Monday, March 18, 2013

A worthy additional the Canadian canon

This was a truly good read.  I think back to my undergraduate degree in English, and I wish I could have read more books like this.  I really enjoyed this - the story was really well crafted, and I found I could relate to the main character a fair bit.  Coming from a working class background and being one of the first people in my family to graduate from a post secondary institution, I could recognize some of the experiences in this book.  Some passages were beautiful, and I think a real balance was struck in this book that you don't often find.  This is a book that will stay with me a while...

Shelf Reads

I was speaking to a dear friend who also likes to read as much as I do.  We were talking about the books you buy, and then put on your shelf until you are ready to read them - she called them "shelf reads".  You don't always get to your shelf reads, because there is no pressure to read them until you have nothing else to read, and then dropped them again when something more interesting came my way..  or I put of reading them until they are a book club read, so it is finally time to read them!  A few in this pile I have picked up a few times and tried to read... and I am currently reading 11/22/63.  It is an interesting read, a huge read, but not a quick read.  Then again, I have been damn tired lately.  Last night we weren't in bed late, but I was just tired.  I read for a bit, and then put it down because I just wanted to chill out before I drifted off.  Of course it became one of those nights both kids woke up, and both ended up in our bed.  Reason #23 to have a king sized bed - 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 slightly annoying cat.  I brought my book with me in the hopes I would actually take some proper breaks today.  I will get a long walk in at lunch, but maybe in the afternoon, with the sun still shining, I will escape with my book and get some natural vitamin D for a change!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I did say I wanted experience, right?

Ah, the little life lessons and curve balls that get thrown your way.

I said I wanted to get some management experience to add to my portfolio.  Be careful what you wish for.  I only have two staff on my team, let me tell you, they present some interesting challenges.  I try to be positive, I try to be supportive, and then you realize, really, truly, it all depends where a person is in their own self development and what they want to achieve.  It is incredibly how important it is to accept responsibility for one's actions, and when we stumble or make a mistake, it is character defining how we move forward from this.  This point has been illuminated this week.

After everything we have been through with the boys, it seems we are reaching a pivotal turn and things seem to be easing again.  We are just passing hump day this week, and the phones have been quiet and the reports I am getting about their behaviour has been pretty positive.  Hopefully things are getting back on track again.

Tomorrow we try out martial arts for the first time.  I suspect it will just be the big guy, but perhaps my little man can try it out as well.  My fingers are crossed it is something they think is cool.

I have been getting out for more lunchtime walks, and I finally have a decent parking spot again.  I finally decided to go for a residence parking spot again and I am shocked at how much it means to me.  Last fall when I gave it up for the childcare switches, I didn't realize how much I enjoyed having a slightly closer spot.  I have enjoyed the walks to and from my car, but it is an extra 20 minutes each day.  Now it is a 4-5 minute walk each way, and close to both daycares.  My life is much simpler now.  I could actually walk to my car at lunch if I need to, and it won't take me the whole lunch hour to get there and back! Again, who knew?

Ultimately it seems like the last six months has been a huge learning curve - making a whole bunch of changes, to go back and undo them, and make another series of changes.  It seems like it is working.  That is except for work, I seem to be doing a lot of working and my team seems to need to be doing different tasks and getting more on point.  I am knitting again - even if it is just dishclothes.  I figure I will stockpile them for Christmas gifts or something.  I am getting out for walks and even if it is slowly, my pants are starting to fit better.  I am certainly not shedding excess weight at a blistering pace, but it is slowly starting to come off.  I am going for the little things right now that can lead to bigger things/changes. Ah yes, speaking of lessons, I am learning about keeping my gas tank full - perhaps this is a life lesson I need to fully learn (just had an epiphany writing this) - I ran out of gas Sunday afternoon, and it turned out my fuel pump was toast.  Expensive tow bill and repair, and we are running again,  with the warning to not run down past a 1/4 tank.  That says something about more than just a vehicle - not to get below that point where you don't have anything left in the tank - refuel, take that break.  Like getting out of the office and walking at lunch - it is so important to not just sit there and stare at the computer all day.  The time flies by quickly enough as it is.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

End of the world literature

This book is somewhat ironic, considering that I picked it up to read from the library without realizing what it was about.  I mean this in the sense that I had just returned The Road, which is a book my DH got me for Christmas (he meant well, it is a very acclaimed book) that I had tried to read a few years ago and just couldn't stomach.  Yes, The Road is well written, however, I am just not in to nihilist, end of the world type books.  Hence the irony, in many ways the Age of Miracles is just that - an end of the world book.

It was an easier and quicker read than the last book.  In some ways it reminded me of reading the Lit Report (likely because both had younger heroines).  There are moments of brilliance in here, but I just really struggle with books about the end of the world.  They just don't do a lot for me.  The idea of this book is interesting - it describes from a 12 year female point of view, what happens as the earth's rotation starts to slow down.  It isn't terribly dark, there is some humor, and it is definitely an interesting read.  That being said, I am glad it was as quick read.  I do like that the the lead characters wrote their names and the dates in wet cement.. there parting words were "We were here".  Something profound in simple elegance.