Friday, August 20, 2010

"Sea of Glass" Review

Book 23 of 20 for the Dystopian Challenge

There is not a single person I know to whom I would recommend this book.

Not that it wasn't well written, even thought-provoking.

But it was so ugly.

Imagine all the things you really dislike about the world, all the awful things people can do to each other...Never mind, don't imagine it.  No one wants to dwell on these things.  That's kind of my point.  This book illustrates many of those things in unwanted, unwelcome detail.  Brutality to children.  Assaults and abuse.  It's worse than harrowing.

The book addresses the question of where violence originates, and how a man can become a killer, what sorts of experiences he must have to shape him into a particular person.  There is also a great deal about whether or not trying to prevent a particular future shapes the present and points us towards what we were trying to avoid.

By the end, though (or, maybe more accurately, near the middle), I frankly didn't care.  I had no sympathy for the main character, nor any desire to save the dystopian world he lives in.  Let it burn.  It's a terrible, wicked place.

Let it burn.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Angela's first day

Angela started kindergarten today!

For whatever reason, they started a week later than everyone else.  We were hurrying to get ready, so the first pictures I got of her on her big day...

...are of her rushing off to play at the playground.

The bell rang, and the kids lined up in front of their teacher:

Then they waved good-bye to their weeping moms and marched into class.

It turns out you don't just cry over your first child's first day.

So proud of you, Angela!

Warner Valley Dinosaur Tracks

On Monday morning, we all woke up at 5:30 in the morning to drive out and see the dinosaur tracks in Warner Valley.

No people at all, several miles of dirt roads, and a short hike to the tracks.

They are in an uncovered creek bed.  There isn't anything like seeing these tracks in their natural environment, knowing their owners had walked where we were standing.  

Not a dinosaur:

This was the landscape around us:

Eliz and a footprint:

Angela and a footprint:

Note the size difference:

The sun was rising:

It was spectacular.

Once it had risen, the land around us looked different:

It was stunningly beautiful.  Thanks, Robert, for getting us all out to see the best part of the day.

First day of school!

They were, oh, a little excited.  This was 45 minutes before we needed to leave:



Angela's new hair


Big smile:

Side view:

Monsoon Season

In the desert in August, we have short, warm, torrential rain storms.

The streets flood.

We're all thrilled that the sun is covered by clouds.

And the kids come out to play...

A big puddle formed in our driveway, and all the kids came out to splash in it.  (The only rule was that your swimsuit had to be pink.)

They went swimming:


Within an hour it had all dried up completely.