Tuesday, April 08, 2008

darn ether gremlins!!

Arg. For some reason, today the internet is saying, "No, Laini." Sites won't load, photos won't upload. Perhaps there are ether-gremlins toying with me. Well, I hope they're happy. I'm tearing out my hair in pink clumps. The birds are pleased about that. This year they shall have pink nests!

Went down to the Los Angeles area this weekend for my grandfather's 90th birthday. The whole family was there. Well, half the family has stayed there all along, while we -- the other half -- have moved around for the 39 years of my parents' marriage and settled elsewhere. That half of the family has been much more obliging about supplying my grandfather with great-grandchildren, with eight to their credit, to our one! My cousin's big house bursts at the seams with kids and basset hounds, teenagers and boyfriends, cheerleading pom poms and video games. There are wet footprints from the little cousins running in from the hot tub to grab a piece of cake, and there is the most giant TV I have ever beheld. It's noisy and always fun. We haven't all been together in almost ten years, since we convened for my great-grandmother's 100h birthday, so it was nice to see everyone.

We also saw Jim's family, saw our three-year-old niece Grace in a ballet recital (ever seen a ballet recital of three-year-olds? It's very very cute and there are lots of tutus, but not so much dancing!) The teacher videotaped the girls and asked them all what they want to be when they grow up. Grace answered first: she wants to be a pony! After that, about half the girls decided they too want to be ponies (though there was one cow) and the other half wanted to be ballerinas. Well, one little girl said, loudly and without hesitation, "I want to be a star!" (kid you not), and another said chef.

I don't know if it's me, if it's blogger, or my internet connection, but I cannot post a photo of myself with a tutu on my head! Darn!

While traveling, I read a couple of more Eva Ibbotson books. As someone mentioned in comments to my last post, these books were in fact published as adult novels, with explains the sexiness, but I guess Penguin has reprinted them as YA, with the cheesy covers that makes you want to not be seen with them on an airplane. To be fair, I bet the 1985 cover wasn't a paragon of sophistication either! Anyway, I didn't love the other two as much, but they were fun and romantic. I guess I like romance novels! Well, I wouldn't put it just that way. I like books that have romance in them. Like fantasy, that's something I've had to admit to slowly over time. After college I was such a book snob. I worked in a bookstore but I read mostly classics, not even contemporary fiction -- there was a Balzac kick, if I recall -- let alone fantasy or romance! But that's all over now. I'm sure Balzac is great and all, but I don't remember any of his books keeping me up til 2 in the morning. I don't think they ever made me want to flip to the next chapter in a welter of anxiety to cheat and make sure someone was still alive, or to get to the kiss already!!! I am no longer a snob, except in this way: like many former snobs, I am a snob about snobs. I feel qualified to pity them for all the great fun reads they're missing.

I'm going to try uploading photos again. . .

Nope, no luck.

Well, I'm going to be immersed in a swamp of work for the next few days, getting caught up on some stuff, so I probably won't be around here. Happy week!


Deirdre said...

Three year olds make me almost swoon with their cuteness. My sister-in-law is a ballet teacher and I can barely wait until my newest baby niece is old enough to wear a tutu.

I hope blogger co-operates soon. That sounds like a picture that should be seen.

tone almhjell said...

I never even got to the snobbery - all the reading I did for my college classes in German and Elglish literature was fine, sometimes beatiful and moving, like Adam Bede or Joyce's The Dead, sometimes dull and instantly forgotten.

But fantasy and science-fiction make my heart soar. Not all of it, when it's bad, it's often horrible, but the good stuff: luminous.

Tolkien said: "I desired dragons with a profound desire", and I understand. Not dragons, per se, but a certain element of fairy tale, of an age of campfires and adventure where the fate of many hangs on the courage of a few, where one day, a wizard may come knocking.

As for romance, I still haven't gotten over the heartbreak of His Dark Materials. I wept.

Have fun being busy, you, and come back soon.

gina said...

