Moments of Zen: Sept 24-29

happy-banned-books-week

I had a bit of extra zen when I sat outside and watching the Angry Birds movie with my son, on a giant projected screen, the previous Friday night Sept 23rd. It was a nice time and we both enjoyed it, though next time I would probably bring my own food and drinks and a bigger blanket and a cushion. Sept 25-Oct 1 is Banned Book Week, so please do celebrate your right to stand up and read what you want to read. Here is the Banned Book list of 2015 in pictures. I’m hoping to get to at least one of them on the list this week that I haven’t already read. 

Sat: The few minutes of by myself without worrying about Liam during his swim lesson, where I got to float on my back in the pool and not think about things. This is also a time where I feel particularly lovely and graceful. 

Sun: Sept Book Club meeting, where I presented a mini-talk about author Jonathan Swift and a bit about his book Gulliver’s Travels, and we talked about the book, politics, satire and anything else that caught our fancy. The potluck theme was British food and we had homemade pasties, salad, appetizers, scones (apricot oat ones made by me) and tea. It was perfectly delightful. We decided next months theme would be the French to celebrate our reading Kristin Hannah’s book, The Nightingale. 

Mon: Listening to my Spotify music while I write a new Dragon Age fanfiction story. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this one. Honestly it’s just nice to have a creative outlet again. 

Tues: Finally starting to weed my parts of the Children’s collection which I’ve been meaning to do for months but haven’t gotten around to doing; working more on my DA story. 

Wed: Playing SWTOR and enjoying my Sith Inquisitor character Skarnax (Force Lightning FTW!). 

Thurs: Finally finished up The Nightingale, which I really enjoyed reading though it definitely was an emotional roller coaster and had me guessing till the end. Should make for an excellent discussion at Bookclub next month; Watching Green Wing on Netflix and absolutely cracking up at Season 1, Episode 3: The Lodger (probably the most random and hilarious episode ever). 

Moment of Zen: Aug 20-26

Bel Air 57 fins

I’ve been rediscovering things that I’ve liked for years but I have forgotten about, like the above pic of the back of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, my favorite car for this year because the fins are pretty epic.  Granted I prefer it to be either red and white or baby blue and white, but the lines in this photo are gorgeous. I’m not sure if I’ll ever own one, but if I did, Arizona would be the perfect place to preserve it. This week I have been organizing teen/adult volunteers for Kids Cafe and getting ready for DiscoveryTime, which starts Sept 2nd. I’m finishing up my last two weeks helping out at one of our local branches, and though I’ve enjoyed my time elsewhere, I will be glad to be back on a normal schedule at my home library. My son seems to be somewhat settling in at school (he started about 2-1/2 weeks ago), though getting him actually in the building has been challenging. He’s always been one of those kids who hates the journey, but once he’s there in class, he’s usually fine and does well. Boo is so big and grown up in the pic below! It’s hard to believe he’s already in Kindergarten.  

Boo 1st day of school - Aug 2016

Boo’s 1st day of school – Aug 2016

Sat: Having a vegan lunch at Loving Hut with my mom and catching up on what’s been going on, and just relaxing as I feel like I’ve not had a whole lot of time to do that lately. The pandan cake and pho was delicious!

Sun: Eating brunch with my dad and son, and talking about family. The crimini mushroom, kale, mozzarella, roasted tomato and onion frittata was pretty tasty. I will give the melon cooler a skip next time though.

Mon: Talking to my friend Caren about everything going on and getting ready for bookclub on Sunday. I need to work on my discussion questions for the group. 

Tues:  Connecting with the supervisor at the branch library I’ve been working with this month, and talking about cooking and how much we hate to cook meat. 

Wed: Taco Salad Lunch with co-workers. It was part of the Community Service Fund Drive the Library does every year to benefit local charities and these were particularly yummy. I’ve also been indulging in the Ice Cream party version at the branch I’ve been working at for the past couple of weeks. 

Thurs: Hanging out with my son at the library where I work (when I’m not working). He loves going to Mach1 (our creative space for Makers, Artists, Crafters and Hackers). We tried the Minecraft and Star Wars Coding lessons on http://www.code.org, attempted battery-powered K’nex and then played with the Hyperdo making cool shapes. My son’s example is on the left and according to him is an AT-AT (from Star Wars) and mine is on the right (no idea what it was supposed to be, just my own creation). 

Hyperdo examples

Fri:  Probably talking about the book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with a co-worker and finishing up reading the book, I enjoyed it and wrote a review, see below. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a new play by Jack Thorne

Read 8/26/16

I love Harry Potter so I was curious about this play. It is based off a story by J.K. Rowling but I’m not sure how much is hers and how much was invented by Jack Thorne. As another Goodreads reviewer has said, it is basically fanfiction, and for me that is not necessarily a bad thing. Because it was written as a play and not a book, I think it loses a bit, which may be recovered if I saw the actual play itself (kind of like Shakespeare plays are easier to understand if you’re watching them).

There were some great quotes in the book and my favorite part is about in the middle where Ron is talking to Hermione (Act Three, Scene Seventeen, pg 223) and he thinks they should get a marriage renewal, which she of course thinks is totally romantic. He says:
“Well, we were only young when we did it the first time and I got very drunk and–well to be honest, I can’t remember much of it and…The truth is–I love you, Hermione Granger, and whatever time says–I’d like the opportunity to say so in front of lots of other people. Again. Sober.” I think that quote just encapsulates their relationship perfectly.

I also enjoyed a quote later on, in Act Four, Scene Four, between Draco and Harry when their sons are lost in time and they’re having an honest conversation about being parents and how hard that’s been. And Harry says to Draco: “Love blinds. We have tried to give our sons, not what they needed, but what we needed. We’ve been so busy trying to rewrite our own pasts, we’ve blighted our present.”

The play is set nineteen years after the events of “The Deathly Hallows,” and the gang is all middle-aged with families of their own. Ginny and Harry have married and have three kids, and Harry works for the Ministry of Magic while his wife is the sports writer for the Daily Prophet. Ron and Hermione are married and have one daughter, and Hermione is the Minister of Magic and Ron owns a joke shop. Harry’s kids are of course friends with Ron’s daughter and the book starts off telling the story of Albus, Harry’s middle child going to Hogwarts for the first time with Rose, Ron’s kid. On the train, they meet Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s kid and there is this whole controversy about whether he is actually Voldemort’s son. Despite being sorted into Slytherin, Albus enjoys it and becomes best friends with Scorpius. Then the stuff really hits the fan. There’s time travel, first love, angsty teenagers who don’t get along with their parents, and of course Harry Potter and his scar. The ending was a bit predictable, but overall I enjoyed it. Recommended for ages 12+, 3-1/2 stars.