02 June 2008

A, B, C ... K; Two New Challenges; The Weekend

K is for ...

My original thought for the letter K in the ABC-Along 2008 was, of course, knitting. But then I decided that was just too predictable, and wanted to find something else. And so, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages, I am declaring that that K is for:


A couple of weekends ago (May 18, to be exact), we walked over to the University of Pennsylvania to attend Karen's graduation. Sebastian was there (of course), along with Karen's sister, and some of her other close friends. She was receiving her Master of Liberal Arts degree, and we were all thrilled for her. It's been a long and sometimes frustrating road for her, and all of us were excited to see her officially receive her degree.

Left: Karen and her sister, Joyce.

Right: Sebastian and Karen

The day was cloudy, and there had been a couple of heavy downpours throughout most of the afternoon. But the weather held out until about an hour after the graduation, so the most anyone had to deal with was soggy ground in the tent where the ceremony was held.

This is by far my favorite picture of the day:

Congratulations, Karen!

Count 'em - two new challenges!

You may have noticed some new things listed in the sidebar. I have gone and signed myself up for two more reading challenges. Not because I wouldn't read otherwise, but because they each provided an opportunity to read things that I might otherwise not make a conscious effort to read. I like to think that I'm open to different genres, authors, and styles that I haven't dealt with before, and these two challenges were a) doable, and b) nice introductions for me.

First up is The Novella Challenge, where the participants are to read six novellas between April 2008 and September 2008. There is a list of novellas on the challenge site, to give you something to work with, but each person can decide what they would like to read. Here's my list:

Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf

The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

No One Writes to the Colonel – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett

Shopgirl – Steve Martin

Daisy Miller – Henry James

As you can see, I'm hoping to continue my love affair with Gabriel Garcia Marquez (it's safe though, 'cause neither The Tim nor Senor Garcia Marquez are worried about it), and I am embarrassed to say it, but this will be the first time I have read anything by Virginia Woolf. (Though I don't know why I feel so awkward admitting that, since I'm pretty sure that she hasn't read anything I've written either. And being dead is no good excuse on her part.) The others are either things I've read reviews about and thought sounded interesting, or just things I decided I might enjoy.

The second one is the Southern Reading Challenge. The rules are pretty straightforward:

"The rules are easy: 3 Southern Setting Books by Southern Authors in 3 Months beginning May 15 through August 15! "

I am not all that familiar with a lot of Southern literature, famous or otherwise, so I thought I would give this one a go. Here's my list for my Southern summer reading:

The Optimist’s Daughter – Eudora Welty

Selected Short Stories – William Faulkner

The Keepers of the House – Shirley Ann Grau

Now is the time to come clean for this one, and say I've only ever read one thing by William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily, though I have seen movies that were adaptations of his work. Since I've never consciously decided to read Southern literature, and know that he is supposed to be hard to "get," I guess I figured there was no reason to agonize over reading something when it wasn't like there would be a test at the end ...

I'm looking forward to these challenges, and hope that I'll find some new "friends."

The Weekend

This past weekend, The Tim, Sebastian, and I headed down to Baltimore for an overnight visit. We stayed at my niece Amanda and her husband Patrick's house, and luckily got to see my other niece Liz, her husband, Greg, and their little boy Zachary. We had a blast, and it really felt like we had a nice long visit with everyone. Many photos were taken, so I may have some to share later in the week.

I can tell you, though, that Zach is really cute, and very smart. And I'm not just saying that because he is my great-nephew. I'm saying it 'cause it's true!


seb + karen said...

It is a honor to be your blog- especially overriding "K" for Knitting...well worth the SIX LONG years of work!!!I feel VERY famous!Thanks so much!!!!

(i LOVE that photo of seb and i as well)

Looking forward to fotos of Zach!!

maggie moran said...

Congrats to Karen! Getting one's Masters is hard work!

I'm excited about you books and I look forward to your reviews. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all!

Lorraine said...

Bridget- Big congratulations to the grad-

I've read most of Virgina Woolf, and Henry James is one of my favorites.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Lovely photos of a special day. I'll be interested in what you think of your summer reading list - I also think of book characters as "friends" - or did you mean your fellow challenge takers? I read books and feel very close to the characters particularly when the style is that of narrative. When the book ends I feel a little left behind and lonely.

Brigitte said...

Congratulations to Karen!

What? You're having an affair with Gabriel Garcia Marquez too?!!


Kathleen Dames said...

I think you'll enjoy Mrs Dalloway. And you should consider some short stories from Katherine Anne Porter in your Southern fiction sampler - I wrote my honors thesis on them and thought she was such an interesting woman and writer.

Anonymous said...

That's a great K! Congratulations, Karen!

Those look like fun challenges. I own a few Gabriel Garcia Marquez' but haven't actually read any of them. Yet. I did just get around to Virginia Woolf in the last year or two myself. No hurry. She'll be around.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Yoknapatawpha County! The flashbacks are numerous and most unkind. :)

Send me a postcard.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Karen and great pictures!

Mrs. Dalloway is one of my all time favorite books! I think you will enjoy it, Whenever Pat and I are getting ready for a party I always say, "i'll get the flowers myself." This is always lost on him.. and I guess pretty much everyone else. . but alas enjoy Mrs. Dalloway!!