I love your description of your cousin's house -- with all the frenzied activities buzzing around that constitute a family. My dad was from a huge family so your description really took me back to visiting my grandma's on Sundays. Unfortunately we didn't get to keep her for 100 years. That's so fantastic! I too am a former book snob, being haughty only with book snobs...though in college my thing was the contemporary fiction along with greek lit. Whole echelon of snobbishness around that in itself. Too much fun to have with books for that to stick. I love me a mystery, or delicious historical romance. Well, I really just love books. Of all kinds. =*)

Q said...

When I was in preschool I wanted to be a "Girl at the store." Don't ask me what that means, I have no idea.

tone almhjell said...

Also, I think at the age of eight, I really was a horse, a young mare in a flock of wild palominos.

I galloped around in the garden, which really was a gigantic forest where we fled Evil Hunters and their poison darts. We jumped fences and ditches, hid in thickets and raced across treacherous, sunny glens.

Good choice, sweetie!

brittany said...

happy week to you too, friend!

Heather said...

Have you seen the movie "Pulse"? The ethernets are out to get us. No joke.

Amber said...

You know what? I have to admit I also like romance books. I read a few a year... But years ago, when I was doing a lot of really hard work in therapy, I read romance after romance for about a year. I think I just needed something light and fun. And many of them are really actually very good stories! I didn't know. (some are lame, though). I bet you would like the Outlander books. I have not read them yet, but they are time travel romance. Big sellers when I worked at Borders. ;)

Best romance ever: Forever Amber. Classic. Beautiful. Brilliant...Great title. (ahem)


tinker said...

Wow - 90 years old - Happy belated birthday to your grandpa - and your great-grandma turned 100 - you've got some great longevity genes going in your family!

I am sorry you couldn't post photos - would have loved to have seen you with a tutu - or at least some 3 year olds in tutu's - I have happily been audience to 3 year old ballet recitals - and they definitely dance - or don't dance, as the case may be, to their own beat - but so cute, they could do nothing but stand there (and a lot of them choose that performance technique :), and the audience adores 'em anyway.

As for books, though I have to be in the mood for certain kinds of novels, all that matters really is whether the story and the writing captures my interest, whatever the genre - there are good stories and writing to be found in any of them...book snobs don't know what they're missing out on. Though it's been awhile, maybe I'll get in the mood for a romance novel again, one of these days. I'll try to remember that series, when I do get back 'in the mood.'

Amber Lough said...

Hope all is well and you're getting heaps of pages written!

Granny Smith said...

The internet gremlins must be out in force today. I just wrote a long response to my granddaughter and her husband who wanted suggestions for titles for photos that they were submitting to a professional photographers' contest, the deadline of which is tonight (EDT. And I'm Pacific time). Having spent an hour on thoughtful comments, my server suddenly told me my time was up and erased everything.

Your reunion sounds as wonderful as our family reunions always are. Anna, who was 3 years old at the time of our first reunion 17 years ago was also a baby ballerina. At Adelphi, where she is majoring in drama, she still has a minor in dance. I remember her in a pink tutu - which she would scorn now as really corny.

Back to the gremlins for me...

GypsyGirl said...

Well, I've never done this before and I didn't have a screen name and password. The stuff I wrote got erased (hrumph). So the bottom line is this, I read King's Peace and King's Name by Jo Walton. I've never found the third in the trilogy The Prize in the Game. But the first two were great! It's about a female warrior. I know sounds kind of bland when I put it that way, but you should look up the book and check it out.

I also wanted to add to the book snob thing. I hated reading most of my life and by working with kids and an ex boyfriend I got hooked on books. I love fantasy most. I also do 99.9% of my reading from the kids/teen sections. Making up for lost time, or it's just the kid in me, I've no idea. I also use my knowledge to help get kids to love reading and not hate it like I did. I'll share a funny story with the world. I hated reading so much, we ALWAYS had book reports to do. I hated it. I had no interest in reading and the library was very overwhelming. They also didn't do much to make it fun or interesting. So one time we had one of those horrible book reports due. I grabbed a book and it happened to be the Velveteen Rabbit. It's like what, 14 pages long (LOL)? Well I fibbed AAALLLL over the place on the book report. I never thought the teacher would have read it (DUH!)and could flub my way through it. Needless to say, I got a big fat zero.

Happy reading to all no matter what your vice is.