Thursday, April 26, 2007

I seem to have very little discretionary time lately. We have some remodeling to do in our house so I'm doing Home Depot time and also getting quotes. Remodeling! How exciting! No, not really. I don't have the money to do all of this right now, so it's actually been frustrating trying to reconcile what I want to do with what needs to be done with what we can afford.

Our refrigerator has reached the legal drinking age.

Another time suck: I'm trying to figure out what to do with Georgie for school next year, seventh grade. She wants to go to a classical academy charter school, but I have this nagging discontented feeling about that place. You know what I'm talking about, fellow moms? That feeling that we need to look at other options. So I've been doing that.

Dick Cheney is speaking at my commencement today. I'm not there.

I finished The Promise by Chaim Potok, our book group read for May. I don't like it nearly as much as The Chosen. I don't think it works artistically. There are too many plot lines for Potok's terse writing style. There are some boring parts. He does us the favor of explaining what the different Talmuds (Palestinian vs. Babylonian) are, and other Jewish terms he uses frequently at the very end of the book. I don't think the characters are especially interesting or enjoyable as presented.

It was interesting to consider the religious themes, especially after having just finished Brideshead Revisited. I greatly preferred Brideshead Revisited, though perhaps that is an unfair comparison. Some say this is Waugh's best book. It was one of those books that got into my head and stayed there. The characters were fascinating and the writing was beautiful. It's a sad but beautiful book. Check out this sentence: "I knew what she meant, and in that moment felt as though I had shaken off some fo the dust and grit of ten dry years; then and always, however she spoke to me--in half sentences, single words, stock phrases of contemporary jargon, in scarcely perceptible movements of eyes or lips or hands--however inexpressible her thought, however quick and far it had glanced from the matter in hand, however deep it had plunged, as it often did, straight from the surface to the depths, I knew; even that day when I still stood on the extreme verge of love, I knew what she meant."


Anonymous said...

I don't think that there are any comparisons between books (not authors mind you but books) that is unfair. I mean, what makes a book good makes it better than other books. That's the reason we call it good. Just because it's that particular person's "best" book doesn't make it an unfair comparison, because you're comparing the better-ness of one book to another. Now, if you were comparing authors, and you had only read the best book of one author and just any old book by another, that would be an unfair comparison. You see what I mean?

Julie said...

So what do you think is causing your nagging discontented feeling about the school? Just curious. (Schools, etc, are very on my mind these days as I prepare to register five of my kids in schools for next year.)

Karen ~ said...

Listen to that nagging feeling, when it comes to our kids those feelings are usually right. You know I would love to have you back at our school ... :-)

Mark and Carla said...

Are you thinking the school in your town that we all considered at one point? I'd be interested in a post on that as well, since I had filed it away for possible future reference.

I personally would be relieved not to hear Cheney speak. My political beliefs aside, I just find him "eh" in terms of charisma, personality, etc. I'm sure it's a coup to have him speak for the college.

I'm starting Middlemarch--found it in a box of books I'm sorting (along with Les Miserables, which I loved and have that on the nightstand, too).

You have such great insights into books.

Karen ~ said...

I'm so cynical. What political message are we supposed to infer from Cheney speaking at BYU? Is this his message of approval of Romney? Is this the Republican party's way of telling their followers to accept an LDS candidate?

Or is this Karen with an overactive imagination?!

Calandria said...

mal, that is an excellent point about comparing books vs. comparing authors. thanks for weighing in. :-)

i didn't mean to suggest in my post that i am disappointed to miss cheney's appearance. no, he doesn't interest me. whether byu considered it a coup or not to have him speak there, i don't know. i suppose they did. this story, says he received thunderous applause, perhaps trying to make up for "the controversy surrounding his attendance." A mild protest of 100 people hardly seems "controversy" to be made up for, but anyway.

i don't think the mormon church leaders want to influence members one way or another politically. in fact, they have often spoken on the importance of political diversity within our church membership (which, for sure, is not very diverse here in the u.s.). this story,,1249,660207397,00.html, notes that President James E. Faust of the First Presidency "is a noted Democrat who served in the Utah State Legislature from 1949-51 and was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in 1962." byu has had many liberal or democrat speakers in the past, as also noted in the article.

as for the church leaders and romney, i imagine they will avoid each other like the plague so as not to give anyone ideas. anyone like you, karen. ;-)

Auntie Lee said...

I have two 'Its a good book or not' qualifications. You have books that are enjoyable to read and are thus good and other books that are of literary interest and thus good. If your really lucky you have both and then its 'really good'.

I agree with Karen on the nagging feeling with school. Listen to that feeling. It may be wrong but then find out why first before sending your kid there. If she has a really bad experience it could be damaging at such a young age.

Chaney? Who cares?