(Yes, Mrs B, that was for you.)
So my newest obsession is the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. How I got here is kind of a funny story. The morning before I left for the Gregorian Chant retreat last month, I stopped by Barnes & Noble to buy something Matti wanted. At the check-out there was a display of all the books in the Southern Vampire series. The main character is Sookie Stackhouse, and the first one is the book that the HBO series True Blood is based on. They looked interesting, and I know from past experience that by the second evening of the retreat I'm usually ready for something that DOESN'T involve serious interior dialogue &/or contemplation, so I bought the first one, Dead Until Dark.
Sure enough, that Sunday evening I needed a break from all things chant, so I pulled up a chunk of big fluffy sofa in front of the gas fireplace in the retreat house great room and started to read. And kept going until I'd finished it about 4 hours later. And then I hit Barnes & Noble after I got back from the retreat the next day and bought the second. Finished that rather quickly too, and started ordering them in pairs from Powells until I'd read all 8. Figured that by ordering them on-line I'd have to pace myself a little bit and it would take a little longer to get through all of them. And it was really fun checking the mail box every day, hoping that the package from Powells was here.
So by now I've read all of them at least 3 times, some of them 4 times. Wasn't kidding about the "newest obsession" part. The books are about vampires and werewolves and other supernatural creatures. It's the first time in (literally) years that I'm not reading something that's either nonfiction or from the Children's Lit section. I think my favorite is Club Dead, because it's such a good story, and you can really see Sookie's good qualities, her loyalty, resilience, bravery and independence. It sets up the rest of the books really well, introducing themes that she's going to have to work through. In all the books, the kaliedescope of details and the humor are just addicting. This is the most fun I've had in a long time - been good for the marraige, even (hehehe). I get the irony of it, though, that I went off to find my spiritual center last January, and found something else entirely (!). Charlaine Harris tells a ripping good story, though, and I hope you all at least check out the first one.
Now on to a couple of completely different topics. Last week I went to Threadneedle Street in Issaquah and bought floss for the Celtic Cross blackwork pattern that I've sketched out. The inspiration was a Thomas Merton drawing that I saw at the retreat last month, and I'm excited that I'm actually working on an idea that I developed at the retreat. I always seem to come home with ideas, but have never actually gotten this far with any of them before.
And in case you're wondering, we're still working on where Matti's going to go to school next fall. The private testing he did went really well and they recommended that we get him into a gifted program. Then we got the notice from the Public Schools that based on their testing he didn't qualify for any accelerated programs. Guess he didn't have a good day when he did their testing. So we're putting together an appeal, and hope to get him into the gifted program after all. If not, we'll stop putting money into our retirement account and get him into one of the (very expensive) private schools that run accelerated programs. It's never simple.