Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Nevertheless, here we are again at the beginning of another semester. Jason is president of one of the student associations and is looking forward to his classes. And my first class in my certificate program is tonight. We're both taking an Old Testament class this fall, so it should be fun discussing!
This is Jason right before school started...
And the building where most of his classes are...
Also, last weekend, I co-hosted a baby shower for two of my student workers. It was my first experience hosting anything like that, but I had a great mentor. It turned out well!
I also did the invites (another first for me). Sorry the address is whited out, but I think you get the idea. :)
Next on the agenda will be Jason's birthday, my dad's visit and the kickoff of Alabama football! Roll Tide!
Meanwhile, I can't leave out the most important member of the family (at least in his own opinion). Fred is doing well and has decided that piles of dirty sheets make a really nice bed.
Friday, August 22, 2008
In my flurry of freshman excitement, I told my brother about the amazing view. He said, "Just remember, college is going to get tough. It's not always going to be as exciting and fun as it is now. You'll get bogged down by classes and papers and exams and just the stresses of life. But that's when you can look out your window and remember that The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards."
"Know-it-all," I thought.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Whatever we are, we are happy to be here, by the way. Fort Worth rocks...as does the entire state, I'm sure. ;)
These are the three books I read:
Jonah's Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston
The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King
The Reivers by William Faulkner
The Reivers was my favorite, but I enjoyed the new and familiar worlds opened to me by all three.
So, thanks again, Maggie, for hosting the challenge and being such an inspiring librarian!
Meanwhile, I don't have any other Southern lit on my plate right now, but I'll probably revisit it before next summer. You can see my reading list on the right. What are YOU reading?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
An update is coming soon. Life has been...busy, stressful, exciting. Add in your own adjectives; they probably fit.
Anyway, here is the latest layout of the rest of the living room sans treadmill. Thanks for the encouragement on the last post! :)
Spartan-ness is definitely a theme! Also, the wooden boards in front of the entertainment center are intended to be more protective than decorative. They're good shields for when a whim of nature (i.e. Fred) decides to exact his revenge on us for leaving him by attacking our DVDs.
After one year here, it's starting to feel more like home.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Lucius Priest wants to go home. It's understandable, given everything this 11-year-old has been through in the last week.
"Maybe I was just too little, too young; maybe I just wasn't able to tote whatever my share was, and if they had had somebody else bigger or older or maybe just smarter, we wouldn't have been licked. You see? like that: all specious and rational; unimpugnable even, when the simple truth was, I wanted to go home and just wasn't brave enough to say so, let alone do it...Not that that mattered either, since I would be home tomorrow with nothing--no stolen horses nor chastity-stricken prostitutes and errant pullman conductors and Ned and Boon Hogganbeck in his normal condition once he had slipped Father's leash."
That's right--stolen horses, chastity-stricken prostitutes and errant pullman conductors. Not to mention grand theft auto, horse racing, his first fist fight and learning about pugnuckling (i.e. the birds and the bees).
He is coerced, but coerced easily, into this den of iniquity by Boon Hogganbeck.
"Boon was a corporation, a holding company in which the three of us--[families]--had mutually equal but completely undefined shares of responsibility, the one and only corporation rule being that whoever was nearest at the crises would leap immediately into whatever breach Boon had this time created or committed or simply fallen heir to; he (Boon) was a mutual benevolent protective benefit association, of which the benefits were all Boon's and the mutuality and the benevolence and the protecting all ours."
Boon is transfixed with Lucius's grandfather's automobile--one of the first in the county. When Lucius's other grandfather dies, all of his adult relatives leave town, indirectly leaving Boon in charge of Lucius and the car, which they promptly steal and take to Memphis. Little did they know that Ned, a black man who also worked for Lucius's grandfather, had come along for the ride. They get into a series of misadventures on the way to Memphis, but nothing compares to their trouble once they arrive, when Ned trades the car for a horse. He plans to race the horse, win back the car and make plenty of money to boot.
