ninanevermore: (Default)
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Book Club last week was a lot of fun, even if the book we read wasn’t much fun at all. The fact that the book was almost universally hated by the five of us who showed up made it fun to sit around in a circle and talk about just why we hated it so much. Only one member was sympathetic toward it. She didn’t consider it great, finally admitted that it made her sentimental for her dear departed grandma, who used to like such books.

Can we make Mary contrary? )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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Different jobs have different indignities that come with them, and some are worse than others. I dropped by my local used bookstore on Saturday and got to speaking with Judy, the owner’s mother who works the counter on the weekends, while my son browsed in the children's section. He is only just beginning to learn to read, but his books have pictures, so he can tell what he will find interesting.

Judy had mentioned before that she had only gotten into reading since working in the bookstore, but the bug has bitten her bad in the last year and she is now happy to make recommendations and discuss books with the clientele. On Saturday she told me what she did before her current job.

Listening to stories in the bookshop. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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We all want our children to feel special, but none of us want our children to be or feel "special." Those quotation marks make for a world of difference: special is good, but "special" is not.

"I'm the only 'special' kid in my class!" Sweet Pea told his father yesterday. He was pretty proud of this. When Jeff passed the message along to me, I flinched.

When a Stranger Is a Friend You've Already Met )
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The state of Texas will execute a man named Peter Cantu tomorrow and I, a Democrat-leaning citizen who is not the biggest fan of the death penalty, will not shed a tear. Almost no one who lived in Houston in the summer of 1993 will. The murders of two teenage girls, Jennifer Ertman (14) and Elizabeth Peña (16), captivated the city in a way that I can’t recall any other murders – even those that were equally horrific – doing. The images still play out in our collective memories like a macabre slide show.

My dear, do you know /How a long time ago / Two poor little children / Whose names I still know /Were stolen away / On a fine summer's day / And left in a wood / As I've heard people say? )
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The parade on Saturday night is Tomball was a little on the lame side, but that’s okay. Since I moved to Tomball in 1997, I’ve come to expect parades that err on the side of unimpressive. Let’s face it; unlike Houston - its colossal neighbor to the southwest that takes up over 600 square miles - Tomball, Texas, is a small town. They don’t have a big city budget, but they do their best. Each year their best gets a little more impressive to my eyes (which have learned to not expect much). Most parades that I’ve seen in Tomball begin with a fire truck; this year it ended with one, too. And we had 5 Shriners chasing each other in their little Shriner cars; last year they only had one in the Tomball Night parade. It that was sad.

“One Shriner?” a man standing next to me watching the parade asked, his voice incredulous. “Where are the rest of them? Aren’t there supposed to be more?”

“We’re a small town,” I said, holding my fingers about a half-inch apart. Then I moved them closer together, to about a quarter inch. “Really small. We only get one.”

Text goes here )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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My son’s babysitter, Kris, is a nervous sort of woman. She’s cautious beyond cautious by nature. Lately, though, she’s been in a state of high alert, due to what she calls “the incident” that happened in her subdivision a few weeks ago.

“I’m exhausted,” she told me the other day when I dropped by in the evening to retrieve my son, “You wouldn’t believe how many kids have been in and out of my house today!” She lives next to a sort of open cul-de-sac, where the road sort of bubbles out in front of the houses of her across the street neighbors. On this day, the kids were all playing in this wide spot in the road, staying toward the back where the traffic didn’t pass. Kris does not like her daughters to be outside (even her 12 year old) without her to keep an eye on them, but there were at least 7 kids at her house that day. The latch-key friends of her oldest daughter with mothers who work don’t want their daughters at home alone these days, and they’ve been hanging out at the homes of their friends who have stay-at-home moms. This will probably continue until there is an arrest, or enough time passes that people start letting down their guards again.

Some things have to be spelled out. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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In March when I dropped by the new (used) bookstore, Bookworms, not too far from where I live, the lady behind the counter (Judy, the mother of one of the owners) invited me to join their book club when they met again in April. They would be discussing Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, in large part because they had a lot of copies of it to sell. She put her hand on the stack of copies of this book that sat on the counter when she told me, and I could see they certainly did. I can imagine that when you run a used bookstore, it can be feast or famine with certain titles.

“It’s really good,” she told me, “I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I read it in about 4 days.” She told me a bit about the book and when I looked skeptical (it’s about a veterinarian in a circus during the Great Depression), she promised that it was an amazing book and that once I picked it up I would have a hard time putting it down. I added it to the stack of books I was buying, more because I was curious about what goes on at a book club meeting that I was about circus life in the 1930’s.

Let me look at that cake. )
ninanevermore: (Ferris Wheel)
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“First my dog and then my grocery store,” I said to The Carney, a.k.a., the Angel of Death, a.k.a. Jim, “You keep nickeling and diming me, man.”

The Carney didn’t even look at me, though he did crack a crooked grin on the side of his mouth that wasn’t holding his cigarette. Being just slightly younger than Time (who he once told me he admires and considers to be a mentor), he’s been around long enough to know that pissing and moaning is part of human nature. It's something people need to do from time to time in order to make ourselves feel better by wallowing in our own misery for a bit. The demise of my 16-year-old dog and the closing down of one of the last family-owned-and-operated grocery stores in southeast Texas are of little concern to Jim. He’s seen it all – literally – millions upon millions of times before. Still, he tried to sound sympathetic. Not enough people give him credit for it, but Death has a strong streak of decency.

Dog gone it. )

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