Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Chuck

You all requested it, so here it is. This is the only picture of himself IN THE WORLD that Chuck likes, so I present it to you. Isn't he cute in his tie and swanky sweater vest? Now imagine a cool tat on his forearm (Chinese characters), the piercing in his left ear (top portion, barbell), and him making funny faces, and it's a pretty well-rounded image of the man who's stolen my pea pickin' heart. He is a tantalizing mixture of straightlaced and ridonkulously goofy. I *heart* him!

Gotta go get my taxes done so we can go to Rocketboy's open house tonight (Rocketboy being the super secret code name for Chuck's 11-year-old son). Now, did I steal that from another blog? A book maybe? I have no idea.

*Note: this blog post should not be confused with Dooce's "Daily Chuck." Though my
Chuck does have one oddly canine tooth.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Have Myself a Home Life...Buy Some Books

Good morning, bloggish lovelies! For the first time since I've been living with Chuck--roughly a month and a week--I'm actually up at my normal time (7:30ish). This suggests a miracle: that I'm actually getting back on a schedule!!! I can easily get a couple of hours work in before the Chuck joins the land of the living and my students will be very happy that I've graded some papers.

Or I can blog and then work!

First off, a call for good thoughts, prayers, chants, whatever you do. A very good friend of mine from graduate school (Super T.) and a very good friend of mine since undergrad (Super C.) are engaged and having a baby. In short, the baby came very early (born at 26 weeks) due to some complications, and these wonderful, smart, gorgeous, fantastic, insert fitting adjectives here, people need your prayers. I questioned God and my faith for a very long time, but He's shown me some things lately and answered some pretty serious requests (brought Chuck) so God and I are on the mend. Please pray for my friends and their new little girl as they struggle through this very uphill battle.

On the homefront all is well. Chuck and I have the occasional battles that every couple has, but there's something that sets him apart from every other man I've ever dated: he listens. He's very diplomatic and soooo not into fighting, and he genuinely cares about what I think and how I feel about things. It makes life a lot easier. Oh, and he likes me! He really likes me!

I always tell people that "we really like each other." One day he asked why I always say that (since obviously we're pretty crazily in love), and I had to elucidate a theory I've had for a long time. I've known couples (married and not) that have been together a long time, and for me the test of a relationship is whether or not the involved parties still like each other after paying their dues and putting in their time together. My grandparents were married for 50+ years, and while they loved each other, I never got the feeling that they liked being together. My friend Rachel's aunt and uncle, on the other hand, have been married for 20+ years and still really like each other. They work together, they live together, they vacation together, and they enjoy each other's company. I've always wanted to be a part of a couple that likes each other, and now I am. People tell us we're cute all the time--that we seem really in love. Given, it's only been a month and a half, so we've got a long way to go to 20+ years, but we like each other now and I love that we like each other so much.

There's also reading news in the house! Chuck's son--who still remains nameless and we'll call him CS--was having a hard time reading the book he had out from the school library, and Chuck asked if I could recommend a graphic novel. I gave the boy American Born Chinese, and the rest was history. Since then he's been dipping into all kinds of books--some that stick and some that don't (much like myself). Yesterday he finished the Artemis Fowl graphic novel, and he's halfway through a Spy Kids graphic novel. He's also been reading all of Shel Silverstein's poetry, and he read some of Twilight. If you have any graphic novel recommendations for us, we'd be pleased to hear them! He has a couple of the Bone books, but so far he isn't terribly interested in those (though I am, and so is Chuck).

Chuck has apparently caught the book bug, too. He already had a decent collection when I moved in, but we've been cruising Half-Price lately, and he's buying as much as I do. We've gone to a couple of parties with my old grad school buddies lately, and that's resulted in a flood of new books in the house. In fact, yesterday I came in from buying breakfast groceries (French toast fixins) and found him sitting in bed, shirtless, with his cute little man-glasses on, reading The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Well, you could've knocked me over with a feather, and if I hadn't been so hungry I probably would've attacked the poor man right there. Maybe that's not appropriate blog fodder, but it's absolutely true. Bibliophile girls and boys know what I'm sayin'.

Our latest purchases include:

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (the premise got him on this one)
The Collected Poetry of T.S. Eliot (after I raved about "The Waste Land" and told him some of my college stories about it)
Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne
The Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, by Ann Marie Fleming (graphic novel and he loves anything Asian)
The Best American Comics, 2006, edited by Harvey Pekar

Chuck is a graphic designer, so much like CS and myself, he's captivated by a good illustration. Chuck and I both read Craig Thompson's Good-bye, Chunky Rice last week. I thought it was cute, but overall we both liked the illustrations better than the actual story. Though, I have to say, I might feel differently if I re-read The Little Prince since it's supposedly a response to that book. We'll see.

So that's what's shakin' in AndiLand. Life is good. Books are good. Family is good.

I'll be back with some reviews soon. I need to review Chunky Rice, some children's books, and I hope to be finished with Julie and Julia soon. I couldn't sleep last night, so I knocked off a chunk of it. I love her snark and sweetness, and now I want to cook some French food! Besides French toast, that is.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi

When I read Marjane Satrapi's fantabulous graphic novels, Persepolis I and II, several years ago and fell in love! Her drawings are deceptively simple, her writing is full of wit and snark. I've wanted to pick up Embroideries for ages but:

1. My library didn't have it, and I'm too lazy to interlibrary loan.
2. My new Richardson library has it, but I don't have a card yet.
3. I couldn't find it at the UBS.

But now I have a way awesome Half-Price Books right around the corner from the condo, and VOILA!!! I found Embroideries waiting patiently for me on the shelves last week. I cracked it open between classes and finished it within an hour.

In this particular graphic novel the women in Satrapi's life sit around and talk about sex. Most people have at least an aunt or a grandmother that appears really nice and sweet on the outside but that secretly talks like a tart in private. Satrapi has many such women in her life and they're not shy about opening up about sex when they're sitting around having tea. Some of their stories were sad--about forced marriages to older, uncaring men or men who simply used them. Others have heartwarming or hilarious stories about faked virginity and having never seen a penis after four children.

What's most apparent in all of Satrapi's work is how universal our human experiences are. Whether the women telling the stories are from the United States, France, or Iran, many of the tales--or at least the sentiments--are the same.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I still love books!

Yes, oh yes, I do! In fact, there's a Half-Price Books right around the corner from my new place (mine and Chuck's place). We went exploring yesterday, and I ransacked the clearance section. I bought:

A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth
Bastard Out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison
Into the Wild, by John Krakauer
Tis, by Frank McCourt

I also hit up the graphic novel section because it was MADE OF AWESOME!

The Contract with God trilogy (all in one), by Will Eisner
Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi (have wanted this one FOREVER)

I'm tickled with my new purchases, and I can tell this could become a habit. Watch for an update on my latest reading coming right up!
Images by Freepik