April 28, 2014

a birthday party

This year for Lucas's second birthday we went to Hunter Hobby Park for a train party. My little guy loves trains and parks, so having his party at a train park seemed like a perfect solution. My mom made the cake, and she did an amazing job. It was delicious too. Lucas and I rode the train, and he cried the whole time. However, as soon as Lucas and I got off the train he was asking to go again. Yup. That's a toddler for you. 

The party was a success! My child went home happy, sleepy and ready to play with his new toys. A big thank you to Dadi and Dada for everything. We love you lots.  

I wish time would slow down. My little guy is growing up so quickly! 

April 24, 2014

i have a two year old...

I have a two year old.... 

Sadly, my little guy was sick today. We spent most of the day on the couch, avoiding food at all costs and making frequent trips to the bathtub. It nearly broke my heart to hear him say "Mamma, I have owie" and point to his tummy. We watched Cars, Frozen and several episodes of Curious George throughout the day...he talked about snowmen all afternoon. After a long day, he finally fell asleep with a bottle of water. So sad. I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow. 

April 14, 2014

Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

I finally finished this book. It was a tough read, depressing and yet powerful. I spent the first half of the book struggling to stay with it, dreading the turn of each page wondering what other hardships the narrator would have to endure before the end of the story. 

Ellison relies heavily on symbolism, cultural references and literary motifs. Several times throughout this book I had to snoop around the internet researching context to better understand this story. Themes of blindness, invisibility, racism and cultural stereotypes play a role in this story. 

The fight scene from chapter one really stood out to me as horrific and an indication of what was to come for the narrator. In this scene, our narrator has been invited to give a speech to a group of drunk wealthy white businessmen and other important officials.  Before he is able to give his speech, the narrator is blindfolded, given boxing gloves and forced to participate in a "battle royal." The narrator makes it to the final round before his is beat by another fighter. After the fight is over, the narrator is led to a rug covered with money. He lunges for the money, only to discover that the rug was electrified. After this the narrator is able to give his speech. In his speech, he talks about how humility and submission is the key to success for the African American. While choking on blood, the narrator "accidentally" says "social equality" instead of "social responsibility." The drunk wealthy white businessmen and other important officials angrily demand an explanation.  The narrator appoligizes and explains it "was an mistake and that he was choking on blood." He finishes his speech and rewarded with a briefcase and a college scholarship. He was overjoyed about the scholarship and he didn't mind that the gold pieces that he was forced to scramble for on the rug were brass tokens and were worthless.

Would I recommend this book? It depends. I understand the importance of stories like Invisible Man, however I do feel that Ellison was a bit heavy handed. At times I wanted to slap the narrator, and other times I wanted to hug him. I think Invisible Man is a one time read for me. 

April 7, 2014

a road trip and a wedding

This weekend, my husband and I drove up coast to Avila Beach for a friend's wedding. It's been several years since I've been up the California coast line, and it was a lovely drive. The wedding was beautiful! The ceremony was right on the beach front. For wedding favors, the coordinator and cousin of the bride passed out blue Debra and Hans's sandals. As this was my first beach wedding, I was a bit over dressed and the sandals were a lifesaver - once those puppies were on my feet I never went back. The reception was held in a basement banquet hall below a row of beach front shops and restaurants. The cool air was welcoming after being outside in the warm sun. I loved the little details at this wedding - especially the sign post and cake topper. The best part of course was seeing the simile on the bride's face as she said "I do" to her wonderful husband. 

Sabbath afternoon we ended our road trip with a tour of Hearst Castle. Several years ago, I actually tried to tour the castle, however due to a lack of planning I wasn't able to do so. I was excited for this tour and it was definitively worth the extra drive time. It was perfect weather for exploring the castle. We took the grand room tour, which included the assembly/front room, the dinning hall, the billiard/game room and theater. In addition, after the guided tour we were able to walk around the grounds of the castle.