Sunday, March 07, 2010

I know I am prejudiced but I think McKinley is the the most gorgeous princess around. :-) It helps that I am the Queen Gramma who bought her the dress and that her Queen Mamma has the ECU pirate sweatshirt on. Hmm - a Princess Bride theme going with the Dread Pirate Roberts as a girl! McKinley turned two on the 24th and her princess outfit was part of her gift from us.

Speaking of birthdays and pirates. Steve's birthday was yesterday and I found a card game for him Princess Bride: Storming the Castle Game He knows I truly love him as I said I'd even play with him and I do not like The Princess Bride at all. I spent a very, very long ride over to Louisville with Steve and his friend Chet reciting lines from the movie awhile ago - I still haven't gotten over it!

Last weekend was an all Oscars day on the oldies channel so I wallowed in old movies while my poor body adjusted to yet another medication to deal with the knee pain and swelling as the orthopedic surgeon won't do the next surgery until we know what is causing the bone lesions are on my skull and why I keep having these weird episodes that feel like mini-strokes. Rather than feeling sorry for myself I decided laughter was a good antidote as the medication was making me too sick to do much of anything else but lay in bed. I had forgotten how wonderfully funny The Philadelphia Story is, especially the scene where Jimmy Stewart wakes Cary Grant while quite tipsy on champagne. We watched a documentary with Jimmy Stewart awhile ago and he mentioned he had added the hiccups without telling Grant and Grant had just gone right along with it so when I watched it last Sunday it was even funnier. I am a big Katherine Hepburn fan too so both she and Cary Grant in the same movie means double the viewing pleasure for me. I guess I was born in the wrong era. I found a first edition of Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart by Charles Higham which was published back in 1989. It had barely been cracked. I devoured every page of it but the rosy hue I had around the movie legend certainly ended up tarnished like copper does when it isn't polished regularly. And clearly back then his image was polished. He may have appeared to be a very genteel man in his movies and when he did his visits to small venues to answer questions from his fans later in life but he had a bit of a split personality from what his several ex wives had to say about him. He was not quite as eccentric as one of his best friends, Howard Hughes, but he wasn't a whole lot far behind. But, learning he was far from perfect did not kill my fascination with him or his movies so I'll keep my eye open in used book stores for there are many of book on him out there. I think it best I do this is small doses though! Learning one of your "idols" was a real cad takes some getting used to!

Those of you who follow this blog know I am huge Mary E. Pearson fan so I treated myself to The Miles Between once I finished up a couple of reviews for VOYA. And what a treat it was. What else is a girl named Destiny to do but follow her own destiny? Fate has taken much of the control out of her hands so Des has rebelled in the one way she knows how - by getting herself thrown out of one private school after another. And, as fate often does, it (or in this case perhaps Fate is a he) forces Des to travel the path she's been avoiding. Now is the time for Des to stop resisting - jump into the pink convertible just sitting there beckoning to her. Who cares if she doesn't know how to drive? That cute boy Aidan she keeps pretending she doesn't see does and she knows where he may be hiding. And then there's Mira, who insists on being Des's friend no matter how hard Des tries to push her away. Add geeky Seth to the mix and you have all the right ingredients for a road trip on the anniversary of the day Destiny was left behind, abandoned by her family. But, as all deftly woven stories do, this one has a heart-breaking undercurrent and when the tidal wave finally rises out of the depths of Destiny's repressed grief she needs all three of her friends to hang onto so the undertow doesn't wash her away. I closed the book with a satisfied sigh, with tears in my eyes. Pearson does it again - she has written a tale so unique unto itself I won't try to "pigeon hole it" into a genre or sub-genre. All I can is - it is a Pearson. For YA folks who have read all of her books, you'll know what I mean.

On to my second love- debut titles. I am loyal to my favorite authors, such as Pearson, but I am always looking for debut authors to fall in love with as well and I have found a few one. Betsy Howie has me laughing aloud. I think she helped me raise Mary! I also think she may be watching my Mary try to raise McKinley. And perhaps she told C.B. Decker, the illustrator about the attitude both my daughter and granddaughter can pull, along with those facial expressions. Oh my! Oh yeah - name of the book would be good! That is a delight too - it is called The Block Mess Monster Calpurnia's room has been taken over by the block mess monster and he isn't about to allow her to pick up her room but Mom doesn't know that and she is getting quite frustrated with her daughter and tells her to use "POOF!" to make the monster go away. Calpurnia tries it - in a wizard costume. No go. Mom says to try a double POOF. So she tries a double in her karate outfit, a triple as a pirate, 4 poofs as a determined baseball batter, and a scary pooooof pooooooooof as a magician. No luck and Calpurnia lets out a wail - "Mommy!" "Goodness gracious, Calpurnia!" (Mom always says that.) "There is no monster...." Mom goes to pick up a piece of the pile of blocks and Calpurnia scream NO as loud as she can - she's had to save her mother more than a few times from the monster but her mother does not appreciate it much at all. Matter of fact - "Oh, great. Now there are two monsters." The look on Mom's face is one every mother can relate to - I am just glad I had set my cup of coffee down before I turned the page or I would have made a mess with my snort laugh. As in all good picture books, little girls and moms win over block monsters, at least for now. I cannot wait to read this one to my granddaughter but I'll have to buy her a copy as this one stays in my debut author collection. It is too cute to part with. Ms. Howie, glad you found your way to children's books. :)

That's it for today.