Dance with me

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Book of Lost Things

Last week I finished this book. It is different from almost anything else I have ever read....probably closest to Harry Potter but not the same either. This book incorporates fairy tales but the tales are told in ways that I had never heard them told. It is fascinating and captivating and I love how it doesn't end happily ever after. The little boy, David who is the main character, grows up and learns about what is important while walking through the fairy tale land.
Also, if any of you are interested in careers as a writer, go to John Connolly's website and read his practical advice. He is straightforward and very informative.
Happy reading!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Tonight we watched Atonement. I read the book recently and really wanted to see the movie. The movie doesn't tell the whole story but it definitely has the same feel as the book. The movie does stick extremely close to the book and I love that. A beautiful, sequence, colors and minimal it!
I love the title of this book. Life can go terribly wrong by one wrong yourself or someone else. Sometimes there is no way to acquire or purchase atonement. Sometimes life just keeps going terribly wrong but it can still be beautiful and there can still be laughter in the process.
I would most definitely say to read the book and then see the movie. Always read the book first. That is a Julie rule. Whenever I have broken my own rule, I have regretted it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Okay, I Haven't Blogged for a Few Weeks

So much has happened since I last blogged....
It has been hard to blog. I have been busy but I also wasn't sure what I wanted to share and what I didn't.
I did go home with Lucy for about 4 days. Not long enough. I was able to spend time with my mom and dad. My dad is dying. He is on hospice care and I am not sure that he ever recognized me...but it was still good to see him. I am sure that that was the last time I would see him alive. My dad was not a great dad in many ways....he drank too much, he was verbally and physically abusive, he treated my mom terribly and he didn't seem to enjoy the company of his own family very often. But my dad did provide some good things for our family...he always worked hard, we always had a nice house and food, he had a very nice singing voice and when he was in a good mood there was twinkle to his eye and he could be very fun. That kind of personality can be very confusing to a child but as an adult you can see it all much more clearly. My dad did the best he could with what he had....his own upbringing got his way and his feelings of inadequacy many times kept him from being his best self. Aren't we all that way in some ways?
My mom is tired but still continuing to care for my dad. I admit that I looking forward to a freer time with my mom. Time to go to lunch, shop, swim at the beach and just hang out with her and my family. Those things haven't happened for a very long time. It was good to just be in the same house with her again.
My brothers and their families came over for dinner and it was fun to catch. My little brother's grandson, Christopher, is adorable and sweet. I can tell that Danny loves him. That is so good to see.
My mom's neighborhood has changed so much since I grew up there. It is like a little UN. You can find someone from just about every nation in the world in her neighborhood. That makes it very colorful. I love that about it but it does make it feel less like home. Most of the old neighbors are either dead or have moved. That is weird. I even saw women in full burkas. I wanted so badly to strike up a conversation but I wasn't even sure where to start.
I got to see some Bowie friends while I was there also...
Mickey's lacrosse game in the rain made me feel right at home in Maryland. All of Ann's kids have grown up so much and it felt so good to be with them. Sofie's reaction to seeing Lucy at Bowie High was worth the whole trip. Lucy said that she would like to be greeted like that every time she enters a room. The adults at the Bowie Church of Christ used to say that we they were little and would greet each other as they got to church...but they had probably seen each other the night before but were still so thrilled to see each other again.
Laurel and Gary had some friends over for dinner so I could see them all in one place. Thanks to both of you. Gary, I loved our kitchen conversation. It is so good to share our loads...somehow they seem lighter then.
Ann and I had so little time together and an even shorter time alone. We stayed up almost all night to try to catch up. It was worth it but definitely didn't feel long enough. Thanks for staying up with me and then getting up in an hour to take us to the airport.
It was good to meet Mark because he means so much to Ann. A nice guy. I know that I need more time to get to know him. I can tell that Ann's kids love him and that speaks volumes to me.

Tomorrow we go to pick up Mary Kate. Yay!!
I know that it will be hard for her to leave Oxford. I can only equate it to my summers working at camp as a teenager. We had formed such deep community and we knew that it would never be the same and it was hard to leave. I know that she is feeling some of that.
I love these two pictures of her during her last days there.
The one with the whole group of girls is a shot of all the girls who lived in the basement of house 9 for the semester. Can't wait to hear all their stories.