Friday, June 27, 2008

The Thunderbolt Kid

Thanks to Kathy Simpsons's strong iced coffee, I was able to get a lot
of reading done last night. After three hours of clauses, verbs, nouns,
participles,modifiers, and many other important paraphernalia of the
English language, however, my brain started to hurt. To give my cranium
a rest I decided to switch to something light hearted instead.
on my bookshelf, buried under Wordsworth, Lawrence, and Conrad,I
knew, was a book I purchased on my recent trip back from England.
Traveling with a two year old and considering the "very unlikely" event
of an emergency landing(crash) it seemed like a good idea to buy
something funny. I chose Bill Brysons's latest work " The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid", an account of his childhood in Des Moines
???, Iowa. Luckily, there was no unexpected landing. There was,
however, a Thunderbolt Kid of my own that prevented me from even
starting to read the book.

Anyway, as I frantically tore through
masterworks of English literature, I found what I was looking for. It
took a moment to get back into Bryson's unconventional style of writing,
and as I lay there in my bed-- at midnight--tears of laughter streaming
down my face, desperately trying not to wake my husband by laughing out
loud, I remembered that it was this guy who really made me want to
become a writer. Bill Bryson and his Rabelaisian delight of using
scatological language, his love for lists, dramatic exaggerations and
endless rampages and digressions. His publication "Notes from a Small
Island" is still one of my favorite books. I attribute that to the fact
that his love for that very island reminds me so much of my own feelings
for the British Isles, a place I called home for more than ten years.
Apart from that, the book is really funny. Thunderbolt Kid is amusing in
a very different way. Here is a passage that--I thought--was hilarious!!
every summer, at the start of the mosquito season, a city employee in
an open jeep would come to the neighbourhood and drive madly all over
the place - over lawns, through woods, bumping along culverts, jouncing
into and out of vacant lots - with a fogging machine that pumped out
dense, colourful clouds of insecticide through which at least eleven
thousand children scampered joyously for most of the day"
In his
book, he states that "...perhaps a generous dusting of DDT would do us
good", and that is exactly the light hearted attitude and broad minded
outlook that I enjoy about Bryson's writing. There is so much humour
(mostly very dark) satire and a bit of sarcasm that makes reading it a
pleasure. By the way, all his books are great fun!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Birthday Boy!!

Another year has passed and, finally tomorrow, our son will be TWO.
Some call it the terrible two with lots of tantrums to set in on the
event of the second birthday or shortly thereafter.
I will put this
to the test and position a video camera above his bed tonight in order
to capture and document whatever happens the night before they turn
So far he seems normal and very happy and content. He greatly
enjoyed his pool Birthday bash - who wouldn't?? He loved being the
center of the Universe. Just like his daddy, when he was young and
handsome, Finley was surrounded by pretty girls, drinking in their beauty and bathing in their admiring eyes.
Whilst our son was carried away by Keatsean prose I made sure we all did not fade away like the ailing knight and tried to offer some more nourishing
things alongside love and beauty. I managed to trick the little
monsters into eating a VEGETABLE cake!!! They all thought, of course,
it was plain chocolate cake. What they weren't aware of, though, was the fact that it was made from zucchinis ***grrr
** covered with...oh no..dark chocolate. Fact is they could not get
enough of it and when the party finished - it was all gone;-))))
Amongst all of us we managed to bring every single blow up water toy that had ever been invented and guess who used them the most??? I guess the attached photos will be my witnesses.
of us stayed in the water until our skin was wrinkly and I swear I saw
some people started to grow webbed feat...could have just been toe jam
Anyway, it was great fun. Thanks to all you guys for coming out to Camp Hilbert in the remote Goochland
forests. I am glad we did not loose anybody out there, well, perhaps we
did. Please check in if you are still wandering the woods;-)))
Also, thanks for all the great pressies. Finley and Halliday RIPPED them all open later that evening, heavily encouraged by happy parents holding a cold beer and repeatedly 'cheersing' at the little bunnies.
All the items were immediately tested for child safety by all of us and all the snakes, crocodiles, airplanes, puzzles,
knives, forks, plates, books, sunglasses, magnifying glasses, and
backpacks got the parent's seal of approval. We still sat at the front
porch at midnight with rubber sunglasses, a snake each around our necks
and, by than, a Bourbon and Coke and a cigar in our hands.