Take The Wheel

This afternoon marks the fourteenth book fair that I will set up. A few weeks ago I was dragging, thinking about it, when a few friends told me I should go back and read my post-book fair blog posts. It worked! I was motivated once again by the thought of happy kids, a happy school librarian, and my fleeting moment in the sun as the Book Fair Lady. This will be my fifth-to-last book fair that I will run in my life, so I guess I better make them count. One day, there will be no more questions about the cost of posters (FIVE DOLLARS) or if a cake pop-shaped pen is edible, or if I can order the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And, just like the day I realized that the kids no longer crawl into my bed and wake me up on Saturday mornings, it will be bittersweet.

The task associated with the book fair that I dread most is photocopying, cutting, sorting, and distributing the little forms for the school-wide draw. It is a task that takes literally less than thirty minutes to complete but it hangs over me like a heavy black cloud. It’s not unlike how making a phone call for a dentist appointment is almost worse than the appointment itself. Oh my god, I have to pick up the PHONE and decide on a TIME and what if they have no good times AVAILABLE…

But happily the photocopying was done last week, I have my dream team of volunteers helping with everything this week (HI VOLUNTEERS IF YOU ARE READING THIS) and, as a bonus, it’s almost March! March is, as Pa Ingalls says with great cheer and terrible foreboding in The Long Winter, spring!

NOTE: March is not spring. But it is a happy kind of month, right? More sunshine, my wedding anniversary, Mark’s birthday, spring break…

Did you watch the Oscars last night? I did, although I haven’t seen any of the movies and, in fact, am so out of the loop that I don’t even know who 90% of the people are. I mean, I can still pick out Oprah and Stedman, and I was delighted to discover (two minutes before the show started) that Neil Patrick Harris was hosting. I know who Emma Stone is because I’ve seen her in a few movies and she was the actress who would play me in the movie version of my life, according to a Buzzfeed quiz I did a long time ago. Not only have I not seen the movies, I didn’t even know what movies were nominated or even vaguely what said movies are about. The one exception was Boyhood, and the only thing I really know about it is that it took twelve years to make. I read a review on Swistle’s blog and decided that it wasn’t for me. I don’t want to watch anything that might be upsetting.


I don’t know who this Jesus-lookalike is behind Patricia Arquette, but may I suggest “Jesus, Take The Wheel” as an alternate caption?

Apparently I’m okay with reading upsetting things, however, since I just finished The Goldfinch. I’d heard a lot of rave reviews about it, and I will say this: it is an extremely well written book with some very good plot twists. It did not end the way I expected, which I like in a book. However – and this will make me sound like a square, but hey, I am one – there is way too much drug usage in this book, in a gross, graphic way. NO ONE needs to read about that much vomit.

I needed a literary palate-cleanser after finishing The Goldfinch, so I dug out my old, ratty copy of Elvis and Me. Man, that is a bizarre story. Can you imagine being the parents of a fourteen-year-old girl who starts dating twenty-four-year-old Elvis Presley? And can you imagine being Elvis’ living doll who wears what he says to and develops a personality based on what he wants? It’s a strangely compelling story, one I read many times in my youth. I highly recommend it as light reading if you’ve just finished a depressing epic of a novel. It’s worth it just to look at photos like this:

priscilla priscilla2

The styles of the Sixties! How long do you think it would take her to wash and comb out that hair? That really puts my Eighties bangs to shame, I must say.


  1. I go to movies now! I used to never have any idea what everyone was talking about this time of year (movies? prizes for movies?), but now that N is old enough to sit for J at night we go out some times! And see movies! I highly recommend it.

    I keep hearing the Goldfinch is wonderful and that it’s terrible. I’m really not keen on vomit, though. There’s no parenting task I hate worse than cleaning up after a kid with a stomach bug, so that might keep me away for a while longer.

  2. You know… I have never read “Elvis & Me” and now I want to … or don’t want to … I can’t tell. I am conflicted! She was 14 dating a 24 year old?!??! Really?! Ick Factor 12.

    Good luck with the Book Fair.

    I want to call you Eliza now because when you wrote Book Fair Lady I immediately started singing selections from My Fair Lady.

    Did you know Cabin Fever was real? 😀 Yup.

  3. I totally think that she’s wearing wigs, so her hair may not have taken too long to do. My mother was a stylish young woman in the 60s, and I know for a fact that she had at least one– it was part of the random flotsam and jetsam in our basement long after she quit wearing it.

  4. I also cannot handle books/TV/movies with tons of drug use: Requium for a Dream, Trainspotting, The Goldfinch, all probably very good, but I won’t be watching or reading them because I can’t handle it. I had all I could handle when I first started the job I’ve been doing for 17 years now and a defendant threw up in a trash can in court because he was withdrawing from heroin. No need for fictional drug use grossness for me thanks!

    When Youngest is in middle school and my volunteering inside the school days are over, I will probably miss the comradery (sp?) of working with some of the other parents who I really like and getting to see my kids doing their thing when they may not know I’m there. I probably won’t miss the sometimes soul grinding politics or the more boring tasks 😉

  5. March is so full of hope! Even if it keeps snowing, THE END IS COMING.

  6. I was going to write, “How is it even POSSIBLE that her hair got that big?” but Elia’s comment that it’s probably a wig makes a lot of sense – or possibly just some sort of extensions or pieces on top of her regular hair. I have a lot of hair myself and even I can’t imagine the hours of teasing and smoothing it would take to get such a bouffant. It defies the laws of gravity.

    The Jesus dude is Jared Leto and he’s my son’s Idol of Hair. The Captain has been growing his hair out for three years (everywhere I go, people comment on my “three daughters”, but it doesn’t seem to deter him). It’s actually uncanny how much he looks like Jared Leto now. Maybe if we start referring to him as Jesus around the house, he’ll finally agree to a haircut.

    Have a great book fair!

  7. The Jared-Leto-as-Jesus picture made me giggle. The look on his face is like, “Bless you, my child.” I didn’t watch the Oscars–we get too bored because of the speeches and also because we haven’t seen the movies, but I enjoy the fashion commentary at Go Fug Yourself.

    There WAS a lot of yucky drug-related stuff in The Goldfinch. I skimmed those parts. Mainly I just kept reading to see what happened to the painting.

  8. Right, you guys do two book fairs a year, don’t you? You’re a motherfricking saint. Also, I just realized I’ve probably helped run my last book fair, which leaves me with a strange mix of emotions.

    I always forget about the Oscars, and this year I was all set to watch, then I realized it conflicts with my Walking Dead date with Angus. I watched the opening monologue and saw J.K. Simmons, who I love, win for best supporting actor, and I wasn’t that heartbroken to have to switch away. I saw Jared Leto tagged somewhere as “Katy Perry with a beard” which is sort of horrifyingly accurate.

    My mother mentioned the surfeit of drug use in The Goldfinch too, although she liked it, and I did too – not that I’m all ‘yay drug use’ or anything, I thought his teenage years were a terribly sad train of neglect and despair, but I just really got sucked into the story and the drug use didn’t put me off.

Leave a Reply