Friday, August 20, 2010

The mornings are cool enough that the kids are complaining if I don't bake breakfast. They are tired of cereal and toast. I might ignore their clamoring for another week, but Dancer is in the midst of a two-week ballet intensive, dancing five or more hours a day, and I'm a bit nutrition-obsessive on her behalf. So I made cheddar biscuits today.

Once Big Guy was out the door and Dancer's hair was done, I sat down to get some work done. Except this morning I found myself browsing books on Amazon, instead. This is a bad sign. I resort to book shopping the way some women shop for shoes. When I'm hurting, footwear is irrelevant to my emotional life; what I crave is mental stimulation. I had $68.42 worth of merchandise in my cart before I realized I was trying to buy my way into a better state of mind. So I sighed, and finally got around to sending in the order for the younger kids' school curricula instead. Then I wrote up our official homeschooling plans, and mailed them off. Then I paid some overdue bills, to hammer home the need for fiscal restraint.

It didn't subdue my inner howl, but at least I got a few things checked off my to-do list. Eldest leaves for school in less than a week. She's ready, I'm ready, and everyone else bursts into sobs periodically. To make the week more interesting, we go for a placement interview for Big Guy on Monday. It's at one of the two facilities that might be able to meet his needs. We have another important meeting about him the day before we get on the bus to Boston.

Under the circumstances, buying a good book is probably a reasonably healthy coping mechanism. I'm in the mood for non-fiction. Recommendations, anyone?


  1. Did you ever read Robert Sullivan's _Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants_? It's fascinating, nay compelling, and lends itself well to reading in little bits. Also, I just re-read _The Subway Chronicles_, ed. Jacqueline Cangro, and it held up. Short takes on the NYC subway from a number of different authors. I started reading _Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory_ by Ben Macintyre a while ago based on a NYTimes book review, but didn't end up finding it as interesting as it sounded -- but I still want to dip back in. Other good reads from the past year: Jasper Rees, _A Devil to Play: One Man's Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra's Most Difficult Instrument_; Margaret Atwood, _Payback: The Shadow Side of Wealth_; Maryanne Wolf, _Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain_; and Tom Vanderbilt, _Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)_ (maybe less compelling if you're not driving regularly).

    For good old-fashioned escapism (but not non-fiction) there's The 39 Clues series, which I picked up to vet for Zeke and found myself rather hooked on.

    Let me know if you end up reading, and liking, any of these!

  2. The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks is excellent.