Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Read This: Jamestown

This quarter’s Litblog Co-op Read This pick--thanks to Megan Sullivan--is Matthew Sharpe’s Jamestown. The book was in the window at Three Lives in the Village a few months back and the clerk there was excited about it, too, so don’t just take it from us…

The discussion of it and the other nominees is going to be heating up across the web as we enter the dog days of August. So, to whet you appetite, you might want to read Leora Skolkin-Smith’s review or hear Sharpe himself read from the book on NPR or read a short and cheeky interview at New York Magazine (where they don’t do long and thoughtful) or a longer and more detailed interview from Small Spiral Notebook (by Scott Esposito, no less).

Then, of course, hop over to Soft Skull and get your own copy…

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Other news from Seattle...

Since March, I've been on five airplane trips. Shall we review the horrors of post-9/11 airline travel?
  1. Trip 1: Newark-Ft. Myers: the return was cancelled due to snow. We drove home with the girls. A VERY L-O-N-G drive.
  2. Trip 2: JFK to IND: a mechanical delay
  3. Trip 3: Newark to LAX: a lost bag, returned 8 hours later.
  4. Trip 4: JFK to Dayton: a suspicious package had the Dayton airport in lockdown for 2 hours after my arrival there. Fortunately, I found a seat in the bar...
  5. Trip 5: Syracuse to Seattle via O'Hare, without spouse, with children (do not try this at home): thunderstorms in the midwest grounded the flight into O'Hare, leaving me and my daughters (4 1/2 & 15 months for those of you keeping track at home) stuck at the gate for seven hours. Upon landing in Seattle at midnight, we waited an hour for my bag (the teddy bears, onesies, and jeans arrived) before learning that the bag had decided to go to Houston. It arrived 24 hours later.
So, needless to say, this journey, compounded by jet lag, meant that it took us a few days to acclimatize to the glorious (if, then, heat-wave stricken) Pacific Northwest.

Nonetheless, early bedtimes (aided, again, by jet lag), champagne and other delights from my father's cellar, and a really amazing video collection and projection t.v. all soothed the rough edges. Evenings in Seattle are pretty unbeatable--sitting out on the patio, listening to the fountain, munching red pepper and goat cheese, and deciding whether to watch another episode of "Prime Suspect" or maybe "The Bourne Identity" or perhaps old English thriller. (We watched them all eventually, and more.)

My sister, brother-in-law and their two boys (7 and 4) treated us to many of the delights of the city: Matthews Beach, a beaver dam in the city (!), the wonderfully amazing Woodland Park Zoo, the Experience Music Project and Monorail. And two delicious dinners at her place! The older girl was wide-eyed with delight at her time with her beloved cousins.

And, though I found myself reeling under the weight of mothering without my husband or daycare, I also reveled in the ministrations of my mom. She spelled me readily and handily and the girls adore spending time with her.

In the past, a week in Seattle was like a week at a spa. Now, it's a little more like the Italian house that Byron found so congenial--"The place is very well and quiet and the children only scream in a low voice..."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Heard on vacation

(and addressed to me):

You're a good mother. You're just not used to spending time with children...

(So, I'm back from two weeks in Seattle and, while still vacationing, am now on vacation in a spot where I have 4 hours of childcare a day. I think I may refind myself shortly.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Don't despair--I'm on vacation and will get back to posting soon. Sorry to have disappeared without warning!