Monday, April 14, 2008

Visual highlights of the weekend and BOOKS! A meme

Photo of us with Congressman Nick Lampson after a luncheon.Photo credit: Colleen O'Brien, reporter, Friendswood Reporter News

Brunch with the fab Liv and Jenny.

And a ton of birthday parties.

Our weekend was nonstop---which can be good, and exhausting. Also, it sets a bad precedent with kids, who will now think every weekend revolves around MegaFun.

In brief:

* As always, an interesting lunch with Congressman Nick Lampson. The Democrats are the truly family friendly party. It's not a euphemism for "live according to our morality or we'll make you by law." It means, "we know people have families and we want to be supportive of that." So keep that in mind, my friends, as the election draws closer. Mr. Lampson's chief of staff could not have been kinder or more helpful in accommodating me showing up with Persistence. Mr. Lampson could not have been nicer to her, even earning her trust and a smile. The other guests were also very nice, and gave her lots of positive attention, which she thrived on. She was extremely well-behaved, which only endeared her to us all more.

* Liv, Jenny and I met for brunch and a great time. I'm not sure I can recount all of it (or any of it) but I think we decided to ship me to San Francisco in a crate where we'd build a gazebo teepee for Jenny in the lobby of a hotel. And maybe Jenny and Liv are dating now. I'm not sure. We definitely broke bread together. UPDATE! Liv broke the big Jenny secret on her blog. I want the record to reflect that I kept this secret out of consideration for all of her readers, but also because she threatened me with a curse of daily tantrums by my three year old. Oh. Wait. how was that threatening again?

* Four birthday parties, an art class, and an initial meeting of our senate district delegates and alternates, as well as other motivated parties wrapped up the rest of our time.

BOOKS! A meme

A while back Arkie Mama tagged me for a book meme. As usual, I'm not following the rules. I'm supposed to turn to page 123 and write a paragraph but instead I'm going to tell you the last three books I read and contradict myself with coincidence.

1. Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. This book and I had a rough start. Have you ever had a rough start and then, in the end, found that sometimes the bet things in life are a challenge? That's the outcome of this book. After the halfway point, it felt like the best of classic Russo and I dragged it out, loathe to have the book end. It had so many complex elements to it, and is such a rich reflection of life, that I can't begin to describe it. But if you like Russo---and you probably should, or at least read one of his books because he will probably go down in history as one of the greatest writers of this time period---definitely read this book.

Point: One character lives in Venice, and a central revolving point is two other characters planning to travel to Venice. Venice is, in fact, a bit of a character in the book.

2. The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. I picked this one up at the same time as the Russo because they were side by side (for some reason) and both new releases by authors I really like. It didn't occur to me that this book was set in Venice, as well, and was about Venice. Classic Berendt, with brief forays into the characters and culture of a town.

3. The Guido Brunetti series by Donna Leon. Also set in Venice. Hands down one of the best mystery series I've ever read (am reading). I can't stop. I've read about five and have quite a few in front of me. Leon is from New Jersey but has lived abroad for along time. She captures the air and character of Venice amazingly well---the sort of insight as only an outsider who has melted into a culture can do. Her main character, Guido Brunetti, is charmingly realistic and likable, without an iota of perfection. Initially I struggled against some of the Venetian police ways and was perplexed by some local customs, but she expects that and somehow seamlessly weaves in explanations, without being obvious or patronizing. A must read.

I honestly had no plan to read a series of books all set in and about Venice; it just happened. But how interesting to see the different takes three brilliant authors have on the town.

What are you reading?

Fun links:

Make sure to check out the Just Posts for March!

And last post (Her Bad Mother's writing prompt) I didn't pull my link list together, so here it is better late than never. For more posts on the Prom theme, click these...

Mrs. Flinger
Oh The Joys
Mean Girls Need Not Apply
A Fine Frenzy
Julie Pippert
Mamma Loves
Man Prom!
Alpha Dogma
Don Mills Diva

Note: I'm flat out this week, again, especially after having Persistence home all week last week. I have to fit two weeks into one. I'll do my best to drop by and visit you, I promise.

Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Julie Pippert REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS: A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products
Moms Speak Up: Talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern.


Gwen said...

It's always fun to see pictures of you and your children, Julie.

And you ARE coming to BlogHer. Yes you are.

I heard somewhere once, that if you believe you can achieve or if you dream it, you can achieve it. Or something like that. How's that working for us?

I am with you on the busy week/s; we will help each other out by not posting, right? See what friends we are? The best kind--the ones who know when to shut it. :)

Mad said...

OK. For a gal who can't make it to BlogHer, I swear you hook up with more bloggers than anyone else I read. The entire freakin' blogging world seems to come to Julie.

womaninawindow said...

The pressure that being a politican must bring on. I suppose you'd have to be a certain type of person...It always perplexes me that for such a diversified country like the U.S. there are (essentially) only two parties. Not that we have anything figured out in Canada...

Jennifer H said...

You know I loved Bridge of Sighs. (Did that book club ever get going?) I will read it again sometime, for sure. I love his writing.

I also like John Berendt, but haven't read that book. It's on my list now-- thanks for the recommendation. I love the synchronicity of all the books having a Venice connection. Though I'm a big obsessed with going to Venice lately.

liv said...

You know, sister friend, the only thing that I can think of that sounds better than you in a crate to SF is my idea of the massage Jenny fund. Shhh... oh, and you know, Jenny doesn't get enough blog traffic. you should have linked her up so people would know who she is...

Family Adventure said...

Great pictures, but your weekend sounded CRAZY! I don't know how you managed to fit it all into 48 hours!


Christine said...

what a weekend!

i'm so crazy busy, too. i'm afraid i'll be quite delinquent on post readings!

flutter said...

Look at you, all glowy and gorgeous with la liv and Jenny!

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Not a indian teepee. And I am totally going to ship you with my indian teepee to BlogHer. I can't believe I remembered that and you didn't considering you were the only one who wasn't drinking heavily at 9am.

Julie Pippert said...

Gwen, yeah, not going according to plan. I must not be doing it right. And okay! Yeah that's a real friend for you!

Mad, that's just the way I like it. Bring the mountain to Mohammed, baby. (They really come to see Jenny or Kyla and I just benefit from the side. I'm like the nerdy sidekick friend who gets all the perks but no responsibility of being the cool one.)

Woman, yes, indeed.

Jennifer H, Melissa at Taking what's left did start a club. She's got a book notice up now I think.

Liv, what a polite Southern way to point out I missed the link love. Es typico of me. I'll take the change from the Massage Jenny fund. It should get me round trip first class, you think?

Heidi, me either. We had to cut two events. One was a sad cut. But we'll have another chance. I'm still tired from it all.

Christine, thanks for taking a sec to pop by. :)

Flutter, the Bloggess blogessified all the photos. I just sent them to her and she made them all Valhalla-esque-ish.

Jenny, one cup! One cup of coffee! At 9 a.m. How you can expect me to keep up the bazillion details you and Liv had flying at that time of day with one. cup. of. coffee. Where's the unconditional love? But you're right...a tee pee with a flashlight. The canvas would be more comfortable to ship with, I think.

Kyla said...

Awesome! Looks like a great (and exhausting) weekend. Hope P2 is on the mend. BubTar is home with a double EI today. Dude. We just can't stay away from the doctor. Friday and Monday both.

Kathryn said...

Looks like you had a fun weekend even if you were crazy busy.
Now go and rest!

Cathy said...

Your weekend was even busier than mine! Am now dashing off to add to my Amazon wish list...