Friday, July 1, 2011

2011 - Book 16 - The Postmistress

Just finished reading Sarah Blake's novel The Postmistress. Here is write-up of what the book is about:
In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress in coastal Franklin, Massachusetts. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn't deliver it.
Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts from overseas with Edward R. Murrow. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London nightly. Most of the townspeople of Franklin think the war can't touch them. Both both Iris and Frankie know better...
The Postmistress is a tale of two worlds-one shattered by violence, the other willfully naive-and of two women whose job is to deliver the news, yet who find themselves unable to do so. Through their eyes, and the eyes of everyday people caught in history's tide, it examines how stories are told, and how the fact of war is borne even through everyday life.
I give this two definite thumbs up. While it took me a bit to actually get into the story, but once I did, I had a hard time putting the book down. It was actually a very powerful book after having just been to the Holocaust Museum in DC.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've Been a Bad Blogg

I so need to apologize to all my faithful readers out there as I have been MIA for a number of weeks now (aside from the short and sweet write-ups of a couple of books). I've had a number of blog-worthy moments over the past two weeks, while traveling to DC, and I'll try and capture the highlights here (and in the future, I'll try to be a better blogger).

Metro Experiences - When I'm in DC, I've actually become that city-girl I always thought I could be and I'm riding the Metro pretty much every day. Mind you, it isn't the most pleasant thing because there is a high percentage of homeless people in DC and they often use the Metro stations as their overnight abode and/or bathroom; so as the heat goes up in the city so does the funk. Luckily one day I had an elderly lady sit down next to me with so much perfume on that it not only covered up the urine smell and general funk smell, but she also managed to make my eyes water and singe my nose hairs.

Shuttle Experiences - When I would travel to one of the offices, I would take the Metro out there and then a shuttle bus would pick me up at the station and drop me at the office building (we around here really need to look at improving our mass transit system and expand the rail system and implement free shuttles to more offices...just saying). The shuttle driver is this older lady who is very, VERY chatty. I learned that her daughter and grandkids live with her because her daughter lost her job. I learned that she has a gun, but it is in multiple parts, but she is pretty certain that if a robber were to break into her house and he was slow, she could put the gun back together fairly quickly, as long as she could remember where all the parts were as well as the ammunition. Speaking of robbers, the only thing worth stealing from her is her old television set and even that isn't worth much, but it is worth more than her car. I also learned that she doesn't understand those of use that work in these offices and are working 10, 12, 15+ hours a day. Her little nugget of wisdom "You only get paid for 8 hours, why work more?"....Ah, if only I could drink THAT koolaid.

Tourist Experiences - I did manage to stay over the weekend this trip, so I did do a little touristing around. Not much mind you because for some reason the summer is a busy time in DC and there were just way too many annoying people around to have to deal with too many of the museums. I did get into the Holocaust Museum, which was a powerful place to go. I can't even begin to describe that experience. After the Holocaust Museum, I went to the Freer Museum where there is a lot of Asian Art, which I'm not a big fan of, but there is also quite a bit of James Abbot McNeil Whistler's work, which I actually do like. There is also what is called "The Peacock Room", which has a lot of vases and the like. It was in there that as I was trying to get a picture of the crackle on one of the vases and had my flash on... Yeah, I was yelled at by the guards about having my flash on... Oops.

Bathroom Experiences - Okay, so I'm not really going to share a whole bunch of bathroom experiences with you other than this one. I went into one of the stalls in the women's room in the office. I noticed that there was a slight crack in the seat, but didn't think anything of it. I put down my seat cover, dropped trou, and proceeded to sit. Mind you I was only doing #1, so there wasn't a lot of pressure needed. But, as soon as I sat down, the friggin' seat broke... Yes, my fat arse broke the toilet seat in a public bathroom. Of course, I couldn't do my business at that point, at least not in that stall, and luckily I was the only person in the restroom, so I quickly pulled up my pants and shuffled to the next stall and completed my mission. I came out of lady's room laughing so hard at myself that I could barely speak. It was literally the cherry topping to a crappy day (no pun intended).

Flight Experiences - Other than the normal delays and the fact that I almost gave myself whiplash when I fell asleep on the flight, nothing too exciting happened at the airport.

So, I think that wraps up the highlights of the last couple of weeks. I promise to try harder in getting my life documented and available for the world to read. Thank you for you patience with me.