Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My family will soon possess the world's only talking Chilean Degu. I'm thinking it will mean big money. Yes, judging from the financial success of other talking rodents (ever hear of Mickey Mouse?) we'll soon be raking in major cash.
Not that Mallory's pet has uttered his first word yet, but that day is not far off if love, attention and hard work can make such a thing happen.
I actually don't think teaching him to talk is her goal, though. She just loves him and wants him to be happy. She does all the things her care manual says she should do for him: dust baths, a varied, sugar-free diet, reguar changes of toys and furnishings in his cage, etc . But besides this, Leon is also treated to other, far more exotic amusements. Mallory puts on shows for his entertainment using her magnet board. Or sometimes finger puppets.
She also reads him stories daily, often holding up the book so he can admire the pictures or maybe even try to read along, if he fancies.
So, between her beloved Leon, her cats and the back to school hassles, Mallory is very busy so far this year, as we all are.

The New Years Eve party turned out to be amazing. Severin spent the first half of the evening sitting silently at the table, looking semi-autistic. But then the music started and he was unstoppable. He put on an unbelievable, crazy, hilarious dancing and lip-synching extravaganza that had everyone in the room laughing. My MIL was astounded. "I didn't know Severin could DO that!" she exclaimed.

The next day, we spent the afternoon at a friend's house and then I had to be back at the hall by 5pm to help clean up. There was so much food left that we heated everything up and had a second meal that night. but we'd packed up the sound system, so Severin didn't get a chance to dance again for us...

Then on Friday morning, my MIL left, headed back up north to her home in the Lorraine region. And I drove the kids into Geneva.
Yes, I ventured into the big city with the car! I'm so proud of me!
Actually, it was very easy. Most people were still away on holiday, so downtown Geneva was practically deserted. I easily found a parking spot and took the kids to a special one-time showing of Twilight in English.
Valentine was VERY keen to go, as were the twins, and I thought it would be a fun final outing to end the holiday. Severin was somewhat less keen, but very motivated by the idea of the promised dinner at McDonalds before the show.
So, we got to Geneva at about 7pm. The show wasn't until 9pm, but as I wasn't sure where the theatre was located, I decided that we'd go find it, double check the showtime and then go eat dinner. And it was incredibly lucky that we did. The electronic board showing the films and numbers of seats still available revealed that there were NINE seats left for Twilight!
I quickly bought five tickets and the board flashed down to zero. We 'd got the LAST tickets! Maybe you anti-Twilighters would say it would have been no loss...but it would have been pretty bad to have the whole goal of our mission snatched out right from beneath our noses. It's the principal of the thing...
Tickets safely tucked away, we ate a quick dinner and were back in line at 8pm, at Valentine's insistance. We were second in line, just behind two teenaged girls. And then then more showed up, and more and still more....By 8:30, the lobby was jammed. It was mostly teen girls on their own, but there were a few parents and even a few grandparents with grandchildren in tow. We were lucky that Valentine had insisted that we be at the front of the line. That meant we managed to get excellent seats. Latecomers ended up sitting on the stairs.

Maybe it wasn't a great film; but it was a great audience to see it with. There was lots of cheering, clapping and respectful silence when appropriate. It really elevates the level of the film when you see it with people that want SO badly to be pleased by it.

I enjoyed it. Really.

What I am NOT liking is the book I am reading right now. Never Let Me Go is supposed to be a remarkable novel by a brilliant writer. And I suppose it is.
It's very restrained and subtle and Remains of the Day-ish. But it also has a really, really horrible twist to it.
In short, I feel like I'm eating a big bowl of oatmeal with shards of glass in it.

I've GOT to find something else to read...


babzee said...

My review of "Never Let Me Go" - written in 2005:

NO: This is a lovely little book, beautifully read, but merely as the tender reminiscences of an English schoolgirl. There is a modicum of deft sci-fi here, but so glibly delivered that honestly, who cares? Any practiced reader has already dealt with the issues of humanity, individuality and self-awareness in Margaret Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" and even "I, Robot", both of which handled the issue with greater dexterity and insight than Ishiguro is able to muster. The concept of this alternate society is explained early on, and once one has accepted it, the surprises are over. I purchased this audiobook on the recommendation of another person who said, "don't read anything about it first" and I didn't. It was my first Ishiguro, and I won't give up on him entirely, but I will be very cautious in the future.
8 of 13 people found this review Helpful.

See, BurkinaMom? ASK FIRST!

oreneta said...

I don't even know where to start commenting...glad New Years was great...you didn't sound enthusiastic so it is great that it worked out. Semi-autistic *snort*....and I will NEVER read that book. Oatmeal with shards of glass in it. Horrible.

La Framéricaine said...

Is the degu going to speak Spanish, French, or English--or all three?

The movie sounds like it was absolutely the best way to start a brand new year. I love movie "events" and the audience sounds like it was very enthusiastic! Congratulations on not having had the experience snatched away from you by a heartless electronic ticketing system--portends very well for the rest of 2009.

I do hope that you get a better book soon, my dear. Oatmeal with shards of glass sounds dreadful...

Beth said...

I guess I should have known to ask you first, Babs. You have read/heard just about everything. I am SO mad that I wasted my money on the thing!!!

But hey- at least I have probably saved two very lovely people from getting bushwhacked by the wretched novel.

I've officially given up on trying to read it. I'm back to reading back issues of New Scientist (until my next Funny Times shows up!)