Faulkner said he wanted to finish his literary career with a "golden book." The Reivers perfectly fits that description. It is a funny, coming-of-age story with vibrant characters and lush descriptions.
"Then there was all the spring darkness: the big bass-talking frogs from the sloughs, the sound that the woods makes, the big woods, the wilderness with the wild things: coons and rabbits and mink and mushrats and the big owls and the big snakes--moccasins and rattlers--and maybe even the trees breathing and the river itself breathing, not to mention the ghosts--the old Chickasaws who named the land before the white men ever saw it."
But there were also more succinct sentences than you usually find in Faulkner. In fact, some of my favorite quotes in this novel were the witty one-liners.
"There's a better use for the mouth than running private opinions through it."
"A Republican is a man who made his money; a Liberal is a man who inherited his."
"Women no more have whims than they have doubts or illusions or prostate troubles."
The novel is not lacking depth, however. The story is described as a "reminiscence." It is set around the turn of the century, but Lucius is apparently talking to his grandson in the early 1960s ("There are some things, some of the hard facts of life, that you don't forget, no matter how old you are.") at a time when he and the South can look back on mistakes they've made and lessons they've learned, all while looking toward the future of the "New South," symbolized by the automobile.Faulkner does end up making several poignant statements on race and racial relations in the South. Ned, in fact, turns out to be the smartest, most astute character in the novel--far from an Uncle Tom figure. Also, Lucius thinks nothing of sleeping with Uncle Parsham, a black man, as he does with his own grandfather. Part of Lucius's coming-of-age process is the growing sense that racism is wrong.
"I was a child no longer now; innocence and childhood were forever lost, forever gone from me."
Faulkner's take on women in the novel is also interesting. They are seen as embracers of change, moral but not flawless. He seems to indicate that they will perhaps have an easier time with this New South.
"It's not men who cope with death; they resist, try to fight back and get their brains trampled out in consequence; where women just flank it, envelop it in one soft and instantaneous confederation of unresistance like cotton batting or cobwebs, already de-stingered and harmless."
"Hitting a woman don't hurt her because a woman don't shove back at a lick like a man do; she just gives to it and then when your back is turned, reaches for the flatiron or the butcher knife."
Meanwhile, in Lucius's coming of age, he ultimately begins to understand more about home.
"We crossed the street toward home, and do you know what I thought? I thought 'It hasn't even changed.' Because it should have. It should have been altered, even if only a little. I don't mean it should have changed of itself, but that I, bringing back to it what the last four days must have changed in me, should have altered it. I mean, if those four days--the lying and deceiving and tricking and decisions and undecisions and the thing I had done and seen and heard and learned that Mother and Father wouldn't have let me do and see and hear and learn--the things I had had to learn that I wasn't even ready for yet, had nowhere to store them nor even anywhere to lay them down; if all that had changed nothing, was the same as if it had never been--nothing smaller or larger or older or wiser or more pitying--then something had been wasted, thrown away, spent for nothing; either it was wrong and false to begin with and should never have existed, or I was wrong or false or weak or anyway not worthy of it."
And, by the end, he better understands his role in the world as well.
"A gentleman can live through anything. He faces anything. A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences, even when he did not himself instigate them but only acquiesced to them, didn't say No though he knew he should."
I approached this book with trepidation. I read Light in August (my first Faulkner novel) last year and loved it, but I was beyond disappointed with As I Lay Dying. But The Reivers has redeemed Faulkner novels in my eyes and prepared me to take on another one--but not until next summer.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Bedroom this year...
Living room corner last year...
And a few days ago...
Better, yes? But did I mention I'm open to suggestions?!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Read from the beginning...
- ► 2013 (54)
- ► 2012 (139)
- ► 2011 (72)
- ► 2010 (164)
- ► 2009 (155)
- ▼ August 2008 (10)
- ► 2007 (181)
- ► 2006 (57)