Saturday, March 23, 2013

Scenes from Date Night

Last night, the stars aligned and my son and I had some alone time together. After dealing with adults and adult problems all week, it was refreshing to listen to someone talk about important things like kindergarten and counting to 100.
At first he didn't want to go on a date--he said, "No way mom, I'm too young to get married."
All I had to say was "Big Boy."
With a coupon from Valentine's burning a hole in my pocket, we went to Frisch's--one of our favorite things. My date offered a taste of his vegetable soup. "This is a date, you're supposed to share," he informed me.
We did share hot fudge cake, a delicious finish to our meal. We talked about all the things we will accomplish this summer including riding a bike with no training wheels, going on vacation, and swimming A LOT.
Back at home, we held hands and watched several episodes of SpongeBob Square-Pants. A date is no good if you're not laughing, I always say.
I overheard him later proudly telling my fiancée about our date. I think he likes me. He didn't hold the door open and he didn't pay but I think I'll see him again.

Voter Registration Deadline

Oct. 9 is the voter registration deadline in Ohio. It probably goes without saying how critical Ohio will be in the outcome of this presidential race, and the future of our country.

Secretary of State offices and county boards of elections will accept new and updated voter registrations until 9 p.m. Tuesday. A form can be printed from the website and brought to one of those offices.

To check your voter registration or update your information, go here.  The SOS has also provided this nifty guide to voting in the Buckeye State.

Recently Read: The Kitchen House

Before embarking on a 12-hour road trip to Florida, I packed three books and selected The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom as the first read. It had been awhile since I'd enjoyed some historical fiction and the back cover said there was a "dark secret" to be exposed...

It didn't take long to become engrossed in the life of young Lavinia, an indentured servant arriving to Virginia in 1791. Separated from her Irish family, she becomes a part of the Tall Oaks plantation, but belongs neither in the big house or the kitchen house, where she is intended to live.

Grissom offers two perspectives in narrating the story by Lavinia, and also Belle, a slave and manager of the kitchen house. At first I was put-off by this, but the book would have been lacking without Belle's perspective. As a level-headed mainstay of the plantation, Belle offers the story a sense of balance.

The book explores themes of isolation, history repeating itself and of course, secrets! This is by no means a feel-good novel. It is however, a feel-real novel, as the characters and their emotions easily come to life.
After finishing, I couldn't bring myself to start another book right away. I needed to revel in this story awhile. I lived in, smelled, hated and loved the kitchen house. I experienced all the good and bad the plantation had to offer, thanks to Grissom's excellent development of the scene and its characters.

I loaned this book out to one co-worker who concurred with my assessment. I'm curious what other readers thought of the book.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Half a lifetime ago

This is one of the few pictures of myself that I actually like. Can you see that smile on my face? It doesn't get bigger or happier than that. I was on top of the world...probably heading to King's Island. Hell, I might have just been going for gas.

Or oil... This beast burned through a quart per week. Looking back, the best thing about that 1987 Pulsar was the paint. Nevermind that the fifth gear was shot. I had my CD player velcroed to the dash, the wind in my hair and my best friend Mandy riding shotgun. What else do you need at age 16?

Freedom. I was a good kid. I didn't always make the right choices but I had a job, sports and I only skipped algebra (sometimes). Oh to be so carefree. "Youth is wasted on the young."

It's hard to avoid introspection while looking into the rearview. Would I--could I--change anything, having the present knowledge? What would then-me think of now-me?

I think the years have humbled me and hopefully I'm far less judemental than I was as a know-it-all teenager. Come to think of it, I know a lot more now. And I'm more self-assured than I was as an awkward teenager. I guess it's not so bad here in the mid-thirties.

I hope this post doesn't come off as terribly narcissistic. I'd love to hear about then-you vs. now-you if now-you would like to comment. Or, just tell me about your first car.

In 1997, I was going places