowded, a place that I couldn't imagine spending more than one night. And yet, Uptown, by Central Park, the walkways are spacious, clear and pristine. The Park itself is a haven in the heart of the city. Looking at the golden tulip tress there, I could almost understand where JRR Tolkien could have gotten his inspiration for the forests of Lorien, it was that magical. I loved Central Park in the fall, it was simply breathtaking. I would like to see it in the other seasons as well.
The city is full of fashionistas and fashion victims, the hopeful and the homeless, the talented and the repressed. Any writer experiencing a block should go to the city because one is sure to experience the breath of humanity and human emotions there.