Monday, March 26, 2007

We had a lovely weekend.

Saturday we arrived at my folks' place, dropped off Melbotis, discovered my parents' air conditioner had died, got ready and then headed for Erica and Scott's big night.

The location wasn't too far off 288 in South Houston. It was a lovely, outdoor ceremony at dusk. The ceremony went off without a hitch, although I later heard rumors that the bride's mom had somehow disappeared prior to the ceremony and this caused some backstage consternation (no drama, she had just wandered off or something).

The reception was similarly lovely. Erica and I went to high school together, but whereas I showed up for the last three years of high school, Erica had lived in the same area since she was five. Therefore, there were a lot of faces at the wedding that I sorta-recognized, but was unable to put a name with. Aside from one, who, of course, had no recollection of me at all. And in this manner the cosmic wheel doles out justice.

Did some dancing, including some of my patented "Robot". Jamie looked totally foxy, so I got to appear as the guy with the cookie on his arm. Go, me.

Returned to Shannon and Josh's place, chatted a bit, got some sleep, and then got up in the morning yesterday for the post-wedding breakfast (which began at 8:00). The breakfast was obviously thought up by people who didn't plan on hanging near the bar at the wedding. Anyhoo, that was nice, and we got to see the bride and groom looking a little less stunned as they made their morning rounds.

Yesterday was Jamie's birthday, and I think my presents were sort of a dud, but she seemed happy enough. Shannon and Josh were nice enough to drop by for dinner.

I also found out (last, as always) that Julie B., wife of Cousin John, is expecting. Bully news, I say. John and Julie are great folks and will make ace parents, I have no doubt.

Today we dropped off Jamie at dialysis, I had lunch, then hit the road. It's raining like crazy in Austin, which I drove into around Giddings. It was all right. During Heather's recent visit, she'd loaned me a book-on-CD of Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher".

I haven't read any King since, maybe, middle-school. And somehow it's comforting to hear King's paid-by-the-word approach to a novel, with his squarely believable characters who eat the same junk you do, get hung up on the same minutia as your neighbors and are usually written awfully close to the folks you already know. In a way, it's sort of stunning how difficult a task that must be for writers to achieve. the Joe Averages who populate most novels are there specifically to remind you that average people are quirky and bizarre in their own way... But King's books are more interested in putting folks that could be you into some odd situations.

One of my great dis-satisfactions of trolling the New Fiction aisle at Barnes & Noble is that the characters all too often might as well appear in books down in the sci-fi and fantasy book sections for as much relevance as they have to my daily life. The kid winning the spelling bee with seemingly supernatural talent, the lonely widower bee keeper, the Indian kid stuck in a boat with a tiger, the Chinese peasant's family getting the tar kicked out of them for generations, the rich scenester with the tell-all about how they realized life isn't about doing copious amounts of blow, the Addams Family/dysfunctional family yarn... It's exciting to write about exciting people, no doubt. And we've all sat in a class where someone mistook their life for being worthy of novelization. So I'm not sure what the happy medium might be that I'm looking for.

That's not a knock on those books, it's much more of a knock on my own taste and patience. All stories worth telling, but none of which dwell anywhere near anything resembling the life of Bill and Kathy Armswagger in Goober Springs, Alabama. It's an oddity of the legacy of American Fiction that the person who may chronicle this period in the US most accurately might do so with stories of killer cars, rabid dogs and weird clown/ spiders. His characters are not just projections of who King wishes he could be, or cooler people living cooler lives than the author which King actually manages to swing...

That said, King still drives me nuts with his endless parenthetical asides (a crime which should be outlawed in any form of writing. It distracts, is tangential, and never really adds to the narrative at hand). I guess I'm mostly a glutton for narrative economy, possibly a by-product of reading too many comics and reading screenplays where much of the action is shown, not told. And I certainly see the flaws of which I feel guilty on the page in his work. Sometimes you wish he would simply kill his darlings... But what editor is going to tell King how to write at this point in his career?

That said, without the asides, how much of that detail I admire would survive? I'm conflicted, Leaguers.

Listening to it can be taxing, when you just want for him to describe the important action, not some-body's goofy hat.

I got through 3 discs today as I took an extra hour on taking The Admiral and KareBear's official shortcut from Manor to 71, and, I believe, missing a turn at 183. Then getting stuck in the molasses of Austin's traffic, when one adds in rain.

Jeff The Cat is quite happy that someone is home, and in a bit I'll head down to Jason's house to retrieve Lucy, whose been inside all day at Jason's. Tonight will be fun.


RHPT said...

* What did you get Jamie for a present? How young is McSteans?

* Today is my sister-in-law's birthday too!

* Everytime you find out that someone you know is expecting, you always say that they'll make great parents. Just once, I'd like to hear you say: "Those poor kids!"

The League said...

Well, Okay.

Randy will be an awful father.

RHPT said...

I can't say that I didn't see that one coming.

The League said...

No, no. I'm deeply worried for that child. I've already called CPS.

Laura said...

That said, King still drives me nuts with his endless parenthetical asides (a crime which should be outlawed in any form of writing. It distracts, is tangential, and never really adds to the narrative at hand).

Ha! Well done. (Although the tangential parenthetical is still my darling.)

The League said...

None of us can say what LoM would be if we put an end to parenthesis.