Monday, May 16, 2011

Water Water Everywhere

I hope all the people who whined and grumbled and beat their breasts about the water ban know that I totally blame them for this apocalyptic rainfall - I'm well nigh certain that Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom and bitchiness heard them and said "YOU WANT WATER, YOU PUNKS? I'LL GIVE YOU WATER". We're in week three of the spring baseball season. The kids should both have played six games so far: Eve has played two, Angus has played one. My husband, who coaches Angus's team, has had to have his belt and shoelaces confiscated. Every time he opens his computer and yells "Nooooooooo!" I know they've cancelled another game because of the danger of losing a kid in a pit of slime, or of the entire diamond floating away and ending up somewhere around North Bay. It's not good.

I was going to call this a List of Things that Have Made Me Smile Lately, but then I typed that out and it made me throw up in my mouth a little, so let's just call it Things That Have Mitigated the Suckage Somewhat.

1.This book. I actually bought it thinking it was non-fiction, although when I realized it was a novel and reread the back cover copy, I don't know what gave me that idea. I'm a Jewish groupie - I mean I'm a groupie for Jews. Or Jewishness. I find Judaism fascinating, especially as I read more and learn how far back into history the tradition of blaming the Jews for every crappy thing EVER and generally hounding and harrying and torturing and executing them reaches. I keep wanting to throw up my hands and go "what the hell?" and then realizing that better minds than mine have tackled this problem unsuccessfully.

Anyway, this book. I can't even pinpoint exactly why I loved it so much, except that I just recently realized that I sort of like it when I finish a book feeling like it was all kinds of awesome while being uncertain what, exactly, it was about. I felt this way about The History of Love - most of my book club did, actually. Once we started talking about it we realized how difficult it was to figure out when and in what order events happened and what was real and imaginary and all the connections, and yet we all agreed that it was a deeply transporting and fulfilling reading experience. This book was the same. It juggles storylines and characters - at one point it took me half a chapter to realize that the grandfather was the same character who was a college student two chapters before. It write about playing and listening to jazz in a manner that actually feels effective. It twists up the experience of being Jewish with the experience of being African American into a heady, contentious whirlpool of - I don't know - self-righteousness, entitlement, accusations, comparisons, areas of demarcation and overlap. There is the question of whether good people can be good artists - musicians and writers specifically - or whether genius excuses a certain level of bad behaviour and mistreatment of lovers and family members. There are moments of insight, but no trite scenes of 'redemption.' I didn't race through it - it was like very good dark chocolate that I kept stashed away and every so often I would parcel it out to myself, and it was always richly satisfying.

2.This CD. I got it in university and the other day I realized I had never gotten any of it onto my ipod so I searched for and found it. I remembered a party I was at last Christmas where one of the other women had had someone tell her she resembled Jane Siberry and when she saw a picture of her she was deeply offended. I think Jane is quite striking actually, but this woman was kind of a nutbar so I just found her pissiness kind of amusing. And this verse, from Calling All Angels:

Oh and every day you gaze at the sunset with such love and intensity
It's almost as if you could only crack the code you could find out what this all means
Oh but if you could do you think you would have traded all
All the pain
And suffering
Ah but then you'd miss the beauty of the light upon this earth
And the sweetness of the leaving.


Yeah, I know. One track of my mind thinks "oh don't be ridiculous. Most of us would trade all the pain and suffering for a twinkie. Plus, haven't you been listening, there's NO LIGHT ON MY EARTH right now". But the other track thinks "what a beautiful way to think about it."

3.Leftover ice cream cake from Angus's birthday.

4.My purple tulips from Pam. We have vowed that we will venture out to partake in the beauty of the Tulip Festival on the first sunny day (Pam politely requested that I stop phrasing this as "if the fucking rain ever stops we're going to see the fucking tulips, got it?")

5.The Big C. Cancer sucks. Laura Linney is fabulous.

6.Mom of the Perpetually Grounded, who figured out who was stealing my bubbles. I'm hot on the little bastard's trail. I will have my bubbles back!

12 comments:

Nan | WrathOfMom said...

An excellent list, in my opinion. Good luck with the fucking tulips and that whole "not raining for the rest of the month" thing.

Nicole said...

Oh, Allison, I love you so much. This whole post, I want to marry this post. And have its baby. Okay, that probably crossed the line. But "YOU WANT WATER, YOU PUNKS? I'LL GIVE YOU WATER." And your husband has his belt and shoelaces confiscated, hee. Last spring in nine weeks of soccer season my sons played 3 1/2 games, due to snow and later, freezing rain. Good times.

Most of us would trade pain and suffering for a twinkie? Well, maybe not a twinkie, but I would for an After Eight.

Fuck, I hope you do get to see those fucking tulips. Hope the fucking rain stops.

Julie said...

this weather sucks ass!! montreal in the rain can be romantic, but unless you're going to put out, it'll be soggy. boo.

Magpie said...

Love that Jane Siberry. Also Laura Linney. Yes. You should come be my neighbor.

Lynn said...

Just the other day I had Jane Siberry on the brain, It was pre-rainfall and I had "The Sky Is So Blue" on a repeat loop in my brain.

I was noticing the other day that there seems to be a new group of confessional non-rhyming female singers out there and they all remind me of Jane. I think she was very underappreciated in the 90s when she was the only one making that kind of music.

In other news, The History Of Love is my most favourite book EVER. So although I only read like, two novels a year, if you think The End Of the Jews had a similar flavour, it's going on my list pronto.

Mary Lynn said...

In high school I won a Jane Siberry related contest run by that Friday night video show that Terry David Mulligan used to host. I won a Jane Siberry CD and a button that said, "I'd probably be famous now if I wasn't such a good waitress".

I am so so so sick of rain.

Shan said...

I love this list!!

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

I've always found it interesting that the entire world seems to blame the Jews for everything. It's weird.

Jenny Woolf said...

You're obviously having all the rain that should be coming to England. Although I looked out of the window today and saw the ground was wet, so the weather's broken at last, to the delight of all of us who have gardens!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Ok, I seriously need to get off my butt and look for those books. They both sound like winners to me. I've always enjoyed reading historical stories. Both biographical and in novels. Over the years I have also been surprised by where and how far back I have found Jewish persecution.

P.S. Get that little Bugger! I hear he is wanted for questioning in a heist from a Calgon warehouse in connection with a blackmarket operation selling out of the restrooms at Chuckie Cheese.

Suniverse said...

Wait - is the weather supposed to be something other than rainy? Ever?

I'm going to check out that book. And some tulips, just because.

Amber said...

I go to a Unitarian church. At the end of the service we have announcements, when random people can get up and announce stuff. Usually this is stuff like when choir practice will be this week. But a few weeks back a lady got up and announced that the Jews were her favourite people, and so she was thrilled to read that next week's speaker was a Jew, and let's hear it for Judaism!

It was an odd announcement, let me say.

And what made it even odder was the fact that the next week's speaker was in fact NOT Jewish, not even a little.